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North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

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News and information, interviews, weather, upcoming events, music, school news, and many special features. North Shore Morning includes our popular trivia question - Pop Quiz! The North Shore Morning program is the place to connect with the people, culture and events of our region!

 


What's On:
The town hall, fire department, and rescue squad buildings, reflecting the 17 years of outstanding leadership from Paul James

West End News: November 17

Leadership is on everyone's mind these days, as it usually is after a presidential election. If you're looking for an example of dedicated leadership, look no further than former Tofte Township Supervisor, Paul James.

Paul was a Supervisor for 17 years and for many of those years served as the Chair. Year after year, he was selected from among all the township residents at the annual community meeting to lead the discussion about the upcoming priorities for Tofte.

Paul's contributions are too numerous to list in full, but just a short list would be his important role in upgrading and professionalizing the fire department and rescue squad. He led the charge for the town to acquire ownership of the Birch Grove School building that now houses the Birch Grove Community School and the Birch Grove Community Center. He negotiated with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to design a highway reconstruction plan that best met the needs of the town. He guided the town through a comprehensive planning process and led the charge for affordable housing.

In addition to all of this, Paul has been active in Zoar Lutheran Church, served as a volunteer fireman and led the Timberwolves snowmobile club forever.

Paul also led by example and could often be found doing some of the many unglamorous chores that keep a community looking good and functioning smoothly.

In my mind, Paul represents the second generation of leadership since Tofte re-incorporated as a township in the late 1970s. When the older generation started to age out, there was some question about who would step up. Paul stepped into the gap and never missed a beat.

I know that Paul will be an inspiration for a new generation of township leaders and the entire West End joins me in offering our sincere thanks for the thousands of selfless hours that he has put in on our behalf.

Congratulations to Deb and Nan at Lockport Store in Lutsen for their glowing review on the national website, onlyinyourstate.com. The popular online magazine said, "…this little cafe is a can't-miss-it stop on any trip up north." It's nice to see the rest of the world discover the good food and cordial atmosphere that every West Ender has known about for years.

If you're looking for a place to celebrate Thanksgiving, remember the community Thanksgiving at the Clair Nelson Community Center in Finland on Thursday, November 24, from 2-5 pm. This dinner is open to everyone and is very much in the cooperative Finnish spirit that abounds in this neck of the woods. If you are located closer to Grand Marais, the Congregational Church up there offers the same deal - good food, good company, no sermon and absolutely everyone is welcome.

No matter where you are on Thanksgiving, remember to take a moment to be thankful that you live in the wonderful West End.

For WTIP, this is Bill Hansen with the West End News.

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Oshki Ogimaag student Jeffrey with the sign students made in recognition of veterans

Veterans Day events in the community

Veterans Day 2016 was recognized in a variety of ways in Cook County on Friday, November 11, in Grand Portage and Grand Marais. Rhonda Silence provides this brief report. 

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Birch Grove Community School

School News from Birch Grove School: November 17

Kalina, Sophia, and Isabel report the latest school news.

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Rough-legged hawk

North Woods Naturalist: Fall is closing in

Fall has been a long time coming, but it’s closing in on us. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about the November of 2016.

(Photo by Richard Droker on Flickr)

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Sawtooth Mountain Elementary School

School News from Sawtooth Mountain Elementary School: November 15

Noah, Rachel, and Molly report the latest school news.

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Lake Superior Project/Logo by Lauryl Loberg

LSProject: Stories of loss, love and remembrance from the Maple Hill Cemetery

The Maple Hill Cemetery is a small cemetery outside of Grand Marais. It's a lovely place, located high on a hill overlooking Lake Superior.

In this edition of The Lake Superior Project, WTIP's Martha Marnocha takes a walk through the cemetery with two local residents, Sherrie and Jeannie, to reflect on stories of loss, love and remembrance.

(Photo courtesy of Michael Leland on Flickr)

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Northern Sky: November 12-26

Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota, where she authors the Minnesota Starwatch column.

A supermoon, also called the Beaver Moon, mid-month; Venus bright in the southwest horizon; the "loneliest star" can be seen in the east; Jupiter in the morning sky; Leonid meteor shower may be diminished by the waning moon; a bright Acturus - the "guardian of the bear."

(Photo courtesy of Dave Grubb on Flickr)

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Great Expectations

School News from Great Expectations School: November 11

MaryJune and Amelia report the latest school news.

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Superior National Forest Update: November 11

Hi. This is Steve Robertsen, forest interpretation and education specialist, with this week’s National Forest Update - information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the east end of the Superior National Forest. For the week of November 11th, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.

