Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

City Council considers increased cost of public works facility

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 2:18pm

The major topic at the last Grand Marais City Council meeting, February 8, was the increased cost of its proposed public works facility.

City Administrator Mike Roth had some news about changes that may need to be made to the foundation for the building.

Rhonda Silence shares some of the city council discussion.  



Warm weather may bring rain over next couple of days

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 11:30am

Our warm weather may alternately turn wet, then dry and back to wet again. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Bryan Howell.



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WTIP shares the latest Cook County law enforcement report

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 10:07pm

The following is a record of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center from February 6 – February 12. These are the initial calls made to law enforcement dispatchers.
If you need help from Cook County Law Enforcement, dial 9-1-1. For non-emergency calls, contact the Cook County Sheriffs Office at 218-387-3030.


Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness celebrates 20 years with event in Grand Marais

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 9:52am

The year 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters’ founder and lead organization, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness (NMW). There will be an event in Grand Marais on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Cook County Community Center log cabin building celebrating the anniversary and achievements of NMW during the past 20 years.

The Cook County based band The SplinterTones are playing live during the event. All are invited to attend this public and free event.

Click here for more information. 

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs finds out more in this interview with Ingrid Lyons from the Save the Boundary Waters Campaign.


Weekend News Roundup for February 18

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 11:09am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The county wants to pave the Pike Lake Road. A group of DFLers want Congressman Nolan to run for Governor. Workforce house draws fire…all this and more in the week’s news.


Cook County Viking boys bring home State 3rd place trophy

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 1:01pm
The Cook County boys Alpine team with the third place trophy at State

The Cook County Vikings Alpine Ski team had several athletes at the State Meet at Giants Ridge on Wednesday, Febraruy 15.

The Viking boys' team of Will Lamb, Erik Lawler, Logan Backstrom, Will Surbaugh, Ezra Lunde, Masen McKeever took first at the Section 7 meet and advanced to the State Meet. 

Individual skiers advancing to State were Reilly Wahlers, Sela Backstrom and Will Lamb. 

Rhonda Silence learns more about the challenging State Meet in this interview with Alpine Coach Charles Lamb. 


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Grand Marais likely to host seaplane service to Isle Royale

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 12:26pm

Isle Royale National Park is considering a proposal by Isle Royale Seaplanes  (IRS) to offer seaplance service from Grand Marais to Isle Royale. The company has an existing contract with the Park to provide air taxi service from Houghton to Isle Royale through 2025. IRS would continue to offer service between Houghton to designated landing areas in the Park (Windigo, Mott Island, and Tobin Harbor/Rock Harbor Lodge) and add Grand Marais  as an additional destination. The second aircraft, a Cessna 206 nearly identical to the existing seaplane, offering the service would be based in Houghton County, Michigan. 

The additional flight service would take place in and out of the Cook County Seaplane Base in Grand Marais.  The Seaplane Base currently support seaplane arrivals and departures on two designated runways on Devil Track Lake.  Depending on weather and demand, IRS currently provides up to five flights a day with a maximum of 20 people entering and leaving the island. The second aircraft could double that amount to 40 people a day. The second aircraft would provide uninterrupted service to the Park if one aircraft is out of service for maintenance and reduce waiting times when back-logs occur due to weather.
The new service would be authorized on a one or two year trial basis through a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) with Isle Royale Seaplanes (IRS). After the trial period, either party could  choose to end the additional Minnesota service, a CUA may be reissued, or the existing contract may be amended.   

The CUA would include flight pattern and altitude restrictions to limit impacts to visitors.  Soundscape monitoring equipment would be placed on the island to assess and document  the potential increase in aircraft noise.  Data collected would be compared to soundscape data collected in 2013 and 2016.

This proposal is open for public review and comment on any concerns relative to the additional seaplane service. The comment period concludes on March 17, 2017

Comments may be submitted online at, or by mailing or hand delivering comments to Superintendent Phyllis Green, Isle Royale National Park, ISRO Seaplane, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896.  

AEOA releases results of Point in Time survey on homelessness

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 11:16am

 The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency recently conducted a survey on homelessness in Cook County. Rhonda Silence spoke with the coordinator of the survey, Anita Jeziah of AEOA, to find out how things went. 

