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North Shore News Hour

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News

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:
Ben Clagett, cross-country walker

Walking with purpose--across America

Colorado native Ben Clagett has seen a lot of America, up close. He has completed one cross-country walk and is now 65 days into his second. As he passed through Grand Marais, we invited him in to the WTIP studio to learn more about the reason behind these cross-country walks. 

Listeners can also learn more on Ben's website "Walk for 60."

Here's Rhonda Silence with more. 

 

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Viking Jack Haussner had an excellent season on hurdles - Photo by Hartley Acero

An exciting end to CCHS Track season

The Cook County High School Track team had a great season, with four of its members heading to section finals and one participant--Jack Haussner going to the state meet. Jack, a novice hurdler, had a fantastic finish to his season. 

WTIP's Rhonda Silence sat down with Coach Chris Hegg to learm more about Jack's state competition and more. 

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Grand Portage Tribal Council election results

The General Election for the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribal Council was held today, June 12, and results are as follows:

For the Committee Person I seat, William “Bill” Myers won the seat, defeating incumbent Rob Hull with 53.82 percent of the vote over Hull’s 46.18 percent.

Incumbent John Morrin held on to his Committee Person II seat, earning 66.89 percent of the vote, defeating Mike Keyport with 33.11 percent of the vote.

Earning the most votes for secretary/treasurer of the Tribal Council was April McCormick, who received 59.93 percent of the vote. She defeated Bobby Deschampe who received 40.07.

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

The Tribal Council is the governing body of Grand Portage. The enrolled members of the band elect the tribal council officers. The council oversees health care, social services, education, jobs, housing, public safety, and more.

The new council members will take office on July 9.
 


 
Arrowhead Board of Directors-Scott Harrison, Bob Nesheim, Stan Tull, Bill Huggins, Mike Littfin, Roger Opp, Rollie Adkins

Arrowhead Electric meets for election and information

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative held its 65th annual meeting today, Saturday, June 9 with a large turnout for both the pancake breakfast and the annual meeting.

After dining on pancakes cooked and served by the Cook County High School softball team, co-op members gathered in the Arrowhead Center for the Arts for the business meeting. Arrowhead board of directors Chair Scott Harrison welcomed the audience and said, “I hope you are well-nourished. Now we hope to give you some food for thought.”

John Brekke, vice president and chief power supply officer at Great River Energy (GRE), was the guest speaker. Great River Energy is the power provider for Arrowhead Cooperative. He said that GRE has a diverse portfolio of energy sources and he displayed a chart showing that GRE currently has the capacity to continue to distribute power to its 24 member cooperatives until 2032.

He gave a breakdown on where that electricity comes from and noted that GRE had met its state-mandated goals eight years ahead of time. That earned a round of applause from the audience.

And, Brekke said, GRE, at the direction of its member co-ops like Arrowhead, had voluntarily set a goal to receive 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030.

There was no mention of recently retired Manager Joe Pandy, who left the cooperative in May, several months short of a year at the co-op.

Acting Manager Jenny Kartes spoke, sharing financial information. She noted that Arrowhead is the smallest of all of the Great River Energy cooperatives, but handles a large, remote service territory. She said the co-op maintains 500 miles of electrical lines and 800 miles of telecom lines.

Operations Manager John Twiest also spoke about maintaining lines, as well as of the benefits of the automatic metering system the cooperative is now using. He said the automatic metering not only helps the cooperative know when power outages happen, the voltage monitoring aspect shows where power lines need to be upgraded and/or replaced.

He also shared information on the co-op’s plan to replace old electric line transformers to eliminate those that contain PCBs, a chemical used in older transformers, which could contaminate the environment if the transformer topples.

Twiest also said the co-op is working to replace the lights that it is responsible around the county with more efficient, Night Sky compliant bulbs.

As operations manager, Twiest oversees the “integrated vegetation management program,” more commonly known as the right-of-way clearing program. He said Arrowhead recently hired a firm to inventory its power lines to give suggestions of what the co-op should be doing differently. The company advised Arrowhead to increase its clearing rotation from seven year to five years, so Arrowhead has decided to do more frequent right-of-way clearing.

