Pressroom Podcast

Tune in every Wednesday to hear Duluth News Tribune reporters talk with local guests about art, music, shipwrecks, adventure, food and more.
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Pressroom Podcast





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Sep 19, 2018

Jake and Valerie Scott discovered the craft cider scene while living out east, and decided to bring it back to Duluth - where both graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth. 

Before venturing into the cider business, the couple always enjoyed making beer together, they even made their own beer for their wedding. 

On this week's episode, the couple share their origin story, the history behind their taproom, and most importantly what type of cider they will be making - it's nothing like that sweet, carbonated stuff you find in the store. 

Sep 12, 2018

Abigail Mlinar and Melissa LaTour, two of the people involved with creating Femn Fest, join us this week to discuss feminism - what common misconceptions people have about feminists - and what they have in store for year two of the festival.

Billed as "an unapologetically feminist festival," the two-day event is made up of female-identifying performers, presenters, and business owners. The second annual Femn Fest is Sept. 21-22 at Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth.

Sep 5, 2018

This week we have with us Alexandera Houchin who, in early July, was the female winner of the 2,745 mile Tour Divide - a bike race from Banff, Alberta, to the Mexican border.

Alexandera, a senior at the University of Minnesota Duluth, tells us about the grueling race, which she completed in 23 days and three hours, and her anti-climatic finish. 

Aug 29, 2018

It was never our guest's intention to own a pig farm, but things kept falling into place for him and his family to keep going. Matt Weik of YKer Acres joins Christa Lawler and Brooks Johnson on the podcast this week to talk about their recent move to a new farm in Carlton and how the farm-to-table business model best suits them and the Duluth restaurants they supply. 

Weik also shares some insight on life on the farm and how tough it was when one of their very first sows, Minnie, passed away last week. "My good friend and I have talked about this a lot and he says, 'If it's not hard then you shouldn't be doing it.' And I totally agree with him on that," Weik said. 

Aug 15, 2018

This week we have with us a local business owner who looked at a vacant liquor store and saw a good place to spend his retirement. Bob Dobrow of Zenith Bookstore - which sells new and used titles - has been operating the popular West Duluth shop for about a year. Dobrow, who accumulated over 15,000 books before opening the shop, tells us how the stars aligned to make his dreams of owning a bookstore a reality. He also shares what new books and events are coming up this month. 

Aug 8, 2018

Long time local DJ, perhaps the longest-running FM DJ in the city limits, Christine Dean joins Christa Lawler and Barrett Chase on the podcast this week. Dean is music director, webmaster, and host of KUMD's Music Throughout the Day and Live from Studio A, which includes interviews and in-studio sessions. 

Dean shares her favorite behind-the-scenes stories from interviewing and recording with local bands in the studio, some of which made the liner notes in Volume 1 of KUMD's Live from Studio A album. 

Aug 1, 2018

In 2015, Jared Munch spent 50 days circumnavigating Lake Superior on a stand-up paddle board. More recently, he performed the first SUP descent of the Steel River Loop in Northern Ontario.  

Jared shares what life has been like since paddling around Lake Superior, how he got interested in whitewater stand-up paddle boarding and what other adventures he has in mind. 

Jul 25, 2018

Maybe you've seen Troy Rogers pushing his music-making robots along the Lakewalk in Duluth: silver suit, gas mask, teddy bear affixed to his torso. Rogers, who performs as Robot Riskshaw, started as a composer - then he began incorporating robots into his work. 

Jul 18, 2018

Shamanic healer, writer, and friend of nature Sarah Bamford Seidelmann returns to the podcast this time to tell us about her new book "The Book of Beasties: Your A-to-Z Guide to the Illuminating Wisdom of Spirit Animals."

Sarah shares how her core beastie ("everything from a bumbled bee to a bear to a dragon") and guest beasties have helped her learn more about herself. She also walks us through an exercise to allow a beastie to come forward during the podcast. 

Jul 11, 2018

News Tribune reporter Jimmy Lovrien and his college roommate recently tackled 200 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail in 10 days. 

