Listen Now
Pledge Now


North Shore News Hour


  • Monday 12-1pm
  • Monday 5-6pm
  • Tuesday 12-1pm
  • Tuesday 5-6pm
  • Wednesday 12-1pm
  • Wednesday 5-6pm
  • Thursday 12-1pm
  • Thursday 5-6pm
  • Friday 12-1pm

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

A look at the Law Enforcement Log

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 Tuesday, January 22 to Sunday, January 27.

WTIP Community Radio asked for more details on a number of calls, such as a hit and run reported on January 25 by Sharon Hart on County Road 56. The incident was unwitnessed and the Sheriff’s Office has no damage estimate.

Sheriff Deputies assisted someone who wanted a message delivered to someone in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Deputies also assisted the U.S. Forest Service in checking registration for a snowmobiler and assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with booking a party with a driving under the influence charge.

A call reporting harassment was due to a community member posting documents at public library.  No charges were filed.
A party reported a violation of an order for protection a few days earlier. The matter was referred to the county attorney’s office.

There were two calls reporting suspicious activity. A call about a suspicious vehicle in Grand Marais turned out to be a family member in a borrowed van. And a suspicious person turned out to be the cleaning person at Cook County YMCA.

A vehicle slid into the ditch on January 25. A police presence was not needed, but the party asked for help getting a tow.

There were several calls regarding animals, such as reports of two deer killed in car/deer crashes, one in the middle of the roadway.

On January 25, there was a call about an elderly dog with “territory issues.” The sheriff deputy is following up with caretakers. On January 27, law enforcement received a call of a loose dog. The owner was contacted.

A snowmobiler stuck in the slush on Tait Lake in Lutsen called for help on Jan 25. The party was given contact information for a tow company. A report of a broken down snowmobile was received on January 26.

A call reporting theft of firewood came in on January 26. There are no suspects in the matter.

At 11:22 p.m. on Jan 25, a party called, reporting flashing lights outside their house. It was determined that the lights were from a deputy on a traffic stop near the property.

There was a call of an overdue person on Saturday, January 26. A party said her husband had gone to help someone at Trestle Pine Lake in Grand Marais. The woman called just before 8 p.m. saying she was worried at the length of time the effort was taken. The party was located a short time later at the Grand Portage Casino.

There were a number of traffic calls, such as one for exhibition driving at Coast Guard point on January 23. No citation was issued.

On January 27, the Sheriff’s Office was called because trucks with snowmobile trailers were blocking access to My Sister’s Place restaurant. The truck owners were located and vehicles were moved.

As always, the Cook County Law Enforcement Center handled a number of lost and found items. A cell phone was found and the owner notified. A wallet was turned in to the LEC and the owner notified. A single key on a lanyard was found and turned in, yet to be claimed. And a party reported a phone lost somewhere in Grand Marais on January 27.

There were 12 traffic stops with seven reprimands and five tickets issued.

Law Enforcement dispatchers address three crank or misdialed 9-1-1 calls.  

Extreme wind chills are expected to begin Tuesday evening

Weather Service issues wind chill warning through Thursday

Although the Duluth to Silver Bay area received up to three inches of snow on January 27-28, only a trace fell on Cook County.

However, all of the North Shore is getting hit by Arctic air that could bring wind chill temperatures of -25 and even lower. 

In its latest announcement, the National Weather Service declares this a period of historic cold temperatures and life-threatening wind chills. Wind and very cold temperatures will combine to result in dangerous wind chills tonight, Tuesday, Tuesday night, and Wednesday, Wednesday night, and Thursday. There will be little improvement in the wind chill during the day Wednesday and Thursday due to the stronger winds each day. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Warning for the entire area from Monday evening, January 28 through Thursday morning, January 31.
The National Weather Service says it has “high confidence” in its prediction of minimum wind chills, but is uncertain what times those frigid temps will arrive. It is anticipated that the strongest surge of Arctic air will be Tuesday with 3 p.m. temps ranging from -10 to -20, causing wind chills of -30 to -45. 
The weather service reminds everyone in the Northland to limit time outdoors; to stay dry and stay covered. Dress warmly and in layers. 

