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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.


What's On:
Cook County Sheriff's Office - logo courtesy of Cook County Sheriff's Office

A look at the Law Enforcement Log, April 16-22

Each week the Cook County Sheriff’s Office provides a brief report of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center in the past week. This week’s report provides details logged by law enforcement dispatchers from April 16-22. WTIP asked for further information on a number of calls.

On April 16, a party on Snowshoe Trail reported the theft of a seven-foot ski bench, taken sometime in the last two weeks. There are no suspects.

There was another report of a theft in Grand Portage, which turned out to be a civil matter between a boyfriend and girlfriend regarding missing money.

A party reported that checks were stolen while someone helped with moving. The checking account was closed.

A sheriff deputy responded to the Hovland area for a disturbance. They found the co-habitants at the residence arguing. The deputy was able to settle the argument.

There was another disturbance call on April 22 on West Highway 61. It was co-habitants arguing because one wanted to clean and throw items out, the other wanted to keep them.

On April 20, there was a report of a disturbance at Gramma Ray’s in Grand Marais. A male and female were being disorderly. They were asked to leave and deputies escorted then back to their hotel.

On April 17 there was a K9 seizure of a small amount of marijuana at the U.S. Port of Entry.

A vehicle ran the U.S. Port of Entry at the U.S.-Canadian border on April 18, but turned around and went back.

On April 18, some drug paraphernalia was found at Grand Portage National Monument.

There was a report of a vehicle in the ditch on April 16. Motorist Leslie Donek swerved to miss a deer and his 2013 Ford SRW ended up in the ditch on Pike Lake Road.

There was a report of a car in the ditch on West Highway 61 on April 21. The call was referred to the Minnesota State Patrol.
A party reported damage to a vehicle from April 2 in the parking lot on Casino Drive in Grand Portage.

There was another damage call reporting vandalism to a church bus on Eliza Road in Grand Portage on April 17.

At 2:03 a.m. on April 16 there was a report of suspicious activity on First Avenue West. A person was outside a vehicle on the street. The person was sick to their stomach and was given assistance.

Another suspicious activity call was received from Grand Portage, reporting parents dropping off children who had not been secured in a seat.

There was a call at 8:50 a.m. on April 16 reporting a juvenile in Grand Marais who was refusing to go to school.

There were a number of animal disturbances—a loose dog on the Gunflint Trail on April 16 and a missing dog in Grand Marais. On April 20, a caller reported a fox and kits in their yard on 2nd Avenue East in Grand Marais.

There were reports of dead deer in the road on West Highway 61 on April 18 and on East Highway 61 on April 19.

 There was a report of a tax scam on April 16.

Sheriff deputies assisted the US Forest Service with a traffic stop on Pincushion Drive on April 17; the Minnesota State Patrol with a traffic stop on the Gunflint Trail; Cook County probation on April 19 and with a child protection call in Grand Marais on April 21.

On April 20, sheriff deputies assisted the U.S. Coast Guard which had observed a flare offshore on Lake Superior. After searching the shoreline, it was determined that it was possibly part of a meteor shower.

There was a check welfare call for an intoxicated person laying on the sidewalk by Java Moose. The party was taken by ambulance to North Shore Health.

There was another check welfare call seeking assistance for an elderly man who had fallen. There were no injuries.

Another welfare check was requested for a woman walking through yards on 8th Avenue in Grand Marais. The woman was taken to North Shore Health for mental evaluation. She was then booked for 4th degree assault.

On April 19, a party reported someone trespassing on land to access Lake Superior. The trespassing parties were gone when the deputy arrived.

The sheriff’s office shared information on a stop arm violation and answered a noise ordinance inquiry on April 19.

Three check hazard calls came in that were referred to the Cook County Highway Department, one from Cascade Beach Road, reporting a hole in the road; another from Springdale Road reporting a washed out culvert and another on Mink Ranch Road for a washed out culvert.

A caller reported damage to a mail box on Devil Track Road. No suspects.

A party called the sheriff’s office on April 21 to report that a cat had killed hamsters while the party’s mother was watching the apartment. This is a civil matter.

