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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!


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Small Fry - submitted.jpg

Superior Reviews by Lin Salisbury - Lisa Brennan-Jobs "Small Fry"

Superior Reviews - by Lin Salisbury

Lin reviews Lisa Brennan-Jobs' book "Small Fry"


Common raven.  Photo by Neal Herbert via Yellowstone National Park on Flickr.

North Woods Naturalist: Ravens

WTIP's CJ Heithoff talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about ravens in this edition of North Woods Naturalist.


Photo by CJ Heithoff

Great Expectations School News - March 15, 2019

Great Expectations School News with Zoe and Mary June.
March 15, 2019


Birch Grove School

Birch Grove Elementary - School News - March 13, 2019

Birch Grove Elementary - School News with Jack, Nataliya, and Roland.
March 13, 2019


Star map March 2019 submitted by D.Morrison

Northern Sky: March 16-29, 2019

NORTHERN SKY – By Deane Morrison  

March 16-29 2019

We’re now deep into spring equinox time, when the sun climbs fastest through the northern sky. The equinox happens at 4:58 p.m. on March 20, and Grand Marais gains three minutes and 28 seconds of daylight per day for two weeks around that date. But Anchorage, Alaska gains five minutes and 44 seconds, while in Trondheim, Norway, they’re gaining six minutes and 19 seconds. Trondheim gets more than an hour of extra daylight just during the 10 days straddling the equinox.
These ultra-rapid changes shouldn’t be too surprising. For example, in Trondheim, the day length goes from about four and a half hours in December to about twenty and a half in June. When the day length has to increase that much in just six months, it’s going to change pretty fast. And it’s fastest in March because that’s when the sun moves northward most rapidly.
At the equinox, neither pole is pointing toward the sun, and the day length is the same, theoretically, all over the planet. We actually get slightly more than 12 hours of daylight on the equinoxes because Earth’s atmosphere is a gigantic lens that allows us to see the sun for a few minutes before it rises and after it sets.
The equinoxes are also times of switchover. During the winter, the farther north you go, the shorter the day length. After the spring equinox, it’s the other way around, and as you go north, the day length increases.
All this is due to Earth orbiting around the sun while being tilted on its axis. That tilt doesn’t change during the course of a year. The North Pole always points to the same spot in the sky, near the North Star, and it’s our orbital motion that makes it point toward or away from the sun, or neither, depending on Earth’s position.
If that’s hard to visualize, get an apple and face a wall. Tilt the apple a little so that the stem—the apple’s north pole—points somewhat upward and toward the wall. Then, without spinning or pivoting the apple in any way, move it counterclockwise in a circle and imagine the sun in the center. Move your arm horizontally, as if stirring a pot, keeping the apple pointed toward that same wall. When it’s closest to you, the apple tilts toward the sun, like Earth at the northern summer solstice. When it’s farthest from you, it tilts away from the sun. That’s the winter solstice. At the midway points it tilts neither toward nor away from the sun, and those are the equinoxes.
Okay. In the sky. Jupiter is well up in the south in the predawn hour, Saturn is much dimmer and off to the lower left of Jupiter, and Venus makes it over the eastern horizon just as the sun’s rays start to wash everything out. 
In the evening, Mars is still up in the west after nightfall. It’s been kind of lonely, but some visitors are on the way. The Pleiades star cluster and the bright star Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus, the bull, are moving closer to Mars every night. Best viewing starts the 22nd of March, at about 8:30 or 9 o’clock, when the sky will be dark but the moon won’t be up yet.
March’s full moon comes right after the equinox, at 8:43 p.m. on the 20th. The moon will be just a day past perigee, its closest approach to Earth in a lunar cycle, and that means we get our third supermoon in a row. This one rises over Grand Marais at 6:52 p.m., less than two hours before fullness, so it’ll come up very round as well as very big.


Pine Marten photo by Fran Smith

Wildersmith on the Gunflint - March 15, 2019

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith     March 15, 2019    

Winter on the Gunflint backed off since our last radio gathering. Spring nudged its’ way in with a preview, although it has not been a serious showing, as yet.                                                                                  

The “Vernal Spirit” turned up the thermostat along the Mile O Pine last Saturday. With the mercury tinkering around the freezing point for the first time in countless weeks, conditions took on an almost balmy feel for border country.                                                                                                                                  

I noted three takeaways with the warm-up. First, this neighborhood hasn’t had a below zero morning in several days. Second, the loosening cold grip found huge chunks of snow falling from tree branches after having been attached in most places since November. And thirdly, a joint effort between the powerful March sun and the county highway department has the Trail free of packed snow and ice.                                                                                                            

