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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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Pack & Paddle - Scott Oeth - May 2020

"Pack & Paddle" with Scott Oeth
May 18, 2020

In this episode, Scott discusses "Essential Skills & Gear" - what to know and what to take with you when heading out into the woods.


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PHHS - Financial Assistance Programs

Cook County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) Financial Assistance Supervisor, Allison Plummer talks with North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson about the financial assistance programs available to Cook County residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

For questions about assistance programs, email:  IM@; or call 218-387-3620

Listen below:


Help available locally through Cook County PHHS:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that helps Minnesotans with low income buy the food they need for nutritious and well-balanced meals. Benefits are available through EBT cards that can be used like money. 
    • The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act allows SNAP households who are not currently at the maximum allotment to receive additional food benefits. The additional benefits are the difference between what they already received and the maximum allotment for their SNAP household size. The supplement is available for two months (March and April). The program for these supplements is Emergency SNAP or E-SNAP.
  • The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and Diversionary Work Program (DWP) are Minnesota’s income assistance programs to help families with low incomes move to financial stability through work. Families and pregnant women who qualify for these programs receive employment support services and job counseling and help with food, childcare and other basic needs. 
  • General Assistance (GA) and Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) are Minnesota’s income assistance programs for adults without children, seniors, and people with disabilities. GA is a monthly cash payment for adults who are unable to work. MSA is a small extra monthly cash benefit for adults who are eligible for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  
  • Emergency Assistance can help with shelter expenses, such as past due rent, a damage deposit, or emergency shelter to prevent homelessness. Emergency Assistance also help pay for utilities when there is threat of disconnection. Utilities include electricity, heat and water.

Apply for these programs online at You can also call or email PHHS to request a paper application. Paper applications are also available outside the PHHS offices on the ramp at the north end of the Cook County courthouse. You may also apply over the phone with PHHS for SNAP and other income assistance programs.

  • For questions about assistance programs:
    • Email:
    • Call: (218) 387-3620
    • Fax: (218) 387-3020
    • Mail:  Cook County Public Health and Human Services

411 W. 2nd Street Grand Marais, MN 55604

  • A drop box is also located on the ramp on the north end of the Cook County courthouse.

Other Available Assistance Programs:

  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) authorizes stimulus payments to be made to many people in the U.S. Payments will be distributed beginning in mid-April and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. The payments are available to many people, even those who do not make enough money to file taxes. Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take any action; and they will receive their payment directly to their bank account. The amount of these payments varies depending on your one’s financial situation. The IRS will update this page as more information becomes available. You can also find more information and FAQs here.

For more information on other community organizations and non-profit agencies that can provide help during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Cook County COVID-19 Hub provides current and accurate information, maps and resources about the community wide response to the coronavirus. Information shared here is compiled from a variety of sources. The Health and Community Service Agency map includes information on local non-profits and service agencies that can provide support in the areas of food and nutrition, health and wellness, mental health, transportation, senior services and more. This information is also available by calling Cook County PHHS and requesting a printed copy of the Cook County Services Directory, a guide compiled by Cook County PHHS that includes information on local food shelves, financial resources and supports, and other services.



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Superior National Forest Update - April 24

Superior National Forest Update with Steve Robertsen.
April 24, 2020



Safe Routes To School - Andrea Orest

Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) Coordinator, Andrea Orest, details changes to the Safe Routes to School and Bike Rodeo due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Violence Prevention Center Update - April 2020

North Shore Morning Host, Mark Abrahamson talks with Caroline Schauer, Program Advocate with the Cook County Violence Prevention Center.


