Staff Directory 34031089

Katie Humphrey

Team leader | Topics
Phone: 612-673-4758
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: Spanish

Katie Humphrey is the topics team leader for the Star Tribune, working with reporters who cover religion, transportation, philanthropy, immigration and other issues. She previously led teams covering the southern suburbs and Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

After growing up in rural Minnesota, Humphrey graduated from Northwestern University and worked at the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, Texas, where she covered crime/courts and city hall. She joined the Star Tribune as a Dakota County reporter and later wrote about technology and social media. Humphrey enjoys traveling in her free time.
Recent content from Katie Humphrey
A woman named Vera wept outside Paisley Park. She said she knew Prince for 30 years.

Fans leave flowers, touch Prince's star on First Avenue's wall

Officials shared memories of the music legend.
Victor Uriel Laureano-Uriza, 5

Family mourns 'very special' boy killed while trick-or-treating

Vigil planned for 5-year-old boy who was hit by car while trick-or-treating in Minneapolis.
Open since 1972, SS Billiards in Hopkins is the place to go for pinball machines. Above from upper left: Cyclists passed under Hwy. 169 in Hopkins; Ho

Day trip: Hopkins serves up history hip in the 'burbs

Suburbs get snubbed a lot — Pleasantvilles with no culture, no history, no nightlife. Not true in Hopkins. If there is a recipe for what's trendy in big-city neighborhoods, Hopkins already has all the ingredients.

Upsie app offers warranty options on new electronics

The holidays have come and gone, and Santa didn’t bring that new television. If you want it, you’re going to have to buy it on…

Find apps for the kids' new gadgets

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that specializes in media, technology and families, recently released an updated list of "Essential Apps for Kids and Teens."

Top Web trends: Ice buckets, World Cup and #Ferguson

You can tell a lot about a country by what it tweets, googles and views on YouTube.
Mingle@ app aims for in-person introductions

Mingle@ app aims for in-person introductions

Sam McCaa was in Uptown eating with friends when he saw it: awkward first date in progress. The guy was taken by the woman, but…
The Otto family gathered around the computer at Thanksgiving to Skype with Moriah Otto, who missed the gathering in Cokato, Minn., because she was stu

Families share holiday rituals by video chat

For millions of people whose families are scattered across the country, almost any digital screen can become a window into a holiday celebration via Skype, Google Hangouts or Apple's FaceTime.

Online ads follow you wherever you go

Remember that time you shopped for a necklace online, and then jewelry ads followed you everywhere you went — from your Facebook page to news sites? You're not imagining it: You're being tracked. Here's how.

Targeted online ads: Creepy or convenient?

Privacy concerns arise as online ads follow consumers as they search the Internet.

2014: The year we toyed with wearable tech

Want an entertaining peek at what the wearable tech future could hold? Look at Kickstarter. There are more than 200 wearable tech pitches on that crowdfunding site.
Photographer Melissa Oholendt, who originally took these photos for the Wit & Delight blog, suggests incorporating floral arrangements or a few sprigs

Cook up a visual holiday feast on Instagram

Photographer Melissa Oholendt shares tricks for taking dreamy Instagram photos of food and decor.

Do we want privacy or free stuff? Both

Internet users feel they've lost control of their personal information — but that doesn't stop them from handing it out.

DrinkFly app delivers alcohol to your door

It’s cold. You’re hunkered down at home in a nest of cozy blankets. Wouldn’t a warm adult beverage be nice? Or maybe a glass of…
Alexandra Tweten, formerly of Climax, Minn., and creator of the Instagram account @byefelipe.

Q&A with Minnesota woman behind viral Bye Felipe Instagram

A woman from Minnesota created a wildly popular Instagram account to spotlight online abuse.
FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, photo, 22-year-old Catherine Devine reads instant messages on her laptop at home in Kings Park, N.Y. A report r

Online harassment is routine among adults

Adults regularly face harassment online, from name-calling and embarrassment to threats of violence. Cruelty isn't unique to the Internet, but the anonymity and accessibility it offers feed online attacks.
Miranda July

Somebody app: Deliver text messages in person

Miranda July and the Walker Art Center want smartphone users to bring their instant messaging into the real world.
Danno Klonowski, right, who co-hosts a local podcast called “The Wayne Gale Variety Hour,” interviewed cartoonist Zander Cannon for the show, name

Pushing 'play' on podcasts

They're older than the first iPhone, but podcasts are finally hitting the mainstream.
What happens to your digital life after death? Don't leave it to chance

What happens to your digital life after death? Don't leave it to chance

About #AlwaysOn: A weekly look at all things Internet, from top apps and social media stars to goofy memes and tech breakthroughs.
300 dpi Chuck Todd illustration of man's head lost in the Cloud; can be used with stories about whether or not the Cloud is all it is cracked up to be

What exactly is 'the cloud'? Answer's not over your head

The cloud is a pretty vague concept for a lot of people, even if they won't admit it. Consider it part of the ever-changing technology universe we use daily but don't really understand. Let's clear that up.
Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils the Apple Watch and says it's the next chapter in the history of the company.

