Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Gunflint landmark among state’s best writers’ spots

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 10:17am

There are plenty of “Best Of” lists out there related to Minnesota. However, until now, there hasn’t been a list pulled together of the best places to write in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Well, who better to come up with one than a publishing company?

The staff at Wise Ink Creative Publishing of Minneapolis has compiled such a list by polling its authors, and a Cook County landmark has landed in the top half.

The Gunflint Lodge is rated number 3. Wise Ink co-founder Amy Quale says she considers the Gunflint Lodge one of her favorite places to spend time—and write. The resort features plenty of cabins, all with a lake front view.

“I actually honeymooned on at the Gunflint Lodge, and as a lifelong journal keeper, I found the main lodge the perfect place to capture the memories of our time there,” said Quale.

Other places on the list include the Open Book in Minneapolis, The Shire in the Woods in McGrath, Nina’s Coffee Shop in St. Paul, Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, Oak Island on Lake of the Woods and Faith’s Lodge in Minneapolis.


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

DNR Fisheries continues surveys and assessments

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 10:13am

 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.

The project began on Tait, Trout and Greenwood lakes this spring and is scheduled to continue during the following weeks:

·      June 15 – continue Sea Gull Lake survey; survey Alder Lake.

·      June 22 – complete Sea Gull Lake survey; survey Ward Lake.

·      June 29 – survey Woods Creek and Sunfish Lake.

·      July 6 – continue Tait River survey; survey Round and Holly lakes.

·      July 13 – complete Round Lake and Tait River surveys; survey Marsh Lake.

·      July 20 – assess walleye reproduction in Devil Track Lake; survey Trout Lake.

·      July 27 – survey Caribou (near Poplar), North and Tait lakes, Mississippi, Little Mississippi and Mark creeks.

·      Aug. 3 – complete North Lake survey; survey Jasper Lake, the Onion, Stump and Little Devil Track rivers, and Woods, Kimball and Nestor creeks.

·      Aug. 10 – survey the Cascade, Flute Reed and Devil Track rivers, Kadunce and Irish creeks, and Gunflint Lake.

·      Aug. 17 – complete the Gunflint Lake survey; survey Devil Track and Magnetic lakes.

·      Aug. 24 – complete the Devil Track Lake survey; survey Clara and Greenwood lakes.

·      Aug. 31 – complete the Greenwood Lake survey; survey Loon Lake.

Grandma's could be wet and windy

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 10:03am

The weather promises to be typical June for most of the week. But Grandma’s Marathon could be wet and blustery.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with meteorologist Carol Christenson.


WTIP Weekend News Roundup for June 13

Sat, 06/13/2015 - 10:45am

Each week the WTIP News Department puts together a roundup of the news from the previous five days. A judge has made a decision regarding a local dairy. Sugarloaf is set to expand. Commissioners take no action on a biomass resolution. There’s news on deer populations and wolf protections as well as non-ferrous mining, not to mention smoky weather earlier this week…all this and more in the week’s news.


Wildersmith on the Gunflint: June 12

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 10:44am

June is fleeting along the Trail. It’s hard to reconcile the new month is close to half gone. By next week at this time, the solstice of summer will be at hand. And although we’ll only be into the first days of “Neebing” (summer in Ojibwe), the long countdown toward shorter daylight time begins.

Early June along the Gunflint has been on the cool side so far, and no one could be pleased more than the moose and me. To make living in the forest even more calming, much needed rain has been added to the “cool” mix. The upper Trail territory received a fine Saturday night into Sunday soaker, so wildfire danger has been abated at least for the time being.

The soaking rain has made for complications in the Trail reclamation paving project. However, I’m amazed at the rapid progress made in removing the old surface. Users should be reminded this course of action takes one back in time to days when the old “Gunflint Wagon Road” was little more than a gravel path. We should all try to exercise patience during this brief inconvenience knowing the road surface will be a wonderful improvement.

