1% tax committee ready for public presentation

The 1% Local Option Sales Tax Committee made up of the entire county board and representatives of other local governmental units spent almost four hours Monday, August 10, 2009 deliberating over what projects to include in the proposed tax coming to a referendum this fall. Seven projects were discussed: outdoor recreational facilities in Grand Marais, outdoor recreational facilities at Birch […]


No more July 4 fireworks for West End?

An unexpected misfire of a round at the 2009 Independence Day fireworks display in Tofte resulted in a frightening explosion, but no serious injuries. However, the ensuing news coverage, which included video taken on cell phones, garnered the attention of the State Fire Marshal, who recently informed the Tofte Fire Department that there were multiple problems with conducting the volunteer […]

Noxious weeds spraying nixed

After considerable discussion with members of the public, the county board voted Tuesday, August 18, 2009 to deny County Engineer/Agricultural Inspector Shae Kosmalski’s request for permission to obtain quotes on spraying for noxious weeds. Kosmalski told the board she was trying to do her job as “ag” inspector, which requires that she make sure the county controls noxious weeds. Local […]

Grand Portage receives $2 million for Housing Authority

Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the community of Grand Portage will see the construction of several new housing units. Gale Carlson, executive director of the Grand Portage Housing Authority, said she heard the good news at the regional meeting of the Great Lakes Indian Housing Association at Ho Chunk, Wisconsin. “The Great Lakes region did really well,” […]

Lodging tax income down for first half of 2009

Grand Marais area lodging establishments are faring much better so far this year than lodging establishments in the West End and on the Gunflint Trail, according to a quarterly report on the 3% tax assessed in the three lodging districts. Of Lutsen-Tofte Tourism Association lodging establishments that have submitted their taxes, business was down 15.6% from what it was in […]

Weekly Weather

Nelson’s Towing purchases Birch Grove bus garage

At the July 28 meeting of School District 166, it was announced that the district had signed an agreement to sell the bus garage it owned at the Birch Grove Community Center/School in Tofte. Since the sale was pending, the purchaser’s name was not revealed. At the Thursday, August 13, 2009 Tofte Town Meeting, the new owner himself shared the […]

Final hearings on two proposed DNR land exchanges

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) does not normally seek public input regarding potential land exchanges in the early planning stages, however it made an exception in 2008. DNR Division of Forestry representatives provided information to the public on a possible land exchange between the agency and seasonal Hovland resident Larry DeWester. Cook County Land Commissioner Mary Black explained […]

Dealing with racism

Wynton Marsalis, in his book, Moving to Higher Ground¸ shares an important lesson he learned at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans from the realistic, but painful, approach of his literature teacher to teaching Huckleberry Finn. The teacher gave him the opportunity to opt out, but Wynton says: “I’m always glad that I stayed in that class because the […]