Staff Directory 10645991

Mary Lynn Smith

Reporter | Metro
Phone: 612-673-4788
After getting a master's in public affairs reporting, Mary Lynn Smith spent much of her 30-year-newspaper career covering government from the statehouse in Illinois to local governments in Minnesota. Now as a general assignment reporter, she covers a broad range of breaking news stories and features. She was born and raised in Chicago but has chosen to live, work, and raise a family in Minnesota -- first Duluth and then the Twin Cities.
Recent content from Mary Lynn Smith

Deputy shot with arrow; suspect in custody after Sauk Centre standoff

The deputy, who was shot in the arm, suffered noncritical injuries.
A veterinarian at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota held a Little Brown Myotis bat.

Minnesota health officials seek woman who dropped off rabid bats

Health officials need more information about where dead bats were found.
Eric Fryman, left, Annaliese, 5 (in Eric's arms) Jansen,3, held by Cari Mews, Kyra 9, in front. Fryman and the children are dead after their kayak cap

Dad, 3 children likely suffered hypothermia when they died in Lake Superior

Sheriff issues preliminary findings; additional test results awaited.
Even though the weather was cloudy and muggy, a decent crowd gathered for the last day of the Minnesota State Fair on Monday, Sept. 3, 3018. The fair

Fair breaks attendance record, surpasses 2M for first time

Over the 12 days of the Minnesota State Fair, 2,046,533 fairgoers streamed through the gates.
Eric Fryman, left, Annaliese, 5 (in Eric's arms) Jansen,3, held by Cari Mews, Kyra 9, in front. Fryman and the children are dead after their kayak cap

A light on a dark Lake Superior led to sole kayak survivor

A young mother from Wisconsin was pulled from the water after her family's kayak capsized. Three children and their father died.
A 911 operator answers emergency calls at a Minneapolis dispatch center.

Human error led to 911 outage in Minnesota, two other states

No serious incidents were reported during the hourlong disruption.
Joseph Gomm

Stillwater prison still in partial lockdown four weeks after corrections officer killed

Corrections officials dispute complaints about inhumane conditions.
Christensen Farms CEO Glenn Stolt spoke about his surprise about the ICE raid and his frustration with the media coverage not being entirely accurate

Big Minnesota pork producer 'surprised' by immigration raids

Christensen Farms says third-party vendor may have hired illegal workers.

Corrections officer in St. Cloud assaulted

An inmate who had just been through intake elbowed him in the face, authorities say.
Starry stonewort can be hard to identify; its dense mats compete with native plants.

Invasive algae infests first Twin Cities lake

Medicine Lake infested with starry stonewort.
Doug Arneson became emotional while talking about his uncle, Navy Cmdr. John Micheel, who was shot down during the Korean War. At left is a painting o

65 years after pilot vanished, family hopes for answers

Repatriation of Korean War remains renews Minnesota nephew's hopes.
A 911 operator answers emergency calls at a Minneapolis dispatch center.

Cause of 911 call disruption remains a mystery

The afternoon outage hit police and county law enforcement departments across the Twin Cities metro area and around Minnesota. Officials are sharing alternative numbers to call in case of emergency.
Pallbearers carried the body of correction officer Joseph Gomm to his gravesite at Roselawn Cemetery in Roseville on Thursday.

'We're family': Slain corrections officer is saluted by thousands

"I think everyone feels this loss," Rogers Police Chief Jeff Beahen said of the killing of Joseph Gomm at Stillwater prison.
A whitetail buck kept a close eye on the photographer as he approached through the woods near Duluth.

First-ever Minn. deer management plan is 'delicate balancing act'

The 10-year plan is designed to provide more transparency, balance interests.
A fight over public breast feeding in the kiddie pool at the Mora Aquatic Center raised hackles and a call for a “nurse-in” at the municipal pool.

Police called over breast-feeding brouhaha at Minnesota pool

Cops called in over dispute over nursing in the kiddie pool.
Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy spoke Thursday as Washington County Attorney Pete Orput stood next to him.

