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The North Shore News Hour includes up-to-the minute weather, North Shore happenings in local news, sports and entertainment, as well as a variety of features from WTIP staff and volunteers. If you miss the North Shore News Hour at noon, tune in for a replay Monday through Thursday beginning at 5:00 p.m.

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Grand Portage Band flag. Submitted image

Grand Portage primary election postponed to June 9

If it were not for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa would today be announcing the results of its tribal council primary election.

However, due to health and safety concerns, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe adopted a resolution on March 24 to postpone the March 31, 2020 primary elections for its members.

According to a memorandum from the MCT, the primary election for the 2020 election will be held June 9, 2020 and the general election will take place on August 18.

Any band members who have already voted by absentee ballot will be counted in the June 9 primary.

MCT President Cathy Chavers said in the memo, “Unfortunately this postponement will add confusion to our election process, but for the safety of our tribal members it was necessary.”

Following the MCT decision, Grand Portage Tribal Council Secretary/Treasurer April McCormick issued a memorandum to Grand Portage Band members, explaining it stance on the election.

McCormick wrote that the Grand Portage election board members told the Tribal Council they were prepared to conduct the primary on March 31, with precautions regarding the spread of COVID-19.

McCormick wrote that she and Tribal Chair Beth Drost, as the MCT representatives for Grand Portage, advocated for the primary to proceed as planned.

McCormick said the Mille Lacs Band of Lake Superior Chippewa joined Grand Portage in asking that the primary proceed as planned. However, she said other Bands felt they were not ready. Grand Portage and Mille Lacs were voted down, and the MCT directed that the election dates be changed.

McCormick expressed appreciation to the Grand Portage election board. The Tribal Council appoints Band members to that board. For the 2020 primary and general elections those serving are Toby Stevens, chair; Jason Burnett, clerk; Vallen Cook, teller, and Vivian Carlson, alternate.
McCormick added, “I would like to especially thank the dedicated election board members for being so proactive in ensuring Board member and voter health and safety by developing protocols for the polling place and handling materials.”

In the Grand Portage primary, candidates for chairperson are Robert “Bobby” Deschampe, Earl Johnson, and Beth Drost (Incumbent).

Candidates on the ballot for committeeperson at large are Marie Spry, Eric Pehrson, Rick Anderson (incumbent) Ester “Bess” Deschampe, and Rob Hull.

The Grand Portage Tribal Council is the governing body of the reservation and is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The primary is being held in accordance with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe constitution, which calls for a primary if there are multiple candidates for the same seat.

The Grand Portage Tribal Council consists of a chair, vice chair, secretary/treasurer, and two committee members. All positions are four-year terms.

Image courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Office

A look at the Law Enforcement Log, March 10-24

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office shared a brief report of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center from February 25 - March 9. WTIP requested more information on a number of the incidents logged by law enforcement dispatchers.

March 10
11:06 a.m. – A party came into the law enforcement center to ask question about what rights bar workers have regarding unwanted sexual contact. The party was asking for another person. They were advised that person would need to come in with a complaint, but suggested the person speak with the bar owner. If a patron is behaving poorly, they should be asked to leave.
1:47 p.m. – A party found a wallet on the side of the road on east Highway 61. The owner of the wallet called and will come to pick it up. The cash in the wallet was gone.
 5:04 p.m. – A woman called to say her Ford Ranger was stuck in the roadway at Cascade River State Park on the way to the campground. She thinks she just needs some sand to get unstuck. Party was advised to call AAA.
6:58 p.m. – A Forest Service worker conducting an owl survey called to say he would be in the field on The Grade and Sawbill Trail until about 2 a.m. The man called in at 12:50 a.m.  

 March 11
12:30 a.m. – A party called to report minors drinking at a house in Grand Portage. A deputy responded and gave one minor a ride home.
8:21 a.m. – A caller reported a white pickup heading up the Gunflint Trail, just past the law enforcement center, with the door open on the box trailer. The party was worried items will start falling out of the truck into the roadway. Deputy was unable to locate the truck.
9:10 a.m. – A party reported meeting a logging truck in the Ball Club Lake area last week in blizzard conditions and being practically run off the road. Party asked if someone from the sheriff’s office could talk to the loggers to ask them to be more careful of conditions and others who may be using the road.
11:48 a.m. – A party hit a deer on West Highway 61. No damages to vehicle, but deer is not dead. When the deputy located the deer, it had already been dispatched.
 4:19 p.m. – True North called to let dispatch know they will be testing 911.
6:34 p.m. – A party called to report a driver in possession of syringes, meth pipes and three different types of pills. The person appears to be on drugs. An Ontario woman, in a vehicle from Alberta, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of pills without a prescription. 
8:11 p.m. – A large husky with a pink collar got loose in Grand Marais. A deputy patrolled the area but did not see the dog. The dog was found in the neighbor’s yard a few minutes before 9 a.m.

