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John Reinan

Reporter | Region & State
Phone: 612-673-7402
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

John Reinan is a news reporter covering Greater Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. For the Star Tribune, he's also covered the western Twin Cities suburbs, as well as marketing, advertising and consumer news. He's been a reporter for more than 20 years and also did a stint at a marketing agency.

Reinan has reported for seven newspapers from Alaska to Florida and points in between. A graduate of Fergus Falls High School and St. Olaf College, he usually can get within two degrees of connection to just about anyone in Minnesota. In his free time, he reads a lot of history, drives the historic Lake Harriet trolley in Minneapolis and plays the stand-up bass.
Recent content from John Reinan
Concerns about possible erosion have prompted a plan to improve drainage in some Mankato ravines. Adjacent homeowners are being asked to foot the bill

Mankato neighborhood balks at tax hike to fix ravine drainage

Residents protest $16,500 levy to fix drainage, erosion issues
Alec Lackmann verified the world’s oldest freshwater fish in Otter Tail County. He’s shown here with one of the nearly 400 bigmouth buffalo fish h

Record catch: At 112 years, Minnesota fish is the oldest freshwater fish ever verified

A graduate student took the fish in Crystal Lake in Otter Tail County. Radiocarbon dating verified the fish's age, making it the oldest age-validated freshwater fish ever taken.
From left, Stella Manuel, 5, Lillian Lydeen, 9, and Lainey Manuel, 7, all from Watkins, sailed down a slide at the Meeker County Fair. Lillian and Lai

Small and sweet, county fairs draw millions of Minnesotans each year

While some 2 million Minnesotans attend the State Fair each year, even more flock to 90 county fairs, where the vibe is more relaxed and less harried.
Miguel Fidler (12) of Edina celebrated after scoring a goal in the third period. Edina beat Duluth East by a final score of 3-2. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgo

Why does everyone love to hate Edina?

The "cake eaters" of Edina have been a target for generations. Why all the hate? Curious Minnesota tackles this reader question.
A Pentecostal prophet told Yvette VanDerBrink to go to auction school. Now the 54-year-old from tiny Hardwick, Minn., is one of the nation’s leading

A prophet told her to become an auctioneer. Now this Minnesota woman is among the best

"A woman doing this? That's like a white buffalo," Yvette VanDerBrink says.
The former Nike missile site in Watertown, Minn., closed since the 1970s, is slated for an environmental cleanup. Here, Mound fire chief Greg Pederson

When nukes in a cornfield protected the Twin Cities from the Soviet Union

WATERTOWN, Minn. – Half a century later, Tony Vanderlinde remembers the sight “plain as day.” Baling hay on his family’s dairy farm near the…
Jade Willaert, 16, traveled from Jordan to the cornfields of Glencoe, Minn., to take her driver’s exam. She’s lucky -- some Twin Cities youths are

Twin Cities teens are having to hit the road to take their driving exams

The state's overcrowded driver testing system has forced some families to travel hundreds of miles and make overnight stays.
This dock on Cross Lake, seen in a file photo, appears to violate Minnesota Department of Natural Resources regulations that requires that no section

Monster docks on Minnesota lakes have DNR concerned

Rather than writing tickets and ordering cabin owners to dismantle docks, DNR agents are asking them to set up their docks differently next year.
The latest border rivalry between Minnesota and Wisconsin challenges the very essence of the North Star state. Wisconsin is claiming that it has more

Wisconsin claims it has more lakes than Minnesota (It doesn't.)

It depends on what you consider a lake. But the Badger State may be overcounting.
Even before his death last year, the town of Longville, Minn., had erected this statue of its beloved ambassador, Bruno. The dog often slept in the su

Minnesota resort town remembers its beloved dog, Bruno

Longville moves on without its beloved four-legged ambassador
Shauna Raisch said she’s had her dock in the same spot on Leech Lake every year for more than 20 years. After she refused to shift its position, a n

Dock dispute on Leech Lake pits businessman vs. former reality TV star from Wayzata

WHIPHOLT, Minn. – As Minnesota gears up for cabin season, this placid vacation community some 200 miles northwest of the Twin Cities finds itself…
Why won't anyone in Minnesota take the last piece of food?

