Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 10:24am

The Cook County News-Herald wrongly attributed the Spiritual Reflection column last week to Pastor Kris Geary. This deeply moving column was instead written by Pastor Mary Ellen Ashcroft. The Cook County News-Herald deeply regrets the error. Brian Larsen, editor. 

A look at the Law Enforcement Log

Sun, 03/05/2017 - 1:01pm

The following is a record of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center from February 20 – February 26. These are the initial calls made to law enforcement dispatchers.
If you need help from Cook County Law Enforcement, dial 9-1-1. For non-emergency calls, contact the Cook County Sheriffs Office at 218-387-3030.


Weekend News Roundup for March 4

Sat, 03/04/2017 - 11:22am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The Lutsen work force housing project goes forward. The local moose population is stabilizing. The Devil’s Kettle mystery is solved.…all this and more in the week’s news.


North Shore Storm having a great season

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 4:02pm

The North Shore Storm has three hockey teams heading to regional competition on March 3rd through 5th.

Silver Bay is hosting the boys’ Bantam regional tournament at Rukavina Arena and is fielding two bantam boys’ teams – Team A and Team B. Action kicks off for the North Shore Storm teams at 4 p.m.

The North Shore Storm girls’ 12U team heads to Regions this weekend in Warroad, Minnesota. This is the only the second time the 12U girls have been to the regional competition. The last time was in 2012 when the girls went on to the State Tournament.
Katie Carpenter, 11, is the only Cook County player on the Storm whose players range from 9 to 13 years.

The girls will first face Hibbing, a team that defeated them earlier in the season; however the Storm has greatly improved its game and will give Hibbing a run for its money.

The girls are guaranteed to play two games at Regions, starting at 2 p.m. on Friday.

In other hockey news, several Cook County players have been recognized in the national SKATE program. SKATE stands for Skaters Keep Achieving Through Education. To qualify student athletes must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better during hockey season.
There will be a banquet for the Cook County and Silver Bay hockey players on March 12. The four Cook County skaters to be recognized are: Patrick Pierre, Ryan Christianson, Katie Carpenter and Jacob Carpenter. 

Photos courtesy of the team

Commissioners consider countywide mailbox policy

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 4:44pm

The county is considering a new policy regarding mailboxes for local residents.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs reports on this story. 


Residents Encouraged to Be Aware of Telephone Scams

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 2:10pm

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has received reports of people receiving suspicious calls requesting money and advises residents to be aware of two common scams taking place over the phone. These scams most commonly target senior citizens, but everyone is encouraged to be aware of this activity.

 Following are two of the current age-related senior citizen scams taking place:

 Grandchild in Trouble Scam:
The grandparent scam is possibly the most widespread senior scam, where the victim receives a call supposedly from a grandchild in trouble abroad and needing money urgently. Usually, the excuse is that the cash is needed to post bail and has to be a money wire payment, which is a dead giveaway for a scam.

However, in a new and particularly nasty variation, victims were told their grandchild had been kidnapped and that they had to pay a ransom. In some cases, the crooks knew something about the grandchild and used an accomplice to impersonate their voice.

Even more cunningly, they earlier phoned the genuine grandchild, pretending to be from a cell phone company, telling them to switch off their phone for a maintenance project, thus preventing the grandparent from checking the story.

Do not send money or share banking information!

IRS Scam: 
Victims are told they owe money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

Or, victims may be told they have a refund due, in order to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Anonymous donation will fund 2017 Great Place Projects

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 2:03pm

With expressions of gratitude for a generous individual donor who has made it possible, the Cook County Chamber and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic will organize a Great Place Project for 2017, Chamber Executive Director Jim Boyd has announced.

 “After several grant applications fell through, we were in the process of designating 2017 as a fallow year in which we would focus on creating an annual fundraising mechanism for GPP,” Boyd said. “Then along came an anonymous donor who loves the project and did not want us to miss a year. With the $10,000 the donor volunteered, we can have a 2017 project and also work to develop our GPP fundraising.”

 The Great Place Project is a partnership between the Cook County Chamber and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic's Moving Matters program. The 2017 Great Place Project will be the fourth.

 Deadline for submission of 2017 GPP grant applications is March 31.

