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North Shore Morning

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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:
Jess Koski

Notes from Reservation River - Jess Koski

Writer Jess Koski is a Grand Portage tribal member and dispatches his “Jessays,” from his home on the shore of Lake Superior, in Chi Oni Gaming.

Enjoy this edition of Notes from Reservation River  - "Well Worn Path".


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Backpacking 101 - April

"Backpacking 101" with Michelle Schroeder is a monthly feature on WTIP's North Shore Morning.
In this edition, Michelle talks with NSM host, Mark Abrahamson about how to navigate early Spring hiking trails, particularly with the dry conditions and elevated fire risk the Northland finds itself in this year.


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - Apr 09

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
April 9, 2021    

Skies have been sparkling along the Gunflint Trail on the first weekend of month four. Temps have been warming steadily after the minus two experienced at Wildersmith on April “fools” day morning. Since then, spring has swallowed a big gulp of winter since our last gathering on WTIP.                                                                                                                                              

Border country landscape still has patches of winter memories, but is now in various shades of brown. A good deal of windrowed snow remains along back country roads where the sun is shadowed by coniferous shade. It’s a good bet this too could be gone in a week or so with the rather unusual April heat.                                                                                                             

There is increasing talk of ice out on area lakes. As I keyed this weeks’ scoop last Sunday evening however, the big ice cube on Gunflint looks to be pretty tight along the shore at Wildersmith.                                                                                                                                

Remembering the last two years, Gunflint Lake ice was going out during the day of the Walleye opener on the second Saturday of May. It’s a good bet the hard water will easily be gone before months’ end at the rate things are going.                                                             

Other signs we have turned the corner are noted with pussy willow buds popping like corn in a hot pan, a couple reports of rhubarb and daffodil sprouts have been reported peeking out of the warming earth and needles of the coniferous forest are suddenly, brighter green.                   

On a cautious note, the territory went yet another week with no precipitation. And our first thunder of the spring echoed down the lake earlier in the week, but boasted more “bark than bite,” dropping a mere quarter inch of rain. We are thankful for the dampening and hopeful of more by the time this report hits the air.                                                                                          

Several days have been quite breezy and coupled with the now dry forest duff and brush, wildfire danger has many of us on edge. An example was noted in a fire that could well have been disastrous last Saturday in the southern part of the county along highway 61.                    

With ice still on, getting wildfire sprinkler systems set to go is complicated at best, so ice out soon is critical. In the meantime, since about 98% of Minnesota wildfires are ignited by careless humans, Gunflinter’s encourage any and all throughout the County to self-impose their own burning ban. We should do this in the absence of a governmental decree. There’s no need for campfires or any refuse ignition until we get wet.                                                                                   

Speaking of breezy days, a couple area fishermen had a couple get away not long ago as the trout season wound down. While it is not unusual for finnies to get away under this ice, this angling expedition is one for the books.                                                                                          

It was during the last days of March when the two ventured out on a gusty day to set-up and drill for a little jigging. They had no sooner set-up their ice houses than a gust of wind caught the units and sent them sailing off across and down the Gunflint ice. Tethering to their four wheelers was not enough as connections gave way to “Mother Nature’s ire. Luckily the shanties were not occupied.                                                                                                           

Thoughts of angling suddenly turned to search and rescue. Not knowing where the shacks would end up in the blizzard like conditions, one could only imagine where the units might be found along miles of shoreline.                                                                                                           

So the four wheeler quest began. Eventually one unit was re-possessed in a small bay about a mile across the lake. At this time it is unknown if the other shack was ever found. It will likely be retrieved at some point in time, but perhaps in the trees somewhere along the shore.                    

An interesting tidbit related the temporary fishing hut was found to be good condition after the wild ride. Propane heater/tank, tackle and bait containers and all other gear was intact.                                                                                                                                                     
So once again the fishing intent was great, and even one (fish shack) was caught, but in the end, another (shack) got away. It seems hard to escape that at least something always gets away or lost in every deep water excursion. Another fishing story for the ages!                                                

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, as life picks-up anew in the wild land forest.                                                                                             


Scott Oeth - Photo via Facebook

Money Matter - Scott Oeth

North Shore Morning host, CJ Heithoff talks with Scott Oeth about "mental traps" that can cost people money, or lead to poor decision making and ones that he sees as especially relevant in today's market in this edition of "Money Matters"


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Magnetic North - "Retro for Radio"

WTIP commentator, Vicki Biggs Anderson is producing a "Retro for Radio" segment of her Magnetic North feature. Vicki is selecting and reading from her columns written in the 1990's for the Cook County News Herald. 
This column was titled "My Bobbins and Tub Runneth Over".  Enjoy!