Stillwater inmate accused in corrections officer's death had run-ins

Prosecutors said they are awaiting end of BCA investigation before deciding on charges against inmate.
The scene of an officer-involved shooting in Chanhassen on Friday that left a Minnetonka High School student dead.

Carver Co. releases 911 transcript in fatal police shooting, deputies' info

One deputy's personnel information includes four disciplinary actions and several awards.

Video prompts probe into police handcuffing black teens in Mpls. park

Police are investigating the validity of the 911 call that prompted the incident.
The Vikings surprised Millie Wall by sending her some tickets to her first playoff game for her upcoming 100th birthday.

Vikings superfan Millie Wall celebrates 100 years

As birthday wishes rolled, she's betting on the Vikings again.
The Minnesota State Patrol shared this photo online Tuesday, July 3, 2018, along with a warning to drivers to be careful of roadways covered in water.

Rain, wind and oppressive heat hitting Minnesota

High winds, hail and rising waters smacked parts of Minnesota Tuesday, washing out roads and flooding homes, while the threat of more rain on Wednesday…
Patricia Torres Ray; state senator, District 62; DFL; Minneapolis; 2006

8 arrested in Bloomington during immigration protest

Protesters rallied outside General Dynamics Mission Systems' office for its role in the federal immigration crackdown.
A protester holds a sign outside a closed gate at the Port of Entry facility, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Fabens, Texas, where tent shelters are being

Migrant children separated from parents start to arrive in state

The first in an expected surge of unaccompanied minors, forcibly removed from their parents, are making their way to distant relatives in Minnesota and surrounding states.
The March to Protect Children and Families Wednesday made its way down E. 7th Street in St. Paul toward City Hall.

Despite Trump's reversal, Minn. activists say fight over immigration policies isn't over

The battle of over separating immigrant children from their parents may be over but Minnesota activists and others say the bigger fight over proposed immigration reforms and policies is still on.
Edward Fletcher

Scientist and professor Edward Fletcher dies at 93

Edward Fletcher was a rocket scientist — until he saw more possibilities in the sun. Now generations of solar scientists are following in the footsteps…
Minnesota State Patrol investigated the scene where a motorist being pursued by the State Patrol veered into a Minneapolis school playground and hit a

Mike Freeman questions chase that ended with SUV hitting 3 kids on Minneapolis playground

The motorist allegedly ran nearly two dozen stop signs while pursued. "Residential streets just aren't made for people driving 80 mph," the Hennepin County attorney said.
Minnesota State Patrol investigated the scene where a motorist being pursued by the State Patrol veered into a Minneapolis school playground and hit a

Driver who hit kids on Mpls. playground hasn't had valid license for years

The motorist remains jailed as charges are pending.
Some of Barron’s offspring, left to right: Connie Hoye, Candi Gardner-Hoyt, Lori Stangl, Dena Simon, and Shelia Jenkins.

Dad who fathered kids around country has offspring tracking 'Johnny Appleseed'

He traveled coast to coast and "didn't go very long before impregnating somebody," said one daughter.
Childhood abuse survivor Jamie Heutmaker embraced bankruptcy attorney Brittany Michael after Thursday's news conference detailing the settlement reach

$210M settlement was long time coming for clergy abuse victims

For many, the announcement was closure as they continue to heal their scars of emotional trauma.
A passerby takes cell phone photos of the aftermath of a three-alarm fire at Lake Street and Chicago Avenue.

Cause of fire that destroyed Minneapolis artist hub is undetermined

Building was too heavily damaged to allow crews inside to investigate.
Seven of the roughly 100 ticks picked off two dogs during a trip to Glacial Lakes State Park in Minnesota.

Beware: In Minnesota, ticks are lying in wait for you

It may just be an average season for ticks. But one icky tick may be one too many.
Three men fishing where Minnehaha Creek meets the Mississippi River clung to safety after escaping a deluge of water during Thursday night's storm.

