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
100-plus businesses shut down in solidarity with immigrants

100-plus businesses shut down in solidarity with immigrants

The Twin Cities response, part of a one-day national boycott, attempted to show how vital newcomers are to the U.S. economy.
Many Twin Cities businesses closed to support immigrants

Many Twin Cities businesses closed to support immigrants

A national protest Thursday is spurring immigrants to make their voices heard by walking off their jobs, and many businesses are closing in solidarity with them.
'He saved my life,' woman says of 11-year-old who heard her cries for help

'He saved my life,' woman says of 11-year-old who heard her cries for help

Sixth-grader Colby Hansen stopped and called 911 for the woman, who'd shattered a hip bone.
Swanson: Travel ban effects felt in Minn. nursing homes, care

Swanson: Travel ban effects felt in Minn. nursing homes, care

While the ban is in legal limbo after a pair of dramatic court rulings, Minnesota's attorney general's office is working on the case.

Apparent norovirus outbreak closes part of Minnehaha Academy

School officials will sanitize the building and reopen on Monday.
Minnesota joins lawsuit vs. Trump over executive order

Minnesota joins lawsuit vs. Trump over executive order

In a statement, Attorney General Lori Swanson called the executive order banning refugees and travelers from a list of predominantly Muslim nations "unconstitutional."
Amid uncertainty, immigrants pledge U.S. citizenship

Amid uncertainty, immigrants pledge U.S. citizenship

For many, becoming citizens is about responsibility to a country that gave them opportunities.
Artist who created bronze Mary Tyler Moore statue dies two days after star

Artist who created bronze Mary Tyler Moore statue dies two days after star

Gwendolyn Gillen created the hat-tossing statue on Nicollet Mall.
A toss of the hat: Minneapolis fans pay tribute to Mary Tyler Moore

A toss of the hat: Minneapolis fans pay tribute to Mary Tyler Moore

The orchestrated toss was a show of love and thanks to the woman who made them laugh and helped them be strong.
Gloomy days of January hit a record in the Twin Cities

Gloomy days of January hit a record in the Twin Cities

Those wanting to see blue skies and sunshine hope for an Arctic blast.
Kathy Moran, strong advocate for the deaf, dies at age 59

Kathy Moran, strong advocate for the deaf, dies at age 59

A love of language drew Kathy Moran to learn to sign for the deaf. Her doggedness made her one of that community’s fiercest advocates. “She…
Carver Co. judge opts not to appoint co-executor for Prince's estate

Carver Co. judge opts not to appoint co-executor for Prince's estate

Comerica Bank & Trust will solely manage the multimillion estate.
Minnesotans advised to check log furniture for invasive species

Minnesotans advised to check log furniture for invasive species

Last year the state investigated two incidents of infested furniture imported from China.

Anonymous donor gives College of St. Benedict $10 million

The gift — the college's largest — will create an ethical leadership center.

Gun found in Blaine High School locker; two students arrested

Police and school officials are investigating the incident.
Snow, commute, repeat: More snow for Twin Cities this morning

Snow, commute, repeat: More snow for Twin Cities this morning

About 1 to 2 inches expected to fall Wednesday morning could make drivers and commuters experience deja vu.

Icy sidewalks? Minneapolis offers free sand to residents

Clearing sidewalks is the law in Minneapolis.
U leaders fired Tracy Claeys amid mounting outside pressure

U leaders fired Tracy Claeys amid mounting outside pressure

Activists calling for his termination likely will continue with their plans to rally Wednesday afternoon outside the university's Morrill Hall.
Biggest news stories made 2016 an unforgettable year in Minnesota

Biggest news stories made 2016 an unforgettable year in Minnesota

It was a year marked by joy, profound sadness and shock. Lives were changed and new political and cultural landscapes emerged.
Ugly it may be, but eelpout from Lake of the Woods is a record-breaker

Ugly it may be, but eelpout from Lake of the Woods is a record-breaker

To many, the fat, slimy eelpout is one of the ugliest fish swimming in Minnesota's waters. But to Brent Getzler, the one he caught is a beauty.
House that belonged to Jacob Wetterling's killer is razed

House that belonged to Jacob Wetterling's killer is razed

Demolition of home of Jacob Wetterling's killer became a short moment of healing.

Forget the sled, you'll need an umbrella for Christmas

That landscape of white is likely to turn to mush when rain comes Christmas Day.
Finally! Ski season opens in Twin Cities

Finally! Ski season opens in Twin Cities

Hyland Hills Ski Area in Bloomington opened last week, Afton Alps near Hastings opened Thursday and Buck Hill in Burnsville and Welch Village will open Friday.
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.
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