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
Long-distance kidney donation links Minnesotan, New Zealanders

Long-distance kidney donation links Minnesotan, New Zealanders

"I feel blessed," recipient says of the extraordinary gift. "You don't owe us a thing," donor says.
Time for hooky: Minnesota soaks up picture-perfect days

Time for hooky: Minnesota soaks up picture-perfect days

More Minnesotans may be calling in sick this week. Blame it on a string of higher than normal temperatures that has folks keeping their shorts…
Wet October pushing some Minnesota rivers over their banks

Wet October pushing some Minnesota rivers over their banks

Rain and a soggy landscape are causing minor damage along rivers.

Muslim ban protests expected Thursday across downtown Minneapolis

The protests will pop up as the evening commute begins, including near freeway entrances.
Edina couple say their California winery escaped the fire

Edina couple say their California winery escaped the fire

The flames consumed structures within just a few blocks of their Sonoma winery.

Two bodies found in a car in Coon Rapids parking lot

The deaths appear to be accidental, according to police.
Minnesota concerts canceled for London-based Somali musician after visa delays

Minnesota concerts canceled for London-based Somali musician after visa delays

Aar Maanta has performed twice before in Minnesota without problems.
Twin Cities man among the dead in Las Vegas mass shooting

Twin Cities man among the dead in Las Vegas mass shooting

Friends and family of a Minnesota man learned Tuesday that he is among the dead after Saturday's mass shooting in Las Vegas. Steve Berger, a financial adviser in the Twin Cities, is a father of three kids ages 8, 11 and 15.
Twin Cities heroin dealer gets 14 years for 2 overdose deaths

Twin Cities heroin dealer gets 14 years for 2 overdose deaths

Beverly Burrell was convicted of third-degree murder in the overdose deaths of Max Tillitt and Luke Ronnei in a statewide push to get heroin off the streets by going after distributors.
An injured distance runner reinvents her Twin Cities Marathon tradition

An injured distance runner reinvents her Twin Cities Marathon tradition

I used to be that runner — someone who squeezed in a run nearly every day to take a break from the rest of life and feel the outdoors. I long for those days.
Fox 9 reporter shares story about losing her lower leg in boating accident

Fox 9 reporter shares story about losing her lower leg in boating accident

Courtney Godfrey fell overboard and her foot became entangled in the boat's propeller.
Heat wave hits as fall arrives: It's going to feel like 100 today

Heat wave hits as fall arrives: It's going to feel like 100 today

The predicted high of 93 degrees will make it one of the hottest days of the year.
Zebra mussels found in Minneapolis, Lakeville lakes

Zebra mussels found in Minneapolis, Lakeville lakes

A single mussel was found in Lake Harriet on a boat recovered from the bottom. Five were found in Lake Marion.
Rochester, police officer settle bias claim for $1 million

Rochester, police officer settle bias claim for $1 million

Police Lt. Elisa Umpierre filed the claim after she said she was suspended for comments she made on Facebook.

Police investigate bomb threat at Seward co-op's Friendship store in Minneapolis

The store shut down Saturday after the threat and reopened Sunday.
Nazi flags, swastika armbands: history or hate speech?

Nazi flags, swastika armbands: history or hate speech?

Show at State Fairgrounds has banned Nazi artifacts, citing changing times.
National Weather Service tries to simplify winter warnings

National Weather Service tries to simplify winter warnings

The agency now has more than 100 different advisories, warnings, watches.
U leak probe cost $74K, caught no one

U leak probe cost $74K, caught no one

A $74K investigation into who leaked confidential information about a University of Minnesota athletic official has ended — with no culprit in sight.

Pipe bomb found in package at Hennepin Technical College

The college's Brooklyn Park campus is expected to reopen Friday.
Wayzata officer struck, killed while clearing Hwy. 12 debris

Wayzata officer struck, killed while clearing Hwy. 12 debris

A car hit officer William Mathews, who had pulled over to the side of the eastbound highway to clear the road. The driver stopped and was cooperating but has been booked into jail.
Minneapolis legislator Ilhan Omar makes the cover of Time

Minneapolis legislator Ilhan Omar makes the cover of Time

Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim to become a legislator, is one of 46 influential women to break barriers.
Minn. high school banned flags on vehicles, until protests began

Minn. high school banned flags on vehicles, until protests began

Rocori school officials announced the ban after students flew the Confederate battle flag last spring.
Backlash over owner's donation to ex-KKK leader shutters Club Jager

Backlash over owner's donation to ex-KKK leader shutters Club Jager

The Club Jäger employees became collateral damage in the wake of the news.
Meet Pitino and Fleck: Como Zoo's new twin tamarins

Meet Pitino and Fleck: Como Zoo's new twin tamarins

The baby primates are named after Gopher coaches P.J. Fleck and Richard Pitino.
Patrons, performers protest Mpls. bar owner's David Duke contribution

