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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
Sexual assault survivors break their silence

Sexual assault survivors break their silence

About a dozen women and one man told their stories at a Minneapolis gathering called Break the Silence Day.

Blue Line trains running again in Minneapolis after crash with bicyclist

Metro Transit’s Blue Line is running again after trains were temporarily stopped Thursday because of a collision with a bicyclist near the 46th Street station.…
First Avenue ceiling collapses during band's show, injuring 3

First Avenue ceiling collapses during band's show, injuring 3

Theory of a Deadman had just finished the fourth song at the legendary downtown Minneapolis club when a 30-by-30-foot section of ceiling fell. Three people went to Hennepin County Medical Center and were in satisfactory condition
Minnesota first responder charged with stealing from wallet of victim

Minnesota first responder charged with stealing from wallet of victim

Two brothers died and two friends were hurt in June crash.
Life after death row: Damon Thibodeaux's resurrection

Life after death row: Damon Thibodeaux's resurrection

After spending 15 years on death row for a murder he did not commit, will Damon Thibodeaux be able to find his place in a world that raced ahead without him?
Adrian Peterson completes his probation early in Texas

Adrian Peterson completes his probation early in Texas

The order in Texas ends his two-year sentence after just nine months. The district attorney told a Texas TV station he plans to ask the judge to reconsider.
Mille Lacs anglers pull in lines as walleye season ends early

Mille Lacs anglers pull in lines as walleye season ends early

In an unprecedented move, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shut down walleye fishing on the lake in an effort to protect what it says is a record low walleye population.
Life after death row: Damon Thibodeaux's resurrection

Life after death row: Damon Thibodeaux's resurrection

After spending 15 years on death row for a murder he did not commit, will Damon Thibodeaux be able to find his place in a world that raced ahead without him?
Twin Cities regional parks and trails drawing more visits

Twin Cities regional parks and trails drawing more visits

The metropolitan parks and trails racked up more than more than 48 million visits last year, about 1.5 million more than in 2013.

Girl's murder case remains open, 19 years later

With Damon Thibodeaux’s conviction overturned, the question remains: Who brutally murdered Crystal Champagne?The investigation into her death is once again an open case, Vince Lamia,…
South St. Paul credit union robbed

South St. Paul credit union robbed

South St. Paul police are looking for a man in connection with a robbery Thursday afternoon of a credit union. Police were called about 3:30…

Longtime acquaintance defends lion hunter as 'very bright, honorable guy'

Dennis Dunn, an outdoor writer in Kirkland, Wash., is a longtime acquaintance of Walt Palmer, the Minnesota dentist and big-game hunter who has become the…

Court reverses teen's expulsion for having knife in her purse

Honor student had pocketknife in her purse after farm chores.

Power in storm-damaged Brainerd area should be restored by Monday

Gov. Dayton, Rep. Nolan will be touring the region.

Thousands of people still without power after Brainerd-area storm

Gov. Mark Dayton is scheduled to tour the area on Friday. It’s unclear whether the storm damage will qualify for state or federal disaster aid.

St. Paul police officer cleared in 2014 fatal shooting

A Ramsey County grand jury on Wednesday cleared a St. Paul police officer in the shooting death of a man on the city’s West Side…
Twin Cities air 'unhealthy for everyone' as smoke drifts in from Canadian wildfires

Twin Cities air 'unhealthy for everyone' as smoke drifts in from Canadian wildfires

Wildfire smoke brought worst pollution in a decade, agency says
Facial recognition technology used to find lost pets

Facial recognition technology used to find lost pets

The Animal Humane Society in the Twin Cities began adding photos of the strays they take in to the Finding Rover app’s database.
Toby Keith's restaurant in St. Louis Park shuts down unexpectedly

Toby Keith's restaurant in St. Louis Park shuts down unexpectedly

About 80 people are out of work and a couple planning a wedding reception are out of luck with the recent closing.
Car hits pedal pub on Hennepin Avenue bridge, injuring 12 riders

