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
Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St Paul's yellow zone on the first d

Court: St. Paul must pay haulers even if voters reject trash system

Court says St. Paul must honor five-year contract.
Brian Henderson owner of the Highland Park BP station in St. Paul replaced a box of cigarillos. A proposed St. Paul law raising the tobacco purchasing

St. Paul's Tobacco 21 ordinance won't penalize buyers

Under proposed St. Paul ordinance, retailers could lose license for selling to customers under 21.
President Donald Trump greeted cheering crowds at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Prince estate: Trump violated promise not to play 'Purple Rain'

The campaign played the song at the president's Target Center appearance after it promised a year ago to stop playing Prince's music at rallies, the estate said.
Second Lady Karen Pence raised her fist in the air while invoking a call to reelect President Donald Trump in the 2020 elections Wednesday during a "W

Hundreds attend Second Lady Karen Pence, Lara Trump event in St. Paul

The visit came a day before both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were scheduled to visit the Twin Cities.
Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St Paul's yellow zone on the first d

St. Paul DFL endorses organized trash collection

The party's central committee endorsed a "yes" vote on the November trash referendum.
Men found shot dead in street in Mpls. theater district, St. Paul

Men found shot dead in street in Mpls. theater district, St. Paul

In Minneapolis, a man was found in the street downtown. About an hour later, St. Paul had its latest fatal shooting for September.
Fentanyl is the mostly deadly drug in America, the CDC has said. Test strips let people test their drugs -- heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine -- for it

St. Paul police: Six hospitalized in suspected drug overdoses in less than 3 hours

Police believe some of the drugs used may have been mixed with a hazardous substance, such as fentanyl.
President Donald Trump visited Rochester in October 2018 with a rally at Mayo Civic Center.

Trump will return to state for Oct. 10 rally at Target Center

It will mark his fourth visit in 16 months to Minnesota after repeatedly pledging to pour energy and resources into flipping the state in 2020.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, shown in August.

Hackers target Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey with phishing scam

The hack appears to be limited to the mayor's e-mail account, and does not include the rest of the City Hall network.
Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St Paul's yellow zone on the first d

St. Paul City Council approves 22% ceiling on property tax hike

Council members hope they won't have to raise taxes nearly that high, if voters approve trash collection.
Kassim Busuri said he decided to run for the St. Paul City Council seat after realizing the extent of the Sixth Ward’s needs.

As St. Paul Council's odd man out, Busuri faces an uncertain future

Appointee runs after pledging not to; colleagues want him to resign.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter talks to Carl Roith (left), a Frogtown resident who came to City Hall Wednesday to advocate for more police.

Violent weeks in St. Paul heighten divisions over size of police force

An uptick in fatal shootings comes as city leaders decide whether to cut police officer positions.
Reservists with the St. Paul Police Department canvassed blocks near Rice Street and Winnipeg Avenue W. on Friday. The neighborhood was the scene of a

Wave of deadly shootings prompts intense debate in St. Paul

Some are rallying behind the increased citywide police presence announced by the mayor and chief.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter hugged Dora Jones-Robinson at police headquarters after speaking during a news conference Tuesday in response to the rece

St. Paul police chief: 3 shootings are 'shocking' and 'outrageous'

Todd Axtell described the killings as "one of the most violent nights I have witnessed in my career."
St. Paul Public Library Director Catherine Penkert read a book during children’s story time at the Highland Park Library on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

St. Paul Libraries face 2020 cuts just as traffic begins to climb

Per capita spending has dropped, and St. Paul is now below average for the seven-county metro. At the same time, the libraries are providing more services — the 2020 budget includes money for a full-time social worker, citywide reading program and Wi-Fi hot spots.
On the first day of organized trash collection in 2018, Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus worked in the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighbo

Challengers in St. Paul City Council races seize on trash turmoil

Some say the bumpy rollout means it's time for a change at City Hall.
Two of the four murals in the St. Paul City Council Chambers painted in 1933 by John Norton. The Ramsey County Historical Society seeks “different p

Artists sought for more diverse art to be displayed in St. Paul and Ramsey County council chambers

Work by four artists will be displayed at City Hall.
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell, shown in 2018.

St. Paul police chief warns against reducing the force

Chief Todd Axtell said officers are stretched thin responding to an increasing number of 911 calls.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter gave his 2020 budget address at Frogtown Community Center on Aug. 15.

St. Paul mayor proposes shifting money for mental health response from police to fire department

Under the mayor's 2020 budget proposal, about $230,000 would shift.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter gave his 2020 budget address at Frogtown Community Center Thursday August 15, 2019 in St. Paul, MN.

St. Paul City Council members question $5 fee for rec programs

Council members asked if efficiencies could be found to avoid rec center fee.
Twin Cities mayors Jacob Frey, of Minneapolis, and Melvin Carter, of St. Paul, watched the Twins play whiffle ball Tuesday on Nicollet Mall in July.

