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News and other information from Cook County

Weekend News Roundup for September 28

Sat, 09/28/2013 - 9:32am

Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. Moose calf mortality is up, new habitat lands proposed for lynx, the 144th will deploy to the Middle East, again, and much more…all in this week’s news.


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Enjoy fall colors and beatutiful art at the 2013 Crossing Borders Studio Tour

Sat, 09/28/2013 - 7:28am

Soak in the glorious fall colors while following the 2013 Crossing Borders Studio Tour along the Minnesota North Shore of Lake Superior.

This year, 22 career artists with their original work are featured at seven working studio sites located along the North Shore.  The Crossing Borders Studio Tour offers a unique opportunity to visit the home studios of the artists and view and purchase art work. Visitors can learn about the artists’ processes and how this rugged environment influences their color and design ideas.

The tour began Sept. 27 and is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. through Oct. 6. The public is invited to participate in this free self-guided tour.

Featured this year are stone and clay sculpture, Ojibwe art work, pottery, weaving, glass sculpture and jewelry, print making, handmade paper, wood turning, metal works, fiber art, jewelry, and leather. Twelve guest artists will be part of the tour.  

A sad note for familiar tour goers is the loss of potter Dave Yungner. Dave, one of the pioneer Crossing Borders artists, passed away suddenly in July. Members of Dave’s family will be at his studio during the first weekend of the tour. Guest artist Karin Kraemer will be at Dale Burton’s studio.

Tofte welcomes new District Ranger Kurt Steele

Sat, 09/28/2013 - 7:25am

The U.S. Forest Service Tofte District welcomed Kurt Steele as the new district ranger in early September.

Steele brings a broad background in natural resource management.  He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Oregon State University in natural resources with an option in forest ecosystems. He also double minored in forest management, and fisheries and wildlife. 

Later, Steele successfully completed the National Advanced Silvicultural Program to become a fully certified silviculturist. During that program he studied at Michigan Tech, Northern Arizona University, University of Tennessee, and Oregon State University.

Steele has held positions on several national forests across the country.  He started his Forest Service career as a temporary employee with the fire management program on the Umatilla National Forest in eastern Oregon. 

His next duty station was on the Rouge-Siskiyou National Forest in southwest Oregon. Steele then accepted a forester position on the Willamette National Forest in western Oregon.  His last duty station prior to coming to the Tofte Ranger District was in Georgia on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest where he served as a silviculturist. 

Steele has continued to participate in fire operations where he has established a number of qualifications including Incident Commander Type 4. 

 Kurt and his wife, Melissa, come to Cook County with their two pets, Trigger, a yellow lab, and Oconee, a kitten. Melissa has already begun her new job as a teacher in the local school system.  They look forward to becoming part of the community. 

MN Sea Grant presentation: Climate Change impacts on recreation and tourism

Fri, 09/27/2013 - 3:02pm

Minnesota Sea Grant is hosting the final  segment in a three-part speaker series on Climate Change, Thursday, September 26 at the Harbor House Grille in Grand Marais, starting at 7:30 p.m. (Click on link to WTIP below to hear an interview with Sea Grant Climate Change Extension Educator Hilarie Sorensen.)
The featured speaker is Dr. Robert Richardson from Michigan State University.  Dr. Richardson will be speaking about climate change impacts on tourism and recreation and implications for the North Shore.  

Dr.  Richardson is an Associate Professor of Sustainable Development at Michigan State University. He is an applied economist with interests in the study of environment and development, particularly the contribution of ecosystem services and natural resources to socioeconomic well-being. He holds a PhD in agricultural and resource economics from Colorado State University. His teaching, research, and outreach program focuses mainly on sustainability and development. His research has included assessments of the role of environmental resources in development, vulnerability to climate change, and tradeoffs in decision making about natural resource management. 

Harbor House Grill, is located at 411 Highway 61 in Grand Marais.   Food and drinks will be available for purchase.  


Insurance, finances and remodeling under discussion at the Cook County North Shore Hospital & Care Center board meeting

Fri, 09/27/2013 - 12:02pm

Blue Cross/Blue Shield, MN Sure, county budget cuts, and remodeling:  all under discussion at the recent hospital and care center board meeting.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Administrator Kimber Wraalstad recently on Daybreak.   


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Mining Truth: educating Minnesotans about sulfide mining

Fri, 09/27/2013 - 9:02am

In the summer of 2012, a coalition of Minnesota conservation groups calling themselves Mining Truth started a public dialogue surrounding the proposed Polymet and Twin Metals mines near Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 
     The coalition is continuing a public debate over four questions they feel Governor Dayton and mining companies should be able to answer before allowing the mines to proceed. (Click on link to WTIP below to hear an interview with Aaron Klemz of Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.)  

Those questions are:

1)   Will Minnesota’s water stay safe and clean?

2)   Are there safeguards in place for when things go wrong?

3)   Will the company leave the site clean and maintenance-free?

4)   Will Minnesota’s taxpayers be protected?