Mike Binkley

(credit: CBS)

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

(credit: RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Otter Attacks Mpls. Girl in Western Wisconsin

A Twin Cities girl is recovering from puncture wounds, scratches and bruises after a frightening attack in the water. Rory Kliewer, 12, was climbing out of Bone Lake near Luck, Wis., Saturday when a large otter jumped on her and wouldn’t let go. At first, she thought it was a fish.

08/13/2014

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PARK RAPIDS PODCAST-The WCCO Morning News With Dave Lee

Highlights from Dave Lee’s visit to Park Rapids….click the link above to listen!

08/12/2014

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81-Year-Old Woman Crosses Skydiving Off Her Bucket List

Sometimes, it takes a while before you can act on your dreams. One grandmother from Brooklyn Park, Minn. has been talking about skydiving for a long time. Sunday, her big moment finally came.

08/10/2014

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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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Goin’ To The Lake: Mike & Liz Visit Park Rapids (Day 2)

On Friday, the two took part in the Legends and Logging Days festivities. That event is the the biggest one on the town’s calendar every year.

08/08/2014

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Goin’ To The Lake: Mike & Liz Visit Park Rapids (Day 1)

WCCO’s summer road trip continued Thursday with Mike Binkley and Liz Collin, who are Park Rapids, Minn. The city is about three-and-a-half hours northwest of the Twin Cities.They found the Mississippi River’s headwaters at Itasca State Park. Countless visitors have stood right at the beginning of the Mississippi River’s 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. This is one of the must-see stops if you’re visiting Park Rapids.

08/07/2014

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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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TargetExpress Opens In Dinkytown

Target unveiled its latest store concept in Minneapolis’ Dinkytown neighborhood Wednesday, and it’s the smallest one yet. TargetExpress, at the corner of SE 5th Street and SE 14th Avenue, is one-sixth the size of a traditional Target, about one-ninth the size of a SuperTarget. It’s focused on essentials that people nearby would want.

07/23/2014

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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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From Nino To Nino: Wild Star Congratulates 10-Year-Old Hero

An NHL star was among those moved last month by the heroism of 10-year-old Nino Johnson, of Maplewood, who saved his grandfather, Pino Lipari, from drowning. Lipari was in his backyard pool playing ball with his grandson, when the ball drifted into the deep end. Lipari is not a strong swimmer, but tried to retrieve the ball anyway.

07/07/2014

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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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Saving Pino: 10-Year-Old Saves Grandpa In Swimming Pool

A near tragedy in a backyard swimming pool managed to strengthen the bond between a man and his only grandson. Pino Lipari, 65, grew up near the beaches of Palermo, Sicily, but has never been much of a swimmer. On June 20, he was with his grandson, Nino Johnson, in the shallow end when he slipped into deeper water and tried to paddle to the side.

06/24/2014

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U.S. Patent Office Rules To Cancel Redskins Trademark

>Minnesotans involved in the fight against Native American mascots are cheering Wednesday’s federal action against the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

06/18/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Pottyville: An Ode To The Commode

You can’t fully appreciate the flush of a toilet unless you know what your ancestors dealt with. The outhouse they had was crude and nasty but it served an important purpose. That’s why Nell Riccatone and Gary Hoover are working to preserve this rather unique symbol of human necessity.

06/15/2014

(credit: Mike Binkley)

Pet Blog: Spotlight On Mike Binkley’s Dog ‘Coach’

The first thing you may notice about Mike Binkley, besides the journalist gravitas that constantly radiates from him, is his striking blue eyes. The same can be said for Coach, his 5 ½-year-old dog. “Because of his blue eyes, people often react to him as if he’s an exotic breed,” Binkley said, “but he’s a good old American mutt.”

06/13/2014

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WCCO Viewers’ Choice For MN’s Best Zip Line

If you’re looking for a break from your summer routine, you might think about zip lining. Several zip lines have popped up across Minnesota over the last few years, and we wanted to find the best. Your votes sent me an hour southwest of the Twin Cities to Henderson for the Kerfoot Canopy Tour.

06/11/2014

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It’s Patio Season In Mpls., And Dogs Are Increasingly Welcome

Restaurant patios are getting crowded now, and it’s more common than ever to see dogs at some of the outdoor tables. Since 2008, Minneapolis has given restaurants the option of allowing dogs in designated outdoor areas.

06/09/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Wood Tick Racing In Cuyuna

Our long, harsh winter did nothing to control the tick population in Minnesota. In fact, the heavy snow insulated the ticks on all those days the temperatures dipped below zero. But as nasty as they are, Cuyuna has found one redeeming quality.

06/08/2014

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Officials Reviewing Claim That Billy Glaze Was Wrongfully Committed

The Hennepin County Attorney was reviewing new evidence Wednesday that could clear a man convicted of serial killings in the 1980s. The Innocence Project filed court papers Tuesday, attempting to free 70-year-old Billy Glaze. He was convicted of killing three Native American women in 1986 and 1987.

06/04/2014

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Finding Minnesota: Famous Names at Lakewood Cemetery

Memorial Day may be the only time of year that many of us will visit grave sites. Cemeteries, naturally, represent death to most people, but others are fascinated by the lives they represent and the stories of those who had a significant impact.

05/25/2014

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Students Can Skip Exam If They Give Up Cell Phones For Week

Kimball Area High School is like most schools: kids getting ready for finals, and checking out their cell phones – except for one class. Katie Pettit teaches math, but this week, she’s also the keeper of the cell phones. She’s holding on to them 24/7 to teach her students a different kind of lesson.

05/21/2014

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