For more information about homelessness throughout the state, visit: heading home dot org or contact Anita Jeziah at the Grand Marais AEOA office at 387-4547.



First and Second Thrift Store helps community

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 7:33pm

Community members happily gathered at the Cook County Senior Center on a snowy winter day, February 8, for a “payout party” with the First and Second Thrift Store.

Senior Center and Cook County Council on Aging Director Bev Green thanked all of the volunteers in attendance and announced that for 2016 a total of $60,159.69 would be distributed to 33 nonprofit organizations.Checks ranged from $27.50 to $12,402 to organizations such as area churches, schools, youth groups, the Salvation Army, the Violence Prevention Center and more.

The funds are earned by community volunteers who help out at First and Second. Volunteers sort donations, stock the shelves, arrange displays, staff the register and more. Volunteers assign the hours they work to a community nonprofit, which then receives their earnings.

Since the store was opened in 2007, it has returned $431,167.58 to community nonprofits.

For more information about First and Second Thrift Store, call the Cook County Senior Center at 218-387-2660 or visit the store in the Cobblestone Building (across Highway 61 from Dairy Queen). 


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Grand Marais PUC considers future of aging infrastructure

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:33pm

Winter is warming up

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:33pm

Old MacDonald Had a Banjo

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:25pm

Staff report

The Grand Marais Public Library will present Old MacDonald Had a Banjo, a free children’s program, on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m.

North House welcomes new employees

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 12:22pm

Staff report

Girl Scout cookie sales under way in Cook County

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 2:25pm

Cook County Girl Scouts --Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Ambassadors and Senior Scouts -- are now selling cookies on the North Shore.  Rhonda Silence learned more from some very excited Girl Scouts in this report. 

If you'd like information on Girl Scout cookies, contact Michele Silence at 218-370-9958. 


Workforce housing controversy discussed by commissioner

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 12:40pm

Proposed workforce housing projects are causing a stir among some members of the public. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk.


