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News and other information from Cook County

Former Sawtooth Elementary Principal Gwen Carman accepts superintendent position at Carlton

Sun, 01/24/2016 - 1:34pm

Former Cook County Schools - ISD166 Sawtooth Elementary Principal Gwen Carman has accepted the position of superintendent for Carlton Independent School District 93. Carman received a six-month interim contract to finish the school year and then it becomes a three-year contract after that.

Carman came before the Cook County School Board on August 20, 2015, and announced she was resigning her position with the school district. Carman was a teacher for 15 years, then served nine years as a principal for the district. Her decision to leave was met with sadness by many of the staff, teachers, students and community members.

In an interview with Brian Larsen, Carman said, “I am very proud of what I accomplished in Cook County.“I do miss the teachers, staff, students and parents there. They will always have a special place in my heart.”


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

Grand Marais parking lot flooding a perpetual problem

Sun, 01/24/2016 - 1:32pm

The first meeting of the new year brought an old problem back to the Grand Marais City Council agenda – the question of how to stop frequent flooding of the municipal parking lot on South Broadway.

The topic was brought to the forefront by Jim Boyd, executive director of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce, who presented a letter expressing the organization’s concerns and offer to help at council’s Jan. 13 meeting. Boyd said he was asking council to commit to finding out how the problem can be fixed and at what cost, not “whether” it can be fixed.

The parking lot in question fronts the current Whole Foods Co-op and Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply buildings, and was paved, striped and landscaped during the city’s downtown streetscape improvement project in 2005. Before that, it was a gravel lot.

Although the area has historically experienced flooding following heavy rains due to its low elevation and proximity to a holding pond behind the adjacent businesses, the occurrences of high water are happening more frequently in recent years mainly because of more storms and increased stormwater runoff from the highway and places above it.

To date the only official action taken has been to install a few small “Flood Zone” signs around the perimeter of the lot.

Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux said the project is already on the city’s to-do list and he has spoken with staff at the county’s Soil & Water Department, who said they will help find engineers to look into the situation and possibly do the work.

City Administrator Mike Roth said that seems like the right path to go down first, because there will be no cost to the city. However, he warned that a mitigation project of any consequence will likely come with a high price tag.

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for January 23, 2016

Sat, 01/23/2016 - 10:42am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. There’s a significant retirement pending at the county, a shared superintendent is possible, Congress again tries delisting wolves and the courts keep haze reduction over the wilderness on track…all this and more in the week’s news.


Nice winter weather ahead

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 11:31am

Warmer weather this weekend. Should be a good time to get out and enjoy the winter. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.


Townships have candidates for upcoming elections

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 10:53am

Although township elections are not held until March, the time for citizens interested in running for a town board seat ended January 12, 2016. Unlike some years when the townships have struggled to find citizens interested in serving, there are candidates for each position up for election, and in Tofte there is a race between two candidates for supervisor.

In Lutsen, the supervisor seat currently held by Tim Goettl is on the ballot. Goettl did not file for re-election. However, a citizen did submit her name to be placed on the ballot. Rae Piepho filed to run for supervisor.

In November, Sharon Hexum Platzer was appointed by the town board to serve as clerk, to fill the unexpired term of Amity Goettl. Goettl submitted her resignation in November. Hexum Platzer has filed to run for the town clerk position.

Tofte is the only township that will have two names on the ballot. Incumbent Supervisor Jim King has filed to run once again. Sarah Somnis is also running for the seat.

The clerk position is currently held by Barb Gervais and she filed to run for re-election.

Tofte has an additional spot on the ballot for a one-year term for treasurer. Erin Huggins was unable to serve as treasurer after being elected in 2015 and Nancy Iverson has been filling that role.  Iverson has filed to serve the unexpired term. 

There are no contested races in Schroeder. Incumbent Supervisor Tina McKeever has filed for re-election as has Clerk Doug Schwecke.

However, Schwecke told the News-Herald, “Write-ins are welcome!”



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

SplinterTones invite all to dance at the Community Center log building

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 3:38am

SplinterTones, a six-piece band based in Grand Marais, will perform at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Cook County Community Center log building.

The ensemble plays a blend of hep and snappy tunes in a unique and unmistakable style. Noted for their vibrant vocal harmonies, colorful stage presence and strong rhythmic grooves, SplinterTones crowd the dance floor with legions of enthusiastic dancers.

The group performs at music festivals, wedding dances, town halls, clubs, parties and celebrations throughout the region. Its members include Max Bichel, fiddle/vocals; Liz Sivertson, saxophone/vocals; Leah Thomas, accordion/vocals; John Gruber, guitar/vocals; Jeff DeShaw, bass; and Rick Brandenburg, drums.

SplinterTones are on Facebook and YouTube. An archived television performance is available on The PlayList,  WDSE TV, Duluth.