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
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.
A crew from the St. Paul parks and recreation department removed ash trees along Juno Avenue earlier this month in St. Paul.

St. Paul mayor wants to more than double spending to fight emerald ash borer

Even with a funding boost, the Parks Department will likely continue to fall behind on removing ash trees.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

St. Paul eyes taxes, cuts to fill 2019 budget gap

Mayor's new budget calls for 11.5% tax levy increase.
Mitra Nelson has won the Ward 4 race for the St. Paul City Council.

Mitra Jalali Nelson wins St. Paul City Council seat

The 32-year-old is expected to take office in September.
With Lime in St. Paul, riders can pick up and drop off the bikes anywhere, with the use of a smartphone app.

Dockless bikes arrive in St. Paul

There will be 800 bikes for pickup and dropoff anywhere.
St. Paul City Council Member Dai Thao and his attorney Joe Dixon say that Thao didn’t knowingly break the law when he helped a Hmong woman vote in N

Judge hears pre-trial arguments in Dai Thao voting case

Both sides agree council member helped woman vote, but dispute his intent.
Minnesota state Rep. Ilhan Omar, left, and Rashida Tlaib, a congressional candidate in Detroit.

Former Project Veritas staffer crashes Ilhan Omar campaign event in Minneapolis

A campaign event for state Rep. Ilhan Omar was disrupted Saturday night when Laura Loomer, a conservative media personality with a history of attacking Muslims…
Ed Smith

Ed Smith, would-be loner and World War II veteran, dies at 92

Those who knew him describe a man whose life was colored by tragedy from the beginning, but punctuated until the end by moments of grace.
Candidate David Martinez surrounded himself with notes before a St. Paul Ward 4 debate last month began. Beside him are fellow candidates Shirley Erst

Tumultuous St. Paul City Council race reaches the finish line

Both Shirley Erstad and Mitra Nelson have garnered strong support.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter proposed a $606 million city budget for 2019 and an 11.5 percent property tax levy increase.

St. Paul mayor proposes 2019 budget with more money for housing, parks, police investigations

Melvin Carter's first budget includes an 11.5% property tax levy increase.
David Martinez

St. Paul City Council candidate David Martinez arrested over violating protection order

David Martinez, 38, allegedly visited his children's school.
FILE -- A scooter on the sidewalk in downtown San Francisco, April 16, 2018. Doctors and public health workers in San Francisco are preparing to track

A second fleet of electric scooters lands in St. Paul

About a month after Bird arrived without warning, Lime has placed 150 scooters around the city.
Two people walked by as a crew removed ash trees along Juno Avenue last week in St. Paul. “This is really devastating for us,” one resident said.

As emerald ash borer spreads, cities can't plant trees fast enough

St. Paul and Minneapolis have lost tens of thousands of ash trees, and the urban canopy won't be restored for decades.
Candidate David Martinez surrounded himself with notes before the St. Paul Ward 4 debate began Monday. Beside him are fellow candidates Shirley Erstad

St. Paul Fourth Ward forum stays on track after tumultuous few weeks

After a bumpy July and a canceled appearance, the St. Paul candidates tackled issues facing city.
Nelsie Yang, right, and Dan Bostrom

St. Paul City Council campaign begins more than a year before Election Day

The 2019 race for St. Paul City Council got an early start Monday when a community organizer announced her candidacy for the East Side seat held by the council's longest-serving member.
Sean Sherman, the 2018 James Beard award-winning Sioux Chef, showed Tajah Tempest, center, and Saba Andualem how to roll up meatballs at Urban Roots i

From garden to table, Urban Roots teaches teens to grow, cook and love their food

Teen interns in St. Paul learn skills from local chefs that will help them after school – and beyond.
Three Bird scooters at 9th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis.

St. Paul orders scooters removed from sidewalks until rules adopted next month

A pilot program starting in August will give scooter vendors temporary licenses to operate in the city.
St. Paul City Council President Amy Brendmoen said all council members see housing as a priority.

St. Paul considers a slew of housing policies — including more fourplexes

City Council to explore viability of multiunit buildings amid single-family homes.
David Martinez

St. Paul City Council candidate Martinez released from jail

Martinez has said he will not drop out of the race for St. Paul's 4th Ward seat.
David Martinez

St. Paul candidate forum canceled after jailed candidate says he'll stay in race

The Wednesday evening forum would have included all three candidates for the Fourth Ward seat.
David Martinez

Candidate's behavior, arrest shake up quiet St. Paul City Council race

He denies posting seminude photo of his wife on his website.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, shown at Johnson High School after giving his first State of the City address.

St. Paul City Hall grapples with hiring — and keeping — women and people of color

Data reveal persistent challenges in closing race and gender gaps.
Sophie Konewko and Megan Albers took two Bird scooters for a ride through downtown Minneapolis.

St. Paul in standoff with company over electric scooters

Bird Rides Inc. dropped the scooters into the Twin Cities without official permission this week, and Minneapolis and St. Paul scrambled to react. St. Paul wants them gone until they can figure out how to regulate them.
David Martinez

St. Paul City Council candidate banned from Target Field for a year

David Martinez, 38, was detained at the stadium after swearing and lunging at a security guard.
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