Staff Directory 261800211

Emma Nelson

Reporter | Minneapolis
Phone: 612-673-4509
Location: St. Paul City Hall
Other languages: Spanish

St. Paul reporter Emma Nelson joined the Star Tribune in 2014, and has covered local government beats from Scott and Dakota counties to Minneapolis City Hall. She has also been part of reporting teams that covered the aftermath of the Norwood Teague sexual harassment scandal and the death of Prince.


A St. Paul native, Nelson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in journalism. She plays violin and acoustic guitar, and in college recorded an album that no-one is allowed to listen to. She lives in the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Recent content from Emma Nelson
A strong westerly wind kicked up snow Sunday afternoon drifting it over area roads and parking lots. A St. Paul resident used a snow blower in an atte

St. Paul asks residents to weigh in on alley plowing

The capital city has never plowed alleys, and is asking residents whether that should change.
The exterior of Common Good Books, the book store owned by Garrison Keillor on Snelling Ave. at Grand Ave. in St. Paul Wednesday afternoon.

Garrison Keillor's bookstore in St. Paul gets new owner, name

St. Paul native Nick Ballas has bought the store at Snelling and Grand avenues and renamed it Next Chapter Booksellers.
Dozens of St. Paul residents are fighting their first garbage bills under the city’s new organized collection system.

St. Paul residents turn out at City Hall to fight trash bills

Some residents have opted not to pay their bills as a form of protest against the city's new organized collection system.
"We are going to build this community together," St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said as he addressed Tuesday night's summit.

St. Paul police oversight board tries to turn a page as misconduct findings rise

Clunky transition has review committee working to gain trust of St. Paul residents.
More than half of St. Paul’s public works budget for organized trash collection in 2019 will go toward paying residents’ delinquent bills. St. Pau

St. Paul tallies up millions in delinquent trash bills

Many who oppose city hauling aren't paying.
A Green Line light-rail train waited for passengers at the U.S. Bank Stadium station. The Green Line has run 24 hours a day, but a proposal is looking

Metro Transit may cut late-night Green Line service during week

The transit agency's proposal would cut service between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. weekdays.
St. Paul City Council Member Rebecca Noecker, whose ward includes downtown, is sponsoring the proposal.

St. Paul moves to loosen rules on bars near churches and downtown schools

A public hearing will take place Wednesday at City Hall.
Mayor Melvin Carter called on all the neighborhood kids at the grand opening to cut the big ribbon with the big scissors. On the left, Senator Foung H

'This is not April Fools': St. Paul celebrates rec center's revival

Residents of the area, along with their elected officials, pushed the city to bring parks and recreation programs back to Highwood Hills, which was shuttered in 2008. The major turning point came in August, when Carter announced he was allocating $200,000 in his 2019 budget for Highwood Hills.
Pedestrians in St. Paul came out to view the flooding at Harriet Island Regional Park and the flowing Mississippi River on Monday afternoon.

Mississippi River flood fight could cost St. Paul $750,000

Public works crews have built the barriers along the Mississippi River downtown.
Sara Hunter, a St. Paul public housing resident who was nearly evicted in January because of a cockroach infestation that she was unable to fix, said

Twin Cities metro cities try carrot, stick to deal with hoarding, avoid evictions

As city and county officials enforce codes designed to keep residents safe, they often confront mental and physical disabilities, aging and poverty.
John Kuester, Elk River school board member

Organizer John Kuester, 78, who helped tackle rural and community issues, has died

John Kuester knew how to keep calm. Whether he was attending a big community meeting or sitting around a dining room table, Kuester would often…
Harriet Island flooding in June 2014 in St. Paul.

St. Paul braces for Mississippi River flooding with emergency declaration

The City Council approved Mayor Melvin Carter's emergency declaration.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter used his annual address to detail a slew of public safety initiatives, while also celebrating the successes of his first

St. Paul mayor announces public safety plans in State of Our City address

Melvin Carter detailed a slew of public safety initiatives — some underway and some yet to begin.
A fallen chunk of concrete forced the closure of the RiverCentre parking ramp in May 2018.

St. Paul to pay $300,000 for consultants on RiverCentre parking ramp

City officials must decide whether to salvage the aging RiverCentre ramp or tear it down.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter to give State of Our City address

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter will deliver his second State of Our City address Thursday evening. The address is part of the State of Our…
In 2016, students gathered at Wells Fargo Family Plaza in downtown St. Paul for the 16th annual Flint Hills International Children’s Festival.

