Staff Directory 270190981

Liz Sawyer

Reporter | General assignment reporter
phone: 612-673-4648
Liz Sawyer is a graduate of Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she majored in newspaper and online journalism. During her time at SU, Sawyer served as news editor of the school's independent student newspaper, The Daily Orange. She previously covered the South Metro and Minneapolis at the Star Tribune.Follow @bylizsawyer
Recent content from Liz Sawyer
St. John's, St. Ben restate immigrant support, won't be 'sanctuary campus'

St. John's, St. Ben restate immigrant support, won't be 'sanctuary campus'

Petition asking for sanctuary status a national trend on college campuses after election of Donald Trump.
Embattled Mendota Heights police chief resigns

Embattled Mendota Heights police chief resigns

Longtime Chief Mike Aschenbrener, 57, steps down in anticipation of big changes on the council.
U.S. Bank Stadium contractor, roofing company settle OSHA suit in worker death

U.S. Bank Stadium contractor, roofing company settle OSHA suit in worker death

Safety protocols against falls were inadequate, agency ruled.
LIVE: Minn. high school band performs at Pearl Harbor ceremony in Hawaii

LIVE: Minn. high school band performs at Pearl Harbor ceremony in Hawaii

More than 80 students from Kerkhoven Murdock Sunburg High School will represent the state.
Duluth's ship canal lighthouses dubbed historic by National Register

Duluth's ship canal lighthouses dubbed historic by National Register

Two of Duluth's signature lighthouses have been added to the National Register of Historic Places, the latest landmarks to join city staples such as the Aerial Lift Bridge, Armory and Union Depot in earning the distinction.
Man's body found in collapsed building in Sioux Falls

Man's body found in collapsed building in Sioux Falls

A woman who lived in the structure had been pulled to safety hours before the construction worker's death was confirmed.
Mall of America welcomes its first black Santa

Mall of America welcomes its first black Santa

Visiting for just four days, Larry Jefferson is the first black Santa to listen to kids' wish lists at the Mall of America.
Minnesota Zoo's oldest tiger, Molniy, dies at 16

Minnesota Zoo's oldest tiger, Molniy, dies at 16

Molniy, the Minnesota Zoo's oldest tiger, died Sunday from health complications related to aging, officials said.
Somali-American teen makes semifinals at Miss Minnesota USA pageant

Somali-American teen makes semifinals at Miss Minnesota USA pageant

Halima Aden said she entered the competition to break barriers for Muslim women and counter the prevalent notion that they are oppressed.
Six file complaint after Mpls. officer shot into car during downtown brawl

Six file complaint after Mpls. officer shot into car during downtown brawl

The officer now faces an internal affairs investigation over his use of force.
Teen is first fully covered Muslim Miss Minnesota USA contestant

Teen is first fully covered Muslim Miss Minnesota USA contestant

Halima Aden aims to defy stereotypes without compromising her religious beliefs.
Hudson, Wis., entrepreneur wows 'Shark Tank'

Hudson, Wis., entrepreneur wows 'Shark Tank'

Vance Zahorski, an avid fisherman, earns $120,000 investment for his fishing line cutting ring.

Day after Thanksgiving is busy for an industry besides retailers: plumbers

"Brown Friday" means all hands are on deck at Roto Rooter for its busiest day of the year.
Overloaded servers don't keep Give to Max Day from passing last year's total

Overloaded servers don't keep Give to Max Day from passing last year's total

Even with topping $18 million, donors and nonprofits express frustration with GiveMN site.
Castile family hails charges against officer as 'a historic decision'

Castile family hails charges against officer as 'a historic decision'

The charges were met with tears and relief from Philando Castile's friends and family.
Don't look now: Snow expected this week, some of it serious

Don't look now: Snow expected this week, some of it serious

After a beautifully long fall, rain will give way to freezing temperatures and snow this week, officially sending Minnesota into the throes of wintry weather.