 GPP provides small grants to individuals, businesses, and organizations to develop small outdoor projects that enhance the beauty and attraction of the outdoor built environment of Cook County. For the clinic's Moving Matters team, the intention is to encourage healthy outdoor play and exercise. For the Chamber, the goal is creating a more pleasing place that draws visitors back, building a more pleasant environment for residents to enjoy, and creating a sense of cohesive community across Cook County.

 In 2016, funded projects included a community paint-by-number set of murals for the side of Birchbark Books & Gifts, an outdoor ping pong table for the Grand Marais library lawn, a bench for the Hegg Wildflower Sanctuary and numerous others. Over its first three years, GPP funding has gone to projects as diverse as Little

The forecast is for a nice March weekend

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 12:04pm

After a cold night, it should start to warm up nicely for the weekend. Rain and snow are forecast for the beginning of the week. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.


City adopts Climate Inheritance Resolution brought forward by Nordic Nature Group

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 10:27am

The Nordic Nature Group, a contingent of young naturalists, spoke to the Grand Marais City Council on Wednesday, February 22. 
Supporters of the Nordic Nature Group filled the council room. After the presentation, the Grand Marais City Council unanimously adopted the resolution offered by the group, the Climate Inheritance Resolution.
Rhonda Silence shares news some of their presentation.
The resolution reads:
Climate Inheritance Resolution
A Resolution expressing the commitment of the Grand Marais City Council to protect the children and grandchildren of this community from the risks of climate destruction.
WHEREAS, 195 countries, including the United States and every country that is a member of the United Nations, reached an agreement in Paris, France on December 12, 2015, that recognizes the risk to our children’s and grandchildren’s future from climate change;
WHEREAS, the greatest burden resulting from an inadequate response to the climate crisis will be carried by the youngest generation, and all who follow;
WHEREAS, the risks from an inadequate response are potentially devastating, and include economic and environmental disruptions many of which are already being felt such as more severe storms, longer and hotter heat waves, worsening flood and drought cycles, growing invasive species and insect problems, accelerated species extinction rates, rising sea levels, increased wildfires, a dramatic increase in refugees from climate impacted lands. These effects are felt globally but will also impact us at the local level with a changing boreal forest;
WHEREAS, leading climate scientists  have indicated that further delay in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions will rapidly push humanity past the point where disastrous consequences can be avoided;
WHEREAS, numerous governmental and non-governmental bodies across the nation and the world have already adopted climate action plans to immediately and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also stopping them entirely within 25 years;
WHEREAS, youth of Grand Marais have brought this Council a Youth Climate Report Card highlighting the gap between what we are doing today and actions that would be necessary to protect their future;
WHEREAS, youth of Grand Marais have indicated a willingness to work with this Council on such actions, we, therefore, declare it: 
RESOLVED, that Grand Marais City Council commits to working constructively, using ingenuity, innovation, and courageous determination to complete a Climate Action Plan for Grand Marais that significantly reduces Grand Marais’s greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would protect our community’s children and grandchildren from the risk of climate destruction;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Grand Marais City Council commits to start the Grand Marais Climate Action Plan creation process with the Nordic Nature Group within 3 months, and to complete it as soon as possible;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a mechanism will be created for the ongoing inclusion of young people in the process of creating and executing climate related policies and actions.
Signed by Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux
Photo courtesy of Nordic Nature Group

DNR scientist ‘confident’ the mystery of Devil's Kettle is solved

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 4:23pm

Well, it appears the mystery has been solved.

A waterfall that famously “disappears” into a hole at Judge C.R. Magney State Park near Hovland actually soon re-enters the river from underground, according to new research.

In fall 2016, hydrologists from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources found nearly identical volumes of water flowing both above the Devil’s Kettle waterfall and below it. Above the waterfall, stream gauges measured the flow of the Brule River at 123 cubic feet per second. Below the waterfall, gauges detected 121 feet per second.

“In the world of stream gauging, those two numbers are essentially the same and are within the tolerances of the equipment,” explained DNR Groundwater Hydrologist Jeff Green. “The readings show no loss of water below the kettle, so it confirms the water is resurging in the stream below it.”

