Recent content from Jennifer Brooks
Six months into the pandemic and six weeks out from the election, we're all adapting, especially those who count votes.
It’s been six months since Mark Graves had to tell anyone to stop running in the halls. And he cannot wait to do it…
In the summer of 2020, as Minnesota burned and its people suffered and died in a pandemic, a Twin Cities doctor turned to Minnie and Paul again as a source of unity.
More than 70,000 people donated more than $10 million to the effort to rebuild. Now what businesses really need, says the Lake Street Council, is to see people walk in.
State Fair seed art champion Jill Moe offers a beginner's guide to making your crop art masterpiece.
Missing your State Fair souvenirs? Make your own "Blue Ox, Blue Ribbon" keepsake with official Star Tribune felt ornamentalist, Jennifer Brooks.
Sometimes the smallest things help us through the hardest times. Oliver Bruce O’Brien weighed 8 pounds. He had bright button eyes, a sweet fuzzy…
For most school districts, this entire year offered two equally bad choices.
A State Fair master guides us through the sculpting process using a one-pound butter brick you can find at most grocery stores.
It has been 95 days since George Floyd died and all that's changed is that we're angrier at each other.
Government agencies, nonprofits and activists are trying — sometime collaborating, sometimes clashing — as they respond.
Every once in a while, Minnesota postal workers get a reminder that the U.S. Postal Service is still America's favorite federal agency.
One Lark staffer, a former preschool teacher, likes to compliment the masked children she meets. Maybe that's something we all need to hear.
We’ve counted almost three out of every four Minnesotans, give or take. It’s three out of four if you’re filling out the 2020 census…
Half a million Minnesotans have requested absentee ballots already. That's half a million people who won't have to wait in line on Aug. 11.
This isn’t who we are, we told ourselves when the neighbors went shopping with swastikas wrapped around their heads. Shoppers howled through their Nazi…
For everything the summer of 2020 took from us, there are people working to give us something back. Like Zoom calls with goats.
Maybe there will be protests. But it's hard to argue that this is a radical policy leap when Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana and Ohio did it first.
Murray County Central is one of the few districts willing to take a hard look at its mascot.
Farmers are hoping a trip to the market is one sweet summer treat Minnesotans can still savor.
Judeah Reynolds, age 9, is going to tell her own story. The story of what happened that day she walked to the store, and in the days that followed.
When the pandemic closed the conservatory doors, the gardeners opened a window.Through the cold, gray spring, as the virus spread and Minnesota shut down, people…
They’ll be racing again at the Elko Speedway this Fourth of July. Fast cars, fireworks, a responsibly sized crowd, and not a Confederate flag in…
They don’t have enough masks. They don’t have enough gowns. They don’t have enough help. But at Open Cities Health Center, they use what…
Josie Johnson had always felt a bit of hope. She stayed hopeful as a teenager in Texas, gathering signatures on a petition to end…
With all the heartbreak and havoc, the Sanctuary Hotel was a bright spot, an uplifting story of a community taking care of its own. And then it was gone.
They know what happened to George Floyd, as well as to too many black men and women before him.
The neighborhood’s last grocery store, encircled by National Guard troops and vehicles, was open for business. “They protect everything,” said Hamza Wadi, taking a break…
A mural of George Floyd in south Minneapolis is an act of creation in the middle of so much destruction.
Something's not right in Minnesota, land of some of the worst racial disparities in America.
For some families, a global pandemic barely registers as a traumatic event compared with everything else they've survived.
Minnesota's Catholic conference and the conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are promising every precaution. That might not be enough.
The pandemic threatens our lives and our livelihoods. But for everything the virus takes, there are people who find ways to give back.
For thousands of Minnesotans with hearing loss, the masks we've come to rely on are a barrier to communication.
A small group of students from the University of Minnesota just invented a new Class 1 medical device and got it into production. It took them two weeks.
This is the price some pay to protect the rest of us.
Among the signs: It falls to the lawmakers themselves to fill in as chaplain and open each session with a few good words in these bad times.
