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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!


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Great Expectations School News - October 26, 2018

Great Expectations - School News with Grace and Mary June.
October 26, 2018



Wildersmith on the Gunflint - October 26, 2018

Wildersmith  on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith       October 26, 2018    

As we gather once more for a view from the Gunflint, atmospheric conditions have turned more October like. A couple of days were really upbeat with temps soaring into the fifties, but have since settled back into cold nights and comfy days even though one still needs a vest or jacket.                                                                                                                                                                 

About the only climate negative has been the relentless wind. The direction of gusty air hasn’t mattered as leaves and branches have been coming at us from every point on the compass. Appropriately, with the Ojibwe, “falling leaves” moon beginning to wane, the dispatching of foliage is fading into whispering silence. There are few tokens left on the deciduous spires in this neighborhood.                                                                                                                                    

One shining moment of autumn has hung on for another week with the tamaracks in glorious array. However, the gales have taken a toll on some of them too. The golden needles are trickling off three beauties here at Wildersmith.                                                                            

Interestingly enough, the needle drop occurs along the Mile O Pine where they can be easily distinguished on the gray-brown surface. From a short distance away, if one didn’t know better, you’d swear it was “gold dust.”                                                                                                                                

It’s thought-provoking to think, it was the idea of striking it rich in precious minerals that prompted the iconic pioneer prospector Henry Mayhew to clear the first pathway to what is now the Gunflint Trail.  Amazingly at this time of year, we who live here have really struck it rich. The gold we cherish is not of geologic deposit, but of remarkable short-lived aurous tokens valued for brightening life around us. How great it’s been this fall!                                                                                                                                                                   

As October enters the final stanza, the warm season for Trail visitors is winding down. This in mind, the Gunflint Trail Historical Society has closed the doors and locked the gate at the Chik-Wauk Campus as of last Sunday.  The Society and the Museum/Nature Center staff and volunteers sincerely thank everyone who visited this happening place in 2018. Nearly 8400 people ventured fifty-five miles into this wildland to learn more of the Gunflint story and experience this natural wonder. All can look forward to 2019 when two new facilities will be open telling more of life in days long ago from this historic setting.                                                                                                                                           

Wonders never cease in the forest. Our friendly fox was here last Sunday for an afternoon snack. I had just been wondering if would be back for lunch after spending breakfast at Wildersmith when I turned around, and there it was.  Since I have been trained well by this hungry critter, I obliged by tossing out a triple serving of poultry morsels.                                                                                                                                                          

Now, “Brother Fox” always tries to take at least two pieces simultaneously, but often can only manage one in the mouth at a time. This leaves the remaining servings exposed while it trudges off into obscurity to consume the first carry-out.                                                                                                                                       

Obviously, there are other folks watching, in particular, the gray and/or blue jays. It’s become rather comical to see these feathered friends zip down with the thought of getting a treat too. The size of my barnyard provisions are such these avian just can’t get airborne in their larcenous attempts. One can almost imagine the frustration going on in their little bird brains as they struggle to secure a meal, only to be dispatched into emergency take-offs when the foxy guy returns for a second serving. I’m waiting for the day when Mr. Fox has jaybird for dinner, it’s bound to happen.                                                                                                                                                              

A huge hurrah for you WTIP All-stars! Congratulations to the entire community radio team for meeting the recent membership support drive goal, of $20,000.00. Once again you have confirmed a great “team effort” can achieve remarkable rewards. Thanks to all new team members and hundreds of returning letter-winners.  “You are the champions, of the north!”                                                                                                                                                               

In closing, with the pre-winter being interrupted over the past few days, my getting ready for winter chores list has dwindled by a couple more. Perhaps by next week at this time the list will find its way to the recycle basket.                                                                                                            

The most important item for this week was to get summer wheels changed to winter. I’ve been slip-sliding down the Trail on three or four occasions already, and enough is enough. It’s probably a good bet when my winter rubber finally hits the road, winter will back off for a while.                                                                                                                                                                                                

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, as the mysteries of seasonal transition continue!

Happy Holloween!



Sawtooth Mountain Elementary - School News October 25, 2018

Sawtooth Mountain Elementary - School News with Aurora and Wyatt.
October 25, 2018



Talking Books - October 2018

Gwen Danfelt, manager of Drury Lane Books, joins North Shore Morning host, CJ Heithoff to "Talk Books".


