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News and other information from Cook County

Grand Marais Garden Club shares "Birds, Bees & Blossoms"

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:33pm

The Grand Marais Garden Club invites you to its annual flower show entitled Birds, Bees & Blossoms on Friday, July 18 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Cook County Community Center.  Sally Berg and Helen Muth are this year's chairpersons. 

You will enjoy a vast array of floral arrangements using all member-grown flowers.  Refreshments will be served as well as homemade rhubarb punch.  A plant sale and exchange is also a favorite feature.  The flower show is free with donations accepted.

The Garden Club is celebrating its 80th year.  It's one of the oldest clubs in Cook County. The members beautify Grand Marais by planting all the town flower boxes, helping to maintain the downtown Harbor Park, re-working the curb flower garden by the South of the Border restaurant and growing beautiful roses in the Memorial Rose Garden.

Come enjoy one of the prettiest events of the summer at the Flower Show!

World's Best Donuts and Drury Lane Books host "Lake Superior Flavors" booksigning july 19

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:31pm

If you are a “foodie” and want to enjoy the many places along the Lake Superior Circle Route, this book is for you.  It contains a combination of great eclectic cafes, scenic places to visit and things to do, which I’m sure you will find very helpful in discovering your new “favorites.” 

Check out this guide to great food and small specialty breweries; wineries; family businesses and markets along the Circle Tour. It has great sections on Minnesota’s North Shore; Canadian Waters; Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and Wisconsin’s South Shore.  

This book shares where to find the many locally made foods and drinks to sample: donuts; baked goods; pasties; Pannukakku; smoked fish; shark sandwiches and many other preparations of fish; herring roe (caviar); Cudighi sandwiches; honey; pickles; pumpkin and cranberry apple pies, salamis; cheeses; beers; wines; jams and jellies; juices; herbal teas; flowers; berries, and, of course, hamburgers and pizza are all included.    

Highlighted places in Grand Marais area are World’s Best Donuts; The Angry Trout and its “next door” neighbor, the Dockside Fish Market & Deli, from which the “Trout” gets its fresh Lake Superior fish, as well as the lovely old Naniboujou Lodge.

 Pictured and titled eclectic is the Beaver House.”

Several favorite old timers of the Thunder Bay area are Belluz Farms and Hoito Restaurant.

There will be a “Meet & Greet Book Signing Event” with Author James Norton and Photographer Becca Dilley in Grand Marais on July 19 at the World’s Best Donut Shop and Drury Lane Books. Enjoy a chat with these talented folks, purchase the book, and get a free donut and small cup of coffee.

"Nunsense: the Mega Musical" kicks of the Grand Marais Playhouse Summer Festival Thursday

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 1:59pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse Summer Festival features two comedies chosen with summer fun in mind. In Nunsense: the Mega Musical, the sisters of Mount Saint Helen of Hoboken put on a fundraiser to raise money to bury four dead sisters. The cast is Rena Rogers, Karina Roth, Karen Blackburn, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Michaela Peterson, Jan Healy, Don Grant, Daniel Ditmanson and Gerry Grant.

 In Nana’s Naughty Knickers, grandma (Jan Healy) is caught operating an illegal boutique from her apartment, much to the dismay of her granddaughter (Yvonne Block). Others performers are Julie Fredlund, Karl Olson, Ron McClellan, Jane Gellner, Bill Shaffer and Tina Krauz.

Performances of Nunsense: the Mega Musical are July 17, 19, 25 27, 31, Aug. 2, 8 and 10. Performances of Nana’s Naughty Knickers are July 18, 20, 24, 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. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students under 18. Save $5 by purchasing a ticket to both shows. As always, the first Sunday matinee is donation day; pay any amount to see the performance.

Playgoers are also invited to a special Playhouse Summer Festival “After Party” on two nights, after Nunsense on July 17 and after Nana’s Naughty Knickers on July 24. Gather to enjoy Sydney’s Frozen Custard & Wood Fired Pizza with casts and crew. Tickets are $10 at the door or can be purchased online at

Ushers are still needed for some performances. Contact the Playhouse at 218-387-1284 or for more information about volunteering or the shows.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald

Commissioners approve more animals at Putt 'n Pets mini golf

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 1:57pm

Following a lengthy discussion at the Tuesday, July 8 county board meeting, commissioners approved a conditional use permit amendment allowing Randy Sjogren to increase the number of “animal units” allowed at his Putt ’n Pets miniature golf facility on Highway 61 west of Grand Marais.

“Animal units” are used in the permitting, registration and environmental review process because they allow equal standards for all animals based on size and manure production, rather than setting limits based solely on number of animals. The original permit granted permission for two turkeys, four or five pheasants, 15-20 chickens and three goats. The new guidelines will allow an emu, a potbelly pig and two mini-donkeys.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald


EDA hears ideas for redevelopment of Tomteboda property

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:45pm

The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) listened to a presentation by Jeff Corey of One Roof Community Housing and Rick Klun of Center City Housing Corp at the Tuesday, July 8 board meeting. Both organizations are nonprofits that develop and operate a variety of housing options in the greater Duluth area.

Jeff Corey, of One Roof, said he and Klun were there to talk to the EDA about possible development of the former Tomteboda Motel site on Highway 61 in Grand Marais.

Klun said he believed the Tomteboda site would lend itself to a mix of affordable and market range housing, to serve the people working two or three jobs to live here, as well as young professionals with higher incomes that just can’t find a home.

The EDA has received a grant of $50,000 to be used to complete a comprehensive affordable workforce housing study and they anticipate receiving another $13,000 from the Northland Foundation in support of the housing study. With the money, the EDA will assemble a team of affordable housing experts to study the situation and to try to find the best way to address the problem.

One component of the study is to look at potential sites for housing development, like the Tomteboda property. In the grant application, the EDA said it has recruited Realtors/Property Managers Mike Larson and Tim Kennedy to assist with this process.


This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald

Upgrades planned on three county cell phone towers

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:44pm

Rena Rogers, Cook County information systems director, gave an update on her efforts to make the operation and maintenance of the county’s 11 communications towers more sustainable at the county board meeting on Tuesday, July 8. Rogers said she has been working on a service model to calculate the total cost of ownership, so that the county – and not contractors such as AT&T or Verizon – can set the rates it charges to lease space for their equipment.

Concerning the towers, Rogers said work will soon be under way to improve cell phone coverage at three of the sites.

The first, the Gunflint Mid Trail tower, is on U.S. Forest Service land, and AT&T is in the process of submitting an application to the FCC. However, the county needs an amendment to its special use permit to put up a building to house the necessary equipment. Rogers said a meeting has been set with the Forest Service to discuss the amendment.  The board approved submission of a letter authorizing required environmental and historic area reviews.

The Gunflint tower is also on Forest Service land and cannot support cell service equipment. Rogers said options there include adding on to the tower, or building a second tower. Because the tower is already 180 feet tall, Rogers said an addition would result in a need to install lights (a requirement for towers taller than 200 feet). Such a move would likely create controversy, because of the tower’s proximity to the Boundary Waters, so the better option is construction of a second tower, which Rogers said AT&T has committed to. “Everybody is sensitive to that area of the Trail,” she said.