News & Features Archive

Thursday, December 27, 2012

NRA protest
States in this country are becoming like an unhappy couple. They've always had their differences, but their arguments have gotten so chronic that they're hardly talking to each other. (12/27/2012)
Marijuana
Voters in Washington and Colorado just legalized recreational marijuana: not de-criminalization, but a system where the state won't bust you, but will set up a new system to regulate and tax production, distribution and sale. (12/27/2012)
Bemidji Brewing Company beers
The growth of America's craft beer scene is well documented: Smaller, independent brewers are flourishing as big beer companies fight declining sales. But an untold business story is the recent explosion of nanobreweries, operations far tinier than even microbreweries. (12/27/2012)
It may not look like much on the weather map, but there is enough energy overhead to excite the clouds into producing a lovely snowfall. After dark, though, it may not be lovely on the highways.
Opinion polls show 2012's extreme weather -- producing wildfires, floods and drought -- has more people making a connection with climate change. For Marti Andrews in southern New Jersey, a turning point was the summer's hurricane-like derecho.
Former President George H.W. Bush, who has been hospitalized for more than a month, is getting excellent medical treatment and would advise people to "put the harps back in the closet," his longtime Houston chief of staff said Thursday evening.
The Obama administration's chief environmental watchdog, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, is stepping down after a nearly four-year tenure.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has undergone spinal surgery that will likely sideline him at least through New Year's.
Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf has died in Tampa, Fla.
Food stamps, food shelves and subsidized school lunches all grew to new highs in Minnesota in 2012, but the pace slowed from previous years.
Study reports resurgence in the number of Americans who say they hunt, fish and watch birds or other wildlife.
Now that we're officially into the winter, we wondered how Minnesota's birds are faring — the ones that stick around.
Dean McFarlane is a 10th-generation master stone carver. His great-grandfather started the Minneapolis-based family stone carving company in 1916. But the line ends with McFarlane: There are no family members waiting in the wings to become master stone carvers.
Veterinarian Justine Lee will join us again to take calls from listeners on all their animal-related questions.
Holding up the examples of Microsoft's Bill Gates and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, some soon-to-be college students are skipping the traditional higher education path. What do some of these higher education alternatives look like?
This week on the Friday Roundtable, our panelists will take a look at the big news stories of 2012, and how the media fared in covering those stories.
Historian Brian Ingrassia speaks about the origins of college football in the late 1800's and traces the evolution of the sport to a multi-million dollar athletic spectacle on university campuses. His new book is "The Rise of the Gridiron University: Higher Education's Uneasy Alliance with Big-Time Football." He spoke November 9, 2012 at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said Thursday that he will not seek a fourth term as head of Minnesota's largest city. He said that after 11 years on the job, he and his family were seeking more balance in life. He added that he does not know what he will do after he leaves office.
Hennepin County prosecutors have charged a Minneapolis man with two felony counts for allegedly leaving a loaded handgun within reach of his children. His 4-year-old son accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old brother.
Locked-out musicians and managements of both the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have announced negotiation sessions for Jan. 2.
In Silicon Valley terms, Mat Honan is a well-connected guy up on the latest technology. But thieves were able to wipe his phone, tablet and computer of information and take control of his Google, iCloud and Amazon accounts. Honan decided to investigate the state of password security. Turns out, it's not so hot.
Rep.-elect Rick Nolan, D-Minn., has snagged a spot on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. It's a plum spot for Nolan, whose district once benefited from former Rep. Jim Oberstar's perch as committee chair.
Federal prosecutors in North Dakota have charged four men with conspiring to import and sell controlled substances used to make synthetic hallucinogenic drugs, including drugs made by a self-described "hobby chemist" from Grand Forks that killed two teens and led to several overdoses in the area.
A Wisconsin woman jumped to her death from the Interstate 94 bridge over the St. Croix River during morning rush hour, leaving her daughter behind in the car.
Adoption officials in Minnesota are anxiously waiting to hear whether President Vladimir Putin of Russia will sign a bill banning adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens.
