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MPR News with Angela Davis
Minnesota Public Radio
Conversations about life in Minnesota and how the state is changing, weekdays from MPR News.
17 hours ago
Staycations in Minnesota
Everyone needs a break from their routines and daily stress. But for many people, a big summer vacation away isn’t affordable or even desirable. The idea of a “staycation” became popular during the Great Recession of 2008. It returned during the COVID pandemic as people reluctant or unable to travel rediscovered their neighborhoods and nearby tourist attractions. As we head into summer, inflation and lingering COVID concerns are making nearby vacations appealing again. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two travel writers about finding Minnesota’s hidden vacation spots and low-cost ways to find rest and renewal close to home. Guests: * Lisa Meyers McClintick is a travel writer and photographer based in St. Cloud and author of the guidebook “Day Trips from the Twin Cities.” * Lizanne Dooner is a travel writer and blogger and creator of the blog Lizanne Lately.
1 day ago
Gary Hines looks back at five decades with Sounds of Blackness
It’s not an exaggeration to call Minneapolis musician Gary Hines legendary. Hines is the music director and producer for the three-time Grammy Award-winning musical group Sounds of Blackness. He has been a fixture in the Twin Cities music scene for more than 50 years. He’s performed with Sounds of Blackness in cities across the world. He’s worked with artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Dolly Parton. And he teaches across the country and internationally about the history, impact and evolution of African-American music and culture. MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with Hines about his career, Sounds of Blackness and what he is working on now. Guest: * Gary Hines is the music director and producer of the Grammy Award-Winning Sounds of Blackness. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
2 days ago
Skin care and skin protection in summer
Summertime means sunshine. But all that sun isn’t necessarily good for our skin. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and case rates are rising. The American Cancer Society estimates that almost 100,000 new melanoma cases, the most serious and third most common type of skin cancer, will be diagnosed this year. Minnesota has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the country. But skin cancer is usually preventable. Protecting skin from the sun and avoiding the cell damage caused by tanning and sunburn can mean a much lower risk of cancer decades later. MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with two dermatologists about skin cancer rates, who is most at risk, common ways we misuse sunscreen and how to keep your skin healthy. Guests * Dr. Ingrid Polcari is a pediatrician and dermatologist and an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School. * Dr. Dawn Davis is a pediatrician and dermatologist and a professor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
3 days ago
More women of color are starting businesses
The number of businesses started by women of color is on the rise, despite deeply entrenched barriers to success. MPR News with Angela Davis shares the stories of several women of color entrepreneurs in a special broadcast of the podcast “small change: Money Stories from the Neighborhood.” Podcast co-hosts Chris Farrell and Twila Dang talk with the founders of four Minnesota small businesses about solving problems, leaving a legacy, building wealth and the importance of their businesses to their communities. “small change” highlights smart, practical, and collaborative money skills developed by people living with lower and unstable incomes. Guests: * Sabrina Jones is the founder of SJC Body Love Products in the Twin Cities. * Esperanza Lopez and her daughter Stephanie Lopez are the founders of Spurs Bar & Grill in Willmar. * Denise Paradas, sister Tracey Dagen and daughters Dani Pieratos and Nikki Pieratos are members of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and founders of Harvest Nation in Tower. * Arielle Grant is founder of Render Free in Minneapolis Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS. Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
Jun 17, 2022
Meet the team behind The Current's Carbon Sound
Is there a song that you just love? Do you have a favorite jam? Or are you a fan of a certain genre of music and will listen to anything that falls in line with it? MPR News host Angela Davis introduced us to the team at The Current behind Carbon Sound, the new music stream available online and via mobile app dedicated to celebrating Black musical expression from hip-hop and R&B to Afrobeats, funk and electronica. Carbon Sound launched on Thursday and is a collaboration between The Current and KMOJ/The Ice. The project is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Other stations launching as part of CPB’s initiative include Radio Milwaukee and WJSU-FM in Jackson, Mississippi. Guests: * Julian Green is the content director of Carbon Sound. He previously served as program director at Radio K at the University of Minnesota and founded their online hip-hop stream The Vanguard. * Sanni Brown is the host of Carbon Sound. She also hosts The Message, The Current’s hip-hop and R&B show that airs on Wednesdays. The Message will now also be heard on Carbon Sound. She has more than 10 years of broadcast experience at stations including KMOJ-FM, KFAI-FM and 107.1 MyTalk. * Andre Griffin is the community engagement specialist for Carbon Sound. He has worked as a youth mentor at Banyan Community and as a community outreach specialist for the Pan-Afrikan Student Union at Augsburg University.
