CORMORANT TOWNSHIP, Minnesota (KTRK) -- One of the country's most popular, good-natured and fluffiest politicians has died.Duke, the 13-year-old Great Pyrenees who became famous for becoming the mayor of a Minnesota town, crossed the rainbow bridge on Feb. 21. Duke was the write-in winner of the mayor's seat of Cormorant Township four times since 2014 and "retired" last year due to failing health. He was often photographed with his official mayor's hat and sash.In 2016, a year of great political divide, Duke won every vote with the exception of one vote for his "girlfriend," a dog named Lassie.Duke acted as an ambassador for the village, appearing in parades and on billboards. He was a fierce advocate for the Humane Society, a supporter and male ally to the Girl Scouts and the number one cheerleader at town-wide sporting events."Our beloved mayor Duke went to doggy heaven today. He will be greatly missed," a Facebook post on his official page read. "Thanks to all who express their … [Read more...] about Duke, beloved dog mayor of Minnesota town, has died
Minnesota town names
There’s something about celebrating Christmas in Pennsylvania that just feels right, and it seems even folks outside the Keystone State recognize this. The New York Post released a list Friday of the 10 best Christmas towns in the country, and two of them are located in Pennsylvania. Bethlehem and Strasburg, the first a city of 75,000 and the second a town of just under 3,000, both landed on the Post’s list. Pennsylvania was the only state to put two different towns on the list, and also was the only representative from the northeast states. The midwest (Minnesota, Michigan, and Indiana) had the most states on the list. Bethlehem feels almost like a shoe-in, considering its name is central to the Christmas story. Incredibly, though, Bethlehem was far from the most Christmas-themed town name on the list: North Pole, Alaska, and Santa Claus, Indiana, are both extremely on the nose. Here’s what the Post had to say about Bethlehem: "Also known as “Christmas … [Read more...] about Bethlehem and Strasburg named among best Christmas towns in U.S.
After a long career as a Navy pilot, Christian Myrah returned to his hometown of Spring Grove in 2006 to farm and raise a family with his wife, Trisha. It didn’t take him long to settle into the rhythms of this southeastern Minnesota town (his wife, who grew up in the Twin Cities, is still adjusting, he joked), though he confessed that it quickly became “a little lonely sitting on that tractor.” Myrah was plenty busy. He grew crops and raised sheep and cattle on his land; he helped his father on the nearby farm where he grew up; and he served on the school board. But he often wondered if there was something else he could do to break up the solitude of farm life. When Minnesota passed laws to help small brewers and distillers in 2011, he took notice. He didn’t actually know how to make whiskey then — much less sell it. But in one sense, he remembered thinking, distilling was an extension of farming; he could work with grains and add value to the crops he … [Read more...] about Why craft distilleries are finding a home in small-town Minnesota
Last week, MinnPost brought you a highlights reel of the most interesting local questions on ballots across Minnesota. Now that those ballots have been counted, we’re back to report the results. Minneapolis asked residents if they’d like to repeal a century-old ban on some restaurants selling hard liquor. Verdict: Passed with 72 percent of the vote. While this technically takes effect in December, the council usually only grants liquor licenses in the spring. Menahga asked if residents would like to a-) allow liquor sales on Sundays and b-) allow restaurants and hotels to serve alcohol at all. This came up when a restaurant called Wild Walleye asked the council for a license to serve alcohol — and the council couldn’t legally grant it. Verdict: Passed with 58 percent and 63 percent, respectively. Two Tracy questions dealt specifically with city government: One would require elected officials in the southwest Minnesota town to take a yearlong break … [Read more...] about Questions, answered: How voters decided on Minnesota’s most interesting ballot questions
AUSTIN, Minn. – The tall teenager with the buzz cut opened the museum door, extended a large hand and said cheerily, “Welcome to the Spam Museum.” Samuel Ehret is an official “Spambassador”at the museum, a hot spot for tourists who have a taste for the much-mocked canned meat that has been made here by Hormel Foods for 81 years. Samuel is also autistic, and he got this job because he loves all things Spam – its taste, its history, and especially the museum’s showpiece: a motorcycle that runs on bacon grease. He also landed the job because Austin is an autism-friendly town. Ten years ago, it became one of the first in the country to launch a community-wide effort both to reduce the disorder’s stigma and make local businesses aware of the special needs of autistic customers. It is also probably the only small town in America to employ a community autism resource specialist. The mission was “a grass-roots effort to improve our … [Read more...] about The Minnesota town that gave the world Spam is proud to be ‘autism-friendly’