Snowmobilers and cross-country skiers are a little depressed about the lack of snow this winter. But downhill skiers and snowboarders are doing OK. They don't need real snow, because ski hills can make the stuff. Lutsen Mountains ski resort has several feet of artificial snow on the ground.
Minnesota's having another mild winter, and some people are suffering. They love the snow. They want to play in it. And they're trying to get by.
Charlie Parr has a new CD, but it sounds old. It's called "1922." A few of the songs were actually written in the '20s, but most of them are new, and written by Charlie Parr. If you added some scratches and pops, you'd almost believe the music came from a 70-year-old field recording. It's a surprising sound for a guy and a guitar in Duluth.
Most folks have a hobby. Some of us have an obsession. There's that neighbor with the fancy, old cars. Or your friend the birdwatcher. And you've probably read about a physicist who sleeps three hours a night and works seven days a week. These are people with a passion. People like Lawrance Bernabo. He lives in Duluth, and he wants to be number one.
Investigators have more clues about the plane crash that killed Paul and Sheila Wellstone, and six other people. But the cause of the crash is still a mystery. Some investigators are already heading back to Washington with information they collected at the crash site. But they say they won't have any answers for a long time.
There was a roller skating revolution 20 years ago. Roller Blades hit the scene, and roller skating became extreme. But there's a calmer kind of skating that's been around a lot longer. In Duluth and Superior, the old-timers with the Arrowhead Roller Skating Club go to the rink every Tuesday night. And they don't just skate; they dance on wheels. The youngsters in the club are in their 50's.
The occasional bear wandering into town has always just been a part of life in Duluth. Now wildlife officals are worried the city has its own urban bear population. The bears live in wooded areas within the city, which can provide an ursine buffet of trash and bird seed. The DNR says its is considering a special urban bear hunt to thin the numbers before someone gets hurt.
Some business owners in Minnesota and Wisconsin are worried about chronic wasting disease. They're afraid deer hunters will stay home this year. So far, in Minnesota, deer license sales are down - but only slightly. It's hard to know what will happen down the road, but maybe Colorado can offer a clue. CWD showed up in Colorado 30 years ago, and hunting is still going strong there.
Some people watch birds. Some watch stars in the night sky. And some watch ships - right here in Minnesota. The Duluth Shipping News helps people follow the busy ship traffic at Minnesota's only ocean port.
Bea Foix has dominated the baking and canning exhibits at the Itasca County Fair since 1968. And she's showing few signs of slowing down.
Most champion dock-jumping dogs are male black labs. That's why Ms. Ruger, the German wirehaired pointer from Duluth, is a darling of the dock dog circuit.
Yulia Lyagina is hoping to get a job in Moscow, but she's in Minnesota for the summer. She works the front desk at a resort on Lake Superior. Hundreds of thousands of foreign college students come to the United States each summer to work at hotels and restaurants and summer camps. It's hard to know exactly how many are in Minnesota -- but it's a lot. Valley Fair amusement park, alone, employs 200. The students make more money than they could at home. And business owners say they'd have trouble filling the jobs without international students.
Wildlife managers in Wisconsin have found two more deer with chronic wasting disease. It's a relative of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or "mad cow disease," but it appears that chronic wasting disease attacks only elk and deer. Minnesota officials are on guard against the disease entering the state.
The Civilian Conservation Corps put thousands of people to work during the Great Depression. And 20 years ago, the state of Minnesota started a similar program to put young people to work in the outdoors. But this might be the last year for the Minnesota Conservation Corps. The state's Department of Natural Resources has to cut millions of dollars from its budget. The DNR recommends eliminating the Conservation Corps.
Saturday is prom night in Duluth, and used clothing stores are advertising cheesy sport coats and out-of-date dresses. This is the Geek Prom. It's a chance for adults who don't fit in to have a night out with their own kind.