Paradise Beach by Stephan Hoglund

North Woods Naturalist: Winds and waves

WTIP’s CJ Heithoff talks with naturalist Chel Anderson about the recent big winds in our area and how that affects our lakes in this edition of North Woods Naturalist.


Throat singers Nina Segalowitz and Taqralik Partridge - Photo courtesy of Sivertson Gallery

Sivertson Gallery busy with Inuit Premiere

Throat singers Nina Segalowitz and Taqralik Partridge will again help Sivertson’s Gallery in Grand Marais celebrate its Inuit Premiere. The women will perform at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 26 at North House Folk School and at 1and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 27 at Sivertson Gallery. 

Throat singing is a traditional activity of the people of Nunavik, Canada. Often two women perform together and combine rhythmic tones from both inhaling and exhaling.
Taqralik Partridge is an Inuit poet and spoken word artist from Kuujuak, Canada. She describes throat singing as a game, “You have two people who play with each other and echo each other and the object of the game is to make the other person stop either by exhaustion, laughing or losing the rhythm.”
Nina Segalowitz was born in the far north and grew up in Montreal. She says, “Throat singing is for me a way to bridge two worlds.” She has performed as a throat singer for over 20 years. 

To find out what else is happening during the Inuit gathering, see the complete events schedule here.

WTIP volunteer Jane Alexander learns more about the gathering in this interview. 



Superior National Forest Update - October 19, 2018

National Forest Update – October 18, 2018.
Hi.  I’m Renee Frahm, Visitor Information Specialist with the Superior National Forest.  This is our weekly National Forest Update, useful information for anyone planning a trip out into the woods.  From trucks to birds to leaves, we’ve got it all.
If the snow wasn’t a dead giveaway, let me tell you that it is getting colder outside.  To protect our water systems, we’ve shut the water off in all of our campgrounds now.  That means that campgrounds in the Gunflint and Tofte Districts are not collecting fees, with the exception of East Bearskin Campground where water is still available from the nearby lodge building.  It’s been cold enough that there was actually a fairly good amount of ice on some of the lakes recently, so we’ve also pulled our docks from boat landings.  The ramp is of course still there, but you’d better bring some tall waterproof boots and a towel if you are planning a fishing trip. 
The fall color season is past peak, but there is still some color in the woods.  Crisp sunny fall days when the leaves have fallen are perfect for getting outside and sitting on a rock in the sun.  As you sit there, you’ll notice that there are a lot of hawks migrating along the shore.  On October 17th, observers at Hawk Ridge in Duluth counted 1377 red-tailed hawks go past.  Several Forest Service employees noticed a huge flock of crows that same day, 200 or so birds all working their way south.  While some birds will travel far south, past the Gulf of Mexico, crows and hawks are short distance migrants, stopping when the food supply increases.  Little dark-eyed juncos are passing through in large numbers too right now, and snow buntings are beginning to show up as well.
If your idea of birding involves firearms and a roast goose or a grouse dinner at the end, the fallen leaves make the game easier to spot.  For grouse and other upland species, remember that firing from a vehicle or across a road is not legal, and for waterfowl, be sure to use non-lead shot.  That’s actually a good idea for any hunting.  Lead is poisonous, and shot that gets into the environment and is eaten can kill.  For example, lead poisoning has been shown to be one of the leading causes of death in adult loons.  Finally, regardless of what you are hunting, or even if you are hunting, make sure you and your dog have your orange on.  It’s good to be seen.
We had said the leaves have fallen, but what do you do with the ones that have fallen in your yard?  Composting is the best answer, either in your own pile or at the yard waste composting area at the recycling centers in Grand Marais or Silver Bay.  If you feel you need to burn leaves, check the regulations.  You will need a burning permit when there is less than three inches of snow on the ground, and other restrictions may apply depending on where you are.  Also, check your common sense.  If there are gale force winds, it is never a good idea to light that match.  Brush may be disposed of at several gravel pit locations which you can find through the Firewise Brush Disposal website.  These brush piles are burned by Forest Service and Fire Department crews under controlled circumstances.
Falling leaves certainly pose no barriers to log trucks.  They can be found using the Frank Lake Road, Trappers Lake Road, Dumbell River Road, the Wanless Road, Lake County 7, the 4 Mile Grade, the Grade, Caribou Trail, Murmur Creek Road, and the Hall Road.  Watch for trucks on those roads, and be prepared to pull to the side to let them go by.
Don’t let your MEA weekend go by without some kind of outdoor time.  This looks like it could be a beautiful late fall weekend to get out and enjoy the last bit of color. 
Until next week, this has been Renee Frahm with the National Forest Update.