March 12
8:42 a.m. – There was a 911 call in Grand Marais and the person hung up. On a second call, a party reported that their parents were fighting. The parents were advised to separate themselves. One went into a bedroom; the other to sit in a vehicle.
9:52 a.m. – A party reported a lost snowmobile trailer ramp between Gunflint Lodge and North Brule Bridge. When they went back for it, they could not find it. Cook County checked with the county Highway Department to see if they saw it. They did not see it either.
1:25 p.m. – A party reported that her light-colored husky named Sage had gotten loose. The party called back a half-hour later to say Sage was found at Johnson’s Foods.
2:00 p.m. – The sheriff’s office received a 911 call from Bearskin Lodge. Dispatchers spoke with the lodge and everything is fine there.
2:24 p.m. – A party asked for assistance with dishonored checks.
2:51 p.m. – The Violence Prevention Center reported that their phone number had come up on a fraud or scam call to a local number. The Violence Prevention Center said they just want it noted in case someone else gets a similar call. VPC calls do not register on caller ID.

March 13
10:01 a.m. – A party reported metal bars in the road by the stoplight. When a deputy arrived the bars were out of the road, next to South of the Border Café.
11:41 a.m. – A welfare check was requested for a woman walking on West Highway 61 in Two Harbors who said she was walking to Grand Portage. A deputy spoke with her and she seemed to be okay and did not need assistance. Several other calls came in reporting a female walking on the highway during the night.
4:47 p.m. – Lutsen Mountains called to report theft by unauthorized use of a ski pass. A party shared their lift ticket with another person to use, which is not allowed. The parties worked this out with Lutsen Mountains staff, so it is not a theft.
8:02 p.m. – A caller reported a woman walking along West Highway 61.
 March 14
1:50 a.m. – A deputy gave a female a ride to the Law Enforcement Center to give her a chance to warm up. The woman asked to be dropped off on the east side of Grand Marais instead.
 3:45 a.m. – A party called to report a female walking on east Highway 61. Cook County advised that they are aware of the woman. She wants to walk to Grand Portage.
11:14 a.m. – A party at the Grand Portage/Pigeon River port of entry was found to be carrying 14 grams of marijuana, a pipe and a grinder.
12:29 p.m. – A U.S. Forest Service employee asked the Law Enforcement Center to check registration for a snowmobile.
12:36 p.m. – A small, possibly male Chihuahua dog has been hanging around a residence on Sugar Loaf Road in Tofte. The dog has no collar. The residents fed it and put down some straw, but it ran away. The party was given contact information for Arrowhead Animal Rescue.
1:33 p.m. – A black Ford F-250 pulling a black trailer with a Harley-Davidson logo on the side was reported as speeding past the Grand Marais Rec Park in Grand Marais.
8:20 p.m. – U.S. Customs called from the Grand Portage/Pigeon River port of entry to report a female walking on east Highway 61. It appears to be the same woman from the previous night and she seems to be okay. She was walking across the bridge into Canada.
9:14 p.m. – A party found two dogs running on the road in Grand Marais. One is pure black; the other with a white striped face. The party has them in his car. Cook County found the dog owners and they will come get the dogs.
10:58 p.m. – An emergency call came in to law enforcement dispatch from Hungry Jack Road with the sounds of a child crying. On call back there was the sound of a screaming child. A deputy was able to reach the residence on a landline and any children at the location were accounted for. The party said his daughter had the phone earlier and was playing with a bunch of other kids. Everything was fine.

