Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

DNR closing French River hatchery on Lake Superior

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 9:07am

The Department of Natural Resources is closing a 1970s-era fish hatchery because of failing infrastructure and excessive energy consumption.
The French River Hatchery, located on Lake Superior north of Duluth, needs $8 million in capital investment to address failing equipment. It also consumes 10 percent of the energy used by the entire agency statewide.

Fisheries Chief Don Pereira said energy inefficiency and costly repairs make it necessary to close the hatchery, but the remaining fish production from French River will be continued elsewhere.

WTIP's Joe Friedrichs reports on this story. 


Weekend News Roundup for November 12

Sat, 11/12/2016 - 10:31am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. This was election week and it was also the first week of deer hunting. It turns out a local pharmacy is in arrears to the clinic and the state is being sued over Minntac…all this and more in the week’s news.



Veterans Day highlighted with numerous events along the North Shore

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 7:43am

There are a number of North Shore events on Friday, Nov. 11 to recognize Veterans Day. Also posted is a story by WTIP’s Rhonda Silence about Veterans Day 2016. 

--Gene's Foods, in Grand Marais, is offering complimentary soup and sandwiches to veterans and their spouses Friday, November 11th, from 9 am to 6:30 pm. More information is available at 370-0384.
--There will be a Veterans Day Tribute, Friday, November 11th, beginning at 10:30 am, at the American Legion Post 2009, 8495 East Highway 61, at Mile Marker 146, near Grand Portage. The event includes a drum ceremony, flag raising, speaker Curtis Gagnon (GAHN-ya), refreshments, and raffle. All are welcome.
--The American Legion Auxilliary Unit 413 is hosting a clothing drive for homeless veterans, Friday, November 11th.  Drop boxes will be at Grandma Ray’s from 3 to 11 pm, and at the ISD High School prior to the Veteran’s Day program. More information is available from Nancy at 387-1798.

--The Auxilliary is giving a complimentary 2-piece chicken dinner to veterans, from 4 to 6 pm, at Grandma Ray’s. More information is available from Janet at 387-2174.

--Cook County School District 166 is holding a Veterans Day Tribute at 2 pm on Friday, November 11. The middle school and high school bands, and the choir will participate. The keynote speaker is Dr. Bill DeWitt, CCHS vice principal. The Student Council will receive cookies for troops until 2 pm.


Vikings volleyball team drop opening round to Caledonia

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 3:38am

The Vikings fell to Caledonia High School Thursday in round one of the state volleyball tournament, 25-11, 25-13 and 25-17. They play again today at 3 p.m. against the Kimball Area Cubs. The game will take place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Tune into WTIP as Bob Carter will bring you all the action.

View more news from WTIP

Nice fall weather continues for a few more days, then...

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 3:03am

The weather continues to please fall lovers, and it’ll remain that way for a few more days, but it may turn colder in a week or so. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Dan Miller.


Do you have trouble talking to your kids? "Hot Potatoes" discussion group to be held At Sawtooth Mountain Clinic

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 2:45pm

New Postmaster arrives

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 2:40pm

Paul Jame resigns from Tofte Townboard

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 2:38pm


Lockport Marketplace & Deli get national recognition

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 2:35pm

Lockport Marketplace and Deli got a nice mention (plus pictures) in, an online magazine read by more than 30,000,000 people per month.

Court rules Arrowhead Pharmacy owes substantial debt to Sawtooth Mountain Clinic

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 6:05am

On Sept. 20, a judgement was ordered in the Cook County Courthouse that Arrowhead Pharmacy Services owed the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais more than $429,000.

The ruling had to do with insufficient compensation to Sawtooth Mountain Clinic regarding drugs dispensed at Arrowhead Pharmacy.

The situation dates back to early 2012, when Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and Arrowhead Pharmacy entered into an agreement to use the federal 340B Drug Program.

According to Cody Wiberg, the executive director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, the 340B Drug Discount Program is a U.S. Federal Government program created in 1992 that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations at significantly reduced prices. The intent of the program is to allow covered entities to stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive service, Wiberg told WTIP.  

