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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
Twin Cities man makes world better one shovelful at a time

Twin Cities man makes world better one shovelful at a time

In the dark of night, as Tuesday's snowstorm raged, Justin Lang grabbed a shovel and went house to house in north Minneapolis.
Digging out after winter's return

Digging out after winter's return

Minneapolis-St. Paul set a Feb. 2 snow record of 8.8 inches on Tuesday while blizzard conditions shut down southern Minnesota. At least 370 crashes were reported statewide. A woman walking in downtown Minneapolis was hit by a vehicle and killed.
Rain, warm weekend won't stop Winter Carnival, pond hockey

Rain, warm weekend won't stop Winter Carnival, pond hockey

The Winter Carnival and pond hockey will go on though, perhaps with slush and rain.
'Ridiculously hard' Minnesota endurance race isn't for tenderfoots

'Ridiculously hard' Minnesota endurance race isn't for tenderfoots

Arrowhead ultramarathon from International Falls to Tower tests body, mind and spirit.
No whey: Thieves steal truckloads of cheese in Wisconsin

No whey: Thieves steal truckloads of cheese in Wisconsin

Roughly 40,000 pounds of Minnesota-made Parmesan valued at $90,000 from a distribution center in Marshfield, Wis., earlier this month. The cheese rounds haven't been seen since.
Allergic reaction to peanut residue kills 22-year-old Twin Cities man

Allergic reaction to peanut residue kills 22-year-old Twin Cities man

Days before, Bruce Kelly had eaten chocolate from the same container with no reaction, his mother said.
2015 was Minnesota's seventh-warmest year in more than a century

2015 was Minnesota's seventh-warmest year in more than a century

Minnesota is feeling the heat.Global warming and El NiƱo combined to make last year the seventh-warmest in 121 years, University of Minnesota Extension climatologist Mark…
Travel, large-car sales likely to increase as gas prices fall further

Travel, large-car sales likely to increase as gas prices fall further

Fuel prices tumble to six-year lows, but analysts warn the pump won't be a bargain forever.
A dozen Powerball tickets in Minnesota are $50,000 winners

A dozen Powerball tickets in Minnesota are $50,000 winners

Don’t crumple up that Powerball lottery ticket just yet. Somewhere out there in Minnesota are a dozen ticket holders who can each claim $50,000 from…
Wisconsin's ban on common game chants draws boos

Wisconsin's ban on common game chants draws boos

Wisconsin high school athletic officials thought they had merely listed a few chants they considered unsportsmanlike. And then viral outrage overwhelmed them.
What are odds of winning $1.5B Powerball jackpot? It doesn't matter

What are odds of winning $1.5B Powerball jackpot? It doesn't matter

Never mind the statistics and grim improbabilities. A record-breaking $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot that’s driving a national frenzy is all about dreams, not cold, harsh…

Minnetonka Beach man sentenced to workhouse, probation for fatally running over his wife

A Minnetonka Beach man has been sentenced to eight months in the Hennepin County workhouse and 10 years on probation after fatally running over his…

Ramsey County grand jury clears officers in fatal shooting

Officers say they shot when the man pointed a gun at them. The man's father disputes his son was armed.
Police suspect abuse of Minneapolis tot clinging to life with severe injuries

Police suspect abuse of Minneapolis tot clinging to life with severe injuries

The child's aunt said the girl has injuries to her brain, broken bones and eyes are swollen shut.
Twin Cities leaders: Al-Shabab's video is a 'desperate attempt' to create hatred

Twin Cities leaders: Al-Shabab's video is a 'desperate attempt' to create hatred

They urge Somali-Americans to reject recruitment propaganda.
Tech security firm says it's easy to hack Target gift registry apps

Tech security firm says it's easy to hack Target gift registry apps

Target responds by disabling app elements as it seeks a fix.
Minnesota Muslims talk of backlash against them

Minnesota Muslims talk of backlash against them

But the message delivered by elected officials, community leaders, law enforcement officials and faith leaders in a Minneapolis mosque was clear: We stand with you.
Judge orders Twin Cities man suspected of ISIL support held

Judge orders Twin Cities man suspected of ISIL support held

At least 10 young Somali-American men from Minnesota allegedly conspired to join ISIL.
'We want to move the occupation away' from police station, says North Side pastor

'We want to move the occupation away' from police station, says North Side pastor

North Side pastor voices sympathy but says it's time to shift strategy.
Highways mostly clear after day of difficult metro commutes

Highways mostly clear after day of difficult metro commutes

Sunny skies and warmer temperatures will make their way to Minnesota by the end of the week.
Minneapolis teen pleads guilty to killing girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter

Minneapolis teen pleads guilty to killing girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter

Man expected to get 25 years for fatal beating of his girlfriend's daughter.
Minnesota woman takes battle to Colorado mountains

Minnesota woman takes battle to Colorado mountains

Dealing with an eating disorder, a woman from Forest Lake set out to conquer the "14ers."