Car hits pedal pub on Hennepin Avenue bridge, injuring 12 riders

Some riders were trapped underneath, and passersby helped to lift the bicycle-powered vehicle. Three people were being treated for “significant injuries,” but no injuries were life-threatening.
Obituary: Fred Dereschuk championed workers' rights

Obituary: Fred Dereschuk championed workers' rights

Fred Dereschuk made it his business to fight for the working man and woman. “Fred exemplified what a labor leader is meant to be,” said…
Four artists chosen to create new work on Minneapolis' Nicollet Mall

Four artists chosen to create new work on Minneapolis' Nicollet Mall

The art will include a large-scale signature piece and suspended lanterns for a “light walk.”
Twin Cities vigils held for those lost in South Carolina church shootings

Twin Cities vigils held for those lost in South Carolina church shootings

Rallies showed support for Charleston, S.C., victims shot to death in church.
Obituary: In group homes and at his own home, Tony Jordan embraced those with disabilities

Obituary: In group homes and at his own home, Tony Jordan embraced those with disabilities

Tony Jordan didn’t just provide homes to people with autism and developmental disabilities. He provided a sense of family. For more than two decades, Jordan…

Distracted driver hits four people in St. Paul

A distracted driver hit four people outside a St. Paul coffee shop Thursday night. Two of the pedestrians were taken to the hospital to be…
Rescuer saves driver from fiery truck crash that snarls I-35W in Roseville

Rescuer saves driver from fiery truck crash that snarls I-35W in Roseville

The driver lost control, hit a road sign pole and the truck erupted in flames.
Peace Corps volunteer from Minnesota dies in Tanzania crash

Peace Corps volunteer from Minnesota dies in Tanzania crash

Robbie Lehman, 23, of Minneapolis, wanted to make a difference.

$200 million federal settlement over bank's mortgage practices includes Twin Cities

HUD said Wisconsin-based bank discriminated in its mortgage lending in Minnesota, other states.

Inver Grove Heights man charged with sexually abusing girl

A 38-year-old Inver Grove Heights man has been charged with sexual abuse after a 14-year-old girl talked to a school counselor about it. Gesvin Rene…
Charges: Hired painter, cohort killed 90-year-old Carver County man

Charges: Hired painter, cohort killed 90-year-old Carver County man

A tip from a citizen led to the arrests of the two men in the death of Earl Olander, found bound and beaten in his ransacked farmhouse.

Minneapolis officer on leave after video surfaces with threats to break suspect's legs

Officer Rod Webber is on paid leave while an internal investigation into the incident continues, said Minneapolis City Council Member Blong Yang, chairman of the council’s public safety committee.

Minneapolis man gets 22 years for break-in, sexual assault of 2 teen girls

A Minneapolis man who sexually assaulted two teenage girls in 2009 was sentenced Wednesday to more than 22 years in prison. Yahye Abdisalan, 37, was…
8-year-old drives car with two young passengers on Twin Cities freeways

8-year-old drives car with two young passengers on Twin Cities freeways

The three young kids navigated highways from St. Paul to a driveway in Mounds View.

Iowa man falls to his death from closed Red Wing bluff trail

A man fell to his death Tuesday while hiking on a dangerous and closed trail on Barn Bluff in Red Wing. Firefighters and police were…
Minnesota wrestling legend Verne Gagne dies at 89

Minnesota wrestling legend Verne Gagne dies at 89

Legendary wrestler and promoter Verne Gagne — the Robbinsdale High School star who went on to make a mark in both the amateur and professional worlds — died Monday surrounded by his family in Minnesota, according to close friends.
Minn.-born pro wrestling legend Verne Gagne dies at 89

Minn.-born pro wrestling legend Verne Gagne dies at 89

Legendary wrestler and promoter Verne Gagne died Monday surrounded by his family in Minnesota, according to close friends.
Minnesota suspends schools' MCA testing after tech glitches persist

Minnesota suspends schools' MCA testing after tech glitches persist

The problems don’t affect tests already completed by students.
Minn. high school senior accepted to all eight Ivy League schools

Minn. high school senior accepted to all eight Ivy League schools

“I think I’m still in that state of disbelief," said Mounds Park Academy senior Munira Khalif, who was also accepted at Stanford, Georgetown and the U.