February 6, 2017
12:17 a.m.  Lutsen 59-year-old female with medical issues.
6:23 a.m. Golf Course Rd, Grand Marais Caller locked out of running vehicle. 
7:19 a.m. Lutsen Safe routes to school.
8:22 a.m.  Grand Portage National Monument Vehicle crashed into one of the stone pillars at the monument.
8:24 a.m. West Highway 61  Dead deer partially in the traffic lane.
8:58 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Misdial from Bluefin Bay Resort. 
9:15 a.m. Grand Marais  Needs to pick up property at this address and needs deputy assistance. 
10:40 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Deputy finger printed party. 
11:28 a.m. Hedstrom Lumber Would like deputy to call back 
12:56 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Reported property missing from their camper.
1:52 p.m. Store Rd, Grand Portage  Property damage to overhead door, done by company vehicle to company building.
3:59 p.m. Golf Course Rd,  Grand Marais 97-year-old male with medical issue.
6:13 p.m 11th Avenue West, Grand Marais  General fire alarm, false alarm.
February 7
1:16 a.m. Grand Portage  Out with party walking along Highway 61.
5:12 a.m. Grand Portage Community Center Party on site set off burglar alarm, false alarm.
7:58 a.m. Cook County High School Safe routes to school 
9:36 a.m. Grand Marais  Reporting snow board was stolen about 1 year ago. 
1:56 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
2:04 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
2:27 p.m. East Highway 61  Car stalled on 1st Ave. East by Johnson’s. Party will be getting it moved.
2:28 p.m. East Highway 61  Removing debris from highway.
5:06 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Cook County gave possession permit for deer hit on highway. 
8:43 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Caller reporting vehicle had been taken about a month ago and hasn't been returned.
8:49 p.m. Grand Marais 63-year-old female with medical problems.
9:53 p.m. Ski Hill Road, Lutsen Ski Hill Road could be plowed again - drifting from the wind and hard to travel on.
February 8
8:06 a.m. Cook County High School School patrol.
9:14 a.m. Grand Marais  83-year-old female needs medical assistance.
10:08 a.m. Grand Marais  92-year-old female fell, possible broken leg.
11:54 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Marais  Vehicle pulled out of Grand Marais Rec Park, now at this location with hood up.
12:17 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
2:54 p.m. West Highway 61 Hit a deer at this location. 
3:32 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Water permit for snowmobile drag races.
3:44 p.m. Grand Portage  Possible theft report.
3:51 p.m. County Road 7, Grand Marais Residence check.
4:56 p.m. East Highway 61  Witness deer versus car. No injuries. 
8:23 p.m. Grand Portage  911 call from this number. 
8:41 p.m. West Highway 61  Vehicle died. It is off the road near above address. Will work on it tomorrow. 
February 9
12:46 a.m. Murmur Creek Road, Grand Marais Missing dogs - black and white husky and tri-colored pitbull/cocker mix. Jasper (husky) and Quinn have been gone since about 11 p.m.
4:01 a.m. Grand Portage  64-year-old female having chest pains. 
7:25 a.m. East Highway 61  Vehicle stalled near this location. Man standing next to it. 
7:52 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic enforcement.
8:41 a.m. Grand Marais  Party standing outside their door, threatening party. 
9:39 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen  Traffic stop, warning given
10:14 a.m. Cook County High School Party ran from the building. 
10:22 a.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Traffic stop, warning given
11:03 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Would like you to call him 
12:09 p.m. Cook County Courthouse Vulnerable adult meeting 
1:02 p.m. East Highway 61, Hovland  Traffic stop, warning given
1:41 p.m. Grand Marais  86-year-old male needs medical attention. 
3:58 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
9:20 p.m. Grand Marais  Welfare check on party.
11:16 p.m. East Highway 61  Dead deer in middle of southbound lane forcing traffic into the other lane.
February 10
5:31 a.m. Gunflint Trail 65-year-old male with chest pain, needs medical attention. 
6:31 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Cook County called back, caller stated misdial by pocket.
10:49 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Watch dialed 911 by accident. No emergency. 
10:51 a.m. Lutsen  Residence check.
11:20 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
11:51 a.m. Grand Marais  Stated the CO detector is going off. 
11:57 a.m. Greenwood Lake/Firebox Road  Snowmobile/car crash. 
12:45 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Fingerprinting party. 
12:56 p.m. Grand Marais  Traffic stop, citation issued.
1:29 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party would like to speak to a deputy.
1:31 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party in for urinalysis.
1:34 p.m. West Highway 61  Party needs medical attention. 
2:08 p.m. Grand Portage  56-year-old female possibly having a heart attachk. 
2:44 p.m. YMCA Grand Marais  911 pocket dial from 911 phone. Cook County contacted the YMCA, they stated no known emergency. 
3:09 p.m. Voyageur Brewing Company, Grand Marais Parties fighting in the parking lot.
3:14 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry renewal received. 
5:22 p.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder 2 calls from this location, no one online. 
6:00 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Witnessed someone hit a deer- deer is still in the roadway. Unsure if alive or not. 
6:09 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requested to have deputy call back. 
7:24 p.m. Grand Marais 911 from 911 only cell phone, lots of loud noises, shouting, buzzers and kids voices in background. 
7:41 p.m. Cook County High School Basketball game.
7:59 p.m. Caribou Trail/Lutsen Snowmobile break down at Caribou Trail and snowmobile trail. Needs to get back to his motel. Wondering if deputy can assist. 
