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News and other information from Cook County

"I Love You, You're Perfect! Now Change!" opens July 17 at Arrowhead Center for the Arts

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 12:21pm

"I Love You, You're Perfect! Now Change!" is a musical production opening Friday, July 17, at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with Mark Abrahamson, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Jackson Nickolay, Karina Roth and Kay Costello on North Shore Morning. 
The Grand Marais Playhouse presents the 2015 Summer Theater Festival opening this weekend.  "I Love You, You're Perfect! Now Change!" plays in repertory with "Moon Over Buffalo" from July 16 through August 9. More information is available from Sue at 387-1284, extension 2, or from the Grand Marais Playhouse website.


Memorial Blood Center "Fishing for Donors" at local blood drives

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 4:55pm

During the summer months when blood supplies are often low, donors are needed more than ever to help save and sustain lives in our community.

Memorial Blood Centers will offer donors during the month of July an opportunity to win a Freshwater Fishing Adventure including a three-night stay with airfare for two. Donors will also receive a “Fishing for Donors” T-shirt between June 27 and July 11.

On the North Shore, blood drives will be held in Tofte from 2 to 6 p.m. July 21; the Grand Marais Senior Center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 22; and Grand Portage Health Services from 9 a.m. to noon on July 23.

While walk-in donors are always welcome, appointments are preferred. To sign up for the Blood Drive in Tofte, call Polly Erickson at 663-7398. In Grand Marais, Arrowhead Pharmacy is sponsoring the blood drive, so call the pharmacy at 387-1133. And in Grand Portage the person to contact to schedule an appointment to donate blood is Vivian Carlson at 475-2235.

Memorial Blood Centers has been saving lives for over 65 years as an independent nonprofit supplying life-saving blood to area hospitals and other partners throughout the U.S. Operating 11 donor centers and conducting hundreds of blood drives each month, Memorial Blood Centers also provides comprehensive testing and expert technical services as a national leader in transfusion medicine.


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


Unsettled weather for the week

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 9:32am

Unsettled is the word for this week’s weather. But things will dry out and warm up by the weekend. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Stewart.


Grand Marais water tower cleaning scheduled

Sun, 07/12/2015 - 9:26pm

The Grand Marais water tower will soon be getting a good scrub.

Tom Nelson, water/wastewater superintendent for Grand Marais Public Utilities Commission (PUC) came before the PUC board on July 1, with a request to accept the low bid for the project. Nelson asked the board to approve the low bid of $3,400 fr

om Water Tower Clean and Coat, Inc. to clean the 200,000-gallon tank.

Exterior cleaning of the 200,000-gallon water tank will include chlorinated power washing followed by a post rinse of a mildew inhibitor. Nelson said, “They will probably use a Genie lift to power wash the tank.”


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


WTIP Weekend News Roundup for July 11

Sat, 07/11/2015 - 10:56am

Each week the WTIP News Department reviews the major   stories of the past five days. Minnesota Power to idle its Taconite Harbor plant. Environmental groups petition for moose reclassification. Canadian fires bring air pollution to state and three canoeists rescued in the wilderness…all this and more in the week’s news.



Minnesota Power representatives explain plan to idle Taconite Harbor Energy Center

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 2:17pm

Minnesota Power representatives explain idling of Taconite Harbor Energy Center

Due largely to the competition from the low price of natural gas used to produce electricity and the high cost to purchase coal, Minnesota Power has decided to idle its coal-fired Taconite Harbor power plant in the fall of 2016.

“We met with the employees this morning [Thursday, July 9] to let them know,” said    

Minnesota Power Vice President of Strategy and Planning Al Rudeck. “It was a tough day.

“We will assist the 42 employees in finding new positions within the company,” said Rudeck, adding, “This closure is in no way is a reflection of workers at the plant. They have done a great job.

“This is a reflection of the market. The economy really hasn’t rebounded since 2007 and there is a lot of power in the market right now. We have to do the right thing for our customers. Unfortunately, we have seen this trending this way for at least the last five years. There used to be peaks and valleys in the natural gas market price but they have stabilized and have been staying low, and we see that trend continuing,” Rudeck said.

The loss of good paying jobs to the county will be great. Minnesota Power pays between $2 to $3 million annually in wages, “But that isn’t counting the wages we pay to seven or eight electrical contractors or other contractors we hire throughout the year,” Rudeck said.

The company will send a human resources team to Taconite Harbor not long before the plant closes. They will meet individually with employees and discuss options. Under Minnesota Power’s collective bargaining agreement, said Rudeck, some workers will be offered severance pay and retirement incentives if they are near retirement, while most, if not all will be offered jobs elsewhere.