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AM Community Calendar/photo by masochismtango on Flickr

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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: October 23

Hi.  I’m Bre Schueller, Fire Management Specialist for the Gunflint and Tofte Ranger Districts, with this week’s edition of the National Forest Update  -  information on conditions affecting travel and recreation here on the east side of the Superior National Forest. For the week of October 23rd, here’s what’s going on in the Forest.
Most of what has been happening is the annual shutting down.  The water has now been turned off at all the fee campgrounds.  This means that you will have to pack in your own water, as well as pack out your garbage.  You can’t make camping reservations any more, but you also don’t have to pay a camping fee.  Campgrounds and outhouses remain open for use year round, but they are not plowed out or maintained through the winter.
Another part of the preparation for winter was the removal of docks from water accesses.  Boat ramps remain usable, but you’ll have to manage without a dock if you are headed out for some late season fishing.
The fall color tour signs are coming down too, as the fall color season is mostly over.  The weekly color reports and photos will still be on the web through Halloween, but there should be fewer people in the woods as we shift from fall to winter.
One of the few things opening instead of ending is the new bridge over the Temperance River on the 600 Road near the Sawbill Trail.  The bridge is now open for traffic, and will allow the North Shore Snowmobile trail to return to its usual route this winter.
Speaking of Halloween, we are participating in an attempt to set a world record for the most bat houses built in a day.  At sites across the nation, people will be building bat houses on October 31st to help support our bat population.  Right now, bats are dealing with a disease called white nose syndrome, which kills them in large numbers.  One way to help is to provide roosting sites for healthy bats in the form of bat houses.  You can help bats and set a world record by joining us at the AmericInn in Silver Bay during their annual Trick or Treat event.  From 3 to 6 pm on Halloween, you can build a bat house from a free kit, and then take the house home with you to put up where you want more bats and fewer mosquitoes.  This program is made possible with a generous donation of lumber from Hedstrom’s Lumber Mill, and the cooperation of Tettegouche State Park and AmericInn Silver Bay.  Supplies are limited.
In keeping with the season, snowy owls have been sighted in the area.  These beautiful owls are active during the day and like open areas, so they are more easily seen than most owls.  It also helps that they are bright white!  Watch for them along roadsides and other openings, but also watch out for them flying low over roadways in pursuit of mice.   
Brush piles are being burned by our fire crews at several locations throughout the Forest as weather permits.  You may see smoke from these fires, but if you are unsure where smoke is coming from, it is always worthwhile to report possible wildfires to the Forest Service.  There was one small wildfire on an island in Sawbill Lake this past week which started from a campfire.  Make sure any fires you light during the fall are kept under control, and left only when they are completely out.

Timber hauling is taking place in the same areas as last week.  Hauling on the Gunflint District is taking place on the Murmur Creek Road, the Caribou Trail, The Grade, the Bally Creek Road, the Greenwood road, the Firebox Road, the Shoe Lake Road, the Old Greenwood road, the South Brule River Road, the Lima Grade, and the Gunflint Trail.
In Tofte, watch for trucks on the Sawbill Trail, in the vicinity of Jack Lake with hauling on FR 369 (Sawbill Landing Road or Trappers Lake Road) down to Hwy. 1 at Isabella, and on The Grade. 
Enjoy the end of our fall, and get out in the woods before winter sets in!  Until next week, this has been Bre Schueller with the Superior National Forest Update. 