Green and Calvin Alexander, a colleague at the University of Minnesota, plan to conduct a dye trace to show where the water resurfaces. In the fall of 2017, during low-water flow, they will pour a fluorescent, biodegradable dye into the pothole and note where the dye re-enters the river. This, they hope, will be the conclusive evidence to prove that the water simply remerges from the Devil’s Kettle. 

Listen to WTIP this week, as WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs speaks with DNR Groundwater Hydrologist Jeff Green about the process of solving the mystery at Devil’s Kettle Falls. 


View more news from WTIP

Study finds BWCAW has significant economic impact for Minnesota

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:18pm

A recent study in northeastern Minnesota focused on the economic impact the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has on the region. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs finds out more in this feature. 

To learn more about the study, click here. 


Local dairy loses legal appeal, aims for Supreme Court

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 4:31pm

A Minnesota Court of Appeals has issued a decision confirming that the state’s Department of Health has the legal right (and duty) to inspect Lake View Natural Dairy and its non-pasteurized milk operation for compliance with health standards. The court ruled that no constitutional rights were violated.

The dairy is located in rural Grand Marais and owned by the Berglund family. David Berglund had argued that the district court erred in determining that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has statutory authority to regulate and inspect his dairy and that inspection of his farm violates his Fourth Amendment rights.

Berglund had argued that as a farmer he has a fundamental right to sell his farm products. The court disagreed, saying farmers have no such fundamental rights and that current laws do not allow such sales, saying “ensuring that food products offered for sale are safe for consumption is a legitimate governmental purpose.”

Therefore, the court ruled, because the DOA enforcement and inspection statutes are rationally related to a legitimate government interest, the district court did not err in determining that statutory scheme was constitutional and not in violation of Berglund’s claimed constitutional right.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Lake View Natural Dairy Attorney Zenas Baer, who said the Berglunds now plan to take their case to the Minnesota Supreme Court. 


Details emerge of Grand Marais seaplane service to Isle Royale

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:26pm

For many years Cook County residents and visitors to the area have enjoyed taking a ferry from the mainland to Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior. Now there is discussion of bringing a seaplane to shuttle passengers to the island from Grand Marais. WTIP's Joe Friedrichs learn more in this interview.



First snow, cold, then warmer weather returns

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 10:40am

There’s snow in the forecast, maybe as much as 4 to 5 inches, but then things will warm up again. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Stewart.


WTIP visits with Arrowhead Electric Cooperative interim manager

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 6:36am

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative is in a period of transition. The cooperative is in the process of searching for a general manager/CEO. In the meantime, Gary Connett of Great River Energy, the cooperative's power provider, is filling some of the CEO duties.

Rhonda Silence learns more about what is happening at the local power company in this interview. 


