Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

North Shore Laundry burglarized, reward offered

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 2:36pm

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has announced that the North Shore Laundromat was burglarized overnight sometime between Jan. 26, and the early the early morning hours of Jan. 27.

Preliminary investigations show no forced-entry to either the door or the safe containing money that was taken.

WTIP has learned that the individual or individuals accessed keys that open the various machines at the laundromat and were then able to take the change inside. North Shore Laundromat is now in the process of having all the locks on all machines replaced.

The business owners are offering a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in the burglary.

“If you have any information regarding this burglary, contact the Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Pat Eliasen. “A significant portion of the cash that was taken was in the form of quarters and anyone having knowledge of a person trying to cash a large quantity of change is encouraged to call the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.”

View more news from WTIP

Changes coming to Cook County Higher Education

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 5:16am

Cook County Higher Education has grown and changed over its 20 years of serving Cook County. There are more changes ahead. 

For more information about Cook County Higher Education, visit

Rhonda Silence learns more in this interview.


Long-awaited casino renovation unveiled at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 3:25pm

The Grand Portage Lodge and Casino is in the midst of a multi-phased renovation. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, the newly renovated and expanded casino was opened to the public. Despite the early hour, there was a short line of people excited about seeing the new gaming area. 

For more information about the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, visit the website or call (800) 543-1384. 

Rhonda Silence was on hand to catch the excitement and she shares this report. 


Weekend News Roundup for January 28

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 10:10am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The MPCA will change water sulfate standards. Dead netted fish found in Lake Superior. Township election filings are complete …all this and more in the week’s news.


Grand Marais Playhouse presents The Beauty and The Beast

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 12:02pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse invites everyone to enjoy the latest youth theater production, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

The classic story tells of Belle (Amelia Roth), a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast (Aliya Marxen), who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self.

But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he will be doomed for all eternity.

Other talented members of the cast are:  
Gaston - Yvonne Block
Lafou - Abbey Stoddard
Maurice -  Sam Kern
Monsier D'Arque -  Dominic Wilson
Cogsworth - Robin Henrickson
Lumier e-  Aurora Schlemeske
Babette -  Izzy Sparks
Mrs. Pots -  Jaymie Kirk
Chip -    Amy Carpenter
Madame De La Grande Bouche - Karina Roth
Tyler Hamrick
Saira Smith
Bryn Fitzgerald-Wells
Alice Koster
Greta Roth
Kylie Viren
Hannah Vanderheiden
Sylvia Berka
Ella Hedstrom
Elsa Garry
Performances are tonight, January 27 - 29 and Feb. 3-5 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. Shows on Friday through Saturday are at 7 PM and Sundays 2 PM.

For ticket information, visit or call the box office at 218-387-1284. 


The weather feels a bit more like January

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 12:44pm

The January thaw is slowly receding and the weather feels more like late January. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Joe Moore


AEOA conducts homelessness survey

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 5:31pm

The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) is taking part in a national effort to record the number of homeless people in the area. Anita Jeziah of AEOA and Tina Krauz of the Salvation Army will be completing the survey on Thursday, January 27.

They remind everyone that not everyone who is homeless lives on the streets. There are people “doubling up” with friends and relatives, living in cars or in abandoned, inappropriate structures. AEOA would like to see these people counted. If you are aware of someone who is homeless, please contact Jeziah at 218-387-4547 or email

To learn more about past survey results and about the efforts to solve the problem of homelessness, visit  the Minnesota Homeless Study or Heading Home

Rhonda Silence finds out more about the point-in-time survey in this interview.

Photo/Drew Beck, Flickr


Citizens voice opinions on Lutsen rental housing project

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 2:36pm

There were varying opinions expressed by Cook County residents on Tuesday, Jan. 25 regarding a proposed housing project in Lutsen. The sentiments were addressed to the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

One Roof Community Housing intends to build 16 market-rate rental units in Lutsen to provide for workforce housing.

The housing project in Lutsen has been under consideration by the county board for many months, and on Tuesday it was determined that a public hearing on the proposal will be held at 5p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the commissioner's room at the courthouse.


Local Forest Service office aims to save by upgrading Internet capabilities

Tue, 01/24/2017 - 2:08pm

In a move that will ultimately save taxpayer money, the Gunflint Ranger District office has upgraded its Internet connection capabilities. The wiring and cables to allow the project to happen were recently installed along Highway 61 near the local Forest Service office in Grand Marais.

