Around Cook County
Do you have a child or grandchild aged 0-5? On February 9, the second annual "Winter Wonderland" for young children and their loved ones will be held at Birch Grove from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be activities specially geared toward that age, and resources for their caregivers. Snacks will be provided. Bring your own sandwich or join us for Cross River Cafe's Famous Chili at noon. We invite people of all ages to spend the afternoon enjoying the skating rink, ski trails, snowshoeing and tot-sized sledding hills. At 4:00 p.m., the second round of the Third Annual Boot Hockey Tournament will be held.
The Cook County Community Center Steering Committee will be getting some input from the Grand Marais Park Board at their next meeting. Park Board Member and City Councilor Bill Lenz updated the park board on budget-induced reductions to the Cook County Family YMCA design at their meeting on February 5.
The amount designated for outdoor amenities, including a new softball field, has been limited to $500,000 in order to leave as much money as possible for the YMCA building. “We feel that we have to get the building done,” said Lenz. “At this point, the ball field is kind of up in the air.”
“The ball field is really important to our plans,” said Park Manager Dave Tersteeg. The park’s Master Plan calls for replacing the ball field with full-service RV sites when the county builds a new ball field on its current Community Center property. Lenz said that he has told the steering committee that if a new field is not built, Grand Marais will eventually have one fewer field than it needs.
There is a significant winter storm headed our way beginning Sunday afternoon. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with meteorologist Carol Christenson about a lot of snow and blowing winds.
Leah Utities cut loose for 22 points as the Cook County Vikings beat Duluth Marshall Thursday night, 65-46, in a game played at the high school gym in Grand Marais.
The Vikings hit 28 field goals while holding Marshall to only 18 to take thewin. Marshall held a nine to five edge in the free-throws-made column.
Joining Utities in double-figure scoring were Theresa Morrin with 16 and Breana Peterson with 13. Suzy Burton scored eight and Kaitlynn Linnell added six for the Vikes. Utities and Morrin each had two three-pointers apiece.
Mary Baumgartner led Marshall with 12 points.
In girls hockey, the Silver Bay Area girls team ended its season Thursday night with a 4-0 loss at Proctor-Hermantown in the quarterfinals of the Section 7A hockey playoffs.
And, the season ended for the Cook County High School Nordic Ski Teams as no Vikings qualified for State in the Section 7 meet at Giants Ridge.
In regular season boys hockey, the North Shore Storm overwhelmed Moose Lake Area 8-2 on the Storm's home ice. Both the SBA and Storm teams include skaters from Cook and Lake counties.
The Silver Bay Area girls came into last night's Section 7A game at the eighth seed. Proctor-Hermantown is seeded number one. In taking the win, Proctor-Hermantown scored once each in the first and second period, adding two goals in the third for the win.
Cassie Swanson was in the net for the Mariners and made 29 saves.
The top-ranked Duluth East girls won their third straight Section 7 Nordic ski title on Thursday. East is also the two-time defending state champion. East took the 10.5K girls' meet with 384 points followed by Ely at 377. The Viking girls finished 10th with 132.
The Ely Timberwolves won the boys' 10.5K meet with 384 points followed by Duluth East wtih 371. The Vikings finished ninth with 221 points.
The Elders at the Grand Portage Elderly Nutrition Program are staying busy. There continues to be strong participation in weekly water aerobics, chair exercise and Wisdom Steps programs. These programs are especially important as the weather makes it hard to get outdoors. ENP Director Patty Winchell-Dahl said, “When we keep moving, we have less pain from arthritis, stay strong and are less likely to fall. Keeping active makes us healthier and can contribute to a positive, happier outlook on life.”
Anyone interested in participating with Wisdom Steps, please call Carol Hackett at (218) 475-2655. All types of exercise count towards your goal for Wisdom Steps not just walking. The program is open to adults 50 years of age and older.
The ENP has many opportunities to volunteer. Currently ENP is in need of Elders to listen to the grade school children read twice a week. Anyone with some time, please call Patty at the ENP at 457-2655 or 475-2002.
A recently completed aerial survey of moose in northeastern Minnesota indicates the rate of population decline has accelerated dramatically.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that the northeast population declined 35 percent from last year. Since 2010, the moose population has declined 52 percent.
In response to the survey results, the DNR will not open a 2013 state moose hunting season or consider opening future seasons unless the population recovers.
“The state’s moose population has been in decline for years but never at the precipitous rate documented this winter,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “This is further and definitive evidence the population is not healthy. It reaffirms the conservation community’s need to better understand why this iconic species of the north is disappearing from our state.”
Landwehr stressed the state’s limited hunts are not the cause of the population decline. “Yet taking this action is reasonable and responsible in light of latest data and an uncertain future,” he said
Based on the aerial survey conducted in January, the new population estimate is 2,760 animals, down from 4,230 in 2012. The population estimate was as high as 8,840 as recently as 2006.
“It’s now prudent to control every source of mortality we can as we seek to understand causes of population decline,’’ said Landwehr.
Starting in January, wildlife researchers began fitting 100 moose in northeastern Minnesota with GPS tracking and data collection collars. This multi-year research project will investigate the causes of adult moose mortality, calf mortality, calf survival, moose use of existing habitat and habitat quality.
To date, 92 collars have been placed on moose in the Grand Marais, Ely and Two Harbors areas.