A deputy helped a party in a motorized wheelchair stuck on Cascade Beach Road at 12:30 p.m. on April 21.

At 1:12 p.m., a squad car was damaged on Cascade Beach Road while deputy attempted to turn around with little room.
On April 21, a caller reported an abandoned vehicle on Country Road 34. It was determined to have been a vehicle involved in a Minnesota State Patrol stop last week. Party referred to State Patrol.

A party on Devil Track Lake called just after 2 p.m. on April 20 to report that about eight cars were parked at the DNR Fisheries landing and people were water skipping snowmobiles. The caller said water skipping a snowmobile is illegal as it is unlawful to operate a snowmobile in an unsafe or harassing way.

A sheriff deputy arrived to find 10 to 15 vehicles parked on the roadway and about 25 people watching from the shore. The deputy advised the group that they needed a permit to waterskip on the lake. Group members said they understood and said they would leave.

WTIP asked Sheriff Pat Eliasen for clarification and the sheriff said the act of water skipping in itself is not illegal. However, there are other statues which may coincide with such an event such as: the need for an operator to be trained; excessive noise or influence of alcohol or drugs.

Sheriff Eliasen said, “Any of these could be applied if the situation called for it but the deputies use great discretion when responding to calls of this nature. We obviously need to determine a balance between recreation and taking it too far where it becomes criminal and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office must take action.

Sheriff Eliasen added, “When the public calls our office with complaints of this nature we must respond and take appropriate action, whether it’s a simple conversation or something further.”

In addition, during the last week, there were nine stops to check residences and businesses. Deputies found an open door at a business on North Broadway on April 19. The deputy secured the door.

The log included 12 traffic stops, resulting in three citations, eight reprimands and one verbal warning. There were three medical calls. There were seven crank or misdialed 9-1-1 calls.

There was only one lost and found call.  A party found a key fob on a bench and turned it in to law enforcement dispatch.
 
If you need help from Cook County Law Enforcement, dial 9-1-1.

For non-emergency calls, contact the Cook County Sheriff’s Office at 218-387-3030.
 


 
Builder Anton Moody at Creekhouse - Photo by Rhonda Silence

Taiga Design+Build earns national recognition for Grand Marais home

There are three new homes along the new Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, constructed by Anton Moody of Taiga Design+Build. One of the homes recently earned recognition from SIPA—the Structural Insulated Panel Association—a national group promoting sustainable construction practices.

The Taiga Design+Build home dubbed Creekside was a runner up in the SIPA Building Excellence Awards.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Lee Bergum of EPS Buildings, a provider of the structural insulated panels (SIPs) in our region about the award--and she caught up with builder Anton Moody at the award-winning house. 

Photos of the home by Daniel Sigg of Daniel Sigg Photography

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Grand Portage Tribal Chair candidate Marie Spry

Talking with Tribal Council candidate Marie Spry

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is holding a primary to fill two vacancies on the Tribal Council, the position of chair and a committee person.

The Grand Portage community lost its long-time leader when Chair Norman Deschampe died on February 9, 2019. A special election was announced to fill that vacancy.

Tribal Council Vice-Chair Marie Spry is serving as Interim Tribal Chair and she filed to run for the chair position. To do so, she resigned from her committeeperson seat, creating an opening for a committeeperson.

That means there are two Tribal Council positions on the ballot for the April 29 primary. The primary will narrow the candidate field to two people on the ballot for each position in the July 1 special election.

WTIP has reached out to all of the candidates to offer the opportunity to be heard. The interviews are being aired in the order we hear from candidates.

Running for the committeeperson seat are:
Rick Anderson
Jason Burnett
Vallen Cook
Rob Hull

Candidates for Chair are:
Marie Spry
Beth Drost
Tony Swader
Donavan Dahmen
 

Listen: 

 
School District 166 Board Chair Sissy Lunde and Superintendent Bill Crandall - Photo by Rhonda Silence

School District 166 update from superintendent

The School District 166 board meet on Thursday, April 18 for a meeting that included discussion of financial goals and some personnel matters.

