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North Shore Morning

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!


What's On:

Voter Registration - Kathy Sullivan

Kathy Sullivan talks with North Shore Morning host, Bob Padzieski, about voter registration.

Anyone with more questions about voting or the registration process may call:
Cook County Auditor's Office      218-387-3642
Minnesota Secretary of State       877-600-8683


Bike Duluth Festival - Spirit Mt

Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth Festival

The fifth annual Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth Festival, a premier Minnesota mountain bike event at Spirit Mountain, will be held August 10th through the 12th in Duluth.
WTIP North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson, talks with Brandy Ream, Executive Director of the Spirit Mountain Recreation Area about the event.


Moose Encounter

Wildersmith on the Gunflint - July 27, 2018

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith     July 27, 2018    
The Gunflint summer just keeps rollin’ along, well into month two of the three segment stint. The past week has been silky smooth with tolerable daytime temps, and cool sleeping nights.                                                                                                                                                                                    

The only thing to have made it even more perfect would have included a little rain. A few sprinkles are all this neighborhood has received, and the forest floor is crunchy once again.                            

When this report hits the airwaves, beams of the Ojibwe, “halfway moon” are lighting up our lives. And at this yearly mid-point, blue-tipped fingers are busy picking what looks to be a great crop of purplish north woods jewels. While some reports find buckets full, I received word of a mid-Trail gal who’s claimed six gallons already, and one at end of the Trail with over 8.                                                                                                                                                                    

More blues activity can be noted along the Trail as postings are proclaiming the annual “Biggest Blueberry” contest. Sponsored jointly by Visit Cook County and the Trail business community, weigh-in stations are located from middle to end of the Trail. I’m told berries are quite plump this year, so competition to get the blue ribbon will be keen.                                                                                      

A final tally of the Gunflint Canoe Races fundraiser from last week is not yet available with donations still coming in and final expenses yet to be paid. However, one thing known for sure, the event went off without a hitch under splendid weather conditions. Congratulations and thanks to organizers and volunteers for another job well done!                                                                                                                                         

With funding support for the Trail fire department still on our minds, the territory is now pointing toward the annual mid-Trail flea market, gift boutique, and live auction. Mark your calendars for the afternoon of Wednesday, August 8th. This is another joyous happening along the Gunflint.                                                                                                                                                                 

Meanwhile, the last summer support trifecta for our firefighters is not far off either. The sixth annual “Gunflint Woods, Winds, Strings and a Little Jazz Concert” brings the sweet sound of music to the Trail. The performance will once again be held in the Schaap Center facilities (fire hall #1) on Sunday, August 12th at 5:00 PM. Ticket reservations can be made with Patsy Coleman at 313-673-6202 or online at PColeman@ More details and a run-down of several local performers taking part will be mentioned as the event gets closer.                                   

As July winds down, another great program is being offered at the Chik-Wauk Nature Center this coming Sunday. The “original airborne” drones will be the subject of discussion as Douglas Hall talks about “Dragonflies.” The presentation begins at 2:00 pm.                                                                 

In another Nature Center programming note phase two of the invasive plant program gets underway Saturday at 10:00 AM. More volunteers are needed to help in an invasive plant pull-a-thon along the Moose Pond Road leading to the Chik-Wauk site. Bring bug nets, gloves and drinking water. Who knows, a moose might even make an appearance.                                                  

In our “wild world”, some folks in these parts have considerable disgust for our eager beaver construction crews. Beginning as early as the 1600’s fur trappers pillaged them to near extinction. During the 20th-century conservationists started to help them recover, and since then scientists have learned over the years that beaver built water features help address many environmental problems. Such is noted in the July /August edition of the Sierra Magazine where an article proclaims these animals as great “Ecosystem Engineers” who create wetlands, filter pollution, store groundwater, store carbon, reduce flooding runoff and sustain fish and bird habitat.                                                                                                                                                                              

The Sierra article is worthy of every Gunflint lovers’ attention. Perhaps we should be swearing by the beavers, not at them!                                                                                                                                            

Since we last met, perhaps the best looking moose in the territory was caught on camera by a gal in the mid-Trail area. The handsome chap was spotted along Hungry Jack Road, and I’m happy she shared the digital with me, so I could share it with you on my website column. It’s under the drop down “Community Voices” column.                                                                                                                                                                  

Concluding this weeks’ scoop, the Wildersmith two extend a huge thanks to everyone in the WTIP family, both new and renewing members, for their generous support in the “20 More” funding drive. Furthermore, congratulations are offered to the staff and dedicated volunteers for their outstanding organization and leadership during this huge endeavor. Northshore Community radio is what it is because of everyone coming together in a time of need. WTIP heads onward and upward for “20 More” years.                                                                                                                                  

For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, teeming in natural and human spirit!


