Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Walking School Bus heads to schools tomorrow!

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 2:56pm

Students are returning for another school year. Many will be getting there on foot or bike, and the Safe Routes to School Committee has been working to make it safer and easier for children to walk and bike to and from school.

Studies have found that physical activity, such as walking or biking to school, allows students to concentrate better during the school day. And while many students in our county do not live in Grand Marais, many walk or bike to an afterschool destination in Grand Marais.

Sept. 16 will be the first “Walk to School Day,” with three routes of Walking School Buses in Grand Marais.

Walking School Buses are groups of students and adult volunteers walking to school together. Students participating in the first monthly event will be accompanied by members of the Grand Marais City Council, the mayor of Grand Marais, and officers from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Each Walking School Bus stops at ISD 166 and Great Expectations School on time for school to begin.

Students who normally get a ride to school should come in a little early and walk or bike with the Walking School Bus from one of the starting locations: the Cook County courthouse (7:30 a.m. departure), Birchwood Apartments (7:40 a.m. departure), or County Road 7 and Seventh Avenue East (7:40 a.m. departure). Students may join along the route or meet at the starting location.

The next Walking School Buses will be on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

For more information about Safe Routes to School, to volunteer, or for a “Slow Down lawn sign, contact SRTS Coordinator Maren Webb at (218) 387-2330 or


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

'Russia and the Near Abroad' will be topic of September 17 Great Discussions Group

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 2:51pm

The Great Decisions discussion group covers topics related to world affairs. WTIP volunteer Mary Manning spoke with September's discussion leader, Bill Davnie, on North Shore Morning. 


This month's Great Decisions Meeting is from 12:00 to 1:30 on Thursday, September 17. Meetings are held at the Cook County Community Center at 317 5th Avenue West.  Copies of the Great Decisions Briefing Books are available at the Grand Marais Public Library.  For more information contact Randy Czeswik or Diane Booth at 218-387-3015.

(Photo by Hugo on Flickr)


Fall events and exhibits offered at the Cross River Heritage Center

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 2:51pm

Featuring exhibits and events that capture the beauty and history of the Schroeder area, the Cross River Heritage Center is a busy place this fall.  WTIP volunteer Mary Manning spoke with the Heritage Center’s Suzan From on North Shore Morning. 

More information about upcoming events is available online at  The Heritage Center is open daily except for Mondays through October 17.

(Photo courtesy of Cross River Heritage Center's exhibit featuring Mary Boman's 'Northern Lights')


Cook County Food Shelf needs help to help others

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 2:41pm

For years the Cook County Food Shelf has been helping community members who face situations such as unexpected medical bills, reduced work hours, or even unemployment. The Food Shelf has been there to help make ends meet with a box that supplies three nutritious meals for three days.

Food Shelf Board Chair Steve Deschene said unfortunately donations have decreased drastically in the last couple of years while expenses have steadily climbed. The Food Shelf makes the best use of donated funds by purchasing food from the Second Harvest Food Bank in Duluth to stretch the purchasing power of the remaining donations.

Food Shelf distribution day is normally Monday from 3 – 5 p.m., however, due to recent shortage, there was not enough food to fill boxes on Monday, September 7 until a shipment from Second Harvest arrived on Tuesday, September 8.

Deschene said the Food Shelf expects to have normal hours for the rest of September–unless the organization runs out of food again.

Deschene said because of limited funds, the Food Shelf will also be reducing the amount of food voucher that are given to clients. Vouchers are provided to supplement the food box contents with perishable groceries such as milk and bread.  That cost cutting measure will take effect in October.

The need can be great, so when you see a Food Shelf collection basket, please consider putting just one can or package in there. “Together we can make a difference,” said Food Shelf volunteer Gwen Lenz.

The Cook County Food Shelf is located in the First Congregational Church at Third Ave. West and Second Street. It is open 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. every Monday. There are also food distribution sites in Grand Portage and at Zoar Lutheran Church in Tofte.

For more information about the Food Shelf, contact Deschene at 218-387-1767. To volunteer with the Cook County Food Shelf, contact Bill Lenz (218) 387-9860.

A big Radio Waves thank you

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 3:33pm

WTIP would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the many people who made this year’s Radio Waves Music Festival a success!
A big “thank you” goes out to the many talented musicians for sharing their music, the emcees for introducing the musicians, Jerry LaVigne for sound engineering, Bob LaMettry for hauling gear (with a smile), the Grand Marais Music Collaborative for selling musician CDs, the great food and beverage vendors, the many businesses and organizations that donated prizes, Belle Janicek and the Kid’s Tent helpers and also the volunteers who helped with setting up, tearing down and staffing the information tent. 
We are especially grateful to the Grand Marais Rec Park for providing and maintaining a wonderful space and for coordinating parking.
Finally, we’d like to thank the community for coming.  We were very fortunate to have a weekend full of mostly sunny skies.  Seeing all the adults and children (and pets, too) enjoying music and the company of others was pretty wonderful.
Again, we appreciate the support and participation of everyone involved, and look forward to next year! 


Project / Event Page: 

Election forum for contested DFL race at Arrowhead Center for the Arts Wednesday

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 3:20pm

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce is hosting an election forum with candidates in the contested DFL race at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts from 7 – 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16. Join host Jim Boyd, executive director of the Chamber with questioners Jay Andersen of WTIP and News-Herald editor Rhonda Silence to hear directly from candidates—Rob Ecklund of International Falls, Bill Hansen of Tofte, Erick Johnson of International Falls, and Heidi Omerza of Ely.

Attend the forum or submit your questions to the candidates in advance to The forum will be rebroadcast by WTIP Community Radio at a later date.

After the primary, more information will be in the Cook County News-Herald for all three of the candidates who will be on the ballot for the December 8, 2015 election.


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