However, in the case of the 340B arrangement between Arrowhead Pharmacy and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, something went awry. According to former minority owner, and now former manager of Arrowhead Pharmacy, Chris Goettl, the complexities of the 340B Drug Program are the primary source of the financial troubles that arose between the clinic and pharmacy. The specifics of those financial hardships are difficult to sort out, Goettl explained, using the phrase “it’s a complex equation.”

And as far as who is to blame for the financial mishap, Goettl said that answer is equally, if not more complex.

Body recovered in connection with search for missing Duluth man in Pine Lake

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 7:02pm

At approximately 5 pm this evening, search efforts for Michael Raymond Hickey, a missing 59-year-old Duluth man, concluded when a body was recovered in Pine Lake.

"This is a difficult day for all involved; an extensive multi-agency search ended with a discovery of a body in the lake,” said Sheriff Pat Eliasen. “We always hope for the best, that we’ll locate a missing person alive. Given the expansive remote search area, which is difficult to access, I commend the efforts of all of the responders involved for their unwavering dedication to this search.”

The body was located in approximately 80 feet of water using side scan sonar technology provided by the St. Louis County Search and Rescue.

Pine Lake is located off of the Arrowhead Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The lake consists of 18.22 miles of shoreline, has a maximum depth of 113 feet, and covers 2,122 acres.

Search and rescue efforts included a ground, water and air search with resources from the Sheriff’s Office, Search & Rescue, the United States Forest Service, United States Border Patrol, Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

A post-mortem investigation to determine cause of death will follow.

Cook County schools superintendent talks on two ballot measures moving forward

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 2:57pm

The Cook County School District had two ballot measures approved during the Nov. 8 election. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Superintendent Bill Crandall about the election results. 


Cook County Election Results

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 2:42am

County Commissioner District 2 and 4: Incumbent Cook County District 2 Commissioner Garry Gamble was defeated in his bid for reelection last night by challenger Myron Bursheim, 307 votes to 227.
Grand Marais East Precinct 5 went 58.44% to 41.06% for Bursheim and Croftville Precinct 4 went 53.96% to 46.04% for Bursheim.

District 4 Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk ran unopposed and tallied 93.63% of the vote in Gunflint Trail Precinct 8 and 89.2% in Maple Hill 8A.

School Issues: School District ISD166 had two questions on the ballot. Both passed, but not in every precinct.
Question One asked for Approval to be authorized to issue general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $6,500,000 for acquisition and betterment of school facilities. It passed by 1,876 to 1447.
The Hovland and Tofte precincts voted against the measure.

Question Two asked for approval to increase the School District's general education revenue levy by $800 per pupil. It passed by 1,945 to 1,392. The measure failed in the Hovland precinct.

Two uncontested school board positions were up for election. Incumbent District 4 Sissy Lunde received 97.19% of the vote. District 2 candidate Carrie Jansen received 98.14% of the vote.

Grand Marais: Grand Marais residents got to vote for two City Council positions. Both Tim Kennedy and Tracy Benson ran unopposed for their two seats. Kennedy received 480 votes and Benson, 590.

Incumbent Grand Marais Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux failed to file, so consequently ran as a write-in candidate. Out of 393 write-in votes, he received 281. The other votes were divided among two dozen write-ins.

Soil and Water: There were three uncontested incumbent Soil and Water positions on the ballot. All three candidates won their seats. Donald Goodell in District 1, Joan Farnam in District 3 and Jerry Hiniker in District 5.

Hospital Board: Two Hospital Board members ran unopposed. District 2 Justin Mueller won 98.82% of the vote. District 4 Kay Olson received 98.18% of the vote.

Minnesota Congressional races: All eight of Minnesota’s Congressional Districts were in play this election, with three considered highly contested.
In our 8th Congressional District the battle was once again between Democrat incumbent Rep. Rick Nolan and Republican challenger Stewart Mills. At this writing the count is too close to call.
Cook County voters gave the nod to Nolan with all 13 precincts in the Nolan column: 65.16% Nolan and 34.63 went for Mills.

