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North Shore Morning

AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

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:
Don't be a victim of telephone scams

Sheriff reminds public of telephone scams

It's happened to all of us. We pick up the phone to hear an unwanted -- and often unfriendly -- voice seeking money or wanting access to our personal information. Is there anything we can do about this? 

WTIP's Bob Padzieski spoke with Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen to learn more. Sheriff Eliasen shared some tips to avoid being scammed. And he said to report scams, he advises the public to visit the federal scams and fraud website. Calls may also be reported by calling (844) USA-GOV1. 




Superior National Forest Update - August 24, 2018

National Forest Update – August 23, 2018.
Hi.  I’m Tom McCann, resource information specialist on the Gunflint District, with the National Forest Update.  ‘Resource information specialist’ means I’m the person who creates maps and does analysis of spatial data in this part of the Superior.  The Superior is moving in new directions for visitor maps and in the coming year, you’ll see more of our maps available online for use with GPS enabled phones.  But, a paper map is still a great addition to any trip into the Forest.  They never run out of batteries, they don’t need a signal, and you can pick one up at either the Gunflint or Tofte office.  As you head out into the Forest, map in hand, here’s some other information for you.

The Minnesota DNR is replacing boat ramps at some sites in the Forest.  Last week, the ramp at Four Mile was closed for replacement, surprising some fishermen.  This week, the ramp at Caribou Lake will be closed while it is replaced.  These are DNR, not Forest Service, facilities, so for other information about boat ramps, check the DNR website.

We are moving into the start of hunting seasons.  While bear season does not start until September, bear hunters can now begin to set up bait stations.  Bait stations need to be clearly marked, and if you run into one while you are out exploring, please leave it alone.  Be careful as well because if the bait is working, there may be bears in the area.  Bait is required to be distant from trails, campgrounds, and other developed sites, so it is rare that you would run into one of these unless you are traveling off the beaten trail.

Sometimes in the late summer and early fall, people will take extended camping trips.  As a reminder, you are not allowed to occupy any campsite for more than 14 days, with the exception of designated long-term sites at Little Isabella River and McDougal Lake Campgrounds.  The definition of ‘campsite’ includes not only campsites in campgrounds, but anywhere on the Forest where you set up a tent.  After 14 days, you have to move.  The ‘nine-person’ rule of a maximum group size of nine is also one which applies to all campsites, with the exception of designated group sites.

If your plans included traveling on The 600 Road between the Sawbill Trail and the Cramer Road, be aware that culverts on that road are being replaced.  There can be delays of up to half an hour while this is going on.  Gravel trucks will be hauling loads for the project on the Two Island River Road, the 600 Road, and the Sawbill Trail.  The plan is to have the work completed before the fall color season as the 600 Road is popular fall color route.

Logging trucks will be hauling in a few places as well.  On the Tofte end, trucks will be using the Dumbell River Road, Wanless Road, Trappers Lake or Sawbill Landing Road, the 4 Mile Grade, and Lake County Road 7.  On Gunflint, expect trucks on the Springdale Road, the Caribou Trail, the Lima Grade, and the South Brule River Road.

Although there is rain predicted for this weekend, campers and picnickers who plan on building campfires need to be aware that the Forest is pretty dry right now.  The layer of duff on the ground will stay dry and can support a smoldering fire until we get a really good soaking rain.  Be very careful with fires this season; we’ve already had several small wildfires which started as campfires, and we don’t want any more.  Campfires need to be dead out when you leave them, and any wood you are burning needs to be completely within the fire ring or fire grate.

I hope that you will be able to fit a camping or other trip into the Forest in our remaining summer days.  It’s a good way to relax before school and fall projects begin. 

Until next time, enjoy the Forest, and this has been Tom McCann with the National Forest Update.


Hjordis youth crew member Jack on the lines

Local youths learn about sailing aboard the Hjordis

North House Folk School offered a youth sailing program this summer, giving local youths the chance to learn about sailing about the Hjordis. The program wrapped up with a family sail--the youth crew members were able to invite friends or family along on a sail. 

Before that though, Hjordis Captain Matthew Eklund and crew members--Robin Henrikson, Jack Willis and RaeAnne Silence--came in to the WTIP studio to talk about the sailing program. Here's WTIP volunteer Shawna Willis with more. 

Photos by Rhonda Silence


Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival in Superior, Wisconsin - Photo by Randen Pederson,

Look for dragons at Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival

The Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival is held at Barker's Island in Superior, Wisconsin in August. The Twin Ports is gearing up for this year's event on August 24-25. 

WTIP volunteer Sally Dunn learns more about the event in this interview. 



Manoonin 101 - 1854 Treaty Authority Program

CJ Heithoff talks with Marne Kaeske, Cultural Preservation Specialist with the 1854 Treaty Authority about the manoomin or wild rice program they are bringing to North Shore state parks in August.

The 1854 Treaty Authority staff will share information about the cultural significance of wild rice, its biology and the current management practices in the 1854 Ceded Territory. Regulations and equipment needed to harvest, as well as, safety precautions to take while ricing will be discussed. This program is open to all ages and will be held outside.

The 1854 Treaty Authority is an Inter-Tribal Natural Resource Management Organization that manages the off-reservation hunting, fishing and gathering rights of the Grand Portage and Bois Forte bands of the Lake Superior Chippewa in the territory ceded under the Treaty of 1854.

Locations and times:

Monday, August 20  Cascade River State Park - 7 pm
Tuesday, August 21   Grand Portage State Park - 10 am
Friday, August 24  Tettegouche State Park  -  1 pm
Tuesday, August 28,  Hartley Nature Center  -  1 pm

Manoomin Camp
Saturday, September 8th 10 am - 3 pm at Kettle Lake (outside the Duluth area)




Wildersmith on the Gunflint - August 17, 2018

Wildersmith n the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith    August 17, 2018
As in other places of the universe, the upper Trail has eclipsed the half-way point of our eighth yearly segment. After some swell north woods days early in the month, the beastly star of daytime light blistered the Gunflint last weekend.                                                                                                             
Not having been exposed too much of the oft summer season misery, the conditions had many of us two-legged beings sticky and complaining. While not as steamy as many points to the west, south, and east, when the temp reaches mid-seventies to mid-eighties, it’s jungle like in the forest. Yours truly, for one, hope’s for some natural air conditioning by the time this weeks’ Trail scoop hits the airwaves.                                                                                                                                                 

The mid-Trail fundraiser for the Fire Department and Rescue team went off with another bang, back on the 8th. Once again a nice turn out of local supporters had a good time socializing with friends and neighbors and then picked-up many flea market treasures at bargain prices.                                                                                                                                                                          

The live auction followed the usual format of vigorous bidding for a trove of great gifts, all donated by area crafters, artisans, and businesses. Auctioneer, Michael Valentini kept things lively with his humor and insistent fun loving badgering of bidders into digging a little deeper, for a good cause.                                                                                                                                                               

On a rather interesting note, five locally baked and donated pies were auctioned off, each garnering between 75 and 100 dollars, and a swell twice smoked ham brought in $200. The day ended as Derek and Andrea Hofelt from Loon Lake Lodge had the winning ticket in the drawing for the 2018 mid-trail quilt.                                                                                                                                           
After the dust settled, the mid-Trail Community netted a record $15,500.00, all of which will be donated to the GTVFD.  Congratulations to the organizers and many volunteers for their dedicated efforts, and thanks for a swell afternoon!                                                                                               

More news comes from the end of the Trail where another Sunday program in the Chik-Wauk Nature Center features Teresa Marrone. Ms. Marrone will be expanding the discussion on Non-Invasive and Invasive plants, following the Scenic Byway/Chik-Wauk invasive plant pulling program of a couple weeks ago. The presentation will get underway at 2:00 pm.                                                                                 

It’s the time of year when the Gunflint Trail Historical Society is calling on all area pastry specialists to pre-heat the oven, and roll-out some crust. Yes, the annual Pie & Ice Cream Social will be held two weeks from Sunday, September 2nd, up at Chik-Wauk. Yes, I said September, it’s almost here. So I’m calling all pies. Give Judy Edlund a call 388-4400 to let her know your pie will be there.                                                                                                                                                                                      

Sweets will be served from noon until 4:00 pm. As an added sugary treat, the Northshore Community Swing Band will be playing for your enjoyment from 12:30 ‘til 2:00 pm. The days’ proceeds go to assist in Chik-Wauk Campus operations. A donation of $5.00 per person is suggested.                                                                                                                                                                  

Although a few die-hard blues pickers are still out in the woods, the purplish nuggets must be starting to dry up. An indication of such could be the case as the Smith’s recently came across a hungry momma bear and her twin kids feasting on dumpster delicacies along South Hungry Jack Road. The cubs vamoosed into the forest as we slowed to observe, but momma simply shuffled around back of the unit and peeked at us until we moved on down the road. Berries are about gone, but hunger pangs are forever.                                                                                            

In spite of the recent hot spell, the collection of winter vittles seem to be ratcheting up with the red rodents and “chippies” around the Wildersmith yard. Some days the number of red rodents looks to approach gang size.                                                                                                                   
Furthermore, as one day melts into another, some of us upper Trail residents are feeling the “getting ready” season dwindling. Oh, so many chores to finish and suddenly so few days! Meanwhile, snowbirds are already contemplating migration.                                                                                                                      
For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, as we hear notions of a “September Song.”



Superior National Forest Update - August 17, 2018

National Forest Update – August 9, 2018.
Hi.  I’m Jake Todd, information assistant at Tofte, with the National Forest Update.  I’m a relatively new face on the district, but you’ll see me on the other side of the counter if you come in for a wilderness permit, camping information, or just to say hi.  As far as information goes, here on WTIP, every week we bring you information on things happening around the east end of the Superior that might affect your visit.

The first piece of information you may already have noticed, but you are probably trying hard to ignore.  Here in mid to late August, there are… hints of fall starting appear.  The goldenrod and large-leafed aster are blooming in huge numbers, and here and there you’ll even see a bush honeysuckle turning red.  The flowers on the fireweed are creeping upwards on the spike, and the story is that when they reach the top of the plant, summer is over.  If you are out at night, listen carefully.  You’ll hear small chirps from above which are coming from night flying flocks of birds migrating south.  The weather may still be warm, or even hot, but there’s no denying that there’s change in the air.

One change this time of year is the drying of the forest.  As moisture levels decrease, fire danger increases.  The duff layer on top of the soil, when dry, can be ignited easily and smolder for days until conditions are right for a fire to spring into life. 

Unfortunately, the source of that ignition too often is a careless person.  Right now, our fire crew reports that the Superior overall is averaging one human-caused fire a day.  These small fires have all been under a quarter acre, but remember that the massive Ham Lake and Pagami Creek Fire, and even the Carr Fire burning in California now, started as small fires less than a quarter acre.  Most of our small fires are from campers not putting out campfires completely, and there’s really no excuse for that.  Smokey has been telling us for years to put our fires out, so next time you have a campfire, just remember the bear and that Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.

Speaking of bears, we are coming to the end of the berry season, and our resident bruins will be starting to look for other sources of food to fatten up for hibernation.  They have to put on a lot of fat, a weight gain of around 30% from their spring weight, in order to sleep all winter without food.  Without berries, bird feeders, trash cans, and picnic coolers all start to look more tempting.  Make sure you are safeguarding all your food sources so your bird feeders don’t turn into bear feeders.  If you are at one of our fee campgrounds, you need to bar the dumpster after use.  This small step really helps keep bears from becoming problem animals.

The road to the campground shouldn’t be a problem though.  Our roads are in good shape right now – good enough that it is tempting to really put on some speed.  Please don’t.  There are many reasons to keep your speed down in the forest, from animals crossing the road to logging trucks, and very few good reasons to go fast.

Those logging trucks are busy hauling in a few places.  On the Tofte side, watch for traffic on the Trappers Lake Road, Dumbell River Road, Wanless Road, the 4 Mile Grade, and Lake County 7.  On the Gunflint District, log trucks may be on the Greenwood Road,       Firebox Road, Cook County 60, the Lima Grade, and the South Brule River Road.  Also, be aware that logging operations are scheduled to begin off of Pike Lake Road within the next couple of weeks.

