Dan Olson Feature Archive

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)
One Minnesota community that has been able to establish a vibrant identity in the face of the pressures on rural America is Milan, near the South Dakota border. One reason has been an influx of immigrants from Micronesia -- islands in the South Pacific Ocean. (08/21/2013)
The yips and howls of wolf pups are a welcome addition to the sounds of Isle Royale, Mich. this summer. It is a bit of surprising good news for the island's dwindling wolf population. (08/15/2013)
The nation's war on drugs has created a huge population of ex-offenders. At St. Paul's Ujamaa Place, though, there's a path for young African-American men, 17 and older, with a record. (07/18/2013)
Sightings are rare of the Monarch, Minnesota's state butterfly and one of its most colorful summer residents. The migrating population has crashed. (07/09/2013)
The teams face tough competition on the Fourth of July weekend when teams from around the country arrive in St. Paul for the annual Hmong Freedom Celebration. That's not the only challenge they've faced, though. (06/28/2013)
Jeanne Arland Peterson, the matriarch of a well-known Twin Cities jazz family, died Sunday at age 91. (06/24/2013)
Movie buffs and regular residents in the western Minnesota city came together to keep the theater's doors open. (06/20/2013)
Why worry about frogs? Well, for one, experts say, their numbers tell us about the health of our environment. (06/12/2013)
To the untrained eye, a certain greenhouse of plants at the University of Minnesota may seem like nothing special. But Dennis McKenna, an ethno-pharmacologist, sees much more than that. (06/04/2013)
Hundreds of people who live in Minnesota are here because they fear persecution, even death, in their home countries, says Mark Lee, a lawyer who helps refugees win asylum in the United States. "They're beaten and abused in ways that is hard to imagine." (05/28/2013)
The arrival of warm weather in Minneapolis marks a new beginning for "singing season," a nod to the past when thousands of people flocked to Minneapolis parks to sing together for the fun of it. (05/17/2013)
Along with spring, migratory birds are back. More than a century ago, their seasonal arrival was the object of intense interest by one of the state's most important ornithologists, Thomas Sadler Roberts. (05/14/2013)