Staff Directory 558007041

Brooks Johnson

Reporter | Duluth/Superior
Phone: 612-673-4229

Brooks Johnson writes about the Duluth/Superior region. He joined the Star Tribune in 2019.


Raised in Fargo and educated at the University of Montana, Johnson worked at newspapers in Idaho and Washington state before heading to the Duluth News Tribune in 2016. He lives in Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood with his wife and son and can often be found hiking, running, reading or doing other Duluthy things.
Recent content from Brooks Johnson
Former UMD women basketball coach Annette Wiles, softball coach Jen Banford, and hockey coach Shannon Miller are appealing dismissal of a federal laws

Former UMD coaches appeal dismissal of federal discrimination case

The former coaches claimed discrimination because of sexual orientation.
Sophomores on the Esko High School football team linked arms and bowed their heads in a moment of silence to honor Jackson Pfister, who was also a sop

'Jackson would be proud.' Esko honors teammate who died with win

Jackson Pfister's classmates waved flags and painted their faces with his No. 15, wore shirts with his name and set up a memorial to their teammate who died after collapsing during last week's game.
Construction continues on East Superior Street in downtown Duluth on Tuesday. The project is pushing past its original deadline, the end of October, i

Construction on Duluth's Superior Street delayed by rain, unexpected finds

Among the discoveries frustrating construction crews: fuel tanks well below the surface.
Advertisements for the Catalyst Film Festival were plastered on the outside of the NorShore Theatre in downtown Duluth last week.

Catalyst television and film festival already planning its sequel in Duluth

Organizers declared year one a success.
Wisconsin regulators will hold public hearings in Superior Oct. 28 and 29 over a proposed $700 million natural gas plant.

Superior City Council signals support of $700 million natural gas plant

Regulators to hold hearings this month on largest private investment in city's history.
From left, drummers Troy Howes, Greywind Boshey and Dakota Oothoudt prepare for a round dance at the first official Indigenous Peoples Day celebration

Goodbye Columbus: Superior celebrates first Indigenous Peoples Day

Wisconsin, Minnesota among several states that now recognize the holiday.
FILE-A Costco Wholesale store in Tennessee. The warehouse retailer is planning its first Duluth location.

Warehouse retailer Costco makes plans for first store in Duluth

The chain is looking at a property near Duluth International Airport.
Advertisements for the Catalyst Content Festival plastered on the outside of the Zeitgeist in downtown Duluth. The five-day independent TV and film fe

Making deals and making friends at Catalyst festival in Duluth

Local, not-so-local talent show their stuff during Catalyst Content event.
Craig Vanneste, with Advantage Emblem and Screen Printing, placed advertisements for the Catalyst Content Festival in downtown Duluth on Tuesday. The

Sundance? Portlandia? Indie TV festival lands in Duluth with high goals

The Catalyst Content Festival makes its Duluth debut Wednesday, and organizers expect nearly a thousand creative types will mingle through the weekend, connecting projects with producers and the entertainment industry with the region.
Northeastern Minnesota’s first breast milk donor depot opened at Essentia Health Tuesday. In this 2014 photo, Ariel Landsberger, who started an Inst

Got milk? Duluth breast milk donor depot opens

It's the first collection site in the region.
Former UMD women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller and the university have reached a settlement in her discrimination lawsuit against the school.

UMD, former women's hockey coach reach settlement

Shannon Miller and the former women's basketball coach and former softball coach at UMD sued the university in federal court in 2015 alleging gender and sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation.
FILE - Former UMD women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles, softball coach Jen Banford, and hockey coach Shannon Miller announce a lawsuit against the

Former UMD coaches bring discrimination suit to state high court

3 women allege gender, sexual orientation bias.
Timothy J. Nelson Credit: Facebook

One suspect's girlfriend now charged in Duluth man's shooting death

Prosecutors say she lied about another suspect's whereabouts.
A MnDOT road camera shows the state’s first snow accumulation of the season near Ash Lake or 14 miles north of Orr, Minn.

