Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

EPA and MPCA to Provide More than $3 Million to Restore the St. Louis River

Tue, 06/25/2013 - 10:01am
St. Louis River

Duluth  – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency last week announced more than $3 million to help restore the St. Louis River Area of Concern.   EPA will provide $2.2 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds and MPCA will provide an additional $1.1 million through the Minnesota Clean Water Fund.

The money will be used to fund a variety of activities to guide clean-up work within the St. Louis River Area of Concern, one of 38 such areas within the Great Lakes region.  The $3 million will be used to assess cleanup options at three sites; develop engineering plans for the restoration of seven sites; evaluate the potential use of dredged river sediment for use in local habitat restoration projects and conduct ecosystem monitoring activities.

“I am pleased to announce that EPA is providing an additional $2.2 million to help restore the headwaters of the Great Lakes,” said EPA Regional Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman.  “EPA and MPCA are jointly funding the next phase of work needed to reverse over one hundred years of environmental degradation in the St. Louis River Area of Concern.”

"The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is delighted to be working with our federal partners, including EPA, to secure funding to address legacy pollutants, a result of historic practices in the St. Louis River Area of Concern.  With the help of our local partners, we are putting finishing touches on a detailed, multi-million dollar clean up and restoration plan to delist this Area of Concern by the year 2025,” said John Linc Stine, Commissioner for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Maintenance bids complicated by late mail

Tue, 06/25/2013 - 7:47am

The county board had a tough decision to make on June 11, 2013 after being presented with only one bid on some summer road maintenance work and finding out that another bid had been delayed because of a problem with the mail.

Two bidders vied for summer maintenance of the Evergreeen Road, Mile-O-Pine, and Voyageur’s Point special service tax districts, but one arrived late because of an unexpected delay in delivery by the U.S. Postal Service.  Mike Rose of Mike Rose Excavating mailed his bid on May 25 but it didn’t get to the county until June 3, five days after the May 29 deadline and nine days after it had been mailed.

A letter to the board from Lutsen Postmaster John Groth verified that Mike Rose had handed him the letter personally on May 25.  “I recall the letter because I remember the writing on the bottom stating that it was for a bid,” he said, “and also that Mike Rose commented that it was important to get it in the mail that day due to the upcoming holiday.”  Groth suspected the delay had something to do with mechanized handling of the envelope.

Commissioner Jan Hall said late mail is now the norm.  Commissioner Bruce Martinson took issue with this, saying she was “slandering the post office.”

Freud's Last Session debuts Thursday

Tue, 06/25/2013 - 7:43am

The Grand Marais Playhouse is in full swing preparing for the summer! The plays are in rehearsal and the crew is assembled and working on the productions.The first production opens on June 27. Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain and Samuel French Publishers is directed and designed by Jackson Nickolay with the cast of Kevin Kager as Sigmund Freud and David Warren as C.S. Lewis.

The play centers on legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud who invites the young, rising Oxford Don C.S. Lewis to his home in London. On the day England enters World War Two, Freud and Lewis clash about love, sex, the existence of God, and the meaning of life, just weeks before Freud took his own life. Freud’s Last Session is a deeply touching play filled with humor, exploring the minds, hearts and souls of two brilliant men addressing the greatest questions of all time.

The play has gotten fantastic reviews wherever it has been offered—visit for tickets today. Performances are June 27 – 30 and July 4-7. Tickets re $17 adults and $7 students 18 and under.

Solar Hot Water Success for CCLEP and the Rec Park

Mon, 06/24/2013 - 1:18pm
Solar panel installation at Grand Marais Rec Park bathhouse - file photo.

The solar hot water installation at the Grand Marais Recreation Area is a local energy victory.  

WTIP’s Ann Possis spoke with Virginia Danfelt of the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) about it on Monday's North Shore Morning.

(Click on North Shore Morning link below to hear interview.)


Attached file
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Check out new Arrowhead Transit bus Tuesday

Mon, 06/24/2013 - 1:05pm

Come visit with the Arrowhead Transit staff at the Cook County Senior Center in Grand Marais on Tuesday, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and check out one of the new buses!
There will also be free hot dogs, chips and something cold to drink. Everyone will receive a free fold-a-way polyester shopping bag, and 20 lucky people will win an Arrowhead Transit jacket or an Arrowhead Transit portfolio.
Arrowhead Transit covers all eight counties within the Arrowhead – the largest rural transportation service in the United States. In Cook County there is one full-time driver, Mark Quello, who has been driving the bus for over 25 years, and four part-time drivers. The local supervisor for Cook and Lake counties is Katy Keranen. Her office is in Two Harbors and she can be reached at 218-834-2280, ext 101.
Arrowhead Transit has dropped its fares for the bimonthly rides to Duluth. From Grand Marais, the cost is now $10; round trip is $20. From Silver Bay, the cost is $5; round trip is $10. The bus takes off from Grand Marais at 7:15 a.m. the second Tuesday and every fourth Thursday of the month. Call (218) 370-1515 for reservations by noon the day prior. A minimum of five passengers is required.
The Arrowhead Transit bus also makes daily trips, Monday through Friday, every morning and every afternoon, from Grand Marais to Grand Portage. This run is primarily to bring people from Grand Marais to work in Grand Portage, but people from Grand Portage may also use the bus to get to Grand Marais.

Open House at Lutsen Town Hall and Fire Hall

Mon, 06/24/2013 - 12:57pm

The Town of Lutsen is opening the doors of its renovated and expanded Town Hall and Fire Hall on Monday, June 24 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. for citizens to tour the new facility. The open house is also an opportunity for community members to meet—and thank—the volunteer firefighters and First Responders who are based in the building.
Members of Lutsen’s emergency services are always on call; ready to drop whatever they are doing to help their neighbors. All of the responders are volunteers who leave their families and their jobs, sometimes losing money to fight a fire or provide medical assistance. In the last two weeks, Lutsen firefighters spent hours at two major fires, at Bluefin Bay Resort and a fire that destroyed two houses in Grand Marais.
The Lutsen Town Board invites the community to stop by for a bowl of Fireman’s Chili, a tour, and the chance to say thanks to the hardworking folks who work to keep the community safe.