Congressional District 2 in the south and east metro suburbs, Democrat Angie Craig was out-polled by Republican Jason Lewis 50% to 41%.
In Congressional District 3, the west Metro area, incumbent Republican Erik Paulsen pulled a win over DFLer Terri Bonoff 56.70% to 43%.

The Constitutional Amendment 1, which asks voters if they want to “Remove Lawmakers’ Power to Set Their Own Pay” passed with the required 50% or more. The question read: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to remove state lawmakers' power to set their own salaries, and instead establish an independent, citizens-only council to prescribe salaries of lawmakers?”
76.81% of Minnesota voters said “yes.”

Supreme Court: There was one contested seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court on the ballot. Incumbent Associate Justice Natalie Hudson handily defeated challenger Michelle MacDonald state-wide, 58.80% to 40.78%.

In Cook County the vote total showed Hudson winning 70.18% to MacDonald’s 29.70%.

Presidential Vote: The national vote total is in and Donald Trump wins over Hillary Clinton with a popular vote of 57,581,441 and 276 of the electoral vote as of 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Cook County went for Hillary Clinton with 56.33% of the 13 precincts in the Democrat column. Those going Trump were 34.06%.
In The 8th District, Trump won with 53.31% of the vote to Clinton’s 38.65%.


Cemetery expansion under way in Grand Marais

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 2:29pm

The peaceful little cemetery on the east side of Grand Marais, owned by St. John’s Catholic Church, is undergoing some clean-up and landscaping.
Father Seamus Walsh told WTIP that the trees and brush on the east side of the cemetery had begun encroaching on some graves and needed to be cleared back. At the same time the church is adding some cemetery plots.
Father Walsh said, “We decided to use all the land that the cemetery owns. The clearing goes to our boundary line.”
Father Walsh notes that the grounds look a bit rough now that the trees have been taken down but in coming weeks, stumps will be removed, soil will be brought in for fill and landscaping will begin. The church will erect a screening fence eventually.
The cemetery is primarily for St. John’s parishioners, but Father Walsh said it is also open to those with ties to the church. 

WTIP shares the latest law enforcement report

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 1:19pm

Cook County Law Enforcement Report
The following reports are a record of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center in the past week. These are the initial calls made to law enforcement dispatchers.



