Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Volunteer Oppurtunities available at the Dragon Boat Festival this July

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 4:17pm

Ainslie Kincross and Matthew Brown of the North Shore Dragon Boat Festival talked to WTIP about the upcomig event, how to get involved, and the need for volunteers.  Their using a SignUp Genius link to schedule info tent helpers.


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Slow Start to Shipping Season

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 4:17pm

With the cool and foggy weather this spring, it’s been a slow start to the shipping season for the port of Duluth.  WTIP host Tracy Benson spoke with Adele Yorde of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority on North Shore Morning. 

(Photo from Duluth Seaway Port Authority)

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"Invasive Blitz" training to be held at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center June 27

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 9:00pm

An “Invasive Blitz” training workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 27 at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center in Schroeder.

All volunteers from the Minnesota Master Naturalist, Woodland Advisor, Forest Pest First Detector and Master Gardener programs are urged to participate. This is an effort to stop invasive species such as buckthorn, garlic mustard and wild parsnip, which pose serious threats to Minnesota’s natural resources, ecosystems and economy.

The workshop qualifies as advanced training/continuing education hours in which participants will learn the impact of invasive species in Minnesota and be trained to identify and remove or treat selected problem species and provide follow-up management and monitoring. Workshop registration fee is $50 and includes extensive take-home materials and lunch.

Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, Forest Pest First Detectors, Woodland Advisors, Tree Care Advisors, Shoreland Volunteers, School Forest volunteers, DNR Scientific & Natural Area Site stewards and others with knowledge of trees and plant identification who are willing to lead volunteer invasive species service projects should consider attending.

For more information or to register see


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



Cook County Whole Foods Co-op offers "What's On Your Plate?" June 26

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 8:58pm

The Cook County Whole Foods Co-op is hosting family movie nights this summer at the What’s Upstairs Theater in Grand Marais. The second offering “What’s On Your Plate?” will be on June 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the movie starts at 7 p.m. The theater is located at 301 First Ave. W.

Featured movies will cover many topics such as the environment, globalization, sustainability, climate change, developing world, indigenous peoples, earth science, and children’s films. Admission is free for Co-op owners, $5 for others. Bring your own snacks.

It’s a witty and provocative documentary about kids and food politics. Over the course of one year, the film follows two 11-year-old multiracial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Sadie and Safiyah talk to food activists, farmers and storekeepers, as they address questions regarding the origin of the food they eat, how it’s cultivated and how many miles it travels from farm to fork. Running time is 76 minutes.


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

County approves promotion of Deputy Ben Hallberg to chief deputy sheriff.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 7:22pm

 On the recommendation of soon-to-be Interim Sheriff Leif Lunde, the Cook County Board approved the promotion of Benjamin Hallberg from deputy sheriff to chief deputy sheriff.

Lunde, who was chosen by Sheriff Mark Falk and the county commissioners to head the office upon Falk’s June 30 retirement, cited state statute when he appeared before the board June 17: “The sheriff of any county may appoint a chief deputy or first assistant with the approval of the county board.”

Hallberg has worked in the department since 2004, first as a dispatcher/jailer and then earning a peace officer’s license five years later when he began serving as a bailiff/transport officer. In 2011, Hallberg was promoted to deputy sheriff.

Lunde said, “Ben’s career with Cook County has been commendable. He has served in a variety of positions, giving him a deep understanding of the entire operation of the sheriff’s office.”  

Hallberg has also taken on a number of extra duties including coordination of the D.A.R.E. program, predatory offender registration enforcement and Search & Rescue, said Lunde.

Lunde’s letter of recommendation stated, “Ben’s employment record is stellar, with no disciplinary action ever taken against him I believe Ben is the best qualified deputy to fill the role of chief deputy.”

The board gave its unanimous support to Hallberg’s promotion, which becomes effective July 1 when Lunde assumes the position of sheriff.

The board also voted to give both Lunde and Hallberg pay increases corresponding to their new job titles and return rights to their former deputy sheriff positions in the event Lunde does not win election as sheriff in the fall.

Gunflint greening up -- it's time to tend the trees

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 7:20pm

The Ham Lake Fire started in May 2007, seven years ago.  It burned 76,000 acres in northeast Minnesota and western Ontario.  Since then, nearly 100,000 trees have been planted by volunteers at the annual Gunflint GreenUp events.

Now it is time to tend those trees by clipping away brush and hardwoods that are competing for sunlight and water.  One person armed with a pair of nippers can really make a difference to a conifer seedling that is overtopped by surrounding vegetation. 

The Forest Service, along with the Gunflint Trail Association and the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway Committee, invite you to help keep these trees alive. Meet at the Trail’s End Campground boat landing at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 28, where the Forest Service will be clearing or “releasing” trees along the Seagull Nature Trail.  Volunteers are encouraged to bring lunch, gloves, and clippers or loppers. 

Volunteer planting of pine trees over the years, such as white, red and jack pine, has had a substantial impact on the Superior National Forest’s plan to increase long-lived conifers in this area while improving visual quality along the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway.