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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:
Photo by Needsmoreritalin / CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

North Woods Naturalist: November weather changes

Chel Anderson is a botanist and plant ecologist. In this edition of North Woods Naturalist, Chel describes her observations in our woods and waters - as well as the sky above - as the weather finally begins to cool down.

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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - November 20

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
November 20, 2020    

Quiet as the Gunflint forest, days of November have slipped by ending week three. It hardly seems possible the celebration of America’s Thanksgiving has crept into the picture. So we’ll be doing the gobbling with those big gobbling birds as the feature entrée.                         

One has to wonder what the weather will be like by the time we get to next Thursday. Conditions in border country have been on a yoyo as the pages of 2020, chapter eleven, have been flipping.                                                                                                                                                
We’ve been through a gamut of happenings since we last met on the radio. Snow of the plowing variety, another brief meltdown and then a return to winter as this weeks’ report rolled off the keyboard.                                                                                                                             
Last Sunday was a howling success as winter tried to regain the control started in October. A northwest blast found the pine forest clinging to earth for dear life, and waves crashing the shores of lakes not already under winter cover.                                                             

As the day of rest started in a melting mode, just above the freezing mark, I watched with interest, the drippy roof edge slowly transition to icicles as the mercury began to slide. The mini spears defied gravity at the huff and puff of gale winds, to end daylight time angled to the east. These stalactites of hard water are magical, truly a miracle component of the winter adventure.                                                                                                                       
Meanwhile, twilight gave way to darkness in near blizzard surroundings although snow accumulations were minimal in the Mile O Pine neighborhood this time. Since “there’s no business like snow business” a good stimulus to our flake-less economy would be appreciated.                                                                                                                                                                      
There’s a good chance we’ll have another dose of melting before the passage of Phrenologist, Larry Weber’s “Autwin” yields to full blown winter. So there’s still time to get out and enjoy nature” in advance of every day frosty breath, frozen nostrils and squeaky snow.                   

While the Pine Marten has been getting sole enjoyment of chicken treats for a week, sharing could be in the offing. My old fox friend has been making routine visits during night time hours. Tracks in the snow around my wood shop door confirm the fox knows the feeding routine, and must be the frequent guest. Hanging around here until spring gave way to summer, a formal re-union with the AWOL animal has not taken place. But it’s likely just a matter of time until we make eye to eye contact, and I can resume my role as the server.                      

Since last summer an extensive invasion of annoying critters has been bugging many Trail residents, and Wildersmith is no exception. They are forever trying to infiltrate wherever warmth and/or nourishment might be found. And cold weather makes them even more invasive. I’m talking mice, of all types.                                                                                                    
I have trapped uncountable numbers in my out-buildings, even a couple in the vehicle and they just keep coming. Happily, they have not gained entry into the house.                                        

They are wily invaders as everybody knows, and everyone deals with them in their own way. I have reached the point where I’m now chaining the catching devices to a fixed place so they can’t run off with the trap, should the bait and trip operation not do them in at first bite (I used to lose a lot of traps).                                                                                                                        

To authenticate my efforts in culling this vermin population, I would have a good start on a mouse pelt coat if I were not making daily rodent offerings to avian predators. Mice, like mosquitos and black flies, have been a menace since the beginning of time! Some things never change.                                                                                                                                              
For WTIP news, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, and it is open season, for wilderness adventures!         



Beargrease 2021 Changes

The 2021 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is on but with significant changes for spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WTIP's CJ Heithoff spoke with Hovland musher, Frank Moe who chaired the Beargrease's COVID-19 Planning Committee.

The following websites will allow you to follow the race and progress of your favorite teams:


The North Country Crafters have been hosting a holiday market for 50 years. File photo

Update: North Country Crafters holiday market is canceled

Sandy Holthaus, one of the organizers of the North Country Craft Bazaar has announced that the event has been canceled. 


The North Country Craft Bazaar is celebrating a special anniversary. The group of crafters that host an annual holiday craft market has been doing so for 50 years now. This year will be a bit more subdued--no refreshments and guests visiting at tables. But the event will go on, with COVID guidelines in place. 

Multiple artists will be on hand with holiday crafts, ranging from jewelry to rosemaling; paintings and painted rocks; delectable baked goods, and more. 

The bazaar is at the Schroeder Town Hall at 124 Cramer Road on Saturday, November 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WTIP's Rhonda Silence spoke with one of the many crafters taking part in this Saturday's North Country Craft Bazaar in Schroeder, Sandy Holthaus. Sandy has attended the event since she was a little girl and is now one of the crafters offering holiday items. 

Here's their conversation. 


Moose near the Gunflint Trail. Photo by Katie Mumm

Gunflint Trail moose photos create buzz in Minnesota

Katie Mumm is a North Shore photographer who recently happened upon something magical near the Gunflint Trail. Indeed, her recent images of moose up the Gunflint have created quite a media buzz. North Shore Morning host CJ Heithoff talks with Mumm about how she got the shots of this iconic but elusive creature.

To learn more about Mumm and her photography, click here.



Cook County Higher Ed Update - November

Cook County Higher Education's Program Coordinator, Kelsey Kennedy talks with North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson about CCHE's upcoming events.


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International Wolf Center Update - November

WTIP talks with Grant Spickelmier, International Wolf Center's executive director for the November update. He talks with Mark about the IWC's hours, events and their ambassador wolves.


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Cook County takes Empty Bowls fundraiser virtually in 2020

Cook County's Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Food Shelf will be very different this year.  Ada Igoe explains how we can still take part.


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Pack & Paddle - November 16

On Pack & Paddle, we get the benefit of learning how to make our outdoor adventures more fun and safe from Scott Oeth, an experienced outdoor guide and instructor.
Scott is a Registered Maine Guide, an Eagle Scout and Minnesota Master Naturalist.  He’s an instructor for the Okpik National Cold Weather Leader School.
In this edition, Scott tells us how to stay warm and dry in cold weather.


WTIP file photo by Joe Friedrichs

Forest Restoration to take place along Lake Superior tributary streams

The U.S. Forest Service will be awarding nearly $4.5 million in grants to support 27 Great Lake restoration projects in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In Minnesota, these Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants will restore 600 acres of forest along Lake Superior tributary streams in Lake and Cook Counties.

WTIP's Mark Abrahamson spoke with Chris Dunham, Resilience Forestry Manager with The Nature Conservancy, to learn more.