Dan Olson Feature Archive

Minnesota's latest centenarian Lloyd Johnson, a WWII veteran and local fiddler of Swedish heritage, had two dreams: to play at the Swedish Institute -- which he did this past summer -- and to fiddle with legendary mandolin and fiddle player Peter Ostroushko. (12/05/2013)
Faith Burns lost her home to foreclosure five years ago, even though she was up-to-date on her payments. She has since won a $20,000 settlement and now has a new home, but the emotional and financial wounds have yet to heal. (11/27/2013)
The minute Josephine Fernandez heard about Typhoon Haiyan's devastation of the Philippines, she knew people there would be without food and water. (11/22/2013)
Amelia Rivera, who is in her final year as a voice student at the University of Minnesota School of Music, has decided to follow her muse and become a jazz vocalist. A classically trained soprano, Rivera wants to give Minnesota music lovers a taste of the Paris jazz scene. (11/15/2013)
Over coffee and cookies, 11 veterans recently shared stories with volunteers at Paradigm Court Reporting and Captioning. They will become part of the Veterans History Project which includes thousands of accounts, all available on line as transcripts, audio or video. (11/11/2013)
Veterans Day today will be filled with remembrances of bravery in battle and perseverance at home. Stories like that of Red Cross volunteer, Marian Krinke, don't often get told. On a recent day, though, she led a tour from her armchair through a collection of photographs from WW II and stories that need to be heard before they disappear. (11/10/2013)
The asylums are long gone, but the unknown graves remain in Hastings and around Minnesota. Advocates for the mentally ill have pressed to find the cemeteries and identify the dead. (10/24/2013)
The dead here didn't get names, only numbers. Thousands of Minnesotans who were housed in the state's mental hospitals simply disappeared this way. The asylums are long gone, but the unknown graves remain. (10/24/2013)
Sisters Need A Place began informally 15 years ago as Muslim women gathered in homes around the Twin Cities to talk about life over tea and coffee. In 2004, organizers opened a permanent location for the service. Sakinah Ali Mujahid, the shelter's executive director, was honored recently by the Minnesota Humanities Commission for her achievements. (10/16/2013)
From the archives: Archbishop Harry Flynn said today that the Rev. Robert Kapoun is resigning as priest of a Prior Lake parish. A Hennepin County jury is expected to decide soon if the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis should pay punitive damages to a 28-year-old Prior Lake man who says he was molested by Kapoun. (10/09/2013)
Life in the slow lane certainly describes Mike Miller's work. He and his wife Barb own and operate a horse drawn carriage business called The Hitching Company. You can see their rigs many nights on Twin Cities streets. (09/26/2013)
Mel Losh one of the few remaining masters of this traditional Ojibwe craft. But he worries no one is following in his footsteps to learn the fast disappearing skills. (09/18/2013)
Just east of downtown St. Paul there's a 27-acre preserve named in memory of the late Minnesota congressman Bruce Vento. But the Dakota people know it as something else: Wakan Tipi, or sacred house. Before too long, the sanctuary there will include an education and interpretive center for visitors. (09/05/2013)
Butch Thompson's childhood fascination with cowboy tunes gave way to New Orleans-style jazz after his father took him to a Louis Armstrong concert at Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis. In the decades after came performances, played and heard, that shaped a life in music. (08/29/2013)
On one level, Bemidji, Minn., thrives. But poverty is high and there's a racial divide. One way some residents are trying to make connections is through growing and using food differently. (08/22/2013)