Staff Directory 10644586

David Chanen

Reporter | Courts and criminal justice
phone: 612-673-4465
David Chanen covers Hennepin County and appellate courts, and legal and criminal justice issues.
Recent content from David Chanen
Anwer Alkuhaly went from Pathways training to internship to job after immigrating to Minnesota from Yemen in 2015.
Hennepin County communications

Hennepin County's Pathways program excels at training and retaining its own employees

More than 360 people have graduated since the job-training program started in 2014.
With Minneapolis City Hall as a backdrop, the Hennepin County Government Center water fountain in downtown Minneapolis remained waterless Friday.

Hennepin County Government Center plaza fountain should be flowing after Memorial Day

Spring repairs cause a month's delay in filling the popular downtown Minneapolis fountain.
Irene Fernando

Hennepin County commissioner candidates look to diversify all-white board

There has never been a county commissioner of color; that may change.

Hennepin County suing feds to retain funding for teen pregnancy prevention

Feds want pregnancy prevention efforts focused on abstinence education.
Howard Vetter

Howard Vetter, president of Vetter Stone, dies at 85

He took a small quarry near Mankato founded by his father in 1954 and guided it into a stone business whose buildings stand across the world.
Prince, center, entered the clinic of Dr. Michael Schulenberg's clinic on April 20, 2016. Kirk Johnson is behind Prince.

Those close to Prince worried about his use of painkillers for years

The star's insistence on privacy may have kept help at bay.
Prince, center, entered the clinic of Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg's clinic on April 20, 2016. Kirk Johnson is behind Prince.

New documents give a clearer picture of Prince's final days

An emergency landing in Moline, Ill., was the beginning of the end, and even those closest to him said they didn't know painkillers had taken over his life. A week later, he was dead.
Prince fans gathered at the Prince mural on the side of the Chanhassen Cinema on April 21, 2017, marking the first anniversary of Prince's death.

Prosecutor to announce Thursday whether charges will be filed in Prince's death

To date, no one has been charged or publicly implicated in the musician's death.
The interior of a Hennepin County jail cell. For the past year, the Hennepin County jail has been over its capacity, while the facility is understaffe

Hennepin County Board gets troubling snapshot of public safety, jail

Overcrowded jails and growing felony crimes lead the agenda.

Arbitrator rules Hennepin County must back pay $300,000 for ranking deputies

Arbitrator rules Hennepin County withheld key information during talks with deputies.
Jan Callison, chairwoman of the Hennepin County Board.

Hennepin commissioner says county is challenged, but engaged

Public safety, child protection and transportation issues highlighted in speech.
Five of six people involved in a robbery home invasion that resulted in one man being murdered were sentenced Friday. Here, five of the defendants in

Mother of slain teen laments a wasted life over drugs, mistakes

Corey Elder was killed during a robbery for a bottle of pills and a video game. Five people were sentenced in his death.
Richard Happ, who fatally stabbed his parents with a butcher knife in their Waconia home in 1999

Waconia killer's flight from group home confirms family's fears

They had opposed his release from security hospital in St. Peter.
Leaders from Hennepin County and Minneapolis nonprofit CornerHouse planted about 100 signs on April 5, 2017 in front of the Hennepin County Government

Child abuse prevention advocacy agency opens satellite office in Rogers

Reports of child abuse increased 30 percent last year in Hennepin County.
Joe Antonucci waited in line to prepay his 2018 property tax in December 2017.

State and feds still at odds over whether prepaid property tax can be deducted

A letter to the IRS from the state Revenue Commissioner seeks answers for thousands of taxpayers.
Attorneys for Prince heirs granted access to some investigation documents

Attorneys for Prince heirs granted access to some investigation documents

The family of the late musician is contemplating a wrongful-death suit.
Minnesota Legislative Auditor James Nobles, shown in 2017.

Minn. board that oversees protection for vulnerable kids criticized in audit

Report stated that guardian ad litem program has struggled to meet increased demand for services.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman described the charges against Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor in the shooting death of Justin Ruszczyk D

Key question: Was Noor fearful during Damond shooting?

