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

André Benedix/Flickr

Especially on the warmish, sunny days, gardeners start anxiously pressing their noses against the windows and wondering when they can get outside.

Tom Kasper says there are a couple of things you can do:  prune your fruit trees, tidy up broken and fallen branches from your trees and shrubs, and while it's too early to rake, you can get out a broom and go after the snow mold:

Prøve Collective

You still have a few hours left to share "your drawings, photographs, poems, rants, comics, notes, doodles, your abandoned Etsy pages, the true crime theories you’ve obsessively “solved,” your rabbit holes, and your visions for awakening from this long hibernation." Tonight at 1pm is the deadline for submission to the  Prøve Collective's upcoming zine called Emerge

All the submission details are available here.

Sherri Monroe. Used with permission.

  He has finally been able to talk about his seizures and has talked to a group of pharmacy students and talked to a group at the college. “It’s like I finally came out of the closet and I can finally talk about my seizures without being ashamed.”  He welcomes the chance to help others with seizures and knows he has a lot to offer for those needing support and first hand information about epilepsy.

Sharon Mollerus. Used with permission.

Whether it's a record-breaking 55° or snowflakes the size of drink coasters, March in the Northland is anything but full.

Sammie Hofkes/Studio 310. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

To have seen the young couple and their dog posing on the beach and at the Rose Garden in Duluth last weekend, you might have thought they were getting engagement photos taken. 

Which is ironic, because Tria and Phil Isaacson eloped to Duluth last fall.  The Brainerd couple chose  to spend the money they would have spent on their wedding to provide treatment for their four year old dog, Lilah.

Lilah got cancer.  Then in went into remission.

Now it's back.

But the non-profit Live Like Roo Foundation understands what they're going through. One of the ways they support people and their companion animals at this time is through an arm of the foundation that helps folks make a bucket list for their beloved four-legged ... and start checking things off it.

Andrea Pokrzywinski/Flickr

Here's what we know: Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are getting into Lake Superior and getting into fish.

Here's something else we know: Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are the most common of these chemicals and they bio-accumulate - which means they move through the food chain.

Bryan Hansel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

The weather is getting warmer and we've been having some clear nights recently, so maybe it's time to try your hand at some night sky photography.*

Nordic Center/Facebook

Duluth's Nordic Center is kicking off Women's History Month (and International Women's Day today) with an exhibition called Nordic Crowns & Beyond: In Praise of Women.

There is a virtual gallery and several other events associated with this exhibit; more information is here.

Lisa Johnson

One month ago today, the temps took a nose dive to below zero - and stayed there.

Now we've got temps in the 50s forecast; Daylight Saving Time is nine days away; Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury are hanging out in the early-morning eastern sky (and it's clear enough to see them) and even some early migrants are starting to show up.

And in the woods, it's getting a little spring-y there, too.

©Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved.

K-9 officer Luna, the 3-year-old Dutch shepherd killed last week responding to a domestic violence call, was honored by a procession last Saturday, one that began at the emergency veterinary clinic where she died after being shot by the suspect, and ending at the pet cremation services building in Scanlon.

K-9 officer Luna's death sums up the dichotomy: she was sent after the suspect because she was not a human (and presumably to save human lives) and yet she was mourned and celebrated much as a human officer would be for bravery and sacrifice.

Nellie Frances was another woman like a lot of women in Minnesota.

Quiet and self-effacing, but active in her community and her church, it's not surprising that the story of a Black woman on the front lines of women's suffrage and civil rights issue hasn't been told until now.

Nellie Francis: Fighting for Racial Justice and Women’s Equality in Minnesota by William D. Green is published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Kira auf der Heide/Unsplash

Old, energy-inefficient houses are bad enough.  But add some dangerously cold weather and people needing to stay home thanks to a pandemic and you've got a triple-whammy for homeowners and renters.

Natasha Lancour. Used with permission.

Natasha Lancour has been on a long journey of healing ... and trying to figure out where she belongs.

She doesn't have all the answers, but she knows that family, community, wellness and nature are a big part of it, especially because, she says, "healing often eludes people of color."

The story of Royal Roots Garden is a story that starts with a woman with no interest in gardening, the big garden she discovered in the backyard of her new home, and a challenge to herself.  And that story is just beginning.

Tortoiseshell Black/Dribble

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University have discovered that caterpillars can "silence a tomato's cries for help."

You can read the article here and the actual research findings here.

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