Mike Binkley

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Joined WCCO: 2008
Hometown: Topeka, Kansas
Alma Mater: University of Kansas

Music: Anything that doesn’t involve loud screaming
Movie: Up
TV Show: CBS Sunday Morning
Book: Vince Flynn; John Grisham; Chris Crowley & Henry Lodge, Younger Next Year
Food: Turkey
Local Restaurant: Monte Carlo
Hidden MN Gem: Four waterfalls of the Baptism River in Tettegouche State Park
Sport/Exercise: Bicycling
Historical Figure: Walter Cronkite
Favorite Minnesotan: Joe Mauer
Quote: “There comes a time in your life when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who do not. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” — José N. Harris
Word: Why
Vacation Spot: Burntside Lodge near Ely
Holiday: Easter
Planet: Earth

Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles
Comedy or Tearjerker? Comedy
Phone Call or Text Message? Text
Mac or PC? Mac
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Paper or Plastic? Plastic (we “recycle” them when we walk the dog)
Morning Person or Night Person? Morning
East Coast vs. West Coast? West
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Wars
‘Grey Duck’ vs. ‘Goose’? Duck

Mike Binkley has been covering Minnesota news for more than 25 years. He joined the WCCO family in 2008 after 20 years with KSTP.

Mike co-anchors the nightly weekend newscasts. The 10 p.m. Sunday shows feature his Emmy-nominated Finding Minnesota reports.

Mike has been honored with six Upper Midwest Emmy awards for newscasts he co-anchored.
Mike and his wife, Mary, are dog lovers and avid bicyclists who love to explore Minnesota’s bike trails. They have also gone on biking adventures in France, Costa Rica, Spain, Hawaii and the Swiss Alps.

In the summer, one of his favorite hangouts is Target Field, where he averages about 20 Twins games a season. He is also a big fan of the Vikings and Timberwolves, but saves much of his winter sports passion for the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team.

Before arriving in the Twin Cities, he worked at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati and WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kansas.

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most recent stories2 Mike Binkley

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Survival Expert Offers Outdoors Preparedness Tips

It’s a common fear, especially for those who travel in remote areas. What if your car breaks down or you hurt yourself, and there’s no one around for miles? How long could you survive in the elements while trying to get help?


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Enthusiasm All Around For KG, T-Wolves Fans

It took less than three minutes for fans to gobble up 1,000 Timberwolves tickets, offered for free online by Kevin Garnett.


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Finding Minnesota: The Wooden Stools Of Jackson’s Hole

It may look like a ghost town to drivers passing through Aitkin County, but there are surprises waiting for those who step into Lawler’s one remaining business.


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Al-Shabaab Getting Publicity It Wanted, Somali Leaders Say

Local Somali leaders are worried about reaction to al-Shabaab’s recent video, calling for attacks on western malls such as Mall of America.


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Finding Minnesota: Whimsical Stick Sculpture Nearing Its End

For more than two years, curious drivers in Stearns County have been pulling over to check out something that looks surreal: a dream-like sculpture made entirely of sticks.


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Anti-Terror Summit In D.C. Focuses On Curbing Recruiting

A White House Summit starts Wednesday on Countering Violent Extremism. Leaders from Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Boston will be included in the roundtable discussions.


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Finding Minnesota: Bar Stool Races in Ironton

With all the extreme winter sports for serious athletes, a town in central Minnesota is offering an extreme competition for the less serious crowd. The Bar Stool Races in Ironton feature downhill events that are fueled in part by beer.


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Plymouth Store Sells The Most Winning Lotto Tickets In MN

What would you do with $500 million? Somebody might have that decision to make when they get up Thursday morning.


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Finding Minnesota: Sexy Secrets At The Minn. Zoo

For Valentine’s Day, many will opt for flowers, candy or a nice dinner. But there’s a steamier option in a place not usually associated with romance. The Minnesota Zoo offers the annual Love Tour, which it describes as an “R-rated event.”


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Finding Minnesota: Fat Bikes Are Gaining Traction

Our January warm-up has not been good for cross-country skiers and snowshoe hikers. But more people are now getting into a different type of outdoor exercise — fat biking — which doesn’t need much snow at all.