So, try to ignore those signs of creeping autumn, and get out and enjoy the rest of summer 2018.  We still have plenty of good summer weather left to swim, fish, hike, or camp in, and it’s up to you to take advantage of it. 

Until next week, this has been Jake Todd with the National Forest Update. 


N.Sky - Early Sept.jpg

Northern Sky: August 18 - 31, 2018

NORTHERN SKY – Deane Morrison       Aug. 18-31 2018

At this time of year, the stars and planets have started coming out noticeably earlier. Venus is sinking, but still bright, in the west after sunset. The bright star Spica, in Virgo, is off to the left--our left--of Venus in midmonth. Spica is also dropping toward the western horizon, and it crosses paths with Venus on Friday the 31st. That evening, If you catch them when the sky's dark enough but they haven’t set yet, you’ll see Spica about two and a half moon widths above Venus.
Moving east, we have Jupiter, always bright. East of Jupiter and low in the sky is Scorpius, with Antares, the gigantic red star at the heart of the scorpion. Moving east again, we have the lovely Teapot of Sagittarius with Saturn shining above it, and finally Mars. Mars, Venus and Jupiter outshine all the stars, and Mars still outshines Jupiter. But Mars is fading as Earth leaves it behind in the orbital race, and soon Jupiter will reclaim its mantle as the brightest of the outer planets.
August's full moon arrives at 6:56 a.m. on Sunday, the 26th. However, the moon sets at 6:07 a.m. that day, so to see it you could go out around 5:30 a.m., or look for it the night before or the night after.
In astronomy news, you may have heard that on Sunday, August 12, NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe, an ambitious mission to the one star we can study up close. Parker will fly through the sun’s corona—its outer atmosphere—passing closer to the sun than any previous mission, and University of Minnesota space physicists play an essential role in it. Here’s the scoop.
It’s been known for decades that when subatomic particles escape from the sun’s surface their temperature is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. But when they pass through the corona, they get heated to a few million degrees.
Scientists have debated how the corona heats these particles so intensely. And also, how the corona accelerates them and spews them out in a torrent of particles that barrels through space at up to a million miles per hour. This stream of particles bathes the solar system and is known as the solar wind.
Earth’s magnetic field intercepts the solar wind and shields us against it. When it collides with Earth’s magnetic bubble, it can lead to spectacular auroras. But when it’s fierce, the solar wind can knock out power grids, as it did in Quebec in 1989.
Whatever in the corona is heating and accelerating these particles has to be electric and magnetic fields, because that’s all there is. The debate is about the details. The Parker spacecraft carries an instrument, designed by U of M researchers, to study the corona’s electric and magnetic fields and particles. This data will help settle the debate and make it easier to predict the heaviest gusts of the solar wind and take precautions to protect power grids.
How close will Parker get to the sun? If Earth and the sun were at opposite goal lines on a football field, the closest any spacecraft has come is the sun’s 29-yard line. But Parker will zip inside the 4-yard line, less than four million miles from the sun. NASA has dreamed of such a mission for 50 years, but the technology took time to develop. For example, engineers had to design a heat shield that’s capable of deflecting temperatures high enough to melt steel. Also, the Parker Solar Probe must, by itself, adjust its orientation to keep its heat shield between the spacecraft and the sun as it hurtles through its tightest loop around the sun at more than 400,000 miles per hour.


BOW - Becoming an Outdoors Woman is being offered at Wolf Ridge Environmental Center this fall

Wolf Ridge and DNR partner to offer "Becoming an Outdoors Woman"

Whether you're trying an activity for the first time, or you consider yourself an expert, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources would like to help you gain new skills and improve your techniques in a relaxed, fun, and supportive atmosphere though its Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program.

Coming up in September, there is a BOW weekend at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland.

WTIP volunteer Brian Neal learns more about this workshop in this interview.

Photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota


Fledgling bird - photo by Dan Shustack/OBCP via USFWS Midwest Region on Flickr

North Woods Naturalist: Fledglings

Before young birds can fly, they fledge. But not all birds fledge the same or at the same time. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with North Woods Naturalist Chel Anderson about how and why fledglings fledge.