Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Book and literature group on South Africa begins

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:31am

As preparation for her sabbatical journey to South Africa in August 2015, Reverend Mary Ellen Ashcroft and Spirit of the Wilderness Episcopal Church is hosting an eight-part literature/discussion series on South Africa at Cook County Higher Education from 6 – 8 p.m. each evening.

It is Reverend Ashcroft’s hope to develop a sister church relationship with a congregation she visits in South Africa. This study group is intended to prepare Spirit of the Wilderness—and any community members who would like to be involved—for that relationship.

Ashcroft has taught a course called Literature of South Africa at several colleges and she is revisiting some of her favorite facets of the course, such as books by outstanding novelists Alan Paton, Andre Brink Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee as well as playwright Athol Fugard. Participants will see two film versions of Fugard’s plays, one set under apartheid and one in post-apartheid South Africa.

The first evening on January 8 will offer a background to the literature and film of South Africa. Participants will watch Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys.

On January 15, attendees will discuss Alan Paton’s novel Cry the Beloved Country.

The study group continues on January 29, February 5, February 12, February 26, March 5 and March 12.

Participants do not need to commit to all of the sessions to take part. Reverend Ashcroft encourages all to join the study group “during the deep winter.” 

For more information about the study group, contact Mary Ellen Ashcroft at (218) 387-1536. 


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

Boaters must take aquatic invasive species course before hitting the water

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:23am

The primary way that aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as zebra mussels or spiny water fleas move from one lake to the next is by hitching a ride on a boat, trailer or other water related equipment. In 2012, as part of an overall effort to stop the spread of AIS, the Minnesota legislature passed a law requiring watercraft trailers to purchase and display a decal showing that the owner has taken an AIS training course.

If you trailer a boat or water-related equipment such as docks and lifts in Minnesota, you must take AIS training and purchase a trailer decal. The deadline to have a decal on boat trailers is July 2, 2015.

Online training will be available online at Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website beginning January 1, 2015. Paper home-study training packets will also be available. It is hoped that this will give people time to complete the training before boating season.

The online training cost is $5. A paper home-study course fee is $11. After completing the course, you will receive a decal that must be displayed on your trailer. Both fees include mailing the trailer decal to the owner.

Individuals who take the training can receive multiple stickers as they will need one for each trailer that they own. Additional decals for other trailers cost $2.00 each.

The decal must be adhered to the side of the trailer frame tongue near the hitch in a manner that is readily visible and does not interfere with the display of any other trailer registration requirements.

You can trailer watercraft or water-related equipment as soon as you finish training. You’ll get a temporary completion certificate at the end of the training that you keep with you until your decal arrives in the mail.

This new trailer decal requirement applies to all trailered watercraft and water related equipment, including non-residents. 


North Shore Hospital recognized for participation in hospital safety program

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 11:21am

Cook County Hospital and Care Center Administrator Kimber Wraalstad had some good news to share with the hospital board at its December 18 meeting. The hospital was recognized for its commitment to patient safety by participating in a three year Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement network initiative with the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), said Wraalstad.

Cook County joined with 115 hospitals actively addressing the 10 hospital-acquired conditions which included pressure ulcers, falls, obstetrical adverse events, venous thromboembolism, adverse drug events, surgical site infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, central line-associated blood stream infections and readmissions. 

“We received a plaque acknowledging our participation in this safety and quality improvement initiative,” Wraalstad said. “With the involvement of Minnesota hospitals in addressing various conditions and events, safety was improved across the board by 37 percent, 12,000 patients were prevented from being harmed and over $93 million was saved,” Wraalstad said.


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

Three Cook County projects to recieve IRRRB funding

Sat, 01/03/2015 - 12:48pm

Three local projects were approved for grants at the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board’s (IRRRB) December 18, 2014 meeting held in Eveleth.

It was the IRRRB’s last meeting of the year and was the last time IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich will head up the meetings. Sertich announced recently he is leaving the IRRRB to take another job, at the Northland Foundation.

* The township of Lutsen was awarded $300,000 to upgrade the infrastructure and irrigation system at the Superior National at Lutsen golf course.

* The Tofte township was granted $120,000 for phase II infrastructure upgrades for its $2,224,983 senior housing project.

* Cook County received $100,000 to be used towards its $5 million Devil Track airport runway upgrade.


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


Weekend News Roundup for January 3

Sat, 01/03/2015 - 10:24am

Each week the WTIP news department puts together a roundup of the weeks top    news stories. Sandpiper pipeline hears are set, Minnesota stops infested timber imports and new docks are scheduled for the Duluth Harbor…all this and more in the week’s news.


Listen to the Story

Gunflint Mail Run kicks off Saturday, Jan. 3

Fri, 01/02/2015 - 12:07pm

The two-day Gunflint Mail Run sled dog race starts Saturday, January 3 at 7 p.m. at Trail Center, said Race Co-Director Jack Stone of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply.

From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. mushers will have their dogs inspected in the pre-race veterinary check at Trail Center. A mushers’ meeting will be held at 4 p.m. and Reverend Mary Ellen Ashcroft will conduct a blessing of the dogs at 6:30 p.m.

“There will be plenty of time for people to mill around on Saturday and meet the dogs and mushers,” Stone said. “Some mushers may not want people around right before the race, but they will let the public know that,” he said.

Teams are expected to arrive at The Landing at Devil Track Lake at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. They will be guided in by luminaries (large metal cans filled with burning wood) that will be placed across the lake.

The first teams are expected to finish (at Trail Center) around 11 a.m. with awards presented at 3 p.m. at Trail Center.

The 100-mile race will be run on snowmobile trails graciously groomed by the local snowmobile clubs, said Stone. Winners will split a purse of $5,000.

Local participating includes Odin Jorgenson of Jorgensen Kennels; father and son Dennis and Charlie Laboda of Night Train Racing Sled Dogs; Frank Moe of Moetown Kennels; and Erin Altemus of Mush Lake Racing.

Odin’s father, Arleigh Jorgenson, was a participant in the first Gunflint Trail Run race held in the mid 1970s, said Stone. Another first time participant, Ted Young, will be on hand to tell stories about dogs and mushers now faded into the past, soon forgotten like paw prints that fill with moon shadows as the dogs race yelping through the night, their breath escaping like trembling ghosts star ward.