Staff Directory 10644516

Dan Browning

Reporter | General assignment
Phone: 612-673-4493
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Dan Browning has worked as a reporter and editor since 1982. He joined the Star Tribune in 1998 and now covers greater Minnesota. His expertise includes investigative reporting, public records, data analysis and legal affairs.


Browning has a master's degree in International Journalism from the University of Southern California with an emphasis on Latin American studies, a master's in Journalism from the University of Oregon with an emphasis on legal affairs, and a bachelor's in Religious Studies from California State University-Chico, with an emphasis on Buddhism. His outside interests include jujutsu and Aikido, ballroom dancing and photography.
Recent content from Dan Browning

Central Minnesota massage parlor owner, boyfriend charged with sex trafficking

Investigators say at least one worker complained she was held against her will and forced to perform sex acts.
The elevator in Ashby, Minn., (background) was allegedly swindled out of more than $5 million by its longtime manager, Jerry Hennessey.

Minnesota grain elevator manager who bilked farmers gets 8 years in prison

Jerome Hennessey stole millions from Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. to live large and pay for his hunting safaris.

Canby boy dies after being run over

Sheriff says toddler's death was an accident.

North Dakota grain trader agrees to plead guilty in $11.4 million fraud scheme

Grain salesman accused of swindling $11.4 million from farmers, brokers.
Paul Hansmeier

Minneapolis lawyer who ran porn trolling scheme gets 14 years in prison

Minneapolis lawyer Paul Hansmeier was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Lyman “Robby” Robinson resigned his job as Goodhue County Veterans Service Officer in the wake of sexual harassment complaints.

Goodhue Co. veterans services officer resigns over sexual harassment complaints

Sexual harassment allegations surface in Goodhue County.
Kim Husband is a freelance copy editor who usually enjoys working on her deck in Bloomington at this time of year. But this year, the black flies have

Biting 'buffalo gnats' drive Minnesotans indoors

Flooding delays pest control access to black fly breeding grounds, leading to possible historic wave.
Dietitian Terri Weyer showed the commercial kitchen where her small staff puts out thousands of meals to be shipped out.

Where Meals on Wheels can't go, Lutheran Social Service sends frozen meals via UPS

EAGLE BEND, Minn. – Population declines and poverty cost this tiny Todd County town its grocery store and high school years ago, but those…
Maj. Henry A. Courtney Jr. led about 25 troops up Sugar Loaf Hill and died the next day.

A heroic homecoming for Duluth WWII officer's award

Maj. Henry A. Courtney Jr.'s Medal of Honor returns to Duluth
Lois Riess

Riess charged with murdering her husband in Minn. home

The woman nicknamed Losing Streak Lois also faces a capital murder charge in Florida after a woman she allegedly befriended was found dead.
Members of anti-pipeline environmental group Honor the Earth protested outside a 2015 Minnesota Public Utilities Commission meeting, then many attende

Former employee says Honor the Earth ignored sexual harassment allegation

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights found "no probable cause."
Martha Perea was comforted by a friend while clutching a photo of her husband on the steps of the house where the couple lived. Martha Perea’s husba

Brooklyn Park man charged in death of Minneapolis motorist while fleeing police

The victim, Jose Madrid Salcido, is survived by a wife and four young children.
FILE -- Michael DeRoche held a photo of himself at the age of 9 or 10 — the age he was when he says he was abused by a priest in Proctor, Minn.

Diocese of Duluth reaches $40 million settlement with sex abuse victims

The agreement must be approved by a vote of the victims and a bankruptcy judge.
Paul Hansmeier

Victims invited to claim restitution from scorned lawyer's porn troll scheme

Millions could be due those caught in lawyers' copyright scheme.
John Borman

John Borman, self-described country lawyer who dreamed big, dies at 73

No one knew everything about John Borman, a self-described “country lawyer” from Winona whose life encompassed so many facets that not even his family and…
People walked along the Hastings riverfront to see the high water of the Mississippi River.

Storm doesn't change river flood forecasts, but Mississippi edges up

Meteorologists say major rivers will be able to absorb the extra flow.
Jake Patterson left the courtroom after he pleaded guilty during a hearing in Barron, Wis.

Jayme Closs' kidnapper refuses to cooperate in presentence investigation

The presentence report helps the judge set an appropriate sentence.

Big Lake father suspected of setting fire that killed 2 children dies

Two other children are hospitalized with injuries from the blaze.
The descendants of John Lee posing on the farm he founded in Houston County in 1869 after he immigrated from Norway. The Lee Farm was one of 47 recogn

Minnesota's 'Century Farms' total nearly 11,000

Goodhue County has the most sesquicentennial farms in Minnesota at 47.

