The following content was contributed by Cook County News Herald

Grand Marais PUC considers future of aging infrastructure

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 11:33am

During the February 1 meeting of the Grand Marais Public Utilities Commissions (PUC), Wastewaster Superintendent Tom Nelson remarked that water lost due to aging infrastructure and leaks is down to 30 percent as compared to last year’s average of 50 percent.

“We’ve had a handful of infrastructure improvements. A good chunk will be replaced with the highway project in 2019 too,” Nelson said.

This past year the water treatment plant has also experienced two record-breaking highs. The highest daily flow recorded was on November 30 at 2 million gallons. The month of May recorded the largest average daily flow at 390,000 gallons a day. The average usually sits around 160,000 gallons a day.

Commissioner George Wilkes commented that large water flows may be more common as we experience larger “rain events” due to climate change.

Commissioner Nelson went on to mention that warm snaps, like that experienced early this January, can also add to large water flows during parts of the year that typically sees lower water flows due to freezing temperatures.

Old MacDonald Had a Banjo

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 11:25am

Staff report

The Grand Marais Public Library will present Old MacDonald Had a Banjo, a free children’s program, on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m.

The show imagines a farm full of songs bursting out to entertain, educate and involve the audience in singing, movement and silliness. Folk musician Paul Imholte plays the part of Old MacDonald as he sings original and classic children’s songs. During the show Paul will play fiddle, guitar, hammered dulcimer, autoharp, cello, harmonica, spoons, jaw harp, and of course, banjo. Children and adults alike will leave the show singing and enjoying this energetic program.

This program, sponsored by Arrowhead Library System, was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.



North House welcomes new employees

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 11:22am

Staff report

North House Folk School has welcomed several new faces in the past couple of months, including four interns, a new school store manager, and a new program manager.

Long-time Cook County resident Cindy Hansen is the new friendly face in the school store – stocking it full of books, handmade craft, and tools! Sarah Waddle comes to us most recently from Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center and will be running the intern program and organizing volunteers.

The four interns hail from Minnesota and Oregon and are at North House through November. Anna, Rose, Derek, and Skyler will be some of the eager hands and welcoming smiles hosting special events, leading public demonstrations, sailing onboard the schooner Hjordis, and hosting weekly wood-fired pizza potlucks for students.



Fri, 02/10/2017 - 2:05pm

Eileen Netland-Hall, 93, of Tofte went to her Savior on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at North Shore Health in Grand Marais.

She was born on June 17, 1923, to Martin and Alice (Ellquist) Erickson on Maple Hill, near Grand Marais.  Eileen was a lifelong resident of Cook County, graduating from Cook County High School in 1940.  She married Swen Netland on December 31, 1941.  After his death in 1989, she married Charles Hall on August 29, 1993.  Eileen was a mother and homemaker throughout the years, although she worked numerous jobs in the Tofte area.  She was a 75 years member of Zoar Lutheran Church and was very active in their prayer circles, choir, and ladies aid.  Eileen helped many people find God’s grace in their lives and strengthen their commitment to God’s teachings.

She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings; husband, Swen; second husband, Charles; sons Joseph and Craig; daughter, Janice; and son-in-law, Mark Buckman.

Eileen is survived by children, Danny (Cathy) Netland, James (Dolly) Netland, Robin (Patty) Netland, Rosemary (Rex) Lewis, Alan (Melaine) Netland, Ken (Nancy) Netland, Cindy (Tex) Donek, Steve (Shonna) Netland, Kathy Buckman, Mary (Chuck) VanDoren; grandchildren Lisa (Randy) Nelson, Ronda (Ric) Carriveau, Angela Piri, Pam Swenson, Jeffrey (Michelle) Netland, Greg Netland, Brian Netland, Matt Netland, Gail Netland, Sheri Netland, Shayne Lewis, Ben (Marnie) Lewis, Nikylla Lewis, Nicholas Netland, Sophie Netland, Shanna (Scott) Kottke, Ryan Netland, Jason Donek, Brandon Donek, Sherri Eileen Donek (Tyler) Smith, Logan Netland, Dylan Netland, Mark Buckman, Jennifer Buckman, Kyler (Kelly) Hawsen, Steven (Kirsten) VanDoren, Bryan (Emily) VanDoren, and Bradley (Ashley) VanDoren; great-grandchildren Dustin (Carah) Nelson, Deric (Lynsey) Nelson, Felicia (Jake) Nelson, Craig (Tina) Carriveau, Laura Carriveau, Clayton Carriveau, Leann Carriveau, Cory Carriveau, Linzy Carriveau, Melissa James, Joseph James, David Netland, Breanna Netland, Samuel Netland, Tavia Lewis, Aisline Lewis, Oliver Hinkemeyer, Aliyah Buckman, Ruby Jo Hawsen, Max Hawsen, Sonja VanDoren, Nora VanDoren, and Cooper VanDoren; great-great-grandchildren Tucker Nordman, Brookstyn Nelson, Kambrie Nelson, Kale Nelson, and Brayden Nelson; and many, many nieces and nephews.