Twin Cities craft stores struggle to keep safety pins in stock

The pins are being worn as an expression of support for those who feel Trump's election has made them vulnerable.
Lindström voters re-elect beloved, but dead, city councilman

Lindström voters re-elect beloved, but dead, city councilman

The "taxpayer's best friend" died Sept. 30 — too late for election officials to remove his name from the ballot.
Evacuation over after train derailed in southern Minn. town

Evacuation over after train derailed in southern Minn. town

Train car carrying propane began leaking Friday near Ellendale, Minn.
Minn. polling places prepare for evening turnout

Minn. polling places prepare for evening turnout

Twin Cities voters went to the polls in a steady stream Tuesday evening, but by about 5 p.m. there were few signs of a late rush like the one that polling places saw in the early morning.

Husband and wife identified in Apple Valley murder-suicide

Police have released the identities of an Apple Valley couple who died in a murder-suicide Wednesday evening. Alan Lee Josephson, 49, fatally shot his wife,…
Family sues Buck Hill after daughter injured in fall from tow rope

Family sues Buck Hill after daughter injured in fall from tow rope

New owners say the incident occurred before they bought the ski hill.
U's Muslim Student Association sign defaced by graffiti

U's Muslim Student Association sign defaced by graffiti

CAIR calls for a hate crime probe into the vandalism.
Lino Lakes man who 20 years ago killed three people in drunken-driving crash charged with another DWI

Lino Lakes man who 20 years ago killed three people in drunken-driving crash charged with another DWI

James Hoffoss, 52, was arrested on Saturday and recorded a blood alcohol content that was twice the legal limit.
Virtual protesters stand with Standing Rock in anti-pipeline movement

Virtual protesters stand with Standing Rock in anti-pipeline movement

Minneapolis City Council Members Alondra Cano and Jacob Frey have participated in solidarity.
Minivan leaves big hole in northeast Minneapolis liquor store

Minivan leaves big hole in northeast Minneapolis liquor store

River Liquor Store owner estimates damage at more than $150,000 after crash destroys scotch and whiskey section.

Minn. deputy fatally shoots man who opened fire after 50-mile chase

BCA will investigate shooting that came after chase across 3 counties.
Vietnamese staple Mai Village to close after nearly 25 years in St. Paul

Vietnamese staple Mai Village to close after nearly 25 years in St. Paul

Restaurant known for its ornate decor and indoor fish pond has struggled since the recession.

Ex-mayor of small Minn. town burglarizes home of current mayor

Joseph Rongstad crept in neighbor's home overnight to rifle through city documents.

Lutheran pastor in Cottage Grove arrested on suspicion of child porn

He was arrested at his home in Pine City without incident.
Charges: Lakeville couple endangered young kids during filthy 5 days in car

Charges: Lakeville couple endangered young kids during filthy 5 days in car

Both parents were charged in Dakota County District Court on Thursday.

Charges: Minneapolis man who stalked waitress in 1980s attempts to reconnect with victim

On provisional release, he was charged with felony stalking Tuesday.
Protest against police brutality briefly blocks 50th and France

Protest against police brutality briefly blocks 50th and France

About 75 people rallied and marched in Edina Saturday to protest police brutality, blocking a busy intersection in midafternoon. The gathering, organized around the theme of "I Am a Man," was held to address the issues of racial profiling and police violence against black men.
Minneapolis officers cleared in shooting of Jamar Clark

Minneapolis officers cleared in shooting of Jamar Clark

The Minneapolis police officers involved in the November 2015 fatal shooting of Jamar Clark did not violate department policies and will not face discipline, according to Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau.
Minnesota Supreme Court rules that BB gun is not a firearm

Minnesota Supreme Court rules that BB gun is not a firearm

Weapon possession landed felon back in prison for five year sentence, which has now been vacated.
Semi drivers killed in head-on crash on I-90 are identified

Semi drivers killed in head-on crash on I-90 are identified

The crash shut down the highway from noon Tuesday into the evening.
Hibbing High honors alum Bob Dylan — er, Zimmerman -- for his Nobel

Hibbing High honors alum Bob Dylan — er, Zimmerman -- for his Nobel

Even as rock legend keeps a silence, his school exults.
I-90 lanes reopen after head-on crash killing two semi drivers

