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
Ninety-year-old Gladys Hopkins, right, says she welcomes the development gradually remaking her beloved Mantorville, where the entire downtown was pla

DMC adds to housing crunch in southeastern Minnesota

City and county officials in the region say housing shortages already are driving up prices across the region, though no one can say how much of the increase can be traced to the Destination Medical Center spillover.
CORRECTS YEAR TO 2017 INSTEAD OF 2018 - FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2017 file photo, packages travel on a conveyor belt for sorting at the main post offic

Ex-postmaster of Winona sentenced for destroying mail, stealing from cards

Sherri Jo Genkinger blamed her crimes on job stress.
The federal lawsuit file by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe names 20 defendants, including manufacturers and distributors.

Mille Lacs Band sues drug companies over prescription opioids

The federal lawsuit likely will be consolidated with many other cases in an Ohio courtroom.
Former mayor of Tower, Minn., pleads guilty to misconduct

Former mayor of Tower, Minn., pleads guilty to misconduct

The charge resulted from efforts to remove a newspaper publisher from a public post.
Jared Michael Desroches, left, and Alexander Clifford Gordon

Montana drug couriers busted in Minnesota with 900 pounds of pot go free

Judge rules the seizure of 900 pounds of pot resulted from an unconstitutional search.
Dave and Shelly Speedling, foreground, and Pete Maringer reassemble a mold after unpacking a cement statute they poured of William R. Flores, a U.S. C

Minnesota company's statuary popping up at memorials, backyards, even undersea

Minn. couple's soldier, police, EMT figures are sold nationwide
Zumbro Falls Mayor Bruce Heitmann pointed out the erosion on a dike that protects his city of 207 residents from the Zumbro River. The city is seeking

Record rainfall causes erosion problems in Minn. river towns

Runoff from the summer's soaking has eaten away riverbanks, landscape.
Babette Joyce Gross

Babette Gross, who once met Al Capone, died at 94

Babette Joyce Gross of St. Louis Park died the way she lived, with a generally sunny disposition.Dementia began to take a toll on her nearly…
Sleepy Eye’s elders gather at Hardee’s for coffee as the town grapples with the impending loss of its 89-year-old Del Monte cannery. They remember

Cannery's closure sends shock waves through Sleepy Eye

The effects will travel wide and deep, with lost jobs, hurt businesses and a blow to the city budget. Still the southern Minnesota town is resolute.
Police and federal authorities are investigating an early morning explosion Saturday at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. No injuries w

Defendant in mosque bombing challenges hate-crime law

A federal magistrate judge managing the prosecution of a man suspected of firebombing a Bloomington mosque in 2017 is weighing a constitutional challenge to the laws under which the suspect was charged.
Richard Sennott/Star Tribune. Robbinsdale Mn. Friday 03/11/11 ] American Independent Gold & Silver Inc. is being sued

Former Minnesota coin dealer signs plea agreement in federal fraud case

Jamie Lee Smith had run two companies in Minnesota.
Heidi Fellner of Minneapolis, right, waved to passing cars as she stood with fellow protesters outside the theater last month organized by survivors o

Children's Theatre settles six sexual abuse lawsuits

Nine other cases remain unresolved against the theater. Another pending lawsuit names former CTC teacher Jason McLean but not the theater.
Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk and held a press conference with further information that Ritchie German Jr. fatally shot his 66-year-old moth

Sheriff: Wis. man who killed 4 may have sought to imitate Closs kidnapping

A motive for the shootings at two Chippewa Falls area residences remains unclear, but investigators believe Ritchie German Jr., may have been trying to kidnap a woman at one house.
Marshall Helmberger, editor and publisher of the Timberjay Newspaper serving Ely, Tower and Orr.

Ex-Tower mayor, city clerk charged with criminal misconduct over feud with newspaper owner

The charges stem from an effort to remove a muckraking journalist from a public commission.
More than 100 stairs climb the steep bluff to Chimney Rock. It’s a favorite destination for visitors to Whitewater State Park in Winona County.

Whitewater State Park celebrates its 100th year

Commemorative programs highlight the "Paradise of Minnesota."
Fairmont Square is getting new siding and windows from its new owner, Myron Olshansky of Wayzata. But it comes with a helfty price tag: rents for many

Spike in rent slams low-income residents in Fairmont, Minn.

Cost to double for many renters, who are mostly poor, disabled or elderly tenants.

Pilot dies after small aircraft crashes in northwestern Minnesota

The pilot of an ultralight aircraft was killed Thursday afternoon when it crashed at the airport in Hawley, Minn. Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting said…

Former Illinois attorney sentenced to five years in prison for porn troll scheme

John Steele ran a fraud and money laundering scheme with Minneapolis lawyer Paul Hansmeier.

Burnsville coin dealer gets prison time for sale of bogus coins

According to plea documents, Skog stole more than $57,000 from his customers and had planned to sell 275 more counterfeit coins for $235,000.

Hennepin County investigating illness reports at Lake Minnetonka's Big Island

Hennepin County epidemiologists are investigating reports that a number of people who were boating around the Big Island on Lake Minnetonka got sick over…
New London potter Bill Gossman, left, and Janet Olney pulled newly fired tiles from Gossman’s kiln. Community members painted 600 tiles.

Willmar benches draw attention to the arts

Artists young and old painted hundreds of tiles for the bench tops.

Minnesotan charged with fishing while naked

Neighbors say he marred their lake view.
A Minnesota nonprofit that helps victims of domestic violence had no duty to verify a client’s allegations against her ex-husband when it presented

Minnesota Supreme Court ruling protects nonprofits helping domestic violence victims in libel cases

Domestic violence center wasn't obligated to prove award-winner's account.
Photo courtesy of Gary Schott: Nurse Deb Schott, who died in Friday's medical helicopter crash.

Pilot, nurse killed in North Memorial helicopter crash

A third crew member is hospitalized. No patients were being transported when the helicopter crashed about 1 a.m. near the Brainerd airport. Gary Schott of Biscay, Minn., confirmed that his wife, Deb Schott, 58, was the nurse who died.

Central Minnesota massage parlor owner, boyfriend charged with sex trafficking

Police say Oriental Massage near St. Cloud was holding immigrant worker captive.
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, 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.