February 20, 2017
12:35 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, citation issued.
1:03 a.m. Grand Portage  Caller from 911 only phone states an elderly female is on the side of the road near this address. Vehicle is broken down and she refuses to leave it. 
4:12 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party states he was driving himself to the hospital. Having a hard time breathing and has had a cough. Info passed to the hospital emergency room. 
7:01 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Party driving to the ER. Having breathing issues. Cook County asked several times if he wanted an ambulance. Stated he was going to drive himself in. ER notified.
8:25 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
8:50 a.m. West Highway 61 Back side street door alarm, false alarm.
9:03 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
11:04 a.m.  Grand Marais  Party called friend and stated that they were going to hurt themself 
11:58 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry renewal app received. 
1:51 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Commercial fire alarm, false alarm.
2:57 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party would like a call back 
3:03 p.m. West Highway 61 Caller hit a vehicle and would like deputy assistance.
3:06 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry renewal application received. 
3:07 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry renewal application received. 
3:43 p.m. Grand Portage  Counterfeit $100 bill was found this morning at 9:10. 
6:20 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Project lifesaver call. 
7:03 p.m. South Point Road, Grand Marais  Caller states power just went out.
7:45 p.m. Holiday, Grand Marais Reported suspicious vehicle.
February 21
7:57 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Caller reporting that a towing vehicle was traveling too fast on Highway 61. She states the truck passed her and was probably doing 65 mph, spraying water on her windshield. 
9:46 p.m. Gunflint Trail/Greenwood Lake Road Caller states water is draining off the Greenwood Lake Road and flooding the Gunflint Trail.
10:34 p.m. Cook County Whole Foods Co-op Party states water in front of Whole Foods Co-op is extremely high.
10:42 p.m. East 1st Street, Grand Marais  Flooding behind Bally's Blacksmith Shop. Keyholder said that everything should be off the floor, they will check on the building in the morning.
February 22
7:52 a.m. West Highway 61 Reporting vehicle off the road. 
8:42 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Reporting he wants to pick up a deer kill at this location. Doe was dead. 
8:50 a.m. County Road 44/County Road 7 Reporting water on the roadway just west of this location. Party said it was pretty deep. 
9:08 a.m. Best Western Superior Inn, Grand Marais Would like a callback pertaining a party they housed for deputy.  
9:20 a.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
9:33 a.m. North Broadway Requesting residence check.
9:58 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Would like a callback from deputy.
10:59 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Personal items not returned since Labor Day.
11:33 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Transporting inmate.
12:15 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Sounds of person walking in the background. No distress sounds.
1:08 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Civil process attempt.
2:25 p.m. Grand Portage  56-year-old old female needing transportation to hospital.
3:54 p.m. Schroeder Requesting that deputy help with pick up of property in divorce settlement.
3:58 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Misdial on a 911 phone. No emergency.
4:09 p.m. Caribou Highlands Lodge, Lutsen   Commercial fire alarm. 
8:26 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
8:33 p.m. Grand Marais  Traffic stop, citation issued.
11:19 p.m. Lockport Store, Lutsen Party states a fox needs to be dispatched at this location.
February 23
6:54 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Reporting dead deer on the side of the road near this location. 
7:29 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Deputy is finger printing party. 
8:10 a.m. County Road 7, Grand Marais  Requesting residence check.
08:31 a.m. Superior National Golf Course, Lutsen Vehicle in the ditch with 3 people, no injuries. 
9:53 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Transporting inmate to Lake County for court. 
10:39 a.m. North Broadway, Grand Marais Residence check request. 
10:50 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
11:10 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Received permit to purchase application. 
1303 p.m. Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Received a suspicious email with attempted fraud. 
1:34 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requesting callback from deputy.
1:41 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
2:22 p.m. West Highway 61 Reporting driver all over the road. 
2:52 p.m. East Bay Suites 62-year-old needs ambulance. 
3:03 p.m. Pincushion Drive/Gunflint Trail Large black pickup passed caller in no passing lane, above speed limit heading up the Trail.
3:23 p.m. Bluefin Bay, Tofte Abandoned 911 call. Bluefin Bay reported false alarm.
3:51 p.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Traffic stop, warning given.
4:22 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
5:25 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt
6:22 p.m. Grand Marais  Resident in the apartments yelling and swearing loudly for some time 
7:01 p.m. Grand Marais  Requesting a deputy.
8:06 p.m. Grand Portage  36-year-old, needs medical assistance. 
9:01 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
9:43 p.m. Grand Marais  Party believes people are smoking pot in their SUV.  
11:59 p.m. Grand Marais  70-something female needs medical assistance.  
February 24
7:26 a.m. Tofte  Party, fell, hurt right hip. 
7:50 a.m. Cook County High School School patrol.
8:03 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requested call back from deputy.
