Lisa Johnson

Morning Announcer

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.

Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning.  She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.

Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland.  She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.

Ways to Connect

Peter Swaine/American Woodcock

Larry Weber is gonna make you feel better about just about everything today.

The backyard is going to become more interesting as we stay at home for a couple of weeks, fog and calm are terrific conditions for hearing sounds, sap's flowing, buds are popping,  and today's warm temperatures could even result in butterflies.

romanlily/Flickr

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's "stay-at-home" order is is designed to slow the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and buy as much time as possible for the state's health care system to prepare it.

Minnesotans are being asked to maximize "social distance," wash their hands frequently, avoid all contact with others if they're sick, and take particular precautions to protect folks with compromised immune systems.

In other words, pretty much everything it's impossible to do when you're homeless ... or working with people who are.

Noah/Unsplash

Cook County businessman Mike Larson talks about making the tough decision last week to shut down his vacation-rental business. 

And Cook County has joined a number of rural, vacationland counties in the region asking vacationers, second-home owners and those fleeing coronavirus to stay home - for now.

Duluth author Margi Preus joins us to talk about her book launch. Once a shindig as befits the launch of two books at once, it's become a virtual event online, and we'll find out how you can take part.

More information about Margi's virtual book launch, live reading and more at her website, and on Facebook under Margi Preus Books.

John Krumm, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Lummi Communications/Facebook

Native people in America are facing the same situation the rest of the country finds itself in - but with a few significant differences.

Testing supplies and personal protection equipment are in short supply, as they are everywhere else, but among Native people, there is a disproportionate level of infectious disease, with 1 to 3 times the mortality of the overall population.

There is a higher level of lung disease and diabetes, many Native communities lack safe water  and a quarter of the people are uninsured.

©Bob King. Used with permission.

Some skywatchers were disappointed this week to discover that the moving, blinking lights in the sky were not, in fact, a spaceship from another planet.  Some were crestfallen to learn it was just the International Space Station. Astro Bob has more information and good viewing times here in this blog post.

Look Out for the Helpers/Facebook

We're bringing back the golden days of radio, updated for our new circumstances!

 This morning we debuted Neighbors, a combination interview/call in program to help keep us connected in these uncertain times.

 "Look Out for the Helpers" is a local group doing just that: looking out for the helpers.  In this case, that means raising money to provide local healthcare workers with coffee, bakery items and meals.

Paris Musées

Elias Mokole grew up in the United States, but his cultural history is rich and complicated. It includes, as does that of many people, a story of language lost in an effort for immigrants to “fit in.”

Elias shares two poems with us this morning.  The first was written by Mahmoud Darwish and it translates to “The Impossible.”

antefixus21/Flickr

Things were always pretty busy at AICHO.

The American Indian Community Housing Organization's Dabinoo'Igan Emergency Domestic Violence Shelter provides ten beds and is open 24/7, and Executive Director Michelle LeBeau says every day, they have to turn people away for lack of space.

The Permanent Supportive Housing program has 32 adults and 42 kids.

But all those adults and kids are staying put now, which means AICHO has more people consuming meals and other resources.

Brian Barber/Draw-A-Long Fun Time

Draw-A-Long Fun Time

Self-styled "graphiquè artistè" Brian Barber says: "A couple months ago I thought about doing a very short, very silly draw-a-long type series of videos, and this seems like a heckuva good time to give it a shot. Kids are stuck at home, we need something other than Netflix to get through."

Tara Austin – Boreal Ornament III

Szilvia Basso/Unsplash

It feels like the world has gone pear-shaped overnight.

Even so, Larry Weber reminds us that "Mother Nature is still responding with spring."

And maybe, if you're being forced to out of the fast lane for a bit, this is just the opportunity to spend a little time in your own backyard, welcoming spring.

In Hmong culture, it's an insult to call someone a "tigerbite."

It means you were stupid enough to approach a tiger and get bitten.

Tigers have been a metaphor for "things you should stay away from," and for many Hmong women, raised in a traditional, patriarchal culture, that list included anything that wasn't staying home and taking care of children and elders.

The school buses showed up this morning, but they weren't there to take kids to school.

Instead, they were delivering breakfasts and lunches for Duluth school kids to over 70 locations, as they plan to do at least through March 27th.

Maybe it's something to think about that when the Governor issued the order to close public schools, one of the biggest concerns was the kids that might end up going hungry without the meals the school provides.

NRRI

Road salt is useless if it's colder than 15°. It corrodes pavement and metal and it doesn't biodegrade. Not to mention what it does to water quality when it washes into streams, rivers and lakes.

Beet juice and cheese brine aren't bad de-icing options, but deer love them, and attracting deer to roadways isn't exactly improving safety.

And then there's potassium acetate.  It has a lower freezing point, it biodegrades ... it's just so gosh-darn expensive.

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