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Finding Minnesota: Downhill In Detroit Lakes

Ten years after they shut down, the slopes of Detroit Mountain are alive again. It’s the result of millions of dollars in donations from a community that missed having skiing, snowboarding and tubing close by.


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Shoplifting At Eagan Outlet Mall Puts Strain On Police

The opening of a new shopping center has meant a lot of extra work for Eagan Police. Now, they’re asking the city to hire an extra officer.


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Finding Minnesota: Twin Cities Ukulele Clubs

When the winter blues start to set in, some people turn to sun lamps or supplements to lift their spirits. Others, though, find simple joy in a simple instrument.


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Plymouth Company’s Roses Don’t Smell So Sweet To Neighbors

Some neighbors in Plymouth are raising a stink about the odor they say is coming from a nearby business. And of all places, it’s a company that produces flowers. Len Busch Roses has been in business for 50 years, growing several varieties of flowers and plants in its 15 acres of greenhouses.


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Finding Minnesota: From Special Ops To A Kids’ Bounce House

This time of year, kids often get stuck inside with all that energy to burn. That’s why parents appreciate indoor playgrounds with trampolines, jungle gyms or bounce houses.


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Finding Minnesota: Music Mural Of Downtown Minneapolis

There’s a unique landmark in downtown Minneapolis that many people see, but few can fully appreciate. You especially like it, though, if you have a musical mind.



Good Question: What Should You Do With Unwanted Gifts?

One of the most awkward parts of the holiday season is that moment when you unwrap a strange gift and try to act like you love it.


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4 Charged In $4 Million Gov’t Benefits Scam

A former daycare operator is in jail while police search for her husband as part of a multimillion-dollar fraud investigation. Yasmin Ali of Fridley and her husband, Ahmed Mohammed, are charged with felonies along with two other men — Joshua Miller of St. Paul and Jordan Smith of Cottage Grove.


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Starkey Foundation Warns Of Headphone Risk

One way to make a teenager happy this holiday season> Buy them something to turn up the music and tune out the world. MP3 players, iPods and high-quality headphones are on the wish lists of many teens again this season. But the price may go well beyond what’s on the sales receipt.


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Cyclists Pledge To ‘Save The Velodrome’ In Blaine

Minnesota cyclists are trying to save an aging track that’s in need of repair. The National Sports Center Velodrome has hosted several national championships, along with the 1992 Olympic trials. But the years have taken their toll on the outdoor track. When it first opened, engineers estimated it would last about 20 years in Minnesota’s harsh climate. That was 25 years ago.


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Finding Minnesota: Oprah’s Nod Means Big Business For Candy Company

In one of Minnesota’s smallest towns is a small company that’s suddenly getting huge amounts of attention — after a close encounter with one of the world’s most famous people. Annie B’s Candy Company in Kellogg, population 456, has been turning out small batches of buttery caramels for decades.Justin and Amanda Henke have owned the operation for about two years.


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Finding Minnesota: Turning Molten Glass Into Art

No matter the weather, one place in Minnesota has furnaces holding steady at 2,300 degrees. Foci uses the intense heat to help people learn and practice glass arts. Eric Dahlberg is the studio manager. “It is a bit of a lost art,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of places that you can do this.”


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Minn. Company Touts Tool To Protect Stolen Credit Cards

With all the security breaches in the past year, many shoppers are concerned about using their credit or debit cards. But carrying large amounts of cash has its own risks. A survey by Bankrate.com in November found more than a third of American shoppers planned to use debit cards for Black Friday purchases. Many of those cards are tied to checking and credit accounts, and hold a wealth of personal information if hackers and thieves get their hands on them.


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Finding Minnesota: Pedaling & Caroling Around Stillwater

It seems like people don’t go Christmas caroling as much anymore. Whether they’re tired of the old traditions or don’t have the time anymore, there’s now a caroling option in Stillwater that’s newer and faster.


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‘Thanks A Million!’: Champlin Woman Hopes To Inspire Others To Be Thankful

This is the week when we pause to consider the many reasons we’re thankful. But for one woman in the north metro, that happens every week. Lisa Steinberg of Champlin is leading a movement to get more people to express their gratitude every day of the year.