Rising water in Mpls. culvert 'came out of nowhere,' say men who held on for dear life

Park police on duty knew the Minnehaha Falls area and found the three — still gripping the gate.
David and Elizabeth Weinlick were married at the Mall of America in 1998 after David's friends chose Elizabeth from among women who entered a contest

'Greatest love story' began with arranged marriage at Mall of America, ended too soon

Colon cancer claims David Weinlick, whose friends picked the bride for the 1998 wedding at the Mall of America.

Wood chipper piece flies off, killing tree trimmer in Richfield

The man reportedly was struck in the head by a piece of metal.
In 2010 some Leech Lake Chippewa band members set nets in Lake Bemidji the day before Minnesota's walleye and northern pike seasons began.

Tribal protest planned before Minnesota's fishing opener

The protest is sparked by Chippewa tribal members' opposition to an oil pipeline in northern Minnesota.
In 2017, protesters performed and sang songs in front of Derham Hall opposing cuts to the music and theater programs at St. Catherine University in St

St. Kate's expects to cut about 50 faculty, staff members

University officials have not yet decided where the cuts will be made.
NWS fire danger map

Most of Minnesota is under a warning for possible wildfires

The red flag warning for most of the state is in effect for Friday until 7 p.m.
Paul Pyykkonen, left, with Todd Sandberg, the man who launched the Pedals for Paul GoFundMe campaign to buy a new bicycle for Paul.

Minnesota man in need of a bike draws a community together

"The community loves Paul so much," said Todd Sandberg, who started Pedals for Paul and raised $24,000.
In a Thursday, March 1, 2018 photo, Tatum Weir, left, sets to drill a pilot hole while building a tool box during a cub scout meeting in Madbury, N.H.

Getting prepared: Twin Cities Boy Scouts look ahead to new name

Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts will stay the course and remain a girl-only organization.
People in a boat work to break up a large piece of ice into smaller chunks, preventing it from smashing into the docks at Tonka Bay Marina on Lake Min

Lake Minnetonka joy ride tries to help break up the ice

Marina operators are making waves to break massive chunks of ice into smaller pieces.
December 15,1983 MCLU Executive Director Matthew Stark: “The question isn’t who gives us money. Everybody gives us money. They (critics) say it’

Matthew Stark, former head of Minnesota ACLU, dies at 88

Matthew Stark, a longtime voice for the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, didn't care if he ruffled feathers. It went along with the job.
Lawn furniture is prematurely set outside on Sunday amid snow in Minneapolis. More is on the way this weekend.

Back to winter with 7-15 inches of weekend snow possible in metro

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning. Other areas of Minnesota could get more, with rain and ice tossed in the miserable mixture.
A winter storm watch has been issued for Friday night into Saturday covering much of the region, including the Twin Cities.

Weekend winter storm with rain, ice and snow targets Minnesota

Some parts of Minnesota will be buried by a foot of snow. Other parts will be slapped with a rain-ice-snow combo.
Jon Markle and his wife, Mandy, stood at their daughter Tabitha's grave in Mendota Heights.

Family goes through Lake Minnetonka ice and into hell

A reckless moment, a horrific loss and a father's quest for atonement.
This long winter has many Minnesotans crying for help, especially those who remove snow. This is a scene from March at U.S. Bank Plaza in downtown Min

As another snowstorm looms, Minnesotans rebel

But good news: The forecast of the latest storm is fizzling, at least in the Twin Cities area.
“I just figured my friends would get a good laugh, and then it escalated,” Jesse Roscoe, who is the superintendent at the Ortonville Golf Course,

Minnesota golfer's tee time in the snow turns into viral video

"I just figured my friends would get a good laugh, and then it escalated," said Jesse Roscoe, who is the superintendent at the Ortonville Golf Course on South Dakota border.
Nan Herman

