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Kev/Journalism

A few examples of my work as a journalist and news photographer.

Photo originally published July 16 in Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota. Machine operator Ningzhung B. Lee prepares to feed mail into an optical character-recognition scanning machine at the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Mail Services office. The operation is housed inside the Department of Transportation building in St. Paul, Minn. Photo: Kevin Featherly.

Photo originally published July 16 in Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota. Machine operator Ningzhung B. Lee prepares to feed mail into an optical character-recognition scanning machine at the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Mail Services office. The operation is housed inside the Department of Transportation building in St. Paul, Minn. Photo: Kevin Featherly.

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From the 2008 Republican National Convention to August 2014, I was a political correspondent for Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota.com, an association that unfortunately came to an end due to freelance budget cuts. My final feature was a profile on Minnesota DFL Party Chair Ken Martin. As I had in recent months, I also did the photography for this piece.

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Mark Siegel, state planning director for the Department of Human Services' health care reform implementation team, is one of Minnesota's key behind-the-scenes players in the rollout of Obamacare. He has also overcome a body that will not cooperate with his mind to become a hipster, writer and logician who runs one of the most in-demand book clubs in the Twin Cities. A remarkable man. Photo by Kevin Featherly.

Mark Siegel, state planning director for the Department of Human Services’ health care reform implementation team, is one of Minnesota’s key behind-the-scenes players in the rollout of Obamacare. He has also overcome a body that will not cooperate with his mind to become a hipster, writer and logician who runs one of the most in-demand book clubs in the Twin Cities. A remarkable man. Photo by Kevin Featherly.

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You’ve got to admit it. There is something about the combination of a night sky, an urban landscape, police in gas masks and riot gear, shouting protesters, and tear gas that will give even the most willfully rational being a case of the willies. — Kevin Featherly, “Amid the Chaos, An Oasis of Artful Calm,” Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota, Sept. 3, 2008

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Mark Ritchie, Minnesota's Secretary of State, works at a stand-up desk terminal in his office in St. Paul. This photo was taken during what is my second-to-last reporting assignment as a correspondent at Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota, where I have been a contributor since 2008. Is that a hint that I'm looking for something new to do? Indeed it is. Photo: Kevin Featherly

Mark Ritchie, Minnesota’s Secretary of State, works at a stand-up desk terminal in his office in St. Paul. This photo was taken during what is my second-to-last reporting assignment as a correspondent at Capitol Report and Politics in Minnesota, where I have been a contributor since 2008. Is that a hint that I’m looking for something new to do? Indeed it is. Photo: Kevin Featherly

Another recent story is a profile on Minnesota Rep. Kelby Woodard, who is leaving office to start a new school for impoverished Catholic kids in Texas. A really good guy, Kelby.

This one goes back to March, which I profiled former Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum. Steve and I go back to his days as a high school basketball referee, when his district included part of Waseca County, where I was then stationed as local political reporter. This story aimed at getting Capitol Report’s audience of politicians, staffers, administrators and lobbyists up to speed on what Steve has been doing as a U of M instructor.

It’s not often that you get to interview a devoted socialist, but I got that chance when I interviewed David Riehle, a former railroad man and expert amateur labor historian who contributed to a documentary on the 1902 construction of Minnesota’s Capitol. The story, Ex-railroad Man Riehle Digs Deep to Preserve Minnesota’s Labor History, appeared in Capitol Report in 2012.

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Delta Sky has been a great client over the years. Here is a May 2014 “In-Depth” package, “The Online MBA Comes Of Age.”

This July 2014 package, also published in Delta Sky, covered some exciting–indeed in some cases mind-bending–new technologies that are on the cusp of deployment in the heart health space: “A Change of Heart.”

Here is another from 2011, on the topic of online learning, carrying the title The New Classroom?

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It’s not known what precipitated the incident between the two men at the memory loss unit of the Friendship Village retirement community. But according to [Helmut] Gutmann’s widow, Betty Gutmann, [Verne] Gagne picked up the diminutive and frail man and hurled him violently to the floor, breaking his hip.— Kevin Featherly, “Legendary Wrestler Verne Gagne and a Tragic Tale,” Minnpost.com, Feb. 18, 2009

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The biggest breaking news story of my career is probably Legendary Wrestler Verne Gagne and a Tragic Tale, published by MinnPost.com in 2009. This immensely sad story, quickly was picked up nationally and internationally.

A follow-up piece was published by MinnPost two days later, Verne Gagne and Aging Pro Athletes: Studies Focus on Brain Damage. It examined what has since become a widely reported theme–the connection between head trauma sustained by elite athletes and deadly Alzheimer’s-like brain diseases that often appear later in life.