Why 10 days? That's all the PTO the young professionals could take off of work. 

Jimmy tells us about the grueling task of hiking from sun up to sun down, the wildlife sighting along the way, and how long it takes for a pair of socks to crust over. 

Jun 27, 2018

She's been called Duluth's favorite runner. Two-time Olympian and 1996 Duluth East graduate returned to her hometown earlier this month to run the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

She stopped by our studio a few days before the race and talked with News Tribune sports reporter Louie St. George III and features editor Beverly Godfrey about such diverse topics as body image, doping, her serious dog allergy and the fake Spotify playlist that bears her name.

Jun 20, 2018

Candace LaCosse’s journey to learn how to make handcrafted shoes and leather products took her from Duluth to South Korea to Grand Marais to the East Coast, and back to Duluth again. Today she is the owner and operator of Hemlocks Leatherworks, located in the Lincoln Park Craft District.

News Tribune reporter Christa Lawler and features editor Beverly Godfrey sat down with LaCosse to dig into that journey, and to discuss where our clothing comes from, the ethics of leatherworking and the re-emergence of handcrafted goods.


Jun 13, 2018

Grandma’s Marathon was started in 1977 by the North Shore Striders — a group known to sometimes paint their own mile markers straight onto the road. Scott Keenan was there at the beginning, when the restaurant was secured as a sponsor and the big names in a relatively young sport started spreading the word about the course that runs from near Two Harbors to Canal Park.

Keenan retired as race director five years ago, but told tales of the early days — and gave a shout out to a racer who never got her proper due — in this edition of Pressroom Podcast hosted by reporters Christa Lawler and Jon Nowacki.

Jun 6, 2018

It's been three years since former Minnesota Duluth hockey player-turned-strength and conditioning coach Julianne "Montana" Vasichek woke up in a hospital and was told she had a new liver. 

This week, Vasichek, who suffers from several health disorders, recounts the harrowing experience that she's been able to piece together from what others have told her about the days leading up to the transplant, as well as the road to recovery that she is still walking today. 

What we are into this week: the Stanley Cup, "Recovery: Addiction and its Aftermath" by Leslie Jamison, and the Calm app.

May 30, 2018

Fiddle teacher-turned NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea has ditched the looping pedal in favor of a full band for her third full-length album, which is scheduled for release later this year.

News Tribune reporters Christa Lawler and Brady Slater talked to the musician and disability advocate, a return guest, about her upcoming shows in Iceland; the importance of accessibility for performers and audience members at venues; and the friends she’s made while touring the country — a list that includes fans and The Decemberists.  

What we are into this week: Trampled By Turtles’ new album “Life is Good on the Open Road,” yoga, the Lakewalk and “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson.

May 23, 2018

Miriam Hanson's mind was blown when, as a teenager, she happened across John Bushey's radio program, "Highway 61 Revisited."

After Bushey's death earlier this year, Hanson took over as host of the long-running weekly show on KUMD 103.3 FM that focuses on Bob Dylan rarities. News Tribune reporters Christa Lawler and Brady Slater sat down with Hanson this week to talk about Dylan, his fans, the show and that time when she found out the iconic musician once lived in the Dinkytown apartment she was moving into.

What we are into this week: Zenith Bookstore, The Current's "essential songs" countdown and biking up Haines Road.

May 16, 2018

Jim Paine had been mayor of Superior for just over a year when a fire and series of explosions at the Husky Energy refinery forced the evacuation of a large portion of the city. This week, we sit down with Paine to discuss the events of that day in detail, what led to the decisions that were made, and whether or not he has any regrets about how things were handled. 

May 9, 2018

Because of our nature, we don't look up. And because of our technology, we often are looking down. However, News Tribune photo editor and amateur stargazer Bob King believes we should spend more time looking at the night sky. And this week he joins us to talk about some of the things up above us that everyone should seek out.

