Northland Morning Interviews

Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

Wildwoods Rehabilitation

If Laura Erickson has taught us anything over the last almost-thirty years, it's that animals think - and act - like animals, not humans.  So when we see the baby fawn all alone or the little bird out of it's nest, our human oh-my-gosh-it's-an-infant-alone-in-the-woods instinct kicks in and we rush to help.  

Kaiti Titherington/USFWS

There was supposed to be a romance down on Park Point.  It was touted as the kind of love story that's not been seen in these parts for over 30 years, and the St. Louis River Alliance wanted the public to steer clear for a while and give the couple some space.

But it was a case of mistaken identity.

Pupparazzi Companion Animal Photography

Last Thursday (5/25) the St. Louis County Sheriff called Seeds of Hope Youth Ranch in Duluth to rescue four horses and two ponies from a property up the shore.  Seeds of Hope co-founder Russ Krook says the horses were covered in mud, had no food or water, and appear to have been neglected for quite some time.

Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank

Twice as many seniors are using food shelves in the Northland as did five years ago.

Avera Health

More and better internet infrastructure in rural Minnesota is creating a virtual "perfect storm" of benefits when it comes to health care.

The ability of larger hospitals to extend their services to small rural hospitals via telecommuting and teleconferencing means patients can stay in their homes and communities when they're ill, small hospitals don't have to close, and small communities hang on to jobs.

Deb Holman/CHUM Street Outreach Advocate

St. Louis County's ten-year-plan to end homelessness is in either year ten or eight ... depending on how you count the process that began in 2005 or the completed plan that was adopted in 2007.  Can we end homelessness in St. Louis County within two years?

The 3rd Annual Housing for All Community Summit took a hard look at that question last week.

Bryan French

You know those YouTube videos showing people on bikes hurtling down rocky cliffs and jumping gorges?

COGGS (Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores) wants to build one.

COGGS and Spirit Mountain made it to the final round of the Bell Helmets grant competition.  At stake is $100,000 to fund a trail building project, and if COGGS wins, Duluth Mayor Don Ness will ask the city council for an additional $50,000 for the project.

Pam Schmitt of COGGS explains.

Kat Stan/Flickr

Outdoor enthusiast and dad Tom O'Rourke (he's also the executive director of the Hartley Nature Center) says there's a way to plan, survive and even enjoy camping trips with your kids.  Spoiler alert: minimalism is not always a good thing, a little free-range parenting IS a good thing,  and never use the word "hiking"!

joshua_putnam'Flickr

Floods, fires, benzene spills ... when there's a disaster in the Northland, the emergency preparedness, management and response folks are the ones we count on to keep us safe.

Last week, many of those professionals attended the Under One Roof conference.  Tony Guerra is the Readiness Coordinator for the American Red Cross in Duluth and he was one of the attendees.

A couple of the take-aways? 

Photos by Brian Downing and Bryan French

Everytime you turn around, it seems, Duluth is out-performing other cities twice its size.

Here's another example:  Duluth it's 13th in the nation of cities with bicycle-friendly businesses.  And if you break it down to businesses-per-capita, it ranks first.

Healthy Duluth Coalition has presented awards to the most bicycle-friendly businesses in the city, and Active Transportation Coordinator Shawna Mullen Early says nominees were evaluated by the Four E's of Bicycling: education, encouragement, engineering and evaluation.

Duluth's Poet Laureate - and second term poet laureate at that, Jim Johnson, is interested in the idea of local and regional voices in writing, so it's not really a surprise that he was asked to deliver the keynote address at tonight's 27th Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards at UMD.

Here, he talks about the "Midwest voice," a writing style he characterizes as, among other things, "honest" and "practical."

Chuck Schlegel/Flickr

Ice-out actually happened before the Minnesota fishing opener this year ... the water is warm and the fish are active.   John Chalstrom of Chalstrom Bait says there are always new baits and lures coming out ... but he's still recommending the classics.

Schplook/Flickr

Kids at Lincoln Park Middle School aren't getting suspended nearly as often as they used to.

In fact, the number of days students were suspended has dropped by more than half in just one year.

Rumors and misinformation, helped along by social media, aren't painting a true picture of the school, especially these days, says Principal Brenda Vatthauer, who's wrapping up her first year at Lincoln Park.

Michael Taggart/Flickr

Assisted suicide is against the law in Minnesota.

You can't advise, encourage or help someone take their own life here.

For years, the conversation - and controversy - has swirled around cases where someone who is already dying or in chronic pain wants to end their own suffering ... cases where, you might argue, someone is trying to compassionately help another end their pain or die with dignity.

But what about cases where that advice is, perhaps, being offered over social media, by someone trying to bully someone else into killing themselves?

Ruben Schade/Flickr

Tiny houses.  Micro-homes.  Re-purposed shipping containers.  We've heard the buzz about them not only as environmentally friendly housing options, but as low-cost options to help house the homeless in our country.

In Madison, WI, tiny houses to shelter the people struggling with homelessness cost about $4,000 apiece.

In Duluth, plans were afoot a year ago to convert shipping containers - which are plentiful and comparatively inexpensive in the Twin Ports - to housing, and at about half the cost per unit of traditional low-income housing.

Pages