Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Two Harbors musher Ross Fraboni wins John Beargrease Sled Dog Mid-Distance Race

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 2:31pm

Surviving the brutal temperatures and finishing the 2014 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Mid-Distance race in first place was Ross Fraboni of Two Harbors who crossed the finish line in Tofte at 9:04:31.

Fraboni was followed closely by Joshua Compton, also of Two Harbors at 9:09:56. Martha Schouweiler of Irma, Wisconsin was third coming in at 9:20:50.

Erin Altemus of Nuannaarpoq Kennel of Grand Marais finished in fourth place in her first Beargrease race, finishing the race at 9:33:52.

The public is invited to the banquet for the Mid-Distance Marathon tonight, Monday, January 25 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Birch Grove Community Center. The meal will be Cross River Cafe's famous chili, cornbread, salad, dessert and beverages. The cost is $12 for adults and $8 for 12 and under. All are welcome and all proceeds go toward Birch Grove Foundation's programming.

Grand Marais Playhouse announces auditions for "Our Town"

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 2:09pm

Auditions for the Spring Community Youth play will be January 28 at 7 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. This year’s production will be Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Auditions are open to the entire community, not just high school age actors.

Our Town is the classic American play! Our Town won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938. The play takes place in the fictional town of Grover Corner from 1901 to 1913 and covers the life of the small town through daily life (Act One), love and marriage, (Act Two) and death and dying (Act Three). There is no set. Actors mime most of the props. The play requires a large mixed cast! Performances will be one weekend only, March 6 -9, 2014.

Rehearsals will be Sunday - Thursday evenings 7-8:30 p.m. Individual schedule will be determined by role.

Gogebic set to start off limit zones

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 1:21pm

Gogebic Taconite is set to begin exploratory drilling in the Penokee Hills of Northwestern Wisconsin — and that means an “off-limits zone” will go into effect on public lands around those drilling sites.

Opponents of the mine say they plan to test the law creating that restricted area.

The company, which is seeking to open an iron mine near Mellen, has filed all the paperwork and received Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approvals to drill 15 exploratory holes.

There will be 12 sites, and the off-limits zone — created under a bill signed into law last month — will be 600 feet from the drilling sites and access roads.

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon starts in Duluth today

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 10:25am

For 30 years, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon has provided a break from cabin fever for North Shore residents and visitors. Will a Cook County musher take top honors? Will Iditarod-bound Nathan Schroeder, who won the Beargrease last year, finish first again? The excitement starts in Duluth on Sunday, January 26, with marathon and mid-distance teams leaving from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Other Beargrease checkpoints are in Two Harbors, Beaver Bay, and Finland and in Cook County - Sawbill, Devil Track Lodge and Trail Center. Checkpoint arrival times are unknown, because the pace of the marathon depends so much on weather conditions, but “best guess” checkpoint arrival times can be found online. There isn’t a bad place to watch the race anywhere, but some of the best viewing spots are in Cook County—at secluded Sawbill, Devil’s Track Lake, and boisterous Trail Center. Visit the marathon website for projected arrivals. And new this year, all teams taking part in this years race will be equipped with GPS technology, tracking their every move along the 374-mile course. Sign on to to see how your favorite musher is doing.

At press time, no Cook County mushers were registered for the full marathon, however former Grand Marais resident Cindy Gallea, now living in Wykoff, Minn. is running. Gallea has finished the Beargrease several times, earning 5th place in 2005.

Grand Portage preparing for another great Snowarama for Easter Seals Kids

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 10:23am

Grand Portage Lodge & Casino invites everyone to grab helmets and winter gear to take part in a truly international event—Snowarama for Easter Seals Kids on Saturday, February 8, 2014. For 11 years, Grand Portage has been hosting this event which takes riders on some of the most beautiful trails in the country and benefits children and youth with physical disabilities in the Thunder Bay area.

Snowarama participants can enjoy a short ride, taking time for S’more and hotdogs at Grand Portage Mineral Center, or a long ride to Hungry Jack Resort, Trail Center Lodge or Windigo Lodge. There is a poker run along the way and at the Saturday evening banquet (free for riders), a 50/50 raffle drawing. 

All are welcome at the Saturday night dance, featuring The Hoolies. The public is encouraged to come out to hear this talented classic rock band from Thunder Bay.

All of the fun is for the very best of causes. Funds raised at Snowarama help provide financial assistance for children with physical disabilities for essential mobility and communication equipment, like 10-year-old Zachary Pylychuk, of Thunder Bay. Zachary’s condition - spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), sometimes referred to as children’s Lou Gehrig’s disease, confines him to a wheelchair. Despite his challenges, Zachary is a cheerful young man, who has become a familiar face in Grand Portage as the Easter Seal ambassador for many years.

MPCA releases wild rice standards study

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 12:43pm