I-90 lanes reopen after head-on crash killing two semi drivers

A head-on crash Tuesday between two semitrailer trucks on Interstate 90 in ­Winona County killed both drivers, police said. A stretch of the interstate was…
Edina man who got Legionnaires' files lawsuit against juice plant

Edina man who got Legionnaires' files lawsuit against juice plant

Lawyer says he represents at least six others suing the Hopkins juice plant.
Kansas bomb plot has Somali community staying vigilant

Kansas bomb plot has Somali community staying vigilant

Somali-Americans in Minnesota are revisiting security measures. "There's tremendous concern immediately," said Jaylani Hussein, of CAIR's Minnesota chapter.
Black doctor on Delta flight told: 'We're looking for actual physicians'

Black doctor on Delta flight told: 'We're looking for actual physicians'

Delta said it has reached out to the doctor about the incident and has said "we take this issue seriously."
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters will rock Xcel Energy Center on July 26

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters will rock Xcel Energy Center on July 26

The performance promises throwbacks to classic Pink Floyd as well as new solo songs.
St. Francis High School soccer coach fired after clown mask photo

St. Francis High School soccer coach fired after clown mask photo

The girls' soccer coach has pleaded his case with the school board to return to work.

Cold-weather rule, which guarantees heat service through winter months, kicks in Saturday

Minnesota’s cold-weather rule takes effect Saturday, preventing income-eligible residents from having their heat shut off during the state’s most bone-chilling months. Under the law, customers…
2 killed in Lino Lakes copter crash were from Mpls., Blaine

2 killed in Lino Lakes copter crash were from Mpls., Blaine

Witnesses said they saw the helicopter flying northeast suddenly experience distress. They heard a pop, saw the rotary blade stop turning, then saw the helicopter drop from the sky like a "fireball."

Boy, 7, killed near Thief River Falls while trying to cross hwy. for school bus

The boy, a second-grader at Challenger Elementary, would have turned 8 later this month.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar pushing legislation to ban 'ticket bot' scammers

Sen. Amy Klobuchar pushing legislation to ban 'ticket bot' scammers

Senator doesn't want fans to have to fight with online scalpers for access to events.
Vandalism of pro-Trump mural offers free-speech lesson at U

Vandalism of pro-Trump mural offers free-speech lesson at U

Students decried a painting with "Build the Wall" on Washington Avenue Bridge as hate speech, but the university deemed it protected.

Blaine man, 50, identified as victim of Maple Grove crash

The 2-vehicle crash happened at midday Friday.
Man, two teens dead after south Minneapolis domestic shooting

Man, two teens dead after south Minneapolis domestic shooting

Police say that a man and a boy and girl in their early teens were shot and killed early this morning in south Minneapolis' Wenonah neighborhood, and that an adult female was wounded.

Charges: Contractor left homeowners with $1.2M bill for unfinished work

Subcontractors also out money after never getting paid for their work.
Tuesday: Nurses, Allina stop talks for night; rush hour protest briefly clogs downtown Mpls.

Tuesday: Nurses, Allina stop talks for night; rush hour protest briefly clogs downtown Mpls.

Mediator gets sides back to table after demonstration Tuesday morning.
As Terrace Theatre demolition begins, an order arrives to halt it

As Terrace Theatre demolition begins, an order arrives to halt it

Crews with a bulldozer punched a hole in the building before court order stopped demolition.

Prior Lake woman, 18, dies in Morrison County crash

An 18-year-old Prior Lake woman was killed in a single-vehicle crash early Saturday in central Minnesota. Officers responded to the scene in Morrison County just…
TCF Bank Stadium security confuses, frustrates U fans

TCF Bank Stadium security confuses, frustrates U fans

A revised bag policy has led to long lines as well since the Gophers' home opener on Sept. 1.
Chaska homeowners looking for big payday from Ryder Cup rentals