Photo via Aberdeen Uni Web Team

Wildersmith on the Gunflint - October 19, 2018

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith       October 19, 2018    

It’s Sunday evening once again, and as I begin this weeks’ Gunflint report, the weather outside, remains frightful, for October that is. A couple days of predicted sunshine have failed to materialize, but we Gunflinters’ are hopeful for a warm reprieve before the real thing sets in for the next six months.                                                                                                                                        

As last weeks’ scoop hit the airwaves, this neck of the woods hit an early trifecta of snow. Our third snow in three weeks blanketed the area with autumn not even a month old on the calendar. The white stuff even hung around on the cooling earth for a couple of days before rain and above thirty-two finally did it in.                                                                                                                                             

So the “fall” look is back to normal, although the first color phase of the season took a beating with snow, sleet, rain, and wind. Leaves have been falling like snow, leaving a good deal of the forest with skeletal remains lurking overhead. If I had a nickel for every needle and golden token in the yard, the “National Debt” would be reduced to zero. Fortunately for us woodsy residents, we are not concerned about raking.                                                                                                                              

Our second act of this colorful bounty is jumping out at us in flaming torches of golden lace. Of course, I’m talking, “Tamarack time.” These magnificent, needle dropping conifers have seemingly turned on overnight. In select locations along the byway, they are simply breath-taking, nestled in between their evergreen cousins and nearly naked, deciduous neighbors. To capture this beauty, a trip out this way with a digital recording device will favor an exceptional reward.                                                                                                                                                   

Speaking of more photo-ops, I’ve recently been made aware of an unusual happening along a back country road. While hiking in search of the perfect autumnal scene, this fellow had a critter whisk by alongside his path.                                                                                                                           

Startled at first, he was surprised at a Lynx coming so close. Furthermore, the close encounter with nature was more remarkable, when the Canadian cat stopped a short distance away, sat down and gave him a curious look.                                                                                                      

Well, he was in the woods for picture taking, so that he did while the cat remained, posing and of course, trusting this two-legged creature was only shooting a camera. What a rare opportunity!                                                                                                                                                                            

Another familiar “wild neighborhood” critter paid the Smith’s a visit Sunday. When we least expected it, “piney” the marten cruised down our deck rail. Sorry to say, there were no treats available.  Due to bears having not crashed for the winter, I’m not tempting Bruno’s up onto the deck with treats intended for other animals.                                                                                         

One thing I know is this marten was no stranger to the place as it went right to where its’ goodies are always kept.  Sorry, I was not able to accommodate, but it will no doubt be back.                                                                                                                                                   

The neighborhood fox has been getting more consistent in daily visits of late. However, there were a couple days when I was busy indoors and did not get outside to please him, so he left obviously disappointed. In telling the next door neighbors about missing “Foxy's” feeding time, they told me not to worry as it came up their driveway on one of those days with some actual wild game in its mouth. A red squirrel had filled the bill.                                                                           

On a somber note, the Gunflint Lake shore residents are saddened with the passing of two long-time friends and neighbors. Marge Estle of Lake Villa, Illinois passed on September 14, and Bud Beyer of Glenview, Illinois passed on October 8th. Marge, 99, was a seasonal resident in the summer home group and served as secretary of the Gunflint Lake Property Owners Association for many years. Bud, 78, lived seasonally on North Gunflint Lake Road and will always be remembered for his kind and gentle ways. The Gunflint Lake Community extends condolences to their family and many friends.                                                                                                                                   

Once again, times are crazy exciting around the WTIP studios and a few other venues around the county. The All-Star radio ssss-port drive is into its second full day of activity. WTIP hopes you will return to action as a member of the team.                                                                                   

If some of you listeners have been in the UP state (unable to Pledge) and never joined this phenomenal team, there’s still a spot on the active roster, and it’s time to get on board!                     

All it takes is a quick call on the phone, 1-800-473-9847; a click on “pledge now” at; or better yet, stop by the studios at 1712 West Highway 61 and get your name posted on the line-up page, with a pledge of support. WTIP needs you, be an All-Star patron now and forever!                                                                                                                                                                            

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, and wonders in the natural world are un-ending!



Great Expectations School News - October 19, 2018

Tristan and Sol give us the Great Expectation School News.
October 19, 2018



Birch Grove Elementary - School News - October 17, 2018

Birch Grove Elementary School News with Niranjan, Whitney and Dayne.
October 17, 2018