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North Shore Morning

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!


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International Wolf Center Update - March 17

North Shore Morning host, Jaye White talks with International Wolf Center Executive Director, Grant Spickelmier for the March IWC Update.



Northern Sky: March 14 - 27

Northern Sky – Deane Morrison
March 14-27, 2020

The outer planets have all arrived on stage, and in middle and late March they perform the first act of their big morning show. On Sunday, the 15th, look to the southeast for brilliant Jupiter, then just to the west for a little reddish dot. That, of course, is Mars. East of Jupiter and lower in the sky is Saturn, which is following Jupiter as it approaches Mars. On Wednesday, the 18th, Jupiter will have moved noticeably closer to Mars and a waning, but hefty, crescent moon will be hanging right below them. The next morning, Thursday, the 19th, Jupiter and Mars are even closer and a slightly thinner moon joins all three planets when it rises at 5:26 a.m. On the 20th, Jupiter passes a mere 0.7 degrees—slightly more than a moon width—above Mars. And the moon rises at 6 a.m.
So if you’re up, consider going outside by 6 a.m. on any of those days—the 18th through the 20th. You’ll see three planets, two of them in the process of passing each other, and maybe a moonrise, too. All in a dark sky. That doesn’t happen every day.
As we near the end of the month, Saturn closes in on Mars. On the morning of Saturday, the 28th, the ringed planet will be at about the same height as the red planet, getting ready for the second planetary pass in less than two weeks. By then, Jupiter will have removed itself a respectful distance to the west.
In the evening sky, another approach is in progress. The Pleiades star cluster and Venus are moving closer together as Earth’s orbital motion drops the Pleiades down toward the sunset horizon and Venus’ orbit carries it higher. Venus is unmistakably bright. The Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, are a slightly blurry bunch a little west of and lower than the bright star Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus, the bull. On Saturday, March 14th, the Pleiades will be high above Venus. On the 27th, the star cluster will be closer to Venus than to Aldebaran. Make sure your binoculars are in good working order as Venus and the Pleiades get ready to meet in the first few days of April. And also, just enjoy Venus. From now until well into April, it’s visible for a good three and a half hours after sunset.
East of Aldebaran, the hourglass form of Orion is tilting to the west as it begins its annual exit from the evening sky. We’re also getting into the last few weeks when Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is high enough for us to enjoy its full radiance; look for it low in the south-southwest at nightfall.
High in the southeast, Leo, the lion, is prancing into view. Leo is a two-part constellation. Its western section is the Sickle, a backward question mark of stars whose point is the bright star Regulus, the lion’s heart. East of the Sickle is a triangle of stars marking the lion’s hindquarters and tail. Leo follows the winter constellations across the sky and makes a very recognizable harbinger of spring.
And speaking of spring, it arrives on the 19th, at 10:50 p.m. At that moment the sun crosses the equator and enters the northern sky, and an observer in space would see Earth lighted from pole to pole. Also, since the fall equinox it’s been the case that as you traveled northward, the days got shorter. At the spring equinox that reverses, and the days get longer as you head north, all the way to the North Pole, which now has, officially, 24-hour daylight for the next six months.


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North Shore Health Care Foundation Update - Valerie Eliasen

North Shore Morning host, Jaye White talks with North Shore Health Care Foundation Executive Director, Valerie Eliasen about Restorative Justice and others topics covered during the NSHCF Board meeting this week.



Sawtooth Mt Clinic - Topic of the Month - March

North Shore Morning host, Bob Padzieski talks with Sawtooth Mt Clinic's Hartley Acero for the March "Topic of the Month".


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Money Matters - Scott Oeth - March 2020

Money Matters” with Scott Oeth is a new monthly feature on WTIP's North Shore Morning and is intended to help us understand more about managing our finances.
Scott is a certified financial planner and Adjunct Professor. He’s taught hundreds of financial professionals retirement planning and wealth management strategies.


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Backpacking 101 - Michelle Schroeder - March 2020

"Backpacking 101" with Michelle Schroeder
March 2020

Michelle owns Backpack the Trails LLC and has been an outdoor enthusiast for 40+ years.  She talks with WTIP each month to share her backpacking insight and experience with our listeners.



