Jeffrey Thompson Feature Archive

A mosquito control helicopter crashed into a Maplewood garage on Wednesday, killing the pilot. (06/19/2013)
The Como Park Zoo's new $11 million Gorilla Forest exhibit, which includes the largest mesh gorilla enclosure in North America, opens to the public on Thursday. (06/05/2013)
On the first day of spring, few signs of the season can be found in our snow-covered landscape. But inside the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in St. Paul, the temperature is tropical and vibrant colors speckle the glass rooms. A variety of plants and blooming flowers are displayed at the 98-year-old site, and they can be the perfect antidote for our winter-weary eyes. (03/20/2013)
The Minnesota National Guard is using simulators to train troops in very real and potentially deadly skills -- from shooting to driving to combat. But some soldiers say the simulator's graphics are weak; they prefer Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. (02/15/2013)
It's not uncommon for Mary Jo Copeland to be greeted with bear hugs or hand clapping as she enters a room at Sharing and Caring Hands, the Minneapolis-based nonprofit that provides those in need with everything from food to shelter. The tireless mother of 12 has been touching the lives of the impoverished since she started Sharing and Caring Hands in 1985. Copeland is being recognized Friday by President Barack Obama for the work she has done in the Twin Cities community. Copeland will be awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor, for her charitable efforts. We spent a morning with her recently at Sharing and Caring Hands. (02/14/2013)
Minnesotans who want to hear an authentic sampling of Hawaii's rich musical heritage can enjoy the work of the Lau Hawaiian Collective. The five-member band from St. Paul, co-founded by vocalist Kim Sueoka and guitarist David Burk, has found receptive listeners thousands of miles from the islands. We caught up with them at a recent rehearsal. (02/13/2013)
Nearly 100 will compete for the Twin Cities beard championship title this weekend. Watch a video of the competitive beardsmen talk about how they prepare for the show. (02/08/2013)
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, St. Paul City Council member Chris Tolbert and St. Paul City Council member Melvin Carter III tried out the Red Bull Crashed Ice course in St. Paul on Thursday. The Crashed Ice World Championship begins Thursday and runs through Sunday. (01/24/2013)
With 19 days compressed into about one minute, the Red Bull Crashed Ice course construction near the Cathedral of St. Paul is documented in a time lapse video. (01/24/2013)
Highlights of Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations in Minnesota on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 included the annual King Day breakfast in Minneapolis, and a march and program in St. Paul. (01/21/2013)
Forty-one years after the last train pulled out of St. Paul's Union Station, the rail hub is ready for trains to return. The landmark station reopens Saturday after a $243 million facelift. The depot will host a new bus hub with intercity bus service returning in 2013, Amtrak trains later in the year, and light rail service in 2014. St. Paul hopes the depot can spark a transportation renaissance for the city. (12/05/2012)
Dumplings are a part of many ethnic food traditions. But in Minnesota Sounds and Voices this week, we're interested in potato-dumpling comfort food that can be traced back generations to the pierogi of Poland and the pyrohy in Ukrainian. (10/25/2012)
Donovan Palmquist, 57, grew up thinking his devotion to fly fishing would lead to a career in biology, maybe veterinary medicine. But praise for his pottery from a college professor swayed him away from natural science and toward art. He and his partner Colleen Riley live on 14 acres near Farmington, Minn. -- plenty of room for their studios and kilns. (10/19/2012)
The Cottage View Drive-In held a community event Thursday to celebrate the theater's 46-year history and to bid farewell to the Cottage Grove, Minn. landmark. The theater, which is only one of two remaining in the Twin Cities, is closing at the end of this season and will be replaced by a Walmart. Patrons filled the parking lot for a sing-along version of "Grease", exhibited classic cars and competed in a costume contest. The theater will remain open during weekends into October, depending on weather conditions. (09/28/2012)
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon jumped out of an airplane today and said she's willing do it again. Prettner Solon's tandem jump with the U.S. Army Parachute Team was to raise awareness for groups that support people who serve in the armed forces and their families. (09/25/2012)