Why won't anyone in Minnesota take the last piece of food?

Who hasn't seen the last doughnut at the office cut in half, then halved again and again, until only a sliver is sitting on the plate? Is it Minnesota Nice at play, basic courtesy or something else?
In March, floodwaters covered Hwy. 19, where the Minnesota River is causing flooding and closed down three of four highways heading into Henderson, Mi

Minnesota is in a soggy state after a historically wet spring

Summerlike weather finally has arrived, but it will take time for the state to dry out.
Lonesome Dove owners Brian Berube, left, and Augie Kersten paid $2,600 for the artwork.

North Dakota saloon owners fight order to cover up mural

"They pushed the wrong guy," co-owner of the Lonesome Dove saloon says about his fight with Mandan.
Joe Slater reviewed land and road records that he says demonstrate that Wabasha County should be maintaining the roads in his Lake Pepin blufftop neig

Who's in charge of gravel roads? Lake City landowner asks court to decide

Lake City developer sues county after road maintenance costs hit $100,000.

Authorities investigate pile of dead cattle on western Wisconsin farm

Local authorities and Xcel Energy differ on whether stray voltage was involved in deaths.

Review: 'A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father,' by David Maraniss

NONFICTION: An acclaimed biographer turns his gaze onto his own family, and his father's fervent political life.
Women gathered at the Karmel Village Apartments after two children fell from an apartment building at S. 28th and Pleasant Avenue Thursday May 2, 2019

Brothers fell 55 feet from roof, landed on patio, police say

They climbed over a barrier meant to prevent falls and plummeted from the roof of the building on Minneapolis' Midtown Greenway.
Minneapolis police officers and crime lab investigators looked over the scene after two children fell from an apartment building at S. 28th and Pleasa

Police: 2nd child in fall at Mpls. apartment is expected to live

Both children who fell were under the age of 4. They were taken to HCMC, with the death of one announced in the afternoon.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, is charged with attempted first-degree premeditated murder in the attack at the Mall of America.

Boy thrown from MOA balcony is now 'alert and conscious'

Woodbury family says 5-year-old Landen is no longer in critical condition and could return home by June.
The front page of the current issue of the Warroad Pioneer features news of a proposed hotel along with a look at the school musical. The paper's last

Weekly newspaper in Warroad set to close after more than 120 years

Printing revenue, ad sales down for Warroad weekly.
Lawyer Stephen Tillitt spoke to reporters and read a statement on behalf of the family whose 5-year-old son was tossed over a third floor balcony insi

Family of boy injured at MOA will not confirm pastor's comments on his condition

Pastor said 5-year-old Landen shows "zero evidence" of brain damage.
SSP students Naomi Gedey, Hafsa Ahmad, Emiliano Granados and teacher Jessica Davis spoke before the board Monday night, seeking to wear sashes at grad

South St. Paul students lobby to wear ethnic-pride sashes at graduation

It’s not often that students outnumber adults at a school board meeting. But on Monday, more than two dozen teens turned out in South St.…

Police ID officers, victim in fatal Coon Rapids shooting

State authorities are examining body camera and drone video footage after Cass Lake man was killed during a traffic stop.
A man was arrested after throwing a 5-year-old child from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America.

Boy hurt in MOA attack 'showing real signs of recovery'

The family of the 5-year-old boy who was thrown from a third floor balcony at the Mall of America says new test results are positive for the "miracle child," though he remains in intensive care.

Grand Rapids teen charged with murder, may be tried as adult

Police said he was found holding a knife next to dying woman.

Teen is suspect in fatal stabbing at Grand Rapids playground

A 20-year-old woman died in what police believe was a drug deal gone bad.
Lawyer Stephen Tillitt spoke to reporters and read a statement on behalf of the family whose five-year-old son was tossed over a third floor balcony i

Man accused in attack on 5-year-old boy at Mall of America appears in court

Boy's family says outpouring of support affirms "overall goodness of humanity."
The Mall of America in Bloomington. A man was charged Monday with attempted first-degree premeditated murder after throwing a 5-year-old child from a

Charges: Suspect in MOA attack was 'looking for someone to kill'

The suspect was "looking for someone to kill."
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda

Man held after boy is thrown at MOA had been told to stay away

The 5-year-old, who was thrown or pushed from the third floor, initially was reported to be not breathing. Police said they could find no connection between the suspect and the boy and his family.
Members of the Jacobs family at the PACER Center's annual benefit in 2005. Alexandra and Irwin Jacobs, at right, were Patron Party co-chairs.

