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Jill Burcum

Editorial Writer | Opinion
Phone: 612-673-7846
Burcum has been an editorial writer since March 2008, joining the Editorial Board after working in the newsroom as an editor and reporter. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial writing. "Not This Mine. Not This Location," which focused on copper mining's risk to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, was recognized in 2020. Her "Separate and Unequal" series on dilapidated Bureau of Indian Education schools was a finalist in 2015, and she also testified before Congress that same year about these schools' poor condition. Burcum graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington in 1991 and started her career as a reporter for the Rochester Post-Bulletin. She previously worked for Mayo Clinic and Ican Inc.
Recent content from Jill Burcum
People danced in the streets of New York (above) and other cities, blew horns and shouted “The war is over” by way of celebrating the armistice en

When will it be over?

Church bells won't ring out and we won't be dancing in the streets but, with vigilance, COVID-19 will someday be more manageable.
A sign outside the True Value hardware store in downtown Spring Grove reminded people to wear masks.

A COVID survivor's long, uncertain journey

It's impossible to know if we'll feel long-term effects.
You may wear your mask and social distance, but others may not extend the same courtesy.

Lessons from a COVID infection: my own

Unlike the president, we don't get helicopters and exotic experimental drugs. The reality is that it's a waiting game — if you're lucky.
Mayo's Dr. Gregory Poland gives an update on the race to a COVID-19 vaccine

Mayo's Dr. Gregory Poland gives an update on the race to a COVID-19 vaccine

A Red Cross demonstration in Washington during the influenza pandemic of 1918.

My great-grandfather wasn't hit by the first wave of the 'Spanish flu,' but the second

Memories of that pandemic and its survivors give rise to worries.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, spoke alongside state leaders

Coronavirus pandemic: What's 'normal' now? What's next? An interview with Michael Osterholm.

'I say straight-faced we will never ever go back to normal'
Jim Nobles, legislative auditor, and Carrie Meyerhoff, evaluation manager, in February 2013 after releasing a report on the use of state databases by

Minnesota's auditor has earned praise and another term

For three decades, Jim Nobles has brought accountability to state government.
Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, just before saving a damsel in distress on Friday in San Francisco.

Go, Batkid, go!

5-year-old cancer patient's big day and dream come true was fun for all.
U.S Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.

Ideology ratings: Minnesota's John Kline and Al Franken

The National Journal calculated its rankings based on roll-call votes on key issues.
Known as the flying squirel, Ellis Coleman does a flip after clinching a spot on the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team.

Olympic wrestling: Tradition and ideals take a fall

The Olympics without wrestling will sting especially hard in Minnesota.
Illustrations: America's cultures.

The United States -- a nation of nations

America's stew is more complex than you think. But somehow its people usually find common ground when it matters most.
Peruvian shamans perform a ritual against the alleged 2012 apocalyptic Mayan prediction in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. The supposed 5 a.m. Fr

Cashing in on doomsday

Many so-called end-of-the-world prophets are really all about profit.
Former Sen. Alan Simpson, 81, dances gangnam style to get his message out about the fiscal cliff.

Fiscal responsibility, gangnam style

An 81-year-old former senator has a message about the fiscal cliff for the "old coots" in Congress.
Vice President Joe Biden's talks to customers during a stop at Cruisers Diner, Sunday, in Seaman, Ohio.

Biden's awkward moment

Vice president serves up monologue fodder at biker hangout.
Health care: A prairie vision

Health care: A prairie vision

By administering Medicaid at a local level, an initiative in southwestern Minnesota hopes to save money and improve care. It could well be a pioneering model.
Jordyn Wieber in the Olympics team finals.

A gymnast's resolve

Jordyn Wieber displayed the heart of a champion.
Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Carl Hoffman

Rescue effort is a point of pride

Minnesota State Trooper Carl Hoffman did Minnesota proud this week with his quick, life-saving thinking.
Pat from Osakis, Minn. sent in a photo of this rose in her backyard garden. She said the rose was originally pink but she dug it out and it came back

In remembrance of an editor

Rochester Post-Bulletin's Greg Sellnow will be missed.
Michelle Bachmann

Key test for Bachmann: Bridge bill needs House passage

Bachmann needs to prove she's a workhorse, not a show horse. Now's her chance.
Mitt Romney

Romney falls short on Medicare reform

The GOP presidential candidate's Medicare reform plan is a miss.

Sunshine act inaction: Industry letter may clear the way

A letter sent Tuesday by medical-industry heavyweights is striking in this era of antiregulatory fervor.
President Barack Obama

Editorial: Obama deficit plan - the debate is familiar

What's needed is real tax reform. But don't expect it.
Jim Shaughnessy clears his walkway of the overnight Christmas snow at first light to prepare for the arrival of relatives at his home in Louisville, K

'Tis the season

Maybe we need an early Christmas.
Daniel Garcia, 34, cools himself with water while wearing a t-shirt on his head to protect himself from a 90-degree heat while working his landscaping

In praise of heat

It's impossible in this Amazon rainforest heat to venture outside and not feel like a soggy, oversteamed vegetable in less than a minute.
Jill Burcum

Jill Burcum: Will Wisconsin be the GOP's 'overreach' moment?

Also weighing in on Walker's behalf: Americans for Prosperity, a group with strong ties to billionaire oilman David Koch. Koch was the Libertarian Party's 1980 vice presidential candidate; his platform called for abolishing Social Security, the minimum wage and almost all federal agencies while legalizing recreational drugs, suicide and prostitution.

So far, health summit highlights differences

  Differences bridged: zero. Lines drawn in the sand: too many to count. That’s how things stand after the chaotic morning go-round at the historic…

Healthcare heavyweights call for reform

      At times, it’s felt like President Obama is the only one out there trying to resuscitate health care reform after Republican Scott…

Governor fires back at Bemidji mayor

The dispute between Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Bemidji mayor Richard Lehmann over Local Government Aid continued Friday on Pawlenty's WCCO radio show. The governor cited…

Jill Burcum: The stimulus in only 1,588 pages

The economic stimulus plan has a price tag within shouting distance of $1 trillion. So what does that mindboggling amount of money buy the nation?

A black-and-white blast from the past

Long-forgotten photos from Iowa in the early 1940s finally see the light of day.

Parasites are proof that we are never alone

Next time you count your blessings, consider the humble sewer. Without a sewage system to whisk away fecal matter, you'd be home to even more…