October 31
  7:32 a.m. Grand Marais  School patrol 
  7:36 a.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, citation issued
  8:10 a.m. Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given
  9:39 a.m. Holiday, Grand Marais Lady living out of her car harassing customers and employees older teal colored car 
  11:34 a.m. Sea Gull Lk. Rd. Grand Marais  Entry and bedroom security alarms, cancel false alarm
  1:04 p.m. County Road 7 4 horses loose near this intersection headed west on County Road 7 
  1:11 p.m. Grand Marais  92 year old, fell hip injury 
  2:23 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  2:53 p.m. Grand Mraais  School patrol 
  3:11 p.m. Taconite Harbor  Business check
  3:18 p.m. Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given
  4:48 p.m. Hovland  Reported some suspicious activity at this residence 
  6:45 p.m. Grand Marais  Party driving too fast on 5th Ave with kids out trick or treating, 
  9:15 p.m. Grand Marais  Checking the area, dispatch noticed in the security cameras two young adults in hoodies/or jackets with backpacks walk between the hockey rink and skating rink, dispatch requested just a check for vandalism as there has been a history of it, no parties located
  23:24  Sheriff’s Office Lights flicking like shorting out near the Law Enforcement Center fence 
November 1
  12:32 a.m. Gunflint Trail Removing a tree from roadway 
  7:23 a.m. CC High School  School zone patrol 
  8:26 a.m. Grand Portage  Reported a maroon van pulled around a school bus and kept tapping its brakes causing a dangerous situation for a bus full of children 
  9:14 a.m. Lutsen  Hall motion security alarm going off, cancel per key holder
  9:21 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  10:24 a.m. Hovland  Residence check 
  10:48 a.m. Hovland  Residence check
  11:23 a.m. Grand Marais  2nd floor elevator alarm lobby as well 
  1:29 p.m. Taconite Harbor  Business check
  1:31 p.m. Care Center Sounds of construction conversation going on. Construction workers at Care Center. Cook County left message on call back 
  2:14 p.m. Hovland  Husband was supposed to leave this morning from their cabin, hasn't heard from him yet, requested a welfare check 
  2:21 p.m. Sheriffs Office  Would like to speak to deputy regarding his fraud case
  2:43 p.m. Grand Marais  CSC report
  3:17 p.m. Grand Marais  Reporting two young teenage boys that they keep riding the small dirt bike through party’s property as well as neighbors. Party has told them to stop but they ignore him. 
  4:03 p.m. Grand Marais  Lost his wallet last night by IGA, men's brown wallet says Levi Strauss on it. 
  5:43 p.m. Grand Marais  In lobby to get UA - Probation officer will come over in a few minutes 
  6:25 p.m. Lutsen Injured deer in north bound lane that needs dispatching. 
  7:19 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  7:37 p.m. Schroeder Paper service
  7:45 p.m. Grand Marais  Party came to reporting party’s house and threatened to cut party’s hands off.
  8:20 p.m. Tofte  911 hang up call – Cook County rang back and it was a misdial. No emergency 
  11:03 p.m. Hovland  Residence check
November 2
  4:21 a.m. West Highway 61  General fire alarm at a residence 
  9:52 a.m. Taconite Harbor  Business check
  9:59 a.m. West Highway 61  White Chevy pickup truck tried to run her off the road, heading west.
  11:16 a.m. Grand Portage  Attempt to pick up Cook County warrant
  2:39 p.m. Grand Marais  911 hang up busy on call back 
  3:28 p.m. Grand Marais  Orange stray cat comes around frequently in case someone looking for one 
  3:40 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, clear
  4:25 p.m. East Highway 61  Stop arm violation red 18 wheeler Trans King 
  4:41 p.m. Tofte  Paper service 
  4:55 p.m. West Highway 61  Public assist
  5:12 p.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  6:13 p.m. Tofte  Traffic stop, warning given
  6:23 p.m. Grand Portage  Reporting pary is out of state but heard that there is someone at residence in MN.
  6:23 p.m. Lutsen  Traffic stop, citation issued
  7:09 p.m. Grand Portage  911 hang up from near this address call back says this number is not available 
  9:29 p.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, citation issued
November 3
  07:46 a.m. Grand Portage  School patrol 
  07:56 a.m. Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given
  09:06 a.m. Taconite Harbor  Business check
  10:26 a.m. Sheriffs Office  UAfor drug court 
  1:19 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  1:41 p.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  2:09 p.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, citation issued
  3:06 p.m. Hovland  Party states someone has been drivingan  ATV on this road. It is a private road that several homeowners use to access their land. 
  3:21 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  3:28 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  3:29 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued
  4:02 p.m. West Highwat 61  Stop arm violation near this location. 
  4:26p.m.   Grand Marais  Caller ran over a dog in front of the Legion. Dog owner didn't seem to mind and the dog seems fine. Dog and owner are still sitting in front of the Legion. Dog was off leash. 
  6:53 p.m. Tofte  Reporting party states his power is out 
  8:05 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, party arrested on Carlton Co. warrant
