Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Walls going up and name change for Cook County YMCA

Sat, 05/18/2013 - 2:05pm

As anyone who has driven by the Cook County High School campus in recent days has seen, the walls of the new portion of the Cook County Family YMCA facility are going up. As the walls were started, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to change the name of the facility the Cook County Community YMCA – rather than family YMCA.

Commissioner Sue Hakes brought a request for the name change from the Community Center Steering Committee, some of whose members thought the word “community” sounded more inclusive than “family.”

In a memo asking Board Secretary Janet Simonen and Board Chair Jan Hall to add the request to the May 14 county board agenda, Commissioner Hakes said the Duluth Area YMCA, of which the Cook County facility is a branch, wanted to retain the right to change the name “should they acquire a naming-right-level gift.”

It would be nice to see the word “family” on the facility for people who are looking for family-friendly services in Cook County, Commissioner Garry Gamble said.

Regarding the two names, Commissioner Hakes said, “Personally, I love them both” but added that that she wanted to respect the wishes of the steering committee.

Commissioner Jan Hall said she was getting a lot of phone calls from people with questions about what the functions of the current Community Center would be once the new facility is in operation.

Commissioner Gamble pointed out that Community Center Director Booth’s job would need to be discussed.  The board will take this up at a future meeting.


Author Sarah Stonich to visit Grand Marais May 20

Sat, 05/18/2013 - 2:03pm

Sarah Stonich will visit the Grand Marais Public Library at 3 p.m. May 20 as part of a 16-library tour across the Arrowhead Library system with her new book Vacationland.

Stonich describes the book as “very much a regional title set in Minnesota resort country,” and says it's expected to be a popular summer read. The author also said she would be happy to meet with book clubs during her visit to Grand Marais.

To learn more about Stonich, visit

Weekend News Roundup for May 18

Sat, 05/18/2013 - 9:31am

Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. Moose calves are being collared, the clinic gets federal dollars, Gypsy moths are back in the news, a Grand Portage man is charged with attempted murder, and much more…all in this week’s news.

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Auditions for Grand Marais Playhouse summer production "Fit to Kill" on May 21

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 3:03pm

The first summer show for the Grand Marais Playhouse will be Fit to Kill by Victor Cahn.  This play will be directed and designed by Jack Nickolay. Auditions are May 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the ACA. There are roles in Fit to Kill for two women and one man. A perusal script is available now at the public library.
Fit To Kill is described as a thriller about strategy, betrayal, and deception. Adrian, a charming but self-indulgent chess master, enjoys a life of luxury thanks to his marriage to Janice, an older but still sexy and vibrant woman who has made a fortune as the CEO of an exercise empire. The arrival of Amy, a reporter with an agenda of her own, unleashes a whirlwind of deadly schemes that will keep audiences guessing until the final seconds. 
This production will be produced in a black box configuration on the ACA stage, not as a dinner theater as previously announced. The audience and actors will all be on the stage together! Limited seating available.
More information about the Grand Marais Playhouse, showtimes and tickets can be found at

Cook County Royalty!

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 3:01pm
Prom King&queen7_0.jpg

The Cook County High School prom was held on the blustery May 11, but a little bit of snow didn’t stop the fun. Overseeing the CCHS prom 2013 festivities was the royal couple, Cecelia Schnobrich and Peter Warren.

Also celebrating “Senior Prom” was the North Shore Care Center. The 7th annual Care Center “Senior Prom” was held on May 7. It was a great night of music and fun for everyone—especially for the prom royalty Queen Wilma Liebsch (age 103) and King Don Ingram (age 85). Prom 2013 featured Doug Sanders on piano with soloist Mark Abrahamson, plus the North Shore Community Band. There was also dancing with swing dancers including Bob Pranis and WTIP’s own Veronica Weadock.

CCVB Director to accept human rights advocacy position

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 10:35am

The Executive Director of Cook County Visitors Bureau is leaving mid-June.

Sally Nankivell has accepted a position as the Administrative Director at The Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis. Nankivell said that when she moved here 13 years ago she left behind a career in advocacy and human rights.

“Although it was a difficult decision,” she said, “I could not pass up this incredible opportunity to move back into a field that is my passion.”