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
New murder charge vs. Maplewood woman in 5th heroin death

New murder charge vs. Maplewood woman in 5th heroin death

Beverly Burrell now has been charged in connection with the deaths of five Minnesota men.
The evolution from an eye scratch to major surgery for Mike Zimmer

The evolution from an eye scratch to major surgery for Mike Zimmer

Recovery from major retina surgery can last from one to six weeks; after tonight the Vikings play in Jacksonville Dec. 11.
Fatal brain disease surfaces in whitetail deer near Lanesboro

Fatal brain disease surfaces in whitetail deer near Lanesboro

The deer herd in large part of southeast Minnesota will be culled to curb any spread of chronic wasting disease.
Police: Other students handled 7-year-old's gun that was fired in St. Paul class

Police: Other students handled 7-year-old's gun that was fired in St. Paul class

At least 2 Crossroads classmates handled it before it went off.
A very tall Prince has arrived at Como Zoo

A very tall Prince has arrived at Como Zoo

The 6-foot-6 giraffe was born Nov. 10.
Twin Cities nice: Metro reclaims title as tops in volunteering

Twin Cities nice: Metro reclaims title as tops in volunteering

Minnesota comes in second to Utah in the rankings released by the federal agency that champions volunteering.

Latino police group says gun raffle isn't related to Castile shooting

Outrage erupted Friday over a flier’s claim that a handgun raffle is raising money for the family of the St. Anthony police officer who killed…
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.
Obituary: David Torkildson brought people closer to nature as parks and rec director

Obituary: David Torkildson brought people closer to nature as parks and rec director

One of the largest park systems in Minnesota began with David Torkildson sitting in the backroom of an Anoka County public works building more than…
Duluth, social media go wild over black bear in tree downtown

Duluth, social media go wild over black bear in tree downtown

Officials hoped the bear, caught on video, would come down on its own, but that's hard to do downtown, they say.
Cottage Grove Lutheran pastor charged with six counts of possessing child porn

Cottage Grove Lutheran pastor charged with six counts of possessing child porn

He told investigators he would Photoshop images of children he took at church events.
Edina man charged with sex assaults of 5 women at UW-Madison

Edina man charged with sex assaults of 5 women at UW-Madison

An Edina High School graduate who attends the University of Wisconsin was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting five women in a 15-count criminal complaint.
Edina grad facing charges of sexually assaulting 4 women in Madison

Edina grad facing charges of sexually assaulting 4 women in Madison

Police are investigating two additional cases against the 2014 Edina graduate.
Edina releases dashcam videos of aftermath of police encounter

Edina releases dashcam videos of aftermath of police encounter

Edina city officials released the police dashcam videos of a black man who was stopped and given a citation for walking in the street.
Video of Edina police officer confronting a black man goes viral

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.
Conservative Wisconsin blogger weathers her anti-Trump tweet storm quite well

Conservative Wisconsin blogger weathers her anti-Trump tweet storm quite well

"I flipped open my laptop and went on a vent" over those backing nominee.
Mouse in the house? You're not alone as Minnesotans seek out help

Mouse in the house? You're not alone as Minnesotans seek out help

As cool weather drives more mice inside, homeowners are driven to act.
Oh, snow! Northern Minnesota gets taste of winter with first flakes

Oh, snow! Northern Minnesota gets taste of winter with first flakes

Twin Cities northern metro may get frost.
Nordstrom reverses course, yanks controversial drug-themed clothing

Nordstrom reverses course, yanks controversial drug-themed clothing

Minnesota-based campaign builds against Moschino's Capsule fashion line.
Sewer backup closes Walker Art Center until Saturday

Sewer backup closes Walker Art Center until Saturday

The Walker Art Center was forced to shut down Wednesday after a main-line sewer backed up and flooded its lower level.
Mpls. counselor pushes Nordstrom to just say no to drug-themed fashions

Mpls. counselor pushes Nordstrom to just say no to drug-themed fashions

Twin Cities drug counselor pushes Nordstrom, Saks to remove the Moschino line.
Not so fast: College cross-country runners chase down Minneapolis theft suspect

Not so fast: College cross-country runners chase down Minneapolis theft suspect

University of Arizona cross country runners were in pursuit of Darren Clinton, who is now charged.
Fear not, Prince fans: Paisley Park wall rumors put to rest

Fear not, Prince fans: Paisley Park wall rumors put to rest

The chain link fence around Paisley Park will remain, provided fans don't add memorials to it.
Report lists Mpls. as 25th most dangerous U.S. city, but Chicago isn't ranked

Report lists Mpls. as 25th most dangerous U.S. city, but Chicago isn't ranked

As alarming as Minneapolis' place on the 24/7 Wall St. list might sound, those who monitor crime view such rankings warily.
Six more potential heirs file challenges in Prince estate case