  8:22 p.m. Sheriff’s Office  Booking party on a Wadena Co. warrant 
November 4
  12:52 a.m. Artists Point  Foot patrol 
  3:34 a.m. Grand Marais  Foot patrol - Grandma Rays 
  6:22 a.m. Hovland  68 year old ill with the flu. Difficulty walking. 
  7:21 a.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given
  8:10 a.m. Grand Marais  Party is trying to take a vehicle off reporting party’s property. 
  9:41 a.m. Grand Marais 2 females approached party at his property stating they were Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints missionaries. Driving black ford truck. They had all their paper work and literature. He just wanted us to know about it. No deputy needed. 
  10:13 a.m. Tofte  John boat washed up on the shore
  10:36 a.m. Grand Portage  43 year old male, severe stomach pains. Difficulty moving. 
  11:00 a.m. Grand Marais  Found a set of keys in their parking lot. 
  11:16 a.m. Gunflint Trail  Paper service
  11:38 a.m. Sheriff’s Office  Unruly inmate 
  1:12 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  3:36 p.m. Sheriff’s Office  Regional investigator with Chase card services returning call. 
  5:17 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, warning given
  5:28 p.m. Grand Marais  Big white truck with Chevy emblem in back window. Driving fast up Broadway 
  5:31 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, warning given
  5:46 p.m. Sheriff’s Office  Party picked up in Lake Co. Per probation hold for court. 
  5:57 p.m. Grand Marais Rec Park 5 to 6 juvenile kids jumping off the roof of the bath house by the ballfields 
  6:19 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  6:40 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, warning given
  6:56 p.m. Grand Marais Traffic stop, warning given
  7:29 p.m. Grand Marais  Party having chest pain, radiating to neck, conscious and breathing 
  7:32 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued
  8:30 p.m. Grand Marais Paper service
  8:58 p.m. Grand marais  Traffic stop, warning given
  10:05 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  10:50 p.m. Grand Marais  Multiple calls about a fight at this residence 
  11:40 p.m. East Highway 61  Checking home
November 5
  08:15 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  08:54 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  11:14 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  11:32 a.m. Sheriff’s Office  Questions on order for protection 
  11:34 a.m. Sheriff’s Office  Party here for UA. 
  12:46 p.m. Tote  Traffic stop, warning given
  1:07 p.m. Grand Portage  911 hang up near this location. Upon call back number is unreachable. 
  1:23 p.m. Grand Marais  4 cars parked in lot with loud music. Did not want deputies just wanted it on record in case they keep it up. 
  2:07 p.m. Grand Marais Stated there is a pontoon parked at his property that is not his. 
  2:29 p.m. Gunflint Trail  Paper service
  2:32 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  3:59 p.m. The Grade, Tofte  Lost her topper window on the grade and it broke. Party cleaned the mess as good as she could and swept the rest in ditch. No officer needed. Reporting for insurance. 
  4:09 p.m. Hovland  Found brown leather wallet w/ credit cards and misc ID, $28 U.S. cash, $5 CA cash, Costa Rica bill
  4:31 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  6:24 p.m. Gunflint Trail  Traffic stop, warning given
  7:14 p.m. Grand Portage  Business check
  7:46 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  7:58 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  9:45 p.m. Tofte  Commercial fire alarm at Bluefin Bay, false alarm
  10:27 p.m. Lutsen  Traffic stop, warning given
November 6
  12:00a.m.  Trail Center, Grand Marais Suspicious activity
  12:39 a.m. Grand Portage  Party called looking for a human services worker, from a pay phone and didn't have a way for the worker to call him back. Party stated he was just going to walk home. On call worker will check in with him in the morning. 
  1:05 a.m. Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given
  6:21 a.m. Courthouse Duress alarm in Public Health 
  11:12 a.m. Sheriff’s Office  911 hang up from this number. Cook County called back, party stated it was a pocket dial and everything was ok. 
  11:29 a.m. Sheriff’s Office  Sitting with inmate Bigby while he is in the hospital. 
  12:30 p.m. Grand Portage Traffic stop, citation issued
  12:42 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, duplicate traffic stop
  2:22 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, warning given
  2:48 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, warning given
  4:34 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given
  4:53 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued
  6:16 p.m. Grand Marais  Caller states party is here drunk and swearing while families are eating. 
  6:17 p.m. Grand Portage Traffic stop, warning given
  6:43 p.m. Grand Portage Traffic stop, citation issued
  7:13 p.m. Grand Marais  Caller hit deer at this location. Deer has broken legs and needs to be dispatched 
  7:20 p.m. Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued
  8:26 p.m. Grand Portage  Caller states parties are staying at the lodge and are transporting and selling meth. 
  10:32 p.m. Grand Marais  Party states her dad is possibly having diabetic issues.