According to Debbie Brookins, the Supervisory Billing and Ordering Specialist based in Atlanta, Georgia, the hookup and installation of the 10M Ethernet service at the station cost the Forest Service $20,000. And while the actual project costs are much higher than that, the Forest Service is paying only $20,000 of the overall cost, while Century Link covers the rest. Brookins noted that the long-term savings will come in the form of a lower monthly bill to have Internet service at the local Forest Service office.

Funds for the installation of the new Internet service come from a general fund that the Forest Service delegates toward information and equipment upgrades. It does not come from the budget of the Gunflint Ranger District.

Construction crews have been lining Highway 61 near the Forest Service building for weeks as the cables were put in the ground. There was perhaps some confusion on the local level as to why CenturyLink was routing the fiber optic cables when True North already had a box on the Forest Service building for faster Internet.

Following the guidelines of a national contract, the Forest Service was required to use an AT&T affiliate to provide Internet to the station. In this case, CenturyLink is the third-party affiliate installing high-speed Internet to the Gunflint Ranger station. Brookins confirmed that True North was not an option for providing the faster Internet connection to the local Forest Service station due to the guidelines of the national contract with AT&T.

In addition to the confusion as to why Century Link was digging the ground to install the cables, there were also reports of local business owners not appreciating having to be impacted by the project. These reports include the closing of access to their business driveways while the construction crossed near their property.

Nancy Larson is the Gunflint District Ranger, USDA Forest Service, Superior National Forest. She said in a statement sent to WTIP that the local ranger district is “glad to have improved internet service at a cheaper rate to the Gunflint Ranger Station. Work productivity will be improved with the higher speeds as we work with data and large files for maps or use the internet for our work.  I regret any inconvenience the community experienced as contractors installed the line to our office in Grand Marais. We however, are very excited and believe we will be better able to serve the public in our stewardship of the national forest.” 

In addition to having faster Internet capabilities at the Gunflint Ranger Station, the Forest Service will be saving up to $700 per month later this year by having this new type of Internet service, according to Brookins. Again, this savings will come in the form of lower monthly bills for the Internet.

The Internet project at the Gunflint Ranger District station is expected to be completed soon. 

WTIP Announces Call for Musicians for 2017 Radio Waves

Tue, 01/24/2017 - 1:33pm

WTIP is pleased to announce the call for musicians for the 10th Annual Radio Waves Music Festival - scheduled for September 8 to 10, 2017, at Sweetheart’s Bluff in the Grand Marais Recreation Area. This year’s event will once again highlight and celebrate the talents of a variety of local and regional acts.
“As this year marks the tenth anniversary of Radio Waves, it’s been exciting to watch how it has become a music festival for people of all ages to gather together with friends and family to listen to great local musicians,” says Matthew Brown, program director at WTIP.
The first Radio Waves Music Festival took place in 2008 as a “thank you” to the community in celebration of WTIP’s 10th anniversary. Through the years it has grown from a one-day event to an entire weekend, and from nine acts initially to nearly thirty. It’s held annually - rain or shine - the weekend after Labor Day and is a family-friendly favorite for both area residents and visitors.
Musicians interested in performing are asked to complete an online application, available on our website (just look for the "Radio Waves Application" button at the bottom of the home page). Applications will be accepted until May 1, with the lineup to be determined mid to late June. More information is available by emailing WTIP’s Program Director, Matthew Brown, at
And following is some additional information for those interested in applying: 

Warm January sets records all over state

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 11:55am

This stint of continued warm weather is setting records.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Stewart about a long January thaw.


Hitting the trail before the Beargrease

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 10:45am

Established in 1980, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states. It takes a lot of preparation to conduct this nearly 400-mile event. Rhonda Silence learns more in this interview with longtime volunteer, Mike Levig. Levig works at the marathon starting line and logs hundreds of miles on the Beargrease route each year placing signs. 

For the latest about the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, visit the website 


Cook County Chamber sets agenda for 2017 session of Minnesota Legislature

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 10:02am

Champagne Bonspiel bubbles with excitment

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 9:55am

By Joanne Smith

The Cook County Curling Club hosted its first Two-Person Open Champagne Bonspiel with 16 teams participating.

Let the fun begin at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 9:47am

After months of intensive construction, Grand Portage Lodge and