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

Dr. Antony Stately

Last time, Dr Antony Stately joined us from Minneapolis to talk about the challenges of a COVID-19 pandemic in the midst of an underserved, vulnerable population.

As the CEO of the Native American Community Clinic, that's his job, made even more challenging by the riots that sprang up in the neighborhood after George Floyd's death May 25.

This week, he talks to us as a father, a member of the community, and a man who grew up in that neighborhood.

Downtown Duluth Arts Walk/Facebook

Springboard for the Arts is an organization that connects artists with resources to make a living, but they're not forgetting the rest of us.

A recent mailer features this invitation:


Remember that 21-inch snowstorm we got last Thanksgiving?

You know; the one that shut everything down and people had to work from home and school was closed and we were shut up with our families and couldn't get out ... wow.

Whit Andrews via Flickr

There are plenty of reasons not to ask for help when the stress gets to be too much.

A tradition of self-reliance.  Money. Insurance (or lack thereof). Travel distance.  Maybe just a desire to keep your business to yourself.

But those reasons also account for a growing number of suicides in rural Minnesota.

A new program funded by the Miller Dwan Foundation, though originally geared to farmers, is expanding to miners and foresters and anyone else in the rural Northland as well.  It's free.  It's confidential.  It's a phone call away.

Author Sue Leaf on how her writing group keeps her honest, on the unexpected appearance of John Beargrease Sr. in her story (he was a mail carrier, too) and why she may never go back to "in-person" book launches (as opposed to online ones) again.

Randen Pederson/Flickr

Every year, Duluth-Superior Harbor maintenance has to dredge the harbor to clear navigational channels.

Bob Perkoski/

  "Every single morning that people of color get up, they have to factor into their day's activities, 'What are white people going to think of the things that I'm going to be doing today?'  I have to think about what I'm doing to do.  And white people never have to think about what people of color are going to think of their activities. They never have to consider us when they get up in the morning. But we do. Every single day."

We're proud of living in a community that's the envy of everyone who loves the outdoors.

Tony Alter/Flickr

Gardeners are popping up like weeds these days.

Whether motivated by concern for food security or the time to finally pursue the interest, it seems everyone wants to be a gardener.

And nowhere is that more apparent than when you're trying to get supplies, and everything from plants to dirt to compost is all gone.

Fear not.

Unlike a lot of things, compost is something you can make in your own back yard.

Just keep the puppies out of it.

Mika Baumeister/Unsplash

Flattening the curve of COVID-19 doesn't mean it's gone away.

That's one of several take-aways epidemiologist Dr. Catherine McCarty wants people to internalize.

Some others?

  • Wear a mask.  You wear it for other people; not yourself.
  • Make sure you distance physically, but not socially.  Stay connected with the people who matter to you.
  • Be kind.

BuzzFeed: 19 Tweets About People “Deciding” The Coronavirus Is Over (Even Though It’s Definitely Not)

Blackbird Revolt

"Après" zine from Blackbird Revolt:

APRÈS is a zine we created to honor Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie.  However, as we were crafting the zine, the police murdered George Floyd. We were devastated. This murder followed the murders of Ahmaud and Breonna. We were overwhelmed and trying to figure out how to act while processing the pain and constant struggle of being Black in this environment.

Arne Vainio

In the Spirit of Medicine features the essays of Dr. Arne Vainio, an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a family practice doctor on the Fond Du Lac reservation in Cloquet.

This episode was originally aired May 28, 2018.

Brad Smith/Flickr

For one thing, temperatures have dropped from the 80s and 90s to the low 70s here in the Northland. 

But Larry is still concerned about the rainfall amounts: we're 2" behind where we should be at this time of year.

Tony Webster/Flickr

Statues and monuments are getting push back - and sometimes, push over - as people challenge what they percieve as public honors for figures guity of racism, genocide and more.

But many that oppose the removal of these monuments say protestors are trying to erase history.

Dr. Scott Laderman is a professor of history at UMD and he says he's not a matter of erasing history; it's about challenging how histories are told.

Forty percent of people who developed bowel obstructions died of them, up until the 1960s.

Now it's less than four percent.

Dr. Henry Buchwald's new book chronicles his work with the pioneering young surgeon at the University of Minnesota's Medical School who developed that surgery, as well as ground-breaking techniques for opeh heart surgery, transplant surgery, bariatric surgery and more.

But of all Dr. Owen Wangensteen's advances in medicine, Buchwald points to his mentor's emphasis on research as one of the most significant.

Lisa Johnson

Whether you've got the time/inclination/skill for a remote camping trip that requires packing everything in via a day-long hike ... or you just want to meander around a local park for an hour, more and more science is in agreement: nature is good for what ails you.