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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
Twin Cities to go dark for 'Earth Hour' tonight

Twin Cities to go dark for 'Earth Hour' tonight

The goal of the global campaign is to reduce energy waste.
Baby animals are ready be cuddled at the Minnesota Zoo

Baby animals are ready be cuddled at the Minnesota Zoo

Annual 'Farm Babies' exhibit opens to the public on Friday.
Minnesota Zoo chief focusing on 'feasibility'

Minnesota Zoo chief focusing on 'feasibility'

After a year at the helm, Minnesota Zoo director John Frawley has crafted a new vision for the institution's future, scaling back plans for an ambitious expansion campaign that seemed out of reach while refocusing on programming that connects visitors to nature.
Don Omodt, longest-serving sheriff in Hennepin County, dies at 89

Don Omodt, longest-serving sheriff in Hennepin County, dies at 89

He served as sheriff from 1967 to 1994.
Prehistoric artifacts discovered on Coney Island at Lake Waconia Park

Prehistoric artifacts discovered on Coney Island at Lake Waconia Park

Archaeologists unexpectedly find prehistoric artifacts in regional park, prompting another dig.
Chaska taxidermist aims to preserve animals through art

Chaska taxidermist aims to preserve animals through art

Tia Annis has opened a taxidermy practice in her home and is taking orders.
2nd confirmed tornado is double dose of record early severe weather in Minn.

2nd confirmed tornado is double dose of record early severe weather in Minn.

A day later, residents around the Zimmerman and Clarks Grove areas were cleaning up and counting their blessings.
Parents of Minn. transgender children find some hope in reassurance from Dayton, school officials

Parents of Minn. transgender children find some hope in reassurance from Dayton, school officials

Gov. Mark Dayton forcefully denounced Trump's withdrawal of a federal directive that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity.
Way cleared for Belle Plaine veterans memorial to be restored

Way cleared for Belle Plaine veterans memorial to be restored

Council amendments set up "public forum" for veteran memorials.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak speaks at Augsburg

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak speaks at Augsburg

He spoke as part of Augsburg College's Scholarship Weekend.
Army vet gets new home in Farmington, thanks to foundation, bank

Army vet gets new home in Farmington, thanks to foundation, bank

Injured Army veteran Reid Erickson and his family were able to return to Minnesota and all live under the same roof again – thanks to the gift of a donated house.
Chanhassen mayor chosen as chairman of Carver County Republicans

Chanhassen mayor chosen as chairman of Carver County Republicans

Denny Laufenburger will now head the "most conservative county in Minnesota."
Chanhassen gas station partly shut down after water found in fuel

Chanhassen gas station partly shut down after water found in fuel

Inspectors shut off some pumps at a Marathon Oil station after several customer complaints.
More than 2,000 join pro-refugee, pro-immigrant march in Minneapolis

More than 2,000 join pro-refugee, pro-immigrant march in Minneapolis

The demonstrators, which included many families and children, headed toward the University of Minnesota.
Shutterfly restructuring leaves 14 jobs unfilled in Shakopee

Shutterfly restructuring leaves 14 jobs unfilled in Shakopee

Move follows a 31 percent decline in profits for last quarter of 2016; city officials take the news in stride.
Lakeville man convicted of felony theft after disappearing in a stolen vehicle for five days

Lakeville man convicted of felony theft after disappearing in a stolen vehicle for five days

Child neglect charges in the case were dismissed.
Under pressure, Belle Plaine votes to restore cross to vet memorial

Under pressure, Belle Plaine votes to restore cross to vet memorial

For nearly a month, a rotating guard of citizens occupied the park each day, toting American flags and their own handmade crosses.
Trial opens for unlicensed motorcyclist suspected in fatal Elko New Market hit and run

Trial opens for unlicensed motorcyclist suspected in fatal Elko New Market hit and run

The Elko New Market crash killed pedestrian Mollie Mahowald, 24, an Army veteran.

Minnesota advocacy groups add to legal tide against Trump order

Just hours before a federal judge in Washington state suspended the executive order, the coalition filed its own lawsuit.
Battle over cross at Belle Plaine Veterans Park moves to council

Battle over cross at Belle Plaine Veterans Park moves to council

City Council members will review a proposal to distinguish part of Veterans Park as a "limited public forum," allowing up to five displays on the property.
Mayor joins 5,000 at Mpls. rally against immigrant travel ban

Mayor joins 5,000 at Mpls. rally against immigrant travel ban

Betsy Hodges vowed to resist efforts by Trump administration to punish cities over refugees.

Increasing demand for urgent care leads St. Francis to open second clinic in Shakopee

Given influx of workers during city's growth, the retail location brings care to where the jobs are.
Fatal crash on I-94 in St. Paul is among at least three on Minnesota roads

Fatal crash on I-94 in St. Paul is among at least three on Minnesota roads

At least one person died Saturday afternoon in a crash on Interstate 94 in St. Paul, bringing the day’s death toll on Minnesota roads to…
Protesters gather at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in wake of refugee ban

Protesters gather at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in wake of refugee ban

The rally was one of several reported nationwide in the wake of Trump's executive order banning migrants from 7 primarily Muslim countries.