Lin Salisbury

Superior Reviews by Lin Salisbury - BJ Carpenter

Lin Salisbury, bibliophile, and commentator on WTIP, reviews BJ Carpenter's book, "Come, You Taste".



Northern Sky: July 21 - Aug 3, 2018

Deane Morrison is a science writer at the University of Minnesota.

She authors the Minnesota Starwatch column, and in this feature she shares what there is to see in the night sky in our region.
Deane's column can be found on the University of Minnesota website at


SNF Update logo gray background_126.jpg

Superior National Forest Update - July 20, 2018

National Forest Update – July 20, 2018.

Hi.  I’m Steve Robertsen, interpretive and education specialist, with this week’s National Forest Update, information on things happening around the east end of the Superior that might affect your visit.  We are getting into the warmest days of the year and some of the busiest days in the Forest as well.

I spent a day with some Girl Scouts this past week helping them earn a badge by learning about Leave No Trace.  In my humble opinion, Leave No Trace is badge we all should try to earn before we head out into the Forest, Scouts or not.  It is a national system of outdoor ethics and while the basic idea is really really simple – that you should leave no trace of yourself behind after you visit an area – the application can be difficult.  The concept is broken into seven principles, which the Scouts got to act out in charades.  Radio is a bad medium for charades though, so I’ll just tell you what they are.  The seven principles are Plan Ahead and Prepare, Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife, and Be Considerate of Other Visitors.  These are all important ideas, but as we head into our busiest season, I’d like people to take some time to think about that last one in particular:  Be Considerate of Other Visitors. 

Being considerate means that if you are camping at a developed campground, keep your noise level down and respect quiet hours.  Don’t park in ways that block campground roads.  Remember that those roads are often used by kids on bikes, so drive slowly and cautiously in campgrounds.  At boat ramps, prepare your boat for launch away from the ramp, and clean weeds from the trailer in a place that doesn’t block the ramp.  If there are people doing inspections for aquatic invasives, cooperate with them.  They are there to help you protect our lakes.

In the Boundary Waters, keeping noise levels down is even more important.  Most people’s vision of the wilderness does not include people yelling in the background.  Remember that the “four boat, nine person” limit is for anywhere in the Wilderness, so you may have to patiently wait in your canoe for portages to clear if adding your boat to the mix would exceed the limit.  If, on the other hand, your group is the one on the portage and people are waiting, find another area to have lunch.  Choosing campsites early may be good plan since there are many campers right now, but be gracious in claiming a spot. 

Sharing the road is part of being considerate as well, and in some places that means sharing it with truck traffic.  There is a fair amount of log hauling going on right now.  Watch for trucks on the Gunflint District using the Greenwood Road, Shoe Lake Road, Old Greenwood Road, Firebox Road, Ward Lake Road, Cook County 39, Cook County 60, and the Springdale Road.  On Tofte, look for trucks on Dumbbell River Road, Trappers Lake Road, the Wanless Road, Lake County 705, Carlton Pit Road, Springdale Road, the Sawbill Trail, and the Caribou Trail.

While we’re talking Leave No Trace, I’ll mention the fifth principle too:  Minimize Campfire Impacts.  There’s been some rain the past two weeks which has moderated our fire danger, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful with your fires.  Part of our fire team traveled to Ontario to help with fires in that province because wildfires don’t pay a lot of attention to national borders.  People will remember that during the Ham Lake Fire in 2007, Ontario fire fighters were there to help us.

Lastly, just remember that the most important part of Leave No Trace is summed up in the name.  Before you leave an area, scan it and ask, “Did I leave no trace of myself?”  Pick up litter, fluff up the grass that was under the tent, demolish your sand castle, and let the next person experience the joy of discovering a new place where no one has been before.

