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

© Bob King. Used with permission.

Bob King is back from his flight in search of the annular eclipse, and not only did he get spectacular pictures, he's written a whole article about it.

Find out about the flight and the eclipse in his article, "Chasing the Sun at 39,000 Feet," in Sky & Telescope magazine.

Another viewing/photo opportunity is much closer to home and you don't even need any special gear.  Just head out to an unobstructed view of the northern horizon about 10pm and look up into the mesosphere (about 50 miles up) and you may see the pale blue of noctilucent clouds.

Duluth Art Institute

Tia Keobounpheng's exhibit DeFUSE at the Duluth Art Institute takes on the past - the traumatic past - and wonders if, having experienced trauma, there is a way for folks to diffuse (or de-fuse) the resulting emotions and behavior.

©Bob King. Used with permission.

While disgruntled local weather watchers clambered out of bed early Thursday morning, only to be greeted by clouds instead of a (safe) peek at the annual eclipse, Bob King was almost 40,000 feet up in the air, far above the clouds and just about everything else, on his first eclipse flight.

He was invited on the 2021 Annual Eclipse Flight by Sky & Telescope magazine.  Enjoy his description and photos of the flight on their website, here.

Jade Czaia Thomason. Used with permission.

Last week at this time, we had some record-breaking heat.  The National Weather Service in Duluth recorded highs on Friday and Saturday of 94.

But on June 7, the records remained standing, and only a true weather nerd would get why Larry was so excited about it.

Also new butterflies. moths, dragonflies, turtle eggs, frogs calling, and wildflowers, this week on Backyard Almanac.

Liz Granholm heard many stories about Rabbit and Otter's ricing trip when she was growing up.

She took different lessons from each telling: the need to acknowledge the Great Spirit when taking something from the earth, put down tobacco as an offering to that spirit, and don't take more than you need.

Once she dived deeper into the Ojibwe language after early teaching from her father and grandmother, she started thinking that young people needed to know these lessons, too.

And then her daughter got in on the act.

@Jonathan Thunder. Used with permission.

There aren't a lot of people who write poetry in Ojibwe, and Michelle Goose has no desire to be one of them.

Michelle is on the Native American Studies faculty at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, and she teaches classes in Ojibwe, but she says she's never had any desire to try her hand at poetry in the language.

But she was pleased to find a work - in Ojibwe and English - by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, (1800-1842), "...the first known American Indian literary writer, the first known Indian woman writer, the first known Indian poet, the first known poet to write poems in a Native American language, and the first known American Indian to write out traditional Indian stories (as opposed to transcribing and translating from someone else’s oral delivery, which she did also)."

©Kevin Stanke. Used with permission.

Duluth is surrounded by beautiful parks, and after a year or more of staying home, we're all ready to get outside.

But for some folks, the yearly state park pass or even the day permit isn't in the budget.

The solution?  Head to the Duluth Public Library, present your library card and check out a free pass to a state park - any state park - for up to a week.

More information about the MN State Parks Library Program is available here:

Duluth Community Action/Facebook

It's not often you hear about a community project that really benefits people - but isn't scraping for cash.

A recent influx of state and local funding, plus monies from organizations like Hunger Solutions MN really put some gas in the tank of Community Action Duluth's efforts to get their Mobile Market up and running.

Now folks who don't live close to a grocery store or for whom home delivery is problematic can do their shopping at a "grocery store on wheels."

Lisa Johnson

There's a reason the show is called Tips for Hardy Gardeners and not Tips for Hardy Plants.

Some of them didn't make it through the killing frosts of late May.

Some of them didn't make it through the blazing heat of last week.

And now, Tom Kasper says, some of them aren't going to make it through the most anguish-ridden time for gardeners: the thinning.

Billy Pasco/Unsplash

She took both of my hands in hers and looked straight into my eyes. I could see the strength and resolve of many hard years looking back at me.

“"Young man, Dr. Vainio. You have been so kind to me and I know you just want to help, but I have everything I need. I'’m going to a better place, so don'’t you worry about me."”

I had to leave the room at that point and went out to the top of the parking ramp. I looked out over the new day with the sun sparkling on the Puget Sound and the Olympic mountain range in the background. The birds were singing and the sky was a rare and brilliant blue.

How could something so terrible be happening on such a perfect day? Every time I tried to turn around and go back into the hospital, I started to cry. Not silently, but sobs that wracked me so hard I had to hold myself up by leaning against a concrete pillar. 

MN Historical Society

When the bodies of 215 children - some as young as three - were discovered in an unmarked, mass grave at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School it brought to light a part of history that many white people are unfamiliar with.

In the US as well as Canada, residential boarding schools for Native kids were instituted as a way to "kill the Indian and save the child" by preparing them to assimilate into white culture.  In reality, they were a thinly veiled effort to wipe out Native language, culture, family bonds, and "get the Indians out of the way."

©Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved.

Was it really only a week ago we broke records with temps of 30º and 29º?

And today we're challenging the record high temp of 95º?

Ecolibrium 3

Ecolibrium3 is at it again.

Lincoln Park's sustainiability and revitalization hub plans to welcome an expanded cohort of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteers in August to serve 26 non-profit and public agencies all across northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

© JR Kelsey. Used with permission

The wind has had everything to do with our weather this week; when the winds turn off the big lake, everybody notices.

But at least it's not snowing like it did in 2019.

Tent caterpillars are out - and before you reach for the chemicals, read or listen to today's episode of Laura Erickson's For the Birds - the season of toad romance has come and gone, but everything else from wildflowers to warblers is getting a move on.

"May is greening," says Larry. "June is growing."

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