Six more potential heirs file challenges in Prince estate case

The challenges will likely make the complex work of determining Prince's heirs even more complicated and lengthy.
Soggy Minnesota to get another soaking; some parks and rivers now off-limits

Soggy Minnesota to get another soaking; some parks and rivers now off-limits

After a few more days of gloom and rain, sunshine is expected to return Tuesday and beyond.
One dead in growing Hopkins Legionnaires' disease outbreak

One dead in growing Hopkins Legionnaires' disease outbreak

Minnesota health officials have not yet identified the cause of the outbreak, now up to 14 confirmed cases.
Cleanup from monster storms goes on with more rain coming

Cleanup from monster storms goes on with more rain coming

The forecast calls for more rainfall for many parts of the Twin Cities and a wide swath of southern Minnesota, following a night of historic downpours.

Minnesota driver accused of texting in cyclist's death convicted of misdemeanor

Emily Givens struck and killed Penny Verdeck in April 2015 in McLeod County.
Wis. lesbian couple on winning birth certificate suit: 'It's been a long road'

Wis. lesbian couple on winning birth certificate suit: 'It's been a long road'

In Minnesota, birth certificates are gender neutral for parents.
Missing 1800s shipwreck found at the bottom of Lake Superior

Missing 1800s shipwreck found at the bottom of Lake Superior

The schooner barge lost in 1897 was found mostly intact near the Apostle Islands, ending a six-year search.

'A complete shock': Southern Minnesota police chief kills himself

A southern Minnesota community is mourning the loss of its police chief after he killed himself Monday night. New Richland Police Chief Scott Eads, 40,…
#11forJacob sparks a movement to honor Jacob Wetterling

#11forJacob sparks a movement to honor Jacob Wetterling

Efforts seeks to turn tragedy into a positive way to connect people.
Wetterling Resource Center staff presses on for Jacob

Wetterling Resource Center staff presses on for Jacob

Advocates who spent decades fighting for the return of Jacob Wetterling continue their fight for others abused, neglected, exploited and missing.

ITT Educational Services shuts down, leaving Minnesota students out millions of dollars

Minnesota students will be out millions of dollars that they spent on tuition to attend a national for-profit college that abruptly shut down on Tuesday.And…

South St. Paul woman sentenced for killing baby

She fell asleep next to her 5-month-old with drugs in her system; the child died of "positional asphyxia."

Minn. banker ousted because he's gay is awarded millions

A Steele County judge awarded Stephen Habberstad as much as $3.5 million, which could be one of the largest payouts in Minnesota to a single person for sexual orientation discrimination.
Exceptional meteor shower could be invisible to most in Minnesota

Exceptional meteor shower could be invisible to most in Minnesota

The night sky will burst Thursday with a spectacular meteor shower. Unfortunately, it might be a bust for most Minnesotans. Storm clouds will keep what’s…
Jeff Dubay, former KFAN host, sentenced for meth possession

Jeff Dubay, former KFAN host, sentenced for meth possession

The judge sentenced Jeff Dubay to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation. Dubay, 48, was caught possessing methamphetamine earlier this year.
Viking ship's journey from the North Sea won't reach the North Shore

Viking ship's journey from the North Sea won't reach the North Shore

The Norwegian ship is ending its Great Lakes journey in Green Bay, Wis.
Shoulder to shoulder, strangers save suicidal woman in St. Paul

Shoulder to shoulder, strangers save suicidal woman in St. Paul

A diverse group pulled together Monday night on I-94 to help the woman clinging to a fence feet above speeding traffic. "She just kept saying, 'My mom don't love me. My mom don't care for me.' And I kept saying, 'No, we love you.' "
Obituary: Dr. Frederick Lewis was committed cancer doctor, piano virtuoso

Obituary: Dr. Frederick Lewis was committed cancer doctor, piano virtuoso

For some, caring for cancer patients for more than 40 years would be enough to fill a lifetime. But Dr. Frederick “Bruce” Lewis also was…
Carver County judge narrows list of potential Prince heirs to at least 6

Carver County judge narrows list of potential Prince heirs to at least 6

In a 19-page ruling Friday, District Judge Kevin Eide partly untangled the complicated issues surrounding the question of who stands to inherit Prince's bounty.
Duluth bear enjoys an afternoon snack, a dip in the pool

Duluth bear enjoys an afternoon snack, a dip in the pool

Intruder's kiddie pool respite is cute, but not normal.
Marking 50th anniversary of St. Cloud prison rebellion

Marking 50th anniversary of St. Cloud prison rebellion

186 prisoners rebelled for 25 hours, saying they were fed too much pork.