Mpls., St. Paul can commiserate on one shared burden: annual property tax hikes

As the cost of running a city rises, so too must property taxes, city leaders say — despite billions of dollars in new development in the core of the Twin Cities.
Petrini

Former Minneapolis obstetrician Dr. Mario Petrini dies at 92

He is remembered for the compassion he brought to his work and to everyday life.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter fistbumped his wife Sakeena after giving his 2020 budget address at Frogtown Community Center on Thursday.

St. Paul proposes daily fee for after-school parks program

Popular St. Paul programs have always been free.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter gave his 2020 budget address at Frogtown Community Center Thursday August 15, 2019 in St. Paul, MN.

St. Paul mayor proposes $20 million to fix St. Paul's crumbling streets

Mayor Melvin Carter says amount in proposed 2020 budget is still not enough.
St. Paul City Council Member Kassim Busuri is one of six candidates running for the Sixth Ward seat. Busuri initially pledged not to as a condition of

More than two dozen file for St. Paul City Council races

Another 10 filed for the four seats on the school board on the ballot in November.
Street service workers Bradley Therres, left, and Lance Hamby filled potholes on Shepard Road in St. Paul in March.

St. Paul leaders look to Legislature to save its crumbling streets

Council members said they need long-term plan for street maintenance.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter high-fived Greta Goldberg while dropping in on a block party Tuesday night.

National Night Out takes on new meaning in Twin Cities in wake of mass shootings

Twin Cities residents counter tragic national news with local camaraderie
Street service workers Lance Hamby, left, and Bradley Therres filled potholes on Shepard Road on March 15. A new report says St. Paul needs to spend a

St. Paul streets are failing, need cash infusion, city says

The report comes as Mayor Melvin Carter prepares to give his 2020 budget address. His 2019 public works budget included nearly $26 million for street maintenance, up from about $18 million in 2018.
A Green Line train arrived at the Robert Street Station in St. Paul.

St. Paul police tie violence, light rail in federal grant request

The federal grant request describes violent crime in neighborhoods near the Green Line.
St. Paul's Downtown Alliance celebrated its first year on Wednesday with an annual report outlining the organization’s accomplishments alongside eco

St. Paul's Downtown Alliance sees momentum in city's core

The nonprofit has focused on supporting new development and improving the experience of visiting downtown.
Bruce Corrie is resigning his role with the city of St. Paul and returning to Concordia University.

St. Paul city planning director resigns to return to Concordia

Corrie will serve as an associate vice president and economics professor.
Hillcrest opened as a municipal golf course in 1921. Steamfitters Pipefitters Local 455 bought the East Side property in 2011 and closed the golf club

St. Paul moves forward with acquisition of former Hillcrest Golf Club

Port Authority will redevelop former Hillcrest golf club site.
Five St. Paul police officers were fired after allegedly failing to stop an assault by a former St. Paul officer, Tou Cha, at Checkerbar Food & Liquor

Before 5 officers' firings, St. Paul bar had long police history

The department has filed hundreds of reports related to Checkerbar, owned by a former officer, since it opened a decade ago.
In November, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter smiled after signing the $15 minimum wage ordinance.

St. Paul prepares for $15 minimum wage enforcement

The city's human rights department would be responsible for the bulk of the enforcement and education work.
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell, shown in June announcing the firing of five police officers for failing to intervene in an assault last year.

Online survey reveals dozens of allegations of St. Paul police misconduct

But because survey responses aren't considered formal complaints, they don't trigger investigations by police. Nor are they shared with the civilian oversight panel .
City Council Member Kassim Busuri, left, was sworn in by City Clerk Shari Moore at St. Paul City Hall on Feb. 6, 2019 in St. Paul. Busuri, a local edu

St. Paul council member asks for 'compassion' after release of anti-gay comments

St. Paul Council member asks for compassion over old remarks against gays.

Former leaders of St. Paul police watchdog group ask NAACP to step in

They said the NAACP and community members must ask for changes to police oversight in St. Paul.

St. Paul approves long-term plan with more density

The City Council approved the 2040 Comprehensive Plan unanimously.
Five St. Paul police officers were fired after allegedly failing to stop an assault by a former St. Paul officer, Tou Cha, at Checkerbar Food & Liquor

Lawyer for ex-cop says evidence on fired officers wasn't provided

Tou Cha's lawyer says the Ramsey County Attorney's Office should have told him a probe of the five St. Paul officers was happening as he was negotiating a plea deal for his client.
Hennepin Co. officials, HCMC to hold closed-door session

Hennepin Co. officials, HCMC to hold closed-door session

The meeting comes days after the Star Tribune reported that the hospital continued to sedate people with ketamine and collect data for a study months after hospital leaders said they would halt their research.
Five St. Paul police officers were fired after allegedly failing to stop an assault by a former St. Paul officer, Tou Cha, at an East Side bar he owns

St. Paul chief broke law detailing officers' firings, union says

Axtell criticized for discussing details of officer firings
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell announced the firing of five police officers for failing to intervene in an assault last year.

