Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Live theater throughout Fisherman's Picnic with "Nunsense" and "Nana's Naughty Knickers"

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 1:48pm

The Grand Marais Playhouse is offering two delightful comedies at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts during Fisherman’s Picnic as part of its Summer Festival. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy live theater in Grand Marais.

The first offering is Nunsense: the Mega Musical, the hugely popular romp by Dan Goggin about the Little Sisters of Hoboken who must organize a fundraiser to raise money to bury four dead sisters. The dearly departed were accidently poisoned by the convent cook, Sister Julia (Child of God).

The cast of talented local performers is Rena Rogers, Karina Roth, Karen Blackburn, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Michaela Peterson, Jan Healy, Don Grant, Daniel Ditmanson and Gerry Grant.

Preview audiences adored this sacrilegious production—laughter could be heard outside of the theater. The Grand Marais Playhouse production of the Samuel French play is not to be missed!

Another Samuel French production adapted for the Arrowhead Center for the Arts stage is Nana’s Naughty Knickers, a slick comedy by Katherine DiSavino. Grandma (Jan Healy) is caught operating an illegal boutique from her apartment, much to the shock and dismay of her granddaughter (Yvonne Block). Others gifted local performers are Julie Fredlund, Karl Olson, Ron McClellan, Jane Gellner, Bill Shaffer and Tina Krauz.

The opening night audience roared at grandma’s misadventure and the sexy senior citizen sideline. You will too!

The productions are offered in repertory, alternating nights so playgoers can catch both plays during the Summer Theater Festival. Upcoming performances of Nunsense: the Mega Musical are July 25 27, 31, Aug. 2, 8 and 10.

Performances of Nana’s Naughty Knickers are July 26, Aug. 1, 3, 7 and 9. Show times are Thursday - Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., except for Fisherman’s Picnic, Aug 3, when the show begins at 3 p.m. following the parade.

County board votes to remove Scannell from office

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:31am

GRAND MARAIS — The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously this morning to remove County Attorney Tim Scannell from office, six days after his conviction on two felony sex crimes.

The Duluth News Tribune reports, the board made the decision at a special 8:30 a.m. meeting at the Cook County Courthouse. The vote came following discussion with attorney Dyan Ebert, who was hired by the county to advise the board on the Scannell matter. Ebert advised board members that case law and precedent support Scannell’s removal by the commissioners.

Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken was appointed as Scannell’s successor.

Scannell’s term was set to expire at the end of the year, and he is not seeking re-election. He was not in attendance at the meeting.

Scannell was convicted last Friday by a St. Louis County jury of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct following a weeklong trial. `

Effectiveness of filling Highway 61 rumble strips questioned

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 12:17am

Speaking to the Cook County Board of Commissioners at the July 15, 2014 meeting, Chuck Flickinger of Hovland said he represented 200 families who were opposed to the sounds made by rumble strips installed by Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) on the east side of Cook County.

Flickinger said the mitigation done by MnDOT last fall, the partial filling of the offending strips, is ineffective. He said residents are still awakened at night and disturbed during the day. He said the 200 petitioners do not want more of the same. Flickinger asked the commissioners to send a letter to Representative David Dill and Senator Tom Bakk, requesting that MnDOT fill in all of the rumble strips.

Flickinger also shared two other concerns. First he said MnDOT is not in compliance with federal laws protecting scenic/recreational roadways.  Second, he said MnDOT should find better, more economical, alternative to rumble strips, namely those making two lane rural roads non-passing highways.

 “It is my opinion that rumble strips should never have been installed on Highway 61 without an environmental study and public hearings by MnDOT,” he said.

Before agreeing to send a letter, commissioners asked Flickinger to let them continue the dialogue they have established with MnDOT. West End Commissioner Bruce Martinson said MnDOT has had a complete reversal of its position on installing rumble strips since it received complaints about the noise from residents in Cook County and other places in Minnesota.

In the past, said Martinson, MnDOT’s plan was to include rumble strips anywhere there was an overlay or a highway reconstruction project. “But in the last year that has ended,” he said.

Kids invited to check out WORMS at Minnow Camp

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:45pm

Minnow Camp is back the Friday of Fisherman’s Picnic and all boys and girls, ages 5 – 12 years old are invited. This year the theme is Worms!

Minnow Camp will be Friday, August 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Minnow Camp is hosted by Cook County Girl Scouts and they will be joined by Angelique Edgerton of the Cook County Invasives Team who will lead a nature hike. Marte Kitson of Minnesota Sea Grant will also entertain kids with an interesting show-and-tell of aquatic species and information about Lake Superior.

Preregistration is not necessary, but organizer Laura LaFavor said it would be helpful for planning She wants to make sure there are enough gummy worms! To register, call Laura at (218) 370-1245. Registration for walk-ins is at 8:30 a.m.

Bring a packed lunch and outdoor weather appropriate clothing. The cost is $15 per child, $20 per family.

LaFavor added thanks to the Grand Marais Lions Club, which underwrites the program. And she said, “Come enjoy a day of fun with a variety of activities and hands on activities!

Invasives control training set for July 31 at Sugarloaf

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:44am

Are non-native plants invading your woodland? Do you struggle to control tansy and Canada thistle, year after year?

If so, visit the Community Forest Restoration Shed at Sugarloaf Cove in Schroeder. The shed houses tools, herbicides, and herbicide application equipment, all of which can be used by landowners free of charge.

To use the herbicides and application equipment, landowners must attend a mandatory two-hour training. The training includes information on how to identify and best control the invasive species on your land (pulling, dead-heading, mowing, herbicide treatment and more), safety measures involved in herbicide use, and will be tailored to participants’ needs. If herbicides are the best management tool to control your invasive species, you can come away from the training with the equipment and the correct amount of herbicides needed to manage the invasive species.

Non-herbicide tools can be checked out at any time the nature center is staffed.

Registration is online at, and must be done at least two days in advance of the training. Space is still open for trainings on July 31.

For more information contact Cook County Invasives Team coordinator Angelique Edgerton at 218-387-3772.

Election filing period open for city, school and hospital boards

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:34am

It is definitely a major election year. The contest for two county commissioner district seats and the sheriff race is heating up with campaign ads, lawn signs and candidates door-knocking. This week a few more opportunities open for citizens wishing to seek office. The filing period for seats on the Grand Marais City Council, Independent School District 166 and the Cook County North Shore Hospital is open July 29 – August 12.

At press time, only the incumbents serving on the Cook County North Shore Hospital Board had announced that they were considering or would be filing.

Grand Marais City Council

In Grand Marais there will be three seats on the ballot, for mayor and two council seats. Those seats are currently held by Mayor Larry Carlson and Councilors Bob Spry and Bill Lenz.

Anyone interested in running for those seats can file at Grand Marais City Hall between 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The filing fee is $2. Candidates must live in the city of Grand Marais.

Another opportunity to serve on the city council may occur in January 2015. City Councilor Jan Sivertson is not up for reelection on the council this year, but she has filed to run for County Commissioner District 3. She is running unopposed so unless someone launches a major write-in campaign, she will certainly be elected and sworn in as county commissioner in January 2015. The city council will then have the option of appointing someone to complete her term.

School District 166

There are also three terms expiring for the School District 166 school board this year. The seats held by Jeanne Anderson in District 5 and Deb White in District 1 will be on the ballot. Anderson currently serves as chair of the school board.

The other seat, District 2, is held by Leslie Ann Sullivan. She was appointed to fulfill the term when Mary Sanders retired.