The board approved the hiring of several paraprofessionals, Michael Garry, Erin Petz and Rachel Haaverson, as well as Tim Young as a special education paraprofessional. Nicole Bockovich was hired to serve as the long-term substitute for the Early Childhood Special Education program. 

The board approved the non-renewal of the contract for language arts teacher, Samantha Savoie.

The board looked at regular school finance reports and discussed financial goals. It is recommended by the Minnesota School Board Association to have two to three months of typical expenses held in reserve as a fund balance. The ISD 166 school board agreed to maintain a three-month fund balance, about $1.6 million. Superintendent Bill Crandall said the school district is meeting that goal. 

There was a closed session at the end of the school board meeting for discussion of negotiations with the employee bargaining groups. The groups are the teacher group, the paraprofessionals and then non-certified staff, which includes bus drivers, custodial, clerical, and food service workers. The school board will also be negotiating with the two principals, Megan Myers and Assistant Principal Mitch Dorr. 

No citizens took the opportunity to speak during the public comment period at the start of the meeting. 

WTIP's Rhonda Silence checked in with Superintendent Bill Crandall to learn more about the conversations at the school board meeting. 

 

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Oshki Ogimaag students Davin and Taliah empty sap into their bucket. Photo by Rhonda Silence

Grand Portage CACHE Project: The Maple Harvest

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has created the CACHE Project, which stands for “Community Agriculture through Culture, Health and Education.”

The acronym perfectly captures the efforts of the Grand Portage community as it comes together to share food from community gardens and to learn new and old ways of harvesting.

In Part 5 of the CACHE Project series, WTIP’s Rhonda Silence takes another field trip, joining the students from the Oshki Ogimaag School at the Sugarbush, or waaban. 

Click to see the full slideshow. 

Group photo: The Oshki Ogimaag students caring for the sugarbush on April 15, 2019: (L-R, front) Kota, Holly, Taliah, Abbie, Talon, Niko. (L-R, back) Audrey, Makenzie, Davin, Aanakwad, Kadence. 
 

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The Sunrise Movement is promoting the Green New Deal via posters like this one - Photo courtesy of Nancye Belding

Community invited to town hall meeting on New Green Deal

The Sunrise Movement, a grass roots organization of young people working for a sustainable future for the planet through a “green” economy, will be the focus of a Town Hall on Earth Day, April 22, 2019.
 
The Sunrise Movement was inspired by the international youth movement led by Greta Thunberg of Sweden.
 
The Town Hall will be at 7 p.m. at the Cook County Community Center and it is part of a cross-county tour of 50 major cities and 100-plus town halls in communities like Grand Marais, to explain the Green New Deal and how it is intended to move the country away from fossil fuel pollution. 
 
Organizers explain that the Green New Deal is a blueprint for stopping climate disruption and creating millions of new jobs in the process. 
 
The presentation from the Sunrise Movement will include slides and video clips and will focus on how communities can create green new jobs to transition the economy away from fossil fuels and into green energy businesses.
 
Organizers liken the Green New Deal to the Civilian Conservation Corps, which is an example of how a work force can be mobilized to repair existing and build new infrastructure.
 
At the Grand Marais event, people from Cook County will talk efforts under way. Grand Marais Mayor Jay Arrowsmith-DeCoux will explain the city of Grand Marais' draft Climate Action Plan; other speakers will describe the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP), the Citizens' Climate Lobby plan for Carbon Tax and Dividend, and the ways Arrowhead Indivisible is working toward climate solutions. 
 
There will also be time for discussion.
 
If enacted, the Green New Deal plan will look a little different everywhere, and this is a chance for Cook County to talk about how the local economy might be part of a nationwide project.
 
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with one of the local organizers, Nancye Belding, to learn more.
 

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Grand Marais may institute calendar parking in the city next winter - Photo courtesy of City of Grand Marais

Grand Marais considering calendar parking in winter season

The City of Grand Marais is considering seasonal calendar parking and snow emergency declarations to allow for more efficient snow removal and safer winter road conditions.

Patrick Knight, communications director for the city, explains that if calendar parking is implemented, vehicles must be parked on the “odd” side of the street, which means the odd-numbered street address side on the odd-numbered days of the month.