Minneapolis fire injures adult, 2 children

The blaze broke out at a townhouse in the Little Earth housing development.

Assistant gambling manager of Shakopee Hockey Association charged with stealing $10,000 from club

Shakopee woman said she took the funds to help a friend who is addicted.
Belle Plaine residents rally to restore cross to city's veterans memorial

Belle Plaine residents rally to restore cross to city's veterans memorial

Residents rally to restore a cross to the city's veterans memorial.
Trout opener draws hundreds to Chaska's Courthouse Lake

Trout opener draws hundreds to Chaska's Courthouse Lake

Ice fishing enthusiasts enjoyed a balmy opener, and a chance to celebrate old and new traditions.
After barn fire kills cows and closes dairy farm, Scott County neighbors pitch in

After barn fire kills cows and closes dairy farm, Scott County neighbors pitch in

Local farmers jumped to help the Deutsch family, raising more than $10,000 for expenses.
Propane tanker slides into retaining pond in Lakeville; driver rescued

Propane tanker slides into retaining pond in Lakeville; driver rescued

The crash occurred near Interstate 35, police said.

Three hospitalized after domestic shooting in Anoka County

A woman and a man were shot and another man suffered a self-inflicted wound, authorities said.

Hwy. 169 bridge construction delayed until Jan. 17

With snow in the forecast, construction on Nine Mile Creek span pushed to Jan. 17.
Minneapolis airport tightens security in wake of Florida attack

Minneapolis airport tightens security in wake of Florida attack

More armed officers to be patrolling terminals.
Thrill seekers fail to heed warnings at frozen Minnehaha Falls

Thrill seekers fail to heed warnings at frozen Minnehaha Falls

Signs against exploring frozen Minnehaha Falls often ignored.
State Capitol's grand improvements get showcased

State Capitol's grand improvements get showcased

"It's the people's building. People really expect to be close to and witness their government in action these days."
Minneapolis man pays $1,500 late fee for library books borrowed in 1970s

Minneapolis man pays $1,500 late fee for library books borrowed in 1970s

Instead of looking the other way, Jon Kramer covered the penalty for the cooking and camping guides 40 years overdue at Maryland's Montgomery County Public Libraries.
Another luminary lost: The inventor of the red Solo cup, an American party essential

Another luminary lost: The inventor of the red Solo cup, an American party essential

Robert Hulseman, founder of the party staple, died last week at 84.

Superior, Wis., couple locked out of their home died of exposure

The two were found dead on the deck of their Superior home last week.
U.S. Bank Stadium's fallen panel replaced, Mortenson Construction vows improvements

U.S. Bank Stadium's fallen panel replaced, Mortenson Construction vows improvements

Mortenson Construction will install additional fasteners on the building's facade to prevent additional damage during extreme weather.
Man aims to 'protect Betty White from 2016' with crowdfunding campaign

Man aims to 'protect Betty White from 2016' with crowdfunding campaign

In a year plagued by celebrity deaths, a humorous GoFundMe page wants to keep Betty White safe.
U.S. Bank Stadium panels come loose again during windstorm

U.S. Bank Stadium panels come loose again during windstorm

The exterior panels failed early Monday morning, during a stretch of extremely wet and windy weather. One panel fell to the ground.
200 rally in support of woman at heart of U football case, other survivors

200 rally in support of woman at heart of U football case, other survivors

The 'We Stand with Survivors Rally' comes after accusations against 10 U football players.
Gophers football boycott sparks backlash online

Gophers football boycott sparks backlash online

Some questioned the message sent by football players boycotting after 10 were suspended in the wake of a sexual assault allegation. Fans also criticized head coach Tracy Claeys for supporting his team's decision to boycott.
Gopher fans weigh options for Holiday Bowl: Do I stay or go?

Gopher fans weigh options for Holiday Bowl: Do I stay or go?

With a boycott possible, the U fan base is in a holding pattern regarding plans for San Diego.
It's not that bad: A Minnesota transplant's winter survival guide

It's not that bad: A Minnesota transplant's winter survival guide

Winter arrived nearly two months late in the Twin Cities, but for some Minnesota transplants it was still a surprise.
Tim Hortons expands to Lake Street in Mpls., taking over White Castle spot

Tim Hortons expands to Lake Street in Mpls., taking over White Castle spot

The White Castle restaurant in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood served its last slider Sunday morning, closing for a renovation that will transform the space into another…
Chanhassen High principal in jail in child porn case

Chanhassen High principal in jail in child porn case

Chanhassen High School Principal Timothy Dorway was arrested at his home Tuesday morning by agents with the Crimes Against Children Task Force. The case doesn't involve students, district officials say.
Union retirees rally outside Kline's office over pension issue

Union retirees rally outside Kline's office over pension issue

Congressman's pension reform bill has been tabled, but retirees say they're still concerned.
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.
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