Five St. Paul police officers fired for failing to stop assault

St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell declined to go into specifics about the incident, citing data privacy laws. He called it "an ugly day in our department's history."
Hillcrest opened as a municipal golf course in 1921. Steamfitters Pipefitters Local 455 bought the East Side property in 2011 and closed the golf club

St. Paul Port Authority to buy former golf course site on East Side

St. Paul Port Authority seeks to issue $10M in bonds to buy Hillcrest.

St. Paul police watchdog group says complaints were withheld

A recently released report by the St. Paul misconduct investigators identifies serious problems.

St. Paul to fill seats on police oversight commission

Three people have now resigned from the group.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter as he addressed a recent summit put on by the St. Paul's Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission.

St. Paul police oversight leaders resign, saying officials didn't support work

In a letter, they outlined concerns about Mayor Melvin Carter's leadership and support of their work.
Vincent Keahna

Vietnam-era veteran Vincent Keahna, who held fast to American Indian tradition, dies at 82

A member of the Meskwaki Nation, Keahna is remembered as a talented fancy dancer and a man who earned the regard of those who knew him.
St. Paul workers who’ve filed complaints with the city about Earned Sick and Safe Time violations at their workplaces and organizers demonstrated re

St. Paul lifeguard accuses city of violating its own labor rules

Benjamin Smith says the city didn't inform him of his right to paid sick days.
Gary Unger, a member of the local district council board, is among the East Side residents who want to see the former golf course developed. The pollu

City of St. Paul may buy former Hillcrest Golf Club after pollution discovered

Study found mercury from fungicides in the soil at the former East Side course.

St. Paul to investigate after learning of unlicensed short-term rental platform

TripAdvisor has hundreds of rental listings but no permit as the city requires.
MJ Capers, 16, a former employee of Burger King who has filed a complaint with the city, wiped away tears while speaking during a demonstration at St.

Workers call on St. Paul to beef up enforcement of sick time rules

Sympathetic City Council members say the city needs to do more to ensure compliance
City Council Member Kassim Busuri, left, was sworn in by City Clerk Shari Moore at St. Paul City Hall in February.

St. Paul Council Member Kassim Busuri loses some council responsibilities

The interim council member was removed from a public safety work group.
Interim City Council Member Kassim Busuri, seen in February, joined the Ward Six race last week, despite an earlier pledge not to seek the seat.

Interim council member's Ward 6 candidacy shakes up St. Paul City Hall

Praise and outrage follow interim City Council member's pursuit of seat.
Jim and Bonnie Berquist and son Mike at their old office — Mike’s new one —in Inver Grove Heights.

St. Paul organized trash system's start was their end, longtime hauler says

Once, they knew all their customers. Now, Ken Berquist & Son Disposal has been folded into Houston-based Waste Management.
City Council Member Kassim Busuri, left, was sworn in by City Clerk Shari Moore at St. Paul City Hall in February.

Interim St. Paul council member who promised not to run now says he will

Now some council members are calling for the resignation of Kassim Busuri.
Officer Benny Williams

Longtime St. Paul police officer who worked as mayor's bodyguard dies at 59

Officer Benny Williams joined the St. Paul Police Department in 1992.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, shown in 2018, announced the creation of a housing trust fund last year as part of his first budget.

St. Paul's affordable housing efforts come into focus

A new $10 million trust fund aims to make renting, buying more affordable.
Over the weekend, delegates endorsed Council President Amy Brendmoen, left, in the Fifth Ward and Council Member Jane Prince in the Seventh Ward at th

Council members Amy Brendmoen, Jane Prince garner St. Paul DFL endorsement

Party's ward conventions over the weekend give a boost to the incumbents.
Victor Hernandez of Highland Park purchased $40 of pulltabs from Kianna Tichy in March at Skinner's Bar in St. Paul.

St. Paul to steer charitable gambling revenue to low-income youth

To qualify for funds, programs must show they serve youth in need.
St. Paul City Council Member Dai Thao (Star Tribune file)

St. Paul DFLers endorse Council Member Dai Thao

Two challengers walked out of the convention, saying it was unfair.
The water had been shut off a few times in the 20-plus years that Tammy Soler owned this house on Magnolia Ave. E. in St. Paul. When a condemnation no

Failing to pay water bills can get your house condemned in St. Paul

A few days after a resident's water is shut off, the city sends a condemnation notice.
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.