Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Care Partners Senior Rides recruiting volunteer drivers

Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:58am

The Care Partners Senior Rides program is an exciting new resource for seniors in the community. Senior Rides is a volunteer assisted transportation program that fills in the gap for transportation needs not met by Arrowhead Transit or friends and relatives.
“Arrowhead Transit is a great resource in Cook County,” commented Debi LaMusga, the program’s new coordinator. “But there are times when the Duluth schedule doesn’t work for them, or the day gets too long. They may need someone to walk with them to the office or help with grocery bags.”
In addition to medical trips to Duluth or other regional centers, Senior Rides will offer rides within Cook County for medical appointments as well as wellness and social activities for those over 60. “Care Partners is pleased to offer another way to help seniors live independently and safely and another resource for their caregivers,” says Care Partners Program Director Kay Grindland. 
Care Partners is currently recruiting Senior Rides volunteer drivers. Volunteers must have a reliable vehicle and good driving record. Care Partners will reimburse mileage and provide a short training. Providing this one-on-one service can be very rewarding and the schedule is very flexible. Volunteers can choose to provide rides to Duluth, or just around town.
The first orientation is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the lower level classroom at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. Call 387-3788 to sign up or for more information.
The Senior Center has been offering volunteer-assisted rides for out-of-county medical reasons for many years.  A federal Older Americans Act grant from the ARDC Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging has allowed Care Partners to expand on that service. Care Partners is working closely with the Senior Center to transfer their service to Senior Rides so all volunteer assisted transportation is under one roof. 

Improvements at The Point considered

Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:44am

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people per day visit Artists Point during the busy summer season.  Visitors are drawn to the Point to enjoy the view, explore shoreline rocks, experience its small forest, observe wildlife, and absorb the sights and sounds of this natural Lake Superior setting.

Few of the visitors know, however, that the area in Grand Marais known as Artists Point is actually part of the Superior National Forest. 
The Point includes a well-defined and dense network of unmaintained user trails in its small forest.  Soil erosion, soil compaction, root exposure, and vegetation trampling is abundant.  Due to poor drainage and the natural topography of the peninsula, there are puddles and large muddy areas in the forested portion of Artists Point during the summer months.  Poor access, water obstacles, and fallen trees impede easy access to the area by visitors, leading to the expansion of user trails and additional impacts.
The Superior National Forest is working to manage recreational use of Artists Point to improve visitors’ experiences at the site and protect natural resources. Beginning soon, a three-phase plan to improve the area will begin; plans call for completion by next spring.
The plan includes:
• Development of a trail through the interior of the forested portion of Artists Point with spur trails to access points of interest.  A developed trail will provide safer and drier access to both sides of the Point.

• Replacement of the existing steps going up to the breakwater. New steps will be better designed, safer to use, and include even step height. The Army Corps of Engineers also plans to repair the handrail going out to the lighthouse.

Cook County "Go Team" and Cook County Chamber host public input meetings around county Sept. 4-5

Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:43am

The Cook County Go Team and the Cook County Chamber of Commerce have invited community members to public meetings in early September to consider a vision for the future of our county. Go Team spokesperson Jim Boyd said four meetings are planned, to ensure everyone can find one that works.
Boyd explains that Go Team is a group of more than 20 community leaders from around the county. The group has been meeting once every six weeks for the past year to examine the state of the county economy—which has performed poorly over the past dozen years—and consider meaningful steps that might help create a more prosperous future. Boyd said members of the Go Team were chosen with an eye to ensuring every area of the county was represented, along with all the major economic stakeholder groups, while keeping the membership to a manageable size.
The recently formed Cook County Chamber of Commerce, which is focused on bringing a higher, sustained level of prosperity to county businesses, was instrumental in creation of the Go Cook County project.
The meetings scheduled for Sept. 4 and 5 will present the Go Team vision and detail it five priorities. Those who attend will have an opportunity to comment on the vision and priorities, and thus to guide further Go Team work in refining both.
Cook County Go Team Public Meetings
* Wednesday, Sept. 4, 1 p.m. Schaap Community Center (attached to the Gunflint Trail 1 at mid-Fire Hall No. 1.
* Wednesday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m. St. John’s Catholic Church, Grand Marais
* Thursday, Sept. 5, 1 p.m., Grand Portage Community Building, Grand Portage
* Thursday, Sept. 5, 7   p.m., Birch Grove Community Center, Tofte

“Back to School” is WTIP’s Community Conversation for Sept. 5

Mon, 09/02/2013 - 9:18am

Schools in Cook County are back in session this week. What’s new and what’s stayed the same? What about changes in testing and revisions to No Child Left Behind? How will our schools use the new Cook County Community YMCA? How will broadband affect student learning?

Join Jay Andersen host of WTIP’s First Thursday Community Conversation and his guests on September 5th  at 7pm for: “Back to School – the 2013-14 Edition”… this month’s First Thursday Community Conversation.

You can join the discussion before or during the broadcast, by calling 387-1070, 800-473-9847, or send an email to

The guest list includes school administrators and board members. That’s “Back to School – the 2013-14 Edition”… this month’s First Thursday Community Conversation. September 5th, 7 p.m. to 8 pm. Only on WTIP North Shore Community Radio!

Isle Royale verifies falcon and wolf births

Mon, 09/02/2013 - 8:17am

Houghton, MI— Last year marked the first time in 57 years that peregrine falcons, a state listed endangered species, nested and successfully fledged young on Isle Royale. This year that success was repeated with two chicks reared to fledging on Passage Island.

Also noteworthy this summer was the birth of at least two wolf pups. For the past several years the wolf population has been slowly declining, to a historic low of 8 animals at the end of winter study in March, 2013. These new animals are welcome additions to the population, bringing the total up to at least ten animals.

Island animal populations are generally small with fewer species than on the surrounding mainland.  For example, there are approximately 19 species of mammals documented on Isle Royale, far fewer than the number of mammals on the adjacent Michigan and Minnesota mainland.

Isle Royale National Park Superintendent Phyllis Green said, “It is always exciting when we learn about successful reproduction of wildlife in the park, and the birth of two wolf pups is especially good news.”  

She added, “While we were very happy to learn about the birth of the pups, we are still concerned about the population and are in the process of evaluating options on how to deal with the population in the future.”

North Shore Chapter of Ruffed Grouse Society to hold 21st Conservation & Sportsmen's Banquet Sept. 5

Sun, 09/01/2013 - 1:00pm

 The North Shore Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) will host its 21st Annual Conservation and Sportsmen’s Banquet on Thursday, Sept. 5 at the American Legion Post 413 in Grand Marais.

The affair begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. Individual membership and dinner tickets are $50. There is also a membership and spouse package for $75, which includes two dinners. Junior membership and dinner tickets are $35 each. Banquet, Conservation, Sustaining and Gold sponsorship packages are also available at $275, $500, $1,000 and $2,500 respectively.

And, in the spirit of the outdoors, youngsters under the age of 16 who recently took and passed a hunter education course and/or women who have participated in a recent Outdoors Women program and can verify same will receive a complimentary dinner ticket when accompanied by a paying adult.

As is the custom at this event, the evening will feature a live and silent auction, games, drawings and door prizes that feature the finest selection of quality firearms, artwork and collectibles.

As with all RGS fundraisers, proceeds from this event will be used to restore and protect grouse and woodcock habitat. Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is North America’s foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

For more information on the banquet and/or tickets contact Jill Hill at 218-387-2501.