March 15
12:20 a.m. – A party called requesting help reaching 911 in Germany for a family member that needs assistance. Cook County is not able to reach 911 in Germany, but offered a phone number for the party.
3:49 a.m. – U.S. Customs called back from the Grand Portage/Pigeon River port of entry. The woman who walked across the border earlier is back in the U.S. and is seeking help finding housing. A deputy arrived and the party requested a ride back to Grand Marais to talk to local churches about sheltering there.
9:35 a.m. – A party in Lutsen reported that she left her rented house last night after an argument with a boyfriend. She returned to find the house flooded because every faucet in the house had been left running. She contacted the landlord, but wanted to file a report.
 10:28 a.m. – A woman lost a small, silver wallet in Grand Marais. A party from the Co-op called to report that a wallet had been found there. The woman was contacted and she will talk to the Co-op to have the wallet sent to her.
10:37 p.m. – A party reported that a neighbor had been screaming, yelling and singing until 5:30 a.m. Cook County told the party this behavior needs to be reported when it is happening so the sheriff’s office can document the disturbance. The party said they will call while the noise is occurring next time.
10:46 p.m. – A party reported hitting a deer on West Highway 61. The call was transferred to the Minnesota State Patrol.
11:11 p.m. A party hit a deer on West Highway 61. A deputy was passing by and gave assistance.
 12:35 a.m. – A party called from the Free Church in Grand Marais to let the sheriff’s office know that a party will be staying the night at the church.
1:18 p.m. – A group of snowmobilers reported that two people were stuck in an Audi Q5 on Partridge Falls Road in Grand Portage. North Coast Towing responded and got the vehicle out by 1:42 p.m.
10:37 p.m. – A welfare check was requested for a male party stumbling around a parking lot in Grand Marais. The party was brought to his room at a local hotel and left with a sober party.
11:11 p.m. – A party from Wisconsin asked for a welfare check for his mother, last seen at the GunFlint Tavern.

March 17
6:54 a.m. –  A report of neighbor problems came in from Grand Marais. A party smoking a cigarette was harassed by another party wanting a cigarette. A citation was issued to one party for disorderly conduct.
7:42 a.m. – Cook County Public Health and Human Services requested a welfare check for a client that was to be at Social Services. Party was transported to North Shore Health.
8:30 a.m. – A gray Weimaraner dog, about 60 pounds, was seen running around on West Highway 61. Party will call Arrowhead Animal Rescue.
 9:22 a.m. –  Two neighbors in Grand Marais reported having problems with a neighbor being loud and cursing all night until 7 a.m.  Cook County Public Health was contacted.
10:54 a.m. – A deputy collected items from a hotel for a person being transferred to a Duluth facility.
11:01 a.m. – A Samsung s7 cellphone was found at the entrance to the city council chambers. Phone was dropped off at the law enforcement center. It is a 911 phone only.
1:14 p.m. -  A party hit a deer on West Highway 61, the deer is still alive. Cook County called parties on the salvage list and a party responded to take the deer.
 4:53 p.m. – An injured deer was reported on the upper side of the road on West Highway 61. Cook County Ambulance and another motorist also called the report in. Deer was dispatched.

 March 18
9:41 a.m. – A motorist hit a deer. It is still alive.  The deer was still alive when the deputy got on the scene. People on the deer list were called, a party was found to take the deer.
10:30 a.m. – A party in a 2013 white Dodge Caravan hit one or two deer on West Highway 61. There is lots of deer debris in the roadway and vehicle is not driveable. The driver declined medical attention. A family member is coming to help.
11:02 a.m. – A deputy noted an open door on Hangar Row at the Cook County Airport. Airport personnel said the person was probably flying and there was no cause for concern.
12:38 p.m. – A driver from Jeff Foster Trucking reported an injured deer in the tree line on upper Highway 61 by Lindskog Road. The deer was located and dispatched.
6:07 p.m. – Another car-killed deer was reported. No one on the salvageable deer list was able to take the deer.  

March 19
6:28 a.m. – There was a report of two semis stuck up the Gunflint Trail. At 6:38 a.m., a plow arrived on the scene to assist. A deputy directed traffic while the truck got out. Both trucks were moving again by 7:09 a.m.
8:22 a.m. – A permit was requested for a watercraft event.
1:23 p.m. – A caller reported a party letting their dog run to the end of its leash onto Highway 61 by the Grand Marais Rec Park. A deputy arrived at 1:44 p.m. and observed the party waking the dog without letting it go into the road. There was no violation.
 3:36 p.m. – A party reported a black truck with a snowmobile trailer parked in the Cedar Grove Business Park. It appears to be parked there to access the snowmobile trail. A deputy confirmed that is likely the case. The vehicle is not a hazard or obstruction and there are no “no parking” signs.
7:41 p.m. – A party wanting to get in touch with Carlton County called. The call was lost during transfer, but the party called back saying they had found the direct number.
 7:45 a.m. – A caller reported that a couple of days ago, a person came into a Grand Marais store wearing gloves, a full face mask and jacket. The person was wearing an AR-15 necklace over the coat. It made the caller uncomfortable and they just wanted it on record.