Husband arrested in case of White Bear Township woman missing since 1997

Toni Bachman had told friends she was leaving.
St. Paul schools Superintendent Silva on list for Florida schools job

St. Paul schools Superintendent Silva on list for Florida schools job

St. Paul superintendent is one of 72 people in the running for position in Palm Beach County.
Jennifer Houle's father thanks rescuers after body found

Jennifer Houle's father thanks rescuers after body found

Although the medical examiner has not yet officially identified the body, Jennifer Houle's father said he's sure it's her. Surveillance footage showed her entering the water from the 10th Avenue Bridge on March 27.
Downtown St. Paul fire injures four people

Downtown St. Paul fire injures four people

A fire Tuesday at a downtown St. Paul apartment building injured four people, including one man who suffered serious burns and smoke inhalation. Firefighters were…
Target outlines $10 million settlement in data breach

Target outlines $10 million settlement in data breach

Under the terms of the preliminary agreement, Target will set up a $10 million settlement fund within 10 days of a finalized pact.
Obituary: Vic Tedesco was a longtime St. Paul City Council member

Obituary: Vic Tedesco was a longtime St. Paul City Council member

Vic Tedesco was a street-wise politician from St. Paul’s East Side who became one of the city’s longest serving council members, charming his constituents with his wit and entertaining crowds with his saxophone and a tip of his toupee.
Boy, 15, wounds girlfriend, then kills himself in Coon Rapids

Boy, 15, wounds girlfriend, then kills himself in Coon Rapids

The girl was shot inside an apartment, while the boy’s body was found outside nearby in what a seasoned law enforcement officer called a domestic dispute with a “very tragic” outcome.
Food truck explosion 'sounded like a bomb'

Food truck explosion 'sounded like a bomb'

A food truck exploded in a residential neighborhood in Lakeville late Friday, damaging as many as 20 homes and leaving the area strewn with twisted metal and insulation.

Anoka woman killed in Coon Rapids car crash

An 84-year-old Anoka woman was killed Thursday in a car crash near the intersection of Coon Rapids Boulevard Extension and Coon Rapids Boulevard. The woman,…

St. Cloud man found fatally shot in Onamia

A St. Cloud man was found shot to death Monday in a parked car in east-central Minnesota. Jason Carl Stoltz, 39, was found about 7…

Lone wolf chasing snowmobilers in Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park officials took the action.
Driver tells of 40 minutes of terror on Lake Minnetonka ice

Driver tells of 40 minutes of terror on Lake Minnetonka ice

The man, a paraplegic, was accompanied by his yellow Lab, Balou, who didn’t make it off Lake Minnetonka alive.

Man escapes sinking truck on Lake Minnetonka, but dog doesn't

A man escaped Wednesday night from his sinking truck after it crashed through the ice on Lake Minnetonka. His dog couldn’t be rescued and died,…

Road work to close stretches of I-394 in June, July

A 3-mile stretch of I-394 between Hwy. 100 and I-94 in Minneapolis will be resurfaced along with the frontage roads on both sides of the highway.

Woman critically injured in Blaine house fire; family of 12 on the move

A fire Tuesday evening destroyed a house in Blaine, left a woman in critical condition and uprooted a family of 12. Firefighters arrived shortly after…
Obituary: Rosie Iverson taught thousands the art of a good golf swing

Obituary: Rosie Iverson taught thousands the art of a good golf swing

She was named one of the top 50 golf instructors in the country by Golf for Women magazine and was twice named LPGA’s Midwest Teacher of the Year.

Minneapolis police investigate three sexual assaults near University of Minnesota

Minneapolis police are investigating three sexual assaults that occurred earlier this week near the University of Minnesota campus. The separate assaults occurred Monday afternoon. In…
Media reporter, former Twin Cities editor David Carr dies

Media reporter, former Twin Cities editor David Carr dies

The New York Times media columnist had deep Minnesota roots, and his memoir "The Night of the Gun," largely takes place here. He was 58.
Media reporter, former Twin Cities editor David Carr dies

Media reporter, former Twin Cities editor David Carr dies

The New York Times media columnist had deep Minnesota roots, and his memoir "The Night of the Gun," largely takes place here. He was 58.