Cook County Schools

West End News: October 22

We were thrilled to have a visit from the Superior National Forest leadership team this week. The team is about 30 Forest Service employees who hold the higher administrative jobs at the Forest Service headquarters in Duluth and in the District Offices around the Forest. They were taking a full day to tour various parts of the Tofte District, which includes most of the West End.
The Forest Service plays a large role in our lives here in the West End, as they administer the vast majority of our land base. Their multiple-use mandate provides business opportunities in timber and recreation of all types. They are also important employers in their own right. As if that isn’t enough, they provide a lot of the recreation opportunities that we all enjoy, including trails of all types, fishing docks, campgrounds and hunting land, just to name a few.
The individuals on the leadership team are out and about in the forest on a daily basis, but it’s also valuable for the whole team to get out together, so they can discuss and ponder future policy decisions while looking at the actual effects of their past decisions.
It’s easy to make fun of any big organization like the Forest Service, but the reality is that they do a great job administering the public lands that provide for the lifestyle that makes us all want to live here.  In my long experience with the Forest Service, I’ve invariably been impressed with the intelligence and dedication of the employees. They do a lot for us and we shouldn’t take them for granted.
The Bloodmobile is returning to Tofte on Monday, November 16, from 2:30 until 6 pm.  It parks at Zoar Lutheran Church with registration taking place just inside the church. Long-time blood drive volunteer, Julie Rannetsberger, is organizing things this time around, so give her a call at 663-7111 to schedule a time to donate.
I almost never miss an opportunity to donate blood, but I’ll have to pass this time because I’ll be on vacation in Hawaii. Someone is welcome to take my place though – at the blood drive, not in Hawaii!
I usually don’t report local births, because if I do one, then I have to do them all. But I’m making an exception for the birth of Freja Tofte Hedstrom last week. Freya is, I’m told, the first child born of a union between the Toftes and the Hedstroms, two of the  largest and most prominent pioneer families in Cook County. Congratulations to the parents, Abby Tofte and Sam Hedstrom, as well as the grandparents, Brian and Kelly Tofte, and Ed and Kris Hedstrom.
The election ballots are out for the operating levy referendum for the Cook County Schools, also known as Independent School District Number 166. 
In my opinion, the correct vote on this issue is “yes.” Without this authorization, our largest school district will be crippled in its efforts to educate our children.  
Education is the key to almost everything in a civil society. I could provide examples all day, but the bottom line is that our tax dollars spent on public education provide a return on investment that would be the envy of any Wall Street hedge fund.  Failure is not an option here. We can pay a little now or pay a lot later.
Aside from the financial sound financial reasons for voting yes, it is also just the right thing to do. What kind of community would we be if we didn’t invest in the well-being of our children? 
Thanks in advance for doing your part to keep the West End a wonderful place to grow up and a great place to raise a family.


Jan Sivertson

Commissioner Jan Sivertson reports on yesterday’s meeting

 Gary Atwood spoke with Commissioner Jan Sivertson after yesterday’s Cook County Commissioner’s meeting 



A Year in the Wilderness: October 22 - Visit from a group of paddlers

Cook County adventurers Dave and Amy Freeman are spending a year in the wilderness. On a regular basis they’ll be sharing some of their experiences travelling the BWCAW. Here’s their latest installment as they spend time with a visiting group of paddlers.



Birch Grove Community School

School News from Birch Grove: October 20

Arlo reports the latest School News.


Sunny's huskies

Sunny's Back Yard: Adopting two huskies

Adopting dogs that need homes can be rewarding but challenging. Sunny tells us about 20 years of living with - and loving - huskies. 

Sunny has lived off-grid in rural Lake County for the past 17 years and is a regular commentator on WTIP. Here she shares what's been happening in Sunny's Back Yard.


Members of the adventuring team take a break in northern Canada

Quebec paddlers talk about trip to Arctic

Though we have no shortage of outdoor adventurers who live throughout the WTIP listening area, news reporter Joe Friedrichs recently spoke with a group of Canadian explorers who took the term “outdoor travel” to a whole new level.

(Photos by "On The Blue Gold Paths" adventure team)



North Woods Naturalist: Late October

October is winding down and we are definitely into fall. WTIP’s Jay Andersen talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about the shift from autumn toward winter.

(Photo by Marilylle Soveran on Flickr)



'Making It through Fall' at North House Folk School

From keeping your kitchen knives sharp to sourdough bread….to learning to get along without duct tape….the Making It Through Fall sessions at North House have a lot to offer. WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan spoke with North House Folk School program coordinator Matt Nesheim on North Shore Morning. 

More information at or call 218-387-9762.



Field Notes: American Robin

Field Notes with Molly Hoffman can be heard every Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning between 8:00 and 10:00.  Support for Field Notes comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.