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News & Information

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:

Wildersmith on the Gunflint: October 2

After a quick run to Iowa for a visit with kids, we Smiths are back on the Trail. It’s great to be home as fall (Tagwaagin in Ojibwe) opens up in full array.

Our color show around Wildersmith could peak this weekend while this scoop comes your way. With the exception of wintertime's fresh snow adornments in the forest, autumn in these parts is simply the most beautiful of all possible seasonal characters.

Spicy aspects of fall have engulfed this neighborhood. Last weekend, the deciduous forest was lit up like the nightly Vegas Strip. Bright sunny skies beamed through yellow, orange and red leafy compounds in a mind boggling blur through granite uplands.

At ground level, the landscape shows early departing leaves building up along back country roads windrowed by local traffic and occasional leaf peepers. Simultaneously, the coniferous forest is not to be outdone and is contributing its annual layering of elder needles to the cushy wilderness carpet.

Added to this nostalgic happening are the faint fragrances of damp ground and the onset of decaying foliage. This aroma of the forest is dispersed by soft fall breezes and suddenly, outdoor lovers are captured by the aura. If we could only bottle this sachet!

It’s hard to concentrate with so much natural magnificence all around, but time is whizzing by. Last minute “getting ready for winter” chores are piling up like fall leaves. There are not many docks left on Gunflint Lake. In fact, I might have been one of the last one to take in my summer observation planks and the boat. Thanks to a great neighbor and his son, this “to do” item is now checked off my list.

I’m now onto stacking more firewood, readying the snowblower, mounting the snow blade, wrapping baby trees with deer protection, draining hoses and other numerable winterizing tasks that go along with living at 48 degrees north. Tedious, yes, but the adventure, mystique and anticipation of this magic transformation from warm to cool and then cold is well worth it to this old guy!

Tales of bear encounters continue throughout the territory. It seems as though most reports come from places where concentrations of people are high. Obviously, bears have figured out people can be an easy touch due to careless habits with appetizing nutritional items (in other words, garbage).

In the meantime, Wildersmith has not been bothered by the marauding critters. Now just wait, since I’ve made this statement, we’ll be paid a “Bruno” visit. It never fails, but any curious Ursa stopping by will not find any temptations.

Getting ready for winter continues on at a hectic pace for red squirrels and their rodent chipmunk cousins. The other day one of the feisty seed fetchers got so excited for a hand-out it accidentally got under one of my size thirteens. It didn’t get squashed, but did get its toes pinched. The little guy/gal scrambled off giving me the devil. In a matter of seconds, it was back after me, only this time keeping a more reasonable distance.

Alas, after all the hoopla of this month's “super” full, wild rice moon, such was a flop out this way last Sunday evening. Blue daytime heavens gave way to late day clouds and by the time we should have been enjoying the splendor of this lunar extravaganza, rain drops were falling on our heads. So we’ll try again in another 18 years.

In the meantime, the “falling leaves” moon, of segment ten, will be spinning its fall yarn near ghosts and goblin time. Timing for this one is a spooky coincidence.

In lieu of sadly missing the “super” man in the moon, on a happier note, one of our favorite upper Gunflint neighbors is celebrating a milestone birthday. Long time seasonal resident, Ken Rusk, turns 98. Think of all the things he has seen and been a part of in his lifetime. He’s a walking, talking Gunflint history book. Happy 98th, Ken!

This is Fred Smith, on the Trail, at Wildersmith! Come on along and enjoy the miracles in Gunflint color.



Superior National Forest Update: October 2

Hi.  I’m Mary Ann Atwood, administrative support assistant on the Gunflint Ranger District, with this week’s edition of the National Forest Update - information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Gunflint and Tofte Districts of the Forest.  For the week of October 2nd, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.

Fall Colors
Looks like this will be a fabulous fall color weekend on the forest. Those who predict such things believe we are at or near peak color…perfect timing to get outdoors and drive, hike or paddle your way through the forest.
While leaf-peeping, be aware of slow moving or stopped vehicles and choose safe spots to pull over with plenty of room for other vehicles to pass.
Autumn brings fall color, shorter days and various hunting seasons.  If you are spending time in the forest, wear an orange vest or hat.  This time of year, orange is definitely the new black. 