Beargrease Mid-Distance finisher Kevin Vandenbussche of Ontario at the Lutsen finish - Photo by CJ Heithoff

A report from the John Beargrease Mid-Distance race

The 35th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is well under way. 
Twelve mushers are competing in the full marathon, and 20 in the Mid-Distance Beargrease, which ended at Lutsen Mountains. Ryan Anderson crossed the finish line at 7:19 a.m. Monday.
He was closely followed by Martha Schouweiler, of Irma, Wisconsin, who took second place in the mid-distance race, reaching the Lutsen finish line at 7:27 a.m.
Joanna Oberg of Grand Marais was third and Rita Wehseler of Schroeder finished in fourth. 
Beargrease 120 teams traveled 114 miles to their finish line, while the full distance mushers are expected to finish sometime Tuesday after 293 miles on the trail. 
Organizers are forecasting the marathon will finish around 12:30 Tuesday afternoon at the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino.
A number of young North Shore mushers took part in the Cub Run, a shorter distance race, yesterday. 
The Cub Race winners were: 
1st Place | Sawyer Morrow | Duluth
2nd Place | Taylor DeBoer | Grand Marais
3rd Place | Nicole Freking | Finland
5th Place | Talon DeBoer | Grand Marais
6th Place | Elena Freking | Finland
WTIP’s CJ Heithoff was at the end of the Mid-Distance at Lutsen Mountains. She caught an exciting seconds-apart finish between Kevin Vandenbussche of Moosonee, Ontario and Lynne Witte of McMillan, Michigan. 
CJ called in to give us a feel of the action at Lutsen Mountains. 

Examples of e-cigarettes - Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Health

School launches effort to stop teen "vaping"

At the last school board meeting for School District 166, Assistant Principal Mitch Dorr told the school board about a new problem at schools—not just at School District 166—but schools around the nation. The troubling new trend? E-cigarettes and vaping.
The School District has launched an education program to increase awareness of what is considered by many to be an epidemic facing today’s youth.
A post on the school’s Facebook page explains, “Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapor produced by an electronic vaporize or e-cigarette.
“The casing can come in any shape or size, but its most popular form is the Juul, which takes its appearance as a flash drive and can be easily concealed in a backpack, coat, purse, etc.”
The school site goes on to explain, “The liquids that are vaporized are marketed to our youth with different flavors such as ‘cinnamon roll, marshmallow, bubblegum, lemonade and cookies’ giving the appearance that this is a harmless smoking option with limited risks.”
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Assistant Principal Dorr about the situation at Cook County Schools and about how parents and community members can help with this educational effort.
More information is also available from the Minnesota Department of Health, here.
The U.S. Surgeon General has also provided information, here.


The Alpine girls were third place finishers in the highly-competitive Gitchi Gami Invite. They are pictured here with Coach Lamb

Alpine girls take third at Gitchi Gami Invite

 The Cook County/Silver Bay Alpine ski team had its last regular conference meet on Thursday, January 24 at Mont du Lac Ski Hill in Wisconsin. According to Alpine Coach Charles Lamb, it was a huge meet with 11 regional teams and 220 racers.

Despite frigid temperatures, the North Shore Alpine team had a great day at Mont du Lac in what was called the Gitchi Gumi Invite, where many of the racers began their skiing adventure.

The boys’ team finished in sixth place in that competitive field. Will Surbaugh had a blow-out on his first run, but skied great on his second. It wasn’t enough to earn a spot on the podium, but the second race was stellar, said Coach Lamb.

Ray Dressley finished 27th and Elijah Blanck, 30th. Also having great races were Westin Heeren and Andrew Hallberg. Cy Oberholtzer was having a fantastic day, but straddled a gate and was disqualified.

The girls’ team took home the third place plaque. Reilly Wahlers was in first place at the end of her first run, but the second run was not quite as fast. She finished in an impressive third place, just behind Elsa Peterson of Minneapolis SW in first and Kendra Winberg of Hermantown in second.

Sela Backstrom had two great runs, continuing her consistent skiing season by finishing once again in the top ten.

Elsa Lunde also had a great first race but had a miscue in her second.

Rounding out the girls’ team were Emma Sexauer, Kalina Dimitrova , and Allie Duclos.

Overall, Coach Lamb said it was a great day at Mont du Lac.