Jun 14, 2022
How have your fathers and father figures shaped you?
As Father’s Day approaches, you may be reflecting on your relationship with your father or father figure. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with a St. Paul poet and author who has written about fatherhood, and a Twin Cities performer who has served as a mentor and father figure to young artists. Guests: * Michael Kleber-Diggs is a poet, essayist and literary critic in St. Paul. He is the author of the poetry collection “Worldly Things.” * T. Mychael Rambo is an actor, vocalist, educator and community organizer based in the Twin Cities.
Jun 9, 2022
Past and current Bush fellows reflect on changes needed to foster care in Minnesota
Minnesotans who have experience with the child welfare system understand the unique challenges children and families face. They also know that the system designed to help isn’t perfect. Take foster care. While it sometimes leads to better outcomes for at-risk children, we also know it has a disproportionate impact on some communities. Native American children, Black children and multi-racial children in Minnesota were significantly more likely to be in foster care than white children. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two Bush fellows who have dedicated their careers to addressing problems within Minnesota’s child welfare and foster care systems. With more than 13,000 children in Minnesota placed in foster care in 2020, these two leaders are working toward a world that no longer needs foster care. Guests: Hoang Murphy is the founder and executive director of Foster Advocates. He is a 2022 Bush Fellow. Amelia Franck Meyer is the founder and CEO of the national non-profit Alia Innovations. She is a 2015 Bush Fellow.
Jun 8, 2022
Chronic stress is burning out more parents
The pandemic stretched many parents to their limits. Two-thirds of working parents are showing signs of exhaustion and chronic stress, according to a report released in May from researchers at Ohio State University. In fact, most parents are so stressed juggling demands of work and home that they meet the criteria of burnout, a term usually reserved for people experiencing unrelenting stress in the workplace. The loss of regular schooling and support systems over the last two years took a toll. Many parents are still feeling overwhelmed and isolated. It can show up as increased irritability, emotional detachment or simply feeling like you have nothing more to give. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two mental health providers who work with parents about burnout and how to cope. Guests: * Jenny Britton is licensed independent clinical social worker and director of children and family services at Washburn Center for Children where she works with parents and caregivers. * Katie Thorsness is a perinatal psychiatrist with Hennepin Healthcare’s Mother-Baby Program and the Redleaf Center for Family Healing.
Jun 7, 2022
Talking performing arts with leaders of the Guthrie and the Ordway
After COVID-19 shuttered live performances and left theater seats empty for nearly two years, live theater returned to the Twin Cities in late 2021 and early 2022. But performing arts companies face ongoing challenges. They continue to deal with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. And many are working to address racism and discrimination in theater after the racial reckoning in 2020. MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with two leaders in Minnesota theater, Joseph Haj at the Guthrie in Minneapolis and Christopher Harrington at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul. Guests: * Joseph Haj is the artistic director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. * Christopher Harrington is the president and CEO of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul.
Jun 6, 2022
Solar power is on a roll in Minnesota
Solar power still accounts for less than 4 percent of electricity generated in Minnesota, but it’s growing fast as a way to reduce carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. Utility companies in the state are on track to get 10 percent of their electricity from this renewable source by 2030. But there are still challenges to developing solar, including connecting far-flung solar arrays to the electrical grid and tariffs that boost the cost of importing solar panels manufactured overseas. MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with two solar developers about the state of the solar industry. Plus, MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell shares the latest economic news. * In booming solar industry How to avoid ‘bad actors’ Guests: * Eric Pasi has been involved with developing solar in Minnesota for more than 15 years and is chief development officer at Impact Power Solutions, a large solar developer based in Roseville. He's also the author of "CleanWave: A Guide to Success in the Green Recovery." * Jamez Staples is founder and CEO of Renewable Energy Partners in north Minneapolis. The company develops solar projects and trains people to work in green energy jobs.