The next area to see right-of-way clearing is the south side of Gunflint Lake to Clearwater Lake. During the question and answer period at the end of the meeting, a member asked why the Clearwater area was being singled out. Twiest replied that it was its turn in the rotation. He stressed that all powerlines would eventually be cleared and added that Arrowhead is not doing anything different than what they have done in the past.

Twiest said right-of-way clearing is necessary for the safety of line crews, to reduce the potential of a downed line causing a wildfire and for the reliability of power. He added that in place of trees and shrubs, the co-op hopes to see the planting of pollinator-friendly grasses and wildflowers.

Yusef Orest, the cooperative member services manager, gave an update on the various things that fall under member services, such as True North Broadband. He said True North “has come a long way in four years” and he said there are now 2,768 True North accounts—2,763 receive internet and 1,555 have phone service.

During the Q&A part of the meeting, a member asked if there were any way to get a telephone book with True North phone customers’ numbers Orest said that is actually a co-op project. He said an online version would be available first.

Orest shared information on the cooperative’s load management system and renewable energy initiatives.
Orest noted that GRE’s Brekke had shared a slide showing that utility companies are meeting the governmentally mandated emission goals. But other industries—transportation and construction—are lagging. He said Great River Energy and Arrowhead are working to help the transportation industry decrease its emission levels by working to accommodate electric vehicles (EVs). Orest said plans are under way to have charging stations for EVs at the Arrowhead office in Lutsen, at Clearview in Lutsen, at Grand Marais City Hall and at the Grand Portage Lodge.

When the floor was opened to questions, several members came up to the microphone to ask about long-term debt; the current presidential administration’s push to increase use of coal; placement of wind farms in the state; and why Arrowhead’s rates are so much higher than in the metro area.

Various staffers answered questions including the last one—why are Arrowhead’s rates higher? Acting Manager Jenny Kartes said it comes down to density. She said in a city the average customer per mile is 80. For Arrowhead, it’s just seven. Distance combined with difficult terrain and soils for construction and maintenance equal higher expenses, Kartes said.

Before the official meeting ended and door prizes were distributed, the election results were announced. In District 2, the Maple Hill/Colvill area, Bob Nesheim was elected to the board. Retaining his seat in District 4, the Rosebush/Devil Track area was Mike Littfin. And also retaining his seat in the Pike Lake/Cascade area was Stanley Tull.

For more information about Arrowhead Electric, visit their website or call 218-663-7239. Regular board meetings are held the last Thursday of each month at 9:00 a.m.
 

Photo: The Arrowhead Electric Board of Directors - President Scott Harrison, District 6; newly-elected District 2 board member Bob Nesheim; Stan Tull, re-elected to District 5; Bill Huggins, District 7; Mike Littfin, re-elected to District 4; Vice-President Roger Opp, District 1; Rollie Adkins, District 3.  Photo by Rhonda Silence

To see more photos from the annual meeting, click photo for slideshow.
 
Note: This story originally stated that GRE had a goal to generate 80 percent of its power through renewables by the year 2050.  However, Brekke was describing a section of the state’s  2007 Next Generation Energy Act, which pledged to cut the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

 


 
Road work is under way now near the Beaver Bay bridge

Road work ahead on Highway 61

Road construction is under way in Highway 61 between Silver Bay and Beaver Bay, near the Beaver Bay bridge. Motorists will encounter single lane closures and a temporary traffic signal. It is anticipated that the work there will be done by late June, depending on weather conditions. 

More scheduled improvements  begin Monday, June 11 on Highway 61 in Two Harbors. Motorists will again encounter single lane closures in each direction controlled by flagging operations or a temporary signal. A 12-foot width restriction will be in place.

Work will occur just north of the town of Two Harbors and just south of the Silver Creek Tunnel, as six large culverts and several small culverts are replaced. Once the culvert work is done, MnDOT will be milling the road surface and repaving will follow.  Motorists should be prepared to stop are asked to use caution when driving through the work area.