And then on the “even” numbered days of the month, vehicles must be parked on the other side of the street, the side with even house numbers. 

The odd/even parking regulations would be in effect from November through April.

Knight says many cities have found calendar parking to be a successful strategy to support snow removal operations, as it gives the highway department the ability to plow a street to its full-width within two days of most snowstorms.

The Cook County Highway Department ordinarily plows many streets in Grand Marais. And according to county spokesperson Valerie Marasco, there are currently some locations that are not fully plowed for days or weeks after the snow stops because cars or trailers are left on the road for extended periods of time.

Additionally, Marasco says, emergency vehicle response time is a concern when roads cannot be plowed efficiently.

If an ordinance is enacted, it would follow state regulations and vehicles parked contrary to the seasonal restrictions may be towed.

Marasco says the Cook County Sheriff’s Office encourages voluntary compliance. Cook County plans to offer windshield-style reminders at the beginning of each snow season and then someone will attempt to get in touch with the driver of a vehicle before a tow truck is called when towing is necessary.

Overnight Parking Downtown Grand Marais
The downtown streets differ from the residential neighborhood because snow must be hauled away from the downtown zone. 

Overnight on-street parking in downtown Grand Marais, an area where road crews regularly utilize loaders to plow and remove snow from parking areas, would be banned until 7:00 a.m., so these roads can be plowed on the first day of a snowstorm before most businesses open for the day.

Signs will be installed at city limits to alert visitors of the calendar parking ordinance.

The city recommends that lodging establishments include a paragraph in the information provided to  guests.

This initiative will be brought back to Grand Marais City Council in late April or early May, for further action. Anyone with questions on the proposed seasonal parking plan can call City of Grand Marais 218-387-1848.

 

 

 
Jason Burnett is running for the committeeperson seat on the Grand Portage Tribal Council - submitted photo

Speaking with Tribal Council candidate Jason Burnett

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is holding a primary to fill two vacancies on the Tribal Council, the position of chair and a committee person. 

The Grand Portage community lost its long-time leader when Chair Norman Deschampe died on February 9, 2019. A special election was announced to fill that vacancy.

Tribal Council Vice-Chair Marie Spry is serving as Interim Tribal Chair and she filed to run for the chair position. To do so, she resigned from her committeeperson seat, creating an opening for a committeeperson.

That means there are two Tribal Council positions on the ballot for the April 29 primary. The primary will narrow the candidate field to two people on the ballot for the July 1 special election. 

WTIP has reached out to all of the candidates to offer the opportunity to be heard. The interviews will be aired in the order we hear from candidates.

Click on a candidate's name below for a link to their interview when it becomes available. 

Candidates for Committeperson are:
Rick Anderson
Jason Burnett
Vallen Cook
Rob Hull

Candidates for Chair are:
Marie Spry
Beth Drost
Tony Swader
Donavan Dahmen

Here's WTIP's Rhonda Silence with candidate for Tribal Council committeeperson, Jason Burnett
 
 

Listen: 

 
Cook County Sheriff's Office - Photo by Rhonda Silence

A look at the Law Enforcement Log, April 9-15

Each week the Cook County Sheriff’s Office provides a brief report of calls made to the Cook County Law Enforcement Center in the past week. This week’s report provides details logged by law enforcement dispatchers from April 9-15.
 
There were two reports of vehicles in the ditch. On April 11, a vehicle slid on ice on East Highway 61. A tow truck was called. Another vehicle slid on ice and went into the ditch on West Highway 61. 
 
Another vehicle became stuck in the snow on April 12. A tow was requested for that party. 
 
An extra patrol was assigned to monitor the crosswalk in front of the school during the lunch hour in Grand Marais on April 10. Sheriff Pat Eliasen said this is a common duty.
 
A vehicle was struck in the Birch Terrace parking lot on April 14. Both parties were located and information was exchanged. 
There were three reports of car/deer crashes, two on East Highway 61 and one on West Highway 61.  
 
There was a traffic complaint of a person driving on the road shoulder on the Gunflint Trail on April 14. 
 
On April 13, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office activated a search warrant for drugs in Grand Marais. Bret Tyson Berka of Grand Marais was arrested for drug possession. 
 