Until next week, this has been Steve Robertsen with the National Forest Update.


Fran & Fred Smith

Wildersmith on the Gunflint - July 20, 2018

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith

 Three weeks into July and summer is spinning out of control in the upper Gunflint. The end of week two found the Byway weather outside, frightful. “Old Sol” was a beast, with muggy conditions for a few days. Relief oozed in last Sunday afternoon, with hope for clear skies and cool temps as the Gunflint Community headed into last Wednesday’s canoe races. 
For the first time in several Sundays,’ the area missed a substantial rain. That being said, rushing rivers and rising lake levels throughout the territory have likely steadied. Whereas Gunflint Lake had been quite low following the meager spring snowmelt and minimal rainfall, it has risen nearly a foot over the past month. 
Although we are but a month into official summer, it seems there some interesting changes going on.  Maybe it’s just me, but it appears the blueberries have come on a couple weeks earlier than usual, and fireweed is in bloom a bit prematurely. Meanwhile, if folks are looking as they travel along the Trail, one can see Spreading Dogbane turning golden, which is perhaps the earliest indication of autumn.
Reporting on critters of the “wild neighborhood”, a gal in the mid-Trail area tells of a seldom observed natural happening. She was in the right place at the right time to see what turned out to be a Luna Moth emerging from its chrysalis.                                                                                                     
She says, as the “coming out” commenced, the head was an ugly looking glob, but as things progressed things got better and better. When all was done, the amazing pale green nocturnal lepidopteran insect was a spectacle to behold. 
Another mid-trail episode was shared by a lady on a recent Leo Lake kayak expedition.  In this case, she was just into her journey when distracted by something moving around her feet. Able to glance down into the bow area, a slithering passenger was discovered. Being not too fond of snakes, this screaming gal never paddled so fast in finding a place to land, nor did it take her long to “de-kayak”.    
Apparently, the north woods serpent was equally uncomfortable with the situation as it escaped simultaneously during the onshore confusion. Somehow it got out without being seen as it could not be found in a subsequent craft inspection. Neither relaxed or refreshed from the usual aquatic experience, she got back in and paddled home in record time, proving her cardio system must be in great shape during such a stressful time. By the way, she can outrun a bear too!                                                                                                                                                                                   
An amusing situation occurred a few days ago around out hummingbird feeder. I was casually walking by the nectar jar when I observed a bumble bee sipping at one of the florets. While the bee was enjoying the sweetness, a hummer buzzed in for a drink as well. As the scene unfolded, the bee would not allow the tiny bird to land. I watched for several moments as the bee kept the bird in a holding pattern, launching strafing attacks each time the bird tried to land. In the end, the bird gave up and darted off. The bee continued guzzling for some time before departing on an apparent sugar high.                                                                                                                                                                                     
In a programming note from the Chik-Wauk Nature Center, a class on Lichens is being offered to interested folks. The class will be held on August 24th in the Nature Center. Pre-registration is necessary as class size is limited.  Find out more by checking on the Chik-Wauk website. 
For immediate consideration though, this weekend will provide more learning experiences up at the end of the Trail Museum site. Saturday is the first phase of an experience in learning about invasive plants of the area, and the need to eradicate them for the sake of native flora. Events get underway at 10:00 o’clock and continue through the day. Then on the next Saturday, July 28, the second phase of the program will involve a planned pulling of the nasty invaders around the Chik-Wauk Campus. In the context of what “Smokey the Bear” might say, “Only we can prevent invasive plant expansion.”                                                                                       
Then on this Sunday, don’t forget the “The Man Behind the Mystery” in the Nature Center at 2 p.m. as David Battistel presents more research on the historic Paulson Mine. 
In the midst of all these activities, “the” community radio station of the North Shore is seeking new and continued member support in their summer funding drive. Heading off into the third decade of broadcasting, toward “20 more years” of community service and audio excellence, WTIP needs you! 
Please don’t be bashful about stepping up with whatever resources you can share to keep radio alive and well here in the Northland and around the globe. Stop by and pledge in person at the studios; click and join at; or give our operators a call now…at 218-388-1070 or toll-free 1-800-473-9847.  
For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, on the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, in “zippity, do dah style!


