The following content was contributed by Cook County News Herald

Chair Zumba offered at Cook County Senior Center

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 10:38am

Chair Zumba is back at the Cook County Senior Center! Chris Angelo is at the Senior Center on Thursday mornings at 10:00 a.m. for a fun filled class that is offered to the public, free of charge. This latest Zumba craze uses high-tempo music and chair-based choreography to strengthen, balance and stabilize your core, and add to your cardio workout in a fun way. If you’ve always wanted to try Zumba, this is a great place to start!

For more information about Zumba or other activities at the Cook County Senior Center, you can call the Senior Center at 218-387-2660.


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

Cold weather rule information available

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 10:37am

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Cold Weather Rule protects residential customers who will have difficulty paying their heating bills from October 15 through April 15 from having their service turned off. The Cold Weather Rule impacts all utility customers, of the Grand Marais Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Arrowhead Electric Cooperative (AEC).

Cold weather rule notices will be included in upcoming utility bills. Customers who qualify for Cold Weather Rule protection must agree to pay 10 percent of their monthly income to avoid disconnection.  This 10 percent must be prorated between energy providers. If a customer uses propane or fuel oil, the city or electric cooperative would only receive 30 percent of the 10 percent.

Customers who have demonstrated an inability to pay on forms provided and who make reasonable payments cannot be disconnected. Also, all payment agreements must consider a customer’s financial circumstance and any extenuating circumstances of the household.

If a Grand Marais PUC customer wishes to be considered for the program, they should contact Grand Marais City Hall and present information to PUC Secretary Jan Smith to set up monthly payments for the winter months. If you are in some doubt about whether you qualify, please call the city at 218-387-1848 and ask for Smith.

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative customers who might not be able to pay their full electric bill are encouraged to make a payment arrangement with Arrowhead and stay current with their payments. To set up a payment plan, contact Arrowhead Cooperative at (800) 864-3744 before the due date of your bill.

“If you are income eligible, you must also apply for AEOA Assistance,” said Sandy Petty, employee of AEC.

And said Petty, “There is no guarantee how much money AEOA has, so if you think you need assistance, the sooner the better,” Petty said.

Under the state’s 2014-2015 guideline, a family of four making $44,912 or less would qualify for the 10 percent of income payment plan.

Any customer who receives energy assistance, state or federal financial assistance, medical aid, food stamps, a pension, unemployment, shows proof of recent job loss, having income less than 50 percent of the median state level, or other proof supporting inability to pay cannot be disconnected.

If a customer doesn’t apply for disconnect protection by October 15 and cannot meet his or her payments, they will receive another form in the mail and be given 20 working days to respond. If there is no follow through or response from the customer, a shut-off notice will be given, with three additional days before the electricity is shut off.


For further assistance contact:

Energy Assistance Hotline     800-657-3710

Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA)           800-662-5711

Salvation Army Heatshare      800-824-7279

Name change for Cook County Planning and Zoning

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 11:23am

As directed at the August 9 county board meeting, Planning and Zoning Director Tim Nelson returned to the board to the costs associated with a name change for the Planning and Zoning department. The proposal changes the department name to the Land Services Department, to better reflect the work done by that department, especially because a Land Services Commissioner is being added to that department.

Nelson told the board that existing stationary would still be used because Planning and Zoning will continue to be a subsection of the Land Services Department, as would Environmental Health. In fact, Nelson said, those departments already have different letterheads.

The cost to change is lessened by the fact that the departments use a computer letterhead template and print business cards themselves as needed. The only printing cost for the county would be for envelopes.

Nelson gave an estimate of $100 to $500 to update stationary and to change the signage at the front foyer and department door. He added there may be some staff time involved in these changes and some time in the Information Services department while changing the website information.

The county board approved the change and Commissioner Gamble said the process to get to this point was well reasoned.


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



Learn about "Minnesota Gold" at Grand Marais Library

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 11:21am

Minnesotans have long been known for their humble nature and work ethic, and as such have long taken great pride in their athletics.

Minnesota Gold features compelling stories told by 57 Minnesota athletes participating in the Olympics, World Championships, and World Cups from 1948 – 2014. As they pursued their dreams and persevered to compete in the greatest international competitions, these diverse athletes represented their state with dignity and brought pride to sports fans in all regions of Minnesota. With the arrival of the 2016 Olympics, interest in Minnesota’s historical role in the games is enthusiastic. 

Author Patrick “Packy” Mader will present an engaging and unique program focusing on the athletes and his book at the Grand Marais Public Library at 6 p.m. Aug. 24. He will share the memorable conversations he had with these remarkable men and women who honored their sport, their state, and their country on the world stage over the last seven decades.

 For more information contact the library at (218) 387-1140.


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

Gitchi-Gami Trail Association bike ride this weekend

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 12:04pm

The 16th Annual Gitchi-Gami Trail Association (GGTA) North Shore Bike Ride will take place on Saturday, Aug. 20, with 28-mile, 37-mile, and 55-mile route options.