Nan Herman, longtime security captain at Shakopee women's prison, dies at 81

Nan Herman walked into the women's prison in Shakopee looking for a part-time job. Little did she know that she would rise through the ranks and become a mentor over the next 20 years to the women and the staff who oversaw them.
A spring snowstorm leaving nearly a foot of snow in some areas of the metro made for slick driving conditions, where traffic was backed up in both dir

Many Minnesotans ready to cry 'uncle' after April snowstorm

Tuesday's daylong snowfall slowed commutes, sent hundreds of cars skidding and forced folks back into their boots and winter down. But mostly the 8-plus inches of new snow and temperatures that barely eked above 30 broke the spirits of those yearning for spring.
Cars drove over the ice road from Madeline Island to Bayfield on Monday, March 5, 2018. Photographed from La Pointe, Wis. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER •

Spring closes Madeline Island ice road

On Madeline, residents accept their seasonal fate and wait for the ferry.
Philip Malkerson is fighting Minneapolis City Hall in an effort to keep a hockey rink he built for his children.

Minneapolis homeowner loses appeal for front-yard hockey rink

Zoning Board rejects rink argument after neighbor's complaint.
Philip Malkerson is fighting Minneapolis City Hall in an effort to keep a hockey rink he built for his children.

Fight over front-yard hockey rink goes to Minneapolis City Hall

Some neighbors say it's a great place for kids. Another calls it an eyesore.
Billy Glaze, pictured in a 1988 file photo, walked out of the federal building in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Supreme Court dismisses appeal on behalf of deceased serial killer

Billy Glaze, who was convicted of killing three women, died in prison but his attorneys continued to push for his exoneration.
Warmer weather brought many out during lunch Friday, including Patrick Groschan, in shorts, left, and his dog Rex.

Weekend will bring taste of spring, maybe 50s to Minnesota

The snow will melt, but more could be on the way, combined with rain, next week.
A driver texted on her cell phone while waiting for a traffic light to change in Eagan.

'Epidemic' of distracted driving still on rise in Minnesota

The problem is growing even as speeding and DWI cases stay steady or decrease.
The Stillwater lift bridge peeked over the top of Ice Castles wall. Stillwater will be transitioning to the summer season soon enough and the Ice Cast

Flamethrowers? Dragons? All options put on the table for melting Stillwater ice cavern

Stillwater is facing a frigid conundrum: Disposing of a massive ice cavern.
Robert Gerhart, Osseo School Board chair

Osseo school board chair wants armed volunteers to patrol schools

Robert Gerhart, board chair of one of the metro area's largest school districts, floated the idea Tuesday, saying he's tired of all the talk but no action about protecting students.
The Hennepin Downtown Project will reconstruct Hennepin Avenue between Washington Avenue and 12th Street starting in 2019, according to the city.

People react to major face-lift in the works for Hennepin Avenue

Citizens got a peek at the plans on Thursday night.
Simon Matthew Schiffler, 33, of Williston, N.D.

Driver in Hwy. 65 crash recounts fatal shooting of knife-wielding man

A driver who had stopped to help shot the knife-wielding man as he assaulted others involved in the crash, police and witnesses say.
Chris Endicott

Criminal cases involving school principals raise questions for administrators

Charges this week against Lakeville Principal Chris Endicott are one of several criminal investigations involving Minnesota school principals.
Remaining club members Don Crisman, Gregory Eaton and Tom Henschel have attended every big game.

Three men, 52 years and a vow to always be at the Super Bowl

Tom Henschel, Don Crisman and Gregory Eaton have been at every game.
Starting Friday, the city of Minneapolis deployed its full complement of 44 traffic control agents at key intersections.

Downtown Mpls. traffic eases after 2 days of Super Bowl gridlock

Friday evening's commute was improved after epic traffic jams Wednesday and Thursday, commuters said.
Ice sculptures are taking form on Nicollet Mall, but the warm-up Friday was also having an effect.