 March 20
6:55 a.m. – A large tree is down, blocking a road in Grand Marais. The Grand Marais street crew was notified. The tree and debris were cleared from the road by 10:40 a.m.
 9:41 a.m. – A car hit a deer, there were no injuries. The deer is dead.
 11:14 a.m. – An anonymous report came by mail of a party yelling at a county employee.
 11:45 a.m. – A bald eagle was hit by a car on the upper side of the roadway, just north of Tofte. It appears to be dead. The call was transferred to a game warden.
 2:08 p.m. – A party called to report a social security scam. No personal information or funds were given, but the party wanted to let law enforcement know.
 3:37 p.m. – A party reported being harassed by an ex over the sale of a house. The ex will not sign the necessary paperwork and keeps calling to demand money. Cook County told the reporting party that this was a civil issue that will have to be handled through the court. However, the sheriff’s office said if the treatment continues, a restraining order could be filed.
7:30 p.m. – The North Shore Ambulance reported a dead deer in the northbound lane on West Highway 61.
7:54 p.m. – A party parked in Cedar Grove Business Park and went snowmobiling. Party said there were no signs posted where he was parked so he thought it would be okay. When he got back the side door of his truck was sprayed with some tar or black chemical substance. 
11:00 p.m. – A party reported a red truck parked with a male party slumped over in the vehicle. The truck drove off before deputies arrived.

March 21
9:16 a.m. – A party in a red Chevrolet Colorado hit a deer on West Highway 61. The deer is dead and the vehicle is disabled. The driver is getting a ride.
10:59 a.m. – A caller reported a male and female in the Grand Marais harbor in a canoe, trying to break through the ice. They have a fishing pole. The caller is worried they will flip and get under the ice. A deputy and a DNR Conservation Officer arrived on the scene. The individuals said they know what they are doing and are aware of the risks. They were cited for no life jackets on board the watercraft. 
11:15 a.m. – There was a report of a black Ford F150 off the road near Hungry Jack Lodge. The sheriff’s office spoke with the party. They are okay, they will be getting a snowblower to get the vehicle unstuck.
 1:24 p.m. – A party called saying the Star-Tribune had put out an article encouraging the public to head north to escape the coronavirus. The party says that is not sustainable for our community and that someone had just come in to the Co-op and bought out all their toilet paper. The caller asked the sheriff’s office to contact the Star-Tribune. The county dispatcher said this will be put on record.
1:50 p.m. – Reports were received about people filling unapproved containers with fuel at the Marathon Station. The sheriff’s office contacted the State Fire Marshal regarding rules and regulations on gas containers.
2:11 p.m. – There was a report of two snowmobiles riding on the ski trail. Citations were issued.
4:01 – A car hit a deer on Highway 61 just west of Split Rock. The call was transferred to the Minnesota State Patrol.
 4:553 p.m. – There was a report of shots fired in Grand Portage. A deputy checked the residence and the person there knew nothing about anyone shooting.

March 22
12:46 a.m. – A party in Grand Marais reported that her black and white dog, Sparkplug, had run off. They are trying to catch him. The dog was found at 12:53 a.m.
11:19 a.m. – A call came in reporting a truck blocking almost the entire northbound lane of the Gunflint Trail just above Mayhew Lake Road. North Coast Towing was called to assist in moving the vehicle. A ticket for blocking the road will be mailed, along with a bill for the town.
11:32 a.m. – A caller reported that the Ski Hill Road in Lutsen is icy. The County Highway Department was contacted.
7:02 p.m. – There was a report of a vehicle in the ditch on West Highway 61. There was no damage, it just slid off the road. Cook County Towing will assist.
7:39 p.m. – A car hit a deer on east Highway 61. The deer is alive. Information shared with Minnesota State Patrol. A party will take the deer.

