Karen Tolkkinen is a columnist for the Star Tribune, focused on the issues and people of greater Minnesota.

Karen Tolkkinen is the Star Tribune's greater Minnesota columnist. She has more than three decades of experience in local journalism, most recently serving as a reporter, copy editor, and columnist at the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minn. She lives with her husband and son in Otter Tail County, in a farmhouse built by her husband's great-great grandparents in the early 1920s.

Tolkkinen: The world's problems in 17 rooms in western Minnesota

"We need to be caught up in what unifies us."

Tolkkinen: A Pipestone father and his Army son share a Father's Day call

A Pipestone father and his Army son share an early Father's Day video call.

Tolkkinen: Living in rural Minnesota, I've made my yard my grocery store

Foraging and raising chickens took some getting used to for our grocery store-raised country transplant.

Tolkkinen: Summer brings together urban and rural. Let's make use of it.

Don't be like that guy who made a Battle Lake hostess cry.

Tolkkinen: Alexandria tackles hate and fear after police Facebook post draws racist response

This west-central resort town has seen the kind of racism that can follow a criminal incident, but the small crowd that turned out for a public meeting in response give reason for hope.

How wild Minnesota worked its magic for our new greater Minnesota columnist

Karen Tolkkinen debuts her new column with a story - and a request