Northland Morning Interviews

Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

St Louis County Public Works

When are you most likely to be involved in a serious - or fatal - car crash?

At a four-way intersection with a traffic light - when someone runs a red.

St Louis County has found a way to keep tabs on twice as many intersections with half the law enforcement officers - and that's good news for everyone but the folks who are driving impaired or distracted and blowing through the red lights. 

©John Krumm. Used with permission.

A standing-room-only crowd packed St. Mark's A.M.E Church Sunday afternoon as community members of all colors gathered in response to the white nationalist rally Saturday that erupted into violence and resulted in three deaths.

KUMD was there, and we'll be bringing you stories from the gathering this week on Northland Morning.

CHUM's Lee Stuart; Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP and Carl Crawford, Duluth's human rights officer made up a panel which was moderated by St. Mark's Reverend Richard Coleman. 

Sarah Setayeshi

If you're passionate about how U.S. policy affects Latin America, you understand why Witness to Peace made a recent fact-finding mission to Honduras.

Even if you're not, your travels may bring you back around to taking part in things happening right here in your own back yard.

Witness to Peace is having an event this evening beginning at 6pm, and you can click here for more information.

St Louis County Public Works

Maybe technology can't solve every problem, but it sure looks like a boon for residents of St. Louis  County.

Five Roadway Weather Information Systems (RWIS) have been installed around the county - four of which have weather cameras - and they'll be monitoring weather and road conditions this winter.

Not only does that cut down on the human beings you have to send out into a county that's 60 miles wide and twice as long, certain weather conditions trigger emails to maintenance supervisors so they can mobilize their crews - or not - depending on what the roads are like.

Neil Moralee/Flickr

You don't wait 18 months to see a dentist at Lake Superior Community Health Center anymore.

The wait time's down to only a year now.

But the organization will take all the good news it can get as it struggles to fulfill its mission as a safety net for low- or no-income people and the uninsured.

How can they best continue providing access to good healthcare for the most vulnerable in the community?

With an average shelter stay of less than a month, dogs and cats at Animal Allies Humane Society aren't usually there long enough to get bored.

When the conversation turns to climate change, there's not much good or hopeful news.

And most people find the idea of global warming too big, too complicated, too wide-reaching - so  instead of engaging, they just shut down.

Jodi Slick, founder and CEO of Ecolibrium3 here in Duluth, says the local level is where we have our best opportunities to address climate change.

nrg_crisis/Flickr

Can you make car tires from trees and grass?

University of Minnesota researchers can.  They've discovered a new way to make isoprene (a key molecule in car tires) which means the tires made from biomass would be identical to the tires we're using now - the ones made primarily from fossil fuels.

Dr. Marc Siegar

Freshly published by the Royal Astronomical Society, UMD's Dr Marc Seigal is putting his discovery into layman's terms.

While you might never need to know the mass of a black hole, it's still good to know that, thanks to Seigal and his research team in Australia, you no longer need spectroscopy and  a lot of expensive telescope time.

In fact, the little schematic shown here and an image of a galaxy is all you need.

Jim Denham/Flickr

What if you wanted to stay and work in your tiny Minnesota home town after college - and you could find a job there?

What if you didn't want to wait until retirement to move "up north"?

The U of M Extension and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs plan to find out, with the help of a $500,00 Rural Workforce and Entrepreneur Recruitment and Retention grant from the USDA,  who wants to come to rural Minnesota and why, and how public and private initiatives can support efforts to attract new residents.

Hermann Kaser/Flickr

No one wants the sneezing, sniffling, stuffy-headed co-worker spreading their germs in the workplace.

No one wants a kid missing school to take care of a younger sibling who's sick.

And it's horrifying to think someone would have to choose between making a mortgage or rent payment and leaving a situation of domestic violence.

But adding paid sick and safe time leave is expensive, complex, and there's no one-size-fits-all plan.

So Duluth's Earned Safe and Sick Time Task Force is trying to come up with options tailored for Duluth.

Fans of old movies know any kids who have a barn are excited to put on a show. Kids without barns, though, have been turning to Hillside Youth Theatre Summer Camps for over fifteen years now.

It's an immersive experience involving everything from acting to set-building to costume creation ... with a little skills-learning and confidence-building on the side.

Jane Fox/Flickr

You've been locked up for domestic violence.

You're released back to your community.

How do you become a part of that community again?

With people from the community helping you, in a Men As Peacemakers' program called Domestic Violence Restorative Circles.

"It's a very powerful process," says Amy Brooks, Victim Advocacy Coordinator, "but it's very moving."

Sharon Mollerus [via Flickr]

Last month, the Minnesota Legislature passed a $988 million bonding bill, including $25.4 million in funding for the St. Louis River Estuary Restoration Project.  This funding will ALSO trigger the awarding of $47.2 million in federal funds made available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to accelerate the cleanup efforts of the St. Louis River and the Duluth- Superior Harbor.  We talk with Kris Eilers, Executive Director of St. Louis River Alliance, about the vital clean-up projects this funding makes possible.

Nathan Ratner

Nathan Ratner has always been a bit of an overachiever.

Not only did the med student help start Journey To Wellness in Indian Country here at KUMD, now he's one of 16 medical students (and the only one from North America!) invited to travel to Helsinki next month.

The 2017 Elsevier Hacks Hackathon will bring together programmers, coders and designers along with medical students to see if they can find solutions to some challenges in medical education.

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