Minnesota Public Radio features by Laurel Druley http://minnesota.publicradio.org/about/people/mpr_people_display.php?aut_id=16 en-us Copyright 2014 Minnesota Public Radio Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:43:07 -0600 Minnesota Public Radio features by Laurel Druley http://minnesota.publicradio.org/standard/images/mpr003/logo_mpr.gif http://minnesota.publicradio.org/?refid=0 Cop Cars for ads Getting a fully equipped squad car for $1 seems like a pretty good deal. Of course there are strings attached. A North Carolina company is offering such cars but they'll come covered with advertisements. The idea is controversial but the Red Wing City Council has voted to at least consider it. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200212/10_druleyl_squadads/?refid=0 Tue, 10 Dec 2002 17:20:00 -0600 Revisiting Megan's Law The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing Megan's Law, which governs how the public is notified about registered sex offenders in their community. The court is also reviewing which offenders must be publicly identified. In Minnesota so-called level three offenders, those who are considered the most dangerous, have their pictures and personal information distributed to the public. Some Minnesota law enforcement officials believe they have a national model. But others say there are inherent problems with the law. They say the sex offender label makes it almost impossible for a reformed individual to re-enter society. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200212/09_druleyl_notification/?refid=0 Fri, 06 Dec 2002 17:30:00 -0600 Culture comes above ground in Rochester A Rochester artist has made it his mission to unearth the underground culture in his city. And so far he's been pretty successful. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/29_druleyl_loveugly/?refid=0 Fri, 29 Nov 2002 16:00:00 -0600 Help wanted in Dennison Voters in Dennison, Minn., need a new mayor, but no one's running for that office on this year's ballot. It's possible a write-in candidate will win. But if no votes are cast the city council will have to appoint a mayor. That's a problem too, since only two people have volunteered for four open council seats. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/05_druleyl_dennison-m/?refid=0 Sun, 03 Nov 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Slow Food slow to catch on You've heard of fast food. How about slow food? Slow Food is an international movement that focuses on cooking and eating at a leisurely pace. Its members believe in supporting small-scale food production, local farmers and reviving regional food traditions. While there are 65,000 members worldwide the movement is taking off rather slowly in Minnesota. There's about a hundred members in the state. But they say there is growing interest. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/08_druleyl_slowfood-m/?refid=0 Tue, 08 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0500 POW families revisit history in Minnesota During World War II about 400,000 prisoners of war were held on American soil. Approximately 10,000 German POWs lived and worked in Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas. This week some of the POWs and their families are visiting the camps to remember, learn and reconcile. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/02_druleyl_germanpow-m/?refid=0 Wed, 02 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Immigrant youth walk middle ground Children of immigrants often have trouble fitting into North American culture. Language is at the heart of the problem. Some children of immigrants reject their native language and culture in hopes of fitting in. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200209/23_druleyl_fittingin-m/?refid=0 Mon, 23 Sep 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Minnesota prankster makes waves with crop circle joke The movie "Signs," based on the crop circle phenomena, has become a box office hit of the summer. Since its premiere, a Minnesota prankster has received a lot of renewed attention. More than two decades ago, Waterville resident David Olson created what's believed to be the first crop circle in the United States. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200208/23_druleyl_circles-m/?refid=0 Fri, 23 Aug 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Lanesboro gradually recovers In Lanesboro, the summer tourism season is usually a busy time. The historic town, southeast of Rochester, is still trying to recover from a fire in April, which destroyed three historic buildings in the downtown area. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200208/19_druleyl_lanesboro-m/?refid=0 Mon, 19 Aug 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Funding cuts hurt domestic violence shelters The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women is worried its funding for shelters and outreach programs is in jeopardy. The Legislature trimmed funding for such programs during the last session. The coalition wants legislators and candidates running for office to know domestic violence has not gone away. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200208/12_druleyl_abusefunds-m/?refid=0 Mon, 12 Aug 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Immigration in new times Since September 11 fewer immigrants and refugees have been able to come to the United States. Now immigrants who are already here are lining up to become citizens. While the Immigration and Naturalization Service says the rules have not changed, INS agents admit the process is stricter. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200208/01_druleyl_immigration-m/?refid=0 Thu, 01 Aug 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Swimming the Mississippi Martin Strel is a determined man. He is swimming the length of the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. The 48-year-old marathon swimmer began his journey on July 4. He's still certain he'll make it to New Orleans by his self-imposed target date of Sept. 7. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200207/24_druleyl_swimmer-m/?refid=0 Wed, 24 Jul 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Liberace's piano on grand display Not only is Rochester the city known for treating human illnesses, but apparently its the place to fix a sick piano too - or at least one that's out of tune. Liberace's rhinestone-covered piano has traveled from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. to Rochester for a tune up. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200207/22_druleyl_liberacespiano-m/?refid=0 Mon, 22 Jul 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Farmland fire: one year later On July 8, 2001, fire destroyed the Farmland Foods plant in Albert Lea. Five hundred people lost their jobs. A year has passed and company officials still have not decided whether to rebuild in Albert Lea. Farmland Industries has also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which has sent a ripple effect through Albert Lea. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200207/08_druleyl_fireanniversary-m/?refid=0 Mon, 08 Jul 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Ten Commandments monument at center of La Crosse dispute A national organization plans to file suit against the city of La Crosse, demanding that it move a Ten Commandments monument from a public park. Some people in La Crosse are willing to fight the case to the Supreme Court. And they just might have to. Federal judges who have ruled on similar cases say displaying the commandments in a public square violates the separation between church and state. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/26_druleyl_commandments-m/?refid=0 Wed, 26 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 A.M.A. votes to restrict medical residents' hours. The American Medical Association has approved limits on resident work hours. The vote comes on the heels of a decision made by a national group that accredits teaching hospitals. The group decided last week to require that residents only work on average eighty hours a week. A Mayo Clinic spokesman says the restrictions are long overdue. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/20_druleyl_residenthours-m/?refid=0 Thu, 20 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Celebrating SPAM Hormel Foods is getting ready for the grand opening of its SPAM Museum. While SPAM has been a household word for decades, other Hormel brands have since emerged and become successful. Economists say Hormel is ahead of the marketing game. And industry analysts say a lot of Hormel's success is due to development of brands that are known worldwide. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/14_druleyl_spam-m/?refid=0 Fri, 14 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 The rugby addiction Two Minnesota teams will compete in the national women's Division 1 rugby championship this weekend in Rochester. Six other teams from all over the United States will compete. This is the first year Rochester has hosted a national tournament. The game of rugby is still relatively new to the United States. Fans and players warn the game is highly addictive. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/07_druleyl_Rugby-m/?refid=0 Fri, 07 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 IBM retiree claims working conditions caused cancer A retired IBM employee says he has cancer caused by breathing toxic chemical vapors during the 22 years he worked at the IBM plant in Rochester. He's suing several chemical manufacturers, in what his lawyer says has the potential to be the first of several similar suits in Minnesota. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/29_druleyl_ibmlawsuit-m/?refid=0 Wed, 29 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Midwest dairy farms get a boost from farm bill The new farm bill, signed into law by President Bush this month, provides a boost to the incomes of small and medium-sized dairy farmers in the Midwest. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/20_druleyl_dairybill-m/?refid=0 Mon, 20 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Peace Coffee A representative of Ethiopian farmers is in Minnesota, trying to encourage Minnesotans to drink Ethiopian coffee. He is visiting Peace Coffee, a Minneapolis-based company that imports the coffee direct from a farmer-owned cooperative. Peace Coffee, says this arrangement can triple the farmers' income and ensure a larger percentage of the consumer's dollar goes directly to the farmer. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/10_druleyl_coffee-m/?refid=0 Fri, 10 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Starving for Perfection Some health officials feel the nation is now facing an epidemic of anorexia and bulimia. Many sufferers, primarily young women, starve or purge in an effort to be extremely thin. Doctors are campaigning to raise awareness about the dangers of eating disorders. But even as that is happening, there are still sites on the Internet promoting what many call a lifestyle choice. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/08_druleyl_lifestyle-m/?refid=0 Wed, 08 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Lanesboro begins recovery Nestled in the limestone bluffs of southeastern Minnesota is the Root River valley. As trout fishermen from all over the state made their pilgrimage to the Root River this past weekend for the opener, many stopped in the town of Lanesboro to see the wreckage. A fire earlier in the week destroyed three businesses and displaced four families. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200204/15_druleyl_lanesboro-m/?refid=0 Mon, 15 Apr 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Court upholds restrictions on strip clubs The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has re-affirmed that cities do have legal authority to restrict adult businesses. In the case between Jake's Bar and the city of Coates, the court ruled in favor of the city. It's a case that may influence decisions in other cities where the locaiton of strip clubs is an issue. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/27_druleyl_stripperruling-m/?refid=0 Wed, 27 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Bosnians find home There's another wave of immigration in Rochester. Two decades ago, a couple thousand southeast Asians came to the city. More recently, Rochester became home to the second-largest Somali population in Rochester. This time it's Bosnians. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/26_druleyl_bosnianhomes-m/?refid=0 Tue, 26 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Highway 52 Revisited The trials of a community with a major road construction project. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/14_druleyl_highway52-m/?refid=0 Thu, 14 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Minnesota's first dome school State officials and school leaders from all over the upper Midwest are visiting a small farm town in southeastern Minnesota. They're coming to tour what could be the school of the future -- the dome school. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/19_druleyl_dome-m/?refid=0 Tue, 19 Feb 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Muslims begin the Hajj About two million Muslims from around the world are making their way to Mecca. They will congregate in the holy city located in the Saudi Arabian desert to perform one of Islam's many important rituals, the Hajj. Some Rochester women are making the pilgrimage. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/07_druleyl_hajj-m/?refid=0 Thu, 07 Feb 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Research priorities change since Sept. 11 Since September's terrorist attacks, scientists across the country have refocused their work. Many researchers, including those at the Mayo Clinic, are now concentrating on preventing or combatting terrorism. As a result, some say, they've put other worthy projects on hold. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/29_druleyl_research-m/?refid=0 Tue, 29 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Knowing your Muslim neighbor Members of Rochester's Muslim community have taught Islam courses for years. Over the last few months the classes have grown very popular. Since Sept. 11, Americans have had a growing fascination with Islam. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/16_druleyl_muslimneighbor-m/?refid=0 Wed, 16 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Rochester charter school succeeds on a shoestring While several school districts around the state are spending a lot of energy right now tightening belts, charter schools are unfazed. They're already working with modest budgets. In the last year, a handful of charter schools have been shut down because of criticism over how they spend their money. But administrators at a Rochester charter school say their school should be a role model to others. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200112/28_druleyl_rochcharter-m/?refid=0 Fri, 28 Dec 2001 12:00:00 -0600 In a small town, a school gets a boost Only 30 percent of suburban districts got more money from local taxpayers in November's referenda. As a result, some metro schools may have to close their doors. But not in Lyle. One of the state's smallest school districts - it has only one school - gets big support from local residents. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200112/14_druleyl_lyle-m/?refid=0 Fri, 14 Dec 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Rochester schools try again When Rochester voters go to the polls November 6, they'll be voting on one item - money for schools. Last year people in Rochester refused, and the school board cut the district's budget by $9 million. This year, district officials are asking for less and getting the word out. Even so, educators worry predictions of an economic recession, world events and property tax reform will distract voters. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/31_druleyl_rochreferendum-m/?refid=0 Wed, 31 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Somali leader in Minnesota http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/29_druley_somalia-m/?refid=0 Mon, 29 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Heirloom vegetables a growing phenomenon When opening a menu or strolling through the produce aisle at the grocery store, you may notice a new word on the vegetable price tags - heirloom. About 26 years ago when an Iowa couple became pioneers of seed preservation, they didn't think they'd get such an enthusiastic response. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/09_druleyl_seedsavers-m/?refid=0 Tue, 09 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 State agencies preparing for possible strike In the wake of the recent events, state and union leaders are under public pressure to come to a contract agreement. The September 11 terrorist attacks have brought a changed perspective to the negotiating table. Still, more than half of Minnesota's government work force could walk off the job Monday if no agreement is made. State agency officials say they have contingency plans in place to compensate for the void a strike could leave. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200109/26_druleyl_contingency-m/?refid=0 Wed, 26 Sep 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Muslims in Minnesota play it safe In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C, Muslims and Arab-Americans across the country report being harassed and discriminated against. In Rochester, some Arab-Americans have been the victims of verbal threats. We talked to one family about their experiences. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200109/24_druleyl_muslims-m/?refid=0 Mon, 24 Sep 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Minnesota Muslims fear backlash Amid widespread speculation of an Islamic link to Tuesday's attacks, U.S. Muslim groups condemned the terrorism and warned the 7 million Muslims in the United States to take precautions against harassment or abuse. About 3,000 Muslim people live in Rochester. Many local Muslims became concerned for their own safety. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200109/13_druleyl_muslim-m/?refid=0 Thu, 13 Sep 2001 12:00:00 -0500 The germ-free fair North America, Australia and New Zealand are the only areas that remain untouched by foot-and-mouth disease. Officials at Minnesota's county fairs, and soon the Minnesota State Fair, would like to keep it that way. This summer, many county fairs have posted signs and reminded folks about the danger of foot-and-mouth disease. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200108/20_druleyl_germfree-m/?refid=0 Mon, 20 Aug 2001 12:00:00 -0500 No place for migrants For four months out of the year Plainview - population 3,190 - grows by more than 200 residents. Migrant workers come to town to can peas and corn at Lakeside Foods. But while the work is there, housing is not, leaving many temporary workers searching for a place to call home. Part of MPR's 'Life on the Bottom Rung' online project. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200108/14_druleyl_housing-m/?refid=0 Tue, 14 Aug 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Heat wave hurting farms About 125 sows died at a large confinement hog operation in North Dakota this week due to hot and humid conditions. Minnesota dairy farmers have seen a drop in milk production as a result of the weather. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200108/08_druleyl_hotcows-m/?refid=0 Wed, 08 Aug 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Albert Lea braces for more bad news As Albert Lea recovers from a devastating fire that damaged a large portion of the Farmland Foods plant, the town braces for another hit to its economy. Another major employer may be preparing to lay off a few workers. It's an unsettling time for the town's manufacturing employees. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200107/24_druleyl_farmland-m/?refid=0 Tue, 24 Jul 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Workers struggle in fire's aftermath County and state officials discussed relief options for employees who are currently out of work at the Farmland Foods plant in Albert Lea Wednesday. The meat-packaging plant, the second largest employer in Albert Lea, is assessing damages and may announce plans for the facility later this week. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200107/11_druleyl_fire-m/?refid=0 Wed, 11 Jul 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Early wet weather dampening farmers' hopes for crops Farmers typically like to see corn hip-high by the Fourth of July. But this was not a typical year. On July 1st, Minnesota corn height averaged 21 inches - a foot shorter than this time last year. Across the state, farmers are now trying to predict their crop yields. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200107/06_druleyl_cropreport-m/?refid=0 Fri, 06 Jul 2001 12:00:00 -0500 La Crosse Footwear closes doors La Crosse Footwear, a major employer for more than 100 years, in western Wisconsin, closed Friday. The Footwear plant has hit a financial slowdown and for the last few years, has gradually moved production overseas. At one time, the La Crosse plant employed more than 1,500 people, putting out a sturdy line of boots, raincoats and shoes. When it closed, only 139 were left. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/29_druleyl_footwear-m/?refid=0 Fri, 29 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Red Wing gets boxed in Red Wing merchants got worried on hearing not one, but two chain discount stores were headed their way. Small businesses hope Red Wing's tourist draw will keep them in business. But retail experts say the community might be in for a few downtown casualties. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/21_druleyl_redwing-m/?refid=0 Thu, 21 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 The Contamination of Fillmore County Some people in Fillmore County haven't been able to drink their water for almost 20 years. The sinkhole-prone area is vulnerable to pollution and that has many geologists and local officials concerned. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/29_druleyl_water-m/?refid=0 Tue, 29 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Spring Planting Means Long Days for Farmers Farmers across Minnesota are scrambling to get seeds in the ground. Wet weather narrowed their window of opportunity for planting. Farmers have enjoyed exceptional planting conditions over the last two years, so this spring, while actually normal, seems atypical. We went with farmer Kevin Paap on a recent busy planting day. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/17_druleyl_planting-m/?refid=0 Thu, 17 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Killing Fish to Improve Fishing The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources killed hundreds of thousands of fish last winter. They did it on purpose, on a few lakes around the state as an experiment. Their intention, to restock the lakes with what sportsmen call "more desirable" fish. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/01_druleyl_fishkill-m/?refid=0 Tue, 01 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Teens Want to Keep Target Market Money Minnesota lawmakers will reconsider next week how the state spends the 1998 tobacco settlement money. Teens involved in Target Market, the state's largest anti-smoking campaign, are concerned about maintaining the money they received from the lawsuit. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200104/25_druleyl_target-m/?refid=0 Wed, 25 Apr 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Drinking Coffee for Fair Trade As leaders of the western hemisphere agreed last weekend to create the world's largest trading zone, thousands of protesters descended on Quebec City in opposition to the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Fair trade - not to be confused with free trade - is an alternative to such agreements designed to look out for the small-scale producer and his land. At Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, students have brought the fair trade movement to campus. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200104/23_druleyl_coffee-m/?refid=0 Mon, 23 Apr 2001 12:00:00 -0500