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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:

Superior National Forest Update: January 9

USDA_SNF_Update_robertsen_20150109.mp33.3 MB

Hi.  I’m Steve Robertsen, interpreter on the Gunflint and Tofte districts of the Superior National Forest.  It’s a new year, and time for a new edition of our National Forest Update.
Even though it has been a light snow winter so far, there is getting to be enough of the white stuff to have some fun outside.  There is less snow along the shore of the big lake, but inland there is enough for skiing.  Even some of the trail systems nearer the lake are beginning to be packed even if not groomed.  There are convenient links to most of our trail partners’ websites from the Superior’s National Forest website, providing you with a fast way to find up-to-date information on trail conditions.  We’ll hope for continuous improvement in the snow department as January goes on.  There was enough snow for a successful run of the Gunflint Mail Run dog sled race, and we have our fingers crossed that later this month we’ll see a good running of the John Beargrease dog sled race as well.
If you are traveling by snowmobile instead of dog sled, be aware that you need 4 inches of snow cover to travel cross country.  Many of the local trails are closed or only in poor condition, but a few are listed as fair condition according the Minnesota DNR website.  We have links to those trail conditions as well.  Watch out for those exposed rocks as you ride - the snow cover is pretty inconsistent right now.
With the light snow cover, driving in the Forest is a whole lot easier than it was last year.  Be aware that if a smaller Forest Road is plowed, it is an indication that there is logging activity ahead and there may be trucks.  The Forest Service itself doesn’t plow the roads, so a plowed road means something is happening ahead.  As always, make sure you are prepared with a winter safety kit in your vehicle.
I’ve recently seen a repeated post in social media complaining “Why do I live where the air hurts my face?”  Well, the answer to that is winter is what you make of it.  There is breathtaking beauty in the winter woods, from crystal clear stars at night to snow laden pine trees during a snow fall.  There are plenty of things to do outside in the winter, and if it is too cold, it provides the perfect excuse for curling up with a book and hot chocolate.  Our winters here may sometimes hurt your face, but they are worth it if you make the effort to enjoy them.  You can see other posts about winter and the Forest, with no complaining, if you visit the Superior National Forest’s new Facebook page while you’re sitting there with the hot chocolate.  It’s another way you can be part of the Forest, even if you‘re in your family room at home.
Keep thinking snow, and enjoy the winter.  Until next time, this is Steve Robertsen for the Superior National Forest Update.


Cook County YMCA celebrates First Birthday and the new year

The Cook County YMCA is celebrating one year of service to the community and looking forward to a great new year.  WTIP volunteer Yvonne Mills speaks with Branch Executive Director Emily Marshall.

The Open House Birthday celebration is Sunday, January 4 from 1 to 4 pm, and includes new group fitness class samplings, snacks, open game room, open swim with water slide, and open gym.
The  YMCA hosts a job fair Monday, January 6, from 6 to 7:30pm. Program staff will be on hand to answer questions about jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities in aquatics, sports, health & wellness, marketing, childcare, and organizational management.
More upcoming events are on our Events and Announcements page.


Full "Wolf" Moon (Rick Leche / Flikr)

Northern Sky: December 27

NorthernSky_20141227.mp37.08 MB

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

A full Wolf Moon on January 4th; a G-formation of bright winter constellations to the south; Earth at perihelion; and the Rosetta probe and the history of water.

ISD166 School Nurse Kay Borud

Cook County School News: Influenza

SchNews_CC_influenza_20141218.mp34.7 MB

The spread of influenza-like illness (ILI) is making news across the state. Locally ISD166 is having its own struggles.  Not sure when to keep your child home?  Wondering why the whole school doestn't close?  School Nurse Kay Borud reports on current recommendations.  
And Cook County Schools remind parents to update emergency contact information on record in the school office. If you have changes to report, the number to call is 387-2271. 