King's latest book, "Wonders of the Night Sky You Must See Before You Die: The Guide to Extraordinary Curiosities of Our Universe," details more than 50 such bucket-list wonders. Get a taste of them here.

May 2, 2018

This is one rowdy episode.

Musicians Tony Bennett and Mat Milinkovich of The Dames, a band that’s older than Homegrown Music Festival, join us this week to talk about the festival and the evolution of the Duluth music scene, all the while dropping truth bombs and stabs of inappropriate humor. Oh, and get this: Milinkovich has never in his life drunk a big glass of milk.

What we’re into this week: Bob Dylan’s “Time Out Of Mind” album, training for the Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon and getting back to drumming after breaking a thumb.

Tune in every week to hear News Tribune reporters Brady Slater, Christa Lawler and Tom Olsen talk about current Duluth and Northland happenings. You can email us at or follow us on Facebook. This podcast is produced by Barrett Chase.

Apr 25, 2018

It's his gain, but our loss. Beloved News Tribune outdoors reporter and columnist Sam Cook is retiring after 38 years at the DNT. 

Sam joins us this week to look back a bit at the highlights of his career, but also to look ahead at how he's going to spend his time now that he doesn't have to fill the Sunday outdoors section of our newspaper every week.


Apr 18, 2018

What exactly is “affordable” housing, and what’s wrong (and right) with the housing in Duluth?

This week Jeff Corey, executive director of One Roof Community Housing, joins us to talk about Duluth’s aging housing stock, helping the homeless population and the renovation of Gateway Tower.

Oh, and here’s something you might not know: Corey is into skiing, biking and trail running — even though he is legally blind.

What we are into this week: Streaming “Broadchurch” and “Jessica Jones,” reading “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen, the podcast “Time Crisis Countdown” and Louise Erdrich’s book, “The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse.”

Tune in every week to hear Duluth News Tribune reporters Brady Slater, Christa Lawler and Tom Olsen talk about current Duluth and Northland happenings. You can email us at, call our podcast line at (218) 382-NEWS or follow us on Facebook. This podcast is produced by Barrett Chase.

Apr 11, 2018

Amy Abts has released her first solo album after a 17-year hiatus. Why the wait? Well, the two brain surgeries for starters. The deafness, the wrist tumor. And the ongoing pain associated with with trigeminal neuralgia, also known as "the suicide disease."

But this podcast is no downer. Abts is somewhat of a comedian, as well as a visual artist, an actor and, yes, a former mime. Hear her tell her story as well as perform the title track off her new album, "Fifty-Fifty."

Apr 4, 2018

The UMD Bulldogs are once again headed to the Frozen Four. 

We sat down with senior wing and captain Karson Kuhlman of Esko and senior center Jared Thomas of Hermantown to talk about the tournament, as well as what it's like to play for the team you grew up watching.

The Frozen Four begins Thursday, April 5, 2018 in St. Paul. The Bulldogs take on Ohio State at 5 p.m.

Visit (or buy a newspaper!) to read daily Frozen Four coverage throughout the week.


Mar 28, 2018

Duluth is full of young entrepreneurs making their mark on this city. And Rachelle Rahn is no exception. 

Rahn, owner of Duluth Kombucha, started making the popular fermented tea in her kitchen when buying it in the store became too expensive. She never thought it would grow into a business with big plans for the future. 

Rahn give us a lesson on kombucha, its mother SCOBY and what it takes to be an entrepreneur in Duluth. She also shares some of her favorite (and least favorite) flavor combos. 

Mar 21, 2018

Named the Rising Star of the Year at the 2018 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Dan Hartman, director of Duluth's Glensheen Historic Estate, joins the podcast this week to talk about how he turned an old mansion along Lake Superior into a fun place where people want to hang out.

He and his team have taken Glensheen from 61,000 visitors a year to 141,000 and the mansion is now the number one visited house museum in the Midwest, beating out Chicago last year. 

Hartman shares his ideas for the future of Duluth tourism as well as a few instances where he was spooked by unexplainable happenings at the mansion. 

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