Ambassadors, events will liven up downtown St. Paul this summer

A Downtown Alliance pilot program will fund staff, activities and beautification efforts downtown.
(Clockwise) St. Paul City Council members Rebecca Noecker, Mitra Jalali Nelson and Chris Tolbert won DFL endorsements on Sunday.

'This is just the beginning': St. Paul DFL backs 3 for City Council

Mitra Jalali Nelson, Rebecca Noecker and Chris Tolbert won the party's nod Sunday.
St. Paul DFL caucuses are planned for Sunday afternoon, followed immediately by conventions, in three wards where only incumbents are seeking the part

St. Paul council candidates head into DFL caucuses, conventions

City Council incumbents seek party endorsement.
A Caesar salad prepared at Cossetta last month in St. Paul.

St. Paul bans takeout containers that can't be recycled or composted

Restaurants will have until 2021 to comply with the policy.
Victor Hernandez of Highland Park purchased $40 of pulltabs Wednesday at Skinner's Bar in St.Paul.

St. Paul considers restricting gambling proceeds for low-income youth

City officials want money to go to youth living in areas of concentrated poverty.
A Ramsey County corrections officer is seen in bodycam video punching and kneeing a prisoner who is restrained.

New video shows Ramsey County jailer punching, kneeing handcuffed prisoner

Travis VanDeWiele pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and resigned.
Hundreds attended the MN Gun Owners Caucus Defend the Second Amendment rally at Capitol on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

Hundreds rally at Minnesota Capitol against proposed gun-control laws

A House committee will hear two gun control bills Wednesday.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, shown in 2018, said in an interview said his “community-first” public safety approach encompasses a wide range of po

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter's record on police reform disappoints advocates

The first-term St. Paul mayor defended his commitment to improving public safety.
St. Paul's Carter, council challenge Minneapolis leaders to a snowball fight

St. Paul's Carter, council challenge Minneapolis leaders to a snowball fight

The East vs. West snowball fight is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Cossetta, on West 7th, uses black plastic containers that would be banned under the new rule. Owner Dave Cossetta said that will add to his costs.

St. Paul restaurants brace for restrictions on takeout containers

Following the lead of two neighbors, St. Paul is expected to approve ban on nonrecyclable containers.
City Council Member Kassim Busuri, left, was sworn in by City Clerk Shari Moore at St. Paul City Hall, Wednesday, February 6, 2019 in St. Paul, MN. Bu

St. Paul has its first Somali-American City Council member

Kassim Busuri, a youth educator, was sworn in Wednesday at City Hall.
St. Paul principal city planner Lucy Thompson, center, shown in 2015. “Now people are telling us, ‘We want you to go farther, to be even bolder,�

St. Paulites call for more aggressive 2040 plan

Some push for density, affordable housing policies.

Buyer of troubled St. Paul parking ramp was FBI informant on Chicago corruption

Capital City Plaza Parking Ramp is being sold after failing to make enough money to pay the debt used to build it.
St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard, left, and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

St. Paul, Ramsey Co., school district cancel data-sharing deal over fears of racial profiling

Some feared program would unfairly profile "at-risk" youth.

St. Paul City Council stalls Concordia's purchase of a Midway building

St. Paul officials worry about losing tax revenue.
St. Paul City Council Member Dan Bostrom in 2015.

St. Paul City Council chooses East Side educator to fill interim seat

Kassim Busuri will serve until the end of 2019, filling the seat vacated last year by Dan Bostrom.
Minnesotans seen voting on Election Day 2018.

Appeals court deals setback to citizen push for even-year elections in St. Paul

Court upholds ruling that St. Paul petition fell short of required signatures.
Dan Bostrom's exit from the St. Paul City Council has created the need for an interim council member.

Seven finalists seeking interim St. Paul City Council seat

St. Paul residents seeking to fill the Sixth Ward City Council seat recently vacated by Dan Bostrom will make their case at City Hall on…

St. Paul residents call for more aggressive 2040 Comp Plan

Speakers at Friday's public hearing said they want more housing density and transit.
Halle Martin, 22, a student at Concordia University, looked for a book at the Rondo Community Library in St. Paul on Monday afternoon.