It's here! First snow of the season dusts parts of northern Minnesota

More rain could be on the way Friday night into Saturday.
The owner of Monaco Air, pictured here at the Duluth International Airport, has asked the city for help with a $4 million hangar he said could draw ec

Pie in the sky? Duluth company pitches new $4 million airport hangar

Monaco Air wants the city to help pay for the project.
Matthew James Amiot

Man who pleaded guilty to starting Duluth synagogue fire back in jail

Matthew James Amiot was booked into the Douglas County Jail Monday night.
A device that appeared to be a homemade bomb closed a major road outside the Superior Fire Department for much of the day Tuesday. No injuries were re

For Superior bomb scare Tuesday, help was four hours away

No one was injured and the device was removed safely.
Former University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller has accepted a reduced monetary award in her federal discrimination lawsui

Former UMD women's hockey coach accepts reduced award

Including legal fees, damages and pay and benefits, Miller is set to receive more than $4.3 million.
A Sheriff’s vehicle passed through high water in a section of County Highway K in South Range, WI. The road was washed out and eventually closed off

Heavy rain a '200-year event' in NE Minnesota, NW Wisconsin

Three to five inches fell in six hours Monday.
Christopher Boder (left) and James Peterson are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the killing of Duluth resident Tim Nelson.

Two charged in weekend fatal shooting of Duluth man

Charges outline a drug deal that turned to robbery and then retaliation.
FILE-Atlantic salmon raised at AquaBounty Farms Indiana, a commercial fish farm in Albany, Ind., on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. A new study led by resear

Do people want oysters from Minnesota? Duluth group to lead study on Great Lakes aquaculture

New research led by the Duluth-based Minnesota Sea Grant is looking to answer that question and study whether sustainable aquaculture is feasible in the Great Lakes region.
The UMD women’s tennis team held practice on the historic natural clay court above Lake Superior at the Glensheen mansion in Duluth on Wednesday.

Clay for a day: UMD tennis gets rare shot at Glensheen's natural clay court

The Duluth mansion's natural clay court is one of two left in the state.
FILE- Firefighters work the scene of an fire that engulfed and destroyed a synagogue in downtown Duluth, Minn., Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.

Homeless man pleads guilty to starting Duluth synagogue fire

Matthew Amiot will likely be spared more jail time.
Bradley Gangstad, left, a mechanic at AAR Corp., and Kieran Cummings worked to attach a dome protecting radar equipment on top of a commercial airplan

The sky's the limit for aircraft mechanics as industry booms

A nationwide shortage of aircraft mechanics is causing employers to get creative and programs like the one at Lake Superior College to swell.
Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson visited Duluth on Monday for a news conference chiding what he sees as a lack of transparency in the contentious Po

Former Gov. Arne Carlson blasts PolyMet process in Duluth

The Republican governor says public hearings are needed on the proposed copper mine.
A thick fog covered the Duluth Harbor North Pier Light on Monday afternoon. Duluth is among the cloudiest and grayest cities in the country and a thic

Duluth's a cloudy place, though it's far from the grayest city

Autumn gets especially gray as cool marine air fights off dwindling sunshine, trapping clouds along the lake.
Former president of the synagogue's board, Rabbi Phillip Sher spoke on behalf of the Adas Israel congregation at the press conference on Sunday.

Homeless man charged in Duluth synagogue fire

Homeless Duluth man not charged with arson but with felony negligence.
FILE - Early voting begin in Duluth Friday for citywide elections.

Early voting opens Friday in Duluth mayor, council, school races

Will absentee ballot trend hit off-year election?
The Minnesota Nurses Association has set a deadline of 7 a.m. Oct. 3 to reach a deal with St. Luke's management or nurses will begin an unfair labor p

Nurses at St. Luke's in Duluth set date to strike

Strike authorization vote came last week after contract talks broke down.
Duluth Chief of Police Mike Tusken spoke to members of the press in Duluth City Hall on Sunday. He discussed the arrest of a suspect and the details r

Duluth officials don't believe synagogue fire was a hate crime

No accelerants found in Duluth synagogue blaze; suspect is ID'd.
Little remained of Duluth's Adas Israel Congregation after it was gutted by fire early Monday morning.

Suspect is under arrest in fire at historic Duluth synagogue

A 36-year-old Duluth man was booked into the St. Louis County jail on suspicion of felony arson on Friday afternoon.

