Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Gitchi Gami Bicycle Trail completed between Beaver Bay and Gooseberry State Park

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 9:52am

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Gitchi-Gami Trail Association held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Silver Bay to celebrate the official opening of a new 2.3-mile paved segment of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

From the Rukavina Arena in Silver Bay, the new trail segment runs south across Northshore Mining property and continues to the east end of West Road in Beaver Bay. Continuing south, bicyclists and other trail users can follow the gravel West Road for a half mile to connect with the longest paved section of the trail, the 14.6-mile segment from Beaver Bay to Gooseberry Falls State Park.

“We are thrilled with the progress and use of the trail to date and appreciate the many public- and private-sector partners who have come together to make this trail a reality,” said DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Courtland Nelson. “The Gitchi-Gami State Trail is truly special and is attracting the attention of cyclists from across the country.”

The trail provides scenic views and safe travel for bicyclists, in-line skaters, joggers and walkers along Highway 61, paralleling the North Shore of Lake Superior.

More than 28 miles of the trail are complete in six segments. The Lutsen Phase 1 segment, to be completed in 2013, will add another 1.1 paved miles to the trail.

Teen killed in vehicle rollover on Pike Lake Road

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 3:56pm

One person is dead after a car rollover on the Pike Lake Road in Cook County this morning.

At approximately 5:00 a.m. this morning, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a car rollover on the Pike Lake Road approximately a half mile west of the intersection with County Road 44. The accident closed a section of the Pike Lake Road.  

The vehicle was occupied by three teenage boys, ranging in age from 14-18. All three are residents of Cook County.   The vehicle rolled after the driver lost control of the vehicle on a gravel road. One person, a 14 year old male, was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other two occupants received non-life threatening injuries and were treated at the Cook County North Shore Hospital. 

Responding to the accident were the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Cook County Ambulance, Grand Marais First Responders, and the Grand Marais Volunteer Fire Department. 

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the accident.

Canoe and compass course offered by Community Education

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 11:18am

A two-hour land-based navigation class designed to teach the basics of small craft, canoe and kayak map and compass navigation relevant to traveling on Lake Superior or in the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. June 20 at the Community Center Log Cabin.
During the class, students will learn about the parts of a compass, how to find north, what deviation is and how to avoid it, variation and declination, taking a bearing, plotting a course, how to read charts and maps, piloting to find your way, ranges, fixes, triangulating and more.
Participants will need to bring a simple baseplate compass which may be purchased at Lake Superior Trading Post. Bryan Hansel will lead the lesson.
To register, call Community Education at (218) 387-2000.
06-15-13 Individual computer training will be offered at the Cook County Senior Center on Mondays, June 17 and 24, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Senior Center.  Appointments of 30 to 60 minutes are available. Reservations are required.
Instructors will be students from Cook County Middle School and the Incredible Exchange program. There are high-speed Internet and computers for you to use at the Senior Center. Or if you prefer, you are welcome to bring your own laptop or tablet computer. The cost if free, however, donations will be accepted.
Pre-registration is required. To register for a session, please stop in, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. or call the Senior Center at (218) 387-2660.

Two homes destroyed by fire on Devil Track Lake

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 11:16am

Cook County Law Enforcement received an emergency call from Devil Track Landing at about 5 p.m. last night, Wednesday, June 12, 2013 reporting a house fire on Firewood Lane. When Maple Hill and Grand Marais fire departments arrived on the scene the house was fully engulfed and flames were spreading to the soffit of the house next door.
The caller who reported the blaze was Tony Everson, another Devil Track Lake resident. Everson said he had taken his motorcycle out for a drive. He passed Fireweed Lane to go to the Devil Track General Store and saw nothing amiss. When he headed home a few minutes later, he saw flames coming out of the roof of the house. Everson told the Cook County News-Herald, “I was just riding by on my Harley and I saw the flames—they were about 60 feet high!” He went to Devil Track Landing and called 911.

The Maple Hill and Grand Marais Fire Departments responded called for mutual aid. With only a handful of firefighters, Cook County Sheriff Deputies were pressed into service manning hoses until backup from Lutsen, Tofte, Colvill, and Hovland fire departments arrived.  A U.S. Forest Service firefighting crew also responded to assist, batting down spot fires that sprang up around the roaring house fire, endangering yet another home at 221 Fireweed Lane.

As the 223 Fireweed Lane home crumbled, firefighters tried to save 225 Fireweed Lane. Firefighters attacked the fire from inside and out, from the ground and from the roof. As they did at the Bluefin Bay Resort fire, Cook County Ambulance stood by, keeping firefighters hydrated and ensuring they were not overcome by heat or smoke.

Firefighters were eventually able to knock the fire down and when the fire departments were cleared from the scene at around 11 p.m., the house was still standing, but with extensive damage. It is likely the house is a total loss.

Gunflint Trail Fire Department hosts grand opening at Fire Hall No. 1 tonight, June 12

Wed, 06/12/2013 - 1:06pm

The Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department invites the community to join them at their grand opening of the newly expanded Fire Hall No. 1, on Wednesday June 12 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.. Food and refreshments will be served from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.  A program thanking the generous donors, supporting agencies, dignitaries and the volunteers whose efforts made this possible will begin at 6:30 p.m. 
The public is invited to tour the fire hall, the newly constructed A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Mid-Trail Community Center, the new cold storage facility and many of our fire department vehicles.  The fire department will also display the improvements made to Fire Hall No. 2 on South Gunflint Lake road and unveil the plans for the next phase, the creation of a new Fire Hall/community center at Hall No. 3 on Seagull Lake.
Hall No. 1 is located at 7401 Gunflint Trail about 1 mile south of Trail Center.

Clearwater Lodge to dedicate totem pole June 13

Wed, 06/12/2013 - 1:00pm

In 1948 Billy Needham presented Laverne Schliep, then-owner of Clearwater Lodge, with a hand-carved totem pole featuring Paul Bunyan, Babe the Blue Ox, and other characters.  For six plus decades, thousands of people have admired the totem pole and many posed next to it for photos.  In 2011 it was discovered that the pole was deteriorating and its eagle’s wings fell off. Noticing the sad state of the once proud totem pole, Bob Olson, long time resident of Clearwater Lake and a friend of the historic lodge, decided to apply his talents as a craftsman to the totem pole's situation.  This spring, Olson presented Clearwater Lodge with a new, hand-carved totem pole to replace the aged original.  Current owners of the lodge, Kasey and Adam Van Tassell are happy to report that the new pole has been installed. “Hopefully many more thousands of people will enjoy gazing up at a wonderful piece of art for many more decades,” said Kasey.
An official unveiling of the new totem will be held on Thursday June 13 at 7 p.m. The community is invited.