Patrons, performers protest Mpls. bar owner's David Duke contribution

Performers, Huge Improv Theater blast landlord's political donation.
Red Lake faces new addiction epidemic, but 'nobody is giving up on anybody'

Red Lake faces new addiction epidemic, but 'nobody is giving up on anybody'

The battle against addiction has been a constant on the reservations in northern Minnesota. But recently, the demons have escalated to deadly mixes of heroin.
St. Paul charter school, family settle discrimination complaint over transgender student

St. Paul charter school, family settle discrimination complaint over transgender student

The settlement with Nova Classical Academy should be a lesson to other schools, Dave and Hannah Edwards said.
Transgender Minnesota natives want to serve their country in military

Transgender Minnesota natives want to serve their country in military

Two Minnesotans serving in the military expressed disappointment at President Donald Trump.
Red Lake Indian Reservation declares public health emergency over drug epidemic

Red Lake Indian Reservation declares public health emergency over drug epidemic

A significant uptick in overdoses the last few months prompted tribal leaders to take the unusual action.
Family says Isanti driver's sentence in death of teen skateboarder falls short

Family says Isanti driver's sentence in death of teen skateboarder falls short

Family pushed for charges after boy hit, left to die.
St. Paul teen ID'd as victim of 1970s serial killer John Wayne Gacy

St. Paul teen ID'd as victim of 1970s serial killer John Wayne Gacy

The 16-year-old boy who had been missing since he left his St. Paul home in the 1970s has now been identified as one of the 33 victims of the Chicago-area serial killer.
Foes of Twin Metals mine jam St. Paul listening session; advocates stay away

Foes of Twin Metals mine jam St. Paul listening session; advocates stay away

A group of 17 organizations that support the copper-nickel mining proposal near the BWCA boycotted the event, while speakers from a crowd of about 1,000 were unanimous in opposition.
E.coli sickens siblings from Wright County, killing 3-year-old girl

E.coli sickens siblings from Wright County, killing 3-year-old girl

A boy in critical condition is fighting for his life, days after toxin-producing bacteria killed his sister.
Minnetonka advertising executive who was part-time hobo dies at 69

Minnetonka advertising executive who was part-time hobo dies at 69

Todd Waters was drawn to two worlds, his home on Lake Minnetonka and the free-spirit ways of riding freight trains.
Long-lost soldier returns to Minnesota and to love of his life

Long-lost soldier returns to Minnesota and to love of his life

Gerald Jacobsen, listed as missing in action for 73 years, was buried Friday at Fort Snelling Cemetery. And the woman he left behind finally found peace.
KARE 11 TV reporter Jay Olstad bids farewell

KARE 11 TV reporter Jay Olstad bids farewell

Olstad said he's leaving the news business to spend more time with his family.
West Fargo carnival shuts down booth giving away bunnies as prizes

West Fargo carnival shuts down booth giving away bunnies as prizes

Fair officials shut down booth after discovery.
Minnesota CAIR receives threatening e-mail, notifies FBI

Minnesota CAIR receives threatening e-mail, notifies FBI

E-mail advising "Get ready to have a war" is the second in seven months from the same sender.
73 years after World War II loss, Minnesota widow receives medals

73 years after World War II loss, Minnesota widow receives medals

The emotional ceremony with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar took place a week before Gerald Jacobsen's remains will arrive home in Minnesota.

After one too many hits, I-35W bridge being replaced in Bloomington

Work to replace the 86th Street bridge with a taller one begins this weekend, prompting I-35W disruptions.
Spread of deadly poison hemlock includes Twin Cities metro

Spread of deadly poison hemlock includes Twin Cities metro

The toxic weed has been found in the Grand Rapids area and southwestern and southeastern Minnesota as well.

Driver making U-turn in south metro hits state trooper's car

The state trooper was unharmed in the crash, which backed up traffic for miles.
Stillwater Lift Bridge reopens in time for morning commute

Stillwater Lift Bridge reopens in time for morning commute

The bridge is expected to be back in operation later Tuesday.
Michelle Obama to speak in the Twin Cities

Michelle Obama to speak in the Twin Cities

The former first lady is scheduled to speak in September at the Beth El Synagogue.

