What do you wonder about the people, places and culture of Minnesota? Listen to our community-driven reporting project, which invites listeners to ask questions that our newsroom researches and answers.
By almost any measure of social and economic well-being — unemployment, poverty, home ownership — the black-white gap in Minnesota is larger than the black-white gap elsewhere in the country. What are the origins of the disparities? Host Eric Roper talks with Prof. Samuel Myers, director of the Roy Wilkins Center of Human Relations and Social Justice at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, who has been studying the issue for decades. Read more here: http://strib.mn/33DnXTU
The death of George Floyd in police custody has cast an international spotlight on Minneapolis and spurred nationwide discussions about police reform. A majority of the City Council has pledged to "begin the process" of ending the Minneapolis Police Department, a topic that has been simmering for years here. Host Eric Roper talks with reporter Andy Mannix about past attempts and what "reforming" the department might look like.
Minnesota has more than its fair share of big companies that got started here with next to nothing — in a Minneapolis garage (Medtronic), a Roseau metalworking job shop (Polaris) and a 1,200 square-foot stereo components store in St. Paul (Best Buy). Host Eric Roper talks with business columnist Lee Schafer about how the region came to have so many little companies that managed to mature into really big ones. Read more: www.strib.mn/2M8VxdP. Sixteen companies make latest Fortune 500 list: www.strib.mn/2WJRIkt
It appears Minnesotans have been misled about their beloved gophers. Host Eric Roper talks with reporter M.L. Smith to unravel the mystery behind Minnesota's unofficial nickname. Read the story: www.strib.mn/2MK9Vcx. More on the R.O. Sweeny cartoon that started it all: www.bit.ly/umncartoon. In 1856, Minnesota Weekly Times reader suggests calling Minnesota the Gopher State: www.bit.ly/gopherstate
From 19th century "glamping" on White Bear Lake to a mysterious missing street name in downtown Minneapolis, host Eric Roper tackles three questions from listeners in a special Curious Minnesota lightning round. Read more about why Minnesotans play Duck, Duck, Gray Duck instead of Duck, Duck, Goose: www.strib.mn/2QLaUfj
"Uptown" is the common name today for the district around Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street, but that is a relatively recent phenomenon. Host Eric Roper talks with authors Thatcher Imboden and Cedar Imboden Phillips about the roots of Uptown name. Read more here: www.strib.mn/2WNvVFQ
As the novel coronavirus spreads across the world, we've asked readers what they most want to know about the pandemic. Host Eric Roper talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Jeremy Olson and Glenn Howatt to answer your most pressing questions. Read more here: www.startribune.com/virus
The elusive aurora borealis has an attraction that's indisputable. Host Eric Roper talks with reporter Kelly Smith and photographer Brian Peterson about where and when to find the northern lights — and how to capture them when you do. Read the story: http://strib.mn/2Neo9Dd. Check out Astro Bob's blog: http://bit.ly/astrobob
Most modern-day Minnesotans take pride in their ability to cope with, or even embrace, the cold weather. But what did surviving extreme temperatures look like for the state's first settlers? Host Eric Roper talks with reporter Mara Klecker about creative ways settlers coped. Read the story: http://strib.mn/39soP0v. Minnesota Historical Society with Anna Ahonen: http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/largerimage.php?irn=10388879&catirn=11459703
Love them or hate them, the skyways have permanently changed the way pedestrians get around downtown Minneapolis. Host Eric Roper talks with reporter Emma Dill about how the idea of the elevated walkway system originated. Read the story: http://strib.mn/31KwS5d.
The honeycrisp apple, one of the University of Minnesota's most profitable inventions, continues to be a best-seller despite its top-priced status. Host Eric Roper talks with retail reporter John Ewoldt about the thin-skinned, sweet-tart treat. Read the story: www.strib.mn/2Zd47LX. "20 things you didn't know about Minnesota's famous Honeycrisp apples," www.strib.mn/2vTMsuP.
Older than most historic buildings still standing in the Twin Cities, the 136-year-old bridge has long been Minneapolis' de facto welcome mat. But why was it built the way it was? Host Eric Roper talks with Dave Wiggins about why the bridge crosses the Mississippi River at an odd angle. Read the story: www.strib.mn/2JAnqJN. Read about "Hill's Follly," www.gngoat.org/stone_arch_bridge.htm
Minnesota has 52,333 people who report Somali ancestry — the largest concentration of Somalis in America. This week, we're answering a question from Erik Borg, who wondered about the roots of the Somali influx. Host Eric Roper talks with race and immigration reporter Maya Rao about how it unfolded. Read the story: www.strib.mn/30ztTvA. Listen to Abdisalam Adam's oral history: education.mnhs.org/immigration/narrators/somali/abdisalam-adam.
Tracing the roots of "Minnesota Nice" is difficult, partly because people don't agree on what the term means. This week, we're answering a question from Sara Skinner, who has tried to explain it to immigrants at the "Life in Minnesota" class she teaches. Host Eric Roper talks with Rachel Hutton about the double-edged meaning of Minnesota Nice. Read the story: www.strib.mn/2QL9Bgp. How to speak like a true Minnesotan: www.strib.mn/2QAcpfE.