Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Senior Center invites cribbage players to play on Thursday mornings

Tue, 04/03/2012 - 2:33pm

Every Thursday morning the Senior Center in Grand Marais hosts open cribbage from 9:45 a.m. -11:15 a.m. All levels of cribbage players are welcomed. Come once or come every Thursday! The cost is free! Assistant Director Kristen Anderson said, “We hope you will join us soon for a fun and social morning of Cribbage!”

Courthouse security is topic for WTIP’s "First Thursday," April 5

Tue, 04/03/2012 - 10:32am

In response to the dramatic rise in local courthouse violence across the nation, Minnesota’s U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar have introduced the Local Courthouse Safety Act. The legislation is a reaction to a shooting in December at the Cook County Courthouse in Grand Marais during which a prosecutor and witness were wounded.

Join WTIP’s Jay Andersen at 6 p.m. on April 5 for “Courthouse Security: public safety in public spaces,” -- this month’s First Thursday Community Conversation.

Each month we choose a topic for discussion, invite guests into the studio and invite you to join in the conversation. The number to call is 387-1070 or 800-473-9847. Our email address is

This month studio guests include Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk, County Attorney Tim Scannell, Commissioner Jim Johnson and Steven K. Swensen, Director of the Center for Judicial and Executive Security.

“Courthouse Security: public safety in public spaces,” First Thursday Community Conversation, 6 to 7 p.m. April 5. Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio.


Bear hunt applications open today, April 2

Mon, 04/02/2012 - 4:16pm

 Applications for this fall's bear hunt will be accepted from Monday, April 2, through Friday, May 4, at any Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) license agent and online at They also are available at the DNR License Center in St. Paul or by phone at 888-665-4236.
A total of 6,000 licenses are available in 11 permit areas. This year's bear hunt will run from Sunday, Sept. 1, to Sunday, Oct. 14.
Hunters selected in the annual lottery must purchase their licenses by Wednesday, Aug. 1, so licenses that aren't purchased can be made available to other hunters. After this year's Aug. 1 deadline, any eligible hunter may purchase any remaining licenses starting at noon, Monday, Aug. 6.
In 2011, hunters purchased 5,684 licenses by the deadline. Those hunters were chosen from a pool of 19,170 applicants for the available 7,050 permit area licenses. The remaining 1,336 permits were sold after the deadline passed. Hunters harvested a total of 2,131 bears.
Bear licenses cost $38 for residents and $200 for nonresidents. The bag limit is two bears in the no-quota area and one bear in all quota permit areas.
Complete information on the fall bear hunt is available on the DNR website at

Two North Shore hockey players make District 7 Select 16 Team

Mon, 04/02/2012 - 11:47am

Two North Shore hockey players were selected for the District 7 Select 16 team after tryouts during the weekend in Grand Rapids.

Grand Marais goaltender Alex Murray and Silver Bay defender Jordan Fralich received the honors. Both play for the Silver Bay-Cook County Mariners’ high school team.

The District 7 team is made up of the top skaters from a geographical area that goes all the way from International Falls down to the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Murray and Fraylich will join their team in the Reebok Select 16 Festival in the Twin Cities. The Festival action starts on Saturday, April 14.

Community Center Steering Committee looks at preliminary financials from YMCA

Mon, 04/02/2012 - 10:11am

As promised, Duluth YMCA CEO Chris Francis met with the Cook 
County Community Center Steering Committee on Monday, March 26, 2012 
to present the results of the YMCA’s preliminary look at finances. 
Although there are still a lot of unknowns, Francis said, “When I was
all done with this, it was actually kind of exciting.”
Francis shared a spread-sheet detailing estimated revenue and expenses
for a Cook County YMCA prior to the new facility being built and for 
the first five years of operations
The bottom line, acknowledged Francis, was a “negative number,” 
ranging from a deficit of $71,398 prior to construction of the 
facility to $167,752 in the first year to $153,877 in the fifth year. 
“Although it’s red, I’m confident we can find a way to make it 
work,” he said.
He said the financial picture painted by YMCA did not include any 
government support and was very conservative on potential funding from 
contributions and grants. “I think I was high on expenses and low on 
revenue,” Francis told the steering committee.
Steering committee members asked a lot of questions and expressed 
concern about public reaction at hearing these preliminary numbers. 
Francis reassured them that there were no “red flags.” He said, 
“Looking at these numbers—it’s positive.”
Steering committee members asked a lot of questions and expressed 
concern about public reaction at hearing these preliminary numbers. 
Francis reassured them that there were no “red flags.” He said, 
“Looking at these numbers—it’s positive.”

North Shore Hospital nursing notes now computerized

Mon, 04/02/2012 - 10:10am

With some prompting by way of Medicare incentives, Cook 
County North Shore Hospital is moving toward keeping all of its 
medical orders and nursing notes on computer.  At the March 22, 2012 
hospital board meeting, RN Pam Faye demonstrated how computerization 
could prevent mistakes from happening.
Medications are now individually packaged with bar codes to identify 
them.  When a nurse enters a hospital room to dispense a medication, 
he or she scans the bar code on the medication and the bar code on the 
patient’s wristband and waits for confirmation that this is the right 
medication before opening the package and dispensing it.
A computer program prompts nurses to go through a list of observations 
to note on patient charts, standardizing the language of the notes and 
helping nurses to make sure they have checked everything they should 
be checking.
Nurses went online with the new program in March, and doctors will be 
using the system starting next January.
If computers go down, an in-house server that backs up data every 12 
hours can be accessed, and medication cabinets can be unlocked if 
everything goes down, Faye said.
“The nurses have been very supportive,” Faye said, “and the 
doctors coming on board are being supportive. …It’s not easy!”
The new system requires staff to learn how to do things differently 
from the way they were taught, Hospital Administrator Kimber Wraalstad 
Are there any drawbacks to this?  Physician Sandra Stover said 
delivering patient care could be slowed during busy times if not 
enough computer workstations are available.  Some hospitals have