U cancer center evacuated after chemical spill

Minneapolis Fire Department officials said the spill is contained.
Hacker reports he struck U, in 3rd attack spurred by Yanez acquittal in Castile death

Hacker reports he struck U, in 3rd attack spurred by Yanez acquittal in Castile death

FBI officials said they are investigating the possible attacks by Vigilance.
Deadly hemlock emerging, spreading in parts of Minnesota

Deadly hemlock emerging, spreading in parts of Minnesota

People and animals who come in contact with the highly toxic weed should get emergency help.
Seeking justice for Castile, hacker breaks into Minnesota databases

Seeking justice for Castile, hacker breaks into Minnesota databases

The hacker stole info from state databases and Minnesota State University Moorhead.
After rally by Philando Castile supporters in St. Paul, marchers hit I-94 and arrests follow

After rally by Philando Castile supporters in St. Paul, marchers hit I-94 and arrests follow

Protesters' grief, anger spill over onto I-94

More bones unearthed in Duluth days after state apologizes for desecrating Indian graves

Officials are examining how "we goofed or whether the process was at fault," a MnDOT project manager says.
Outside magazine names Twin Cities among 'Best Towns' ever

Outside magazine names Twin Cities among 'Best Towns' ever

Publication said the area has many things going for it, "but the real reason to move here is the biking."
Minnesota's largest invasive carp caught in Redwood Falls

Minnesota's largest invasive carp caught in Redwood Falls

Experts on invasives worry about bighead's arrival in Redwood Falls.
Get ready for a hot messy weekend, with temps in 90s and feeling like 100

Get ready for a hot messy weekend, with temps in 90s and feeling like 100

Heat and humidity will combine for stifling and risky conditions.
Edina grad charged in sex assaults expelled from UW-Madison

Edina grad charged in sex assaults expelled from UW-Madison

Despite an appeal from an attorney, the decision is final to expel Alec Cook, who is charged with sexual assault.

Warning: Hot weather could buckle roads

A heat wave this week could cause a bit of road chaos. Minnesota transportation officials are warning drivers to watch out for pavement buckles. Temperatures…
Getting bit? Black flies and ticks on the attack after rains in Minnesota

Getting bit? Black flies and ticks on the attack after rains in Minnesota

And as ticks spread, so do cases of Lyme disease.

Crosiers agree to $25.5 million settlement with survivors, file bankruptcy

The religious order, which has a community in Onamia, also agreed to release all files on accused abusers.

Former assistant school principal in Bemidji charged with child pornography

It's a federal case involving dozens of children.
Maplewood woman found guilty in overdose death of Chanhassen man

Maplewood woman found guilty in overdose death of Chanhassen man

The judge expects to rule on a second case after closing arguments are filed July 3.
Vulnerable teen missing since Saturday has been found safe

Vulnerable teen missing since Saturday has been found safe

The 15-year-old girl was last seen Saturday at a St. Paul women's shelter.
Athletic official on leave after violating U's policy on sexual harassment

Athletic official on leave after violating U's policy on sexual harassment

The nature of the violation involving Randy Handel has not been disclosed. U regents angry over a leak are investigating who provided e-mail's contents.
Forest Lake HS students walk out to protest police department disbanding

Forest Lake HS students walk out to protest police department disbanding

More than 1,000 students left the school.
Minnesota should toughen driver texting laws, poll shows

Minnesota should toughen driver texting laws, poll shows

The Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found that nearly 80 percent want texting to be punished on par with drunken driving. At the same time, most of those polled say they personally aren't the problem.
Searchers scour Mississippi River for missing U of M student

Searchers scour Mississippi River for missing U of M student

He fell into water while meditating with a friend.
State's largest school district warns parents about Netflix series involving suicide

State's largest school district warns parents about Netflix series involving suicide

Anoka-Hennepin sent an e-mail to parents about the show "13 Reasons Why."
Robert Halfhill, Twin Cities gay activist and archivist, dies at 76

Robert Halfhill, Twin Cities gay activist and archivist, dies at 76

His death leaves few left who remember the early days of the Twin Cities movement.
Suspect in fatal Red Wing shooting nabbed after 120-mph chase, charged

Suspect in fatal Red Wing shooting nabbed after 120-mph chase, charged

The charges filed in Goodhue County range from second-degree murder to second-degree manslaughter.
Minnesota Muslim teen wins fight to box wearing a hijab

Minnesota Muslim teen wins fight to box wearing a hijab

Amaiya Zafar of Oakdale hopes to take her fight to the international boxing ring.
Storied St. Louis Park treehouse now a pile of wood for sale

Storied St. Louis Park treehouse now a pile of wood for sale

An April snowstorm three years ago began the demise of the seven-tier treehouse.
Man arrested in connection with Green Line LRT shooting

Man arrested in connection with Green Line LRT shooting

A man suffered injuries in the shooting that were not life-threatening.
Grief strong in small Minn. community after teen's death in crash

Grief strong in small Minn. community after teen's death in crash

A 16-year-old driver died when his car was hit by a semitrailer truck that had crossed the centerline.

Teen dies after being hit by a semitrailer truck in Otter Tail County

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash.
Airlines forcing fewer people to give up their seats

Airlines forcing fewer people to give up their seats

More passengers are being enticed to surrender seats voluntarily.

Woman killed while crossing street in southwestern Minnesota

The crash occurred early on a "very foggy" morning.
Dozens of flights canceled, delayed at MSP airport

Dozens of flights canceled, delayed at MSP airport

Storms across the Southeast disrupted flights across the country.
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