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

Taji Joseph from "Eyewitness: Minnesota Voices on Climate Change"

Climate Generation - and apparently a lot of Minnesotans - want the state legislature to be able to hit the ground running when they reconvene January 5.

Copyright Bob King. Used with permission.

Last night, astronomer and photographer Bob King went to the shores of Lake Superior to watch - and photograph - the moonrise.

But for the next week and a half, he'll be making plans for a meteor shower-watching party with his family, and preparing a step-by-step tutorial on how to take fabulous photographs of the Geminid meteor shower and stay comfy and warm at the same time.

You can find more Astro Bob here.

Dale Kakkak/Facebook

You might think of "terroir" in terms of wine: it's the "combination of factors including soil, climate, and sunlight that gives wine grapes their distinctive character," according to Merriam-Webster.

But Annie Dugan says art is what makes our Northland "the way it is," and she's encouraging folks to look for the work of local artists as they head into gift-giving season. 

Giniw Collective/Facebook

Earlier this month, twelve of the 17-members of the  MPCA's Environmental Justice Advisory Group resigned after the agency approved a key water quality permit for the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project.

Naoki Takebayashi/Flickr

As we wrap up the month of November, we're also saying goodbye to meteorological autumn.

Honor the Earth

Winona LaDuke is angry, and she's not pulling any punches.

Enbridge is prepared to begin construction on the controversial Line 3 project next Tuesday, and LaDuke, a longtime environmental activist and the executive director of Honor the Earth, is fed up.

"This is a disaster for the environment, civil rights and the government," she says.  "The least the governor could do is issue a stay.

"We would like the dogs called off. Enbridge wants to push this through before the pandemic is over and in the middle of winter. And that's wrong."

University of Minnesota/Cooking for Wellness

The University of Minnesota has been offering cooking classes for staff and faculty for several years now, but the combination of the pandemic (and mastery of teaching online) and an increasingly diverse workforce got Robin Schrow thinking.

Tom Kasper. Used with permission.

Tom Kasper's mid-life crisis involves vegetables.

After considering himself a flower gardener (since he was seven years old), he realized that he wanted to do something in the most straightforward way possible to let people in our community know they're cared about.

This year, that meant over a ton (2200 lbs) of fresh food donated to the Damiano Center ... and now he's scheming how to produce more and better for next year.

Duluth Art Institute/Blair Treuer

We perhaps spend more time staring at screens than we did last year at this time, but there's more to enjoy than just work and school stuff.

Copyright JR Kelsey. Used with permission.

Thaw during the day ... freeze overnight.

Welcome to "normal November." 

In other news, once upon a time, says Larry Weber (and Laura Erickson), say, 30 years ago or so,  evening grosbeaks were common Northland visitors.

And then ... they were gone.

The good news is, they're starting to come back.

Cameron Venti/Unsplash

Lee Stuart, CHUM's executive director, is locked down at home with COVID-19.

And yesterday, she had to send out an email saying that CHUM had had its first positive confirmed COVID-19 case in the shelter.

But when you talk with her, she's (perhaps) surprisingly upbeat.

SJ Objio/Unsplash

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Minnesota is showing up as a hotspot.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, we're hearing about hospitals being overwhelmed with patients and no beds available.

Chances are the two or three wolves who wandered over the ice from Minnesota or Canada to Isle Royale 60-some years ago were just looking for something to eat.

It's not likely they knew they and the moose that would make up their primary diet would become the subjects of decades of research.  And chances are they didn't realize that by becoming the lone predator on an island with essentially one prey species, they were creating the perfect "laboratory."

Michael Joyce/NRRI

When studies started showing that fishers (think big weasel) were declining in northern Minnesota, the DNR and wildlife biologists got concerned.

Michael Joyce, wildlife biologist with the NRRI got a team together, built 100 den boxes out of wood, strapped the 52-lb. boxes to frame packs and schlepped them out into the wilderness in hopes that with safe places to raise their families, fisher populations could start making a comeback.

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