Bob Collins Feature Archive

The humor-impaired state of Minnesota is in full bloom with this weekend's release of ads for MNsure, featuring the iconic Paul Bunyan and Babe characters. Bunyan, who can clear-cut forests and create 10,000 lakes, is quite the klutz, it turns out in the new campaign. (08/19/2013)
Only nine members remain of the "Last Man Club," a group of veterans from a small southwestern Minnesota town. When the club is down to its last member, he will toast his brothers with a special bottle of bourbon. (08/13/2013)
Money Magazine has declared Chanhassen to be the fourth-best small town in which to live in the United States, just behind Sharon, Mass.; Louisville, Colo.; and Vienna, Va. (08/12/2013)
Do Minnesota politicians not know how to use Google? Absent a proper background check, a simple Google alert would've alerted the leaders as recently as April 2012 that the Wilf's New Jersey empire had been the target of a 21-year old lawsuit and a two-year-long trial. (08/09/2013)
Back in the boom times of the '90s, the golf explosion brought on by Tiger Woods was too good to be true for many suburbs. It was a great deal for everyone until people stopped golfing. (08/09/2013)
Sixty-eight years ago tomorrow, the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, three days after it dropped one on Hiroshima. Not long after that, Ernie Crippen, of Buffalo, visited Nagasaki during a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy Seabees. It was a scene among many he'll never forget. (08/08/2013)
It's a rough year to be a business owner depending on tourists around Lake Mille Lacs. (08/06/2013)
Ask most people if they benefit from a government "safety net" program, and most will say "no," according to Marketplace reporter Krissy Clark. But many of them do, she reports. (08/06/2013)
Many people - detractors, mostly - expected Al Franken to do for senatorial decorum what Jesse Ventura did for gubernatorial protocol in Minnesota. But Franken ended up being all serious and senator-like. (07/25/2013)
It must be tough being "Big Blue," the iconic old bridge in Hastings that for decades was the signature of the city. It's been replaced now by "Big Terracotta," a bigger, more convenient bridge for Highway 61. (07/24/2013)
Growing up in a family that struggled with mental illness, Wendy DeGeest knew something about the wayward ways of the human brain. (07/23/2013)
It's been fairly quiet summer for tornadoes in Minnesota this year, a far cry from the predictions in the spring when tornadoes were striking tornado alley earlier than normal. But when the cold front swept by Trempeleau County, Wisc., yesterday , it provided some spectacular images and no damage. (07/23/2013)
The interracial couple served up by General Mills in its last ad for Cheerios is gone, but that doesn't mean the controversy is gone. (07/19/2013)
For all the symbolism our national bird embodies, it can be a pretty delicate bird. The bald eagle that was rescued after crashing onto a tarmac at the Duluth airport has been found dead. In the May incident, it and another eagle got their talons tangled. (07/17/2013)
A ban on the United States delivering government-originated programming directly to its citizens has been quietly lifted and the Twin Cities Somali audience is one reason why, the journal Foreign Policy reports. (07/16/2013)