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Curious Minnesota
April 5
People walk across the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park.

Listen: Does the Mississippi River really begin at Lake Itasca?

Host Eric Roper digs into the science and history behind the Mighty Mississippi's headwaters.
Curious Minnesota
April 2
A double-decker streetcar operates in Excelsior in the early 1900s. These special cars were only run for several years.

Where did suburban streetcar lines run and why were they removed?

The expansive Twin Cities streetcar network once reached from Lake Minnetonka to Stillwater.
Curious Minnesota
March 26
The origin countries of Minnesota’s foreign-born population has changed significantly in the last three decades.

What are the top five immigrant groups in Minnesota?

The origin countries of Minnesota's foreign-born population has changed significantly in the last three decades.
Curious Minnesota
March 19
The Minneapolis skyline was locked in an hazy shroud in February 2021, as seen from the Stone Arch Bridge.

Is Minnesota cloudier in winter, or does it just seem that way?

Just last year, Minnesota recorded its gloomiest January in 57 years, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
Curious Minnesota
March 17
Spring and fall, especially September and March, offer the best chances to see the northern lights here. 

What's the best place, time to see the northern lights in Minnesota?

Although the lights can be seen any time of year, spring and fall, especially September and March, are the best chances to see the northern lights in Minnesota.
Curious Minnesota
March 12
Despite visible slushy patches, two ice fishers took to Lake Hiawatha on Saturday, with temperatures in the 50s and open water across the lake.

How safe is it, really, to walk on Minnesota's iced-over lakes?

"The standard answer is, really, ice is never 100% safe," said a DNR recreation safety coordinator. And early- and late-season ice is the most unpredictable.
Curious Minnesota
March 8
Listen: Why did Minneapolis tear down its biggest train station?

Listen: Why did Minneapolis tear down its biggest train station?

Minneapolis' two primary train stations met very different fates in the 1970s.
Curious Minnesota
March 5
Minneapolis’ brand new Great Northern Depot in 1914, the year it opened.

Why did Minneapolis tear down its biggest train station?

Minneapolis' two train stations met very different fates in the 1970s.
Curious Minnesota
February 26
Because of Minnesota’s harsh climate, MSP is one of the busiest airports in the country for de-icing operations.

What happens to the de-icing fluid sprayed on planes at MSP airport?

Due to our cold winters, MSP is one of the busiest airports in the country for de-icing operations. Delta uses more than 1 million gallons of fluid each season.
Curious Minnesota
February 19
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell says he wants candidates who go into policing for the “right reason.”

What does it take to become a police officer in Minnesota?

In light of recent issues with police officer conduct, one reader wanted to know what kind of training law enforcement officers get in the state.
Curious Minnesota
February 16
Window glass for Ford cars built in St. Paul was made from sand mined 100 feet below the plant along the Mississippi River.

Listen: How Ford made millions of windows from St. Paul sand

For part of the 20th century, Ford Motor Co. relied heavily on sand mined from beneath its plant in St. Paul to make windows for its cars.
Curious Minnesota
February 12
Gov. Rudy Perpich gathered with residents and officials during the opening of I-35E near downtown St. Paul in October 1990.

Why does I-35E through St. Paul have a 45-mph speed limit?

The lower speed limit on the "35E Parkway" stems from a battle that began decades ago.
Curious Minnesota
February 5
In the late 1800s, the population of Minneapolis was booming and city engineers sought to create alphabetical and numerical street grids that could be

How did Minneapolis end up with a street named after a Persian king?

In the late 1800s, the population of Minneapolis was booming and city engineers sought to create alphabetical and numerical street grids that could be reliably navigated.
Curious Minnesota
January 29
The collision of cold air and heat from car exhaust and steam from buildings is visible in Minneapolis.

Should you let your car run in the cold before driving it?

A reader wonders if it's really important to let your car warm up before driving in the cold. Also: Does it matter exactly how cold it is?
Curious Minnesota
January 22
A grizzly bear roams near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Were grizzly bears ever indigenous to Minnesota?

Long before grizzlies were driven into the mountains, they thrived in the plains, with their brown fur blending in almost perfectly with tall prairie grasses,
Curious Minnesota
January 15
Ford cars built at the St. Paul plant are loaded on to river barges on the Mississippi River in 1925.

Did Ford make millions of windows from sand mined beneath its plant?

Henry Ford chose the St. Paul site carefully. Minnesota was a central location, and the plant was sitting on a mine — not of gold, but of pure, white silica sand.
Curious Minnesota
January 13
Listen: How is Mississippi River water made safe to drink?

Listen: How is Mississippi River water made safe to drink?

We visited Minneapolis' drinking water treatment facility to understand the complex process that makes river water safe to drink.
Curious Minnesota
January 8
In the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, Chief Judge John Tunheim issued an order in December that continued a suspension of federal trials until Jan.

How are courts in Minnesota coping with the pandemic?

There were only five state jury trials in December, with COVID-19 protocols in place, but plenty of court hearings are happening, mostly remotely.
Curious Minnesota
January 1
Jason Lewis spoke to the crowd at Reagan Day at the Ranch, a Republican event held annually in Taylors Falls earlier this year.

When's the last time a Minn. Republican won a majority statewide?

You have to go back a full quarter century for the answer.
Curious Minnesota
December 25, 2020
Shoppers look for Black Friday deals at the Mall of America in Bloomington in November.

Why doesn't Minnesota charge a sales tax on clothing?

Minnesota is one of just a handful of states that does not charge sales tax on clothing — a bit of tax policy that's so well known that it attracts tourists.
Curious Minnesota
December 18, 2020
The construction of Interstate 94 tore a hole through Rondo, St. Paul’s historic black neighborhood.

Why was I-94 built through St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood?

The highway connected Minneapolis and St. Paul, but its construction tore a hole through a thriving, historic Black neighborhood.
Curious Minnesota
December 12, 2020
Trees along E. 42nd Street in south Minneapolis have been trimmed severely so that they don’t interfere with power lines.

Why does Minneapolis keep planting trees under power lines?

After a few years, the trees are pruned into "ridiculous V shapes" to keep them from hitting power lines, a Curious Minnesota reader points out.
Curious Minnesota
December 7, 2020
Al Lindell, head election judge, handed an "I voted" sticker to a voter from behind a plexiglass barrier as voters gathered for the election Tuesday a

Listen: Will Minnesota join push toward a national popular vote?

Fifteen states have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, but Minnesota isn't one of them. Host Eric Roper talks to reporter Torey van Oot about why.
Curious Minnesota
December 4, 2020
Miranda Sylvander helped Jacob Leverenz get a new set of vehicle license plates and tabs at the Carver County Service Center in Chanhassen. ] GLEN STU

Why are car tabs more expensive in Minnesota?

The cost of annual motor vehicle registration varies wildly around the U.S. States use a variety of methods to calculate registration fees, including a vehicle's age, weight, value or a flat rate.
Curious Minnesota
November 27, 2020
BRIAN PETERSON ¥Êbrian.peterson@startribune.com Isle Royale National Park, 9/16/2009 ] Isle Royale is also home to the worldÕs longest conti

Why is Minnesota the only mainland state with an abundance of wolves?

In October, federal wildlife officials announced they were delisting the wolf, removing endangered species protections.