Father, 61, fatally shoots 38-year-old son in Blaine

The man turned himself in to police, while his son died at the hospital.
Storms kill 2 campers; Minnesota heat wave continues

Storms kill 2 campers; Minnesota heat wave continues

Storms early Thursday left thousands without power in northern Minnesota.

Finding a place to chill in Twin Cities to beat the heat

Some suggestions for staying cool as the mercury inches up.
3 heroin deaths, 1 dealer: 'She sold it to them knowing it was bad'

3 heroin deaths, 1 dealer: 'She sold it to them knowing it was bad'

Beverly Burrell is in jail, charged with three counts of murder, but the men's mothers are saddled with heartache.
After sweating out triple-digit heat in Minnesota, Thursday will be worse

After sweating out triple-digit heat in Minnesota, Thursday will be worse

Scorching temperatures and high humidity on Wednesday made it feel like it was well over 100 degrees in the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota. On Thursday, it will be worse.

Dangerous heat on way with high temps near 100

Mother Nature is going to make it feel like an outdoor sauna as a dangerous heat wave grips most of the state through Friday. Before that, heavy rain could fall.

Six questions we want the answers to in the death of Philando Castile

The investigation is ongoing, but major questions have yet to be answered.
Minnesotans of all walks hit the streets to grieve, protest

Minnesotans of all walks hit the streets to grieve, protest

Minnesotans of all colors, ages and backgrounds took to the streets in peaceful protest Thursday, their voices rising in anger in response to Wednesday’s police…
Thousands lose power in strong storms

Thousands lose power in strong storms

Xcel Energy reported that 70,000 customers were still without power this morning as the Twin Cities cleaned up after severe thunderstorms flooded roads and downed trees.
Mpls. actress who was first to play Lois Lane in 'Superman' dies at 95

Mpls. actress who was first to play Lois Lane in 'Superman' dies at 95

After graduating from Central HS In Minneapolis, she went to Los Angeles and quickly built a career in the entertainment business.
Woman found dead in Bemidji fire was bound

Woman found dead in Bemidji fire was bound

The 5 year old kidnapped from her home was found in Big Fork, Minn., 70 miles away.
Obituary: David Forster Jr.'s aspirations as an athlete, businessman cut short

Obituary: David Forster Jr.'s aspirations as an athlete, businessman cut short

A week after running alongside his fiancée in Grandma's Marathon, helping her finish her first 26.2-mile race, the 27-year-old elite runner collapsed on an evening run near his Minneapolis home and died.
Bob Barker donates matching $50,000 grant to Minn. animal sanctuary

Bob Barker donates matching $50,000 grant to Minn. animal sanctuary

The longtime animal welfare activist and TV host will match donations for a new indoor shelter at the sanctuary in Sandstone.
Minnesota ranks No. 1 in the well-being of its children

Minnesota ranks No. 1 in the well-being of its children

Those successes fall short with some children of color.
Former Miss North Dakota-USA found dead in Minneapolis

Former Miss North Dakota-USA found dead in Minneapolis

The cause of death has not been released.

Storms drop heavy rain across southern Minnesota, parts of Twin Cities

Minor damage was reported after twisters were spotted in southern Minnesota.

Hit-and-run driver kills 11-year-old girl in Aitkin County

The State Patrol is asking for the public's help in locating vehicle that may have link to crash on Hwy. 18 near Garrison.
Another steamy day ahead in the Twin Cities

Another steamy day ahead in the Twin Cities

Some damage from storms reported in southeast Minnesota. Pollution advisory issued for parts of Minnesota on Saturday
Want to make music downtown? 25 Mpls. pianos are waiting

Want to make music downtown? 25 Mpls. pianos are waiting

Old uprights are colorfully painted by local artists for Pianos on Parade.
At Fort Snelling National Cemetery, duty and honor are forever

At Fort Snelling National Cemetery, duty and honor are forever

Long before the Memorial Day visitors arrive, a 50-member crew is there carefully tending the grounds. "It's duty," Navy vet Mark Linafelter said of his work.

Aitkin 4th-grade teacher, coach charged with criminal sexual conduct

The teacher, who's been removed from her job, faces four felony charges with a 17-year-old girl she coached.
Comic Ralphie May makes amends with American Indians, reschedules tour

Comic Ralphie May makes amends with American Indians, reschedules tour

After insults spark outcry, May has rescheduled his performances for Dec. 8 in Sioux Falls and Dec. 10 in Fargo.
Minnesota Zoo debuts baby bison, part of expanding herd

Minnesota Zoo debuts baby bison, part of expanding herd

Days before the bison was anointed the new national mammal of the United States, a bison calf made its entrance into the world at the…

How do you stop a bully? Wis. towns are fining the parents

Minnesota official says he doesn't know of any attempts here to try it, but he understands it.
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.
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