Noor's partner said he "perceived his life was in danger" and pulled his gun, according to charges.
Mohamed Noor

When hired, Mohamed Noor was welcome addition to Minneapolis police

Noor, 31, was one of nine Somali officers in the department and the first to patrol the Fifth Precinct.
Tattoo policies have been a frequent discussion in law enforcement for many years. An arbitrator last week ruled against the Hennepin County Sheriff's

Hennepin County deputies win round in being able to have tattoos

Union leaders hope an arbitration ruling is a step toward fewer restrictions. Tattoo policies have been a frequent discussion in law enforcement for many years.

Minneapolis' $15 minimum wage ordinance is upheld

Graco Inc. sued the city, claiming the ordinance conflicted with state law.
Prince performs in California in 1985.

Prince heirs say excessive lawyer's fees will leave nothing for inheritance

Estate has been estimated to be worth $100 million to $300 million before tax.

Hennepin County fixing housing gaps for its most vulnerable populations

The approach aims to "move the needle" for hard-to-serve groups.
Joe Antonucci waited in line in Minneapolis in December to prepay his 2018 property taxes.

Minnesota property-tax prepayers who gambled on deduction in limbo

Department of Revenue expects IRS to decide if those early payments are deductible.
Joe Antonucci waited in line to pre-pay his 2018 property tax Wednesday December 27, 2017 in Minneapolis.

Deduction-hungry Hennepin Co. property taxpayers prepaid nearly $200 million

Residents are hoping the payments made in 2017 will get them a bigger tax deduction ahead of the new tax law, which limits deductions for local taxes for 2018 and beyond.
A police officer shot a person with a knife in a house Wednesday afternoon in Maple Grove during a confrontation, leaving the individual severely woun

Police officers involved in Maple Grove shooting are identified

The man who was shot and wounded was injuring himself with a knife, then came at officers with it, the BCA said.
Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is shown in New York, Aug. 11, 2016.

Hennepin embarks on its most ambitious opioid prevention strategy

County commissioners were presented with a comprehensive response to the crisis, including equipping all law enforcement officers with naloxone.
Former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein.

Two candidates running for open Hennepin County commissioner seat

A veteran politician and a political newcomer have entered the race to replace retiring Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins. The candidates are Mark Stenglein, who…
Citing public nuisance law, Sandra Hart — seen with her dog Peppermint — was evicted by the housing courts 11 months ago.

'How do they have the right to kick me out?' Court says Hennepin can't evict woman

Evicted homeowner will get to return to her Minneapolis house after legal battle over the state's public nuisance law.
Melvin Kilbo

Melvin Kilbo, longtime Orono police chief, dies at 89

After getting his start with the Golden Valley police in the late 1950s, he later went to the Orono, where he served as chief in the 1970s and 1980s.
Military police in humvees guard the entrance to the Minneapolis Convention Center.

With celebrations in full swing, downtown takes on military feel

Minneapolis police say that thousands of officers from state, local and federal law enforcement agencies will be deployed around the metro.
Thursday’s DNR announcement to approve renaming Lake Calhoun will not affect signs already posted around the lake, now called Bde Maka Ska.

The state officially changes Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska

The name change, approved by the DNR today, now has to be approved by the federal government. The department's decision follows resolutions passed by the Hennepin County Board and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
Orono Mayor Dennis Walsh

Orono mayor and council warned after trimming of tree limbs on Big Island

Watershed officials said the city didn't follow a Big Island preservation plan.
Hennepin County Emergency Management Director Eric Waage got first responder experience as a Minnesota National Guard officer and is now working on th

Twin Cities' unlikely experience with landslides gets attention in Washington

Emergency management director spoke to lawmakers about the area's response after several incidents in recent years.
Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis averages about 12 detox patients a night. County officials are concerned about additional fundi

Hennepin County plans for extra detox services during Super Bowl week

The issue came up as the County Board was briefed on events and security.
Minneapolis parks employees Dan Falk, left and Tim Coffin readied a new sign in 2015 before putting it in place near Lake Calhoun.

Mpls. residents file legal action to keep Lake Calhoun's name

The lake's name is already in the process of changing to Bde Maka Ska.
“I stayed under my budget. I’m very frugal,” Commissioner Debbie Goettel said.

Hennepin County commissioner rang up a $55,000 bill for her office's remodeling

Former Richfield Mayor Debbie Goettel said she inherited an office that needed costly repairs.
Steve Hammer

Memo on sexual harassment sent to corrections employees after fired Stillwater warden reinstated

His uncertain job status stemmed from sex harassment, which was focus of message.
People waited to prepay 2018 property taxes in Hennepin County on Wednesday in hopes of having them be deductible in 2017.

