Around Cook County
At the Tuesday, June 12 county board meeting, commissioners passed a resolution establishing the Lake Superior-Poplar River Water District recently authorized by state statute in a bonding bill. The legislation authorizes a state-funded grant for construction of a pipeline from Lake Superior to Lutsen Mountains that can be used by property owners along that route. The legislation requires appointment of a board of directors representing domestic water users, irrigation water users, and commercial, stock watering, and industrial users.
The county board appointed Cook County – Grarnd Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) Chair Mark Sandbo and Superior National at Lutsen Manager Bob Fenwick to represent irrigation users such as Superior National at Lutsen golf course; Charles Skinner to represent commercial users (Lutsen Mountains Corporation); and Bob Ryan to represent domestic water users (homeowners and time-share businesses).
Boreal Access is encouraging any individuals or organizations who suffered damages -- including cancelled reservations -- to complete the Disaster Survey Form under Damage Reporting at the following website:
The goal is to create an accurate and complete database of damages to better understand where the needs are and ultimately find resources to help those in need.
“Brown cheese for stories!” That’s what Norwegian
photojournalists Kristian Balsrod, Anton Ligaarden, and Katinka Hustad
will be offering to Cook County residents of Norwegian heritage – or
locals with good Sven & Ole jokes.
The three University of Oslo students arrived in Cook County on June
12 for a four-week stay during which they will start filming a
documentary intended to find out how much Norwegian culture remains
alive in descendants of the 50 percent of the Norwegian population
that emigrated to the United States several generations ago. Indeed,
the population of Norwegian-Americans – close to five million – is
about as large as the current population of Norway. They also hope to
get a sense for whether Norwegian heritage will still mean something
to Norwegian-Americans 50 years from now.
“Norwegians have no idea how they’ve gone out and made a mark on
the world,” said Balsrod, who with his colleagues stopped by the Cook
County News-Herald office seeking help in finding Norwegian-Americans
for their project. They are hoping to interview people of all ages.
Balsrod, Ligaarden, and Hustad started the project three years ago.
The final product will be a new form of documentary Balsrod calls an
“interactive web documentary.” Offered on the Internet, it will
include educational links and opportunities for people to leave
comments and get in touch with each other. They also hope to use the
project to teach young Norwegians about their own emigration history.
The researchers plan to return for two weeks in December and then
again next spring.
The Tuesday, June 12 meeting of the Cook County – Grand
Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) was the last for Director
Matt Geretschlaeger and it started with a closed session to discuss
potential litigation. The EDA’s attorney Baiers Heeren said it was
his opinion that the meeting could be closed in accordance with
Minnesota Open Meeting law to discuss a summons received by the EDA
from Short, Elliot, Hendrickson, Inc. (SEH).
When the meeting reconvened, a unanimous motion passed to authorize
Heeren to submit the potential litigation to the League of Minnesota
Cities for review. The EDA board said the matter could not be
discussed further at this time.
In 2006, the EDA became embroiled in a dispute with the Minnesota
Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), KGM Contractors Inc. and Short,
Elliot, Hendrickson (SEH) over alleged construction violations at the
Cedar Grove Business Park.
In August 2010, Director Geretschlaeger reported that the dispute had
been settled. He said the MPCA had released the EDA from all
complaints and confirmed that the business park was in compliance with
MPCA regulations. At that time, Geretschlaeger told the board that KGM
Construction paid the MPCA fines, which according to a letter from
Lisa Thorvig of the MPCA totaled $40,000. KGM also completed projects
totaling $80,000 and paid $14,000 of the EDA’s legal fees from
environmental attorney Kenneth Podpeskar of Minneapolis. SEH was also
to pay a share of the attorney’s fees.
The EDA board would not confirm whether or not the potential
litigation is a continuation of that matter. However at the May 8 EDA
DULUTH, Minn. —Interstate 35, just south of Duluth will close temporarily for emergency road repairs, Tuesday, June 26, from 5:30 a.m. to approximately 8:30 a.m. The closed area will be from the southbound I-35 on-ramp at Highway 61 to Scanlon.
Highway 61 and Highway 45 will be used as an alternate route.
The emergency road patching repairs are needed as a result of the torrential rain associated with the June 19 storm that passed through northeastern Minnesota.
Traffic on the Ore Dock Bridges, located south of 27th Avenue West in Duluth, will be restricted to a single lane in each direction until Tuesday, June 26 to complete a bridge painting project.