Washington Post calls Red Lake County ‘absolute worst place to live in America’

You know what? Why don’t you just stay in D.C. then. A post by the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham makes the bold claim that, “The absolute worst place to live in America is (drumroll please) … Red Lake County, Minnesota (claim to fame: ‘It is the only landlocked county in the United States that is surrounded by just two neighboring counties,’ according to the county website).” The ratings are based on a USDA natural amenities index that considers winter weather conditions, summer conditions, topographic variety and water features. And, “… it turns out that this index correlates well with a lot of human behaviors that researchers and politicians are constantly trying to understand better. For instance, the USDA’s original report on the natural amenities index found that these measures ‘drive rural population change.’ The USDA found that rural areas with a lot of natural amenities saw the greatest population change between 1970 and 1996.”

MinnPost D.C. reporter and California native Sam Brodey noticed on Twitter that the WaPo had to make a quick fix to the story:

As to Brodey’s mystification at “Indignant Minnesota Twitter,” well, he wasn’t around here during the great grape salad debacle last year.

Guns banned at TCF again, for now. Per the AP report in the Star Tribune, “The NFL and University of Minnesota have won the latest round in a legal fight over the ability of off-duty officers to carry handguns at Minnesota Vikings games. … The state Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a ruling giving all officers the right to be armed despite objections of the league and university, where the Vikings are playing until a new stadium opens. NFL policy bans guns for all but working officers and security personnel.”

Clearly, Stillwater’s wildlife management policies bear further examination. “Stillwater’s North Hill black bear made another appearance Saturday morning,” reports Shawn Hogendorf for the Stillwater Current. “Anne Gerber snapped the photo above as the young black bear passed by her house on the North Hill, heading down Fourth Street. … It’s also been reported in the comment section of Stillwater Current’s Facebook page that ‘this bear has crossed the line!’ It was also seen in a yard on Stillwater’s South Hill.”

Bike mag Momentum has a guide to riding in these fair cities. They write, “They say you can’t win ‘em all but when it comes to cycling Minneapolis comes close. Thanks to the Twin Cities’ (Minneapolis & St. Paul) supportive infrastructure, bike-minded politicians, and outstanding network of advocacy organizations, the Cities have been blessed with over 200 miles (322 kilometers) of combined on- and off-street bikeways, making it easy to bike just about anywhere. It’s no wonder that despite scorching summers and subzero winters, thousands of locals bike the city for commuting and recreation year-round.”

In other news…

A man drowned in Minneapolis’ Lake Harriet on Sunday night. [Star Tribune]

Bizarre killing and attempted suicide in Franklin, MN. [Bemidji Pioneer]

Might be able to get a good deal on that cleaning: “Walter Palmer’s dentist office opens again” [KARE]

Al-Jazeera America takes Harley Davidson’s struggles as a metaphor for bigger problems facing Wisconsin. Mentions some guy named Walker. 

North Dakotan actor Josh Duhamel heads home to promote his state. [Bismarck Tribune]

Yesterday in History: Elvis dies. Here’s WCCO Radio’s report from 1977. [YouTube]

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Julie Barton on 08/17/2015 - 01:58 pm.

    Momentum Mag

    “Thanks to the Twin Cities’ (Minneapolis & St. Paul) supportive infrastructure, bike-minded politicians….”

    this article must have been written before St Paul’s City Counsel started denying the proposed bike plan street by street by street. Most bicycle publications have stopped talking about the “Twin Cities” and focus solely on Minneapolis, and for (very sadly) a good reason.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/17/2015 - 04:37 pm.


    Apparently, “We’re #1!!” isn’t always a good thing. Hard to believe Red Lake County is even worse than Mississippi…

    • Submitted by Brian Simon on 08/17/2015 - 05:00 pm.


      Perhaps the journos accustomed to obscene heat & humidity in the mid-Atlantic overweight the cold in their rankings.

  3. Submitted by Elsa Mack on 08/17/2015 - 06:02 pm.

    Natural beauty score

    Seems as if any temperature extremes lead to a place being downgraded. Personally I enjoy winter weather and find a snowy landscape very beautiful–certainly much more pleasant than the cold rain that many regions get. But the columnist himself speaks of this a bit.

  4. Submitted by Peder DeFor on 08/17/2015 - 09:23 pm.


    That update is the funniest thing I’ve read all day! It’s perfect in so many ways that I’m tempted to print it out and frame it for posterity.
    Oh, those poor people of Red Lake County (note capitalization!). They had no idea what today would bring to them!

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