St. Luke's nurses in Duluth vote to authorize strike

Negotiations began in May but have reached an impasse.
Wayne Brandt, who advocated for Minnesota’s forest products industry for decades, died Thursday in Duluth.

Minnesota forestry advocate Wayne Brandt dies

He was remembered as a coalition builder.
An overnight fire engulfed and destroyed a synagogue in downtown Duluth and continued to burn many hours later Monday morning.

Overnight fire destroys synagogue in downtown Duluth

Firefighters were called to the blaze about 2:20 a.m. at the Adas Israel Synagogue. Fire investigators have yet to give a preliminary indication of how the fire began.
FILE - Former UMD women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller.

Judge slashes award in UMD hockey coach's discrimination lawsuit

He backs hockey coach's claims of discrimination, but calls damages excessive.
Former Denfeld High School Principal Tonya Sconiers at a news conference Monday in Duluth regarding her federal lawsuit against the district alleging

Duluth's only black principal sues district for discrimination

"It saddens me that the District attempted to silence me by threatening me, then suspending me, and now firing me."
Duluth actor Jody Kujawa plays the poop fairy in a video released Friday reminding pet owners like the one played by Jenna Kelly to pick up after thei

New campaign to prevent Lake Superior's 'death by a thousand poops'

Lake Superior water quality is tied to what's left on trails and sidewalks.
Ian Johnson is Duluth’s code compliance officer, charged with implementing and enforcing the earned sick and safe time ordinance that takes effect J

Meet the enforcer of Duluth's new sick leave ordinance

City, businesses prepare for the controversial ordinance.
Duluth’s Lake Superior Zoo is opening a preschool next fall in this 1930s-era pavillion near the lion exhibit. Interest is high amid the child care

Lake Superior Zoo preschool chips away at child care shortage

In northeastern Minnesota, there's demand for more than 4,000 child care slots.
FILE- Former UMD women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles, softball coach Jen Banford, and hockey coach Shannon Miller at a press conference when they

Appeals court tosses discrimination lawsuit from three former UMD coaches

A state appeals court shot down a discrimination lawsuit from three former coaches at the University of Minnesota Duluth, though it does not affect the $4.2 million a federal court previously awarded to former women's hockey coach Shannon Miller.
The Duluth Public Library on Tuesday eliminated late fees, returning access to hundreds of residents whose overdue charges blocked the use of their li

In effort to boost use, Duluth Public Library eliminates late fees

With the move, Duluth joins cities like St. Paul, Hibbing and Grand Marais.
Work continued on the St. Luke’s parking ramp in Duluth. The health system has earmarked $249 million in spending.

Defining Duluth's vision for the medical district

As hospital towers rise, the fortunes of a neighborhood could, too.
Duluth's Essentia expansion, including new hospital bed tower, will begin next month

Duluth's Essentia expansion, including new hospital bed tower, will begin next month

And with St. Luke's investments, more than $1B will pour into medical district.
Work continues on East Superior Street in downtown Duluth Tuesday morning outside the HART District parking ramp.

Superior Street construction in Duluth is cruising, but barrier to downtown looms

Year three could be the toughest yet.

Lake Superior lock closure for emergency repairs highlights need for another

Temporary closure highlights expedited need for a replacement.
University of Minnesota Duluth student body president Neal Bhakta has mental health and sustainability at the top of his list of student issues he’s

Mental health, sustainability at top of agenda for UMD student body president

"We don't want students to come here and stay on campus at all times."
Duluth officials are warning people not to swim at Park Point Beach due to dangerous rip currents.

Don't swim in Lake Superior, Duluth officials warn

The risk of rip currents means folks should "stay out of the water" until at least Saturday morning.
Parents and students navigate campus as cars filled with the same line up for blocks on St. Marie Street during move-in day at UMD on Thursday.

UMD students back on campus

Nearly 11,000 students prepare for classes starting Monday.
Superior became the eighth Wisconsin city to ban gay conversion therapy on Tuesday.

Superior, Wis., passes gay 'conversion therapy' ban

The city joins seven others in Wisconsin banning the practice.