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new Arrowhead Co-op community solar array

Community solar: What it is and how it works

Cook County's local electric co-op, Arrowhead, recently installed a community solar array, and members can subscribe to the output. We wanted to learn more, so we talked with Prof. Kathryn Milun of the Institute on the Environment and UMD, who has been studying community solar and developed a project called the Solar Commons. You can learn more about Arrowhead's local project here


Editor of Ely Timberjay explains latest news on PolyMet mine environmental impact statement

Marshall Helmberger, editor of the Ely Timberjay, has been closely following and reporting on PolyMet's proposed NorthMet mine near Hoyt Lakes. He recently learned that the lead agencies that have overseen preparation of the mine's environmental impact statement may be wrong about where potential contaminants would flow. Dick spoke with Marshall Aug. 28 to learn more. You can read more in the Timberjay

Cook County Whole Foods Co-op (photo from

Summer at the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op

Summer is here at the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op! General manager Jennifer Stoltz gave WTIP an update on Co-op happenings, including summer hours and new Board of Directors positions.

Vintage plastic case radio

Pavek Museum of Broadcasting is under-the-radar gem

The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting focuses on the history of radio and TV broadcasting, especially in Minnesota. Steve Raymer, managing director of the museum since its founding in 1988, joined Buck May 29 to talk about how the museum got started, what they collect, and their educational programs as well. Did you know that in the early 1900s, the radio station on the U of MN campus broadcasted football in Morse code? 

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Think twice before shopping..for anything..when you're hungry

We've all heard that we shouldn't shop for groceries when we're hungry because we'll buy more than we need. But now it looks like hunger might affect our purchases of non-food items, too. Dr. Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of marketing at the Carlson School of Management, has been studying this phenomenon. She talked with Ann Possis March 6 about her research and its implications for both consumers and businesses. You can learn more about behavioral science at or

Downtown Grand Marais by Tim Young

Grand Marais wins "America's Coolest Small Town" contest

Grand Marais is the winner of Budget Travel's 10th annual America's Coolest Small Town contest! Ann Possis chatted with Robert Firpo-Cappiello, editor-in-chief of the magazine, on March 6 to learn more about the contest and what it means for winning towns. 



Sawbill Outfitters owner Bill Hansen on unique work credit system that keeps both owners & employees happy

Ann & Dick chatted with Bill Hansen, owner of Sawbill Outfitters in Tofte with his wife Cindy, about their unique work credit system in which employees bid on jobs each week. Bill explained the idea behind it, how it works, and how & why it benefits both employees and the business.


MyRain, a U of MN student startup business, wins major international funding

Steele Lorenz, a 2010 graduate of the U of MN Carlson School of Management, co-founded MyRain, a business that helps small farmers in India become more profitable and use natural resources more efficiently. He talked with Dick Oct. 10 about the company's mobile irrigation system, how the business works, and what the award will enable them to do. You can learn more about MyRain here. 

Sea Grant logo

Minn. & Wisc. Sea Grant programs' award-winning research protects Duluth-Superior harbor infrastructure

Jeff Gunderson, director of Minnesota Sea Grant, spoke with Randy Eastlund Sept. 26 about work they did with  Wisconsin Sea Grant to identify and mitigate corrosion to the port of Duluth-Superior's infrastructure, thereby saving millions of dollars in future repair and replacement costs. You can learn more about the work of Sea Grant here. 


Cook County native Anna Steel explains Airbnb, a new kind of lodging service

Anna Steel is trust and safety operations manager in Europe for Airbnb, and she's based in Dublin. Airbnb is a new way for people to offer and book unique lodging accommodations all over the world. She chatted with Dick Sept. 5 about how it works, why people like it, and what her role is in the company. You can learn more about Airbnb here.