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

Seven Council Fires Native Art/Facebook

  (This episode originally aired April 21, 2020)

Jim Rock is a little bit starstruck.

For one thing, he's an ethnoarcheoastronomer.

For another thing, Dakota people believe they come from the star world.

And for another thing, when asked to read a poem in Dakota, Jim not only found one, he wrote another one, a love poem for his wife.

Between working from home and schooling at home, most of us feel we're winning if we have clean sweatpants.

But pandemic or no, artists gotta art, and you can see more of what a handful of local folks have been up to here. 

And if you're not feeling your social media feed these days, don't start "unfriending" quite yet.

Just start adding museums and artists to your favorites list and watch your feed blossom into a thing of beauty.

Steve Premo/MNHS Press

This program was originally aired March 9, 2020.

A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota was published back in 2016, but it's enjoyed a renaissance of sorts this summer.

The collection of essays. features 16 diverse voices of people of color, talking about the Minnesota in which they live.

©Lisa Johnson

It's that time again.  If you're not distracted by raptors and Canada geese and nighthawks streaming overhead, maybe you'll pull your car over to the side of the road and take a stroll through the goldenrod, where you can find a wide variety of insects and bees ... and maybe even Larry Weber.

Answer:

Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

Dr. Catherine McCarty has been our guide through the thickets of COVID-19 since March.

She's an epidemiologist and Associate Dean for Research with the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus.

The idea of "herd immunity" is being floated again,  masks are not political - or shouldn't be, the new saliva-testing facility is good news for Minnesotans, and there's some encouraging news about a new use for an old medication (inexpensive and readily available) in fighting the coronavirus.

Copyright Bob King. Used with permission.

At least, when it comes to dark skies, that is.

Northlanders probably remember the first time they stepped out of the tent in the middle of the night and saw the stars hanging right in the treetops, close enough to touch.

Dan Burton/Unsplash

St Louis County has $12 million dollars to give away to community organizations, individuals and small businesses.

The federal government has made money available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help organizations that serve populations vulnerable to COVID-19;  individuals in crisis due to the pandemic who might lose or have lost jobs, housing, utilities or transportation; and small businesses that have had to retrofit in order to reopen in accordance with safety guidelines.

Patra Wise

David Wise created a small business on land his family has been farming for generations, out near Sawyer, and he’s all about health.

A favorite saying of his grandmother provided their mission statement (Mino Mashkiki
in Ojibwe means "good medicine").

Farming techniques are designed to keep the soil,  water and the rest of the ecosystem healthy, and growing healthy foods in healthy ways are paramount.

“My grandmother taught me that good food is good medicine,” says David.

Tom Kasper/Lisa Johnson

September is perfect for spending time in the garden.  The temperatures are lovely, the harvest is busting out all over, and it's great to find a comfortable place to sit (in or near your plot), appreciate what you've accomplished and plan a little for how you could garden for yourself - and others - next year.

Annie Dugan. Used with permission.

  A temporary, outdoor, public art sculptural installation … UNWEAVING explores the ways tradition, culture, communities, and individuals are unwoven when we are disconnected from our foundation of ancestral history (ie.when we don’t know our stories or when truths are suppressed or not acknowledged.) A different unweaving can loosen us from perpetuating unconscious pattern behaviors, make sense of our position in the larger social fabric, and enable reweaving a more honest and equitable future.

Artist Tia Keobounpheng says she came unraveled about six years ago.

But in the process of embracing "unweaving," she started asking herself questions like:

What would happen if I let go of binary labels like “good/bad” and “right/wrong” ?

What is keeping me from seeing all that I cannot see?

What happens if I let go of needing to be right?

The answers to those questions can be found - partly - in her new public art installation UNWEAVING.

Copyright Ivy Vainio. Used with permission.

I have no doubt this sewing machine made face masks over a hundred years ago and my grandmother would have made masks. There was a huge second wave of that pandemic and entire families died in a single day. They didn’t have access to ventilators back then and this machine would have been a life saver. My grandmother saved lives as a young woman and I never knew a thing about it.


The rain this week has been inconsistent. Larry says the National Weather Service in Duluth reports 3" of rain while he clocked 7" at his place a little further south.

But  whether it's thousands of nighthawks flowing by Hawk Ridge this week, flying ants, or avoiding falling acons, Larry says there are all kinds if changes consistently taking place in the natural world, as we get ready to say goodbye to Awesome August.

Thank heavens for Chico Bon Bon.

The irrepressible monkey with a tool belt embarks upon his sixth picture book adventure with calm, confidence, and the Right Tools.

Author and illustrator Chris Monroe talks about the book, and creativity in the time of pandemic.

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