Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Nominate someone who inspires you to "Move It!"

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 1:18pm

Celebrate Move It! in May by nominating someone who inspires you to Move It!

During the month of May, nominations will be accepted for awards for a Cook County resident who inspires others to move more. Maybe it’s someone who shoveled a path for his or her neighbor to walk safely this winter or someone fighting cancer who still gets out to ski after chemo treatments; a child who encourages his or her classmates to play outside no matter the weather, or a Care Center resident who loves to dance!  There are amazing people all around us who are Movin’ It!  Send us your stories!

Submit your nominations for a chance to win one of six prizes.  A panel from the Cook County News Herald, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, and Cook County Senior Center will randomly pick from the entries.  In early June, prizes will be awarded in three categories; children, adults, seniors.  Each winner will receive a $40 gift certificate to a local business for the nominee and a $20 gift certificate for the nominator!  Send nominations of 200 – 300 words to: Cook County News-Herald, PO Box 757, Grand Marais MN 55604 or email to Deadline for Nominations: Monday, May 26.

Questions?  Contact Rhonda Silence at the News Herald at (218) 387-9100; Kristin Wharton at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic 387-2330, or Bev Greene at the Senior Center 387-2660.

Funding for the Move It! Awards is provided in part by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, Cook County Herald, and the Cook County Senior Center.

Harpist Christina Cotruvo to perform at Grand Marais Library

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 9:23am

The Grand Marais Public Library will present Christina Cotruvo, a Superior Love, a free family program on Friday, May 2 at 2 p.m.

Christina presents her original music celebrating Lake Superior love.  Enjoy Celtic harp instrumental music based in the love songs of the people who have lived and traveled Lake Superior.

Living on the shore of Lake Superior is what inspires Christina Cotruvo’s soothing and relaxing harp music. Learn what inspires her, how she researched the stories behind the songs and hear the beautiful music Christina creates with her Celtic harp.

This event is sponsored by the Arrowhead Library System, the Grand Marais Public Library and funded by money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. 

Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken announces candidacy

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 9:22am

Cook County Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken, who has been fulfilling the duties of county attorney since County Attorney Tim Scannell left his office on medical leave on October 13, 2013, announced her candidacy for county attorney on Wednesday, April 23.

After seven years as the assistant county attorney, Hicken said she would be honored to serve as Cook County’s chief prosecutor and adviser.

Since 2011, Hicken has fulfilled obligations beyond the designated responsibilities of the assistant county attorney, maintaining the entire criminal and juvenile caseloads, while at times running the county attorney’s office and serving as legal adviser for county department heads and the board of commissioners.

In 2012, Hicken was the recipient of the Medal of Commendation from the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association and the Community Service Award from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for the actions she took during the courthouse shooting on December 15, 2011. She was recognized for her efforts to save the life of County Attorney Scannell and others after a near fatal attack by a recently convicted defendant.

In her time in the county attorney’s office, Hicken has gained extensive experience prosecuting crime from the petty misdemeanor level up to serious felonies.

Hicken was admitted to the Minnesota State Bar in 2007. She is a graduate of Cornell College and Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. She is a fourth generation property owner in Cook County with a home in Lutsen where she and her husband Paul Nordlund are raising their one-year-old twins.

In addition to serving as assistant county attorney, Hicken also serves on the board of WTIP Community Radio and has been active in community theater with the Grand Marais Playhouse.

Action Signs: Your Youngster's Behavioral Health Thermometers

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 9:14am

Children often have different ways of experiencing and handling stress than adults, and may have trouble coping with issues in their lives.  WTIP volunteer Sherrie Lindskog spoke with Grace Bushard, Social Services Supervisor for Cook County, about signs that a child may be having emotional problems that require professional intervention.

Parents who may have concerns about their child can contact the Help Me Grow Program at 387-1273, their primary care provider, or Cook County Public Health and Human Services at 387-3620. 