Logging Operations
Timber operations have somewhat slowed on the Tofte District.  There will be log trucks on The Grade and Sawbill Landing, (otherwise known as Trappers Lake Road), but there are no other operations. 
On the Gunflint district, there is much more activity.  You may encounter trucks on the following roads: Murmur Creek, Caribou Trail, Bally Creek, Greenwood, Old Greenwood, Firebox, Shoebox Lake, South Brule River, Lima Grade, and the Gunflint Trail. 

Fire News
Fire danger in the woods is currently low to moderate.  Taking advantage of this fact, our fire crews are burning slash piles.  Don’t be surprised to see some smoke as piles are burned.  You can call district offices for details. 
If you are planning to burn a brush pile, be sure to get a burn permit.  Permits can be acquired at the district offices or on the DNRs web site.

Additional Autumnal Alterations
As of October 1st, district office hours have changed.  We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30 pm, closed on weekends.
Also as of October 1st  free self-issue permits are all that is needed for day or overnight visits to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  Self-issue permits are available at all entrée points and district offices.
The water systems on Superior’s campgrounds get shut down sometime this month – the timing is weather dependent. Garbage service also comes to an end.  Our campgrounds are open year round, visitors just need to plan a little differently…bring water and pack out your trash.   Campground updates will be posted on until November, that’s  With this comes good news and bad news.  The bad news is: once the water is shut off, you can no longer reserve a campsite.   The good news is you don’t have to pay a camping fee. 
Keep in mind; while the Chicago Bears can’t win a game, the Superior’s bears are still awake.   Follow the “Leave No Trace” guidelines paying close attention to food and garbage storage.

To quote Lauren DeStefano author of Wither, "Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale."   Savor the Superior this season.
Until next week, this has been Mary Ann Atwood with the Superior National Forest Update. 


Great Expectations Charter School

School News from Great Expectations: October 1

Rhonnie and Spencer report the latest School News.


Dr. Katja Rowell

Strategies for "helping your child with extreme picky eating" on October 5&6

If you’ve ever wondered why some kids are picky eaters – and how to get them to eat better – there’s a presentation being offered at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic norththat can help. WTIP volunteer Julie Carlson spoke with Dr. Katja Rowell on North Shore Morning.
‘Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating’
Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Classroom
October 5 - 6:30 to 8 p.m., and again on October 6 - 9 to 10:30 a.m.



Field Notes: Late warblers

Field Notes with Molly Hoffman can be heard every Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning between 8:00 and 10:00.  Support for Field Notes comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

(Photo by Andrew Redding on Flickr)



North Woods Naturalist: Hummingbird Goodbye

In a most unusual and fascinating story, WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about the hummingbird goodbye.

(Photo by Priya Saihgal on Flickr)



'Porcelain' class offered at Grand Marais Art Colony, October 10-12

‘Porcelain’ is a ceramics class offered through the Grand Marais Art Colony in October. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson talked with instructor David Voorhees about this class on North Shore Morning. 

Porcelain with David Voorhees
October 10 - 11 & 12
Grand Marais Art Colony



'Office Hours' provide assistance for WTIP Community Producers

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a WTIP volunteer producer, you’re welcome to stop by the station for more information on Wednesday evenings through October. WTIP volunteer Tracy Benson spoke with Patrick Knight and Deb Benedict on North Shore Morning. 


The Lake Superior Project/Logo by Lauryl Loberg

LSProject: 50 Years on Mic Mac Lake

Mic Mac Lake is a remote lake within Tettegouche State Park. Along its shore are a group of log buildings that used to be known as the “Tettegouche Camp.”  For 50 years this camp was the property of a wealthy businessman named Clement Quinn. WTIP's Martha Marnocha took a walking tour of the Camp with Park Naturalist Kurt Mead to learn more about the history of this special place.

For more photos of Clement Quinn and Teddy, the Moose, view photo slideshow.




Cook County Youth Agency Coalition offers a variety of activities

New day care opportunities, a trip to Glensheen, Youth in Government and more; all through the Cook County Youth Agency Coalition (CCYAC).  WTIP’s Jana Berka spoke with director Jaye White on North Shore Morning.