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North Shore News Hour

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  • Monday 12-1pm
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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:
Chuck Petek and Chelsea Pusc.JPG

Chuck Petek: 50 years in the barber shop

In May, there was a change of ownership for the building that houses the Gunflint Mercantile, Country Insurance and Chuck's Barber Shop. The building was purchased by Chelsea Pusc of Gunflint Mercantile along with Abby Tofte and Sam Hedstrom who will be opening a new store in the building in the summer of 2018.  

That raised the question -- what will happen to Chuck Petek, the barber? The answer is, it's not entirely clear. The curent tenants have leases so they will be staying until at least February of 2018.  Tenants may stay in a reconfigured space. Or, they may move on. 

WTIP talked to barber Chuck Petek earlier this year, when the sale was still pending and he was celebrating his 50th year as a barber in Grand Marais.  Rhonda Silence finds out more in this interview. 
 

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Dr. Seth Moore

Dr. Seth Moore: Engaging tribal youth in an environmental career path

Dr. Seth Moore is Director of Biology and Environment with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. 

The Grand Portage Reservation is located in the extreme northeast corner of Minnesota, on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Cook County. Bordered on the north by Canada, on the south and east by Lake Superior and on the west by Grand Portage State Forest, the reservation encompasses an historic fur trade site on scenic Grand Portage Bay.

The band engages in fisheries and wildlife research projects throughout the year, working with moose, wolves, fish, deer, grouse, and environmental issues. Dr. Moore appears regularly on WTIP North Shore Community Radio, talking about the band's current and ongoing natural resource projects, as well as other environmental and health related issues. 

In this segment, Dr. Moore talks about a project that hopes to engage Grand Portage tribal youth in environmental education and careers.

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Ovenbird

North Woods Naturalist: The ovenbird

There’s a small, camouflaged warbler with one very familiar song and a second song that few people recognize. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about the ovenbird.

(Photo courtesy of Kent McFarland on Flickr)

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Superior National Forest Update: June 2

Hi. I’m Phillip Hass, botany technician on the Superior National Forest, with the National Forest Update - information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Forest. For the start of summer and the first week of June, here’s what’s going on in the woods.

There has been a lot of deer activity recently with plenty of new fawns appearing. Child care in deer is a little different from child care in humans. The doe will leave the fawn alone for most of the day while she goes out foraging. Fawns will lie down where they are left and stay as still and hidden as possible. Mom may not return to the fawn until sundown. These quiet little fawns are often seen by people who think they have been abandoned, and worried people will pick them up, or otherwise try to help, and end up actually causing problems instead of helping. The best thing to do if you find a fawn is leave it alone. Take some pictures from a distance, but otherwise don’t disturb it. Mom will be back later; the fawn is going to be fine. It’s also worth mentioning that does can be very protective of their fawns. We had a report of someone’s dog getting hoofed yesterday by an aggressive deer defending its fawn, so it is best to just keep your distance right now, and keep your pup away from deer.

If you are out and about this week, there is some log hauling going on. Watch for trucks on the Trapper’s Lake Road, the Grade, and the Sawbill Trail, as well as on the Shoebox Road and Greenwood Road. Also it is graduation weekend, so keep an eye open for students and parents traveling to and from graduation parties.

You’ll also see traffic in town from the Northern Landscapes Festival at North House Folk School. The Forest Service is a part of this event, and is putting on two programs which are free and open to the public, not just open to Festival attendees. The first of our programs is a talk on loons given by loon expert biologist Kevin Woizeschke. Loons are truly amazing birds, able to dive to incredible depths, and also fly at high altitudes. Imagine trying to design a flying submarine…it seems almost impossible. Kevin’s loon presentation will take place at the Folk School on Friday, June 2 at 7 p.m. Be sure to mark your calendar. Our second program is bird banding at the Sweethearts Bluff trail, just past the Grand Marais campground. It will take place on Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Stop by any time to watch birds being banded, find out more about birds and bird monitoring, and be able to see some of our birds up close and personal.

After bird banding, it might be a great time to take a hike or go for a bike ride. It is National Trails Day this weekend, so it is time to celebrate all the trails we have for your use on your public lands. There are a lot of places to visit on the Forest, and a lot of those are only accessible by trail. So, go visit Magnetic Rock, or find the Paulson Mine on the Centennial Trail, or look over Honeymoon Bluff, or try the mountain bike loops at Pincushion or Britton Peak. With all those trails for you to explore, maybe it should have been National Trails Month!

We have to say a few farewells with the end of May. Long term employees and Superior National Forest fixtures Jeff DeShaw and Becky Bartol are retiring, and short term Tofte District Ranger Lenore Lamb is returning to her full time position elsewhere. We will miss all of them and wish them the best

Happy hiking, and until next week, this has been Phillip Hass with the National Forest Update.

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Chik Wauk has been enjoying watching loons like this one.

