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Tofte looks at a host of public projects

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 11:27am

A special public meeting was held February 5, 2015 at the Tofte Town Hall to discuss plans to improve the Tofte Town Park, the Gitchi-Gami State Trail routing and wayside design projects that have been in the works for some time. About a dozen people attended.

Justin Otsea, a project manager from the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC); Andy Hubley, director of the regional planning division of the ARDC and landscape architect CJ Fernandez, of Fernandez Landscape Architecture, led the discussion. 

As for the Gitchi-Gami State Trail, Fernandez said this meeting was a chance to discus opportunities and ideas for improvements along the Highway 61 corridor through Tofte.

The Gitchi-Gami trail has a 1.1-mile gap extending through the town of Tofte. Just where to route the trail was the main topic of discussion. There was talk of running it along the lakewalk near Bluefin Bay Resort, along the power line or of building a tunnel or bridge road crossing. Hubley said adding amenities like tunnels or bridges pushes the cost of design and build-out for bike paths to as much a $1.2 million per mile.

All of the possible trail routes are still on the table, and Fernandez said he would get back to the group at the next meeting with a map showing the different routes they had discussed at this meeting.

There was discussion of improvements at the Tofte Park and of a new proposal for the Marshall Wayside Rest on land owned by the Minnesota DNR on the east side of Tofte, which would include a pull off for cars and a trail to hike down to the lake.

Making up the steering committee will be Maren Webb of Moving Matters, Mark Rudningen of MN DNR, Barb Gervais, John Nelson, Gary Hansen, Dave Monson, Ron Ankeny, John Wytanis and Dennis Rysdahl.

Three Vikings excel at State Alpine Meet!

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 10:46am

The three Vikings who advanced to the State Meet at Giant’s Ridge on Wednesday, February 11 had stellar performances.

Will Lamb led the Northland boys with his 9th place finish. The CCHS sophomore placed 14th last year.

Lamb’s teammate, sophomore Logan Backstrom finished 26th overall and eighth-grade prodigy Reilly Wahlers placed 27 in the girls’ race. This is Reilly’s second appearance at the state meet.

According to Will’s grandfather Skip Lamb, the conditions were tough. Skip was very proud of Will but added that Logan Backstrom’s second run was nothing short of incredible, and Wahlers gets more amazing in every race.

Congratulations, Vikings!


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

DNR looks at lake management plan for Hog and Feather lakes in Cook County

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 10:45am

Citizens interested in learning about or commenting on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) strategies for managing Finland area lakes and streams have until Feb. 20 to ask questions or submit comments. Two of the affected lakes are in Cook County.

Management plans describe the past, present, and desired future conditions of the water resources. The plans identify specific management activities planned for that lake or stream in the next five to 20 years.

Every year DNR fisheries staff prepares or revises individual lake and stream management plans for several waters in each management area. In the Finland area, a number of lakes and streams will be reviewed, including

Hog and Feather lakes in Cook County.

People may review current plans for lakes and streams as well as recent fish population assessment information at the DNR’s Finland area fisheries office, 6686 Highway in Finland, or by calling (218) 353-8855. Comments may be submitted via mail or e-mail. Suggestions for management of any of the other lakes and streams in the Finland area are welcome at any time and will be considered when those plans are due for review.


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

Acoustic "guitar wizard" Adrian Legg to perform on Valentine's Day

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 7:02pm

Adrian Legg will perform at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14.

England’s Guitar magazine describes Legg as “impossible to categorize as a player.” Renowned and awarded for his unique amalgamation of acoustic and electric guitar and the way he blends diverse musical styles and inspirations into a distinctive sound all his own, Legg has been hailed as “one of the wizards” of the guitar, “an adventurer” and “a genius.”

In addition to his distinguished career as a live performer, recording artist, and composer, he is an innovator in guitar design and amplification technology, an instructor, photographer, writer, and author, witty and engaging between-song onstage raconteur, and an at-large commentator for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”

Since the 1990 release of his first U.S. recording, Guitars and Other Cathedrals, Legg has won numerous awards and accolades. The readers of the U.K.’s Guitarist magazine voted him Acoustic Guitarist of the Decade (1984-94), and in Guitar Player’s readers’ poll he was named Best Acoustic Fingerstylist for four years running (1993-96).

In 2000, the year after Legg released his second Red House Records disc, Fingers & Thumbs, the Philadelphia Inquirer enthused, “There are guitarists, there are axe-wielding maniacs, and then there are wizards. Adrian Legg is one of the wizards. He has enough technique to do just about anything he wants, but also the sensitivity to honor the contours of a melody.”

The Music Association will offer a “Sweetheart of a Special” for the Grand Marais show, offering one free youth ticket with each adult admission. For more information, contact the Music Association at (218) 387-1272.


Pincushion Mountain Winter Festival coming this weekend

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 6:59pm

The North Superior Ski & Run Club has announced that the inaugural Pincushion Mountain Winter Festival will be held Friday - Sunday, Feb. 13-15 on the Pincushion Trails, just north of Grand Marais.

Expanding on the longstanding Sawtooth Ski Races, the event will incorporate youth races, sprint racing, competitive and non-competitive snowshoeing and skijoring events for a long weekend of fun and excitement. In conjunction with Lappe Nordic and Kamview Nordic of Thunder Bay, this will also be the last event in the North Shore Points Series.

The calendar of events includes:

 • Friday evening – Sprint ski competition hosted by Devil’s Track Nordic. Approximately 1 mile in length, competitors will start separately against the clock in a time trial format. The top three men and women in youth, adult and master’s divisions in the time trial will then square off in match sprints to determine the podium positions. Awards after the finals.

 • Saturday morning – Classical races around the Pincushion Mountain Trail, double tracked for a safer and more enjoyable experience. Start in the wide open stadium and complete a short loop around the West Overlook (WOL) loop to sort out the skiers. One lap of Pincushion for non-competitive and under 15 year old racers, or two laps for competitive 15+ racers. Distances are 8K for the one-lap event and 15K for the two-lap event.

 • Saturday noon – Youth ski races for 12 and under racers. Three options are planned, a short scurry around the stadium (about a quarter-mile) for beginners, a short ski around the WOL trail (approximately 1 mile) for the intermediate skiers, and a challenging 2.5k race around WOL and Lower Snowman trails. Treats for all.

Home Ownership Program offered through AEOA

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 10:20am

Potential home buyers can find assistance through the AEOA’s Home Ownership Program. WTIP host Julie Carlson spoke with Sandy O’Fallon of the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency about this program on North Shore Morning. 

For more information contact:
Sandy O'Fallon
Homeownership/IDA Coordinator
KOOTASCA Community Action, Inc.
201 NW 4th St. Suite 130
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: 218.999-0828

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