Eileen would wish that all who belong to the church continue to pray for its survival and learn the truth and love of God.  She also wanted to thank special friends at Zoar and other friends for praying for her.  Eileen continued to pray for others up until the day she died.  Praise the Lord always.

Eileen’s family wishes to thank the staff of the Care Center for their excellent care and compassion.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 12, 2017, at Zoar Lutheran Church in Tofte.  To sign the online guestbook please visit

Please send memorials to Zoar Lutheran Church.


The following content was contributed by WTIP North Shore Community Radio

Warm weather may bring rain over next couple of days

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 10:30am

Our warm weather may alternately turn wet, then dry and back to wet again. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Bryan Howell.



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WTIP shares the latest Cook County law enforcement report

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 9:07pm

The following is a record of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center from February 6 – February 12. These are the initial calls made to law enforcement dispatchers.
If you need help from Cook County Law Enforcement, dial 9-1-1. For non-emergency calls, contact the Cook County Sheriffs Office at 218-387-3030.

View more news from WTIP

Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness celebrates 20 years with event in Grand Marais

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 8:52am

The year 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters’ founder and lead organization, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness (NMW). There will be an event in Grand Marais on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Cook County Community Center log cabin building celebrating the anniversary and achievements of NMW during the past 20 years.

The Cook County based band The SplinterTones are playing live during the event. All are invited to attend this public and free event.

Click here for more information. 

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs finds out more in this interview with Ingrid Lyons from the Save the Boundary Waters Campaign.


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Weekend News Roundup for February 18

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 10:09am

Each week the WTIP news staff compiles a review of news from the previous five days. The county wants to pave the Pike Lake Road. A group of DFLers want Congressman Nolan to run for Governor. Workforce house draws fire…all this and more in the week’s news.


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Cook County Viking boys bring home State 3rd place trophy

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 12:01pm
The Cook County boys Alpine team with the third place trophy at State

The Cook County Vikings Alpine Ski team had several athletes at the State Meet at Giants Ridge on Wednesday, Febraruy 15.

The Viking boys' team of Will Lamb, Erik Lawler, Logan Backstrom, Will Surbaugh, Ezra Lunde, Masen McKeever took first at the Section 7 meet and advanced to the State Meet. 

Individual skiers advancing to State were Reilly Wahlers, Sela Backstrom and Will Lamb. 

Rhonda Silence learns more about the challenging State Meet in this interview with Alpine Coach Charles Lamb. 


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Grand Marais likely to host seaplane service to Isle Royale

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 11:26am

Isle Royale National Park is considering a proposal by Isle Royale Seaplanes  (IRS) to offer seaplance service from Grand Marais to Isle Royale. The company has an existing contract with the Park to provide air taxi service from Houghton to Isle Royale through 2025. IRS would continue to offer service between Houghton to designated landing areas in the Park (Windigo, Mott Island, and Tobin Harbor/Rock Harbor Lodge) and add Grand Marais  as an additional destination. The second aircraft, a Cessna 206 nearly identical to the existing seaplane, offering the service would be based in Houghton County, Michigan. 