Northern Sky: February 29 - March 13

NORTHERN SKY – Deane Morrison
February 29 – March 13, 2020
In March, the action in the predawn sky really picks up. The month opens with Mars, Jupiter and Saturn forming a straight line, in that order from right to left, above the southeastern horizon. On the 4th, the three planets are spaced almost evenly apart.
But that neat arrangement soon gives way as the planets switch positions. Jupiter and Saturn are about to leapfrog past Mars, and all because Mars, being the closest to the sun, orbits the fastest. 
What’s happening is that Earth’s orbit is carrying us eastward and thus toward all these planets, making them move higher and westward. But Mars’s own orbit carries it much more rapidly eastward against the background of stars than the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn carry those planets.
As a result, Mars resists the westward movement imposed by Earth’s orbit and appears to sail eastward toward—and past—the two giant planets. Actually, though, Mars is mostly holding its own as Jupiter and Saturn sail past it on their westward journey. 
Have a look on the 18th, when Jupiter and Mars make a close pair while a crescent moon hangs right below them. The next morning, Jupiter and Mars will be closer yet and the moon will now appear below Saturn. On the 20th, Jupiter passes a mere 0.7 degrees—slightly more than a moon width—above Mars. On the 31st, the ringed planet passes about a degree above the red planet. In April the new lineup will be, from right to left, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, with the gap between Mars and the other two planets rapidly widening.
In the evening sky, a young moon comes out below Venus on the 26th and 27th. And don’t miss the show as the brilliant planet and the Pleiades star cluster approach each other in the last week of March. Mark your calendars for April 2nd and 3rd, when Venus glides, spectacularly, in front of the Pleiades. Be sure to have binoculars handy.
March’s full moon shines the night of the 9th. It will be big and bright, though more than six hours past full when it rises that evening.
Spring arrives with the vernal equinox at 10:50 p.m. on the 19th. At that moment the sun crosses the equator into the northern sky and Earth will be lighted from pole to pole.

The University of Minnesota offers public viewings of the night sky at its Duluth and Twin Cities campuses. For more information and viewing schedules, see:
Duluth, Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium:
Twin Cities, Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics:
Check out astronomy programs, free telescope events, and planetarium shows at the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum:
Find U of M astronomers and links to the world of astronomy at


Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - February 28

Superior National Forest Update by Steve Robertsen 
February 28, 2019



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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - February 28

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
February 28, 2020    
As February started to fade away, spring took a swipe at “old man winter” along the Gunflint Trail. For a few days, he went whimpering away as temperatures crept above the freezing mark. This is the first time in weeks where the mercury has seen a plus side of thirty-two in this neighborhood. March enters, likely in a sugaring mood if the territory has really turned the corner.                                                                                                                                                                                   
Under mostly clear skies, and where “Old Sol” pierced the forest canopy, snow banks saw a good bit of gnawing away. Nevertheless, in the shade of old growth pines at Wildersmith, melting could barely be noticed. The semi-melt-down didn’t even penetrate the ice on my steps which has been haunting my every trip up or down since before Christmas.                                                                          

Progress was made on the Trail black top as the warm sun cleared the Byway of winter driving conditions. It took just two days to do what the plow guy has been working diligently to accomplish since November. So it’s clear sailing for the time being, except for those Nature-Made speed bumps at select locations.                                                                                                                           

Following the recent melting spell, our border country canopy looks pretty drab. The marsh mellow puffs that have been decorating coniferous boughs, since I can’t remember when, have vanished into the atmosphere.                                                                                                               
Yet at ground level, out here deep in the woods, the pureness of this special white season remains. Obviously, it’s due to minimal intrusion of human kind.                                                                                      

It is unthinkable how the masses of us two legged beings can make such a mess of this magnificent natural world. As winter is rounding third base on the way toward spring, the trash of people presence is beginning to re-appear.                                                                                                             

During a recent trip into the village and then on to “urbanity”, I’m always taken aback by the ugliness of grungy man- manipulated snow and items of human disposal that have been hidden under this glorious crystal blanket. “Mother Nature” has a marvelous touch in making things beautiful, but “she” could sure use a hand from we folks on the ground.                                      

What is likely to be the last big, organized snow mobile activity of the season happens Saturday and Sunday?  The Cook County Ridge Riders Club and Poplar Haus Restaurant are hosting drag races on Poplar Lake. Registration begins at 11:00am, with racing until 4:00pm.                                                       

The “Club” turns to a calmer activity next weekend with the annual trout derby on Saturday, March 7th.  Look for details on the Cook County Ridge Riders Snow Mobile Club Facebook page. Their trout through the ice is always a fun, family event!                                                            

Where animal, visuals have been scant over the past week, tell-tale evidence confirms they’re about when we’re not looking or awake. Of special note, I discovered moose tracks on the Mile O Pine during a daily mail run. Knowing moose can’t fly, the tracks were kind of a mystery as I could not find where they came out of the snowy woods and on to the road.                        