Ramsey and Hennepin county coffers continue to fill with property tax prepayers

Saturday hours added; prepay benefits unclear.
Joe Antonucci waited in line to prepay his 2018 property tax Wednesday at the Hennepin County Government Center. In Hennepin County, 500 people a day

Dec. 29: Homeowners line up to prepay their 2018 property taxes

The newly passed tax law gives homeowners an incentive to prepay 2018 property taxes so they can deduct them under more favorable rules on their 2017 tax forms.
Attorney Jeff Anderson holds a news conference about judge's rejection of both the church's and victims' plans for addressing the millions of dollars

Bankruptcy judge rejects plans for Twin Cities Archdiocese settlement with clergy abuse victims

Judge orders all parties in clergy abuse case back to mediation.
This is the sign on a Starbucks Coffee shop in downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017.

Minn. Court of Appeals rules transgender man's discrimination suit vs. Starbucks can proceed

Lawsuit claims the coffee shop's employees in Edina and Eden Prairie refused to serve him.
A Carver County District judge denied a petition Monday to remove Comerica Bank & Trust as administrator of Prince's massive estate.

Judge denies petition for new administrator of Prince's estate

Mediator named to handle future disputes between heirs, manager.
Ayan Ismail and Hikmo Abdi, 10th-graders at Roosevelt High School, say they “do more work” at the library.

After-school Hennepin County Library program succeeds and expands

The free tutoring has helped thousands of students since the program started in 1992.

Metro counties give final approval to 2018 budgets

Final Hennepin tax levy lower than initial September projection.
Jeff Carlson with Hennepin County’s Marie Markfort, who helped him navigate the challenges of keeping his Minneapolis home.

New Hennepin County program keeps dozens in homes when property taxes are delinquent

Navigator program connects at-risk owners to services.

Hennepin County Board approves defense fund for immigrants facing deportation

Sheriff's Office would lose authority over the facility if the proposal passes.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek is battling a move by the County Board to take control of the crime lab and potentially merge it with that of the

Hennepin County Board considers merging county, Minneapolis crime labs

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek is battling a move by the County Board to take control of the crime lab and potentially merge it with…
The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected two people claiming to be heirs to Prince’s estate.

Minnesota Supreme Court rejects two Prince heirs

Chief Justice Lorie Gildea issued an order Tuesday denying the petitions of Darcell Gresham Johnston and Venita Jackson Leverette.
A windsurfer on Lake Calhoun.

Hennepin board gives final local approval to change Calhoun's name

Decision to rename Lake Calhoun in Mpls. now goes to the DNR and a federal agency.
Hennepin County kicks off 100 day campaign to get 150 homeless youths permanent housing and jobs during a press conference at Youth Link Wednesday, Au

100-day Hennepin plan to help homeless kids crushes expectations

The county's Office to End Homelessness set a goal of 150 people; "We blew our housing goals out of the water," said an official.
Three of Prince's heirs filed a petition last month to remove Comerica as special administrator for his estate, but the bank is pushing back against t

Bank managing Prince's estate punches back against heirs

Bank has filed documents countering claims by heirs that it has cost the estate millions.
FILE - In this May 19, 2013 file photo, Prince performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Several pills taken

Prince estate accuses Roc Nation of illegally streaming artist's music

In the latest in a long string of legal actions involving Prince's estate, his heirs are accusing Roc Nation of using a fraudulent contract to…
George Conzemius

George Conzemius, powerful Minnesota legislator and businessman, dies

Much of the legislation he sponsored or guided helped to shape the state's stance on campaign finance limits, the law permitting health maintenance organizations and more.
In this Feb. 4, 2007 file photo, Prince performs during halftime of the Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami.

3 Prince heirs demand new administrator for artist's massive estate

Court petition accuses Comerica of costing star's estate millions of dollars.
Workers repaired a window at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington Friday after it was broken in an overnight burglary.

