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North Shore News Hour


  • Monday 12-1pm
  • Monday 5-6pm
  • Tuesday 12-1pm
  • Tuesday 5-6pm
  • Wednesday 12-1pm
  • Wednesday 5-6pm
  • Thursday 12-1pm
  • Thursday 5-6pm
  • Friday 12-1pm

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:
Orvis Lunke has been a guardian, accompanying veterans on the Northland Honor Flight eight times

Talking to a Northland Honor Flight guardian

The Honor Flight Northland, carrying about 100 veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, traveled from Duluth to Washington, D.C. and back on Saturday, April 16.

Three local veterans were on this flight – Jack Heiskari of Grand Marais, David Monson of Tofte, and Mike Quaife of Tofte. They were given a whirlwind tour of the Capitol and the monuments there honoring veterans. 

With them on the Northland Honor Flight was Orvis Lunke of Grand Marais, who along with his wife, Donna Lunke, has been promoting the Honor Flight for many years. Donna has helped set up with airport send-offs and welcome home celebrations.

Orvis has served as “guardian,” assisting veterans in the journey eight times now. WTIP’s Rhonda Silence talked to Orvis to learn more about Honor Flights and how he is involved.


Hoops for Hope reunited Vikings teammates with Coach TJ Super

Vikings basketball alumni return to the court

Once a Cook County Viking, always a Viking? That was the case for three Vikings basketball players last weekend. Vikings Essa Jacobsen,  Brea Boomer, and Ashley Deschampe joined forces once again in Red Lake Falls for a basketball tournament, Hoops for

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence finds out more from former assistant coach John Jacobsen. 

 If you have news of our local student-athletes that you would like to share, please give us a call at 218-387-1070!

Photos courtesy of John Jacobsen


Retiring commercial fisherman Harley Toftey, on left, is turning his nets over to Tyler Smith

Commercial fishing link to continue at Dockside Fish Market

Some changes are coming to the Grand Marais waterfront. Longtime commercial fisherman Harley Toftey is retiring, passing the tradition on to a new generation, to Tyler Smith of Grand Marais. WTIP’s Rhonda Silence talks to the two fishermen about the changing of the guard.



Sea Grant logo

MN Sea Grant focusing on green infrastructure

Clean water is a topic that means a great deal for many who call the North Shore area their home. And Minnesota Sea Grant is very involved in a variety of research projects on the status of our watershed. Tom Beery of Sea Grant will be visiting Cook County in May to talk to citizens about "green infrastructure." 

What is green infrastructure and what does it mean to us here on the North Shore? WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs finds out more in this report about an upcoming event where clean water will be a key talking point.

To learn more, contact Tom Beery at 218-726-7677 or email 


EDA office at City Hall in Grand Marais

EDA treasurer talks about Lutsen housing

The Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) is seeking bond funding for its Lutsen rental housing project. The EDA has been working toward the goal of workforce housing for several years and last year held a public hearing on this project.
According to County Administrator Jeff Cadwell, the EDA’s project is being considered at the same time as the county’s $9.8 million bonding package for a savings on professional financial fees. Ehlers, Inc., the bond firm for both entities, will be in attendance at the EDA meeting  and the later county board meeting to answer questions from the public.
However, each debt issuance—for the county and the EDA—is separate and has its own public process. To that end, the EDA is hosting an informational meeting on Monday, April 9 during its regular monthly meeting to explain the bond process. The EDA actually held a public hearing on the bond issue for the Lutsen project last year.  
The meeting starts at 4 p.m. at Grand Marais City Hall.
Rhonda Silence spoke to EDA Treasurer Scott Harrison to learn more about the Lutsen development.  


Skier Robyn Block back at Lutsen Mountains, five years after major injuries

Injured skier returns to thank rescuers

The Lutsen Ski Patrol and Cook County Ambulance frequently responds to injureis at Lutsen Mountains Ski Area. Most of the injuries are relatively minor, but occasionally there are serious injuries. And unfortunately, the emergency responders often don’t know how the patient fares after they deliver them to a medical facility. 

That is not the case for a rescue five years ago. Injured skier Robyn Block made a return trip recently. She shares her story with WTIP, thanking some of the many people involved in her rescue, such as Lutsen Ski Patrol members Phil Larson, Matt Kartes, Corey Belt, Courtney Johnson and Steve DuChien of the Cook County Ambulance.

Here's Rhonda Silence with Robyn. 



Marcia Latz, with her service dog, Tova

Service dogs provide critical services

There have been reports in the news lately about people who travel with their animal companions – and it isn’t really clear just where these dogs are allowed and what role they play.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence checked in with Marcia Latz, a Grand Marais women who has a service dog to learn more.


Braidy Powers

How secure are our elections?

At the end of March, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon received a federal security clearance of “secret,” one of 20 state election officials nationwide with this clearance.

Simon and other officials were granted this clearance after Senate Intelligence Committee leaders said efforts to protect state and local elections from Russian cyberattacks in 2016 didn't go far enough, and they issued recommendations to safeguard against outside meddling this year.

While the Senate Committee reiterated that there was no evidence of any votes being changed when Russian agents targeted election systems in 21 states, members chided the current and former homeland security secretaries for not more strongly warning the public about past intrusions and for not doing enough to protect balloting this fall.

Minnesota was among the 21 states, but the intruders did not breach its Statewide Voter Registration System, a centralized database of registered voters.

Secretary Simon told the Associated Press that the hackers didn't really try to break in. He compared their actions with an auto thief casing a parking lot but for whatever reason not going in to steal a car.

Simon told reporters, "They didn't hack or attempt to hack us. ... They probed our defenses.”

While Minnesota's database contains sensitive personal information, Simon noted that it's not used to count votes.

The actual counting happens at the local level, and there are several checks and rechecks before the final results are certified. WTIP checked in with Cook County Auditor Braidy Powers to learn about those “checks and rechecks.”

Here’s Rhonda Silence with Auditor Powers.


Siblings Gary and Marcia Latz share their Passover traditions

Sharing the Passover tradition

Passover begins on March 30th this year, but a number of community members gathered last week to partake in a traditional Seder. About 18 people of Jewish faith came together for the celebration. What is the meaning of Passover? And what happens at the Seder? 

WTIP spoke with siblings Gary and Marcia Latz to learn more. Here's Rhonda Silence with a report, which includes some sampling of the traditional meal. 


Birch Grove second-graders and the Little Free Food Shelf

Birch Grove students open "Little Free Food Shelf"

There are many “Little Free Libraries” around the country and along the North Shore. Some students at the Birch Grove Community School have taken that idea and given it a new twist. There is now a “Little Free Food Shelf” at Birch Grove Community School. 

For more information about the “Little Free Food Shelf,” contact Birch Grove at 218-663-0170. 

Here’s Rhonda Silence with the student organizers to tell us more:

Photo courtesy of Birch Grove Community School