8:46 p.m. Grand Marais  911 from 911 only phone. Coordinates put it at the school, sounds like in a large room, lots of muffled talking. Between basketball game and school dance, lots of people there. No sounds of distress 
8:54 p.m. East Highway 61/North Broadway Red object in the sky - earlier than the comet expected.. Came from the north west and went south east. Steady red light, no blinking. Not an airplane or meteor. Got cell phone footage of it. Wondering if we've had any other calls or know what it might have been that went over 
9:03 p.m. Grand Marais Another 911 only call, lots of screams and music in the background. Sounds like the middle school dance again. Nobody answered when dispatch was shouting at them to answer 
9:16 p.m. West 5th Street, Grand Marais  Another 911 only phone call.  GPS places phone at the middle school dance. Just music in the background. Deputy going to the school to speak with them about the numerous 911 calls from the phones.
9:22 p.m. West 5th Street, Grand Marais  Another 911 only cell phone call at the middle school dance. Heard deputy addressing the crowd in the background about the numerous calls from that site.
9:25 p.m. Grand Marais  Party locked out of their apartment, manager is out of town.
9:57 p.m. West 5th Street, Grand Marais  Deputy at Middle School dance.
10:28 p.m. Grand Marais  Party states a pickup and possibly some snowmobiles raising a ruckus in the Grand Marais Rec Park. 
11:20 p.m. Grand Marais  Caller reporting an assault.
February 11
1:49 a.m. Grand Marais  Caller got into a fight with her husband. She stated he did not hit her and that she's intoxicated with nowhere to go 
4:01 a.m. Grand Portage  Commercial burglary alarm, false alarm.
5:46 a.m. Grand Portage  wWife never came home from the casino last night. This is out of character for her. Party located.
7:28 a.m. Grand Portage  4 wheeler at this location 
8:14 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued.
8:23 a.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Traffic stop, warning given.
8:35 a.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Traffic stop, warning given.
9:35 a.m. Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage  Canoe shed door alarm, false alarm.
10:21 a.m. West Highway 61,  Grand Marais Alarm for My Brother's Place back door, false alarm.
10:31 a.m. Grand Marais 94-year-old female with hip pain, needs medical help.
10:37 a.m. Grand Marais  Party receiving harassing text messages from someone who lives in the cities. 
11:21 a.m. Cedar Grove Lane, Grand Marais  Requesting city to come sand the business park. 
12:17 p.m. Devil Track Road, Grand Marais  Snowmobile left on snowmobile trail last night. 
1:29 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Would like deputy to return call.
1:41 p.m. Grand Marais  Mike's Holiday burglar alarm going off, false alarm.
3:10 p.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage  Hit deer at this location. 
3:28 p.m. Eliza Rd, Grand Portage Traffic stop.
3:49 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  911 hang up. Cook County called, party stated no problem.  Phone dialed by accident 
4:23 p.m. Grand Marais State Bank Party stopped in with a debit card he found in the ATM.
4:38 p.m. Grand Marais  Tracks to a blue shed on the property. There should be no one there. Also has a trailer on property. 
4:44 p.m. Grand Portage Community Center  Foot patrol.
6:19 p.m. West Highway 61  Party requesting a welfare check on his elderly mother.
7:22 p.m. Mile Creek Rd, Grand Portage Traffic stop, warning given.
9:02 p.m. Gunflint Trail  61-year-old having seizure, medical help needed. 
9:18 p.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
11:53 p.m. 143 Gunflint Trl, 2gm  Help requested to find a missing person. 
February 12
1:33 a.m. N Broadway, Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given.
2:10 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Caller with complaint that Sheriffs Office is not pulling over intoxicated drivers. Party claims multiple drunk drivers are leaving the casino, but had no plate information on any of the 20 drivers that party just saw leave the casino driving drunk. 
5:37 a.m. Willard Lane, Lutsen  Caller states power is out.
8:01 a.m. Sugar Loaf Road/Highway 61 Dead deer in the middle of the road. 
8:07 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
9:02 a.m. Ski Hill Road/West Highway 61, Lutsen  Car swerving in road. 
10:24 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
11:03 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
11:50 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
12:03 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
12:32 p.m. East Bay Suites  Party stating her friend has been missing since last night at 1:30 a.m. Party located.  
12:37 p.m. Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage  Security alarm for canoe shed door, false alarm.
1:23 p.m. Pincushion Mountain Overlook Ski races.
2:08 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
2:44 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, citation issued.
3:15 p.m. West Highway 61 Check on party regarding call from last night.
3:19 p.m. Lutsen Mountains Ski Patrol 21-year-old male, leg injury. Being placed on backboard. 
3:26 p.m. Caspers Hill Road, Grand Marais Power is out. 
3:58 p.m. East Highway 61 Reporting power outage.
4:03 p.m. Cook County Community Center Male dog with long scraggly hair and camo collar, no tags. 
4:27 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
4:42 p.m. Johnson Heritage Post Passed information along about a meeting tomorrow.
4:46 p.m. Fall River Rd/West Highway 61 Vehicle drifted to one lane. 
5:25 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
6:12 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
6:45 p.m. Coho Cafe, Tofte Two car accident in front of the Coho Café.
9:13 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party would like a callback.
9:32 p.m. Mile Creek Rd, Grand Portage. Traffic stop, warning given.
10:50 p.m. East Highway 61 Party hit deer.