Although roadsides remain stacked high with snow, it’s nice to see bare black top for a change. Further, we drivers can loosen their white knuckle navigation grip on the once slippery surface. However, diligence is still to be maintained as those annual roller coaster dips are magnifying by the day, lurking to test both driver and vehicle resiliency. Meanwhile back country roads have given up little of their white majesty.                                                                                                

The warm-up stalled briefly with the onset of daylight savings time madness.  After week long cries of more big snow drama for the northern plains, another forecast flop saw nothing more than a nuisance of white accumulation and gusty winds along the international border.                                                                                                                                                                                 
Before we meet again, the Vernal Equinox will make spring official, and coupled with the “crust on the snow” full moon on the same day, I predict there will be a 100% chance the universe will get a double dose of heavenly happenings next Wednesday. How’s that for an atmospheric forecast?                                                                                                                                                            

Nevertheless, it’s anyone’s guess as to what winter-spring will be like for the next six weeks. If one has lived up this way for very long, caution is always taken in regard to never getting too excited about breaking out warm weather wear or putting snow removal equipment into storage much before May. One thing guaranteed, mud season will come in all its “yuckiest” sooner or later.                                                                                                                                                  

While inside observing the wimpy attempt at snow last Sunday, a “flight” of blue jays gathered in the trees near our lake side deck. They were obsessed with an ear of corn I had put out.                                                                                                                                                                     

There were at least a half dozen of the blue bullies. As I expected, they are never too bashful about gluttonous behavior at the food trough. But as I watched, it became obvious a pecking order exists (no pun intended) as to who goes first.                                                                                         

The blues were perched in adjacent branches apparently willing to take turns selecting a few kernels and then departing, only to come back later, getting in line.  All this went unusually orderly, that is, until one swooped in from out of nowhere and dispatched its cousin from the cob setting.                                                                                                                                                      

There were several repetitions of this bullish activity while others remained anxiously awaiting their opportunity. Knowing” there is no honor amongst thieves”, this crass display seemed the ultimate in bullying, expressly as it related to family members, also of ruffian character.                                                                                                                                                                            
To end the kernel plundering, a resident squirrel came on the scene and must have chattered, “Enough is enough”, then cleaned off the last of the gold nuggets. End of story!                                                                 

Later the same day, one of several neighborhood pine martens came by for a snack. It so happened I was out in the snow grilling at the time. Piney became quite curious about what I was doing, and ventured near the grilling operation when I stepped indoors. As I went in and out of the house several times, the little fur ball became ever braver in getting close enough to get a good look and whiff of the yummy goings-on. At one point, I tossed the little guy/gal a slice of fried potato, which was found to be a tasty treat.                                                                                                      

Concluding my cooking exercise, the hot greasy potato skillet was set off the heatto cool. As we ended dinner, Piney returned to explore the now cooled fry pan.  Finding the fatty remains to its liking, the marten spent several minutes enjoying this licking good treat, actually wading in with both front paws.                                                                                                                                 

What an amusing observation! Fortunately, we caught a digital of the greasy feast. See it posted on under the drop down Community Voices, Wildersmith column.                                                                                                               

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, a gift beyond beautiful!                                                                                                


Snow (User:Introvert on Wikimedia)

North Woods Naturalist: Winter observations

It's certainly been a snowy winter on the North Shore.  Naturalist Chel Anderson fills us in on the detail of just how much snow we've seen, as well as other observations she's made this winter.


Sled dog racing dogs will hit the trail during the Dog Days of Winter on Sunday, March 9 - Photo courtesy of Dog Days of Winter

Celebrating the Dog Days of Winter

The Gunflint Trail is going to the dogs this weekend as the “Dog Days of Winter” are celebrated in sled dog derbies and skijoring races on Sunday, March 10, starting at Trail Center Lodge on beautiful Poplar Lake.

The fun actually starts on Saturday at Skyport Lodge on Devil Track Lake with a “meet and greet” with Skyport’s resident dog musher, Adam Treeful.  

Also on Saturday is the Cook County Ridge Riders Snowmobile Drag Races at Poplar House, which also offers great dog sled race viewing on the deck on Sunday.

There are 4-dog, 6-dog, and 8-dog sled dog races on Sunday. Head to the ice by Trail Center at 11 a.m. to catch the action.
Skijoring races kick off at 2 p.m.

There will be a bonfire with S’mores and hotdogs on the ice, along with cocoa and maple snowcones.

Dog Days of Winter is a fun-filled, family-oriented event. 

Joining us at WTIP was Cathy Quinn of Go Dog North Shore with more about the event.


N Indigenous Winter Games 2019

Northern Indigenous Winter Games at Grand Portage

WTIP's North Shore Morning host, Bob Padzieski talks with Susan Ninham about the Northern Indigenous Winter Games coming to Grand Portage on Saturday, March 9th.