Dan Kraker


Dan Kraker is a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio.

Latest Stories (17)

Low tech and high touch: Folk schools boom as people crave working with their hands

Nov 16, 2023
In an increasingly digital world, folk schools are sprouting in Minnesota and beyond, teaching traditional crafts and other lifelong skills.
Scott Uhl, a former timber framing student at North House Folk School, returned in October to help build a new welcome center for the school.
Derek Montgomery/MPR

In an ever-brighter world, tourists travel north for truly dark skies

Jan 2, 2023
As light pollution affects more of the globe, astrotourism is taking off in remote spots where skies are dark and stars shine bright.
Landscape photographer Travis Novitsky frames up a photograph of the Spirit Tree, known as "Manido Gizhigans" in Ojibwe, on Nov. 30, 2022.
Ben Hovland

A Minnesota company says its ecological logging approach is good for the forest — and the bottom line

Dec 26, 2022
With an approach that harvests trees selectively, instead of clearcutting, profits are deferred.
John Rajala (left), CEO of Rajala Companies, and retired biology professor John Pastor talk about the history of white pines in northern Minnesota in October 2022, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Farm tourism puts vacationers to work — and they love it

Sep 5, 2022
On a Minnesota egg farm, visitors embrace a more intimate agritourism experience — in which they sleep and even work on the farm.
This small outbuilding at the Locally Laid Egg Farm in Wrenshall, Minnesota, is one-third chicken coop, two-thirds vacation rental — separated only by panes of glass.
Dan Kraker

Medical respite provides a place for unhoused people to land after a hospital stay

Mar 30, 2022
A growing number of new facilities around the country are designed to give people experiencing homelessness a place to recover after they’ve been discharged from the hospital.
Kate Bradley, left, and Kelly Wallin are two live-in volunteers at the Bob Tavani House for Medical Respite in Duluth, Minnesota. Medical respite homes attempt to fill a gap in health care that people experiencing homelessness face across the country.
Dan Kraker

How much is climate a factor in where people are moving?

Jan 28, 2022
Duluth, Minnesota, is welcoming people who say they are moving away from places like California because of climate concerns.
Doug Kouma moved to Duluth, Minnesota, from Sonoma County, California, in 2019. He said Duluth may soon be known as a "climate migration hub."
Dan Kraker/MPR News

Small towns offer cash to lure telecommuters

Nov 25, 2021
Bemidji, Minnesota, population about 15,000, is offering people $2,500 to relocate to the Northwoods and bring their remote jobs with them.
Sarah Sanchez moved to Bemidji from Phoenix in January, in the middle of the pandemic. She works from home for her job as a grant writer for an Arizona nonprofit.
Dan Kraker/MPR

As mountain biking booms, so does demand for trail builders

Oct 7, 2021
High-quality trails take expertise and meticulous work. Professionally built trails can cost up to $70,000 a mile.
Adam Harju uses a 3-ton excavator to move huge rocks into place on a new mountain bike trail near Split Rock Lighthouse State Park on Aug. 9.
Dan Kraker

New wood products plant in Minnesota will create jobs, could help climate

Aug 9, 2021
The facility would have ancillary benefits for loggers and truckers, and its building materials would keep carbon locked up, expert says.
The timber industry around the town of Cohasset could see an economic boom thanks to the planned construction of a new mill.
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

As precious metals prices soar, so do catalytic converter thefts

Mar 22, 2021
There's something more valuable than gold attached to the bottom of your car — and it's sparking a crime wave across the country.
A mechanic works on replacing a truck's catalytic converter, an environmental device that contains costly elements.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images