Wildersmith on the Gunflint: June 2

The last hurrah of winter has now evaporated from this neighborhood. It took the better part of five months, but alas the season of cold, ice and snow is sent off into history.                                           

Conditions still remain on the cool side as I key the Gunflint scoop over Memorial Day weekend. Showers measuring in the few tenths range have kept the dust down, and forest duff damp during the past seven.                                                                                                                                          
Forest green-up is making headway, but seems to remain a week or so from completion in my estimation. “Mother Nature” operates in strange ways it would seem. Many quaking aspen tokens have reached fullness, while others right alongside have barely broken the green tip bud stage. Same is true for many other deciduous floras. It’s difficult to understand, but the “old gal” in charge of all things natural obviously has a plan.

I was in the lake this past weekend with a friend putting the dock out. In spite of donning the wet suit, the H2O got my immediate attention. Dipping the thermometer after the last pallet was in place, I found the temp at a depth of four feet to be only 44 degrees, burr!            

Many great residents along the Trail having been showing their Gunflint pride this past week doing the road side clean-up. Big thanks to everyone who pitched in with the pick-up. A good friend and yours truly did our two-mile stretch and came up with a sundry of debris in the amount of six garbage bags full, plus any number of items not a fit for the bags.  

What a shame that a segment of byway users would be so irresponsibly careless and inconsiderate of this precious place.  As I walked along climbing in and out of ditches, a few observations came to mind:      

No. 1, as the Trail is a one way in and the same way back out, I found I was picking up far less on the north (inbound) side than my friend on the south going (outbound). Clearly, the littering folks are pitching their garbage on the way out rather than taking it home and/or disposing of it properly.                                                               

No. 2, another conclusion is there is great wonder why more fires aren’t started in the dry ditch cover with all the cigarette butts cast out vehicle windows.                                                                                

No. 3, the most obvious view confirmed an un-countable number of visitors cannot go anywhere, or do anything without an alcoholic beverage in their hands (and what’s more, while behind the wheel). This fact is borne out by the beer cans, bottles and booze containers collected during our pick-up mission.

It seems unimaginable a number of Trail users, who to give lip service to this territory being such a cherished environment, are so thoughtless to not “walk the talk” by “leaving no trace.”                            

One more item, though not related to the clean-up, is based on the vehicles passing us during the walk. It is fairly obvious the 50/55 mph speed limit is being interpreted as 65 to 70, and more. Cook County financial woes could surely be tempered if these speed demons were corralled more frequently and had their wallets lightened.                              

Stepping down from my soap box to happier wildland tidings, my commentary goes beyond garbage collection. No matter if one has seen just one, or perhaps dozens of “wild neighborhood” critter situations, every new sighting remains energizing. Such happened to the Smith’s in our travels during the past week.                                                                           

Our first encounter found a momma moose and her calf interrupting our travel down the Trail. This little brown tag-along could not have been very old as it gamely attempted galloping to keep up with mom in order to get out of our way. Then a few days later, we came upon a young bull munching in a pond along the Trail. This handsome fellow was in sleek summer attire with lush black velvet on his rack, what an iconic dude!    

Bears have made it to the Wildersmith neighborhood. Sure enough a clamoring on the deck one evening after dark found one snooping around. Turning on the outdoor light spooked it, and Bruno panicked forgetting how it got up there. After stumbling around, it decided to slide under an opening in the deck rail. The last I saw of it to this point, the bear was clinging to the deck by its claws, not aware it was about ten foot to ground level.  By then I was out the door with my trusty blank starting pistol, firing wild-west fashion. Turns out, there was a little companion below the deck and the last I saw of them, they were sprinting off into the darkness.                                                                                                                   

A day later, during a trip to the village a wolf crossed our way. This was a highly unusual scene where the stately Canid seemed curious of us as we were with it, not skittish in the slightest. We spent the better part of ten minutes watching the animal investigate us in our vehicle only to have it lay down in the ditch a short distance away, eyes in deep fixation on this strange happening in its world. Fumbling with a camera, we never did get a good photo op, and as we departed, the north woods hunter remained at the scene eerily watching as we rolled away.

In addition to these animal meanderings, we’ve also had a nocturnal visit from two fishers. One came in the evening and the other, a larger version, in the wee morning hours, each causing a ruckus. Both were in search of sunflower seed nutrition that was no longer available.                                             

A final note comes from the nesting platform at the Chik-Wauk Museum site. Tragedy has occurred as one of the loon pair has disappeared. Not knowing what may have become of the missing partner, a single parent is now sitting on the nest 24-7. With only brief times off the nest, to get in a little fishing, the scene is being watched with care to see if hatching and early nurturing becomes a reality.  

For WTIP, this is Fred Smith, on the Trail at Wildersmith, where every day is great, with Mother Nature's caring ways looking after the menagerie.

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West End News: June 1

For many west enders, summer means swimming in the Temperance River. While the river is unforgiving in many places, there are a few relatively safe spots where many a memory can be made. Kyle Puelston and his family were doing just that one summer day a year ago. Kyle had received a Go-Pro camera from his wife and was wearing it on his head, capturing thrilling footage of his family jumping into the river. What happened next probably didn’t surprise his wife much, but on one big jump, the camera slipped off Kyle’s head and was immediately carried off by the current. The family quickly resolved to never see it again.