 March 23
1:24 a.m. – Law Enforcement from Scott County called to confirm that a juvenile from Cook County in a stopped vehicle there was not missing or a run-away.
Miscellaneous other calls
Deputies also conducted 16 traffic stops, with 13 reprimands and three citations. They completed 72 business and residence checks. Deputies took part in three Operation Stonegarden patrols, a joint operation with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. They also conducted snowmobile patrol in Grand Marais on March 19.
During this time period, there were 16 medical calls.
Six permits to acquire or carry a weapon were issued and seven burning permits. Dispatchers handled 16 crank or misdialed calls.

If you need to contact the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, call 218-387-3030. In an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

School District 166 buses leaving the garage. File photo - Rhonda Silence

School District 166 buses to deliver learning materials

Instead of picking up students on Monday, March 30, Cook County Schools bus drivers will be making deliveries of distance learning materials.

For the families of students who do not ride the bus, materials can be picked up at the School District 166 Eagle doors.

Materials for Great Expectations School students can pick up at the school between 9:00 a.m. and noon. Parents who would like to make alternative arrangements, please send an email to learn@GreatExpectationsSchool.

School District 166 will also be delivering meals. See a flyer with more information about the food program at School District 166 here. 

On Monday afternoon, teachers and paraprofessionals will be contacting families to help with the identification and organization of resources that students will be using in the days and weeks ahead.  

In a statement on March 28, Principal Megan Myers said to families, “Please be flexible with timing as this is a new process, we will be adapting as we work through this time."

The launch of distance learning follows Governor Tim Walz's March 18 closure of schools and his March 25 "safe at home" order, asking Minnesotans to stay home to slow down the spread of  COVID-19.

Parents: Expect the drop off at the bus stop four hours later than the time your student normally gets on the bus. Please have a member of your family ready with a box or tote, labeled with your name for drop off at the bus stop.


County logo. WTIP file photo

County to open donation center Monday to accept supplies needed for COVID-19 response

The Cook County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and local healthcare facilities have established a process to accept donations for local COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts. The donation center will be staffed beginning Monday, March 30.

"We understand that people want to help, and we have responded by establishing a mechanism that is both safe and practical," said Grace Grinager, public health supervisor for Cook County Public Health and Human Services and EOC incident commander in conjunction with Cook County Emergency Management Director Mike Keyport.

The list of needed supplies is changing rapidly, Grinager explains. As of Friday morning, March 27 that list comprised N95 masks, face shields, Tyvek suits, and gowns coated with polypropylene.

Additionally, the EOC can accept protective masks created utilizing a pattern verified for use during COVID-19 by both the 
Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and North Shore Hospital have verified for use during the Covid-19 pandemic. Find the pattern here. 

With a process to accept donations set up for community response, the EOC is asking that individuals refrain from calling or visiting the clinic and hospital with donations.

Grinager said, "Our healthcare facilities are focused on routine patient treatment and pandemic preparedness efforts, and we want to assist by minimizing interruptions as much as possible.

"We thank everyone for their commitment to helping during these uncertain times," Grinager said, "We are blessed to have such a generous, caring community."

= = = = =
To make a donation, an individual needs to contact the donations manager at 218-387-3638 or by email to:

Phone and emails will be answered between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Drop-offs will be accepted by appointment only between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.


Mike Keyport, Cook County Emergency Management Director visiting WTIP in August 2020. Photo by Rhonda Silence.JPG

County ramping up response to COVID-19

Cook County established a COVID-19 emergency operations center (EOC) at the Cook County Community Center this week and appointed a designated public information officer (PIO).

The EOC is a centralized location for personnel involved in the response to the coronavirus to gather information and make emergency management decisions. It is a secure area and is not open to public, according to Cook County Emergency Management Director and EOC Manager Mike Keyport. 

Additionally, EOC staff are actually working in the virtual environment as much as possible.
The county has appointed a public information officer. The person filling that role at this time is Lisa Sorlie, currently a highway department staffer, with a background in public information. 
The county has set up online resources to address frequently asked questions on the county website and a COVID-19 phone line at 218-387-3668. That line will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to address general questions from the public.

EOC partners include Cook County PHHS; Cook County Emergency Management; the City of Grand Marais; the townships of Lutsen, Schroeder and Tofte; the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; local health care entities; local utilities; and other local and regional partners as needed.

Anyone with health concerns or questions about testing for COVID-19,  is asked to call Sawtooth Mountain Clinic at 218-387-2330. 
There is also a statewide Coronavirus hotline: 651-201-3920
And, the mental health website that could be helpful with someone struggling with depression and anxiety is There is also a local mental health phone number for those in need: 218-628-1800.
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence caught up with Cook County Emergency Management Director Mike Keyport today, March 27, to learn more about the county’s activities this week.


