Most memorable stories of 2006


Some stories are big stories, some are memorable, some are both. Over the course of a year, Minnesota Public Radio's reporters, producers, and hosts meet hundreds of people from all walks of life. Some make a bigger impression than others. Some stories involve a behind-the-scenes challenge. MPR journalists each selected a story or show that was the most memorable.

  • Minnesota soldier continues to recover from wounds suffered in Iraq
    Jim Vandenheuvel suffered massive injuries when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb in February 2004.March 19, 2006
  • The Equine Art Protection League saddles up
    A St. Paul artist named Lynn Maderich has been victimized by Internet art fraud. Her speciality is equine art, which is in extremely high demand all over the world. She was recently tipped off that a forged copy of one of her prize-winning paintings was up for sale on eBay. Her source: the Equine Art Protection League.September 15, 2006
  • A soldier's story from Iraq
    Coon Rapids resident Derek Burchill has been back from Iraq for a little more than a year. He can tell the 2,600 Minnesota National Guard troops who are now leaving for Iraq what it's like there.March 24, 2006
  • The last sideshow
    Where have all the bearded ladies gone? There used to be more than 100 traveling sideshows in the United States. Now there's just one.August 28, 2006
  • After the fire
    From a distance, much of the land affected by the Cavity Lake wildfire looks like it's burned to a crisp. But even in the blackened areas, life is not only surviving, but thriving.July 26, 2006
  • Obscure 1960s rockers the Monks make comeback
    An obscure 1960s rock group called the Monks is rehearsing in northern Minnesota this week. It's the latest chapter in one of the stranger tales in rock and roll history.October 12, 2006
  • "Chasing Windmills" is pretty hard work
    Lately a camera crew has been working--working very hard--in downtown Minneapolis. They're making a drama called "Chasing Windmills" that's posted every weekday on the World Wide Web.November 16, 2006
  • Growing Up Indian
    American Indian children are at the bottom of nearly every national indicator of well being -- suicide rates, dropout rates, poverty rates, death rates. Alcohol and drugs have ripped apart Native families. Often, the kids suffer most.March 16, 2006
  • Failed sewer plants cost state millions
    The new wastewater treatment plants were supposed to solve the sewer problems of more than a dozen small Minnesota towns. Instead they became a costly headache.March 17, 2006
  • Minneapolis moving on problem 'inconvenience' stores
    The Minneapolis city council has voted to revoke the license of a convenience store, effectively shutting it down. City officials say some stores have become magnets for loitering and drug dealing.March 31, 2006
  • MPCA researcher reports dramatic test results as she's forced out
    Blood samples taken from Mississippi River fish near a 3M plant show high levels of a chemical related to the company's former Scotchgard operations. Those levels are believed to be the highest found anywhere in the world. The tests were conducted by an MPCA scientist who left the agency this week, after a long dispute with her bosses over her research.February 3, 2006
  • Art makes a difference in North Minneapolis
    Outsiders tend to associate the north side of Minneapolis with drugs, violence and theft. But some residents are trying to change the way the neighborhood is seen--and the way it sees itself--through art.September 4, 2006
  • Hatch embraces "bulldog" label
    Mike Hatch is well-known to Minnesotans as a scrappy -- sometimes confrontational -- politician, and he's embracing his bulldog image in his third run for the governor's office.November 1, 2006
  • The Minnesota Orchestra in session with Beethoven
    The second CD in the Minnesota Orchestra's Beethoven symphony cycle is out. Like the first installment, the latest recording is receiving favorable reviews.May 31, 2006
  • Twins fever on the rise
    Thousands of Minnesota Twins fans are expected to turn out for a rally this evening in downtown Minneapolis, to celebrate the team's division championship. The Twins open the playoffs against the Oakland A's Tuesday at the Metrodome.October 1, 2006
  • Andrew Dipper holding an old violinOld violins and new technology
    Minneapolis is a new center for the sale and preservation of violins from the 18th and 19th century. In the past these instruments were worked on in places like Italy, London and New York. But new technology has enabled people involved in violin restoration to live anywhere.April 25, 2006
  • South Dakota driver in running for reality TV show
    A Sioux Falls man is in the running for a 3-month stint as a reality race car driver. Greg Gunderson has something to prove and it's not just about winning.July 12, 2006
  • Trust between police and shelters help homeless in St. Paul
    St. Paul police and social service providers are working together to find a better way to deal with the city's homeless population.January 24, 2006
  • The winningest coach in college football
    Coach John Gagliardi spends every Thanksgiving surrounded by football.November 23, 2006
  • Fargo man combines health care with art
    Ken Heide uses his woodworking skills to help people live a regular life. He is one of the few people left in the U.S. who carve wooden legs.January 10, 2006
  • Resistant staph gains a foothold in Minnesota
    The number of antibiotic-resistant staph infections acquired outside of hospitals has doubled in Minnesota in the past year. Staph is a common bacteria that can cause all sorts of infections, some of them serious enough to cause death.February 26, 2006
  • Candidates have few secrets from campaign 'trackers'
    Political campaigns are employing campaign trackers to videotape the candidates anywhere they make a public appearance. It's becoming a common practice especially after a senator from Virginia came under fire for making some controversial remarks.October 18, 2006
  • Megabus -- you get what you pay for?
    Scrounge around under your couch cushions for money and you just might come up with enough change for a trip to Chicago. A new bus service is touting fares from the Twin Cities for as little as $1.July 2, 2006
  • St. Paul police crack down on kids out late
    Last spring, St. Paul police noticed a problem in the city: There was a spike in juvenile crime. So they beefed up a program that's worked in the past. Active enforcement of the city's curfew law designed to keep kids off the street at night. Police Chief John Harrington says it's working.August 30, 2006
  • Farmer tends to a new customer base
    Pelican Rapids is still basically a farming community. But a decade-and-a-half of immigration has changed the town a lot. That's not just clear on Main Street, If you drive a few miles out of town, life is even different on the farm.May 30, 2006
  • Andy Saur's Vikings quest
    A Duluth man is on a quest to change the music the Minnesota Vikings play in the Metrodome before kicking the football. Andy Saur says the Vikings should be playing a Led Zeppelin song rather than the one they use by Guns N' Roses. He admits he's in for a long struggle.November 10, 2006
  • Maria's story: All her dreams are here
    As many as 85,000 illegal immigrants make Minnesota their home, including many who have crossed the border into the U.S. from Mexico. This is the story of one of them.July 21, 2006

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