Jun 3, 2022
The wedding rebound in Minnesota
It’s turning into a boom year for weddings. Many engaged couples canceled their weddings in 2020 or simply delayed tying the knot because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they’re making plans to celebrate in 2022. Minnesota weddings took a dip in 2020, came back in 2021 and are revving up in 2022 with a predicted 33,000 weddings this year, up about 13 percent from pre-pandemic numbers, according to The Wedding Report, a trade group that gathers data by surveying couples and wedding vendors. The pandemic trends of small weddings and elopements are still popular. But big bashes are back, too. The average cost of a Minnesota wedding in 2021 was close to $25,000 and the median cost was about $15,000, according to The Wedding Report. Alyssa Lund Photography Mary Carlson, left, is a wedding planner and owner of Pure Event Planning in Duluth. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two wedding planners about how couples are celebrating their marriages. Julia Mary Photography Josey Stafford is a wedding planner and owner of Sixpence Events & Planning based in Bloomington. Guests: * Mary Carlson is a wedding planner and owner of Pure Event Planning in Duluth. Before that she worked at several venues in the Twin Cities area. * Josey Stafford is a wedding planner and owner of Sixpence Events & Planning based in Bloomington. She also hosts the podcast Under the Veil: Witty Wedding Advice. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
Jun 2, 2022
How Minnesota’s farmers handle extreme weather, inflation and supply chain woes
Heavy rain and high winds have caused trouble for many Minnesota farmers this spring. And that’s just the latest challenge. Following last year’s historic drought, farmers are now dealing with supply chain issues, rising costs, avian influenza and instability caused by international conflict. Gov. Tim Walz recently signed an agriculture omnibus bill that will fund drought relief, rural broadband and support for emerging farmers. MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with Minnesota’s agriculture commissioner and representatives from the Minnesota Farmers Union and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association about the state of farming. If you are a farmer struggling with stress or mental health concerns, you can contact the Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline at 833-600-2670 or by texting FARMSTRESS to 898211. Guests: * Thom Petersen is the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. * Anne Schwagerl is the vice president at the Minnesota Farmers Union. She owns and operates a farm in Browns Valley, Minnesota. * Mike Skaug is the president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. He owns and operates a farm in Beltrami , Minnesota. Click the audio player above to listen to their conversation. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify.
Jun 1, 2022
How to handle a third summer with COVID-19
We’re heading into a third summer with COVID-19 and a lot of people are finding it hard to assess their risk in this new stage of the pandemic. Most of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, seems to be coming out of a small surge, but cases are rising in southern Minnesota. By now, two thirds of Minnesotans have had at least two doses of a vaccine. Even more have likely had the virus. The CDC estimated in April that almost 60 percent of people had been infected. Other studies put that number higher, and it’s sure to have gone up with the recent waves of infection. But, we also know that being vaccinated or recovering from COVID-19 once doesn’t protect people from getting it again. New strains keep popping up. Wastewater samples from the Twin Cities show that people now are spreading a third version of the omicron variant that hit in January. More than ever, our individual risk of catching the virus or falling ill boils down to our individual situation. MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and infectious disease expert, Dr. Greg Poland, about the risk of variants, masking advice, when to time a booster, new vaccines coming in the fall and how to cope with a virus that isn’t going away. Below are highlights from the show that have been edited for length and clarity. Listen to the full conversation by clicking the audio player above. When you look at the most recent number of cases in Minnesota, how do you describe what they show? How are we doing? Malcolm: It's even hard to count how many waves we've had now and some of the waves really never ended before the next one kicked in. Certainly, over the last couple of months, we've seen cases going back up but at a slower rate than we did with the original omicron strain in December and January. We've watched this kind of slow build. I think thanks to vaccination and boosting and treatments, hospitalizations have not risen to the same degree. Over the last week or two weeks, we've seemed to be stabilizing a bit. What about deaths? Malcolm: We have been grateful that we haven't seen as many deaths in this most recent wave. We’ve pretty much been in the single digits. Still, we've lost over over 12,600 Minnesotans over the last two years. Even when we're having five and 10 deaths a day, that's five and 10 too many. Dr. Poland, how about you? Are you seeing reasons for us to be optimistic now or not? What do you see in how we're doing right now as a state? Poland: We seem to be divided