Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Historic bear and voyageur-with-canoe signs removed for restoration

Thu, 05/30/2013 - 12:14pm

The historic bear and voyageur-with-canoe signs announcing the start of the Gunflint Trail have seen better days, but they will be getting a facelift this summer.  They were removed from their post on the stone wall at the library on Friday, May 24.
John Schloot of Cross River Lodge near the end of the Gunflint Trail has been working for months on a campaign to restore the signs. 
According to County Commissioner Garry Gamble, the stonewalls holding up the signs at the bottom of Second Avenue West in downtown Grand Marais are believed to have been built by the Works Progress Administration in 1938.
The cost of the project is expected to be $7,500.  The Gunflint Trail Historical Society began a fundraising campaign last fall and is contributing $3,500 toward the cost.  The Cook County Historical Society, also recognizing the historical significance of the signs, is contributing $1,500.  The Grand Marais City Council and the Cook County Board of Commissioners each voted to contribute $1,500, leaving the project with an extra $500 for unexpected costs that might arise. 
Yarrow Korf, one of three bidders on the project, will be doing the work in his shop on the Gunflint Trail, where he will apply paint with heat, making the signs more durable.  The metal voyageur sign will be sanded twice and receive two coats of primer, three coats of paint, and two coats of ultraviolet protectant.
The bear sign is a replacement for the metal original that is on display at The Garage in downtown Grand Marais.  On May 2, 2013, Commissioner Gamble said he wanted to explore the possibility of going back to having a metal bear sign alongside the metal voyageur sign.  “It would look better, it would last longer, it would be a better investment,” he said.

CCLEP offers homeowners resources for energy efficiency improvements

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 1:17pm

The Cook County Local Energy Project offers help for homeowners interested in energy efficiency improvements.  WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson learns more in this interview with CCLEP administrator Virginia Danfelt.

Attached file

Kara Pavelich painting donated to Lutsen Township

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 10:53am

Residents of Lutsen Township will long remember Kara Pavelich for her warmth, friendliness and talent as an artist. Just 44, Kara died September 6, 2012, in a fall at her home on Deer Yard Lake last year, gone too soon, leaving behind her husband, Mark, parents, a sister and a stunned community.
While Kara’s gone, a piece of her art work will now hang in the town hall in remembrance of her.
On May 21, Jeff Latz presented the Lutsen Town Board with a print donated from the Deer Yard Association in memory of Kara.
The print was made from one of Pavelich’s paintings, depicting a moose standing in a pond. The Deer Yard Lake Association purchased the print from Kara’s husband, Mark.
“She was well liked and loved by everyone in the community,” Jeff Latz said.
“We’re thrilled to acknowledge her in this way,” said Anna Latz.
Kara’s print will be the second piece of art donated to the newly finished town hall. A quilt now hangs on the east wall. It was donated by the quilting club, said Anna Latz, and quilts will be rotated from time-to-time, said Latz.
“It would be nice if you made a bracket so that descriptions about the quilts and who made the quilts could be inserted so the public could learn about them,” said John Groth, board treasurer.
“Good idea. We’ll make sure to do that,” said Anna Latz.

Groups lose wolf hunting appeal

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 9:27am

A pair of groups that challenged Minnesota rules for a state wolf hunting and trapping season has been dealt another blow in court.

Minnesota's Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed a petition aiming to undo rules that allowed for a wolf hunting season, the first of which was held starting in November.

The appeals judges decided that the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves lacked sufficient legal standing to challenge the Department of Natural Resources rules.

Minnesota resumed sport hunting and trapping after the region's wolves came off the endangered list early last year. Hunters and trappers then killed 413 wolves during the state's first wolf season, which ended in January.

A bill seeking to impose a five-year moratorium on wolf hunts stalled during the Legislature's just-completed session.


Applications being accepted now for Artist Initiative grants

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 9:38am

The Minnesota State Arts Board is now accepting applications for the FY 2014 Artist Initiative program, which provides grants supporting the artistic and career development of Minnesota artists. Grant amounts range from $2,000 to $10,000, and the program has three discipline-specific program deadlines between May 31 and July 26.
Applications are accepted from Minnesota artists at any stage in their careers working in any of eight disciplines: prose, poetry, dance, music, theater, media arts, photography, and two- and three-dimensional visual arts.

Last year, two local artists were among the grant recipients.

Michael Monroe of Grand Marais was awarded a grant to produce and promote a new live concert DVD; and Jo Wood of Duluth was funded to create fiber and beadwork on the theme of home for exhibit at a community housing organization in Duluth.

Persons interested in applying for grants this year should read the program overview and application directions on the Artist Initiative program page, which is linked on the Arts Board’s home page:

The Minnesota State Arts Board is a state agency dedicated to ensuring that all Minnesotans have the opportunity to participate in the arts. The Arts Board receives an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature from the state’s general fund and the arts and cultural heritage fund, and it receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and private sources. The Arts Board offers grants, services, and other resources to Minnesota individuals and organizations to stimulate and encourage the creation, performance, and appreciation of the arts in the state. Additional information about the Arts Board can be found at


Great Lakes region pins economic hopes on water

Mon, 05/27/2013 - 8:38am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Business and government leaders in the Great Lakes region are pinning hopes for a return to prosperity on a precious resource: fresh water.

They're encouraging the development of a so-called "blue economy" — a network of industries that make products and provide services related to water, from pump and valve manufacturers to resorts offering lakefront vacations.
It's happening as growing water scarcity casts a shadow over the economic boom in Sun Belt states.

They've benefited for decades from an exodus of people and jobs from the Upper Midwest as its industrial core faded.
In Milwaukee, an organization called The Water Council is opening a refurbished building this summer that will bring together scientists and entrepreneurs to develop water-related businesses.