The additional flight service would take place in and out of the Cook County Seaplane Base in Grand Marais.  The Seaplane Base currently support seaplane arrivals and departures on two designated runways on Devil Track Lake.  Depending on weather and demand, IRS currently provides up to five flights a day with a maximum of 20 people entering and leaving the island. The second aircraft could double that amount to 40 people a day. The second aircraft would provide uninterrupted service to the Park if one aircraft is out of service for maintenance and reduce waiting times when back-logs occur due to weather.
The new service would be authorized on a one or two year trial basis through a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) with Isle Royale Seaplanes (IRS). After the trial period, either party could  choose to end the additional Minnesota service, a CUA may be reissued, or the existing contract may be amended.   

The CUA would include flight pattern and altitude restrictions to limit impacts to visitors.  Soundscape monitoring equipment would be placed on the island to assess and document  the potential increase in aircraft noise.  Data collected would be compared to soundscape data collected in 2013 and 2016.

This proposal is open for public review and comment on any concerns relative to the additional seaplane service. The comment period concludes on March 17, 2017

Comments may be submitted online at, or by mailing or hand delivering comments to Superintendent Phyllis Green, Isle Royale National Park, ISRO Seaplane, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896.  

View more news from WTIP

Syndicate content

February 6, 2017
12:17 a.m.  Lutsen 59-year-old female with medical issues.
6:23 a.m. Golf Course Rd, Grand Marais Caller locked out of running vehicle. 
7:19 a.m. Lutsen Safe routes to school.
8:22 a.m.  Grand Portage National Monument Vehicle crashed into one of the stone pillars at the monument.
8:24 a.m. West Highway 61  Dead deer partially in the traffic lane.
8:58 a.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Misdial from Bluefin Bay Resort. 
9:15 a.m. Grand Marais  Needs to pick up property at this address and needs deputy assistance. 
10:40 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Deputy finger printed party. 
11:28 a.m. Hedstrom Lumber Would like deputy to call back 
12:56 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Reported property missing from their camper.
1:52 p.m. Store Rd, Grand Portage  Property damage to overhead door, done by company vehicle to company building.
3:59 p.m. Golf Course Rd,  Grand Marais 97-year-old male with medical issue.
6:13 p.m 11th Avenue West, Grand Marais  General fire alarm, false alarm.
February 7
1:16 a.m. Grand Portage  Out with party walking along Highway 61.
5:12 a.m. Grand Portage Community Center Party on site set off burglar alarm, false alarm.
7:58 a.m. Cook County High School Safe routes to school 
9:36 a.m. Grand Marais  Reporting snow board was stolen about 1 year ago. 
1:56 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
2:04 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
2:27 p.m. East Highway 61  Car stalled on 1st Ave. East by Johnson’s. Party will be getting it moved.
2:28 p.m. East Highway 61  Removing debris from highway.
5:06 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Cook County gave possession permit for deer hit on highway. 
8:43 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Caller reporting vehicle had been taken about a month ago and hasn't been returned.
8:49 p.m. Grand Marais 63-year-old female with medical problems.
9:53 p.m. Ski Hill Road, Lutsen Ski Hill Road could be plowed again - drifting from the wind and hard to travel on.
February 8
8:06 a.m. Cook County High School School patrol.
9:14 a.m. Grand Marais  83-year-old female needs medical assistance.
10:08 a.m. Grand Marais  92-year-old female fell, possible broken leg.
11:54 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Marais  Vehicle pulled out of Grand Marais Rec Park, now at this location with hood up.
12:17 p.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
2:54 p.m. West Highway 61 Hit a deer at this location. 
3:32 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Water permit for snowmobile drag races.
3:44 p.m. Grand Portage  Possible theft report.
3:51 p.m. County Road 7, Grand Marais Residence check.
4:56 p.m. East Highway 61  Witness deer versus car. No injuries. 
8:23 p.m. Grand Portage  911 call from this number. 
8:41 p.m. West Highway 61  Vehicle died. It is off the road near above address. Will work on it tomorrow. 
