small towns

All across our region there are hardworking community members working to revitalize downtowns and small towns. Brainerd has had some growth in recent years with a new bakery, restaurants, bars, thrift shops and after tonight's fundraiser at Rumbly Hall maybe a community movement center. 

In December we invited the community for a conversation about what makes our towns strong in northern Minnesota - Aaron and Chuck are leaders in their hometown communities who want to make these places better.  Tune in for a thought provoking night of conversation, and let us know what you think could be better about where YOU live!

photo by Reagan's Mom

Sometimes all it takes is a lemonade stand.  10 year old Bovey resident Reagan Gleason and her sister and friends decided that the Bovey city park just wasn't cutting it.  Not enough swings or monkey bars and no swing or equipement for people with disabilities.  Their efforts exceeded their goal of $300 and the movement is growing - Reagan is hoping to raise over $30,000 to make her park dream a reality.  Reagan came in to the KAXE studios with

Chuck poses the question for our podcast only edition of Dig Deep this month.  Is there something special about small towns?  Where people pull together?  Do you cross groups and have more personal connections that make us more altruistic?

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Aaron Brown

Dig Deep continues the conversation this time moving into solutions for social problems.  Students in Aaron Brown's Hibbing Community College classes have over the last 10 years always listed "there's nothing to do in this town" as one of the biggest problems.  As Aaron explains here - building a new mall or new kids museum won't change issues of poverty and substance abuse.

So what ISN'T working in small town America?  Chuck and Aaron give us their thoughts. 

In our April Dig Deep conversation, Aaron Brown talks about an assignment he gives to his students at Hibbing Community College.   Identify what you think is one of the biggest social problems, and ways to solve it.  Over the last 10 years there's a similar answer.  "there's nothing to do in small towns!"  Aaron and Chuck break it down.

Crow Wing County Historical Society

Our liberal commentator Aaron Brown from Minnesota Brown and our conservative commentator from Strong Towns Chuck Marohn wax nostalgic on department stores of their youth and then move into the impact of the closings of Herbergers Stores across the region. 

In our next segment we'll talk about the effects on workers. 

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stock photo

*Dig Deep – Where Is the White Knight in our Small Towns of Minnesota? Pt. 1

Heidi:  You're listening to Dig Deep on Northern Community Radio it's where we pair conservative commentator Chuck Marohn with our liberal commentator Aaron Brown. Thanks for being back you guys. I'm Heidi Holtan.