into two categories: People who believe in science, who believe in the effectiveness of public health measures. And those that don't. Those that I would say, sort of live in a world of hesitancy, doubt and rejection of the scientific method. And so, you see nationwide, it's almost hard to say, almost unbelievable, that since COVID started, one out of every 320 Americans is now dead of COVID. Over a million people, more than we had during the 1918 influenza pandemic. So, as a health care provider you're caught in this odd world where I go into a room and especially early on people were saying, “When can I get the vaccine?” Now we'd go into a room and say, “I notice you haven't had the vaccine.” (And they say) “I don't want that. That's dangerous.” The problem we're having now is really a complex matrix of time since last booster, the development of new variants and psychological human issues. “COVID fatigue,” as it's being called, should have no rational place in deciding what do I do to protect my life and the life of my family and my community members. And yet, in Minnesota and elsewhere, the majority of people are pretending that the pandemic is over. It is not. For example, during the omicron wave we’ve just come through, we had more people die in four months than we did with six months of delta last year. That's stunning. We should have learned as a population that wearing masks indoors makes a lot of sense. Social distancing makes sense. Getting my vaccine and my booster makes sense. And yet we've got a sizable minority that doesn't believe that and don't follow those recommendations. Caller question: Some in my family are getting over their first bout of COVID, but others in the same household continue to test negative. Why? And what should we do to stay safe this summer? Malcolm: The pattern of who gets it and who doesn’t can be a mystery. One of the most important things that we can do at this point is to stay up to date with vaccines and the boosters. It's very clear now that these new variants can evade immune protection, whether that's from a prior illness or from a from a shot that has worn off. I really appreciate how Dr. Poland laid out the logic case. There’s a lot of virus out there, certainly outdoor environments are much safer. But when you're in an indoor environment around other people, you might just as well expect to that you're going to encounter folks who are infectious. So stay up to date with those boosters and wear masks indoors. Poland: One thing to remember, when we talk about evasion of immune response, it's not that there's no protection, it's that each of these new variants requires higher levels of antibody to perform an actual lower level of neutralization. So your age, your medical condition, your genetic background, the time since your last vaccine and which variant is circulating, all play a complex role in in determining this. There's no strict time limit or time interval between when you got infected and when you get your booster. In general, I'd let you recover and wait a month or so and then get the booster as recommended. What do the new variants mean for our chances of getting reinfected? Poland: Let me be clear to the point of maybe being blunt: If you're not somebody who has been immunized or who's wearing masks indoors around people who are not your family, you will get infected, and you will get infected repeatedly as new variants arise. These variants will continue to arise as long as large numbers of people are getting infected. And that will occur through both mutation and what's called recombination. That is what these RNA viruses do. I've studied them for almost 40 years. And this is playing out exactly as you would predict, given the distortion of human behavior happening in the context of a worldwide pandemic. For people who have recovered from the virus recently, how long are we protected from getting it again? Poland: I could have told you the answer to your question with omicron, which is almost certainly what you got infected with. I don't know the answer to your question in the face of BA.2.12.1. I particularly don't know what the answer to your question is should BA.4 or .5, currently ravaging South Africa, spread here. It's changing so fast that it is almost impossible to develop the scientific data fast enough. How do we time our booster shots if you’re trying to stay fully vaccinated? Poland: If you tested and it was positive, we would consider that the equivalent of a booster. Now, what's going to happen is sometime this summer, we are expecting a variant focus booster. That'll be important because for the second booster the recommendation is based on two pieces of data, both from Israel. One showing that (the variant focused booster) decreases the risk of death by about 78 percent. Now stop a moment to think about that. What that means is you reduce your risk from .1 percent to .03 percent. A measurable real difference, but a real fractional one. Why? Because you are gaining the value of the previous three doses that you got. It reduced the risk of severe or serious illness by about two-fold and moderate illness by about that same amount. But that effect only lasted four weeks, and by eight weeks was gone, highlighting the need for updated boosters, or so called variant focused boosters. Caller question: I was exposed to COVID, had a negative test, I’ve had one b…
May 31, 2022
With 40 percent of food getting wasted, what are your strategies for wasting less?