February 9
12:46 a.m. Murmur Creek Road, Grand Marais Missing dogs - black and white husky and tri-colored pitbull/cocker mix. Jasper (husky) and Quinn have been gone since about 11 p.m.
4:01 a.m. Grand Portage  64-year-old female having chest pains. 
7:25 a.m. East Highway 61  Vehicle stalled near this location. Man standing next to it. 
7:52 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic enforcement.
8:41 a.m. Grand Marais  Party standing outside their door, threatening party. 
9:39 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen  Traffic stop, warning given
10:14 a.m. Cook County High School Party ran from the building. 
10:22 a.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Traffic stop, warning given
11:03 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Would like you to call him 
12:09 p.m. Cook County Courthouse Vulnerable adult meeting 
1:02 p.m. East Highway 61, Hovland  Traffic stop, warning given
1:41 p.m. Grand Marais  86-year-old male needs medical attention. 
3:58 p.m. Grand Marais  Civil process attempt.
9:20 p.m. Grand Marais  Welfare check on party.
11:16 p.m. East Highway 61  Dead deer in middle of southbound lane forcing traffic into the other lane.
February 10
5:31 a.m. Gunflint Trail 65-year-old male with chest pain, needs medical attention. 
6:31 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Cook County called back, caller stated misdial by pocket.
10:49 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Watch dialed 911 by accident. No emergency. 
10:51 a.m. Lutsen  Residence check.
11:20 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
11:51 a.m. Grand Marais  Stated the CO detector is going off. 
11:57 a.m. Greenwood Lake/Firebox Road  Snowmobile/car crash. 
12:45 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Fingerprinting party. 
12:56 p.m. Grand Marais  Traffic stop, citation issued.
1:29 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party would like to speak to a deputy.
1:31 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party in for urinalysis.
1:34 p.m. West Highway 61  Party needs medical attention. 
2:08 p.m. Grand Portage  56-year-old female possibly having a heart attachk. 
2:44 p.m. YMCA Grand Marais  911 pocket dial from 911 phone. Cook County contacted the YMCA, they stated no known emergency. 
3:09 p.m. Voyageur Brewing Company, Grand Marais Parties fighting in the parking lot.
3:14 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Permit to carry renewal received. 
5:22 p.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder 2 calls from this location, no one online. 
6:00 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Witnessed someone hit a deer- deer is still in the roadway. Unsure if alive or not. 
6:09 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Requested to have deputy call back. 
7:24 p.m. Grand Marais 911 from 911 only cell phone, lots of loud noises, shouting, buzzers and kids voices in background. 
7:41 p.m. Cook County High School Basketball game.
7:59 p.m. Caribou Trail/Lutsen Snowmobile break down at Caribou Trail and snowmobile trail. Needs to get back to his motel. Wondering if deputy can assist. 
8:46 p.m. Grand Marais  911 from 911 only phone. Coordinates put it at the school, sounds like in a large room, lots of muffled talking. Between basketball game and school dance, lots of people there. No sounds of distress 
8:54 p.m. East Highway 61/North Broadway Red object in the sky - earlier than the comet expected.. Came from the north west and went south east. Steady red light, no blinking. Not an airplane or meteor. Got cell phone footage of it. Wondering if we've had any other calls or know what it might have been that went over 
9:03 p.m. Grand Marais Another 911 only call, lots of screams and music in the background. Sounds like the middle school dance again. Nobody answered when dispatch was shouting at them to answer 
9:16 p.m. West 5th Street, Grand Marais  Another 911 only phone call.  GPS places phone at the middle school dance. Just music in the background. Deputy going to the school to speak with them about the numerous 911 calls from the phones.
9:22 p.m. West 5th Street, Grand Marais  Another 911 only cell phone call at the middle school dance. Heard deputy addressing the crowd in the background about the numerous calls from that site.
9:25 p.m. Grand Marais  Party locked out of their apartment, manager is out of town.
9:57 p.m. West 5th Street, Grand Marais  Deputy at Middle School dance.
10:28 p.m. Grand Marais  Party states a pickup and possibly some snowmobiles raising a ruckus in the Grand Marais Rec Park. 