Superior National Forest Update: December 19

USDA_SNF_Update_Botner_20141219.mp34.73 MB

Hi.  I’m Anna Botner, Wilderness Specialist on the Gunflint and Tofte Districts of the Superior National Forest.  We’ve got a bit more snow, and as it accumulates, so do the opportunities for winter recreation on the Forest.
Light snow cover means that some roads that are usually impassable this time of year look fairly drivable.  But, watch out!  Appearances can be deceiving!  It is easy to get stuck at the bottom of a hill if you are in a conventional two wheel drive car, even in small amounts of snow.  Make sure the safety equipment in your car includes a strong tow strap, shovel and sand, just in case.  Cat litter, by the way, isn’t recommended for traction.  Spinning tires can heat up the snow under it enough to create water, that will simply dissolve the litter. If you bring a cell phone, don’t forget a charger, but remember there are lots of places on the Forest where it will not work.
Do you need a Christmas tree still?  Our three million acre Christmas tree lot is still open.  Pick up a permit at a District office for five dollars, and then go pick your tree.  There are some simple guidelines to follow concerning where you can harvest a tree, and an expedition into the woods in search of the perfect balsam fir is a great tradition to either follow or start with your family.
While driving, you’ll discover that there isn’t a lot of logging traffic right now  except for the Sawbill Trail, the Grade, the Pine Mountain Road, the Pike Lake Road, and the Bally Creek Road.  Though truck traffic is light, remember that they will have a harder time stopping on snow covered roads.
There is enough snow to ski in some areas, but most trails are not being groomed as yet.  Presently, the recommendation is to use older skis, as you may be skiing on rocks some of the time. This is also a good time of year for lake skiing.  As always when traveling on ice, watch for weak spots and be prepared in case you go through with ice picks, rope, and a change of clothing, in a waterproof bag.  The best thing to bring with you when traveling on ice is a partner - rescues with a friend are a lot easier than by yourself.
If you’re snowmobiling, 4 inches of snow cover is required for cross country travel.  For trail conditions, check the Minnesota DNR website. As of December 18th, most area trails are either closed or in poor condition.
Fat tire bicycles have been in the news recently, as more and more people take up the sport.  There are no specific fat bike trails in the Superior National Forest, but they are welcome on Forest Roads.  Bikers need to remember that they are sharing the roads with vehicles, and possibly snowmobiles.  Bikes are not allowed on trails with other use designations, such as ski trails, snowmobile trails, or snowshoe trails.
Think snow, and enjoy a safe holiday season!  This has been Anna Botner with the Superior National Forest Update.

Leo (jah~ /Flikr)

Northern Sky: December 13

NorthernSky_20141213.mp36.97 MB

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

Saturn, Jupiter in retrograde and Leo; the Winter Solstice; Algol in Perseus visible in deepest eclipse on Dec 15th and 18th.


Medusa (Manuel M Almeida / Flikr)

Northern Sky: November 29

NorthernSky_20141129.mp36.25 MB

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

The Long Night's Moon, full on December 6th; the constellation Perseus and the winking eye of Medusa; and earliest sunsets followed by latest sunrises.


Forum: Completing your health care directive, November 25

HonoringChoices_Lilja_Anderson.mp39.15 MB

The North Shore Health Care Foundation hosts a Community Open Forum Tuesday afternoon, November 25th, designed to help people get going on their health care directives.  North Shore Morning host Sherrie Lindskog spoke with Jerry Lilja and Katie Anderson, board members of the North Shore Health Care Foundation.
Honoring Choices:         
Completing your health care directive
A community open forum
Tuesday, November 25, 2014  –   4:00 to 6:00 pm                                                                                                               
Sawtooth Mountain Clinic (classroom lower level)
A program of the North Shore Health Care Foundation designed to help you get started on your Health Care Directive.     
This is a repeat of our June 2014 event.
Beginning with…   a panel presentation featuring medical, legal, family and spiritual resource people from our community    
Followed by…  questions and discussion time with the panel. 
The panelists will be:                                                                                                         
Hilja Iverson - Social Worker, North Shore Hospital and Care Center                                                                                        
Jeanette Lindgren - Clinical Care Coordinator, Care Partners                                       
Milan Schmidt - Physician, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic                                    
Ruthanne Vos  - Attorney, Mathison Law Office                                                         
Seamus Walsh - Priest, St. John’s Catholic Church
After the program…  panelists will be available for conversation with attendees for additional information and assistance.  
More information from the Foundation at 387-9076.