Injured woman found shot in a car in Minneapolis with dead man also dies

A 23-year-old woman who was found shot in a parked car in south Minneapolis has died. Police on routine patrol heard shots shortly before 2…
Family mourns 'very special' boy killed while trick-or-treating

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.
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?
Oh, snow! Traces of season's first flakes hit Twin Cities, but warmth is coming

Oh, snow! Traces of season's first flakes hit Twin Cities, but warmth is coming

Minnesota’s brush with snow on Wednesday will prove fleeting — at least for now. A gradual warm-up will begin Thursday after about 2 inches of…
Another Mpls. homicide sparks cry: Stop the gun violence

Another Mpls. homicide sparks cry: Stop the gun violence

It's the fifth in six days as Minneapolis police call for an end to gun violence.
For Lynx's longtime fans, this team was special

For Lynx's longtime fans, this team was special

Fans cheer on Lynx as they capture third WNBA title in five years
Minneapolis school board votes to cancel contract with company that provided offensive books

Minneapolis school board votes to cancel contract with company that provided offensive books

Many were upset about racial stereotypes in books. District will explore refund options and next steps.
Vigil for three children who died in Mpls. fire offers comfort

Vigil for three children who died in Mpls. fire offers comfort

After a Tuesday evening vigil in north Minneapolis, a second one is scheduled for Wednesday.
Two men shot in St. Paul blocks apart, and one dies

Two men shot in St. Paul blocks apart, and one dies

A St. Paul man died late Monday night after he was shot outside a home with his teenage daughter nearby. The shooting on the 700…
Twin Cities Marathon protest plan stirs fear, spurs backlash

Twin Cities Marathon protest plan stirs fear, spurs backlash

The threat by Black Lives Matter protesters to disrupt the Twin Cities Marathon has some runners on edge about their safety, while others are angry that months of training could be jeopardized.

Man fatally shot by St. Paul police after call about a suicidal male

St. Paul police shot and killed a man Thursday after being called to respond to a report of a suicidal male. Police offered few details…
Oakdale girl fights for her chance to get in boxing ring

Oakdale girl fights for her chance to get in boxing ring

Amaiya Zafar, 15, seeks to compete while wearing attire that will adhere to her Muslim beliefs.

Hiroshima children's drawings tell a story of hope

Drawings grew out of a partnership between U.S., Japanese schoolchildren.

Bloomington man with 13 drunken-driving convictions charged again

A Bloomington man with 13 drunken-driving convictions on his record was charged Tuesday with another DWI and fleeing a police officer. Douglas J. McCready, 40,…
13th DWI for 'erratic' pickup driver nabbed after 13-mile 35W chase

13th DWI for 'erratic' pickup driver nabbed after 13-mile 35W chase

Driver caught after Sunday chase on 35W did have a valid license.
Sept. 11, 2015: Friends, neighbors remember family of 5 found dead in home

Sept. 11, 2015: Friends, neighbors remember family of 5 found dead in home

The family members were found dead Thursday afternoon from an apparent murder-suicide in the west metro city of Greenwood.
Investigation clears two Mpls. police officers in Al Flowers case

Investigation clears two Mpls. police officers in Al Flowers case

The attorney for Al Flowers argues the investigation was flawed. A federal lawsuit continues.

Minnesota authorities investigating death at Faribault prison

The Minnesota Department of Corrections is investigating the death of an inmate at its Faribault prison. Jason Nyberg, 36, was pronounced dead about 4 p.m.…
St. Paul mulls installing parking meters in neighborhood biz areas

St. Paul mulls installing parking meters in neighborhood biz areas

Mayor says busy areas like Grand Avenue need to charge, but some business owners call the plan a "money grab."

Mother: Metro Transit police injured autistic son in St. Paul

The mother of an autistic teenager said Tuesday that Metro Transit officers used force and injured her son while trying to arrest him. “They totally…
Friday night lights smile on Staples-Motley after 39 losses

Friday night lights smile on Staples-Motley after 39 losses

"We were the proudest oh-and-39 team you ever met," says principal Mike Schmidt. But it does feel good to win.
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.
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.
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