We are in the middle of the firearms deer season. That means that there are lots of hunters out in the field, and a fair number of vehicles parked by the side of the road. Both are things to watch out for. If you are out in the woods this time of year, you need to be wearing orange and be aware of your surroundings. Hunters need to know that you may not discharge a firearm within 150 yards of a recreation site or trail, not including designated hunter walking trails. Hunting from vehicles and on the road is not legal. Also not legal is cross-country travel by ATV, so plan on doing some walking if you are hunting. People who are not hunting need to respect the hunters, and give them the room and quiet they need. If you are just out for a hike during these few weeks, consider hiking in an area where hunting is not allowed.

With the nice weather, people are extending their summer into November. If you are planning on camping or boating, know that the water is off in campgrounds, and the boat docks are out for the winter. Possibly more importantly, while outhouses are open, we don’t restock toilet paper during the off season. Be prepared! Prepare yourself in other ways too. It is not hard to get turned around in the woods when you are concentrating on something else, like hunting. Besides map and compass, there are excellent mapping apps available for smartphones which will help you find your way back to the car. They only work though if you’ve downloaded maps ahead of time, as there is little cell coverage out here, and if your battery is charged. Don’t rely only on having a smartphone or GPS as it is too easy to drop them or have their batteries run low.

While driving, there is some logging activity to be aware of, mostly in the same places as the last few weeks. On the Tofte District, trucks will be using the Sawbill Landing Road near Sawbill Landing, the Dumbell River Road, the Rice Lake Road, Clara Lake Road, and the Honeymoon Trail west of White Pine Lake. On the Gunflint, trucks are on the Greenwood Road, Firebox Road, Powers Lake Road, and Trestle Pine Road. If you are planning to park your vehicle off the road while you go into the woods, be extra careful in these areas to make sure your vehicle is completely off the roadway so a truck can pass. Always park your vehicle in a safe location with good visibility.

Enjoy our extra dose of summer, and good luck hunting, whether it be with a rifle, or binoculars and camera. Until next time, this has been Steve Robertsen with the National Forest Update.

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Wildersmith on the Gunflint: November 11

What a difference a couple weeks can make. November has turned uncommonly in the opposite direction of winter along the Gunflint Trail. Whereas we “fell back” with our timepieces last weekend, strides toward winter have reversed into a backward course as well.

For several days north country has felt like September, and those of us favoring cold and snow by this time, find it quite unsettling. But what is one to do other than “grin and sweat it.”

A journal check of last year found we at Wildersmith had our first inch of snow on the twenty-ninth of October and temps by week two of November were in the 20s at night and 30s during the daytime hours.

How warm has it been? Well if your thermometer was in the sun last Sunday, the mercury registered about 70 degrees (probably record setting) at some places up the Trail while in the shade, mid-fifties to sixty was “bad” enough.

“Wild neighborhood” critters in the process of “getting ready” are probably confused. And I might have been seeing things, but I’d swear some deciduous beings poked out green bud tips after several days of sunshine and heat. On the human side of happenings, we even had a few boats go up and down Gunflint Lake over the past several days.

Interestingly enough, it’s been so warm as to draw out a batch of those pesky buzzing pests. While catching up on some early season tree pruning, the nasty nippers have not lost their touch in tormenting me, generally being a pain in the eyes, ears, nose, and hair below my hat band while biting at my wrists around my glove cuffs.

At the same time, the house had been buttoned up for the season, and this has had to be un-done with opening windows, leaving storm doors open and a resort to ceiling fans. I can see only one thing positive being drawn from this warm, yucky situation - home heating bills will be less taxing. Score: Consumers one, utility investors nothing, so far!

I haven’t received any success reports from deer stalkers, but one would guess the warm weather had whitetails wild in the woods, as opposed to their normal cold times meanderings. I’d guess venison takings were probably minimal on opening weekend. One thing for sure, both deer and moose are likely more into sweating it out from the temps instead of human predation.

In the meantime, snowshoe hares around the place are not taking the heat too seriously. I’ve observed several over the past week having advanced to half and half in their summer to winter coat transition. While on the “Bruno” side of the ledger, one would suppose they are not seeing a need to den up just yet, so we should not tempt bears by putting out winter small animal and bird feeding facilities for a while longer.

Regular avian friends at Wildersmith seem not one bit concerned about this weather oddity. Nuthatches and chickadees are swarming like it was December/January and “whiskey jacks,” having been AWOL for months, are now arriving for both a breakfast and afternoon hand-out. Furthermore, ruffed grouse are content to hang out in this neighborhood oblivious to the fact that winter arrival has been derailed.

While this weather anomaly has some of us aghast, blue skies are tinting border country lakes and mostly calm air is reflecting mirror images of lake shorelines with an unimagined upside down beauty. No pun intended, but the current heaven to earth magic kind of gives one a warm all-over feeling.

When the territory will surrender to the glory of winter is yet to be seen. For the time being, everyone in the Gunflint community is enjoying this idyllic calm before the storm.

For WTIP, this is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith, where every day is great and will often render a wilderness adventure.

(Photo courtesy of Cimexus on Flickr)
 

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