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“A course correction is needed, and Americans know it.” So begins the forward to a 2008 election law edition of William Mitchell Law Review. I collaborated on that piece with my friend, the former U.S. Congressman Tim Penny.

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Former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch is interviewed at her business, the Maple Lake Bowl, during an interview with Capitol Report. After enduring one of the most humiliating personal scandals in Minnesota politics history, Sen. Koch has bounced back and landed on her feet, recently completing her MBA degree. Photo by Kevin Featherly.

Former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch is interviewed at her business, the Maple Lake bowl, during an interview with Capitol Report. After enduring one of the most humiliating personal scandals in Minnesota politics history, Sen. Koch has bounced back and landed on her feet, recently completing her MBA degree. Photo by Kevin Featherly.

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This 2005 Minnesota Monthly piece profiles Peter Hutchinson, the man who would’a-been governor—had enough people in 2006 been interested in casting a third-party vote. They weren’t. He wasn’t. But Peter is a good man who ran an honorable campaign, as this piece, “The People’s Wonk,” indicates.

Here a piece from 2010, also for the Capitol Report newspaper. It’s a profile on retiring St. Paul NAACP President Nathaniel Khaliq.

I was gratified that I got to know Adam Levy and his Honeydogs bandmates after trailing them around for a few weeks, after which the March 2006 edition of Minnesota Monthly published Honeydogs’ Life.

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At that very moment, [Vice President Hubert] Humphrey’s nomination got under way at the Chicago amphitheater. [U.S. Sen. Eugene] McCarthy watched from a suite on the 23rd floor overlooking Grant Park as a violent clash unfolded–protesters on one side, police and National Guardsmen on the other. Authorities executed a precise pincer movement, reminding the professorial McCarthy of the ancient Battle of Cannae between Hannibal and the Romans. “A battle of purgatory,” he murmured as he turned away in disgust. — Kevin Featherly, “A Battle of Purgatory,” Minnesota Law and Politics, October/November 2008

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MayorDaleyHere’s an oldie but a goodie, written to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention—a pivotal moment in national and Minnesota political history. Read “The Battle of Purgatory,” originally published in Minnesota Law & Politics.

Here’s an op-ed written with my friend Tim Penny, the former Congressman and current CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Fund. It was published in the StarTribune and titled, “Don’t Stop Treating Third Parties Fairly.”

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Right now, let’s invest several seconds in making a few assumptions about you, the reader. First, if you are scanning this article, chances are you are part of a small, politically fixated, fetchingly well-off demographic. And, second, you probably know well enough about the Wurzer-Eskola team on “Almanac,” perhaps the most successful local public-policy program in PBS history. So, let’s skip those points and jump to assumption No. 3: You are among either the estimated 50 percent of the “Almanac” audience that knows or the half that Cathy Wurzer insists does not know that she is married to her co-host. And since they are wed, it’s no breach of the couple’s hermetically sealed sense of journalism ethics to discuss their relationship, at least in the context of the show and their journalism careers. — Kevin Featherly, “The Odd Couple,” Minnesota Law and Politics, January 2003

 

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Author, activist, gadfly and hero to thinking people from coast to coast, St. Paul Poet Laureate Carol Connolly is pictured at Subtext: A Bookstore, Oct. 19, 2012, during a private conversation with Kevin Featherly. Photo: Kevin Featherly.

Author, activist, gadfly and hero to thinking people from coast to coast, St. Paul Poet Laureate Carol Connolly is pictured at Subtext: A Bookstore, Oct. 19, 2012, during a private conversation with Kevin Featherly. Photo: Kevin Featherly.

4 Comments

  1. Brendan Henehan 04/16/2013 at 2:44 pm

    Hey… fun talking to you today Kevin. Here’s a link to the Michigan Black Newspaper Index I was telling you about: http://collections.mnhs.org/duluthlynchings/html/blacknewspaperindex.pdf

  2. Brigette Dooley 08/28/2017 at 5:24 pm

    I have searched for this story online and it’s no where to be found. When I Google it just this blog comes up but the link contained here doesn’t work and both publications mentioned here (citypages.com, Q monthly) don’t contain the story.. is there another place to find it?

    • Your message was the first indication I had that it is no longer online. I’ll have to see if I can find the hard copy and post a PDF. But you might also contact the folks at City Pages directly and see if they can get it to you from their Q Monthly archives. They control those archives now, far as I know. Thanks for checking in.

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