8:10 a.m. North Broadway, Grand Marais Residence check.
8:19 a.m. County Road 7, Grand Marais  Residence check.
8:37 a.m. Grand Portage  EMT requesting ambulance for transport to the hospital of deceased person. 
9:01 a.m. Cook County North Shore Health Reporting that they are having issues with their phones. Just called to give law enforcement center their back room phone number in case of emergency.
9:58 a.m. East Highway 61 Fell down and needs help getting up. 
11:49 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport. 
1:14 p.m. Grand Marais  Party received a scam phone call but he knew it was a scam and did not deal with them.
2:31 p.m. Grand Marais  Requesting that deputy help with pick up of property in divorce settlement.
3:21 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party returning a call to deputy. 
4:23 p.m. Grand Portage Health Services Party dropped off medicines to be disposed of. 
6:19 p.m. East Highway 61  2 callers reporting injured deer at this location. 
7:16 p.m. Grand Portage Lodge 79-year-old male needs medical assistance at canopy entrance to casino.
8:19 p.m. Caribou Highlands Lodge, Lutsen 911 from lodge. They have no way to determine where it originated, but haven't heard of any problems there. Will call if there are any problems.
8:38 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
9:15 p.m. West Highway 61 Assist State Patrol.
9:44 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
February 25
3:50 a.m. East Highway 61 SuperAmerica basement motion - line is busy when they try to call. False alarm.
8:16 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Long sparkly wallet missing. May be Gene’s or pharmacy. 
8:54 a.m. East Highway 61  Dead deer in the westbound lane. 
9:21 a.m. Oddz & Endz, Grand Marais People leaving junk outside their door - A refrigerator, couch, and miscellaneous junk being left at their place. 
9:26 a.m. Lutsen Post Office A strange package received. Would like someone to stop at the Post Office. Unfounded.
11:01 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Civil process attempt.
11:38 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party in for a urinalysis.
12:52 p.m. Grand Portage  Stated the house is full of people removing items. 
:07 p.m. Sawtooth Elementary  Dare 5th grade class.
1:12 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Questions regarding a call he may be involved in. 
3:04 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen  Dead deer in traffic lane near this location.
3:18 p.m. East Highway 61 Remove deer from roadway.
3:34 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requesting call back as soon as possible.
4:19 p.m. East Highway 61 Ride given to party.
6:16 p.m. Grand Marais  Residence check.
6:20 p.m. Caribou Trail, Lutsen 2 car vehicle accident.
11:51 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Fire alarm, unit 9 at Bluefin Bay. Cook spoke to the unit - no smoke or fire, not sure why it’s going off. Someone on the way to check on it. Asked dispatch to not send the Fire Department. Will call back with what they find out down there. 
February 26
7:48 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Questions about her cell phone and picking it up. 
8:57 a.m. Sea Villas, Lutsen Deer is stumbling around in the woods. Cook County advised there was nothing that we could do and nature would take its course. 
9:11 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Would like a follow up call on an accident. 
9:12 a.m. Grand Marais  Concern about a vulnerable adult.
10:07 a.m. Grand Portage  911 call. Party stated that his baby was playing with the phone. Apologized and all was ok at the house. 
10:36 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Deputy please call back. 
10:39 a.m. Sawmill Drive, Lutsen  Civil process attempt.
11:10 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
11:18 a.m. Lutsen Mountains 34-year-old female with broken wrist.
11:38 a.m. Grand Marais  Party in apartment has been smoking pot for the last two days and it is affecting caller’s breathing. 
12:27 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Returning your call. 
2:28 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requests a callback. 
3:15 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, citation issued.
3:33 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
3:40 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, citation issued.
4:00 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
4:25 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
7:39 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party requests a callback about a neighbor. 
9:19 p.m. East Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
10:53 p.m. Grand Marais  83-year-old male needs medical help. 
11:12 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requesting call back. 
February 27
2:47 a.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Car went in the ditch on the lake side just west of Satellite Inn.
3:31 a.m. Caribou Trail, Lutsen  Male patient, 28 years old, rolling to hospital looking for closest 
6:00 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
8:00 a.m. East Highway 61  Reported a red jeep wi plate west bound to grand marais reckless driving transferred to msp 
8:38 a.m. Hovland  Traffic stop, citation issued
9:45 a.m. Trail Center, Grand Marais Dark Avalanche pickup went by Trail Center going around 60 mph, heading down the Trail. 
10:48 a.m. Gunflint Trail Traffic stop, warning given.
11:44 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Civil process attempt.
11:44 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requesting assistance to go to party’s house to get their belongings.
11:56 a.m. Grand Portage  Out with party.
12:04 p.m. Ski Hill Rd, Lutsen  Traffic stop, warning given.
1:06 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, citation issued.
1:32 p.m. Grand Marais  Caller coming to Law Enforcement Center to speak with a deputy regarding a possible assault. 
8:34 p.m. Grand Marais  Party stated they repossessed a vehicle.
9:21 p.m. Bluefin Bay, Tofte 911 hangup. Misdial