Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Minnesota breeding duck population rises

Mon, 07/22/2013 - 9:01am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Despite a record late ice-out, spring waterfowl surveys show that Minnesota's breeding duck population has improved from last year.

The Department of Natural Resources estimates the state's breeding duck population at 683,000 compared with 469,000 last year. This year's estimate is 10 percent above the long-term average.

This year's Canada goose population is estimated at 250,000, considerably less than last year's 416,000. The DNR says cold temperatures and April snowfall combined with a late ice-out reduced nesting success. But DNR wildlife section chief Paul Telander says the goose population remains higher than managers want it to be.

So Minnesota will hold its first-ever August Canada goose season from August 10th through 25th in a special zone in west-central Minnesota.

North Shore Hospital offers "Peace of Mind Project"

Sun, 07/21/2013 - 1:58pm

People who want to keep better tabs on their elderly loved ones in Cook County now have an Internet tool made available through a grant-funded program called the Peace of Mind Project.  It is a partnership among Boreal Access, the North Shore Health Care Foundation, Cook County Public Health & Human Services, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, and Cook County North Shore Hospital & Care Center.  On June 20, 2013, hospital social worker Hilja Iverson showed the hospital board the many ways a special computer program can help monitor the well-being of people in their homes.
The program involves installing computer equipment that can be linked to family members or caregivers elsewhere.  The cost is $100/month plus the cost of high-speed Internet, but a sliding fee scale is available.  It is a product of GrandCare Systems of Wisconsin, which develops technology that allows people to “age in place” by remaining in their own homes.
Available features include:
* A chime to remind a client to take his or her pills;
* Blood pressure, temperature, and weight monitoring;
* Motion detectors and door sensors that can alert family members in other locations and tell them when a front door or refrigerator door has been opened or when someone has been in the bathroom;
* Monitoring of the temperature inside a home;
* Sensors on bed mattresses that can be used to monitor restlessness or when someone has been lying down or getting up throughout the day or night;
* Skyping with family members or caregivers.
* User-friendly email;
* Brain-teasers that can track cognitive skills;
* Self-reporting of mood and physical condition (a client can answer questions about how they are feeling that day in comparison to other days, for example);
* Reports on whether and when a medication box has been opened;

Vet Dog collaboration continues

Sun, 07/21/2013 - 6:39am

From World War II to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Cook County, is home to almost 700 veterans. Although the residents of Grand Marais honor their veterans in a variety of ways, some wanted to do more. About a year ago, the First Congregational United Church of Christ and American Legion Post 413 joined forces to raise money for America’s VetDogs, to support its mission to provide guide and service dogs for disabled veterans of all eras, whether or not their disabilities are combat related.

The collaboration, which was introduced by Pastor EvaLyn Carlson of the First Congregational Church was also a way to bring together people with different theological, political, and social beliefs. No matter what their beliefs about the wars, Carlson knew that everyone could agree that veterans returning home with life-changing injuries needed their support.

The community response was overwhelming and in April the church and legion were able to send a check for $10,000 to America’s VetDogs. All involved were pleased to learn that a Minnesota veteran, Tony Larson of St. Cloud was able to obtain his service dog Tomme partly because of the Cook County contribution. During his deployment to Iraq, a truck he was in was hit by an IED.  Larson lost his right leg below the knee and suffered mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the explosion.

Larson was teamed with service dog Tomme. Tomme provides balance and stability support and retrieval. For instance, when Larson removes his prosthetic leg at the end of the day, Tomme can act as a brace if Larson needs it. The dog can also bring dropped items if Larson has difficulty reaching down to get them.

The Odd Couple (female version) opens tonight at Arrowhead Center for the Arts

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 11:07am

The Grand Marais Playhouse will open the Grand Marais Summer Theater Festival on July 19 with the production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female version). The cast includes Kerri Bilben, Yvonne Block, Julie Fredlund, Jane Gellner, Gerry Grant, Erin Larsen Jack Nickolay and Jason Winters. The Odd Couple (Female Version) by Neil Simon runs July 19, 21, 25, 27, Aug. 2, 4, 8 and 10. Thursday - Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.
This hilarious comedy by one of America’s funniest playwrights. Samuel French publishers offers this description: Unger and Madison are at it again! Florence Unger and Olive Madison, that is, in Neil Simon's hilarious contemporary comic classic: the female version of The Odd Couple. Instead of the poker party that begins the original version, Ms. Madison has invited the girls over for an evening of Trivial Pursuit. The Pidgeon sisters have been replaced by the two Constanzuela brothers. But the hilarity remains the same.
Tickets for summer festival productions are $20 adults, $10 students (18 and under). Save $5 when you buy a ticket to both shows! Available in advance at or at the door one hour before the performance.

"Fanciful Flights" at West End Garden Club Flower Show Saturday

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 11:04am

The Cook County West End Garden Club will hold its annual Flower Show on Saturday July 20 at the Schroeder Town Hall, 124 Cramer Road (Cook County 1) in Schroeder from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  This year’s theme is “Fanciful Flights.”
The Garden Club members cordially invite anyone, whether resident of the community or visitor, to participate in this event by bringing a display that follows the theme to the Schroeder Town Hall by no later than Saturday July 20 by 8:30 a.m. (the day of the show).
Refreshments will be served and Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions about gardening in the North Shore area.  Admission is free.

Storyteller at Grand Marais Playhouse Friday, July 19

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 11:03am

On Friday, July 19 from 1 - 4 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts the Grand Marais Playhouse will present a storytelling workshop for educators, counselors and clergy. Participants will learn how storytelling can break down walls that keep people from learning from one another.
The presenter is Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff, a professional Jewish storyteller, poet, educator and coach based in Baltimore, MD. Rudick Zunikoff’s story, Rina and The Exodus was featured in the anthology Mitzvah Stories, a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Award. Her CD The Growing Season contains original stories based on traditional tales, and is available on iTunes and
Rudick Zunikoff is brought to town by Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, a local storyteller. Arrowsmith DeCoux is an animated and interactive storyteller with roots in theatre (and a love of mime). She has performed around the US, and in India and Sweden. Arrowsmith DeCoux’s stories are often Scandinavian. She is also an actor, writer, creative coach and stilt-walker. Arrowsmith DeCoux lives in Grand Marais where she leads workshops and retreats for artists.
Arrowsmith DeCoux and Zunikoff met over 10 years ago at a National Storytelling Conference. They have been Tuesday night “story buddies” ever since, practicing stories over the phone.
The two will present an evening of story telling Tricksters and Trolls, Emperors and Elves, Fairies and Fools… You never know who you’ll meet when two friends get together to tell their favorite stories.
Kids and adults are invited to an evening of high-spirited stories from around the world. Performance is at the ACA at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 adults and $5 students 18 and under.