St. Paul library late fees scrapped

Patrons in St. Paul no longer have to pay late fees, and the policy gets rave reviews.
Nancy Przymus, from right, holds a sign against the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, as her neighbor Blue Delliquanti holds a Neighbors for More Neighbors sig

After success with Mpls. 2040 plan, Neighbors for More Neighbors pops up in St. Paul

East-metro members say they want to influence planners and policymakers in the way that Minneapolis advocates did last year.
Eckerly

Cedar-Riverside activist Eunice Eckerly dies at 80

Eunice Eckerly talked to everyone she met. And, more important, she listened. “She would ask questions and find out what the person was like. She…
A small detail depicting a white frontiersman and an American Indian from one of the four murals in the St. Paul City Council Chambers painted in 1933

St. Paul leaders move forward on new murals for City Hall

City leaders say the 1930s works of art do not reflect the community today.
(Top left to right, clockwise) St. Paul City Council Members Mitra Jalali Nelson, Rebecca Noecker, Amy Brendmoen, Jane Prince and Dai Thao are all see

'There's a lot we'd like to see finished': Majority of St. Paul City Council seeking re-election

Every City Council seat is up for a vote in 2019, and Dan Bostrom is retiring.
After winning approval of his first budget, Mayor Melvin Carter says he’s looking ahead to next year.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter: $600M budget has to deliver

A double-digit property tax levy increase has raised anxiety and the pressure on City Hall.
St. Paul City Council Member Dan Bostrom in 2015

St. Paul City Council's Bostrom to step down, opening East Side seat

Dan Bostrom announced his retirement at the close of Wednesday's meeting.
The new St. Paul police hires included in the 2019 budget approved Wednesday by the City Council will expand the force from 626 to 635 sworn officers,

St. Paul City Council approves budget that expands police force, despite opposition

Dozens of residents had spoken out against hiring additional officers.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter giving his first State of the City address in May.

St. Paul Council, mayor agree on budget with a double-digit tax levy hike

A typical St. Paul homeowner will pay $67 more in property taxes in 2019, under the budget deal expected to pass next week.
Allianz Field, shown in October. St. Paul City Council members and neighborhood leaders are calling on Minnesota United to pay into a “community ben

Allianz Field neighbors call on Minnesota United to bankroll community fund

Local leaders, businesses want Minnesota United to contribute to the area.
City Council President Amy Brendmoen said the murals reflect a perspective that is “really very white and very male.”

St. Paul, Ramsey County rethink 1930s 'very white and very male' murals at City Hall

The four murals from the 1930s depicting a voyageur, a steamboat captain, a railroad surveyor and a laborer.
As the push for a $15-an-hour minimum wage spreads, local leaders and businesses in other Minnesota cities are paying attention.

$15 minimum wage fight sets sights on all of Minnesota

After success in St. Paul and Minneapolis, battle expands to rest of state.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter smiled after signing the $15 minimum wage ordinance.

St. Paul City Council passes $15 minimum wage, and mayor signs it

St. Paul joined a growing number of local governments across the country that have decided to exceed state and federal minimums.
Supporters of the $15 minimum wage for St. Paul rallied in front of Walmart in the Midway area of St. Paul last year.

St. Paul expected to pass $15 wage this week, sans tipped-worker exemption

The St. Paul City Council is expected to follow in Minneapolis' footsteps Wednesday and approve a citywide $15 minimum wage without an exemption for tipped workers.
Supporters of the $15 minimum wage for St. Paul rallied in front of Walmart in the Midway area in November of last year.

St. Paul City Council hears passionate testimony on $15 minimum wage

St. Paul City Council discussion centers on who will receive it, and when.
Server Talia Bartley rang up a table at Saint Dinette in St. Paul.

St. Paul Council reportedly would exempt tipped workers from wage ordinance

Lobby group says any $15 minimum wage passed will likely have a tipped-worker exemption.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, right, and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

Mpls., St. Paul mayors eye land sales to fund housing projects

Weeks away from approving multimillion-dollar affordable housing plans, leaders in Minneapolis and St. Paul are still figuring out how to pay for them without raising property taxes.

St. Paul gets 6-month extension on 2040 comprehensive plan

City won't submit its final plan to the Met Council until June.

St. Paul, state of Minnesota to hold job fair to recruit workers

Governments focus on increasing diversity; job fair set for Saturday.
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (right) and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter to announce that the Twin Ci

Minneapolis and St. Paul announce new efforts to combat climate change

Minneapolis and St. Paul are among 20 cities receiving support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Bloomberg also called on cities to fight gun violence.
Di Chen, pillar of Minnesota's Chinese community, dies at 89

Di Chen, pillar of Minnesota's Chinese community, dies at 89

In Minnesota, he became a leader in the field of electrical engineering.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, shown giving his first State of the City address in May.

