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County to receive aquatic invasive species prevention aid--if a plan is developed

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 11:58am

Cook County will be receiving aquatic invasive species prevention aid in the amount of $81,121 for 2014 and $180,269 in 2015—if the county develops a plan to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives. A plan must be in place by December 31, 2014.

District Manager of the Cook County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) Kerri Berg appeared before Cook County Commissioners on Tuesday, August 19, along with a concerned citizen Biz Clark, to explain the requirements that come along with the grant.

Berg said she had recruited Biz Clark to look at the guidelines because she is “very knowledgeable” about water issues.

Berg explained that the money distributed depends on the number of boat launches in a county. She said the funds could be spent on anything that helps prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS.) She said the money could be used for education, meetings, signage or inspectors, but the county had to set some guidelines

“So, the one thing our county has to do by December 31 is to provide a resolution and guidelines and the website has examples,” said Berg, adding that she and Clark felt confident about accepting the funds after studying the guidelines and watching a webinar. “Its totally something we can do,” said Berg.

Berg said what she envisioned was a lead person and a group of people like those currently serving on the Cook County Invasives Species Team, which tackles terrestrial pests, working together to develop guidelines for controlling AIS.

“Ultimately, what I think we would be seeing here is a training program for inspectors. That can be done with the assistance of the DNR and it would not cost the county a penny,” said Clark.

Funding needs to be found for Parkside Public Access project

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 11:56am

Three officials, Kent Skaar, Larry Killien, and Joe Russell from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource (DNR) Trails and Waterways Division met with the Grand Marais Park Board on Tuesday, September 2 to discuss proposed improvements to the Lake Superior public water access in the southwest corner of the harbor and city land within the recreation area.

Killien said that as of now it would cost $500,000 to add 100 feet onto the current break wall, leaving it at the same height but also leaving it hard for people to walk out onto the large boulders. It would also cost another $400,000 to fix the parking lot and boat access so larger boats up to 35-feet long could be trailered into the water. Included in this cost would be a kayak/canoe launch, separate parking for smaller craft and a handicap accessible bathroom. All told, Killien said the budget would be $1.1 to $1.3 million for this job when all of the plans and fees were added up.

Because upgrades suggested to date aren’t in the DNR budget and exceed current funds set aside for boater accessible improvements, Russell said any work proposed for the Grand Marais inner rubble mound break wall, parking area, and nearby beach is years away.

The park board and DNR officials went over a list of seven attributes and amenities the park board wants the DNR to consider for a final build-out.

Russell asked if the DNR should carry on with the work based on the suggestions from the park board, and the board said yes. Planning will continue as funding allows.

 

 

This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald

 www.cookcountynews-herald.com

7th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival enjoys beautiful weather, strong turnout, and a great time for all!

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 11:09am

Area residents and visitors of all ages came together for three days of music this past weekend at Sweetheart’s Bluff in Grand Marais as part of the 7th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival, sponsored by WTIP North Shore Community Radio. 

The festival took place over three days, Friday, September 5th through Sunday, September 7th. It featured a full line-up of musicians that offered a variety of genres, from rock to folk, jazz, swing and country.

More than 1,700 people came through the gates over the weekend.  The modest $5 admission per adult (or $10 for the weekend) helped offset the cost of putting the festival on; the rest was funded in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and supported by funds from the Grand Marais Area Tourism Association.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came together to make the festival possible,” says Deb Benedict, WTIP’s executive director.  “To everyone who volunteered their time, to the restaurants and food vendors who set up to provide food  on-site, and to the amazing musicians who provided great entertainment – thank you!   All these efforts helped make the festival a huge success.” 

WTIP would also like to thank the Grand Marais Recreation Area and its crew, and the City of Grand Marais, who were strong supportive partners that offered up the perfect location for the festival.  “Mostly,” says Benedict, “we’d like to thank our fabulous community for their support.  It was wonderful to bring together over 1700 people to enjoy the extraordinary talent and diversity of the area.” 

Mark your calendars for the next Radio Waves Music Festival, which will take place the weekend after Labor Day, 2015. 

Weather turns to fall -- termed "yucky"

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 9:43am

Fall is bearing down on us with wind, rain and very chilly temps in store this week. WTIPs Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Stewart about “yucky” weather..

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Grandparents Day celebrated at Grand Portage Community Center today

Sun, 09/07/2014 - 11:03am

Grand Portage Elders are celebrating Grandparent’s Day today, Sunday, September 7 with a B-B-Q, picnic, walk, bike ride, games and information at the Community Center from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. All kids and grandparents are invited. This year Bob and Elaine Sample from the Grand Marais Pharmacy will be providing the food and grilling it too. This is always a fun day and a great way to celebrate grandparents. Hope to see everyone there!

If you need any more information on any of these activities, call Patty at the ENP at (218) 475-2655 or 2002.

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This local news is provided by the Cook County News-Herald

 www.cookcountynews-herald.com

 

Two islands on West Pope Lake are now named

Sun, 09/07/2014 - 11:00am

A public hearing was held on Tuesday, August 26 and unlike many public meetings there was not a voice of discord. The county board had heard only positive comments on a proposal brought forward by a number of Gunflint Trail residents to give names to two unnamed islands on West Pope Lake. The only person at the public hearing was the man who had spearheaded the efforts to name the two federally-owned islands, Tom Bettenhausen.

Bettenhausen explained why he and his family felt it was important that the islands have names. He said in the 20-plus years his family has been coming to their property on West Pope Lake, they have seen numerous pregnant moose cows swim to the islands. They have counted the days and then had the pleasure of watching the calves appear. They have enjoyed their growth and watching the mother nudging them into the water to teach them to swim.

He said his family discussed possible names and eventually thought of a name honoring all the moose that had been born there, in what he said was “sort of a moose maternity ward.” The family also decided that the names should be in the native language of the original inhabitants of the Gunflint Trail.

Bettenhausen expressed appreciation to Allen Aubid of Grand Portage who helped him find Ojibwe names that were fitting.

The name chosen for Island 1, the smaller of the two is “Moozoogitaanesing,” which translates into “Garden for young moose to be born.” 

The second island’s name is “Moozoogitagaaning,” which means “Big garden for young moose to be safe from danger.”

A unanimous motion passed to name the two islands, with Commissioner Garry Gamble stressing that the resolution should record that the island names are in the Ojibwe language.