Chaska homeowners looking for big payday from Ryder Cup rentals

With two weeks before the Ryder Cup starts at Hazeltine National Golf Club, local homeowners are pitching themselves and their property to last-minute planners, hoping to cash in on convenience.
Edina, Mpls. athletes take a knee at games, joining national anthem protest

Edina, Mpls. athletes take a knee at games, joining national anthem protest

Minneapolis school officials support free speech rights of athletes of South volleyball squad and North football team.
Twin Cities under flash flood watch; 2-4 inches in forecast

Twin Cities under flash flood watch; 2-4 inches in forecast

Multiple rounds of rain are predicted until Thursday morning, and the ground already is saturated.
3 critically hurt when North Memorial copter crashes near Alexandria

3 critically hurt when North Memorial copter crashes near Alexandria

North Memorial chopper went down near Alexandria, Minn.

Two killed, one critically injured in Carver County house fire

The blaze was early Saturday in Watertown Township.
Sept. 15: Now 9 Legionnaires' cases have been tied to Hopkins

Sept. 15: Now 9 Legionnaires' cases have been tied to Hopkins

Several businesses are being looked at as possible source of bacteria, officials say.

Police cite 1,351 motorists for DWI during late summer enforcement campaign

More than 300 agencies across the state helped clear the road of intoxicated drivers during three week span.
Interstate 35W bridge to glow blue for Jacob Wetterling

Interstate 35W bridge to glow blue for Jacob Wetterling

The Interstate 35W bridge across the Mississippi River will glow blue for 11 days until Jacob Wetterling’s remains are laid to rest. Beginning Thursday evening,…

Gold dust, precious stones stolen from Macalester College

A thief has struck Macalester College’s Science Building, where a display case of gold dust, small diamonds and precious stones was looted. A lab supervisor…

Police investigating after body found in park in Foley, Minn.

Police in Foley, Minn., are investigating a suspicious death after a man was found dead Monday near Lion’s Park. Officers were dispatched to the area…

St. Paul motorcyclist, 61, killed while navigating curve in Mille Lacs County

A St. Paul motorcyclist died early Friday in central Minnesota after his Harley-Davidson went off the road while heading into a curve. John G. Troyer,…
The real story behind the viral 'bored millennial couple' at the State Fair

The real story behind the viral 'bored millennial couple' at the State Fair

A photographer captured two Burnsville H.S. students in an unguarded moment at the Minnesota State Fair and the photo went viral. Here's what was really going on.

Are you the 'bored millennial couple' at the Minnesota State Fair? Tell us your story

The Great Minnesota Get-Together is a place of sensory overload: wafts of fried food-on-a-stick, hundreds of barn animals to pat and a sea of hungry…
Princely jobs available: Paisley Park holds job fair this week

Princely jobs available: Paisley Park holds job fair this week

Minnesota's ultimate Prince fans will have a unique opportunity to work inside — and preserve — Paisley Park when daily tours of the music legend's Chanhassen complex and studio begin Oct. 6.
Jockey injured during horse race at Canterbury Park

Jockey injured during horse race at Canterbury Park

A jockey took a spill from his horse during a race at Shakopee's Canterbury Park on Saturday and was rushed to a Minneapolis hospital with unknown injuries, officials said.
Castile protesters gather at State Fair's main entrance after march

Castile protesters gather at State Fair's main entrance after march

Demonstrators marched from the site of Philando Castile's shooting to the fair's main gate.

Man who drown during adult swim at community pool identified as 34-year-old Shakopee man

The 34-year-old man who drowned after suffering a medical emergency while swimming laps in an Eden Prairie pool this week was identified by authorities Saturday.…
You're not imagining it: Mosquitoes are out in droves, and they'll be here for a while

You're not imagining it: Mosquitoes are out in droves, and they'll be here for a while

A wet August means a new crop of pests on top of an already bad mosquito season.

Apparent drowning victim, 34, was swimming laps at Eden Prairie pool

Authorities remain unsure of what kind of medical emergency caused the distress.

Pedestrian struck, killed in Detroit Lakes

The 39-year-old woman was hit by a pickup truck.
Read our comment standards

StarTribune.com welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on StarTribune.com.

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune