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

Copyright Bob King. Used with permission.

The early hours of this morning (November 17) found Bob King reclining in his lawn chair in the driveway.  "Dressed in everything I own" to brave temperatures in the 20s, the intrepid host of Astro Bob's Backyard Astronomy was ready to enjoy the peak night of the Leonid Meteor Shower.

Lest you be too quick to pack away your lawn chair, it's worth noting the Geminid meteor shower next month, the "Great Conjunction" of Jupiter and Saturn December 21, not to mention the penumbral eclipse of the moon November 30.

House of Representatives Media

Minnesota Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein is about to step into her new job as the first Native woman to be elected to the state Senate.

Hartley Nature Center/Facebook

Larry Weber says he got it wrong last week.

He said the warm temps would probably mean that we'd get summer, autumn, and winter all in one month.

Turns out, we got them all in ONE WEEK.

While Indigenous children in Minnesota learn plenty of English language, most don't have a lot of chances to learn the languages of the people who were here first.

Kate Likes to Draw/Facebook

Kate Young is a huge fan of native plants.  And people.  And turning people into native plants - or native plants into people - through her art.

Lisa Johnson

Aut-win: it's not just for woods-wanderers anymore.

Eventually, the glow from last week's record-breaking 70s will fade (perhaps in the wake of this evening's Winter Storm Warning with 5-7" inches of snow predicted?), and when it does, the pre-winter blues can set in.

But Tom Kasper says the same leafless landscape that gives us such a unique view of the woods can do the same for our backyards and gardens - and help jump-start the planning process for next year.

Brian Yazzie

Brian Yazzie didn't find himself in any of the texts in culinary school.

The Diné chef and food justice activist from the Navajo Nation in Arizona says he found no representation of indigenous foods in the classroom.

But when he did a little digging, he discovered that half of the ingredients in recipes all over the world - the world, mind you - are indigenous ingredients from the Americas.

Mike Shaw Photography

Prepare to be star-struck this week.

Begin with a week of activities courtesy the Bell Museum's Statewide Star Party starting tonight.  (Click the link for the full rundown of programs)

Cristian Newman/Unsplash

  Money was short and you ran out of heating fuel in the middle of winter. I expect those were some bad days. You didn’t tell me about that until after it was passed. A desperate someone looking for something to sell kicked your door in when you weren’t home and made your crumbling house lose some of that precious heat. Visiting your mother in the nursing home must have been warm. Your old television couldn’t have brought much money.  Your car got repossessed.

Spider from Anton Darius, parachutes from Sergey Pakhomov/Unsplash

Was it really only last week we were bemoaning the end of Aut-win?

It's one of Larry's favorite seasons; that wonderful in-between-time when the leaves are off the trees and before the snow has fallen to stay.

First it seemed like the shortest Aut-win on record, like the snow was here for good.  But that was before a couple of record-breaking days in the 70s this week.

Stargazing without bugs, kiting spiderlings and more on this week's edition of Backyard Almanac!

Alexander Andrews/Unsplash

W. Joseph Campbell, a professor in the School of Communication at American University and the author of Lost in a Gallup: Polling Failure in U.S. Presidential Elections, joined us last week to talk about polling - particularly election polling.

When the polls go wrong, as they did in 2016, he says, the problem is failure isn't replicable.

Debbie Sheridan Casting

Screenwriter and director John Montague loves two things: hockey and filmmaking.

So it's not really a stretch that the Minnesota native would be looking for extras - and some small speaking parts - in the movie he'll be shooting up here over the next four weeks or so.

Way of the Warriors takes place in Eveleth and on the Iron Range, and it pits the fictional Eveleth Warriors against Hermantown (!), facing off in the state high school hockey championships.

Mindy Greiling thought she knew quite a bit about mental illness.

After all, she'd minored in psychology both as an undergrad and in grad school.

But that was before the voices in her then-21 year old son's head told him he needed to kill her.

The longtime member of Minnesota's House of Representatives founded and chaired the Mental Health Caucus, a bipartisan committee formed from the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate, and after her retirement from the legislature in 2012, continues to advocate for mental health parity and Medicare for all.

Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

UMD's Jennifer Kreps Frisch is pretty excited about teaching teachers how to get their students outside.

And that was before she knew it was due to hit 70°F today.

You would think teachers - college professors or those who hope to become teachers when they graduate - would be the last people to have anything good to say about the effects of the pandemic on their profession, but Frisch says this is a chance to allow teachers to do what they do best: think on their feet and build on the relationships they've created with their students.


A couple of cool conjunctions are on the way in the next week or so: November 12 at 6am, look for Venus and the moon, then the next day, Venus, the moon and Mercury will be rubbing shoulders.

Get in a little practice identifying your planets with the variety of free apps available.  Bob likes the Star Chart app: available for iPhone here and Android here.