Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Global Youth Service Day offers opportunity to serve

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 2:26pm

On April 21, as part of Global Youth Service Day, millions of children and teens, along with their adult allies and champions in over 100 countries on six continents, will change the world, addressing critical issues including health, education, environment, hunger, poverty, disaster preparedness and response, and human rights.
Here in Cook County, youth and adults are invited to be a part of the largest and longest-running annual day of service by joining in the Cook County Clean-Up campaign. Everyone ages five and up is welcome. Participants will work in teams to pick up trash and beautify our common spaces. Four sites will be targeted for clean up, including the Cook County School grounds, the Cook County Community Center, the Municipal campgrounds, and the Grand Marais Harbor.
The event begins at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, and ends at 3:30 p.m. with a celebration for all participants. Gloves, trash bags and other clean-up tools will be provided. For more information, and to pre-register, please contact Sarah Stover at (218) 387-2271, ext. 615 or email

USFS names new Forest chief

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 9:47am

The U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday that Brenda Halter has been named the new supervisor of the Superior National Forest.

Halter comes to the Duluth forest headquarters with 18 years of Forest Service experience, most recently leading the development of the new forest planning rule for the entire 193 million acre national forest system.

Halter replaces Jim Sanders, the longtime Superior supervisor who retired in December. Halter is married, with four children. Her husband, Al Williamson, also works for the Forest Service as the assistant national wildlife program leader.

Halter will take her post in charge of the more than 2 million acre national forest in May. Tim Dabney, who has served as acting forest supervisor since Sanders left, will return to his post as deputy forest supervisor.

Towering Pines Canopy Tour coming soon to Gunflint Lodge

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:54am

Exciting things are coming soon to Gunflint Lodge. Ground was broken this week on an exciting new addition to historic lodge. Soon to be up and running on back lots of the lodge property is the Towering Pines Canopy Tour. A canopy tour consists of a system of zip lines and platforms that allow visitors to soar from tree to tree to see the forest from a bird’s eye view. Canopy tours originated in Costa Rica in the 1990s.
Gunflint Lodge owner Bruce Kerfoot has kept the secret for quite awhile as he researched how a canopy tour would work on the unused, forested area of Gunflint Lodge. He believes the firm he has hired, Challenge Design Innovations, Inc. of Pineola, North Carolina, has come up with a perfect fit for the Northwoods. Challenge Design will work with Edwin E. Thoreson, Inc. to erect the towers. And then, said Kerfoot the North Carolina crew will work from ropes to get the platforms built around sturdy 200-year old white pines.
One segment of the canopy tour includes a 900-foot run over a valley. Another segment overlooks Lonely Lake. Another requires a bold step off a cliff. However, this is not just a thrill ride, explained Kerfoot.
The Towering Pines Canopy Tour is a two-hour adventure with eight components, transporting people from platform to platform among the trees. At each station, a naturalist will talk about the region, dealing with everything from the birds and wildlife to vegetation and the history of the voyageurs. “It’s half a naturalist tour and half an adventure,” said Kerfoot.
It’s also the first canopy tour in the state of Minnesota, Kerfoot declares proudly. There are other single zip lines and rope courses, but this is the only extensive canopy tour. It is scheduled to be open at the beginning of July. The cost of the two-hour adventure will be $79.

Judge OKs redrawn ATV routes for Superior Forest

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 6:27am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge says plans can proceed to redraw routes where off-road vehicles may travel in the Superior National Forest.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled last week against three environmental groups who sued to stop the plan.

The plan is part of a nationwide effort to restrict motor vehicles to designated roads and trails in U.S. forests. The groups argued the Superior National Forest plan violates environmental and land management laws.

Forest officials say their plan will benefit the environment by reducing mileage open to public motorized use.
Although off-road vehicles will not be allowed in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, the groups argued allowing all-terrain vehicles near the wilderness area's border will increase noise levels.

Little Women opens Thursday at Arrowhead Center for the Arts

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 10:42am

The Grand Marais Playhouse is ready to kick off its regular theatrical season April 19 with the production of Little Women adapted by Kristen Laurence from the beloved book by Louisa May Alcott. Opening night features a reception with the cast in the Arrowhead Center for the Arts lobby following the performance.
High School Senior Maria Nickolay directs this production. It is the first student-directed production in many years for the Playhouse. The cast of nine includes a mother/daughter/ granddaughter trio that makes this production a even more special. Janet Healy (Aunt March), her daughter Amy Henrikson (Marmee) and her granddaughter Linnea Henrikson (Amy) perform together in this wonderful story about family. The rest of the cast includes Mara MacDonnell (Jo), Cailin Carpenter (Meg), Sarah Larsen (Beth), Diane Stoddard (Hannah), Adrianna Berglund (Sally Mae), and Yvonne Block (Aunt Carol).
Assisting Maria as stage manager is Brenna Hay and Emma Bradley leads the costuming crew, creating the look of the Civil War era.
Don’t miss this opportunity to live, laugh, love and cry with Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth as they go through the many trials and tribulations that have made this story a classic.
Little Women runs April 19 - 22 and 26 – 29, Thursday – Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 students 18 and under.

PBS seeks hamburger recipes for "H" is for Hamburger program

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 12:21pm

Burgers, casseroles, soups and stews-whether it's for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, what are your favorite recipes that use hamburger or substitutes like ground turkey or ground chicken? Those are exactly the recipes needed for WDSE Cooks' "H is for Hamburger."
Send your favorite hamburger recipes to WDSE•WRPT and all the recipes received will be put into a "best of the best" cookbook. A select number of cooks will be chosen to share their secrets on how it's made on the show. Winning chefs will get the latest "H" is for Hamburger II cookbook and a new WDSE Cooks apron.
Recipes should be submitted by April 23. E-mail your recipes to
For more details see