And while waiting in line with traffic delays, one can reflect on what our pioneers experienced - you’re living a little bit of Gunflint history.

Marvels of the new growing season continue to unfold. Along back country roads, fiddlehead ferns are uncoiling their fronds, and the coniferous forest is lit up like the holiday season with buds exploding into candles of next generation branches. It’s said a corn field can be heard growing on a humid summer night. One can also seemingly observe, should you pause to watch, these fuzzy candelabra of red and white pines stretching ever skyward, right before your eyes.

As I key this week's area scoop, observers at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center have been keenly focused on the loon nesting platform in the bay of the Sag Lake Corridor. I’m happy to announce the days of incubation for the two eggs are over. The chicks hatched this past Tuesday. The new parents have been diligent in their nesting responsibilities and all appears well with the new family. A photo of the mom, dad and babies can be found along with my column website at

There is either a huge bear in this neighborhood or a small elephant based on a “calling card” left on the Mile O Pine recently. We all know bears “poop” in the woods, but doing such in the middle of the road seems unacceptable. But who’s going to tell ‘em?

I’ve heard a number of stories in regard to beaver activity in a few upper Gunflint locales. As we all know, engineering skills of these pesky critters is second to none. The beaver dam construction is increasing at an alarming rate on any number of creeks around these parts. This apparent overtime gnawing, and subsequent levee installations, are causing unexpected changes in wetland situations for some property owners.

A big summer weekend on the Trail commences with the first ever “Boundary Waters Expo.” The Expo will begin on Friday afternoon and go on all day Saturday and Sunday. Activities will be held at the Seagull Lake public Landing. This unique outdoor sport show of sorts will feature a line-up of exhibitors, demonstrations and outdoor living speakers. Exhibits will be under the “big top” while demonstrations and such will he held on both land and water. The event looks to be a great opportunity for wilderness living enthusiasts. For more detailed scheduling go to

A second reminder is extended for the Sunday “Shrimp Boil” up at the end of the Trail. Beginning at 4:00 pm, following the close of Expo, this second annual fund-raising eat-a-thon (and bake sale) is being sponsored by the Gunflint Trail Historical Society. All are welcome. The event location is at the Seagull Lake’s Community Center. Parking is limited so car-pooling would be a good idea. Being a donor affair, a per-person donation is suggested. Proceeds will benefit the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. Be there or be hungry!

Keep on hangin’ on and embrace this Gunflint gift!



The Great Northern Radio Show LIVE from Grand Marais

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 2:31pm

The Great Northern Radio Show will broadcast live from the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais on Saturday, June 13.

The traveling variety program produced by Northern Community Radio (of Grand Rapids and Bemidji) will join forces with WTIP North Shore Community Radio to send its unique mix of comedy, stories and music across the airwaves of northern Minnesota.

Producer and host Aaron Brown and his cast of characters use music, sketches, performance and storytelling to celebrate the talent and culture of northern Minnesota. Each show seeks to highlight the unique location and the people who make it special, to listeners from all across northern Minnesota, and all across the world audio streaming at

“We’re very excited about Grand Marais,” said Brown, an author from the Iron Range. “This is one of the most interesting towns in all of Minnesota with a culture and style all its own. It’s perfect for our brand of sincere yet wacky local broadcasting.”

Featured performers include Americana songwriter, banjo, fiddle, and viola player Barbara Jean and her band, along with roots band Pushing Chain featuring Bump Blomberg (guitar & vocals) and Adam Moe (fiddle and vocals). The Great Northern Radio Players, including Jason and Louisa Scorich of Duluth, Britt Aamodt of Elk River, and C.J. Anderson and Lauren Nickisch of Pequot Lakes, will join several Grand Marais-area performers and guests including Lonnie Dupre, David Mills, Mark Hansen, Sherrie Lindskog and other surprises.

The performance will start promptly at 5 p.m. June 13, the audience must be in their seats by 4:30 p.m. Seating is limited and must be reserved by calling 800-662-5799 for your free tickets.