A year later, Chris Flores and his brother were snorkeling downstream of the swimming hole when lo and behold, they came across a Go-Pro camera, still dry inside its waterproof case. Delighted with their find, the took it home and downloaded the footage. What they found were hours of family movies and adventures. Quickly realizing that this was more than just a cool river find, Chris dug in to find the camera’s owner. He was able to read a Chisago SWAT patch, worn by Kyle, the camera’s owner, in one particular video. A few quick phone calls later and they connected. Kyle was so touched by Chris’s efforts to return the camera, that he told him to keep it, just send along the video card.

You can see a short video about this story by going to the West End News tab on WTIP’s website. The video shows some of the footage taken after the camera fell into the river. You can briefly see Kyle swimming around above it, searching. Then some tumbling river rocks, and finally it comes to rest facing up, the outlines of fish passing back and forth overhead.

Here’s the link to the video: http://www.inspiremore.com/sunken-gopro-found-year-lost/

Next Saturday, June 10, Kah-Nee-Tah gallery in Lutsen is hosting a celebration of Anishinaabe Artists and their craft. The event is from 1:00 - 3:00 in the afternoon and features Author Colleen Balrica of the Pembina Band of Ojibwa, who will share stories and talk about her book, Tree Spirited Women. Also featured is artist Susan Zimmerman of the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwa, who will be introducing her new collection of handmade gourd drums. Weather permitting, Colleen Baldrica will lead a drum circle and folks are encouraged to bring their own hand-drum and join in.

Finally, high school graduation is upon us this Saturday. A special congratulations goes out to former Birch Grovers Madysen McKeever and Will Lamb of Schroeder and Erik Lawler of Lutsen. A job well done you three, we can’t wait to see what adventures you get up to next.

For WTIP, I’m Clare Shirley with the West End News.

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Sawtooth Mountain Elementary School

School News from Sawtooth Mountain Elementary: June 1

Cy, Westin, and Maggie report the latest school news.

Click here for more school news.

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Marsh marigolds

North Woods Naturalist: News from spring

The spring flowers are budding and the birds are singing, and the insects are buzzing and flitting about.  WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about news from spring.
 

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Brown creeper

North Woods Naturalist: Brown creepers

They’re small and well camouflaged, with a distinctive tree climbing habit. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about brown creepers.

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West End News: May 25

Happy Memorial Day weekend! With holiday weekends, long days and sunshine, summer is upon us. If you have a West End kiddo still looking for summer activities, Birch Grove still has some openings for both Summer Saplings and Campfire Kids. Saplings is for kids ages 3 to 5 and is open June 12 to August 29, with the exception of the Fourth of July. The program runs Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm. There are weekly nature themes, projects, activities and lots of time to play outdoors. If you have elementary aged kids, then they would enjoy the campfire kids program. It runs the same time as the Saplings and will include filed trips, bon fires, and cookouts, plus a fun overnight at Lamb’s Resort.

The qualified and caring staff at Birch Grove always put a lot of effort into these programs, so it’s worth checking them out. You can find out more information on the school’s website www.birchgroveschool.com under the Community Education tab, or by calling 663-0170, extension 26.

The Gala for the Grove is also coming right up on June 3. There are only a handful of tickets left to this wonderful event held in the Lakeside Ballroom at Surfside in Tofte. This event is a fun and spirited opportunity to socialize for a good cause. Dinner, drinks, and a live auction are all not to be missed. Call Birch Grove to snag one of the last tickets.

I often make mention of the great music opportunities here in the West End and this week is no exception. On Friday, June 2nd, there will be a unique show happening at Papa Charlie’s. Jeremy Messersmith is bringing his micro tour to the Papa Charlie’s deck. What’s a micro tour? As far as I can tell, it’s something Jeremy Messersmith made up. This summer he will be travelling around Minnesota performing 30 free, open to the public pop up shows. The shows will each be 15 minutes of unamplified music in a scenic and notable public place. All the songs can be found in his songbook titled 11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs for Ukelele. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own instruments and also to sing along. All the micro shows will be live streamed on the web. The view of Lake Superior and Lutsen Mountains from the Papa Charlie’s deck is nothing if not scenic and I’m sure the micro show will be a hoot. Again, it’s happening on Friday June 2nd at 6pm, don’t be late!

You can usually tell it’s Memorial Day because the blackflies and mosquitoes seem to arrive along with the visitors. Up in the woods here, the bugs aren’t quite out yet but a few have made their presence known here and there. The fish also seem to be waking up and the walleye are beginning to be enticed by a well-placed jig. For many of us, longer hours of sunlight each day mean a few more moments lingered in the woods or on the lake shore. Cheers to the season friends.

For WTIP, I’m Clare Shirley with the West End News.

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