Rob Schmitz Feature Archive

Cabela's outdoor stores have made it big by targeting a consumer traditionally ignored by retailers: the man who hates to shop. (01/28/2003)
The National Eagle Center in Wabasha is one of the many organizations losing money under the Pawlenty Administration's budget-balancing proposal. Tuesday, the governor cut $500,000 allocated towards the center's $1.5 million expansion project. (01/16/2003)
A Saudi-born Winona man is facing deportation because he checked the wrong box on a job application. His lawyer says he is falling victim to tighter INS regulation. The INS says it's just business as usual. (01/15/2003)
Somalis in Rochester have found a new therapy for the trauma they suffered during their country's civil war - soccer. (09/03/2002)
The new farm bill cuts funding for the minority farm outreach program, which has helped some immigrants start farming operations in Minnesota. (08/12/2002)
In Fairbault, a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee is making a special effort to reach out to Minnesota's growing immigrant population. Gregg Bongard thinks he's discovered a new approach to farming that could change the face of agriculture in the U.S. (08/12/2002)
Researchers in Minnesota have completed a nationwide study which found a way to prevent thousands of deaths in elderly people. All it would take they say is increased use of a vaccine that many take for granted. (08/08/2002)
Austin's Paramount Theatre has been through many changes in its 73 year-old life, from movie theater to disco bar. Then it almost fell to the wrecking ball. Now, a local arts group is on an ambitious fundraising campaign to return the theatre to its roots. (07/17/2002)
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a quick and safe method for local labs to test for bioterrorism viruses. (07/09/2002)
Predatory lending is the practice of tricking homeowners into mortgages they cannot afford and adding hidden fees to a loan. The problem has led many state governments across the country to make legislation to curb the practice. Minnesota is not among these states. (06/12/2002)
As the new year begins, residents of Albert Lea are doing their best to put 2001 behind them. The year has been a tough one for this southern Minnesota community. In July, the Farmland Foods plant, the city's third largest employer, burned down. The disaster left almost 500 residents unemployed. Then, in November, city residents voted down a proposed school levy referendum, forcing its school district to make more than $1 million worth of cuts. (01/11/2002)
As the military campaign against Al-Qaeda tightens, so does a campaign launched by Minnesota 1st District Rep. Gil Gutknecht. Gutknecht wants Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman transferred out of Rochester's Federal Medical Center to a secret location. Rahman, 63, is serving a life sentence for conspiracy in the World Trade Center bombing of 1993. Gutknecht says the sheikh's presence poses a threat to Rochester. (12/14/2001)
Recent lawsuits against the city of Rochester raise the question whether the city has too much power annexing land outside its borders. The number of these lawsuits has risen in the past year. All of the legal action comes from townships along Rochester's border. (11/12/2001)
Researchers at Rochester's Mayo Clinic have developed a new DNA test that identifies anthrax samples in less than an hour. Up to now, it took labs several days to identify the presence of anthrax. (11/05/2001)
Fifteen miles south of Wabasha lies the Weaver Bottoms, a 4,000-acre wetland fed by the Mississippi River. The region was home to the Midwest's most diverse array of vegetation and animal habitat. It has since lost that title. But one man studies one species in a fight to keep the Weaver Bottoms, and the the river, alive. (10/25/2001)