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GM Parks Board Meeting Report

Grand Marais Parks and Recreation Manager, Dave Tersteeg talked with North Shore Morning host, CJ Heithoff about the April Parks Board Meeting in this interview.


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'Free Day at the Dentist' coming to Cook County

North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson talks with Bonnie Dalin with the Oral Health Task Force about the Free Day at the Dentist event coming up on April 26th.


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Voices of spring at Johnson Heritage Post

"Voices of Spring" opens at the Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery on Friday, April 2nd.  It features six artists and a variety of media.  

North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson talks with organizer and artist, Kathy Fox Weinberg to learn more.


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The Retrievers organization shares latest on missing lab near the North Shore

North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson talks with Amy Addy from "The Retrievers" for an update on Rowdi, the Labrador Retriever that went missing from the Tofte area in February. They're not giving up on finding him.

Please call 612-669-8965 with info or sightings.


Wildersmith Sign Only

Wildersmith on the Gunflint - April 02

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
April 2, 2021    

Back to the beautiful Gunflint woods after a first visit out of state in fifteen months. Following a couple winter like acts of the past week, it’s now April, no “fooling.”                                               

While I don’t know if this has any meaning, as to this time of the year, while shoveling from the weekend snow, a dark brown item appeared as my scoop passed by. I thought it must be a bit of lint off my apparel, but closer examination found it to be wooly caterpillar. Laying a finger close to the fuzzy critter, I nudged it, finding life as it coiled in reaction, no “April Fool” here. An anomaly  yes?                                                                                                             

The “wow” of the north woods was once again highlighted with a spectacular full, Ojibwe, “crust on the snow” moon, last weekend. The past few full lunar happenings in this neighborhood have occurred behind clouded skies. With clear skies this time, and on the “breast of new fallen snow” the “big cheese” cast near daylight, after dark, on objects below. If listeners weren’t up to see the late night landscape, you missed another Gunflint delight!                   

As winter sputters to an end, it has been mixed with enough spring teasing to open up occasions of mud. With the warmth of the past few days and April at hand, I would declare “mud” season is now official. Such is most noticed along back country roads and on vehicles traveling them. I will just concede to driving the dirt colored vehicle until green-up commences.       

On our trips south toward the village, we are always on the look-out for an experience having never before observed, and it usually happens. This trek was no exception.                                

Our attention was suddenly captured as we approached the Trail intersection with Birch Lake Road. For those not familiar, this is near the location of the Christmas season sentinel cared for by the good folks on Birch Lake.                                                                                                    

For some reason the magnificent, lonesome pine was lit up, twinkling like it was December. Wondering as we neared, what could be going on, had the lighting crew slipped a belt?                                                                                                                                                              
It was soon discovered “old Sol” had risen into an exact position, sending rays into the crystal luminaries, and giving off the appearance, of their being energized by man.                            

While the symbols of light to the world are beautiful after the dark, they seemed more awe-inspiring with enabling from the sun. Sparkling like pearls of dew or rain drops after a morning shower, the solitary scene was akin to a starlit heaven only here on earth. What a refreshing encounter on a bright cheery morning!                                                                                               

Having been out of the territory for a week, our return out the Byway was equally exciting although there was nothing physically observable. As we trekked through the pines, along still snow covered ditches, it was just a “hard to explain,” spirit of the Trail that seemed to reach out with a welcome. So magical and reverent!                                                                                

It was not until we pulled into the driveway and stepped out of the vehicle when we were greeted by a Mile O Pine reality, welcome wagon. I don’t have an official descriptor for a group of squirrels, but there was an excited gang on hand.                                                                        

While the little rodent folk can be annoying at times, it kind of warms one’s heart even though you know they are not really interested in your return, so much as they know, you will be opening the feed bin.                                                                                                                           

Nevertheless, the quiet of the forest was interrupted with excited chatter as they scampered madly about, and into the wood shop where the goodies are kept. I had a devil of a time shooing them out, until I grabbed a handful of seeds to lure them back into the out of doors. Boy, am I well trained!                                                                                                                       

In closing, the border territory is now playing the April waiting game. Waiting for snow to melt, ice to go out, rain to fall, mud to dry, green to come, flowers to sprout, animal babies to be born and the annual re-birth of Gunflint adventures.                                                                          

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every North woods day has a unique splendor!