Finding Minnesota

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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.

12/14/2014

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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.”

12/07/2014

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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.

11/30/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Cruising Down Memory Lane At Spomer Classics

A former Minnesota auto dealer used to be in the business of selling cars. Now, he’s dealing in something a little more personal: memories.

11/23/2014

(credit: Michael Birawer)

Finding Minnesota: The Art Of Michael Birawer

We all have different perceptions of how a place looks and feels. Through the whimsical art of Michael Birawer, Minnesota has a decidedly fun look and feel. “Our eyes are more used to seeing things in 90-degree angles and straight lines,” Birawer said. “What I want to offer is just another perspective of that, another impression of how we look at things.”

11/16/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Milaca’s Vibrant Hydrants

Fire crews in Milaca get two or three calls a month to put out fires in and around their town of 3,000. It’s a lot of work for a volunteer force, but when the firefighters arrive on scene, they just might be greeted by a superhero.

11/09/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Faribault Woolen Mill — Providing Warmth Since 1800s

The story of Faribault Woolen Mill is nearly as old as the state itself. It’s a company that specializes in keeping people warm. Donnie Morrissey has been working at the mill since 1968.

11/02/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Rough Riders Of Cyclocross

Minnesota is home to many cyclists who compete in road bike or mountain bike races throughout the year. Now that fall is here, we’re in the heart of cyclocross season. It’s an intense off-road sport that combines high speeds and rugged terrain into one grueling event.

10/26/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Natural Adventure Park At Briggs Farm

Being next to an adventure park is a nice drawing card for one Minnesota innkeeper. That is, once people realize that the “adventure” is even there.

10/19/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Shooting The Breeze With The Windmill Man

If you want to go where the wind blows, head into the prairies of southwestern Minnesota where strong, steady gusts are common. It’s the perfect spot for one man’s unique collection, a spinning menagerie of windmills from as far away as China and Brazil.

10/12/2014

Honey & Bees At The Minnesota State Fair

Finding Minnesota: Getting Buzzed On Honey Wine

Winemaking has brought sweet success to one Minnesota family, but they’ve been stung many times in the process. WineHaven is an award-winning vineyard and winery, but its best-selling product doesn’t involve any grapes at all. It’s a wine made of honey.

10/05/2014

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Finding Minnesota: The Traveling Garage Show

Minnesota is home to many legendary theaters like the Guthrie, the Orpheum, the Ordway and the Pantages. But how about Barb and Mario’s garage in Bloomington?

09/28/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Restaurant Holds Tight To German Heritage

Oktoberfest celebrations have already started — even though it’s still September — and one popular spot is still going strong, in spite of critics who said they’d never make it.

09/21/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Superior Views Of Migrating Raptors

With cameras and binoculars in hand, bird lovers are starting to flock to Hawk Ridge, a scenic overlook on the edge of Duluth.

09/14/2014

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Finding Minnesota: The Feline Fun House

People often build outdoor swing sets, tree houses and even skating rinks outside for their kids. But in southern Minnesota, Greg Krueger has created a playground that’s all indoors, and all for his cats.

09/07/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Superior Hiking Trail

Before you know it, the trees in Minnesota will be turning bright shades of yellow, orange and red. Some of the most spectacular views in the state can be found along the Superior Hiking Trail in the Arrowhead region.

08/31/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Is That A Manure Spreader Or A Hot Rod?

It does a man good to have hobbies that bring him joy, but there are times when that passion veers into territory that no one saw coming. Bruce Bauer took a manure spreader, farm antiques and a ’93 Chevy S-10 pickup chassis to build a thing of beauty.

08/24/2014

Enjoy kayaking on your vacation (Credit, Heather Leigh Carroll)

Finding Minnesota: Paddling the Wild And Scenic Mississippi

The Mississippi is a powerful river spanning more than 2,000 miles. But there’s one stretch, not far from the metro, that’s shallow and peaceful enough to attract canoeists, paddle boarders and kayakers.

08/17/2014

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Finding Minnesota: The Shark, The Rocket & Other Oddities Along I-35

Drivers do a lot of double takes along I-35 in the south metro, where a life-sized shark statue is on a hillside next to a replica submarine, rocket ship and something resembling a Martian vehicle. They’re there to draw attention to Hot Sam’s, an antique shop overlooking an eclectic salvage yard that’s been nicknamed an “antique theme park.”

08/10/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Off-Roading In The Iron Range

Minnesotans love their four-wheel drive SUV’s and pickup trucks. We often need them with all the snow we get each winter. The vast majority of owners rarely take them off the freeways and paved streets.

08/03/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Still Floating After All These Years

Sometimes people think they’re witnessing disaster at a Minnesota lake when they see a classic car plunge into the water. But then, the car doesn’t sink; it floats. Minnesota has several collectors of Amphicars, quirky vehicles that are part car, part boat.

07/27/2014

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Finding Minnesota: The Fit Tourist

From Shriners to baseball fans, we’re seeing a lot of tourists in downtown Minneapolis this summer. They can get around quickly with taxis, light rail and shuttles. But for those who want a closer, more personal look at the city, there’s Stephanie Croteau and her company, The Fit Tourist, offering biking and walking tours of the city.

07/20/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Target Field

Even with more than 90 losses for three straight seasons, the Minnesota Twins have averaged more than 30,000 fans a game since Target Field opened in 2010. The ballpark itself is clearly part of the draw. “I love the architecture,” Jessi Oeltjen of Spring Valley said. “I’m a design buff, so just the architecture, the design, the layout. Once you get inside, there is not a bad seat in the house.”

07/13/2014

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Finding Minnesota: The Cave That Pigs Discovered

It’s been 90 years since three pigs unwittingly discovered one of Minnesota’s hidden treasures. The animals fell through a sinkhole in a pasture in 1924 and their squeals led searchers into a previously unseen series of underground tunnels, now known as Niagara Cave. For many centuries, water had slowly been chiseling, molding and sculpting through a half mile section of limestone beneath a Fillmore County farm field.

07/06/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Rock Climbing With Positive Energy Outdoors

The people of Duluth are enjoying some national recognition. Readers of Outside Magazine voted online and declared Duluth the best town in the nation. It does offer plenty of ways to get people off the couch and out of the house, from hiking and biking to kayaking and climbing. And many people get started at a young age.

06/29/2014

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