Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

State Supreme Court won't hear BWCAW cell phone tower case

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 6:43am

     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A 450-foot cellphone tower with flashing
lights that would be seen from parts of the Boundary Water Canoe
Area Wilderness will be allowed to go forward, after the Supreme
Court denied a request to hear the case.
     The high court's decision means a June ruling by the Minnesota
Court of Appeals - which allows the tower - will stand.
     The Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness had wanted to
block the tower proposed by AT&T Mobility, saying its location atop
a ridge near Ely would make it visible from 10 lakes within the
protected area. The group had argued that a smaller tower without
lights would provide sufficient coverage.
     The BWCA covers more than 1 million acres in northeastern

Energy Plan adopted for county

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 2:47pm

Last month, a comprehensive energy plan was approved by both the Grand Marais City Council and the Cook County Board of Commissioners.  According to George Wilkes of the Cook County Local Energy Project (C-CLEP), the energy plan “is a framework for collaborative work on energy issues.” 


Cook County and Grand Marais Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Plan

Executive Summary

In the summer of 2010, the Cook County Board, the City of Grand Marais, and the CookCounty Local Energy Project (CCLEP) formed a partnership to develop a voluntary Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Plan (Energy Plan) pertaining to both the City and the County. The purpose of this project is to better prepare our community for the challenges,and opportunities, of a rapidly changing energy environment. More specifically, implementation of this Energy Plan should benefit our community by:

• Retaining energy dollars in our local economy.

• Creating jobs.

• Improving quality of life for Cook County citizens through more comfortable, less costly,energy efficient housing.

• Buffering our community from the effects of unstable energy supply and pricing.

• Decreasing our community’s contribution to the harmful environmental and climatic effects of fossil fuel use.

Public invited to open house in Tofte tonight to learn more about senior housing plans

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:31am

An open house and public meeting is being held from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, August 21 at the Tofte Town Hall to give the community the opportunity to learn more about the architectural and engineering study recently completed for the proposed West End Senior Housing project.
There will be a presentation by DSGW Architects and the town board will review the purpose of the project, its design principals and goals and design options. There will then be a “Design Charrette,” a public input process.
If you would like more information, contact Barbara Gervais, Tofte Clerk at 218-370-0763.

Election lineup set for local races

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 11:29am

Tuesday, August 14 was Election Day and races for county commissioner, Supreme Court judges, and U.S. senators and representatives have been narrowed to two candidates for the November election.
County Commissioner District 4 was the only local race that had three candidates still in the running. The Gunflint and Maple Hill precincts cast their votes in this race with the best voter turnout in the county. Gunflint precinct saw 62% and Maple Hill 61% of its registered voters choosing a candidate.
Garnering the most votes was Heidi Doo-Kirk with 217. She was followed by Rick Austin with 160 votes. The third candidate, Gail Anderson, received 93 votes and will not appear on the November ballot.
County Commissioner District 2 had three candidates listed, however Kelly Swearingen had withdrawn from the race and asked constituents not to vote for her. Despite her request, she received 20 votes.
Incumbent Fritz Sobanja earned 99 votes and challenger Garry Gamble received 76 votes.

Grand Marais Playhouse issues parade challenge

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:20am

Following up on the recent celebratory summer parades, Sue 
Hennessy of the Grand Marais Playhouse made this announcement: The 
Grand Marais Playhouse does hereby challenge all Grand Marais Arts 
groups (and individual artists) to compete for the coveted "Best Artsy 
Group" trophy for the Fisherman's Picnic parade in 2013 and beyond.  
Hennessy added, “You have a year to plan for next Fisherman’s 
Hennessy also said: The Playhouse does also herby challenge all local 
non-profits to compete for the coveted “Best Patriotic” trophy for 
the Grand Marais July 4th Parade in 2013.
You have 10 months to plan!” said Hennessy.
Hennessy said judges for the awards will be determined later. 
“Trophies will be traveling so you will need to win each year to 
retain ownership—and bragging rights,” said Hennessy. “Good 

Wind turbine parts boost Twin Ports shipments

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 4:45am

     DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - The rush to finish wind farm projects
before a federal tax incentive expires has boosted shipments at the
Port of Duluth-Superior.
     Duluth Seaway Port Authority executive director Adolph Ojard
says they've handled nearly a dozen shipments of wind turbine
components, plus a number of shipments of U.S.-manufactured blades
being sent to Brazil.
     The federal credit expires at the end of the year. It provides
wind developers a tax break of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the
power they generate from utility-scale wind projects.
     The port is also handling a variety of other cargo, including
huge steam and gas turbines and generators, mining machinery, and
other heavy equipment for projects across the Midwest and Canada.