Irwin Jacobs shot his wife, then himself, officials confirm

The Hennepin County medical examiner listed the cause of death for both of them as "multiple gunshot wounds," and ruled Alexandra Jacobs' death a homicide and Irwin Jacobs' death a suicide.
Irwin Jacobs' estate in Orono.

Irwin Jacobs, wife found dead in what close friend calls murder-suicide

While Irwin Jacobs was widely known for his business dealings, Alexandra avoided the limelight that her husband often relished.
Whitey Skoog was a star basketball player for the Gophers before joining the Minneapolis Lakers. This photo is believed to be taken around 1950.

Gophers, Lakers, Gusties great Whitey Skoog dies at 92

The son of Norwegian immigrants, Skoog was a basketball star at Brainerd High School and the University of Minnesota, where he earned All-America and All-Big Ten honors.
John "Petey" Peterson went through some of his slides of the Minneapolis Lakers that he took in the early 1950's. This is Bud Grant from 1952.

In a battered case, a treasure trove from the NBA's first dynasty

Recently found among boxes of memories from 60 years as a photographer was a scarred case containing dozens of Minneapolis Lakers photos John Peterson took as a teenager.
Joan Buckley

Joan Buckley, who inspired generations of Concordia College students, dies at 88

Buckley taught American literature at the liberal arts college for 49 years.
Flood waters covered Hwy. 19 near Henderson, Minn. DAVID JOLES • With warmer temps starting to hit and even warmer temps

Massive flood in Minn. was 'sitting on our doorstep,' but kept at bay

State's swollen rivers could still flood if there is heavy rain in April.
The Polaris GEM is like an extreme golf cart.

From modest to luxurious, 3 electric cars that pleasantly surprised us

You probably think electric cars are for tree-huggers who wear sensible shoes, eat organic root vegetables and recycle their used bath water. Have you driven…
Two F-16s from the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing flew Thursday over Target Field in Minneapolis for Opening Day.

Moments, memories make for a magic opener for Twins fans

Nearly 40,000 turned out at Target Field and enjoyed a festive afternoon in downtown Minneapolis.
Jake Patterson left the courtroom after he pleaded guilty Wednesday during a hearing in Barron, Wis.

'Bye, Jayme': Closs kidnapper pleads guilty at dramatic hearing

The plea deal stipulates that Jake Patterson will not be charged with any offenses in Douglas County, where he held Jayme. The agreement means she won't have to testify at any trial.
In February, Jake Patterson appears for a brief hearing in Barron County Circuit Court in Barron.

Anger, anxiety grip Barron, Wis. as Jake Patterson returns to court

As the 21-year-old Patterson heads to court, many in Barron hope he pleads guilty, sparing Jayme Closs and her family a lengthy trial.
Crews erected an earthen levy to be topped with sheeting and sandbags.

Flood watchers get bird's-eye view of rising Minnesota River

Despite forecasts of the season's gradual, "perfect melt," people in the Minnesota River valley south of the Twin Cities are on edge.
A walker in the skyway near Target Field.

The good, the bad and the weird in Minneapolis skyways

Here is a guide from one veteran skywalker of the nearly 9 enclosed miles in downtown Minneapolis.
Terrence Tibbetts

White Earth tribal chair Terry Tibbetts dies at 60

Tibbetts served on the council for a decade before becoming chairman.
This undated photo provided by the Milwaukee Police Department shows Noelani Robinson, 2, whose body was found along a highway in Minnesota's Steele C

Missing Wis. girl, 2, found dead in Minnesota highway ditch

Noelani Robinson's body was found along Hwy. 218 in Steele County in southern Minnesota. She had been the subject of an Amber Alert after her mother was killed in Milwaukee.
The clubhouse at Duluth’s Enger Park Golf Course is in need of expensive renovation. Duluth’s two public courses have racked up $2.4 million in de

As golf loses popularity, Duluth weighs future of its public courses

With public courses in debt, city considers selling to developer.
International Falls’ economy was built on timber; high-speed, wired broadband is crucial to any higher-tech future.