Care Partners is raffling this beautiful quilt made by Carol Harris

Care Partners works with community caregivers

Care Partners of Cook County provides support and services to help clients and their families  address the transitions of aging, serious illness and end of life with safety, dignity, and confidence.

Care Partners offers services such as Chore Partners and Caregiver Coffees. The organization also helped create the Dementia Friendly Cook County program. 

To help fund the work of Care Partners, a beautiful 89-by-89 inch quilt by Carol Harris is being raffled. The quilt is on display at Drury Lane Books. Tickets are on sale at Drury Lane Books, Java Moose, Buck's Hardware and Trail Center.

WTIP volunteer Marnie McMillan learns more about Care Partners, its services and some fun upcoming activities in this interview. 



Remembering David Brislance - Cross River Heritage Ctr

CJ Heithoff talks with Mary Brislance about the "Remembering David Brislance" event at the Cross River Heritage Center on Saturday, July 21st. 


Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - July 13, 2018

Hi. I’m Renee Frahm, Visitor Information Specialist, with this week’s edition of the National Forest Update - information on conditions affecting travel and recreation on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Superior National Forest. We’ve had a lot of warm weather recently, and with that people are headed out to the water more than usual. Living on and visiting the North Shore, we are all familiar with life at the lake. So, it’s a good time of year to review the basics. We want your summer and your vacation to be stress-free.

The first basic rule for boating or canoeing is to wear your life jacket. Life jackets do you no good if they are just sitting in the boat. The best time to put on your life jacket is before you need it. I know a lot of us have had the experience of being in a canoe or boat in wind or waves thinking, “I probably should have my life jacket on.” And, you were right. You probably should have had it on. Whenever you have children around water, always make sure they have a life vest on that fits them properly. I saw a very small child fall off a dock last week and luckily he had a vest on and his family was close enough to fish him out of the water within a minute or so. It was scary. Dogs can also knock children into the water from a dock or from the shore if they get excited to see a duck or an otter swim by. At least I know my dog would. Always keep an eye on those little ones around water.

The second basic rule is if your canoe does tip over, stay with it. It will float even with water in it and it is your ticket home. Don’t worry about finding your gear. Packs will generally float, and you can search for them later along the shore. Your life is more valuable than what you had in that pack. Your main task is to get to shore so you can dry off. Even in midsummer, our lakes are cold enough to cause hypothermia after exposure. Find your paddles if they are visible, but you can actually hand paddle a partly submerged canoe. This is actually a pretty fun activity to try ahead of time – teaching your family how to swamp a canoe and how to get back in it or right it in the water. You can even make it a game and have ‘no paddle canoe races’ for learning how to deal with canoes that tip over.

Another part of life at the lake and boating is dealing with aquatic invasive species. The rule is ‘Clean, Drain, and Dry’. Following that rule should become as automatic as putting on the life jacket. The idea is to not spread harmful organisms from one lake to another, and we can do that by cleaning our boats and trailers after taking them from the lake, draining bilges, your bait buckets, and live wells, and drying off your boat and trailer. The recommendation is to let equipment dry for five days, or as best you can.
Many Minnesotans are familiar with this when fishing with a trailered motorboat, but don’t realize the rules apply equally to canoes and kayaks. Flip your canoe or kayak over when you exit the lake and dump all the water out of it. Dry it as best you can before putting it on your roof racks or heading down the portage trail. Dump leftover bait, except worms, where they will die – it is tempting to be nice to minnows and release them into the lake, but don’t do that unless you caught them in that lake. Worms are not an aquatic invasive, however, they are non-native and have been shown to have major negative effects on our forests. We are lucky that our forests don’t have a large worm population and we’d like to keep it that way. The state and counties take invasives very seriously with inspectors stationed at random boat landings through the summer to help educate boaters. There is also the possibility of fines for people who are not taking it seriously enough.

All this being said about being at the lake, you’ll have to drive to get to a boat landing. Forest roads are in pretty decent shape this week. Watch for trucks hauling on the Dumbell River Road, Trappers Lake Road, Carlton Pit Road, Greenwood and Old Greenwood, Shoe Lake, Firebox, and Ward Lake Roads, Cook County 39, Cook County 60, and the Springdale Road. Have fun at the lake, whichever lake that is, and until next week, this has been Renee Frahm with the National Forest Update.