The Department of Natural Resources is opening lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to trout anglers two weeks earlier than usual.
Today on the MPR News Update, as Gov. Mark Dayton enters the OR, we'll hear about the increasing use of fusion surgery to ease the pain of a bad back. Also, 150 years to the day from a mass execution of Dakota Indians in Mankato, many Dakota returned to city to remember. We'll hear about the collecting and selling of Minneapolis license plate data. And we have a story about a Minnesota farmer who's expanding his operation to Africa.
Thursday marks four weeks since police officer Thomas Decker was killed outside a Cold Spring bar, and investigators still do not have a suspect in custody.
Universities are offering free ways to allow students to clean up their online image. Students realize that ill-considered Web profiles of drunken frat parties, prank videos and worse can doom graduates to unemployment, even if the pages are somebody else's with the same name.
Gov. Mark Dayton will be at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester today for back surgery to deal with a painful condition known as stenosis.
The number of law enforcement officers who died performing their duties in the U.S. declined by about 20 percent in 2012 after rising the two previous years, a non-profit organization reported Thursday.
Americans bought new homes last month at the fastest pace in more than two and a half years, further evidence of a sustained housing recovery.
Dean McFarlane is a 10th-generation master stone carver. His great-grandfather started the Minneapolis-based family stone carving company in 1916. But the line ends with McFarlane: There are no family members waiting in the wings to become master stone carvers.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied a request to block part of the federal health care law that requires employee health-care plans to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency contraception pills.
MPR looks back at our most memorable stories from 2012.
Joining MPR's Cathy Wurzer to talk about spinal stenosis is Dr. Christopher DeWald a Chicago-based orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine surgery.
Home prices enjoyed another big lift nationally and in the Twin Cities in October.
The average number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits over the past month fell to the lowest level since March 2008, a sign that the job market is healing.
Latino immigrants have been settling in Minnesota for more than a century, often in waves. Recently MPR News' Marianne Combs spoke with a group of Latino artists about how a younger generation is revitalizing local Latino culture while they seek a connection to their past.
Minnesota had a record year for whooping cough cases in 2012, with more than 4,300 cases reported. That's more than any year since World War 2.
A powerful winter storm brought snow to inland parts of the Northeast and driving rain and wind to areas along the coast Thursday, a day after it swept through the nation's middle, dumping a record snowfall in Arkansas and ruining holiday travel plans for thousands.
Dakota Indians and their supporters commemorated the largest mass execution in United States history at a ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 in Mankato, Minn.
Dakota Indians and their supporters commemorated the largest mass execution in U.S. history at a ceremony Wednesday in Mankato.
Former President George H.W. Bush has been admitted to the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital "following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever," but he is alert and talking to medical staff.
Amy Senser's attorney has filed an appeal to reverse her conviction on two counts of criminal vehicular homicide.
TV meteorologist got fired for offering a direct response on Facebook.
Red River Valley farmer Wallie Hardie is part of a management company investing in a farm operation in Mozambique, hoping that Africa will be a big player in future world food production.
U.S. holiday retail sales this year grew at the weakest pace since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession. In 2012, the shopping season was disrupted by bad weather and consumers' rising uncertainty about the economy.
Young cancer patients who couldn't get a key medicine because of a national drug shortage were more likely to suffer a relapse than others who were able to get the preferred treatment, doctors report.
The U.S. Treasury Department will begin taking steps this week to delay hitting the government's $16.4 trillion borrowing limit. Without those steps, the debt limit would be hit on Dec. 31.
When it comes to the nation's budget challenges, congressional leaders are fond of saying dismissively they don't want to kick the can down the road.
Academics and entrepreneurs nationwide have received copies of a massive database that the Minneapolis police department uses to track the location of cars. Where some see business or research opportunities, the city sees a public safety risk.
A newspaper's publication of the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in two New York counties has sparked online discussions — and a healthy dose of outrage.

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