Rural Minnesota in a broadband battle: 'We don't want people left behind'

Broadband advocates say they are encouraged by the progress, but with one in five rural Minnesota households still lacking access to high-speed, wired internet service, there's a long way to go.
The Waterview Kennels in Stacy, Minn., burned Tuesday morning and 18 dogs were killed.

18 dogs die in fire at north metro boarding kennel

Owner of Waterview Kennels in Stacy, Minn., said majority of the dogs belonged to his wife.
The distillery room of the Cantilever Distillery and Hotel was under construction in Ranier, Minn., taking its name from a nearby bridge into Canada.

Minnesota distillery on Canadian border taps into area's shady past

Even before Prohibition took effect, Koochiching County had earned a reputation for partying and bootlegging. A new hotel and distillery are capitalizing on its past to spark the local economy.
Mike Schulz, head of the Lake of the Woods International Arena Board, spoke with the arena’s anonymous donor as he showed the facility to visitors.

Mystery donor gives $6 million for hockey arena in northern Minnesota

Workers in Baudette are putting the finishing touches on the 750-seat, 40,000-square-foot facility, which will open later this month.
Becky Edwards and her boyfriend Jason Rickertsen became stranded on their way home to Iowa after visiting the Mall of America over the weekend. They s

They tried to beat the blizzard, landed at the Owatonna Armory

More than 180 people crowded the armory, with another 60 taking shelter in a Lutheran church. The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Minnesota National Guard and local government agencies jumped into action to tend to the stranded travelers.
Bosch precision driving instructor Greg Vandersluis talked with senior marketing analyst Michelle Duhadway at a test course at the winter test facilit

Northern Minnesota: A hot spot for cold-weather car testing

Cold, snow and remote location create a perfect mix at Canadian border.
Victor Paradis

Pearl Harbor survivor Victor Paradis, dead at 100, fought in WWII's most dangerous naval actions

Navy master chief machinist had a knack for turning up at the most dangerous moments of World War II.
close-up of a tiger

Review: 'No Beast So Fierce,' by Dane Huckelbridge

NONFICTION: "No Beast So Fierce" chronicles the most prolific serial killer in recorded history — a tiger.
Hands at the ready, Wuollet Bakery's Doug Wuollet watched his 260-layer cake lean precipitously Friday in Winona, Minn. The cake held it together long

World-record layer cake teeters but doesn't topple in Winona celebration

WINONA, MINN. – An attempt at making a Guinness World Record was nearly derailed Friday morning when the star went off script. As scores…
Bagley, Minn., animal control officer Dan Ekre has faced down rabid bulls, spitting llamas and a herd of baby pigs running down U.S. Hwy 2.

Minnesota animal catcher shares his secrets to corralling llamas on the loose

Dan Ekre, Bagley's animal control officer, handles some surprising cases.
Jerry Hennessey

Minnesota grain elevator manager to plead guilty in $5.5M swindle case

After three months on the run, Jerry Hennessey turned himself in. Now he's "accepting responsibility," his attorney said.
Katy Nordhagen walked carrying her 3-year-old dog Peppers after taking him out for a bathroom break Wednesday in Northeast Minneapolis.

Utility asks customers to turn down thermostats in deep freeze

All Xcel Energy natural gas customers are urged to lower thermostats to 63 because of "significant strain" on the utility's natural gas system. Minneapolis, St. Paul and Anoka-Hennepin schools will be closed Thursday.
Jayme Closs at her aunt's home in Barron, Wis., after her escape

Jennie-O to give $25,000 in reward money to Jayme Closs

Jennie-O Turkey Store said that it's working with law enforcement officials to set up a trust fund for the 13-year-old.
Jake Patterson was seen as smart, quick-witted as a kid.

How did Jake Patterson's life lead to Jayme Closs?

