Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Grand Marais settles pool standoff

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:46am

The long-standing dispute between the City of Grand Marais and Burbach Aquatics has been settled. Due to outstanding contract obligations between the city and its former swimming pool architects, Grand Marais was unable to enter into pool discussions with the county’s Community Center Steering Committee. According to Mayor Larry Carlson, that standoff is over.

“It’s a done deal. We can now talk about it. I think some people might be a little bit upset on the final resolution of this problem, but the city through their attorneys have agreed to pay Burbach Aquatics $57,500 and now everything is done and gone away and we can talk about anything we want to.”

Carlson noted that a much larger settlement had been initially suggested by Burbach, but the City’s attorneys think the final figure closely resembles what the cost would have been had the matter gone to court.

Now that legalities have been settled, the city and county can continue the discussion.

“Well, now we’re going to have to decide what we want to do with respect to the pool that’s online there for the community center.”

But Carlson expressed caution and some concerns about assuming the city-county cooperation on the pool is a foregone conclusion. The municipal pool is a losing proposition and the city with some county financial assistance, underwrites the loss.

“I know there’s a lot of people that are considering that if the city is going to commit to that, it in fact amounts to double taxation. We pay taxes as county residents and pay another tax because we’re city residents for what is essentially a county program. So that’s going to be a concern.”

Carlson admits there’s considerable discussion ahead before final decisions are made, but he’s philosophical about it.

“Ahhh, that’s why we have government.”

Gov. appeals denial of flood aid for homeowners

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 8:05am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Governor Mark Dayton is appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's denial of a request for federal aid to help northeastern Minnesota homeowners recover from last month's floods.
Dayton said Wednesday that the denial was wrong and he is "deeply disappointed."

The governor directed the state's top Homeland Security and Emergency Management official to appeal the decision immediately.

FEMA denied the state's request for individual assistance, saying the damage was "not of such severity and magnitude" to qualify. The denial does not affect a federal disaster request for help repairing more than $100 million in damage to roads and other public infrastructure.

In a joint statement, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Representative Chip Cravaack say they support Dayton's appeal.


"The Beaux Strategem" delights dress rehearsal audience

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 11:16am

On July 26, the Grand Marais Playhouse will open The Beaux Stratagem by George Farquhar, adapted by Thorton Wilder and Ken Ludwig. If the laughter of the cast during rehearsals and the preview audience at dress rehearsals is any indication, this show is going to be phenomenal!
The play takes place in 1707 with fantastic costumes orchestrated by Sharon Eliasen and Emma Bradley. Help is still needed completing and fitting some of the costumes so if you are interested in helping sew, please call the Playhouse office at (218)387-1284 ext. 2. We could really use your help.
The story is about two young men who go gallivanting around the countryside, one playing the master, the other the servant, then switching roles in the next town, all in hopes of meeting women and using their money to continue their escapades. But the plan doesn’t quite work out when they both fall in love. Of course, there are obstacles to overcome to be together with their loves and the audience will laugh until they cry watching the antics of the young men and women and the oddball characters that surround them.
The cast includes Jackson Nickolay and David Warren as the two gentlemen; Sarah Warren and Sarah O’Phelan as the young women. The other players are Will Brandenburg, Kim Carlsted-Gillis, Jeff Fenwick, Katrina Axtell, Jordyn Kirk, Mike DeBevec, Maria Nickolay, Aaron Carlson, Tina Krauz, and Yvonne Block.
The show runs July 26 - 29 and Aug. 5 – 8, Thursday - Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sunday July 29 at 2 p.m. and Aug. 8 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $17 adults and $7 students.
For information about the Grand Marais Playhouse, visit

Basic computer class offered by Higher Ed

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 11:14am

If you are curious about computers or think you might like to use one but find the entire topic confusing, intimidating or downright scary, Cook County Higher Education has the class for you.  Or perhaps you know someone who fits that description and can recommend this class to them.
Join Jim Boyd of the Cook County Higher Education staff from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, July 31 for a really basic discussion of how to use a computer. Boyd is not a computer expert, and he will not try to make you one, either. This class will be more of a conversation than a lecture. No question will be considered too basic.  
Maybe you don't even have a computer? Don't let that stop you. We will talk a little about what you might purchase without breaking the bank.
This class will focus on computers that run versions of Microsoft Windows because that's what most of the world uses. It will focus on desktop and laptop computers (you will learn the difference). It will not cover tablet computers (like the iPad and Kindle Fire). Nor will the class delve into how to use smart phones. Classes on those topics may come later.
If you take this class, you will learn, to your delight we hope, that the best way to gain computer mastery is to play (yes, play!) with a computer, and that if you “break” it, the most likely way to fix it is to just turn it off and then back on.
To register for this class, call Cook County Higher Education at 218-387-3411 or have someone e-mail Cost for this class is $20.

Banadad Trail fundraiser starts

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 8:47am

The Banadad Trail Association is undertaking a fundraising campaign to construct a new section of the trail and enlarge the parking on the trail’s west end.  The project will reconstruct the west end of the Banadad Trail, which crosses private property, secure a permanent easement, and ensure continued access for skiers from the west end.

A change in property ownership will allow the group to improve the west end of the trail, which is popular with both day skiers as well as the through skiers, who ski the entire 29 kilometers in one day.

The project cost is $11,340.  The BTA has been awarded a Trail Connections Grant from the Department of Natural Resources that will cover $7,800 and the Association must raise the balance.  Over $1,000 in donations have already been received.

Anishinaabe Way: Milt Powell

Tue, 07/24/2012 - 2:01pm
Milt Powell

This segment of WTIP's ongoing series "Anishinaabe Way: Lives, Words, and Stories of Ojibwe People" features Milt Powell of the Saganaga Lake Powell family.  WTIP independent producer Staci Drouillard sat down with Milt and his wife Alice last fall.  He shares stories about growing up on Saganaga Lake and about his "Grandmother" - a great Aunt who lived with his family when he was a young child.  Milt will celebrate his 80th birthday this coming September.

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