Who wants to wear a smartwatch?

With Apple's arrival on the smartwatch scene, will high-tech watches catch on? There's lots of buzz around smartwatches, but it's still unclear if anyone will buy them.
Kate Arends Peters commands a large social media following on Pinterest and Instagram.

The local tastemaker behind Wit & Delight hits social media stardom

After amassing millions of followers, social media tastemaker Kate Arends Peters is opening up about the parts of life that aren't Pinterest-perfect.
Jack and Jack; Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky will headline DigiFest at the State Fair on Sunday. They specialize in onstage shenanigans, singing and

Q&A with Vine and YouTube stars Jack and Jack

DigiFest promises IRL experiences with the stars of YouTube and Vine. Don't understand? Ask a teen.
Ryan Carlson, tech evangelist at The Nerdery, and Jazinae Patterson, junior at Washburn High School.

Picking the right apps for your life

Is there a science to picking the perfect apps to fit your life? Find out what these savvy smartphone users have to say.
Allie Causin came ashore at Lake of the Isles, wearing the mermaid tail she purchased from Bryn and Abby Roberts at Finfolk Productions, based in St.

Mere mortals become mermaids, thanks to Twin Cities sisters

Twin sisters from St. Paul are swimming in business – outfitting real-life mermaids worldwide with elaborate, colorful fishtails at a cool $2,500 a piece.
Bob Molhoek, founder and CEO of iMyne

Online shopping takes a generous turn with iMyne

The founder of the free online tool hopes that the promise of rebates for shoppers prompts donations to charities.
Stephanie Ross, center, helped create an app to keep in touch with her daughters Heather Upin, left, and Emily Upin.

Share daily highs, lows and surprises with app by St. Paul mom

Parents love to hear about their kids' lives. Kids, especially teens, don't always love to share. St. Paul mom Stephanie Ross found a way around those frustrating exchanges with an app based on a dinnertime game.
Siri vs. Cortana

Duel of the digital assistants: Siri vs. Cortana

Siri's got a new frenemy. Her name is Cortana, and she's bringing plenty of underdog attitude to the battle for the title of best digital personal assistant.
Credit: Paul Carbo, Special to the Star Tribune Illo to accompany talking technology story.

Talking technology is becoming ubiquitous -- and maybe even useful

Voice-activated devices are evolving from glitch-ridden novelties into useful tools, but quality conversation with your computer isn't likely anytime soon.
Some parents post pictures but never their children’s names. Others try to keep their kids’ digital footprints relatively clean — no small feat

Parents' dilemma: To share or not to share photos on social media

Parents accustomed to dishing about their own lives on social media are grappling with how to share their kids' antics without oversharing.
Child using the Android version of the FamDoo app

App aims to give the 'modern allowance'

Minneapolis-founded app FamDoo connects kids and parents with a digital to-do list – plus rewards.
300 dpi Val B. Mina color illustration of a couple sitting on a sofa set in a computer keyboard. Can be used with stories about people who spend too m

Experts predict a thriving 'Internet of Things' by 2025

More connected devices in our lives would provide information about our habits and communities, but would also mean less privacy.
The umbrellas began to sprout as a steady rain began to fall on the farmers market in downtown Excelsior on Water St.

Weather the storms with smartphone apps

While an umbrella might by the most useful accessory for our recent weather, a smartphone is also helpful to keep up on whatever Mother Nature decides to throw our way.
In this Jan. 4, 2013, photo, Janell Burley Hofmann, right, poses with her son Gregory at their home in Sandwich, Mass. Janell holds a copy of the cont

'iRules' author talks tech families, sexting and cyberbullying

Learn some "iRules" from the woman whose smartphone contract with her son became an Internet favorite.
Istock lime citrus fruit

Lime prices leave bars, restaurants lacking zest

Unrest in Mexico, coupled with flooding in some areas and drought in others, has brought on the squeeze for lime prices.
Minnesota State head football coach Todd Hoffner

Dec. 22, 2012: Hoffner gets 20-day unpaid suspension

Todd Hoffner's status as Minnesota State, Mankato's football coach remains unclear. The unpaid suspension might be over his use of university cellphone.
Smartphones in hand, members of the Enlightened team of the augmented-reality game Ingress fanned out across the grounds of the Minneapolis Sculpture

Gamers wage virtual war with real Twin Cities landmarks

All the world is a game board for the players who wage virtual war over Twin Cities landmarks in a smartphone-powered game called Ingress.
Ashley Paguyo and Ahmed El Shourbagy, the duo behind Dogs of Instagram, with Lucy, a Boston terrier and pug mix.

Meet the Minneapolis couple who rule dog cuteness on Instagram

Ahmed El Shourbagy and his girlfriend, Ashley Paguyo, are the Instagram equivalent of talent scouts — the humans behind the wildly popular Dogs of Instagram account.
A screen shot from a Life360 video shows how the family-tracking app works.

Tracking apps keep tabs on friends, kids, grandparents and pets

Apps and GPS-enabled gadgets make it easy to track friends and family members, but the technology raises privacy questions.
“It’s Complicated:  The Social Lives of Networked Teens,” by Danah Boyd

Teens and social media: It's complicated

One of the country's leading scholars of online teenage behavior argues that adult fears are misplaced.
The Nest Learning Thermostat picks up on your daily schedule as well as your heating and cooling habits and programs itself accordingly.

Twin Cities homes are going high-tech thanks to 'smart' devices

Houses are going high-tech amid the booming "Internet of Things." But do you really need that Wi-Fi-enabled toothbrush, and what if it gets a virus?
Paul Schmid color illustration of broken winged heart. The Seattle Times 2006 broken heart wing winged love romance divorce breaking up death lost los

Smartphone apps offer help with divorce, but usefulness debatable

That's right, there are smartphone apps — hundreds, actually — to guide couples through the sticky process of untangling a union.
Social media app icons, including for Facebook and Twitter, on an iPhone.

High schools confront social media minefield

Teen gossip, inside jokes and offensive language can explode online through new, quickly evolving outlets, where it can live on and be seen by thousands.
Ann E. Answers

Mind your digital manners

Etiquette in the Internet age is a fast-evolving beast. Ann E. Answers is here to save you from online embarrassment.
An iPhone displays Facebook's new app, Paper.

Facebook's new Paper app gets good reviews

Facebook unwrapped a new app this week to celebrate its 10th birthday. It doesn't have every Facebook feature, but its photo-heavy presentation of news from friends and major publications has won wide praise.
Screen shots from QuizUp

Ever-popular quiz apps test all personality types

Since launching in November, QuizUp has hovered in the Top 10 mobile games in the United States. But it's just one of many brain teasers. Turns out, there's a trivia app to test just about any personality type.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian believes the Internet, with its roaring debates, can change the world.

Q&A: Reddit's co-founder on the idea of an open Internet

One of the men behind "the front page of the Internet" talks about the best way to get attention online.
The Reddit alien.

A beginner's guide to Reddit

Reddit's that website you've heard of but maybe don't quite understand. Is it a social network? A message board? Its spare design and free-for-all culture can be intimidating, but don't underestimate its users' collective power — for good and, sometimes, not-so-good.
A dust mite.

Pillow talk: Does extreme cold kill dust mites?

There's an upside to this freezing weather if killing dust mites is your goal.
A sign at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

Would you 'like' a chance to 'sympathize' on Facebook?

Facebook recently revealed that its engineers have been toying with the idea of a "sympathize" button. Is that something to "like"? Maybe.
Reindeer viewed on a webcam at Como Zoo.

Reindeer reality show, live from Como Zoo

Animal Planet's online Reindeer Cam is focused on a trio of Santa's hooved helpers at St. Paul's Como Zoo this holiday season.

Recycle Your Holidays collects unwanted lights for free

It’s the holiday decorating moment of truth: Plug in the lights and hope they all glow. Cheer as they twinkle around the tree, or scowl…

Holidays bring family together … for tech support

Across Minnesota, college kids and young adults will likely spend part of the holidays installing updates on laptops and explaining how to download apps onto tablets.
Minneapolis, MN 7/02/2003 Fourth of July graphic. Hot dog and mustard.

Wis. Mustard museum is spread thin

A Wisconsin museum dedicated to mustard is feeling the squeeze.
Air travelers can now read e-books such as Kindles, listen to podcasts and watch videos at low altitudes—but not use cellphones.

FAA reprieve: Cellphone silence is still golden while in the air

While the Federal Aviation Administration this month expanded the use of electronic devices in flight, it continued its ban on phone calls — and that's just fine with a surprising number of passengers.
Don't become a tech fossil at work

Don't become a tech fossil at work

The onslaught of new technology, from smartphones to social media, can leave experienced workers feeling prehistoric. Avoid professional extinction by answering the call of the digital era.

Project: Don't be the office dinosaur

Stay vital in the workplace, even if you're not the youngest employee. Our three-part series shows you how you can adjust your attitude, keep your technical skills up and stay in style.
Facebook garage sales growing in popularity

Facebook garage sales growing in popularity

No neighborhood needed: Veteran garage salers are finding plenty of deals these days without leaving their homes -- on Facebook.
Grumpy Cat

Growing crowd shoots for video stardom online

Eleven percent of adult Internet users in the United States have posted an online video in hopes that it will be widely viewed, according to the Pew Research Center.
FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2013, file photo, a smartphone display shows the Twitter logo in Berlin, Germany, Twitter unsealed the documents Thursday, Oct.

Scholarly citations of 140 characters

Class is in session. The research papers are coming. It's time to start digging for sources: encyclopedias, journal articles, tweets. Yes, tweets.
Nancy Lyons, Maria Gini and Kate Agnew are leaders from different corners of the Twin Cities area tech scene, each of them sharing a passion for bring

Still outnumbered, women strive to tap into tech industry

While women have made gains in other traditionally male-dominated fields, the glass ceiling in the tech world is proving particularly tough to break.
FILE - This Feb. 2, 2013, file photo shows a Twitter icon on the display of a smartphone in Berlin. The company tweeted Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, that

Catch more followers with honey

In an online world full of sass and surliness, sharing positive news is catching on.
Laptop keyboard with focus on the delete key.

Vanish from the Web with

Trying to wipe digital footprints off the Internet can make cleaning your cluttered closet sound like fun. But a new website aims to make erasing unwanted accounts easier.
Spread over 250 million text message-enabled phones, cellphone spamming is not as commonplace as e-mail spam. But it is a growing menace, with the pot

Digital reminders take the place of nagging

  It used to be that Mom harped “Sit up straight!” when you slouched. Now there’s a smartphone app with a belt that gives you…
LinkedIn, the professional networking website, is encouraging teens 14 and older to subscribe.

Teens, please add me to your network, LinkedIn says

New "University Pages" connect students with colleges and the buttoned-up social network.
A smartphone with mobile banking application.

More Americans tap into digital banking

There was a time, not all that long ago, when making a deposit meant walking into a bank. Paying bills called for writing checks, which…
Richard Tsong-Taatarii/ Minnesota State Fair, MN;9/2/06;Right:Mekensie Wright,5,(cq) of Maple Grove, MN got up in the a

State Fair app leads visitors to munchies, music and merchandise

Sometimes there's nothing more important than finding the nearest place to get cotton candy or cheese curds or fried [fill in the blank] on a stick. The Minnesota State Fair smartphone app can lead the way.
Jaiden Julson, 11, of Brooklyn Park concentrated on adding music to her animation project in Scratch during a CoderDojo workshop held recently at Cloc

Kids are learning the language of computers

A push to teach kids computer programming – for future jobs and 21st-century literacy – is gaining momentum.
Garmin GPS.

GPS devices may not be all that accurate

Despite high-tech GPS devices, we still get lost. It's difficult to quantify how often, but evidence of users' frustration is easy to find.
From left:  Jodie Miller, Tess Fellman, Katie Pennell, Angela Needham and Nina Hale are “Glass explorers,” chosen by Google to try out the new

Take a look through Google's Glass

Will Google Glass become the next "it" gadget or a goofy novelty like the Segway?

Colleges -- including U of M and St. Cloud St. -- fighting back at cyberattacks

Loads of intellectual property make them frequent targets.
In this Thursday, April 4, 2013, photo, Michael Goodwin, Senior Partner for HTC, displays an HTC First cell phone wit the new Facebook interface at Fa

Facebook losing its buzz as younger users defect

While adults are flocking to Facebook, teens are migrating to newer, cooler networks that Mom and Dad have yet to discover.
While most trees have dropped their leaves, a maple tree still held its near Lake Harriet as a biker rode by in Minneapolis, MN. Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 helps cyclists plot routes, find amenities, a mobile-friendly website, features an interactive map that makes sure you can find sustenance — and everything else — while riding around Minnesota.
Angelina Jolie

Mastectomy debate: Much-needed information or fueling hysteria?

Coming on the heels of Angelina Jolie's revelation that she had a preventive double mastectomy, talk of the very personal procedure has never been so public.
A child stands in front of a house and vehicle that were destroyed by a massive tornado in Moore, Okla., May 24, 2013. During times of national traged

Angst abounds as people tweet during tragedy

During times of national heartache, Twitter and Facebook become sounding boards for the grieving masses. But what if you want to tweet about something else?