Action Signs That Indicate Your Child May Need Professional Evaluation

Courtesy of the REACH Institute
Action Sign #1 - Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks:
Depression is a serious condition and one of the most common mental health concerns in kids. The primary characteristics of depression are excessive sadness, loss of interest in activities, sleeping problems (either sleeping to much or not enough), lack of energy, preoccupation with death or dying, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and difficulty in thinking, concentrating, or making decisions.
Action Sign #2 - Seriously trying to harm or kill yourself, or making plans to do so:
Suicide is the result of many complex factors. Important risk factors for suicide and suicidal behavior include prior suicide attempt, other mental and alcohol or substance abuse disorders, feelings of hopelessness, impulsive and/or aggressive behaviors, easy access to lethal methods, especially guns, or lack of involvement in school and/or work ("drifting").
Action Sign #3 - Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing:
Panic disorder is a common and treatable disorder. Kids with panic disorder have unexpected and repeated periods of intense fear or discomfort, along with other symptoms such as a racing heartbeat or feeling short of breath. These periods are called "panic attacks" and can last minutes or go on for hours. Panic attacks frequently develop without warning. Symptoms of a panic attack include intense fearfulness, racing heartbeat, dizziness or lightheadedness, shortness of breath, a feeling of being smothered, fear of dying, losing control, or losing your mind.
Action signs #4 and #5 - Involved in many fights, using a weapon, or wanting to badly hurt others, OR severe out-of-control behavior that can hurt yourself or others:
Conduct disorder (CD) is a persistent pattern of behavior in children and adolescents in which the youth is physically aggressive to others…he or she just looses control, but often feels bad afterwards. The child or adolescent usually exhibits these behavior patterns in a variety of settings—at home, at school, and in social situations—and they cause impairment. Behaviors characteristic of conduct disorder include aggressive behavior that causes or threatens harm to other people or animals, non-aggressive conduct that causes property loss or damage, stealing, lying, or serious rule violations. In children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), there is an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that seriously interferes with the youth’s day to day functioning. Symptoms of ODD may include frequent or extreme rages and temper tantrums, excessive arguing with adults, refusal to listen to adult requests and rules, deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people, blaming others for his or her mistakes, being easily annoyed by others, frequent anger and resentment, mean and hateful talking when upset, or seeking revenge.
Action signs #6 – Not eating, throwing up, or using laxatives to make yourself lose weight:
Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder with a destructive pattern of binge-eating and recurrent inappropriate behavior to control one's weight. Binge eating is defined as the consumption of excessively large amounts of food within a short period of time. The food is often sweet, high in calories, and has a texture that makes it easy to eat quickly. To control one’s weight, someone suffering from this condition may use self-induced vomiting, abuse laxatives, starve oneself, or use non-purging behaviors, such as fasting or excessive exercise.

Action Sign #7 - Intense worries or fears that get in the way of his/her daily activities:
Children with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have recurring fears and worries that they find difficult to control. They worry about almost everything—school, sports, being on time, even natural disasters. They may be restless, irritable, tense, or easily tired, and they may have trouble concentrating or sleeping. Children with GAD are usually eager to please others and may be “perfectionists,” dissatisfied with their own less-than-perfect performance. 
Action Sign #8 - Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that puts him/her in physical danger or causes school failure:
There are three main types of ADHD. One type is characterized by inattentiveness, one type is characterized by hyperactive or impulsive behavior, and the third type is combined—when children and adolescents show signs of both types. Symptoms may not be noticed until a child enters school. Some inattentive symptoms include difficulty following instructions, difficulty focusing on tasks, losing things at school and at home, lacking attention to detail, or failing to complete homework or tasks. Some hyperactive symptoms include fidgeting excessively, difficulty staying seated, running or climbing inappropriately, talking excessively, blurting out answers or frequently interrupting, or having trouble waiting his or her turn.
Action Sign #9 - Repeated use of drugs or alcohol:
Teens use alcohol and other drugs for many reasons, including curiosity, because it feels good, to reduce stress, to
feel grown up or to fit in. It is difficult to know which teens will experiment and stop and which will develop serious problems. Teenagers at risk for developing serious alcohol and drug problems include those with a family history of substance abuse, who are depressed or anxious, who have low self-esteem, and who feel like they don’t fit in
Action Sign #10 - Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships:
Bipolar disorder begins with either manic or depressive symptoms.  Some possible signs and symptoms include mania symptoms of severe changes in mood, usually excessively high self esteem, increase in energy level, risk taking behavior; or the other hand, depressive symptoms of frequent crying, withdrawal from friends, or decreased energy level.  Not all children with bipolar disorder have all symptoms.  Like children with depression, children with bipolar disorder sometimes have a family history of the illness.
Action Sign #11 - Drastic changes in your behavior or personality:
A drastic change in personality or behavior could be a sign of a more serious emotional problem. There is a possibility that it could be a sign of a mental health disorder, including but not limited to depression, bipolar disorder, or a personality disorder. For example, people with personality disorders may show signs of impulsivity and instability in mood, self-image, and personal relationships.

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Great Lakes shipping season is off to a slow start

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 12:50pm

The late season ice on Lake Superior has the shipping season off to a slow start. Adele Yorde, the Public Relations Manager of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, talks to Matthew Brown about the background of the DSPA, and when we can expect to see some of the first "salties" on the lake.

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Community invited to take part in National Day of Prayer at Cook County courthouse

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 10:17pm

The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked "to turn to God in prayer and meditation.” Each year since its inception in 1952, the president has signed a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Community members are answering the call on May 1 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. on the Cook County courthouse steps.

One of the citizen organizers Rae Piepho said everyone is invited to come for the observance to take advantage of the Constitutional right to pray at this public gathering. Piepho said all are welcome to pray for our nation at the event dubbed "One Voice, United in Prayer."