In other ghostly north woods happenings, I’ve observed a number of snow shoe hares recently. Tracks have shown their presence around here all winter without sightings, then again, white camo on white is sometimes blinding.                                                                                                                                                                       

As news from the Trail comes on the air this week, my hope is listeners and web-site readers have taken the “leap into local radio.” If not, you are certainly encouraged to pick-up the phone or get on-line, and “leap” into this important drive for support of WTIP, Community Radio in the Northland.                                                                                                                                                  

Support from everyone is critical in keeping operating strategies on budget. The staff and volunteers are at the mid-point of this six day journey, so please don’t wait until the last minute.                                                                                                                                                                                
Momentum is building as I speak!  To keep it going, give the station a call at 387-1070, or toll free at 1-800-473-WTIP (9847) or on-line at or stop in at 1712 West Highway 61, and pledge to the WTIP family! I thank you in advance!                                                                                            

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith on the Gunflint, where every day is great, and everything in nature has a purpose!                                                                                                               


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - February 21

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
February 21, 2020    

The Gunflint Riviera heads into the last lap of month two this weekend. February has been no different than January with regard to its speedy advance.                                                                      

Many out this way don’t seem to mind though with an eye toward spring. A good sign of spring thoughts comes from the gal with the “green thumb” on Loon Lake who shares’ she has garden seeds sprouting already, indoors of course. There’s still a good three feet of snow covering her planting plot.                                                                                                                                                                       
It’s easy to get excited as the power of “Sol” grows with each passing day, and daylight minutes are keeping us lit up after five o’clock these days. However, it’s reasonable to expect “old man winter” could burst our bubble of spring anticipation over the next sixty days or so. Even if the “old guy” heads off for spring break, there’s still tons of snow and ice to melt, and the “mud season” to muck up the spirit until the green of re-birth buds out.                                                   

In the meantime, while a good share of border country winter has been milder than usual, the times since Valentine’s Day have been about the coldest of the season. A couple of mornings in the upper Trail territory found readings in the mid-thirty below zero range.  At Wildersmith, the mercury shrunk to minus 34 twice and with exception of a day or so stayed pretty much below zero to barely single digits above for a few days.                                                                        

While it’s warmer now, it just goes to show, the “old man of the North” cannot be fully dependable. In spite of the frigidity, the area has experienced some sparkling blue sky days in the past week, with only a smattering of lite snow during a couple night times and a light dose last Monday.                                                                                                                                                                      

Speaking of sparkling clear days, the snowmobile drag races on Hungry Jack Lake were blessed with one last Saturday. It was a great day for energized drivers and fans on the great white track. It’s kind of an up north likeness to Daytona Beach. Race results for each class of engine can be found on the Cook County Ridge Riders Facebook page. The next big sledding challenge will be held on Poplar Lake Saturday the 29th.                                                                                                                                                                                            

A couple reports of moose activity came from the south shore of Gunflint and the North Shore of Loon Lake last week. There were no actual sightings, but plenty of tracks confirmed their presence. It’s unusual to have such activity along the Gunflint Lake shores, as they seem to favor other habitat areas of the Gunflint Forest. It is heartening to know they have been around because few have been reported much of anywhere thus far this winter.                                                                       

A gal who ski’s pretty much daily, in the Loon to Crab Lake area, tells of recent moose activity where the big clod hoppers have played havoc with her groomed tracks. Maybe it’s the same animal exploring in unexpected locations.                                                                                                         

The Smith’s experienced an array of visitors last Sunday. Both avian and fur bearing critters stopped in at one time or another. Of course if we had one blue Jay, we probably had a dozen, and Ms. Fox stopped by to sit on the deck awhile, longing for a chicken dinner, to which I obliged.                                                                                                                                                                     

After the foxy departure, a pair of Pine Martens frolicked around the feeding stations also receiving a poultry treat. Having two Martens around at the same time usually ends up in a territorial tussle.  It made me wonder if these two might have been close nesting partners, more than just genetic connections, since they spent cordial time together in the same feeder.                                                                                                                                                                                
Next week at this time, the community voice of the North Shore/ Arrowhead region will be in the midst of their spring membership renewal. This important fund raising drive kicks off with a “Leap into Local Radio” for 2020, next Wednesday morning, February 26th.                                                                                                                                                 
Whereas one can leap into a snow bank out this way for only a few months each year, one can “leap into local radio” year around on this great station. But this must be secured periodically with on-going support from over thirteen hundred WTIP listener members.                        

So if you enjoy what this broadcast endeavor has been providing for over twenty years, now’s the time to take the “leap” anew or again, and join the WTIP family. The campaign runs until Monday noon, on March 2nd, don’t wait, be ready to re-up at the opening bell with your pledge of love for WTIP radio.                                                                                                                                       

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, in a season of frozen wonders!