No one actually intends to waste food, and yet, it happens. Even if you’re great at meal planning and buy only the food you know you’ll need over the next several days, life sometimes gets in the way. And then fresh produce goes bad and gets thrown out. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 40 percent of food is thrown out. And our farming, grocery and restaurant industries all contribute to food waste as well. But we could do better. Wasted food could instead help feed people who are struggling financially. And if we cut down our food waste, we are helping to cut back greenhouse gas emissions. MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with expert guests about how we can prevent food waste. Guests: * Kelly Kunkel is a health and nutrition educator with the University of Minnesota Extension in Mankato. * May Klug is the garden and foodshare coordinator for North Country Food Alliance, a worker-run non-profit that works to build a more sustainable local food system in Twin Cities Metro area * Cauê Suplicy is the founder of Barnana, a snack company that focuses on reducing food waste in banana and plantain farms Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
May 30, 2022
Early Risers: Waking up to racial equity in early childhood
George Floyd’s murder was a tragedy and a wake-up call that sparked a global racial reckoning. And for more than two years, our young children have been watching it all. So how do we help them make sense of what they’re seeing and hearing? In this one-hour special from the team behind Early Risers, host Dianne Haulcy gives listeners practical tips and insights from a variety of early childhood experts about how to talk with very young children about race and racism. Editor’s Note: This is a special broadcast episode of the Early Risers podcast, which is a co-production of Minnesota Public Radio and Little Moments Count. Early Risers delivers frank facts, engaging stories and practical tips for anyone who cares about raising children with a clear-eyed understanding of cultural differences, race and implicit bias.
May 26, 2022
Breastfeeding isn’t easy. How can lactation support help?
The baby formula shortage in the United States has put many parents in dire situations. As of mid-May, an increasing number of stores reported having no formula or very low stocks. And breastfeeding is not an easy solution. Health, economic and time constraints can impact a parent’s ability to breastfeed. Breastfeeding and pumping throughout the day can be challenging for working parents. And Black, Indigenous and Hmong parents are less likely than white parents to breastfeed. MPR News host Angela Davis talks about the disparities in who breastfeeds, and how to better support parents and their babies. Guests: * Shashana Craft is a indigenous lactation consultant, certified perinatal educator and indigenous doula. * LaVonne Moore is a certified nurse midwife, women’s health care nurse practitioner and lactation consultant. She is also the founder and CEO of Chosen Vessels Midwifery Services. She has a PhD in nursing practice. * Ellen W. Demerath is a professor of epidem…
May 25, 2022
Coping with prolonged grief over George Floyd, mass shootings and the pandemic
Wednesday marks two years since George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer. His death brought anger and deep sorrow over America’s racist legacy to the forefront. Many people are grieving not only his death but also the deep wounds of racial injustice. At the same time, the pandemic has thrown us loss after loss. Loved ones have died from COVID-19. The pandemic has stolen life milestones, jobs and our sense of security. And now the month of May brings new collective grief with the deadly shooting in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York and this week’s shooting in a Texas school. Like stress, grief can accumulate, sometimes without us recognizing what we’re feeling. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two therapists about the waves of loss many people experienced over the past two years and how people can cope with prolonged grief and trauma. Guests: * Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya is a psychologist who specializes in African-American men…
May 23, 2022
The college decision and why fewer Minnesota students are enrolling
May is traditionally the month when many high school seniors make their final decisions about where they’ll go to college. But so much has changed with college: Admissions requirements have shifted, college enrollment has declined and more people are questioning the cost of college — especially if it involves years of repaying student loans. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with a school counselor and admissions director about about the state of college. Do young people view the value of a college education differently than previous generations? And why are so many colleges re-thinking how they approach admissions? Guests: * Derek Francis is the manager of counseling services at the Office of College and Career Readiness for the Minneapolis Public Schools. * Brian Jones is the Director of Admissions at Minnesota State University, Mankato and is the president-elect of the Minnesota Association for College Admission Counseling.
