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Community Conversations

  • 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday 7-8pm

On the first Thursday of every month from 7-8 p.m. WTIP hosts a live interactive conversation on an issue of community importance. Guests are invited into the studio and listeners are invited to call in or email with questions, comments, and concerns. This participatory program is designed to give everyone a voice in the discussion of public affairs issues that shape our community. To participate in the conversation call 218-387-1070 or email us at


What's On:

Building Grassroots Organizations in Cook County

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On Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, WTIP’s First Thursday Community Conversations program highlighted the building of grassroots organizations in Cook County. Judy Peterson of the Whole Foods Coop, Jack McDonnell of Boreal Access, George Wilkes of the Cook County Local Energy Project and Patty Nordahl from the Cooperation Station discussed their involvement in helping to form organizations important to our community.

This conversation marked the beginning of a new community initiative, “Better Together: The Great Community Book Read,” based on the book “Better Together: Restoring the American Community” by Robert D. Putnam and Lewis M. Feldstein. WTIP North Shore Community Radio, the Grand Marais Public Library and Cook County Extension cooperated on the community-wide program, built around the shared experiences of people reading and talking about the same book. Through community events as well as public and private discussions, the program encourages communities to come together and work together to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.


Cook County Social Capital Survey

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In January, 2009, WTIP’s First Thursday Community Conversation featured Barbara Radke, University of Minnesota Extension educator who put together the Cook County Social Capital survey. She was joined by volunteer committee member Judie Johnson, Cook County Extension Director Diane Booth and Commissioner Jim Johnson.

In December of 2007, over 500 county residents – adults and young people – participated in assessing our connectedness and the degree to which we network together. The results have been complied and the panel discussed things like how much we trust each other. Who do we know and what are we willing to do for them? Do we volunteer and participate in community activities? Tune in to hear about the survey's results.


Putting a Local Face on the Global Economic Crisis

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"Putting a Local Face on the Global Economic Crisis" was the topic for WTIP's "First Thursday Community Conversation" on December 4th, 2008.

“Putting a Local Face on the Global Economic Crisis” focused on how area residents are coping with the recession.  Hosts Jay Anderson and BarbaraJean Meyers were joined in the studio by North Shore Hospital’s Diane Pearson, Grand Marais State Bank’s Mike LaVigne, Grace Bushard from Cook County Social Services and Scott Harrison of Lutsen Resort and Sea Villas.


From a Good Life to a Good Death

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On Thursday, November 6, 2008, WTIP’s First Thursday Community Conversation presented “From a Good Life to a Good Death” – the hospice idea and what it means in Cook County. The WTIP news department assembled a knowledgeable panel to help listeners better understand end-of-life issues and the alternatives available locally.
Dr. Sandy Stover is a leader in the local hospice movement. She was joined by Pastor Dale McIntire of Cornerstone Community Church, as well as local businessperson and hospice volunteer Sue Hakes. Roxy Sherer from the Grand Portage Reservation and local attorney Leigh Mathison rounded out the panel.