Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Birch Grove Community School--new year, new director

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 11:08pm

Birch Grove Community School Director Diane Blanchette reports that the 2015-2016 school year is off to a great start. Student enrollment increased from 18 at the end of last year to 23 this year this year for kindergarten through 5th grade and enrollment for the Saplings program, ages 3-5, has also increased. Blanchette said, “I hope that this is an 09-30-15 indicator that the school can anticipate higher enrollment numbers in the future. This is good news.”

Blanchette also shared some interesting news. She has resigned as director of the school, a position she has held since 2004.

Caroline Wood, formerly the director of the Birch Grove Foundation, which manages the building that houses the school and the community center, has accepted the position of director for Birch Grove Community School.

Blanchette told the News-Herald, “I have been ready to start a new chapter in my life that includes resigning my position to one that I have the utmost confidence in. Leaving the school is much easier knowing that Caroline Wood will become the new school director.

“I know that the school and community will be very welcoming as she adjusts to her new position,” said Blanchette.

Blanchette will work with Wood until the end of October to help with the transition.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at


'Porcelain' class offered at Grand Marais Art Colony, October 10-12

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 3:59pm

‘Porcelain’ is a ceramics class offered through the Grand Marais Art Colony in October. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson talked with instructor David Voorhees about this class on North Shore Morning. 

Porcelain with David Voorhees
October 10 - 11 & 12
Grand Marais Art Colony


'Office Hours' provide assistance for WTIP Community Producers

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 11:54am

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a WTIP volunteer producer, you’re welcome to stop by the station for more information on Wednesday evenings through October. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson spoke with Patrick Knight and Deb Benedict on North Shore Morning. 


Flu vaccine should be more effective this season

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 10:44am

Normally the flu vaccine is over 50 percent effective. Last year it was only 13 percent effective. This year should be different and getting your flu shot is highly recommended.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke Sawtooth Mountain Clinic nurse Amy Marie Schmidt.


DFL Primary vote goes to Ecklund

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 3:07am

Koochiching County Commissioner Rob Ecklund won the DFL Party primary for Minnesota House 3A. Ecklund won with 43.71 percent of the vote, or 3,083 votes.

Tofte businessman Bill Hansen won the Cook County vote. Hansen was the second highest vote-getter with 37.39 percent, or 2,637 votes.

International Falls businessman Eric Johnson and Ely city council member Heidi Omerza were far behind the frontrunners, but close together in their totals -- 678 and 655 votes respectively.

Former Ely mayor and sole Republican candidate Roger Skraba will face Ecklund and independent candidate Kelsey Johnson in the December 8 special election for the House 3A seat, vacated by the recent death of Rep. David Dill.

Rob Ecklund of International Falls wins DFL primary

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 10:44pm

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State Office at 10:32 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29, with 100 percent of the House 3A precincts counted, Rob Ecklund of International Falls has won the Democratic-Farm-Labor Party primary for Minnesota House 3A. Ecklund won the slot on the general election ballot with 43.73 percent of the vote, or 3,079 votes.

At 10:15 p.m., with most of the Cook County precincts counted, it was clear that Cook County’s Bill Hansen won the local vote. However, across the district, Ecklund won out. Hansen was the second highest vote-getter with 37.35 percent of the primary vote, with 2,630. The Lutsen and Maple Hill precincts are pending.

Eric Johnson of International Falls and Heidi Omerza were neck and neck in the race, with 677 and 655 votes respectively. Johnson claimed 9.62 percent of the vote and Omerza 9.30 percent.

Roger Skraba, the lone Republican candidate in the primary, earned 576 votes. Skraba will face Ecklund and independent candidate Kelsey Johnson in the December 8 general election for the House 3A seat.

The special election is necessary to fill the House 3A seat formerly held by Representative David Dill, who passed away August 8.