Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Highway engineer talks sales tax, facilities and road projects

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 11:48am

The Cook County Highway Department and the County Board continue to discuss the possibility of a sales-tax increase that would generate funds for the highway department.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with County Engineer Dave Betts about how the sales-tax funds could be used and why various projects and plans are of importance to the highway department and the people they serve. 


Most of the Labor Day Weekend looks like nice weather

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 11:13am

The weekend looks like nice late summer weather with a little rain coming in late Sunday.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson about the Labor Day Weekend.


Yes, the Mayor is running for re-election

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 10:03am

The City of Grand Marais Council spent Wednesday “taking care of business.” And, yes, the Mayor is running for re-election. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux.


Gunflint Woods, Winds and Strings Concert - August 14, 2016

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 1:40pm

The entire Gunflint Woods, Winds and Strings Concert was recorded by WTIP on August 14, 2016. The concert was held at the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department Hall #1, and was a benefit for the Gunflint Trail Historical Society and the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department.

The concert featured local and regional performers, in addition to the debut of an original composition by William Beckstrand:

Gigue in G Major (Poco Vivace) by G.F. Telemann
Philis Anderson, oboe d'amore; Kathy Bolstad, clarinet

Nocturne in E Major by F. Chopin
Michael Ferguson, piano

Concerto in A Major (1st movement) by J.S. Bach
Philis Anderson, oboe d'amore

Trumpet Concerto (2nd movement) by F.J. Haydn
Don Grant, trumpet; Andrea Fincel, piano

Two Poems of Robert Frost by William Beckstrand
1. The Most of It
2. Reluctance

Karina Roth, soprano; William Beckstrand, piano

Selections from the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach
Michael Ferguson, piano

It's All Right With Me by Cole Porter
Blue in Green by Bill Evans/Miles Davis
Take Five/Jive in Five by Dave Brubeck/Mike DeBevec

Sky Blue Jazz Trio and Orange Girl (Mike DeBevec, piano; Karina Roth, soprano; Erik Hahn, soprano sax; Mike Roth, bass)

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (Andante movement) by F. Mendelssohn
Kathy Bolstad, clarinet; Karina Roth, piano

Three Sketches Against the Dark (world premiere) by William Beckstrand
1. Curiosity
2. Luminosity
3. Generosity

Karina Roth, piano; Erika Ternes, violin; Erik Hahn, soprano sax
(This piece was commissioned by David and Patricia Coleman in honor of A. Paul and Carol Schaap for their 40th wedding anniversary)

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by G.F. Handel

(Photos courtesy of Dr. Ellen Stubbs)


DNR to continue lake and stream surveys in September

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 11:17am

Fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Marais area office will conduct surveys and assessments on several Cook County lakes and streams during the next few months.

Fisheries surveys are performed on a regular basis to monitor changes in fish populations and to determine if management strategies have been effective. Survey methods and frequencies vary based on the types of information needed for ongoing management evaluations in individual lakes and streams.

September 5 - Survey Mavis and Gust lakes. 

September 12 - Survey Cherokee and Pine lakes (near McFarland Lake).

September 19 - Survey Rose and West Pike lakes.

September 26 - Survey Moss Lake.

These survey plans are tentative. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped and timing may change. Questions and general information about area lakes and streams can be addressed to the DNR’s Grand Marais area fisheries office at 1356 Highway 61 E., Grand Marais, MN 55604. Questions also can be submitted by calling 218-387-6021 (note new number) or emailing

Preliminary results for many of the 2016 surveys should be available in the fall of 2016. Final reports will be completed by the spring of 2017. Final lake survey results will be available online at or from the Grand Marais area fisheries office. Contact the office if interested in stream survey results or preliminary lake survey results.


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

Local guide talks ethics of bear hunting in Minnesota

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 6:05am

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the state’s black bear population is on the rise. The state’s bear hunting season opens Thursday, Sept. 1, and will continue through Oct. 16. Last year, Minnesota hunters killed 1,971 bears throughout the state.

WTIP's Joe Friedrichs spoke with local bear hunting guide Jim Wallner about the ethics and value of bear hunting in Minnesota. 


WTIP live from MN State Fair Aug. 31

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 5:37pm

It’s radio on a stick!

For the second year, WTIP North Shore Community Radio will broadcast live from the Minnesota State Fair, Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The opportunity to be a part of this popular summer event is possible thanks to WTIP’s membership with the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (AMPERS). WTIP, and 10 other independent community radio stations from across the state, will be broadcasting on various days from the AMPERS booth in the Education Building.

Listeners can tune in for a variety of special fair-related programming, information and entertainment. And thanks to a partnership with Visit Cook County, 500 tote bags will be given away from the booth at various times during the day.

WTIP program director Matthew Brown and station manager Deb Benedict will be there, as well as a number of volunteer hosts. Visit Cook County director Linda Kratt and her team will also be on hand to meet and greet fairgoers with information about Cook County.

 If you’re at the fair, stop by the Education Building and see your WTIP friends! Listen or stream online at from anywhere. 

WTIP is broadcasting at 90.7 FM Grand Marais/North Shore; 90.1 FM Grand Portage, and 89.1 FM Gunflint Trail. 


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


Open House and discussion on the proposed bond and referendum at School District 166 Wednesday

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 4:24pm

School District 166 is hosting an Open House and discussion on the proposed bond and referendum Wednesday, August 31 at the school and Arrowhead Center for the Arts. The Open House, from 3:30-6:30 p.m., is for parents and students to meet teachers and find out what the new school year will bring.