Big Lake father suspected of setting fire that killed two children and injured two others

The father remains under guard in critical condition.

Duluth job coach charged with threatening violence, possessing machine-gun conversion kit

Searches of the defendant's car and home found a ready arsenal of firearms and machine gun conversion parts.
Water, water everywhere: (Clockwise from top left) Benches at Harriet Island Regional Park in St. Paul were partially submerged Monday afternoon as th

Record flood concerns gradually giving way in Minnesota

A slow melt has kept floodwaters at bay, and the forecast appears encouraging.
The Minnesota River on Wednesday near Belle Plaine. Moderate flooding and road closures are still expected across Minnesota, even with the gradual sno

'Perfect snowmelt' to start spring eases Minn. flood threat

Warm days, cool nights have led to a gradual snowmelt across much of Minnesota, keeping streams and rivers from a rapid rise.
Flooded fields in Omaha, Neb., March 19, 2019.

Midwest forecast for further flooding, 'cannot be complacent'

With epic floods swamping much of the Great Plains and warmer weather likely to start melting the snowpack across Minnesota and North Dakota, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney declared a state of emergency for his city in anticipation of spring flooding and is seeking 200 volunteers to begin stuffing 1 million sandbags.
Flood preparations in 2010 in the Fargo-Moorhead area included dike building and sandbagging.

After decades of spending, Minn. river cities feel ready for rising spring waters

For years, officials have invested millions of dollars, which should make this spring less daunting than the 1997 and 2009 flooding.
The Sand Creek in Jordan has flooded its banks due to a large ice jam and cut off access to the Valley Green Trailer Park. This was the view of Syndic

Spring floods certain in Minn., but historic levels unlikely

The National Weather Service says there's a one in seven chance that the Mississippi River will in St. Paul will hit its historic high-water mark.
Working from memory and armed with shovels and picks, Minneapolis park keepers Jennifer Dennis and Ryan Susag have been working to clear drains packed

Rain, snowmelt get Minnesota scrambling to fight flooding

A steady, two-day rain expected to drench the knee-deep snowpack across much of Minnesota is raising flood concerns and sending crews to work to find a place for all that water.
Flood damage seen on a family farm in Madelia last year.

Minn. officials warn state to prepare for 'flood season'

The National Weather Service is predicting an increased risk of floods due to heavy snowfall.
Lt. Gen. Thomas S. James Jr. left shook hands with 1st Lt. Andrew L. Bundermann after he received the Distinguished Service Cross, the military’s se

Army vet from Minnesota honored with military's second-highest honor

Citing extraordinary leadership and bravery under fire in Afghanistan in 2009, the Army paid tribute to a native Iron Ranger with the Distinguished Service Cross.
Jared Michael Desroches, left, and Alexander Clifford Gordon

900 pounds of pot seized in camper during traffic stop near Alexandria

Troopers estimate the seizure had a street value of $4.25 million.

Veterans groups push for a 'Bridge of Valor' in Red Wing

The Legislature would need to change state law to approve the name.
Kevin Florine, 68, is planning to hang up his trademark blue apron and sell or close the Buchanan Grocery in Red Wing this summer. He’s worked at th

Longtime Red Wing family grocers say it's checkout time

Buchanan Grocery needs a new owner or it will close by the end of July.

Burnsville coin dealer pleads guilty to fraud, counterfeiting charges

Barry Ron Skog stole more than $57,000 from customers, according to plea documents.
Residents of Broadmoor Valley mobile home park in Marshall complained about slow snow removal on its private streets.

Marshall City Council tweaks street plowing rules

The city has received complaints about unplowed private roads, but until the ordinance was modified, it lacked clear authority over those streets.
Jerry Hennessey

Former Ashby grain elevator manager pleads guilty in $5.3 million swindle

Jerry Hennessey's sentencing is set for June 13.
Pisanu "Pat" Suktipyaroge

Columbia Heights restaurateur sentenced for visa fraud, alien harboring

Federal prosecutors say he promised young men an education but demanded sex, work at his restaurant.

'Bemidji First' candidates, organizer fined over campaign violations

Judge handed out $3,000 in penalties to candidates for mayor, City Council.
Neli Petkova competed with her professional partner, Woodrow Wills, in the Snow Ball DanceSport Competition in Bloomington.