St. Paul mayor proposes new city office to serve low-income residents

Melvin Carter's budget seeks $333,000 to create a new Office of Financial Empowerment.
The setting sun illuminated the St. Paul skyline, with city hall on the left, as seen from Harriet Island Park.

One step at a time, St. Paul nurturing big downtown dreams

Local government officials are courting startups, planning park improvements, budgeting to rebuild streets and advocating for more transit. Long term, they envision major projects — including new skyscrapers — that would transform the face of the city.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter took a selfie with supporters of a citywide $15 minimum wage outside City Hall on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.

Mayor Melvin Carter joins rally for $15 minimum wage in St. Paul

The proposed ordinance was on the City Council agenda for the first time Wednesday.
Jessica Kingston

Former St. Paul human rights director accused police of sabotaging oversight

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter joins Police Chief Todd Axtell in denying Jessica Kingston's allegations.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, shown at his State of the City address.

St. Paul Mayor Carter proposes $15 minimum wage, including for tipped workers

The ordinance, which would cover all full-time workers, would be phased in over five to nine years.
The year-end party for Urban Flower Field at Pedro Park in St. Paul in 2016.

St. Paul moves forward with office development, downtown park

Ackerberg Group to help fund St. Paul park, develop building next door.
Travis Temke plans to transform this Fire Station No. 10, into a taproom and coffee shop in St. Paul.

Firehouse buyer in St. Paul defaulted on loan for Faribault brewery

He's now in line for St. Paul loan to buy old firehouse.
Travis Temke plans to transform Fire Station No. 10, which dates from 1885, into a taproom and coffee shop in St. Paul.

Taproom looks to resuscitate historic St. Paul firehouse

W. 7th area of St. Paul seeing development surge.
Rep. John Lesch in a 2015 file photo.

Judge denies Rep. John Lesch's motion to dismiss defamation suit

Judge Frank Magill said Lesch's arguments for dismissing St. Paul City Attorney Lyndsey Olson's case against him weren't sufficient.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

St. Paul City Council sets maximum tax levy hike at 11.5% but says it will be lower

Mayor Melvin Carter asked for the jump in the property tax levy in his first budget.
A photo taken inside Double Dragon Foods by city of St. Paul inspectors on Sept. 18.

Owner appeals after St. Paul closes Double Dragon Foods, condemns building after inspection

St. Paul inspectors found unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Mayor Melvin Carter watched as Gloria Massey practiced new skills at the Rec Tech Lab at Hallie Q. Brown.

St. Paul opens computer labs at recreation centers

The six "Rec Tech Labs" will offer computer skills classes and certifications.
As in Minneapolis last year, tipped workers in St. Paul — servers, bartenders, baristas — are at odds over whether their tips should count toward

Tipped workers at odds over St. Paul's minimum wage

Rallies in St. Paul drew supporters, opponents of counting tips as wages.
Mayor Melvin Carter announced in a June 27 Facebook post that the city would not put on a July 4 fireworks show.

Carter declined last-minute offers to fund St. Paul fireworks

Mayor Melvin Carter's office declined multiple offers to help pull together a July 4 fireworks display in St. Paul after he announced in late June that the annual event would not happen.
Rick Mickschl, left, and Isaac Stensland inspected work done on an addition at Humboldt High School last week in St. Paul.

As construction booms, St. Paul has backlog of 59K permits

A backlog of nearly 59,000 permits hangs over city's building safety examiners.
Student walk on campus at Macalester College.

St. Paul private colleges fret over $15 minimum wage for work-study students

Private colleges and universities may have to raise tuition to pay students higher wages.
Supporters of the $15 minimum wage for St. Paul rallied in front of Walmart in the Midway area of St. Paul in November.

Citizens League report recommends St. Paul adopt a $15 minimum wage

Support appears strong, but route to setting pay level remains unsettled.
City Clerk Shari Moore swore in Mitra Jalali Nelson in front of her mother, Sooki Jalali, and her campaign manager Garrison McMurtrey.

Mitra Jalali Nelson sworn in as St. Paul City Council member

The 32-year-old will represent the city's Fourth Ward.
In 2016, a year-end party was held for Urban Flower Field at Pedro Park in St. Paul.

Friends of Pedro Park sue St. Paul

A parcel that was to be made into a park was sold.
Under an agreement with the city, 15 trash haulers will each take a portion of St. Paul based on their market share.

Ramsey County judge will hear motion to dismiss St. Paul trash lawsuit

City attorney argued that a citizen misinterpreted Minnesota law in the suit.
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