School District 166 Superintendent Dr. Bill Crandall - Photo by Rhonda Silence

ISD preparing for distance learning, food program delivery

The School District 166 held a special board meeting at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts on March 19 and like so many other entities, how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic was a top agenda item.

For the school, that means launching distance learning on Monday, March 30. The school is also beginning its food delivery program on Monday. WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Superintendent Dr. Bill Crandall about what this will look like for students and parents.

See a flyer with more information about the food program at School District 166 here. 

See a flyer with comprehensive information about distance learning at School District 166 here. 

Although School District 166 is preparing for an extended time of no students in the building, there was regular business to be taken care of. The school board accepted the resignation of Industrial Tech teacher Chris Rauzi. The school board expressed appreciation for Rauzi’s work with the district. The board will post the position for a new shop teacher.

The board listened to an over-the-phone update on its partnership with the special education organization, the Northland Education Cooperative. The board also approved the hire of a middle/high school special education teacher. Lacy Fisher has been hired for that position.

The board officially approved the hiring of spring sports coaches. Although it is unlikely that baseball, softball or track will proceed under the COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the board needed to approve the coaches as they had worked with students before the state-ordered school closure.


Great Expectations School in Grand Marais on a wintry day

An update from Great Expectations School

Local schools are definitely facing challenges during this time of social distancing due to the spread of Covid-19.  WTIP’s Rhonda Silence learns more about the situation at Great Expectations School in Grand Marais in this March 28 interview with GES director Peter James. 
We hear about the school’s work over what would be spring break to prepare for distance learning. And, we hear the latest on the monitoring of the Great Expectation School students who returned from an educational trip to Costa Rica on March 18. [9:45]

The Cook County Community YMCA is still offering childcare.  WTIP file photo.

Cook County YMCA makes changes in operations regarding COVID-19

Like so many other organizations, the Cook County YMCA announced many temporary changes this week. Branch Executive Director Emily Marshall said the YMCA is re-deploying its resources to best support the most pressing needs in the community.

Marshall said the Y is working with the city, school district, and community partners to serve parents who must work, including health care workers, first responders, and essential employees.

Marshall said the Y will also work to provide access to healthy snacks for vulnerable youth in our community. So, although the fitness center and swimming pool are closed, the Y will be offering:

  • Licensed child care for community members and essential emergency workers
  • School-age child care is available for community members and essential emergency workers March 20 and 23-27.
  • Free two-component snacks for kids available Monday - Friday right outside the YMCA entrance.
  • Shower facilities for local residents by appointment between the hours of 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.  Shower users are asked to bring a valid ID and a towel. Call or email the Y for available times.

Director Marshall also stressed that the YMCA is committed to maintaining a healthy environment to protect staff and community members that are accessing this building. Staff is sanitizing rooms often, sanitizing showers between visitors, washing hands often, providing hand sanitizer to users, disinfecting touchpoints and supplies multiple times a day, and practicing social distancing in all areas.

In addition, the Cook County YMCA is providing a “virtual Y” option, offering online classes and ideas to stay active and engaged in the coming weeks. Check out the YMCA Facebook page for more information.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Director Emily Marshall about the situation at the YMCA. Here’s their conversation.


Beau Larson and Hana Bucholz in Crested Butte, Colorado. Submitted photo

Lutsen's Beau Larson gives coronavirus update from Colorado

Beau Larson, who grew up in Cook County, now lives and works in Gunnison County, Colorado. Beau and his wife, Hana Bucholz, have been watching the impact of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in their town of Crested Butte.

Beau has been working at home and Hana has been working at the local hospital as a physical therapist. They took a few minutes to talk to WTIP’s Rhonda Silence. Here’s their conversation.


Dominique and Sophie Holz in Laroque-des-Albères, France. Submitted photo.

Sophie Holz of Grand Marais on coronavirus situation in France

Sophie Holz of Grand Marais was visiting Spain when the coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic. She traveled, with her mother Dominque Holz, who was visiting her, to France to be in a more familiar area.

Dominique is French and Sophie has a dual citizenship. She planned on spending time in France before the coronavirus hit. However, it looks like her stay there may be longer than planned.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence reached Sophie in Laroque-des-Albères, France to find out how she is faring.