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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - March 27

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
March 27, 2020    

Month three is beginning to fade, and with the turmoil of COVID-19 over the past few weeks, closing the books on March 2020 will go down as an ill-fated narrative of grief and sorrow for more of our fellow man than we care to count.                                                                                                                                                                  

While April predictions of immediate relief seem bleak, all Americans must continue pulling together as the scientific and medical community advises. Since being encouraged to lock down to minimize the viral spread, we are all humbled into a sudden reality of just how important the simple needs of life have been taken for granted. This turnover of our lives surely looks to be a wake-up call. Knowledge and caring can be powerful.                                                                                               

Living in the remote wild along the Gunflint Trail finds life can be difficult at times. Uniquely, getting through the tough moments in border country makes one fully appreciate simple pleasures brought forth in joys of the natural world around us.                                                                                       

Outsiders likely think us woodsy residents must not have enough to do when we share the satisfaction of observing a small woodland creature exercising survival rituals; or taking time to watch a quiet descent of flakes from the heavens; or spectate as the early spring sun turns solids to liquid. When compared to the uncounted complexities of life in a maddening mass of civilization, these simple, but calming and enriching experiences are so comforting.                                                         

At Wildersmith, while the Smith’s have been naturally quarantined, life has gone on about as usual. Weather conditions have bounced around from near spring to mid-winter. Another few inches of snow refreshed the neighborhood, and just when we thought we would not see a minus temp again until next December, another sub-zero night had the deck along the house a popping. But as things do, this time of year, the transition toward April is gaining trajectory.                                                                                                                                                         

Speaking of April, warming thoughts rise with the return of migrants to the “wild neighborhood. We are within weeks of a hummingbird homecoming. Unless one is an earnest avian watcher, most of us know little about these impressive, vibrant winged packages.                             

I learned a bundle of facts about these energetic jewels in the April/May issue of National Wildlife magazine.  Like did you know, “they can feed as often as 18 times per hour, and consume the human equivalent of 150,000 calories per day?”  These facts and more are presented in the Mark Wexler scribing, titled “HUMMING ALONG.” If readers share the excitement in the return of these tiny creations, find a copy, or go online at www.NWF.ORG/NW and be amazed at what researchers have discovered about these “fleet fliers.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
In appreciation of simple happenings around the place, I’ve been watching a neighborhood squirrel with interest for several days as I dole out daily seed rations.                                 
Over the winter, winds have heaped a deep drift below the deck rail.                                            As I observed this mini rodent one day, I saw it take a seed and scamper down to the top of this wind made igloo and disappear into a hole in the bank. Soon it re-appeared and came back for another morsel. I watched for several minutes as this seed caching took place, one grain at a time, for uncountable repetitions. Those little legs had to be exhausted by nightfall.                                                                                                                                                                        
Oddly enough, as snow happens, it did, and more wind. The other day I followed this critter once again. New drifting had closed off the original entrance. With “necessity being the mother of invention” I discovered the energetic rodent had created a new entry point some fifteen feet away, and was back in new digs or at the very least, did some under-snow re-alignment into the previous quarters. This was nothing earth shaking, but intriguing to yours truly                                                                                                                                                                               
Nothing is too surprising in the natural world. It would seem as we step back from the hubbub of life     at this critical time, perhaps we can find solace in rekindling of personal relationships that have been gradually eroding from our grasp. It could be as simple as watching a feature of creation or lending a helping hand to get things back on track.                                                             

As the loss of two Gunflint neighbors was remembered last week, although I just received late word, I’m saddened to report another passing from our midst. Douglas Tuttle of Overland Park, Kansas and the Bearskin Lodge neighborhood died on February 13th.                                    

Doug was actively involved in many aspects of life over his 96 years, building his dream cabin in the Gunflint woods after his retirement. He thrived in helping his son Dave and Dave’s wife Barb reestablish the Bearskin Lodge as one of the premier Gunflint Trail resorts. More recent years found him spending summer months on the Trail, and remaining active until his calling.                                                                                                                                                                                   
Doug was a gentleman’s gentleman! Gunflint Community sympathies go out to his family.                                                                                                                                                                                    
In a closing note, I regret a mistake in the remembrance of Marjorie Grinnell last week. I mentioned her passing with husband Joe and her three sons at her side. I apologize to the family for not recognizing her family accurately. She is survived by two sons and a daughter.       

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is special, as we all wish for continued worldwide healing!



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.