At 6:30 p.m. in the Arrowhead Center for the Arts auditorium, Steve Pumper, financial manager for ISD 166, will present information and answer questions on the proposed 2016 school bond and referendum.  Dr. Crandall, new school Superintendent will also be available to meet and answer questions.

Dr. Crandall said, “I am pleased Mr. Pumper will come speak with us and answer questions about the proposed referendum, bond and school finances. He is very knowledgeable about school finances and can explain them in a manner we all can understand.”

ISD 166 has a bond and referendum measure on the November 8 election ballot. Anyone who would like more information about the measures is encouraged to attend the meeting on August 31, 2016.


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

Music and comedy at Grand Marais Playhouse over Labor Day weekend

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 4:22pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse has a full schedule for Labor Day weekend with two groups back by popular demand. On Thursday, September 1 at 7:30 p.m., Monroe Crossing returns to the Arrowhead Center for the Arts stage following their tour to South Korea.

Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport make them audience favorites across the United States and Canada.

On September 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, September 4 at 2 p.m., also enjoy the hilarity of Ole and Lena as they celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary!

Check out all this and more at our new website


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

Sheriff talks about Back to School and Labor Day

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 10:17am

School starts and that means heightened patrols by law enforcement in the school zone. Also it’s Labor Day weekend, the last big weekend before the leaf season starts. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Sheriff Pat Eliasen.


It's not always cooler by the lake

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 6:12am

Another week of nice late summer weather with a mix of sun and showers.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson about the week ahead and why it’s not always cooler by the lake.


County lends support to single-track biking trails

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 12:05pm

Tim Kennedy, president, Superior Cycling Association (SCA), asked the county to sponsor a request by SCA to seek funds from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Program (GMRPTP).

“This request is intended to provide funding for the construction of multi-purpose mountain biking trails connecting Lutsen Mountains and the Britton Peak trailhead,” said Kennedy at the county board's August 22 meeting.

During GMRPTP’s last project evaluation, the Cook County Mountain Bike Trail System proposal was assigned a high rating, and was given a designation as a Regional Park Trail. Currently there are 15.5 miles of single-track trails at Britton Peak and at Pincushion.

As a sponsor of the grant, Kennedy said there would be no cost to the county. And, he added, SCA would continue to maintain the current trails and more if they are built. He also suggested the arrangement between the county and the SCA be strengthened through a legal document that spells out each party’s responsibilities and duties. The board agreed and County Attorney Hicken will draft the document and bring it back to the board. The board passed a motion to act as a sponsor for the grant request.


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

County begins 2017 levy discussion

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 12:03pm

County Administrator Jeff Cadwell presented preliminary 2017 county levy requests to the Cook County Board of Commissioners at the August 22 meeting. In this first draft, the proposed levy has grown 25.99 percent, an increase of $840,359.

In 2016, commissioners worked through initial requests that would have resulted in a 27.8 percent levy increase before winnowing it to an 8.5 percent levy increase over 2015.

Both Cadwell and Auditor Braidy Powers have been meeting with department heads over the past month and Cadwell said there would be no easy cuts made from those stated needs.

Commissioner Garry Gamble pointed out that from 1989 to 2017 “expenditures to revenues have nearly tripled.”

Gamble was close. In 1989 budgeted expenditures were $7,996,541 and budgeted revenues were $4,892,395. For 2017 county expenditures will be $19,7110,385 while budgeted revenues will be $10,802,290.

“We have to approve a preliminary budget by September 30,” Powers said. “It’s not going to be easy. We will need your [board] guidance and direction if we are going to go back to the departments.”

Commissioner Frank Moe worried that “We are number one or two in the state,” in the amount of levy dollars paid per person. Last year Cook County’s 8.5 percent levy was the highest in the state.

 “I don’t know anyone whose income has gone up 26 percent,” Moe said. “We need to do better.”

One question commissioners will wrestle with is, as Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk stated is, “Do we want to continue offering services at the level we have been? We need to decide the level of services we will provide.”

WTIP Weekend News Roundup for August 27

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 10:24am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. Isle Royale to increase fees, the shipping season sees heavy international traffic and the state’s wolf population remains stable…all this and more in the week’s news.


Mary Casanova book reading and signing at Drury Lane Saturday

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 11:39am

Author Mary Casanova will read from and sign copies of her two newest books, Wake Up, Island and Ice-Out at 5 p.m. Aug. 27 at Drury Lane Books (12 E. Wisconsin St.) in Grand Marais.

Mary Casanova is the author of more than 30 books for young readers, ranging from picture books, such as Utterly Otterly Night and Wake Up, Island to novels such as Moose Tracks and Frozen. Her books are on m any state reading lists and have earned the American Library Association Notable Award, Aesop Accolades from the American Folklore Society, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Booklist Editors’ Choice, as well as two Minnesota Book Awards. She speaks frequently around the country at readings and library conferences.

As Wake Up, Island gently rouses the sleepy child, it summons a world of nature coming to life on a summer island in the magical North Woods. Conjuring the morning life around a cabin fragrant with berry pancakes, this timeless book wakens the child in every reader to the wonders of nature that greet every new day in the charmed world of a northern woodland island.

Ice-Out returns to the Prohibition-era borderland of Mary Casanova’s beloved novel Frozen, and to the characters who made it a favorite among readers of all ages. Inspired by real events in early 1920s Minnesota, it is a story of young romance against terrible odds and true grit on the border between license and responsibility, rich and poor, and right and wrong.

The author lives with her husband and dogs in a turn-of-the-century house in Ranier, Minnesota, perched on the Canadian border.

Contact Drury Lane book store at (218) 387-3370 for more information.


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