The 50th reunion might not happen until the 51st, but Macalester's Class of 1970 is more worried about the Class of 2020.
Rather than take medical supplies the hospitals need, the nurses hit the hardware store.
Most of us would drive by Debra Pedro's place — the Maplewood Perkins — without realizing it is hurting, too.
Across the state, they are filling the gaps with little more than 3-D printers and goodwill.
Each response is an affirmation: We're here, our children are here, we count.
Cedar Thomas is an artist, a college senior and one of millions of Minnesotans making the best of these difficult times.
The coronavirus might shut down almost everything else, but the art goes on at Interact, a visual and performing arts center for people with disabilities.
Staying happy and healthy while staying at home is the challenge now for 5 million-plus Minnesotans.
The one thing Justin Sutherland can’t do right now is his job. “All we’ve done, all our lives, is feed people,” the chef…
The middle of a public health emergency is terrible timing for a book launch. But that was just the beginning of the story.
For the next few weeks or months, keeping our distance will be the surest way to keep each other safe. The distance comes at a cost
The new year has been kinder to the Hoffman family after their dairy farm almost went out of business.
Despite practical, affordable and common-sense advice, pandemic panic has emptied store shelves across the city, state and country.
At Klobuchar headquarters in northeast Minneapolis, they were clearing out the campaign bus. Yard signs. Leaflets. “Amy for America” buttons. The candidate’s staff piled them…
On Tuesday, a year after they lost Jensen to cancer at age 29, his family, friends and fans will gather at a benefit concert to celebrate his life and continue his work.
Outside the Twin Cities, looking in, some state lawmakers don't like what they see, while the mayor of Minneapolis is a lot happier with the view.
The 34-year-old died in Cottage Grove on Feb. 11, from injuries suffered half a lifetime ago, as a schoolboy abducted and tortured during the Liberian civil war.
The city of Minneapolis has big plans for the land. But Mississippi Mushrooms wasn't part of them.
We still don't have a winner in Iowa. We still don't have an explanation.
For 40 years, El Burrito Mercado has been there for St. Paul. This week, St. Paul was there for El Burrito Mercado. “It’s a…
When the County Board met on Jan. 7, the vote was a swift, uncontested yes.
Minnesotans tell of making multiple return trips, juggling taller and taller stacks of documents, hoping each time they've hit on the correct paperwork combination.
The leadership of the Grove United Methodist Church assured people all week that nobody is setting the elderly adrift on Mississippi ice floes to make space in the pews for younger, cuter families.
Friday's start of early voting was too big an occasion for some voters to sit back and wait for Super Tuesday to come to them.
Think you don't have to beat the rush? Have you seen this state try to deal with a zipper merge?
The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority could house another veteran. Or they could house a veteran's child. They couldn't do both.
Meghan Mateuszczyk wants her lawmakers, who can't meet a 30-day deadline, to understand a real deadline.
Dennis Jensen could bring together people barely on speaking terms and hammer out an agreement that all sides liked, a former chief said.
The children will save us. They do it all the time. Kids like 8-year-old Logan Luedtke.
Archivists will probably build a mannequin especially for the suit. That's something they've done only one other time, with Prince's "Purple Rain" costume.
Eighty percent of the state's rural emergency medical services rely on volunteers, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. But it's getting harder to find volunteers to answer the call.
There was no masked predator hiding in the bushes in Eagan. No one was snapping pictures of children at the bus stop in Big…
The number of clinics is doubling, from eight to 16. Next year, the program will open to chronic pain patients for the first time.
Guns killed so many of us this year, Jennifer Brooks writes. Our neighbors keep dying, and we find ways to forget.
Scanning the former St. Andrew's Church inside and out, and gathering enough data ensured that the St. Paul landmark would live on.
This year, the community is hoping to keep their dollars closer to home.
Together, they hope to send a sweet reminder that someone in Minnesota is thinking of them.
We don't make children buy the textbook before they can read. We don't make them chip in for gas for the school bus.