Superior National Forest Update: November 21

USDA_SNF_Update_Benson_20141121.mp35.12 MB

Hi.  I’m Jon Benson, Recreation Specialist for the Tofte and Gunflint Ranger Districts.  I’m here today to provide you with the Thanksgiving edition of the Superior National Forest Update.  For the week of November 21st, here’s what’s going on around the Forest.
Turkey Day is just around the corner and the chill of winter is in the air.  Hunting season is winding down, and many of you have been out looking for that trophy buck.  Good hunting safety practices should remain a key focus as complacency can often be a contributing factor to hunting injuries.  If you plan to be out in the woods during hunting season make sure you, your friends and your pets are wearing high visibility clothing and are taking more notice of your surroundings. 
Trappers in the Finland, Grand Marais and Two Harbors areas can register furbearers on Friday, Dec. 5, between noon and 7 p.m. at area DNR registration stations. A typo in the 2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook incorrectly lists the date as Dec. 6.
Trappers may also call to make an appointment for registration during regular business hours prior to the close of any species trapping season. Trappers are reminded that all furbearers must be registered no more than 24 hours after the close of the season for fisher and marten, and no more than 48 after the close of the season for otters and bobcats. Registrations stations are not staffed on weekends so trappers should plan accordingly to meet registration requirements.
When the hunting and trapping seasons end, please remember to take down your hunting stands as permanent stands are illegal on National Forest lands.  For any additional questions related to trapping or hunting licenses, rules, and regulations, listeners should contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or visit their website.
For any information related to OHV use or access into different areas of the Superior National Forest, please stop into any District Office and request a free motor vehicle use map.  Remember that ATV’s and OHV’s are only permitted on roads and trails designated for that use on the motor vehicle use map and cross-country travel is not permitted.
Recreation use on the Superior National Forest is pretty low right now, but we have heard reports of people starting to venture out onto the ice.  Please use caution when walking on frozen lakes especially early in the season.  It is recommended that anyone planning to travel on the ice not do so by themselves and if you do plan to head out on the ice, please use caution and sound judgment before doing so.
Another pretty cool program that I wanted to mention is that the Superior National Forest is in the midst of our 25th year of wilderness education programs.  We have been providing these programs to 2nd, 4th, and 7th grade students in communities ranging from south of Duluth all the way to Grand Marais.  If you have any 7th grade students, they should have recently been visited by our wilderness education team.  Ask them if they learned anything new and interesting about the wilderness.
While driving, you could encounter some logging trucks on the Bally Creek Road, Devil Track, Ball Club, Shoe Lake, Greenwood, The Grade, Gunflint Trail, Swamp Lake Road, Cascade River Road and Cook County 7, Cook County 45, Cook County 3, Forest Road 369, Lake County 705, the Mark Lake Road and the Caribou Trail.  There will also be some hauling and harvest activity starting soon  along the Pine Mountain Road near the Gunflint Snowmobile Trail. 
Speaking of roads, the bridge on the 600 Road in Tofte over the Temperance River is now closed to vehicle traffic and boulders have been placed to prevent vehicle traffic from crossing this bridge.  Snowmobiles will be permitted on the bridge this winter, but the groomer will not be grooming this section of trail.  This bridge has been closed for safety reasons and we are working to find opportunities to fund a new bridge in this location.  The cost estimate for a replacement bridge is beyond what our budgets can currently support.
I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and enjoy the start of the winter.  Until next time, this has been Jon Benson with the Superior National Forest Update.

Leonid Meteor Shower (Drew Wilson / Flikr)

Northern Sky: November 15

NorthernSky_20141115.mp36.32 MB

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

The Leonid Shower on the 17th and 18th; new moon on the 22nd; news from the Alma telescope and the November 12th landing on a comet.