The following content was contributed by Cook County News Herald

KGM Contractors win bid for Gunflint Trail work

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 1:11pm

At the Tuesday, April 14 county board meeting, County Engineer David Betts asked the board to approve KGM Contractors bid of $2,047.778.01 to complete 3.73 miles of work on the Gunflint Trail from east of Fox Ridge Road to east of the intersection on County Road 92 [the old Gunflint Trail].

Although the bid was $330,000 over budget, Betts said KGM was the only bidder and the other two companies that normally bid these projects already have jobs for the summer.

“Despite the fact that we received only one bid, we recommend awarding the project to KGM Contractors of Angora, Minnesota, because we do not see any advantage to rebidding the project,” said Betts.

The job is expected to be finished by mid-August, but if it was re-bid, said Betts, it could take until late October and maybe not be able to be completed this year.

Plus, said Lisa Sorlie, the highway department’s secretary/book keeper, if no one bid on the job the county highway department would have to send back $500,000 in state aid funds that can only be used for this project.

KGM was the low bidder to crush gravel at $167,600. Betts also requested authorization to have KGM crush as much Class 1 gravel as the county had in its budget for gravel, and the board approved his request.


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


DNR reminds public to be bear aware this spring

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 1:08pm

Wildlife managers remind homeowners who live near bear habitat to be bear-aware and check their property for food sources that could attract bears this spring.

Bears usually begin emerging from their dens in late March and early April. Allowing bears to forage for food in a yard can present dangers to bears and people, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“While one homeowner may not be bothered by the presence of a bear in their yard, it can cause conflicts between neighbors, as well as public safety concerns, when human-related food is easy to find and the bears stop seeking their natural foods,” said Jeff Lightfoot, DNR northeast region wildlife manager. “These bears eventually get into trouble because they return again and again.”

As bears emerge from hibernation they are not immediately hungry, but over the following weeks their metabolism ramps up and they will begin looking for food at a time when berries and green vegetation can be scarce. Bears may be tempted by dog food, livestock feed, birdseed, compost or garbage.

“Bears are normally shy and usually flee when encountered,” said John Williams, DNR northwest region wildlife manager. “However, they may defend an area if they are feeding or are with their young. Never approach or try to pet a bear. Injury to people is rare, but bears are potentially dangerous because of their size, strength and speed.”

The DNR does not relocate problem bears. Relocated bears seldom remain where they are released. They may return to where they were caught or become a problem somewhere else.

For DNR tips for avoiding bear conflicts, visit


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


Great Place grant recipients announced

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 12:11pm

 The Cook County Chamber of Commerce and the Moving Matters project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Great Place Project. Twenty-seven local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals submitted creative ideas from across Cook County and Grand Portage. A total of $10,000 in grants will be awarded to 13 recipients to help create great places within our communities.

"It's both gratifying and exciting to see so many creative applications in the second year of the Great Place Project," said Jim Boyd, executive director of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce. "Our county already is a Great Place; these projects make it a bit greater, and we all get to enjoy the results."

The Great Place Project is a friendly, local competition for mini-grants to use high impact, low cost ideas to create great places in our communities. A great place is inviting, beautiful, and catches the eye. It reflects the unique character and identity of the community. And a great place encourages people to slow down and spend time there. “We know that people will be active where they have pleasant and safe places to do so. The Great Place Project has been an incredible opportunity to invest in community spaces and the health of our community,” said Moving Matters Coordinator Kristin DeArruda Wharton.

The Great Place Project is sponsored by the Moving Matters project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and the Cook County Chamber of Commerce. The Moving Matters project, with funding from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota's Center for Prevention, is working to create safer and more accessible places to walk and bike in Cook County and Grand Portage.

The Great Place mini-grant recipients and the projects they are developing are listed below.


2015 Grant Recipients

Arrowhead Pharmacy: Mural paintings by local artist Betsy Bowen, complemented by seating and landscaping.

Birchbark Books and Gifts: Locally themed mural paintings with hidden books by local artist Tim Young.

Border Designs: Rustic park bench and plantings by walking path in Lutsen.  

Cook County Higher Education: Welcoming entrance with plantings, enhanced walking path, and picnic table.

Cook County Historical Society: Gathering place with plantings, seating, and enhanced bike parking at museum.

Grand Portage Wellness Committee: Community Park gathering table and grill in Grand Portage.

Java Moose: Chair seating by the Grand Marais Harbor, at both café locations.

Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery: Log bench seating area with plantings.

Last Chance Studio: Moose sculpture created by local artist Tom Christianson.

Oddz and Endz: Resting spot with benches, tables, and planters using repurposed and recycled materials.

Schroeder Area Historical Society: ADA accessible viewfinder at Taconite Harbor.

Tofte Historical Society: Planters to enhance the plaza at the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum.

Visit Cook County: Enhancement of Grand Marais Visitor Center common area with benches and planters.


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

The following content was contributed by WTIP North Shore Community Radio

Vegetable and apple-growing workshops offered through Cook County Extension office

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:31am

The Cook County Extension office will be offering 3 workshops on growing vegetables, in addition to a May workshop on apples. WTIP volunteer Yvonne Mills spoke with Diane Booth from the Cook County Extension office on North Shore Morning.


Three informal beginning vegetable growing workshops will be offered this year:
(1)  Beginning Vegetable Growing - Monday, April 27
(2)  Beginning Vegetable Growing in Containers - Tuesday, April 28
(3)  Beginning Vegetable Growing in Straw Bales, Wednesday, April 29
All sessions will be taught by Diane Booth, CC Extension.  
Apple Growing Workshop with Cindy Hale will take place on Sat., May 2, at the CC Community Center from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  Topics covered:  Intensive apple growing systems for dwarf apple trees and integrated pest management. We will also be potting up newly grafted apple trees.  

Please pre-register by calling the CC Extension office at 218-387-3015.

(Photo by Charles Roffey on Flickr)


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Isle Royale wolf population bottoms out at just three

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 9:46am

The wolf population on Isle Royale has declined from a high of 50 almost 40 years ago to its current low of three animals today.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with wolf researcher Dr. Rolf Peterson about the condition and future of wolves on the island.



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Ham Run Half-Marathon follows "the trail less traveled" on May 2

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 12:13pm

The Ham Run Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run follow the “trail less traveled.” WTIP volunteer Mark Abrahamson spoke with Emily Marshall of the Cook County YMCA on North Shore Morning. 


The Ham Run Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run are Saturday, May 2nd.  More information at 387-3386 or online at

The Half-Marathon will begin at Gunflint Pines Resort and Campground on South Gunflint Lake Road, approximately 43 miles from Grand Marais. The half-marathon and 5k will begin promptly at 10:00 AM and runners must be checked in no later than 9:30 AM.



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