Columnist

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: Wind turbines become divisive issue in Traverse County, Minn.

Farmers are deciding whether to put turbines on their land, despite the anger that might come with it.


Tolkkinen: Renting a place up north for a week? A primer on being a good guest in lake country

Some counties are cracking down on VRBO renters. With good reason.


Tolkkinen: Finally Rep. Michelle Fischbach is asking for my opinion — kind of

The GOP congresswoman from western Minnesota is facing a primary challenge.


Tolkkinen: Chest-high floodwaters didn't stop this Minnesota dentist from seeing patients

Waterville dentist Bill Struve brought patients and employees in by canoe.


Tolkkinen: Families in rural Minnesota want your house, Grandma

"The inability of seniors to move out has inhibited the ability for our new labor to move in."


Tolkkinen: A CNN reporter mispronounces Mankato and Minnesota laughs

Minnesota is full of names that weed out the locals from the out-of-towners.


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.