There was a call involving a juvenile on April 12 in Grand Marais. No further information is available.
 
There was a report of a former employee sending threats via email on the Gunflint Trail. The matter was referred to the county attorney.
 
Sheriff deputies made a death notification to a residence on West Highway 61 on April 10, and another on the Cramer Road in Schroeder on April 14. 
 
Just after midnight on April 11, a party in Grand Marais reported suspicious activity. The caller said there was an individual on a power pole near her residence. It was determined to be a worker from Mediacom, checking lines. 
 
The sheriff’s office was informed of a family eviction matter in Grand Portage on April 11. 
 
A report came in to the sheriff’s office at 5:20 p.m. on April 9, reporting a cow walking on Schoolhouse Road in Grand Marais. The owner was notified. 
 
Calls about power outages came in to the sheriff’s office, the first on April 10 on Second Avenue in the city. The Grand Marais Public Utilities Commission was notified. There was another power outage outside of the city on the Gunflint Trail later that day and Arrowhead Electric Cooperative was notified. There was another outage on Cliff Cove Road at 6:08 a.m. on April 11 and again on April 12 on Bay Road in Grand Portage. 
 
There were several animal disturbance calls. On April 11, on Walter Road in Grand Marais, there was a report of a wolf hit on the road. On April 13, there was a dead deer on the highway by Naniboujou Trail in Hovland. A loose dog was also reported on April 13. 
And on April 15, there was a report of dead deer at Artists Point. Grand Marais Public Utilities was contacted to handle that call.
 
A party on County Road 60 in Grand Marais reported a telephone scam on April 10. 
 
A wallet was found and turned in to the sheriff’s office. The owner was contacted. Another party left their purse at the South of the Border. 
 
A welfare check was requested on April 11 on Wisconsin Street for the kids from Cooperation Station Daycare. All was fine. 
Deputies gave assistance to the U.S. Forest Service on April 12 and April 13. 
 
Deputies checked the batteries on a Project Lifesaver alert system in Grand Marais. 
 
A hazard was reported on April 13, a hole in the bike path on West Highway 61. The Minnesota Department of Transportation was notified. 
 
A party called for help because they were locked out of their house on East Highway 61. Law enforcement gave the party the phone number for a locksmith. 
 
A welfare check was conducted on April 14 after law enforcement dispatchers received a 911 call. The person was located and they were fine. Dispatchers handled 10 other crank or misdialed 911 calls. 
 
A party came in to the Law Enforcement Center to be fingerprinted. 
 
There were five medical calls during the reporting period. 
 
Sheriff deputies checked that 30 business and residences were secure. Five traffic stops resulted in citations and six motorists received warnings or reprimands. 
 
If you need help from Cook County Law Enforcement, dial 9-1-1.
 
For non-emergency calls, contact the Cook County Sheriff’s Office at 218-387-3030.

 
Vallen Cook is running for the committeeperson seat on the Grand Portage Tribal Council

Talking with Grand Portage Tribal Council candidate Vallen Cook

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is holding a primary to fill two vacancies on the Tribal Council, the position of chair and a committee person. 

The Grand Portage community lost its long-time leader when Chair Norman Deschampe died on February 9, 2019. A special election was announced to fill that vacancy.

Tribal Council Vice-Chair Marie Spry is serving as Interim Tribal Chair and she filed to run for the chair position. To do so, she resigned from her committeeperson seat, creating an opening for a committeeperson.

That means there are two Tribal Council positions on the ballot for the April 29 primary. The primary will narrow the candidate field to two people on the ballot for the July 1 special election. 

WTIP has reached out to all of the candidates to offer the opportunity to be heard. The interviews will be aired in the order we hear from candidates.

 Click on a candidate's name below for a link to their interview when it becomes available. 

Candidates for Committeperson are:
Rick Anderson
Jason Burnett
Vallen Cook
Rob Hull.

Candidates for Chair are:
Marie Spry
Beth Drost
Tony Swader
Donavan Dahmen

Here's WTIP's Rhonda Silence with candidate for Tribal Council committeeperson, Vallen Cook.
 

Listen: