Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Vet Dog collaboration continues

Sun, 07/21/2013 - 5:39am

From World War II to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Cook County, is home to almost 700 veterans. Although the residents of Grand Marais honor their veterans in a variety of ways, some wanted to do more. About a year ago, the First Congregational United Church of Christ and American Legion Post 413 joined forces to raise money for America’s VetDogs, to support its mission to provide guide and service dogs for disabled veterans of all eras, whether or not their disabilities are combat related.

The collaboration, which was introduced by Pastor EvaLyn Carlson of the First Congregational Church was also a way to bring together people with different theological, political, and social beliefs. No matter what their beliefs about the wars, Carlson knew that everyone could agree that veterans returning home with life-changing injuries needed their support.

The community response was overwhelming and in April the church and legion were able to send a check for $10,000 to America’s VetDogs. All involved were pleased to learn that a Minnesota veteran, Tony Larson of St. Cloud was able to obtain his service dog Tomme partly because of the Cook County contribution. During his deployment to Iraq, a truck he was in was hit by an IED.  Larson lost his right leg below the knee and suffered mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the explosion.

Larson was teamed with service dog Tomme. Tomme provides balance and stability support and retrieval. For instance, when Larson removes his prosthetic leg at the end of the day, Tomme can act as a brace if Larson needs it. The dog can also bring dropped items if Larson has difficulty reaching down to get them.

The Odd Couple (female version) opens tonight at Arrowhead Center for the Arts

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 10:07am

The Grand Marais Playhouse will open the Grand Marais Summer Theater Festival on July 19 with the production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female version). The cast includes Kerri Bilben, Yvonne Block, Julie Fredlund, Jane Gellner, Gerry Grant, Erin Larsen Jack Nickolay and Jason Winters. The Odd Couple (Female Version) by Neil Simon runs July 19, 21, 25, 27, Aug. 2, 4, 8 and 10. Thursday - Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.
This hilarious comedy by one of America’s funniest playwrights. Samuel French publishers offers this description: Unger and Madison are at it again! Florence Unger and Olive Madison, that is, in Neil Simon's hilarious contemporary comic classic: the female version of The Odd Couple. Instead of the poker party that begins the original version, Ms. Madison has invited the girls over for an evening of Trivial Pursuit. The Pidgeon sisters have been replaced by the two Constanzuela brothers. But the hilarity remains the same.
Tickets for summer festival productions are $20 adults, $10 students (18 and under). Save $5 when you buy a ticket to both shows! Available in advance at or at the door one hour before the performance.

"Fanciful Flights" at West End Garden Club Flower Show Saturday

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 10:04am

The Cook County West End Garden Club will hold its annual Flower Show on Saturday July 20 at the Schroeder Town Hall, 124 Cramer Road (Cook County 1) in Schroeder from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  This year’s theme is “Fanciful Flights.”
The Garden Club members cordially invite anyone, whether resident of the community or visitor, to participate in this event by bringing a display that follows the theme to the Schroeder Town Hall by no later than Saturday July 20 by 8:30 a.m. (the day of the show).
Refreshments will be served and Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions about gardening in the North Shore area.  Admission is free.

Storyteller at Grand Marais Playhouse Friday, July 19

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 10:03am

On Friday, July 19 from 1 - 4 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts the Grand Marais Playhouse will present a storytelling workshop for educators, counselors and clergy. Participants will learn how storytelling can break down walls that keep people from learning from one another.
The presenter is Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff, a professional Jewish storyteller, poet, educator and coach based in Baltimore, MD. Rudick Zunikoff’s story, Rina and The Exodus was featured in the anthology Mitzvah Stories, a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Award. Her CD The Growing Season contains original stories based on traditional tales, and is available on iTunes and
Rudick Zunikoff is brought to town by Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, a local storyteller. Arrowsmith DeCoux is an animated and interactive storyteller with roots in theatre (and a love of mime). She has performed around the US, and in India and Sweden. Arrowsmith DeCoux’s stories are often Scandinavian. She is also an actor, writer, creative coach and stilt-walker. Arrowsmith DeCoux lives in Grand Marais where she leads workshops and retreats for artists.
Arrowsmith DeCoux and Zunikoff met over 10 years ago at a National Storytelling Conference. They have been Tuesday night “story buddies” ever since, practicing stories over the phone.
The two will present an evening of story telling Tricksters and Trolls, Emperors and Elves, Fairies and Fools… You never know who you’ll meet when two friends get together to tell their favorite stories.
Kids and adults are invited to an evening of high-spirited stories from around the world. Performance is at the ACA at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 adults and $5 students 18 and under.

Superior National at Lutsen hosts Rally for the Cure

Wed, 07/17/2013 - 11:57am

On July 20 – 21, Superior National at Lutsen is hosting a Rally for the Cure women’s 18-hole scramble. The rally is a fundraiser intended to increase breast cancer awareness and mammography screenings to ensure early detection. More than 2 million people have participated in rally events—golf, tennis and social events—across the nation since its inception in 1996. This is the seventh year that golfers have gathered at Superior National at Lutsen to rally against breast cancer.
At press time Superior National had 70 participants registered for the Rally and the golf course invites last minute participants. The activities start on Saturday, July 20 with a social hour. On Sunday, July 21 there is a 10 a.m. shotgun start.
Prizes will be awarded at the end of the event and each golfer receives a goody bag filled with important breast health information and some fun rally items.
“We are proud to open our facility and host a Rally for a Cure event. The event is a fun way for us to bring together our members and the community to support an important cause while playing a sport they are passionate about,” said Heath Ekstrom, PGA member and rally ambassador.
Golfers have a great time as they spread across the golf course greens in their primarily pink attire. Many teams dress in a theme for the day on the links. Everyone has a good time.
“The success of rally is attributed to volunteer ambassadors like Heath who have said ‘It will be an honor to have a rally at our club.’ It is their enthusiasm, energy and support we value in our commitment to support Susan G. Komen,” said Diane Perillo, program manager, Rally for the Cure.
For further information about Superior National’s Rally for the Cure or to register, visit www.superiornational/tournaments or call (218) 663-7195.

Wolf numbers down, but hunt still on in 2013

Wed, 07/17/2013 - 11:56am

Even though there are fewer wolves in the state this year than five years ago, the wolf hunt will go on in 2013, said the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in a recent press release.
According to a comprehensive survey taken last winter, the state has 710 less wolves in 2013 then it had in 2009.
Despite the decline, the amount of wolves estimated exceeds the state’s minimum goal of at least 1,600 wolves and is still higher then the federal recovery goal range of 1,251 to 1,400 animals.
New survey results taken over last winter estimate there are 438 packs and 2,211 wolves, down from the 2,921-survey estimate taken five years ago.
Pack sizes have decreased from 4.9 to 4.3 wolves. John Erb, DNR research biologist, said the reduction in average pack size likely is a combination of reduced prey and the harvest of wolves in the two months immediately preceding the mid-winter wolf pack counts.
In 2012 trappers and hunters harvested 413 wolves and the DNR expects to set up similar hunting/trapping guidelines for 2013. The DNR said it will more closely monitor pack and territory sizes in the next few years. More frequent radio collaring of wolf packs will provide additional data on the population's response to wolf season harvest.
Minnesota wolves were removed from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act and handed over to state management on January 2012.
“Results from the 2013 wolf survey continue to demonstrate that Minnesota’s wolf population is fully recovered from its once threatened status and the population is responding naturally to the availability of deer, wolves’ primary food source,” said Dan Stark, DNR large carnivore specialist.