Alleged violent acts in northwestern Wisconsin leave family, friends with questions.
The cabin outside of Gordon, Wis., where Jayme Closs was held for 88 days was surrounded by a swarm of law enforcement vehicles Saturday morning.

Chance back-road encounter cracked the Jayme Closs case

Captive for almost three months, the 13-year-old seized an opportunity and walked away. And acting on the information Jayme provided, police found a suspect within five minutes.
Jayme Closs, right, with her aunt Jennifer Smith in a photo posted Friday to the "Healing for Jayme Closs" Facebook page, which has closely tracked Ja

Back with family after escaping, Jayme Closs 'is the hero'

Wisconsin authorities said Jayme Closs was abducted by 21-year-old Jake T. Patterson, who is being charged with murder and kidnapping. She was reunited with her family. "It's amazing, the will of that 13-year-old girl to survive and escape," Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said.
Sunset on Lake of the Woods, off Flag Island.

How did Minnesota's Northwest Angle come to be?

William Lass, who literally wrote the book, says origin is complex.
Jake Thomas Patterson has been arrested in the kidnapping of Jayme Closs and the murder of her parents, officials said.

Jake Patterson: Suspected killer, kidnapper's life remains a mystery

Jake Patterson had no criminal record or social media footprint.
Matt Lindbo and his Eagle Scout merit badges.

This Minnesotan achieves rare feat in 109-year history of Eagle Scouts

Matt Lindbo 19, a senior at Redwood Valley High School in Redwood Falls, Minn., pulled off a feat that's rarely been accomplished.
Ali J Boutique manager McCall Amundson, left, and owner Alison Werder, right, discussed their thriving New London business.

Recession decimated outstate Minnesota retailers, but there are bright spots

Of the state's 47 largest retail centers outside the Twin Cities, all but two saw a loss of retailers from 2009 to 2015.
On Lake of the Woods near Big Narrows, which lies about halfway between Minnesota's Northwest Angle and Kenora, Ontario.

Give the Northwest Angle to Canada? Residents say 'no thanks'

A petition to the White House suggests giving Minnesota's scenic Northwest Angle to Canada.
Federal and state regulators are trying to rein in the deluge of robocalls, which totaled more than 5.1 billion nationwide this year.

Robocall surge in Minnesota in 2018 aided by evolving technology

Federal and state regulators are trying to rein in the deluge of calls, which totaled more than 5.1 billion nationwide this year.
Friends of Mayowood, a group that helped bring back the historic home of Dr. Charles Mayo, is disbanding after more than 40 years.

Group that helped save historic Mayo mansion in Rochester is disbanding

Group that helped save magnificent Mayowood is disbanding
Dr. Erik Bostrom sews and embroiders blankets for every baby he delivers, including Reese Hietalati, held here by mom Lacie.

Rural Minnesota doctor sews a baby blanket for every newborn he delivers

Dr. Erik Bostrom of Aitkin isn't an obstetrician. But in rural hospitals, delivering babies is part of a family doctor's job. And for Bostrom, it's become his favorite part.
Kurt Eichenwald Brandon Thibodeaux • New York Times

Review: 'A Mind Unraveled,' by Kurt Eichenwald

NONFICTION: A former New York Times reporter tells his own story about living with seizures and suffering trauma — and nearly dying.
Jerry Hennessey

Ashby elevator manager fled state 'to get his head clear,' attorney says

Lawyer for man accused in $5 million theft said he never left the country.
Jerry Hennessey

Fugitive elevator manager from Ashby, Minn., turns himself in

Jerry Hennessey, who now faces a mail fraud count in federal court, told a friend he was "in big trouble" before fleeing to Iowa.

Woman alleges 'ritual sexual abuse' at Catholic school in Stearns County

Diocese of St. Cloud says the school, Holy Innocents', has no link to organized Catholic church.
The Ashby Grain Elevator looms above the downtown Main Street.

Big game, small town and a $5 million mystery in tiny Ashby, Minn.

Grain co-op's manager and money have disappeared.
The Closs family home in Barron, Wis.

A month after Closs vanished, feeling in hometown 'very dark'

Town and family struggle while investigators keep hope alive: "The motive isn't there. The reason isn't there. I wish, wish, wish every night before I go to bed that we find a clue."
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