A former St. Paul dancer who rose to national acclaim is dancing her way back from tragedy

A former St. Paul ballroom star who rose to national acclaim is dancing her way back from tragedy.
Paul Hansmeier

Lawyers board files complaint against porn troll attorney Paul Hansmeier

Lawyers board seeks discipline, up to disbarment, for alleged bankruptcy fraud.
A photo from the scene following the fatal light rail crash that killed Nic Westlake in July 2017.

Family of Twin Cities dancer killed by light rail seeks to change law

After ballroom dancer Nic Westlake was killed by a light rail train, his family launched a website, nicwestlakememorial.com to gain support for safety improvements…
Steve Denzine, who has been working without pay at the Sandstone prison, played with his two children, Robbie, 3, and Stella, 6, after reading time in

Minn. workers relieved by end to shutdown, even if temporary

But many are worried that it will happen again Feb. 15.
Demolition has begun on the historic Albany Roller Mills, which was sold for redevelopment last year and is likely to become mixed-use office space.

Minnesota's historic Albany Roller Mills closing up shop

Changes in agriculture and years of wear lead to teardown.
Seth Steed Jeffs in November 2005.

Property sale near Grand Marais has ties to polygamist sect

Fundamentalist Mormon leader Seth Jeffs' company is buyer in Cook County.
Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan walked with their team to a public reception in the rotunda at the State Capitol.

Minnesota lawmakers grapple with filling funding gaps during shutdown

Walz to unveil plan today to cover services affected by federal shutdown.
U.S. Sen. Tina Smith with federal workers feeling the pain from the government shutdown.

Federal workers in Minnesota describe pain from missed paychecks

A handful of federal employees joined Sen. Tina Smith at a news conference at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched a investigation in 2016 that led to the search on Dec. 12 of a home in Oakdale.

Feds raid Oakdale couple's home and seize rhino, elephant parts

Authorities say a couple who bought the illegal contraband may have wanted them as family heirlooms.

Moody's issues an investment alert on Faribault County

Moody’s Investors Service has placed the credit rating of Faribault County as “uncertain” pending the submission of its 2017 audit. Moody’s issued a statement Wednesday…
Gary Grundy

Gary Grundy, a gifted process engineer who loved people, dies at 80

Gary Grundy lived his life quietly working in the background to ensure that others would reach their full potential.Grundy, who worked as a business consultant…
Residents of the Broadmoor Valley mobile home park have formed an association to try to get maintenance issues fixed.

Marshall mobile home residents demand improvements: 'We want our kids to be proud'

They say managers of Broadmoor Valley have responded with threats.
Eyota Mayor Tyrel Clark met Friday with Vicki Arendt, one of the owners of the market founded by her late father, to discuss finding a buyer for the b

Market in Eyota, Minn., seeks help to find a buyer

Eyota Market has languished in the founder's estate for too long
Vivian Maier’s photo, “Self-Portrait, Bedroom Mirror,” from 1965. Maier’s artistic photography was discovered only after her death in 2009, an

Mpls Photo Center settles copyright infringement suit

The estate of Vivian Maier alleged that her work had been misappropriated.

Winona postmaster relieved of duties pending investigation

Sherri Jo Genkinger, 58, was relieved of her duties on Oct. 25 while the accusation of "some stolen or missing" mail is probed.
Southwest Coaches lost two buses and its business office Tuesday in a blaze that drew on nearly every fire department in Lyon County.

Fire destroys garage, 2 buses at longtime Marshall business

Southwest Coaches Inc., which employs 70 people, operates Marshall's school buses and offers charter tours and other travel services.
Art Owen, a spiritual leader from the Prairie Island Indian Community, explaining why his nation considers He Mni Can -- the Dakota name for Barn Bluf

Art Owen, Dakota spiritual leader and Army vet, dies at 68

When Art Owen died of a heart attack on Oct. 27, he left a role as spiritual leader in the Prairie Island Indian Community that…
A bicycle designed and built by a faculty member at Minnesota State College Southeast, which hopes to keep the gears of industry churning for Gen Zers

Minnesota State College Southeast puts a new spin on ye olde engineering degree

Students can get their start by designing and building bicycles.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during an Oct. 17 news conference about 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who has been missing since her parents

Investigators regroup to review leads in Jayme Closs mystery

Investigators still lack a "theory" in murder, kidnapping case.
Dollar General is seeking to open a store in Cormorant, Minn., which the village opposes. This one is in Isle.

