Dan Olson Feature Archive

It seems as though nearly every ethnic group has an exotic fish specialty, and Scandinavian Americans claim two: lutefisk and pickled herring. On assembly lines at the Olsen Fish Company in Minneapolis they cater to both, packing thousands of pounds of preserved fish into jars and boxes every year. (12/04/2012)
When Minnesota surgeon Paul Severson first visited Haiti more than 20 years ago, the health care needs of that Caribbean nation went beyond anything he had ever seen. Severson founded Minnesota-based Project Haiti in response. (11/21/2012)
Nirmala Rajasekar's childhood was filled with the Carnatic music of her native southern India. As a toddler she remembers being a performer in search of a microphone. (11/14/2012)
Sam and Jenny McFadden run Jen's Wreaths, a balsam fir wreath business in Deer River, Minn. It's hard, sticky work, but the McFaddens say it's worth it. (11/09/2012)
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)
When it's feeding time at the Como Zoo in St. Paul, Pete Lee heads out to experience something that Animal Planet and YouTube can't provide. (10/23/2012)
Donovan Palmquist, a potter who lives near Farmington, discovered that the best way to earn a living while creating his art is to build the kilns that other potters need. (10/19/2012)
Dick Kimmel spent more than 30 years helping restore Minnesota's wild turkey population. Now he's working on restoring the state's population of bluegrass pickers. (10/05/2012)
A group of women singers from the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation have found artistic success and learned more about their own culture and language in the process. (09/27/2012)
Every year, Adopt-a-Highway volunteers pick up an average of 26,000 tons of trash. One of those volunteers is 69-year-old Norm Teigan, who lives in Hopkins. He's been at it ever since retiring as an insurance claims adjuster. (09/25/2012)
Every year around about this time, a Minnesota businessman brings in an unusual harvest: seeds from native prairie plants. He aims to help preserve those species -- at a profit -- as their habitat slowly shrinks. (09/19/2012)
The two-day Rosh Hashana holiday, which began at sundown on Sunday, commemorates the creation of the world in the Jewish calendar. It's ushered in with prayers and the blowing of a shofar, a horn carved from a kosher animal. Minnesota Sounds and Vices reporter Dan Olson visited a school in St. Paul to learn how the tradition is being passed to a new generation. (09/17/2012)
Sheldon Wolfchild from the Lower Sioux Agency in southern Minnesota says few Americans understand what caused the US-Dakota War of 1862. And he said he recognizes that emotions run high on all sides. Still, he's firm on this: The Dakota people didn't cause the war. (09/07/2012)
Minnesota Sounds and Voices reporter Dan Olson wondered, Who has the hottest job in the hot weather this summer? (09/05/2012)
Blacksmith work, especially in a piping hot Minnesota summer, is not for the faint of heart. (09/04/2012)