Burglary reported by Twin Cities mosque that was bombed

Leaders of a Bloomington mosque where a bomb went off this summer say two burglars broke windows and entered the building early Friday.
The future location of the Hennepin County medical examiner's office, shown in 2015, is a unanimous funding priority for the County Board this legisla

Hennepin County starts to fine-tune its 2018 legislative wish list

Priorities are child protection, government efficiency, medical lab funding.
In May, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted unanimously to change the name of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska (pronounced beh-DAY mah-KAH ska

Speakers overwhelmingly favor giving Lake Calhoun new name

The Hennepin County Board hearing and its vote sometime before the end of the year are the next steps in the state-mandated process to change the name of a body of water.

What's happened with the renaming of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis so far

Q: How did the renaming process begin? A: A petition with at least 15 signatures was given to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The…
Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, greeted children in the lunchroom he worked at as she arrived for an event to announce a donation of $10,

Philando Castile fundraising campaign clears St. Paul school lunch debts

J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet in St. Paul where Castile worked received $10,000
Dennis Walsh

Panel rules that material used in Orono mayoral campaign was illegal

Mayor Dennis Walsh won the election by 225 votes.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, shown in March, said before the board's vote that he was ready to scrap the program if member didn't support it.

Hennepin Sheriff's Office to start using body cameras in 2018

Start date is January as County Board weighs in.
On a 5-2 vote, the Hennepin County Board approved the purchase of the landmark Thrivent Financial building for $55 million.

Hennepin County Board approves purchase of landmark Thrivent Financial building for $55 million

Two Hennepin County commissioners voted against the deal, calling it too costly.
Emily Kaszyk, a freshman from Chicago, got to know Bode the Boxer at the University of Minnesota Recreation and Wellness Center. “I miss my dog from

University of Minnesota offers students a furry study break

A group of University of Minnesota students flocked to scout out Cooper at the recreation and fitness center on a rainy day last week. No,…
A boardwalk and fishing pier at Excelsior’s Commons, as depicted in a rendering (top), would enhance the shoreline at the Lake Minnetonka park.

New plans for Excelsior's Commons park close to completion

Changes will include a new boardwalk and band shell.
The Hennepin County Board could vote as soon as October on renaming Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.

Renaming of Lake Calhoun now in the hands of Hennepin County Board

Controversy over change to Bde Maka Ska could be resolved next month.
The potential purchase of the Thrivent building, along with light rail and other transit, and ongoing personnel costs, are key reasons why many Hennep

Hennepin County budget proposes 4.95 percent property tax levy increase

Personnel, light rail and Thrivent building purchase are key reasons.
The BCA has wrapped up its investigation of the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond by a Minneapolis police officer and present the case to the

BCA finishes Damond probe, presents case to prosecutor

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has said he anticipates making a decision by the end of the year.
Tasha Julius, production manager for the nonprofit Sustainable Resource Center, measured windows for replacements at the home of Braulia Rendon.

Hundreds of Minnesota children still have unsafe lead levels

Hennepin County and Minneapolis received $6M for prevention and cleanup of stubborn problem, and are using a prevention and outreach model in the hope of protecting children before they are poisoned.
Hennepin County officials spent several hours trying to sway the County Board on the feasibility of buying the Thrivent Financial building. A final vo

Hennepin County Board delays vote on Thrivent building purchase

Final vote on whether to buy the building will be held by the end of the month.
A "Sorry out of Service" sign is placed on one of the gas pumps at a gas station in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. Twin Cities drivers should

Hurricane Harvey, Labor Day demand create jump in gas prices

Twin Cities prices will climb another 10 cents a gallon this weekend, said Gail Weinholzer, director of public affairs for AAA in Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota.

Washburn Library to close for repairs

The Washburn branch of the Hennepin County Library, in south Minneapolis, will close Saturday for two months to enable workers to repair its roof and…
Window washers at the Thrivent Financial building.

Hennepin County mulls purchase of Thrivent building for $55 million

Hennepin County officials want to buy the landmark Thrivent Financial building in downtown Minneapolis for $55 million, an acquisition that would be one of the…
Ali DeCamillis and her two children, Luca, 8, and Siena, 5, learned to make greener cleaners with simple ingredients.

Hennepin County continues its Zero Waste Challenge to reduce household trash

Last year, 35 select households decreased the amount of waste they produced by 20 percent.
A pay phone has been installed on the ground floor of the Government Center. Photographed on Friday, August 18, 2017 at the Government Center in Minne

Hennepin County's latest service offering is … a pay phone?

They've all but disappeared, but county finds demand.
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