Work will be ongoing in that section until the end of July. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportaion, benefits of the project include additional left turn lanes to improve traffic flow, improved signal functionality, and a smoother pavement surface.

For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.

Photo by Rhonda Silence, WTIP


 
April McCormick is running for the Grand Portage Tribal Council secretary/treasurer

A visit with Grand Portage Tribal Council candidate April McCormick

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is holding its general election Tuesday, June 12. Council members are elected by enrolled members of the Grand Portage Band. 

The polls are open on Election Day, June 12, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Old Log Community Building.


Elected council members take office on July 9.

On the ballot for the June 12 election are:
For Committee Person I
Rob Hull, incumbent
William “Bill” Meyers

For Committee Person II
Mike Keyport
John Morrin, incumbent

Click here for the interviews with John Morrin
Click here for the interview with Mike Keyport

For secretary/treasurer
Robert “Bobby” Deschampe
April McCormick
 
WTIP Community Radio reached out to all of the candidates. Rob Hull and Bill Meyers declined an interview, as did secretary/treasurer candidate Bobby Deschampe.

WTIP was able to talk to Secretary/Treasurer April McCormick. Here's that conversation. 
 

 
 

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John Morrin is running for reelection to the Grand Portage Tribal Council

A visit with Grand Portage Tribal Council candidate John Morrin

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is holding its general election on Tuesday, June 12.

The Grand Portage Tribal Council is the governing body of the reservation, which is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The election is being held in accordance with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe constitution.

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

On the ballot for the June 12 election are:
For secretary/treasurer 
Robert “Bobby” Deschampe
April McCormick
 
For Committee Person I
Rob Hull, incumbent
William “Bill” Meyers
 
For Committee Person II 
Mike Keyport
John Morrin, incumbent

Polling places are at the Grand Portage Tribal Council Office, 83, Stevens Road, Grand Portage (prior to Election Day) and at the Old Log Community Building from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12.

Elected council members take office on July 9.

WTIP's Rhonda Silence asked candidates if they would speak with WTIP. Two candidates, for a committee person seat, agreed to an interview--incumbent John Morrin and challenger Mike Keyport. 

Here's Rhonda with John Morrin. 
 

Listen: 

 
Mike Keyport

A visit with Grand Portage Tribal Council candidate Mike Keyport

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is holding its general election on Tuesday, June 12.

The Grand Portage Tribal Council is the governing body of the reservation, which is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The election is being held in accordance with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe constitution.

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

On the ballot for the June 12 election are:
For secretary/treasurer
Robert “Bobby” Deschampe
April McCormick
 
For Committee Person I
Rob Hull, incumbent
William “Bill” Meyers
 
For Committee Person II
Mike Keyport
John Morrin, incumbent

Polling places are at the Grand Portage Tribal Council Office, 83, Stevens Road, Grand Portage (prior to Election Day) and at the Old Log Community Building from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12.

Elected council members take office on July 9.

WTIP's Rhonda Silence asked candidates if they would speak with WTIP. Two candidates, for a committee person seat, agreed to an interview--incumbent John Morrin and challenger Mike Keyport. 

Here's Rhonda with Mike Keyport. 
 

Listen: 

 
Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux

Grand Marais mayor on park, permits and personnel

The Grand Marais City Council meets on the second and last Wednesday of each month to handle matters happening in the city. After each meeting, WTIP checks in with Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux for more information on what was discussed. 

WTIP's Rhonda Silence checked in with the mayor on street permits, activities at the Grand Marais Rec Park, Highway 61 planning and more. 

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Audrey Summers of Grand Marais is a Fulbright scholar, heading to Korea this summer

Audrey Summers heading to Korea as a Fulbright scholar

Audrey Summers, a Cook County High School graduate and former intern at WTIP Community Radio, has graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin with degrees in creative writing and journalism. She also applied for--and has received--a Fulbright fellowship. 

Audrey is now gearing up for that fellowship in South Korea, where she will be teaching English to children. Back home for a brief visit before setting out for Korea, she stopped by the WTIP studio for an interview. 

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