General Mills accused of age discrimination in lawsuit

More than a dozen former General Mills Inc. employees are suing the company claiming age discrimination after they were laid off in 2012. The Golden…

Forest Lake ski team OK after car crash in Cloquet en route to state meet

No one riding in the team’s vehicle, a Chevy Suburban, was injured, but a passenger in the other car, a Toyota Camry, was killed.
Duluth pilot recalls 2003 Iraq desert flight with Brian Williams

Duluth pilot recalls 2003 Iraq desert flight with Brian Williams

Allan Kelly, Army pilot and Duluth father of four, knows exactly what happened aboard the Chinook helicopter carrying Brian Williams over the Iraq desert in 2003. But Kelly won’t join the fray lambasting Williams.
Minnesota stops taking TurboTax returns due to possible fraud

Minnesota stops taking TurboTax returns due to possible fraud

Minnesota officials made the urgent move late Thursday after two taxpayers reported that they had logged into Intuit’s TurboTax but were advised a return had already been filed. Intuit said Friday that it has stopped processing state tax returns nationwide.

Man gets 40 years in prison for role in Minneapolis murder plot

A 21-year-old Chicago man who took part in a murder conspiracy was sentenced this week to 40 years in prison for fatally shooting a man…
Obituary: Sarabel 'Sally' Bosanko, human rights activist

Obituary: Sarabel 'Sally' Bosanko, human rights activist

The fight for human rights drove Sarabel “Sally” Bosanko into the streets, the classroom and the halls of government. “She made you think outside the…

Nearly 2,000 in St. Louis Park without power; cause unknown

About 2,000 Xcel Energy customers in St. Louis Park lost power late Wednesday night. Company spokeswoman Mary Sandok said she didn’t know the cause for…

2 vehicles ignoring warnings go through Lake Minnetonka ice; no one is hurt

Ignoring thin-ice warnings, drivers of two vehicles broke through the ice on Lake Minnetonka Wednesday night, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.No one was…
Toyota found '60%' responsible for crash, told to pay $11 million

Toyota found '60%' responsible for crash, told to pay $11 million

The jury in the Toyota liability trial found the automaker 60 percent responsible for a 2006 crash that caused the deaths of three people and sent a St. Paul man to prison for more than two years. Toyota is ordered to pay about $11 million in damages to crash victims.

Fifth-grader, 11, arrested over threatening message in Rush City school

He allegedly wrote a note on the wall of a school timeout room.

U student develops measles; doctors alerted

School officials say there’s a low risk of a campus outbreak, but they’re taking precautions.
Mpls. Southwest High closed today over credible threat

Mpls. Southwest High closed today over credible threat

In an automated telephone call, Principal Bill Smith notified parents and families Tuesday evening that the school would be closed and that the Minneapolis police were investigating the threat.
Gunman injures 2 New Hope officers, then is fatally shot

Gunman injures 2 New Hope officers, then is fatally shot

Video of the council meeting records audio of a volley of gunshots, panic and confusion. A council member can be heard to say “that went right through the door!” and “somebody got shot!” Someone else yells, “Everybody get down!”

Partly clothed man found dead outside in New Ulm

A partly clothed man was found dead Thursday near a residential alley in New Ulm. The man’s body was discovered shortly after 7 a.m. on…

Meeker County man dies from carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning likely killed a 27-year-old man and hospitalized a 21-year-old woman in Meeker County. Authorities are not releasing the identities of either person…
Material witness missing in Brian Fitch case, turns up

Material witness missing in Brian Fitch case, turns up

Six jury members have been seated so far in the high-profile murder case.
A ban on sledding? Local parks officials say no way

A ban on sledding? Local parks officials say no way

Parks officials shake their heads over other states’ moves to stave off lawsuits.
Roads slowly clearing from drifting, but more cold is coming

Roads slowly clearing from drifting, but more cold is coming

Light snow and high winds whipped up blizzard conditions in much of Minnesota on Thursday. Friday will be a return to the deep freeze but sunny.
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