One-day spring warm-up not so nice for Super Bowl ice art

Ice sculptures rising on Nicollet Mall will fare well as temperatures dip once again.
A video of an Edina police officer stopping and arresting a black man walking on a street around a construction area has gone viral on social media.

Video of Edina police officer confronting a black man goes viral

The man, stopped for walking in the street, demanded to know why the officer detained him. He was later charged with disorderly conduct.
A young girl stood front and center at the front of the procession from St. Paul College to the State Capitol for the noon rally. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE �

Why no march here? Some Twin Cities women want to take movement to the streets again

Leaders are shifting tactics ahead of election, but loss of visibility worries some.
Thrill seekers, including some children with their parents, walk on the frozen waters beneath Minnehaha Falls Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in Minneapolis, M

Frozen Minnehaha Falls entices some into forbidden territory

Trekkers to the prohibited area can get a beautiful snapshot – and a day in court.
Steam rises from Lake Superior at the ship St. Clair comes to harbor during some of the coldest temps of the year Sunday at Canal Park in Duluth.

Winter causing misery in Minnesota with frostbite, busted pipes

Despite the stretch of biting cold temperatures, the winter season, at least so far, has been deemed mild by those who track the so-called Winter Misery Index. And relief is on its way as temperatures warm up on Sunday.

Vegan wedding dinner leaves bad taste for Twin Cities couple

Lawsuit seeks $22,000 from caterer, alleging "horrific" food.
As online shopping has grown, so have opportunities for thieves to troll neighborhoods in search of packages.

Package thieves got a nasty surprise from one Minneapolis man

A Minneapolis man used excrement in a box to teach the porch bandits a lesson -- and exact a little payback.

Shakopee man who died saving his drowning brother-in-law wins Carnegie hero's medal

He drowned in rough waters in Panama City, Fla.
In St. Paul, DFL Senate staffer Suzanne Sobotka watched from her State Senate Building office.

For many Minnesotans, Franken news brings resignation and melancholy

Moments after Al Franken stood on the U.S. Senate floor and announced his resignation Thursday, a red-eyed staffer answered the senator’s locked St. Paul office…
Volunteers unload Christmas trees at the YMCA in Idaho Falls, Idaho in late November. A low supply of Christmas trees nationally could mean higher pri

Minnesota escapes national Christmas tree shortage

Growers say state has a hearty crop but inflation and shortages in other parts of the country could mean higher prices.
Sometimes golf courses are open even in December. In this Dec. 19, 2011, photo, Mike Schneider, of St. Paul, Minn., golfs at Parkview Golf Club in Eag

Minn. registers some of fastest rising winter temperatures in country

Milder winters could spell trouble for those who celebrate cold and snow.
“She needs to come off County and State Aid now that she has some cash. It’ll be gone in 6 months on crack cocaine,” tweeted Tom McBroom, a Rice

Minn. sheriff's deputy backtracks on tweet criticizing Diamond Reynolds payout

"It'll be gone in 6 months on crack cocaine," the sheriff's deputy and City Council member tweeted.
Dustin, played by Gaten Matarazzo, wearing a 1980s-era Science Museum of Minnesota sweatshirt in an episode of “Stranger Things.” The second seaso

Many still waiting for Science Museum's brontosaurus hoodie

Overwhelming demand and production glitches slowed down delivery, but anxious customers can expect orders to be delivered soon.
Hunter encounters friendly deer

'Shoo. Shoo. Get out of here.' Buck takes a liking to Wisconsin deer hunter

"It was pretty cool at first," the hunter said of the oddly friendly deer. "Then it got old."
A man stopped to admire the statue of Mary Tyler Moore following a dedication ceremony to mark the opening of the newly renovated Nicollet Mall Thursd

Two-plus years in the making: Nicollet Mall back in business

Nicollet Mall reopened at noon Thursday, marking the end of a construction headache that's cost millions of dollars and closed the downtown Minneapolis corridor for more than two years.
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