Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Few filings for city, hospital and school board so far -- deadline is August 12

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 4:50pm

In the first week of the filing period to run for seats on the Grand Marais City Council, North Shore Hospital board and School District 166, only a handful of citizens have come forward.  There are no contested races at this point. The filing period is open until August 12.

In Grand Marais there are three seats on the ballot, for mayor and two council seats. Those seats are currently held by Mayor Larry Carlson and Councilors Bob Spry and Bill Lenz. The News-Herald was unable to reach Carlson and Lenz, however, reached by phone, Bob Spry said he was not running for reelection.

Spry encouraged others to run. He said, “It’s not a thankless job, some people appreciate what we do. I’ve enjoyed my last eight years on the council, but it’s time for someoneelse to step up.”

 

Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux, owner of the Art House B&B in Grand Marais, has filed to run for mayor. Dave Mills of Grand Marais has filed to run for a city council seat.

For School District 166, there are also three terms expiring this year. The seats are District 1 and District 5. District 1 includes Colvill, Hovland and Grand Portage. District 5 serves Lutsen, the Pike Lake area, Tofte and Schroeder. Deb White holds the District 1 seat. Jeanne Anderson currently holds the District 5 seat. Anderson also currently serves as board chair. 

Reached by phone, White said she was going to run for reelection. “I feel there is a lot of work to be done yet. It’s a really exciting time to be at the school.”

The other seat, District 3, is currently held by Leslie Ann Sullivan. She was appointed to fulfill the term when Mary Sanders retired from the board in December 2013. The News-Herald reached Sullivan on July 30 and she said unfortunately she cannot run. She has moved out of the district.

Search & Rescue called to Eagle Mountain for rescues twice last week

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 4:36pm

The Eagle Mountain hiking trail has proven especially treacherous this summer. A 29-year-old man died after collapsing on the trail in June and Cook County emergency responders were paged to the site twice last week to rescue hikers in distress.

The first call for help came at 2:48 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23. A 54-year-old female, Nancy Meinholz of Cross Plains, Wisconsin, hiking with three other people, had fallen three times on the trail and was unable to go any further. She was about two miles in on the trail, above and west of Whale Lake.

Grand Marais First Responders, Cook County Ambulance and Cook County Search and Rescue responded to the Eagle Mountain Trailhead and began the trek to reach Meinholz.  Search and Rescue called the Grand Marais and Maple Hill Fire Departments for assistance. Because the windstorm the day before had dropped so many trees on the trail, U.S. Forest Service personnel also responded. Because Meinholz was within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness boundary, the six Forest Service responders used crosscut saws to clear the trees.

Responders reached Meinholz at 4:41 p.m. Carrying her out on the difficult terrain took until 9:34 p.m.

Meinholz was transported to Cook County North Shore Hospital and treated for a knee injury.

Emergency responders were paged to Eagle Mountain again on Saturday, July 26 at 3:45 p.m. to help a 63-year-old male who was injured and couldn’t walk. The 30-year-old man who made the emergency call said the injured man was 1.5 miles from the trailhead.

Cook County Search and Rescue, Grand Marais First Responders, the Grand Marais Fire Department, and Cook County Ambulance were paged.  Three U.S. Forest Service personnel also assisted. The rescuers reached the patient and were back to the trailhead at 7:01 p.m.

The man, whose name is not available, was transported to Cook County North Shore Hospital.

Grand Marais Lions Club has a new ride -- catch the train!

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 4:25pm

Fisherman’s Picnic Kiddie Rides are open! This year there is a new ride to try. At one time Cook County was home to more than one train serving logging camps and pioneer communities. The footprint of the old locomotives can be seen in the names of many of our roads—Railroad Drive in Lutsen, Trestle Pine in Grand Marais, Lima Grade Road up the Gunflint Trail and many others. Harking back to those days is a new Kiddie Ride being introduced at Fisherman’s Picnic 2014—the El Paso Express.

The shiny little three-car train will be replacing the little cars, which have far outlived their recommended life span. The cars have been repaired and patched more times than the Grand Marais Lions can count.

The El Paso Express will join the other returning rides, the Ferris wheel and airplane swings. The future of the little cars is unknown, as they have been repaired more times than the Lions can count.

The Fisherman’s Picnic Kiddie Rides are not only fun for local and visiting kids, they are a great opportunity for local nonprofits. The Grand Marais Lions Club offers the opportunity to local groups to take shifts operating the rides, paying them for their time.

The new ride should be a welcome addition, as adults can also ride, making it easier for nervous toddlers. So come on down and get on board!

Live theater throughout Fisherman's Picnic with "Nunsense" and "Nana's Naughty Knickers"

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 1:48pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse is offering two delightful comedies at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts during Fisherman’s Picnic as part of its Summer Festival. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy live theater in Grand Marais.

The first offering is Nunsense: the Mega Musical, the hugely popular romp by Dan Goggin about the Little Sisters of Hoboken who must organize a fundraiser to raise money to bury four dead sisters. The dearly departed were accidently poisoned by the convent cook, Sister Julia (Child of God).

The cast of talented local performers is Rena Rogers, Karina Roth, Karen Blackburn, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Michaela Peterson, Jan Healy, Don Grant, Daniel Ditmanson and Gerry Grant.

Preview audiences adored this sacrilegious production—laughter could be heard outside of the theater. The Grand Marais Playhouse production of the Samuel French play is not to be missed!

Another Samuel French production adapted for the Arrowhead Center for the Arts stage is Nana’s Naughty Knickers, a slick comedy by Katherine DiSavino. Grandma (Jan Healy) is caught operating an illegal boutique from her apartment, much to the shock and dismay of her granddaughter (Yvonne Block). Others gifted local performers are Julie Fredlund, Karl Olson, Ron McClellan, Jane Gellner, Bill Shaffer and Tina Krauz.

The opening night audience roared at grandma’s misadventure and the sexy senior citizen sideline. You will too!

The productions are offered in repertory, alternating nights so playgoers can catch both plays during the Summer Theater Festival. Upcoming performances of Nunsense: the Mega Musical are July 25 27, 31, Aug. 2, 8 and 10.

Performances of Nana’s Naughty Knickers are July 26, Aug. 1, 3, 7 and 9. Show times are Thursday - Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., except for Fisherman’s Picnic, Aug 3, when the show begins at 3 p.m. following the parade.

County board votes to remove Scannell from office

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:31am

GRAND MARAIS — The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously this morning to remove County Attorney Tim Scannell from office, six days after his conviction on two felony sex crimes.

The Duluth News Tribune reports, the board made the decision at a special 8:30 a.m. meeting at the Cook County Courthouse. The vote came following discussion with attorney Dyan Ebert, who was hired by the county to advise the board on the Scannell matter. Ebert advised board members that case law and precedent support Scannell’s removal by the commissioners.

Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken was appointed as Scannell’s successor.

Scannell’s term was set to expire at the end of the year, and he is not seeking re-election. He was not in attendance at the meeting.

Scannell was convicted last Friday by a St. Louis County jury of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct following a weeklong trial. `

Effectiveness of filling Highway 61 rumble strips questioned

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 12:17am

Speaking to the Cook County Board of Commissioners at the July 15, 2014 meeting, Chuck Flickinger of Hovland said he represented 200 families who were opposed to the sounds made by rumble strips installed by Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) on the east side of Cook County.

Flickinger said the mitigation done by MnDOT last fall, the partial filling of the offending strips, is ineffective. He said residents are still awakened at night and disturbed during the day. He said the 200 petitioners do not want more of the same. Flickinger asked the commissioners to send a letter to Representative David Dill and Senator Tom Bakk, requesting that MnDOT fill in all of the rumble strips.

Flickinger also shared two other concerns. First he said MnDOT is not in compliance with federal laws protecting scenic/recreational roadways.  Second, he said MnDOT should find better, more economical, alternative to rumble strips, namely those making two lane rural roads non-passing highways.

 “It is my opinion that rumble strips should never have been installed on Highway 61 without an environmental study and public hearings by MnDOT,” he said.

Before agreeing to send a letter, commissioners asked Flickinger to let them continue the dialogue they have established with MnDOT. West End Commissioner Bruce Martinson said MnDOT has had a complete reversal of its position on installing rumble strips since it received complaints about the noise from residents in Cook County and other places in Minnesota.

In the past, said Martinson, MnDOT’s plan was to include rumble strips anywhere there was an overlay or a highway reconstruction project. “But in the last year that has ended,” he said.