Next up is the Section meet at Giant’s Ridge on February 5, so the team will spend the next week training.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence talked to Coach Lamb to learn more about how things went at Mont du Lac.

Photos courtesy of the Alpine team


Gunflint Ranger District, Grand Marais

Superior National Forest partners impacted by shutdown

WTIP has been reaching out to various government entities to learn how they have been affected by the partial government shutdown, which began on December 22, 2018. In addition to government workers going without wages, many federal agencies are falling behind on the work they do. That is the case for the U.S. Forest Service here in Cook County.
Work on trails, at trailheads and portages is on hold, but WTIP has learned that several bathrooms at trailheads are open during the shutdown. The facilities at sites such as Eagle Mountain, Pincushion Mountain, and Oberg Mountain could be checked and trash collected, if any forest users wanted to lend a hand during the shutdown.
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence speaks with John Wytanis of the Northwoods Volunteer Connection to learn if NVC has been impacted by the shutdown.

Road Construction

Right-of-way acquisition may delay Highway 61 construction

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce committee that is meeting to develop a plan to help businesses during the reconstruction of Highway 61 through Grand Marais cancelled a meeting this week because of a possible delay.

Chamber members said there is apparently a delay in efforts to acquire right-of-way for the project, which could delay the overall roadwork.

The city of Grand Marais is hoping to set a meeting with Minnesota Department of Transportation officials soon, but in the meantime, WTIP’s Rhonda Silence reached out to Michael Kalnbach of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to learn more.

Kalnbach is the project manager for the Highway 61 project, which is intended to repave and reconstruct the highway from the Cutface Creek Rest Area to the east end of the city in 2019-2020. More information on the plan can be found here.


Great Expectations School in Grand Marais on a wintry day

Checking in with Great Expectations School

Great Expectations School (GES) in Grand Marais is governed by a school board and the board meets the first and third Thursday of each month. The first meeting of each month is a workshop format and the third Thursday brings more business and is the time that the board makes official motions. After each of those meetings, WTIP checks in with Great Expectations. 

WTIP's Rhonda Silence speaks with GES Director Peter James about the school's audit, strategic planning, curriculum and more. 



Tina Nelson, a 2010 graduate of Cook County High School, now works as a suicide prevention coordinator in northeast Minnesota.

CCHS grad Tina Nelson now a suicide prevention coordinator

Tina Nelson is a 2010 graduate of Cook County High School. She was very active in CCHS sports, in volleyball and basketball. She has gone on to be the head volleyball coach and assistant basketball coach at Marshall School in Duluth. But that is a part time job – she also works full time as a public health educator. She is now the Northeast Minnesota suicide prevention coordinator.  

She travels around the state speaking at area schools, sharing the suicide prevention message and resources that are available, such as the Minnesota Crisis Text Line. She tells students that the text line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For help, whether it is for yourself or a friend, help is available by texting MN to 741741.

More information is available online.

Tina will be visiting Cook County Schools on February 22.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence speaks with Tina Nelson about the important job she is doing in northeastern Minnesota.



Four minor injuries in two-car crash near Lutsen Resort

A two-car collision on Highway 61 in Lutsen on Sunday, January 20, sent several people to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The crash occurred just before 5 p.m. on Sunday, when a 2015 Toyota Sienna minivan traveling south on the highway came to a stop for a vehicle that was making a left turn into Lutsen Resort.

A 2006 Buick Rendezvous, driven by Lee Hall, 28, of Lutsen was also traveling south and struck the back of the Toyota.

The driver of the minivan, Bret Andrew Deneson, 41 of Otsego, Minn., Catherine Deneson, 41, also of Otsego and a 12-year-old male passenger suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to North Shore Health by Cook County Ambulance.

The other passengers, Michael Anderson and Valentina Anderson of Brooklyn, Minn., as well as two juvenile males, ages 9 and 10 and one 13-year-old female were not injured.

Hall was not injured, but her passenger, Jhaquelline Costilla, 18, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to North Shore Health.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, all of the parties except Costilla, were wearing seatbelts  at the time of the crash.

In addition to Cook County Ambulance, the Lutsen Fire Department and First Responders assisted on the scene.