The recreational ride will once again begin and end in Gooseberry Falls State Park on scenic Hwy. 61. As an added attraction to this year’s ride, Beaver Bay, the "hub" of all three rides, is celebrating its first annual “Rhythm & Roots Festival” that weekend. GGTA riders can enjoy music, history presentations, street sales, food, and fun events planned for the celebration.

 All three routes begin on the longest continuous section of the GGST – 14 miles from Gooseberry through historic Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, to the rest stop at the new Beaver Bay trailhead. The 28-mile route is entirely on the GGST, from Gooseberry to Beaver Bay and back again. Because it is an “out-and-back” ride, bikers can turn around at any point to return to the starting point.

 The 37-mile option adds a loop on county roads north from Beaver Bay and into Silver Bay, returning on the trail between Silver Bay and the West Road in Beaver Bay. This route incorporates over a half-mile on gravel road (the West Road).

 The 55-mile option follows the GGST to Beaver Bay and adds a challenging loop north and east on county roads and state highways, returning through Silver Bay to Beaver Bay. Both of the longer loops return to Gooseberry on the GGST.

 The “Rhythm & Roots Festival” commemorates the 160th anniversary of the founding of the city of Beaver Bay – the oldest permanent settlement on the North Shore. “The GGTA is pleased to join in this celebration on the day of the annual ride, in recognition of the role Beaver Bay has played in the short history of the GGST,” said Bill Blank, president of the GGTA.

The 16th Annual GGTA Ride begins at 9 a.m. Riders are requested to depart by 10:30 a.m. Parking for the ride is in a lot inside Gooseberry Falls State Park. Vehicles will need an annual state park vehicle sticker or a daily vehicle pass. A daily pass will be provided by the GGTA as part of the registration fee, and is also good for entry to every other state park on ride day.

More information is available on the GGTA website, or by calling (218) 370-1003.


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

Harpeth Rising to appear at Arrowhead Center for the Arts August 20

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 11:27am

The North Shore Music Association will present Harpeth Rising at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

There are no harps played in the band Harpeth Rising. The female trio — named for the Harpeth River in middle Tennessee — could be described as “modern progressive bluegrass” or “chamberfolk,” but these titles only touch on their unique sound.

These three classically trained musicians produce original music that’s intricately arranged, lyrically rooted in the singer/songwriter tradition, wrapped in three-part vocal harmonies reminiscent of both Appalachia and Medieval Europe, and evocative of the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt and the “dawg music” of David Grisman. Building from the tonal depth of the cello, layered with shimmering violin and strikingly natural banjo, they create a sound that’s at once familiar and impossible to categorize.

The three musicians hold classical performance degrees from some of the most venerated schools in the world: Indiana University, Oberlin, and Eastman School of Music. But their classical background is only one dimension of this trio’s powerful musical voice. Hailing from vastly different parts of North America, each member of Harpeth Rising brings different influences to the core sound.

Maria Di Meglio, cello, was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. and grew up learning Eastern European folk songs alongside classical repertoire. Michelle Younger of Charlottesville, Virginia comes by her modern spin on old-time infused banjo as a descendent of Cole Younger, a member of the James-Younger Gang whose bandit career ended at an 1876 attempted bank robbery in Northfield, Minn. Jordana Greenberg, violin, studied classical music by day at Indiana University and spent her nights learning the folk tunes and classic rocks songs that her family plays at their annual post-Passover jam sessions.

All three women began singing after they completed their instrumental studies and found a passionate new musical avenue. They developed their voices and arrangements to bring life to the lyrical expressiveness of their original songs. Hallmarks of their music include expansive three-part harmonies, consummate musicianship, and a deft yet soulful lyrical perspective.

For more information about the band or its Grand Marais performance, contact the Music Association at (218) 387-1272.


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


The following content was contributed by WTIP North Shore Community Radio

Budget talks begin and a transportation sales tax nears board action

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 10:10am

The county board begins budget talks, which will last through year’s end. Also, the board will act soon on a proposed half-percent sales tax for county transportation needs. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with District One Commissioner Frank Moe.


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A tenacious macro algae is spreading through the state

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 9:35am

Zebra mussels have managed to find their way into Northwest Minnesota lakes and a new threat is posed with the advance of a macro algae, starry stonewort. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Amanda Weberg.


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The cost of restoring clean water vs. basic preservation efforts

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 7:15am

This is the fifth and final segment in WTIP’s series focusing on clean and sustainable water along Lake Superior’s North Shore. This piece describes the concept of preservation vs. restoration as it pertains to clean water in the region. 


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Warm but sometimes wet weather for the week

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 9:49am

This week we’ll see alternating weather systems – warm, wet, warm, wet, etc.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Carol Christenson.


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County continues to discuss sales-tax increase to benefit highway department

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 7:29am

The Cook County Board of Commissioners continue to discuss implementing a half-cent sales tax increase that would generate funds for the local highway department. WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs has an update on this ongoing story. 


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WTIP Weekend News Roundup for August 20

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 10:38am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The transportation tax hearing turns into a Pike Lake Road protest. A local artist makes the 50 over 50 list and the county board votes to back off placing moose on endangered list…all this and more in the week’s news.


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