Ambar Espinoza Feature Archive

Many newspapers have cut back print space to deal with the economic downturn. At the St. Cloud Times, the newspaper decided to eliminate the column devoted to bridge, the card game. Many seniors are upset and they want the bridge column back on the paper. (02/18/2009)
A St. Cloud-based company is cashing in on consumer demand for a predictable gas price. First Fuel Banks allow customers to lock in the price of gas. Sometimes, that locked price is higher than the price at other gas stations. (02/11/2009)
The south-central Minnesota community of Hutchinson is working aggressively to support more than 1,000 people who were laid off at the city's biggest employer, Hutchinson Technology Inc. (02/05/2009)
As local officials prepare for likely state budget cuts, many of them gathered in St. Cloud Thursday to exchange ideas on how to conserve energy and save money. (01/22/2009)
Several hundred people gathered at Grand Casino Mille Lacs Tuesday for the swearing-in of a new, and familiar, chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Former chief executive Marge Anderson returned to the role she's held before, as she delivered the 25th annual State of the Band Address. (01/13/2009)
The Antioch Company, the parent company of St. Cloud-based Creative Memories, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November. Creative Memories, the scrapbooking pioneer, is optimistic about its fresh start as it leaves its debt behind. (01/09/2009)
A central Minnesota broadcasting icon retired this week. For the past 56 years, many Minnesotans grew up listening to radio announcer Cliff Mitchell on KASM-AM in Albany. At 80 years old, Mitchell decided it was time to leave the airwaves. (01/02/2009)
A band of heavy snow worked its way through central Minnesota today. More than eight inches has fallen in some spots. (12/30/2008)
A central Minnesota farmer has a steady niche business with yak. John Hooper of Cold Spring has the largest herd of the long-haired bovine in the eastern half of the country. (12/22/2008)
John Hooper of Cold Spring has been raising yak on his central Minnesota farm for the past 12 years. He introduces us to some of his animals. (12/19/2008)
Research at St. Cloud State University shows that anti-depressants found in water affect fish and other aquatic life. (12/15/2008)
The U.S. Census Bureau has just released new data on mid-size Minnesota counties. For the first time, the American Community Survey includes information on places as small as 20,000 in population. It's considered the first statistical portrait since the 2000 Census on a wide range of topics, such as demographics, education, income and housing. (12/08/2008)
Some Minnesota cities are instituting hiring freezes and cutting back on expenses. The cities are reacting to the recession and an expected multi-billion dollar state budget deficit. (12/02/2008)
The west-central community of Willmar is becoming increasingly diverse. Census data from 2000 shows Willmar had the third largest Latino population in Minnesota. Now, it also has a rapidly-growing Somali population. (11/25/2008)
Many homeowners worried about fluctuating fuel prices this winter are still turning to wood heating sources. Although these wood heating devices are more efficient, the smoke they emit is associated with lung and heart problems. (11/12/2008)