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Curious Minnesota is fueled by reader questions. But as we approach the project's fifth anniversary, I have some questions for you.

How are we doing? How should we expand Curious Minnesota? Have we overlooked any important themes or topics in our coverage? Which stories this year particularly stood out to you?

As editor of Curious Minnesota, I want our audience to have a role shaping the future of this project. Please email us at

I call it a "project" because Curious Minnesota is more than a weekly column. It is also a podcast. And we have experimented with events at the Minnesota State Fair. We have been thinking more lately about what's next. So your ideas are appreciated.

Part of what has made this project successful is the justifiable pride that people have in Minnesota. This state boasts a unique history and culture that is worth sharing and celebrating. Curious Minnesota aims to be educational, accessible and fun — something that brings people together to better understand this state.

We obviously could not make this happen without your questions, and we have received more than 700 this year alone. I review each submission, identify the best candidates and find reporters who are interested in researching the answers.

You can submit a question using the form below or at this page. If you have already sent in a question that you would like us to take another look at, send us a note at our email address above. I apologize if your question has not been answered. Unfortunately, we can only answer a small share of the questions we receive.

A year of Minnesota stories

One of my favorite elements of Curious Minnesota is that readers often point us to the missing narratives behind Minnesota topics we might otherwise take for granted.

This year, for example, our reporters investigated why Prince lived in Chanhassen, why Minneapolis and St. Paul never merged, the aftermath of the Beatles' 1965 Bloomington concert, the disappearance of the iconic Weatherball and why so many famous people are from Hibbing.

Fascinating stories also emerged from things readers encounter every day, such as "whiskey" license plates, small houses with huge front yards, municipal liquor stores, plastic bags and square-cut pizzas.

Some questions gave us an opportunity to dig into well-known Minnesota subjects, including the origins of Spam, Tonka Toys, the local Hmong community, Mayo Clinic, Isadore "Kid Cann" Blumenfeld and the state seal.

Others illuminated lesser-known tales from the state's past. Readers this year sent us down interesting paths about professional wrestling, a U.S. senator spreading Nazi propaganda, Minneapolis' battle against red squirrels, the state's fight against margarine, the destruction of a sacred Native American island, Minnesota iron ore's significance in World War II, the utopian vision for Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside area and thousands of board games buried beneath Mankato.

Whimsical questions forced us to examine the state in new ways. Young people submitted or inspired two fun questions this year about the largest machine in Minnesota and how much flour it would take to turn Lake Superior into bread.

Curious Minnesota also tackled some pressing public policy topics regarding homeless encampments and the state's rising suicide rate.

We generally have several criteria for choosing which questions to answer. Let me crib from my 2022 explanation: Is this a question about Minnesota specifically? Can this be spun into a tale that would fill an entire column? Would there be broad interest in this topic? Have we already answered this question recently in our news coverage?

Good candidates are set aside. Reporters from around our newsroom then volunteer to answer questions that pique their interest — often months in advance of publication. This voluntary process means reporters are passionate about the subjects they choose. But it also means some good questions take a while to get answered.

In the spirit of Curious Minnesota sparking community conversations, my wish for 2024 is to see more collaborative questions dreamed up by classrooms, book clubs, coworkers, families, et cetera.

Do you know someone who might enjoy Curious Minnesota? Please help us spread the word about this project. And if they prefer audio, mention our podcast. You can find Curious Minnesota wherever you get podcasts.

Thanks for another great year. Stay curious!

If you'd like to submit a Curious Minnesota question, fill out the form below:

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Read more Curious Minnesota stories:

How we choose Curious Minnesota questions submitted by readers

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From hidden gold to stadium repairs — your most popular questions of 2021