We were onboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder for an up-close view as it broke apart ice to create navigation lanes for the opening of the maritime shipping season. We followed Rochester’s crow patrol as they defended the city from thousands of the birds. And in honor of Father’s Day, we gathered some of the funniest dads to present you with cheesy jokes only fathers could deliver.
Our favorite videos of 2019 have taken us to places we don’t often see. They have made us laugh, taught us something new or delighted us.
Thanks, snowbot! 3D printed snowblower helps clear St. Paul neighborhood
By Evan Frost
If he wanted, St. Paul resident Ryan Butler could clear his driveway from the comfort of his living room. He designed and 3D-printed a remote control snowblower.
It’s almost entirely made of plastic and powered by six 12-volt batteries. Butler can raise and lower the plow, change the direction of the chute and drive the plow over almost any winter terrain.
He’s been interested in robotics since he was a kid; now he designs and sells the plans on his website.
Want your own? You’ll have to print and assemble it yourself for now: http://spykerworkshop.com/
Crow Patrol: Murder descends upon Rochester
By Evan Frost
When murders of crows descend into the city, who are you going to call? Follow along as the heroes of Rochester's Crow Patrol defend the city from thousands of crows using lasers, starter guns and their wits.
Salon teaches natural hair care classes for multiracial families
By Christine T. Nguyen
Melissa Taylor of Beauty Lounge Minneapolis teaches classes targeted toward multiracial families and parents of transracial adoptees who want to learn how to style their children's hair. Taylor said her goal is to empower these parents with knowledge of natural hair care so they can pass that knowledge on to their kids. She also said she wants the children to see that they are beautiful the way that they are.
The yearly ritual of breaking through Lake Superior’s harbor ice
By Derek Montgomery
Every spring, an icy ritual plays out in the Duluth harbor: Coast Guard cutters break open paths through the lake ice, clearing the way for thousand-foot freighters to carry their first cargo of iron ore, coal and grain.
The origins of our favorite words: Hobbledehoy
By Jiwon Choi and Sara Porter
It’s not always possible to find the exact origin of our favorite words. History and language can get messy. But discussing their roots and forming hypotheses can be fascinating, and lots of fun! We sat down with etymologist Anatoly Liberman to help shed some light on a few of our favorite words. Here's HOBBLEDEHOY!
'Pure love on the dance floor': Meet 4 Jingle Dress Dancers
By Evan Frost
The Jingle Dress celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. Meet four Native women carrying the tradition forward.
The women and dozens of others met at the Mille Lacs Band Grand Celebration Powwow on a June night in Hinckley, Minn., to show off their work and dance.
Dad jokes that are so bad they're good
By Nancy Yang, Jiwon Choi, Evan Frost and Christine T. Nguyen
Sure, dad jokes make you cringe and roll your eyes but that's the beauty of the dad joke — they're so bad that sometimes they're actually hilarious. In honor of Father's Day, we rounded up some of the raddest dads around to tell us their cheesiest dad jokes.
Legislature Explained: How Minnesota's two-year budget is set
By Jiwon Choi and Briana Bierschbach
The governor and legislators have to set a new state budget in place every two years. And 2019 was a budgeting year. Here's how state government sets the new biennium budget.
Changing the narrative: Jae Hyun Shim, synchronized swimmer
By Iyana Esters
Jae Hyun Shim is a member of Minnesota's Subversive Sirens synchronized swim team, which promotes black liberation, equity in swimming, queer visibility and body positivity. The team won the gold medal at the Gay Games in Paris last year and, in June, performed in New York for the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics Championships.
Shim, a Korean American adoptee, identifies as queer and non-binary and prefers they/them pronouns. They spoke of how the group helped Shim feel proud of their identity and included in the sport.
During water month, MPR News brought you the voices of three competitive swimmers of color. This is a project in collaboration with the Water Main.
Peregrines make a comeback in Minnesota (and the great Go-Pro recovery)
By Derek Montgomery and Christine T. Nguyen
Watch climbers Mark Mussell and Cody Benz rappel down a cliff at Shovel Point near the nest of adult peregrine falcons in Tettegouche State Park to collect two chicks for banding. Midwest Peregrine Society staff and volunteers were banding the chicks to monitor them over time.
Be sure, as well, to watch until the end as a Go-Pro takes an unexpected dive into Lake Superior.