May 22, 2022
North Star Journey: An influential substitute, seaweed soup and land for the Leech Lake band
Each Sunday we bring you a selection of stories from the MPR News North Star Journey series about the history and culture of Minnesota communities. This week, journalist Lee Hawkins talks to the substitute teacher that was so influential in his life, MPR News reporter Hannah Yang shares memories of a special dish Korean mothers make for their daughters, and MPR News contributor Melissa Olson explores a planned land transfer from the federal government back to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. North Star Journey is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
May 20, 2022
How evangelical Christians in Minnesota are responding to calls for racial justice
Next Wednesday marks two years since George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer. Floyd’s death prompted many Minnesota institutions to pay new attention to racial disparities in Minnesota. Some Minnesota churches and Christian institutions also have been grappling with how they supported racial prejudice and inequality in the past and what they can do now to address it. MPR News host Angela Davis talks about churches and racial justice, specifically how white evangelical Christians are responding to calls for racial equity. She’s joined by two leaders in the evangelical church and MPR News education reporter Elizabeth Shockman, who is reporting on a group of Black students pushing for equity changes at the University of Northwestern, a small evangelical school in Minnesota. Guests: * The Rev. Edrin C. Williams is the lead pastor at Sanctuary Covenant Church, which was started in 2003 in north Minneapolis as an intentionally multicultural c…
May 19, 2022
At Walker West Music Academy, music education is a tool for growth
Music can be a source of healing, catharsis and inspiration. And it can also be used as a tool for learning, growth and building community. That’s part of the vision behind Walker West Music Academy, a St. Paul music school founded in 1988 by musicians Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West. The school provides affordable music education to children and young adults, and it is believed to be the oldest community music school founded by Black musicians in the U.S. Now, the academy’s executive director Braxton Haulcy is leading the school through a new transition: He is leading a campaign and he is working on plans for the academy to move to a new building. MPR News host Angela Davis sits down with Haulcy to talk about music education, and the history and future of Walker West. Guest: Braxton Haulcy is the executive director of Walker West Music Academy in St. Paul.
May 18, 2022
Youth mental health is in a state of emergency. How is Minnesota responding?
In 2021, leading medical groups and the U.S. Surgeon General declared youth mental health a national emergency, citing increased rates of depression, hopelessness and thoughts of suicide. The percentage of teens reporting “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” jumped from 26 percent to 37 percent between 2009 and 2019. In 2021, it was 44 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Tuesday, American Public Media’s Call to Mind initiative explored the mental health experiences of young people across the nation. And it took a close look at schools’ role on the frontlines of the youth mental health crisis. On Wednesday, MPR News host Angela Davis continued the conversation. She talked with three guests about how the mental health crisis is affecting Minnesota youth and schools. Guests: * Daniel Knewitz is the legislative chair of the Minnesota School Psychologists Association and a licensed school psychologist. * Sandy Lewandowski i…
May 16, 2022
How the labor shortage is affecting seasonal work and teen summer jobs
Minnesota sees a big jump in employment when the weather warms. Seasonal businesses are hiring workers now to do everything from scooping ice cream to paving roads, landscaping yards and waiting tables at resorts. The tight labor market means businesses are struggling to find workers. They’re also hiring people they may have overlooked before, including teenagers. More than half of teens have some sort of paid employment, more than at any point over the last decade since the Great Recession according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with a resort owner and director of a youth employment program about how the labor shortage is affecting seasonal employment and summer jobs, particularly for teens. Plus MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell shares the latest economic news. Guests: * Abbey Pieper is chief sales and marketing officer and a managing partner at Madden’s on Gull Lake, a…
May 13, 2022
Spring is here! What gardening questions do you have?
