More from the Homepage
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
Epic waves crash above cliffs on Lake Superior's shore

Epic waves crash above cliffs on Lake Superior's shore

Photographer Christian Dalbec stood on Crystal Beach at Tettegouche State Park to capture waves crashing into the 100-foot cliff. "The swells moved down the lake and it got wild," he said.
University of Minnesota fraternity's two-year suspension shortened

University of Minnesota fraternity's two-year suspension shortened

Sigma Alpha Epsilon dropped a lawsuit against the university, claiming it defamed the chapter by saying there were "issues around sexual assault."
Rice, sardines and tears land St. Paul teen on Chipotle food bags, thanks to winning essay

Rice, sardines and tears land St. Paul teen on Chipotle food bags, thanks to winning essay

Amid the the joy of winning a national essay contest and $20,000, St. Paul teen learns his mother has cancer.

Rice, sardines and tears lands St. Paul teen on Chipotle food bags

Amid the the joy of winning a national essay contest and $20,000, St. Paul teen learns his mother has cancer.
Cause of fatal fire at St. Paul market can't be determined

Cause of fatal fire at St. Paul market can't be determined

The blaze killed a longtime worker at Stasny's Food Market.
No charges in the deaths of two Lakeville students playing Nerf wars

No charges in the deaths of two Lakeville students playing Nerf wars

Prosecutor issues warning to teens of risky activity.
In Twin Cities right now it's sno... No, it's sunn... Oh, never mind

In Twin Cities right now it's sno... No, it's sunn... Oh, never mind

The weather today changed at warp speed, kind of like the wind speeds in western Minnesota. And Mother Nature is not done playing with us yet.
St. Olaf student protests sexual misconduct policy with T-shirt

St. Olaf student protests sexual misconduct policy with T-shirt

The private college in Northfield insists that it's doing its best to crack down on sexual assault, but it is asking the federal government to review how the college handles those complaints.
Driver killed in I-94 crash near Hwy. 280 ID'd as noted Minneapolis poet

Driver killed in I-94 crash near Hwy. 280 ID'd as noted Minneapolis poet

Kirk Washington Jr., killed in a car crash at I-94 and Hwy. 280, used art and words to take on tough issues, his friends said.
Accounts vary of who called police on night Jamar Clark was shot

Accounts vary of who called police on night Jamar Clark was shot

There is no dispute that the events that led up to the police shooting of Jamar Clark last fall began with a call about an injured woman. But little else about her involvement in the case is settled.
Real-life hazards cast shadow over students' Nerf war games

Real-life hazards cast shadow over students' Nerf war games

High school Nerf wars were long considered just fun and games until two Lakeville students died in a car crash late last year.
Hundreds gather downtown after Jamar Clark decision

Hundreds gather downtown after Jamar Clark decision

DNA and other evidence confirms officers' account that Clark grabbed one officer's gun and was not handcuffed when he was shot, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. Activists complained that Freeman discounted some witness accounts.
Snow is coming, but just how much is still uncertain

Snow is coming, but just how much is still uncertain

South of the metro, several inches are expected. In the metro area, amounts could range from an inch of snow up to several.
Spring special: Up to a foot of heavy snow predicted for parts of Minnesota

Spring special: Up to a foot of heavy snow predicted for parts of Minnesota

South metro — or more of the Twin Cities — could also be hit in the Wednesday storm.
Scientists scramble to trace source of blood infection in Wisconsin

Scientists scramble to trace source of blood infection in Wisconsin

Medical investigators are trying to unravel a mystery behind a bacteria that’s caused blood infections in dozens of people in Wisconsin, including 17 people who…
Autopsy findings for Hager City, Wis., woman found in river expected next week

Autopsy findings for Hager City, Wis., woman found in river expected next week

An autopsy report is expected to be completed next week on the body of a missing western Wisconsin woman who was found in the Mississippi…
Northeastern Minn., Duluth set to get a foot of snow or more

Northeastern Minn., Duluth set to get a foot of snow or more

Strong winds may make for difficult driving conditions in southern and central Minnesota where sustained winds could hit 50 mph.
Blaine teacher charged with molesting student was investigated in '97

Blaine teacher charged with molesting student was investigated in '97

Previous complaints against the teacher were investigated, but no charges ever filed.
Like Spider-Man, Plymouth teen climbs building to extinguish fire

Like Spider-Man, Plymouth teen climbs building to extinguish fire

"I didn't want it to get any worse," said the 17-year-old Liberian immigrant.
'Sweet Lou' Snider, Nye's piano bar maven for nearly half century, dies

'Sweet Lou' Snider, Nye's piano bar maven for nearly half century, dies

For nearly half a century, "Sweet Lou" Snider banged out tunes at the piano bar at Nye's Polonaise Room, taking requests, doling out marital advice and luring a mix of old timers and hipsters to pass around the microphone.
Minnesota child-care providers reject union

Minnesota child-care providers reject union

Minnesota child-care providers overwhelmingly voted against union representation in a move that signals the end to an eight-year battle.
Taste of Minnesota festival calls it quits

Taste of Minnesota festival calls it quits

A Taste of Minnesota is folding. Linda Maddox, the summer festival’s general manager, announced the closing and her retirement on Thursday via the event’s Facebook…
MPCA to ask lawmakers for label restrictions on flushable wipes

MPCA to ask lawmakers for label restrictions on flushable wipes

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is looking to slam the lid on flushable wipes, which it claims are mislabeled and responsible for costly repairs to…
Why does Google Earth show a plane at the bottom of Lake Harriet?

Why does Google Earth show a plane at the bottom of Lake Harriet?

Zoom in on the Google satellite map and you can make out the plane's tail and the passenger windows. There's one in Lake Nokomis too.

Semitrailer truck hit by train in northern Minnesota; driver escapes injury

A driver of a semitrailer truck escaped major injury after he drove through a railroad crossing and was struck by a train. The State Patrol…
Service lets St. Thomas students wash hands of dirty laundry

Service lets St. Thomas students wash hands of dirty laundry

Depending on whom you talk to, the service is either encouraging a generation of students to be coddled or freeing them up to make better use of their time.
Fallen St. Louis Park skier gets help from rival coach, whose team misses state

Fallen St. Louis Park skier gets help from rival coach, whose team misses state

An Armstrong High School assistant coach didn't hesitate when he saw a skier on another team fall and break a pole.
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 Niño 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.
More from Star Tribune