Around Cook County
Call him Bigfoot, Sasquatch or Yeti—just don’t call him welcome on the Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais. Immediately after an anonymous jokester erected two Bigfoot Crossing signs on the Gunflint Trail near Swamper Lake, debate began.
The community was torn—were the signs cute and funny? Or an annoying Wisconsin Dells-like intrusion? Arguments were carried on in coffee shops and on facebook. Opinions were offered stating that the signs were awesome and hilarious, with many folks weighing in with thoughts of who was the model for the Yeti figure. Others sadly stated that it made a mockery of the tranquility and beauty of the Gunflint Trail.
The arguments are moot. The signs are gone. County Highway Engineer David Betts said his crews took the signs down, but had nothing to do with the placement of the Sasquatch signs. Betts said it was not a high priority for the Highway Department to take the signs down. “Frankly, it really wasn’t a big deal,” said Betts.
Before the Highway Department got there two days later, someone had defaced the signs with black spray paint.
Betts said he was more bothered by the person or persons who stole the “Caution—Baby Moose” signs that had been erected in that area. “It’s bad enough they stole the sign, but they also took the barricade, which is actually worth more than the sign.”
Regardless of whether signs are present—watch for baby moose and hairy visitors on the Gunflint!
A potential Cook County housing project has not even gotten to the engineering stages and it is already causing consternation among the Cook County – Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) board and some community members. At the May EDA meeting, the EDA board heard a tentative proposal from Leah Hall of the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency for a multi-unit facility on land donated by the EDA, which would provide “fair market housing.” Hall said AEOA would be the developer for the project, putting together the design and the funding package. However, Hall said, the AEOA would not pursue the project if the EDA did not want them to. The development fee would be 10 percent.
At the end of that meeting, the EDA board asked Chair Mark Sandbo to contact Hall to tell her to proceed with planning for a housing project.
At the subsequent June EDA meeting, after its housing administrator, Nancy Grabko of Community Fundraising Solutions, questioned the 10 percent development fee proposed by AEOA, the EDA appeared to reverse its decision to work with AEOA. At that meeting, EDA Chair Sandbo said it was not “a done deal.”
Houghton, MI – On Saturday, July 13, a recreational SCUBA diver exploring the "Kamloops" shipwreck at Isle Royale National Park was fatally injured in a diving accident.
Lloyd W. Krohn, 55, of Wyoming, Minnesota, was diving in a party of three on a charter SCUBA trip to the park operated by Isle Royale Charters, Inc. At approximately 10 a.m., soon after descending to their target depth, his two partners noticed that Krohn was experiencing an unknown difficulty.
They attempted to assist him but were forced to send him to the surface alone after he became unconscious. He was spotted by the boat crew and was brought aboard unresponsive and not breathing.
The victim was declared deceased on scene by ranger-EMT's. Rangers are currently working with the Keweenaw County Medical Examiner to determine a cause of death and to investigate the circumstances of the accident.
Park Superintendent Phyllis Green has temporarily closed the "Kamloops" to diving.
The "Kamloops" is considered an expert dive due to the depths involved; most of the wreck lies below 200 feet. It is located approximately 300 feet from the north shore of Isle Royale near Todd Harbor.
The ship, a 250 foot Canadian package freighter, wrecked in a severe storm in December, 1927. The location of the shipwreck was unknown until sport divers located the wreck in 1977.
Memorial Blood Centers will have a number of blood drives in Cook County July 16-18.
The first blood drive is for the Tofte, Lutsen and Schroeder communities at the Zoar Lutheran Church on Tuesday, July 16 from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Contact Polly Erickson at (218) 663-7398 to set up an appointment.
The following day, Wednesday, July 17, a blood drive will be held from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Senior Center in Grand Marais. Contact Rosemary Lamson at (218) 387-1758 to schedule an appointment.
And finally on Thursday, July 18, Grand Portage Health Services will host a blood drive from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact Vivian Carlson at (218) 475-2235 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Memorial Blood Centers is the sole supplier of blood products to the Cook County North Shore Hospital. Donors help families, friends and community.
The Cook County - Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) has finally reached a financial settlement with an engineering firm for work that had been done by that company for the Sawtooth Cottages housing project that never happened.
In 2008, after many months of considering a residential subdivision with some affordable housing units adjacent to its Cedar Grove Business Park in Grand Marais, the EDA halted its work with the Northern Communities Land Trust on the project. At that time, EDA board members expressed concerns about the small size of the proposed footprints of the homes and about how the economic downturn would affect potential buyers when they attempted to obtain mortgages. In September 2008, EDA board members regretfully passed a unanimous motion to not proceed.
However, before deciding to discontinue the housing project, the EDA had contracted with Short, Elliot, Hendrickson (SEH) of Duluth to create engineering plans for the proposed 13-lot development. In August 2008, after bids were let and came in much higher than anticipated, stakeholders in the Sawtooth Cottages project met and discussed downsizing the project. Bonding options, tax-increment financing, and reducing the number of donated lots were discussed. SEH said it could reduce its fees to draft a new proposal with decreased lot sizes and clustered homes, which would save on infrastructure expenses.
Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. Mineral rights are challenged. Wisconsin legislators want armed guards removed from mining test sites. The DNR is satisfied with the status of wolves in the state and a fuel spill reaches Lake Superior…all in this week’s news.