After an abnormally long, cold spring, it’s finally starting to warm up in Minnesota. That means it’s time to start working on your spring garden. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two master gardeners about their tips for what to plant this spring, how to manage your lawn and how to plant a climate-resilient garden. Guests: * Julie Weisenhorn is an extension educator and associate extension professor in the University of Minnesota’s department of horticultural science. * Catherine Grant is a horticulturalist and greenhouse manager in the Department of Biology at the University of St. Thomas.
May 12, 2022
In Focus insight on intersectionality, sustainability and BIPOC-owned businesses
Minnesota has suffered from persistent racial disparities for years. This we know. But what can be done? It’s time to bring it all into focus. In Focus is a mix of community-engaged reporting, live discussions, original digital content and more—all centered on what our communities need to thrive. MPR News host Angela Davis revisits some of the perspectives shared during three recent In Focus conversations: * Celebrating intersectional identities in Minnesota’s LGBTQ+ communities * Sustainability in Indian Country * BIPOC businesses’ inclusion in Minnesota’s economy
May 11, 2022
New to Minnesota? Here’s what you need to know
Are you new to Minnesota? You might have heard people say Minnesota is a hard place to break into, with its cold winters, hot summers and insular culture. But Minnesota can be a wonderful home for the many transplants who move here. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with Minnesota transplants about what you need to know when you are new to Minnesota, and about efforts to attract and retain people in the Twin Cities. Guests: * Em Cassel is a co-owner and editor at Racket, a Twin Cities journalism website founded by a group of former City Pages editors. Racket recently had an article about things transplants to the Twins Cities should know. * Matt Lewis is the vice president of strategic initiatives at Greater MSP. Its initiative Make It MSP works to recruit and retain people to the Minneapolis-St. Paul region.
May 10, 2022
North Star Journey elevates stories about Minnesota’s diverse communities
MPR News has a new reporting project called North Star Journey, focusing on the history and culture of Minnesota’s diverse communities. Since the project launched in March, MPR News reporters have produced a wide range of stories. Some look back at the history of communities, including Black migration to Fargo-Moorhead after the Civil War and the multi-ethnic mosaic of West Side Flats in St. Paul. Other stories explore how communities today are finding solutions to problems that disproportionately impact communities of color, including stories about boosting Somali homeownership in St. Cloud, Worthington’s fast-growing communities of color and schools in Duluth trying to bridge the city’s long east-west divide. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two editors about what led to the series, highlights from the reporting and what’s next. Guests: * Sarah Glover is managing editor of MPR News. * Brandt Williams is editor of the Race, Class & Communities team at MPR News.…
May 9, 2022
How businesses selling lipstick and empanadas found success during the pandemic
When COVID-19 hit Minnesota in March of 2020, Tameka Jones' work as a cosmetic and make-up artist disappeared overnight. So, Jones did what millions of people did during the last two years. She started her own business. Her brand Lip Esteem, sells 40 shades of lipstick, liner and gloss along with a message of inclusiveness. After success online and at farmers markets she opened a St. Paul storefront in April. The last two years were brutal for many small businesses. But it’s also been a time of record business start ups. The pandemic forced people out of jobs and caused many more to reflect on what they wanted to do with their life and work. A whopping 4.4 million people in the United States, including Jones, took a risk to chase a dream in 2020, setting a record for new business applications. The number was surpassed in 2021 with 5.4 million new business applications. It’s too soon to say how many of these young startups will succeed, but the surge in entrepreneurship is alrea…