Tom Robertson Feature Archive

Applications for federal help with home heating bills are up more than 8 percent from last year, Minnesota officials say. But the amount of money available to help low-income families stay warm is uncertain. (11/24/2010)
A Minnesota company called Cooperative Mineral Resources started work last week on a demonstration project to test a new way to extract manganese ore. It's happening in the tiny town of Emily, in north central Minnesota. The ground beneath the town is believed to contain a mother lode of manganese. (11/24/2010)
North Country Health Services, Bemidji's locally owned hospital, will soon merge with Sanford Health, based in Sioux Falls and Fargo. (11/18/2010)
Clearwater County commissioners want to sell off the county-owned hospital and clinic in Bagley. Officials say the facilities have been losing money. (11/17/2010)
Work began this week at a demonstration mining project in the town of Emily in central Minnesota. (11/17/2010)
A tornado ripped through the town back on June 17, badly damaging the high school and hundreds of other buildings. (11/15/2010)
The U.S. Border Patrol this week celebrated the opening of a new border station in International Falls, a $6.8 million facility that points to the agency's growing focus on Northern Minnesota, another sign that the federal agency has become much more visible in the region since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (11/11/2010)
Some members of an Ojibwe family in Warroad say the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe is evicting them from land they've lived on for generations, so the tribe can use the property for its casino. (11/04/2010)
But some voters dealt with overzealous poll challengers and translation issues. The executive director of Minnesota Majority also ran into trouble when he tried to wear a button that says "please ID me," one day after a judge ruled that it did not belong in the polling place. (11/02/2010)
If early and mid-day turnout trends continue, Minnesota could exceed 60 percent voter turnout, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said late this afternoon. (11/02/2010)
Beginning Monday, tens of thousands more Minnesotans will qualify for food assistance, when new guidelines go into place for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- what we used to call food stamps. (11/01/2010)
Built in 2003 largely with private dollars and contributions from local tribes, the $2.6 million American Indian Resource Center, has become an important gathering place for American Indians. (10/29/2010)
Economists say the recession is technically over, but there are still plenty of signs of struggle in rural Minnesota. You need only look at Itasca County, where more families are seeking help from food shelves and social service agencies. (10/21/2010)
The Blandin Foundation's Rural Pulse survey polled more than a thousand people living outside the metro area in cities smaller than 35,000. The survey reveals a mix of worry over the economy and confidence in the future. (10/20/2010)
Some northern Minnesota counties worry they're losing their taxable lands. The state already owns millions of acres that counties can't tax. Now, flush with cash from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, the state is buying up even more land. (10/08/2010)