11:20 p.m. Grand Marais  Caller reporting an assault.
February 11
1:49 a.m. Grand Marais  Caller got into a fight with her husband. She stated he did not hit her and that she's intoxicated with nowhere to go 
4:01 a.m. Grand Portage  Commercial burglary alarm, false alarm.
5:46 a.m. Grand Portage  wWife never came home from the casino last night. This is out of character for her. Party located.
7:28 a.m. Grand Portage  4 wheeler at this location 
8:14 a.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage  Traffic stop, citation issued.
8:23 a.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Traffic stop, warning given.
8:35 a.m. West Highway 61, Schroeder Traffic stop, warning given.
9:35 a.m. Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage  Canoe shed door alarm, false alarm.
10:21 a.m. West Highway 61,  Grand Marais Alarm for My Brother's Place back door, false alarm.
10:31 a.m. Grand Marais 94-year-old female with hip pain, needs medical help.
10:37 a.m. Grand Marais  Party receiving harassing text messages from someone who lives in the cities. 
11:21 a.m. Cedar Grove Lane, Grand Marais  Requesting city to come sand the business park. 
12:17 p.m. Devil Track Road, Grand Marais  Snowmobile left on snowmobile trail last night. 
1:29 p.m. Law Enforcement Center Would like deputy to return call.
1:41 p.m. Grand Marais  Mike's Holiday burglar alarm going off, false alarm.
3:10 p.m. East Highway 61, Grand Portage  Hit deer at this location. 
3:28 p.m. Eliza Rd, Grand Portage Traffic stop.
3:49 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  911 hang up. Cook County called, party stated no problem.  Phone dialed by accident 
4:23 p.m. Grand Marais State Bank Party stopped in with a debit card he found in the ATM.
4:38 p.m. Grand Marais  Tracks to a blue shed on the property. There should be no one there. Also has a trailer on property. 
4:44 p.m. Grand Portage Community Center  Foot patrol.
6:19 p.m. West Highway 61  Party requesting a welfare check on his elderly mother.
7:22 p.m. Mile Creek Rd, Grand Portage Traffic stop, warning given.
9:02 p.m. Gunflint Trail  61-year-old having seizure, medical help needed. 
9:18 p.m. West Highway 61  Traffic stop, warning given.
11:53 p.m. 143 Gunflint Trl, 2gm  Help requested to find a missing person. 
February 12
1:33 a.m. N Broadway, Grand Marais  Traffic stop, warning given.
2:10 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Caller with complaint that Sheriffs Office is not pulling over intoxicated drivers. Party claims multiple drunk drivers are leaving the casino, but had no plate information on any of the 20 drivers that party just saw leave the casino driving drunk. 
5:37 a.m. Willard Lane, Lutsen  Caller states power is out.
8:01 a.m. Sugar Loaf Road/Highway 61 Dead deer in the middle of the road. 
8:07 a.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
9:02 a.m. Ski Hill Road/West Highway 61, Lutsen  Car swerving in road. 
10:24 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
11:03 a.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
11:50 a.m. West Highway 61, Lutsen Traffic stop, warning given.
12:03 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
12:32 p.m. East Bay Suites  Party stating her friend has been missing since last night at 1:30 a.m. Party located.  
12:37 p.m. Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage  Security alarm for canoe shed door, false alarm.
1:23 p.m. Pincushion Mountain Overlook Ski races.
2:08 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, warning given.
2:44 p.m. West Highway 61, Tofte Traffic stop, citation issued.
3:15 p.m. West Highway 61 Check on party regarding call from last night.
3:19 p.m. Lutsen Mountains Ski Patrol 21-year-old male, leg injury. Being placed on backboard. 
3:26 p.m. Caspers Hill Road, Grand Marais Power is out. 
3:58 p.m. East Highway 61 Reporting power outage.
4:03 p.m. Cook County Community Center Male dog with long scraggly hair and camo collar, no tags. 
4:27 p.m. East Highway 61 Traffic stop, citation issued.
4:42 p.m. Johnson Heritage Post Passed information along about a meeting tomorrow.
4:46 p.m. Fall River Rd/West Highway 61 Vehicle drifted to one lane. 
5:25 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Inmate transport.
6:12 p.m. West Highway 61 Traffic stop, warning given.
6:45 p.m. Coho Cafe, Tofte Two car accident in front of the Coho Café.
9:13 p.m. Law Enforcement Center  Party would like a callback.
9:32 p.m. Mile Creek Rd, Grand Portage. Traffic stop, warning given.
10:50 p.m. East Highway 61 Party hit deer.