For tiny Cormorant Village, big-box Dollar General is not worth a penny

The Village Board unanimously opposed the chain's recent petition to the Becker County Board that would allow it to build about 20 miles southwest of Detroit Lakes.
Shelley Buck, president of the Prairie Island Indian Community, led scores of area residents up Barn Bluff, which the Mdewakanton Dakota people call H

Red Wing residents, tribal members find common ground on bluff overlooking Lake Pepin

The majestic bluff overlooking Lake Pepin bridges two cultures.
Jared Scheierl is pictured in November 2016 outside the U.S. Courthouse shortly after speaking at Danny Heinrich's sentencing.

Cold Spring sex assault victim to testify against Danny Heinrich decades after assault

Assaulted in 1989, he has sued man who killed Jacob Wetterling.
The sixth generation of the Daley family: Dustin DePestel holding his son, Jasper; Dominick DePestel, Sidney Greden and Gabe Daley. Kneeling is Dylan

Lewiston's Daley Farm expanding its dairy operation

Feedlot issues remain, but family says it needs room to grow.

Officers, suspect identified in Sauk Centre standoff and shooting

Suspect held after standoff that led to lockdown of schools, officer's injury.
Bob Ivers

Former Hopkins mayoral candidate convicted of threatening federal judge

A former Hopkins mayoral candidate with a hot temper and a penchant for making foul threats was convicted Friday of threatening to kill a federal…
Dan Barnett

Dan Barnett, Normandale educator and administrator, dies at 82

Before Dan Barnett "retired" for the fourth and final time, he made sure his work would continue even after he was buried.
The new owner of the Historic Calumet Inn in Pipestone, artist Tammy Grubbs, is working to save the 130-year-old hotel and refashion it as a destinati

Can a new owner save Pipestone's Historic Calumet Inn?

With the windows falling off, the city came close to condemning it.
I-90 near Austin reopens after flooding from heavy rain in southern Minn.

I-90 near Austin reopens after flooding from heavy rain in southern Minn.

Downpours have flooded streets in Rochester; a possible tornado was spotted near Albert Lea.
Clarkfield plans to use about $600,000 in federal grant money to fix its water tower, which freezes up in the winter.

'Dying communities' in small-town Minn. find aid from federal grants

While the grants are just part of a mix of public assistance to rural communities across the state, they offer a financial boost to those struggling to hang on to residents and hoping to attract newcomers in an era when rural populations generally are declining.
Byron Smith headed into the Morrison County Courthouse in Little Falls during his trial in April 2014.

Little Falls man guilty of killing 2 teens in home appeals conviction

Federal judge says Byron Smith's constitutional right to a public trial was denied, but rules that doing so did not violate federal law.
Paul Hansmeier

Minneapolis lawyer pleads guilty to fraud, money laundering in porn troll scheme

The charges stem from an elaborate scheme to seed the internet with porn and seek legal settlements from those who downloaded the copyrighted videos.
Aerial views of the Biesanz Stone Company's frac sand mining operation, file photo from 2016.

Appeals Court upholds Winona County ban on frac sand mining

Appeals Court endorses Winona County law.
Markus Krueger’s mock-up of a statue to Felix Battles, a former slave who enlisted in the army during the Civil War and later opened a barber shop i

Fargo-Moorhead honors former slave

Felix Battles risked everything to join the Union Army.
The National Eagle Center in Wabasha plans to use additional funding to help provide better space for the retired eagles.

Prairie Island Dakota Tribe to help raise funds for Wabasha's National Eagle Center

Proceeds from a ball next month will go toward a $750,000 off-site facility that will provide more space for the center's bald and golden eagles and its red tail hawk.
A black bear wandered by the Goodhue County Law Enforcement Center in Red Wing, Minn., on June 9.

New DNR tool shows black bears lumbering beyond their usual Minnesota range

Researchers say they've been surprised by the number of bear sightings in the Twin Cities and further south.
Kathleen Uradnik is a political science professor at St. Cloud State.

St. Cloud State professor alleges forced union representation violates her rights

Kathleen Uradnik wants a federal court to declare that forced union representation is barred by recent Supreme Court decision.
Investigators found two suicide notes under Eric Thomes' cell phone, together with an empty Mtn Dew bottle, cigarettes and nine empty beer cans.

Case files in Cold Spring officer's killing reveal suspect's distress

The suspected killer, Eric J. Thomes, killed himself after an hourslong standoff as police closed in to arrest him.
Barn Bluff has served as a kind of public bulletin board for decades in Red Wing. Now the City Council is considering cleaning up the historic site.

Red Wing to conduct public hearing to address Barn Bluff graffiti issue

The massive promontory rising 400 feet above the Mississippi River appears headed for a cleanup and a more dignified future.
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