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
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.
Why thieves are cutting swaths of birch trees in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Why thieves are cutting swaths of birch trees in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Thieves are illegally cutting down thousands of birch trees in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to make a quick buck off city dwellers who love the…
Missing St. Cloud State University student was seen on video walking across railroad bridge

Missing St. Cloud State University student was seen on video walking across railroad bridge

The search for Jesse Dady is expected to resume Thursday.
Fire destroys historic Morrison County church; arson suspected

Fire destroys historic Morrison County church; arson suspected

Darling Township mourns the loss of its 120-year-old community landmark.
University of Minnesota law professor indicted in fraud scheme

University of Minnesota law professor indicted in fraud scheme

According to the indictment, from 2006 to 2013, Edward S. Adams stole more than $4.38 million from investors and paid more than $2.54 million to his own law firm.
Cafe in Clinton, Minn., that began as an experiment gets a new owner

Cafe in Clinton, Minn., that began as an experiment gets a new owner

The Inadvertent Cafe's mission landed founder Bush Foundation money.
Driver shaken up by crash wanders into Minn. home for weird wake-up call

Driver shaken up by crash wanders into Minn. home for weird wake-up call

Surviving a crash, disoriented driver wanders into Alexandria home.
Winter storm could bring 4-8 inches of snow to southern Minn.

Winter storm could bring 4-8 inches of snow to southern Minn.

The storm likely will sweep an area from St. Cloud to Minneapolis to Red Wing, according to the watch issued by the Weather Service.
Roiling Lake Superior creates a crashing spectacle

Roiling Lake Superior creates a crashing spectacle

With winds clocked at 66 mph, waves hit 18-feet high.

U of M's Minneapolis campus loses heat as steam pipeline damaged

Crews are working to determine the extent of the damage.
Minnesota traffic stop on I-94 yields pot seizure worth $1.75 million

Minnesota traffic stop on I-94 yields pot seizure worth $1.75 million

Inconsistent stories raised a trooper's suspicions, and now three men face felony charges.
Shoppers endorse new law legalizing Sunday sale of alcohol

Shoppers endorse new law legalizing Sunday sale of alcohol

If they choose to do so, liquor stores will open for the first time in Minnesota history on Sunday, July 2, after Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill ending the ban.

Former state employee sues Minnesota for discrimination, retaliation

State officials said they can't discuss the case but say they are committed to a positive working environment.
Under GOP plan, Minn. could lose billions for health program

Under GOP plan, Minn. could lose billions for health program

State could lose $1.3 billion in 2019 and more in ensuing years, a state analysis shows.
DNR proposes fee increases, touts new attractions

DNR proposes fee increases, touts new attractions

The most fee increases for state park users, cross-country skiers and boat, ATV and snowmobile owners were last increased a decade ago.
Rochester removes 68 students from class over vaccination concerns

Rochester removes 68 students from class over vaccination concerns

That was down from 80 banned from school at the beginning of the day.
Search on for truck that may have hit person who reportedly jumped from I-94 overpass

Search on for truck that may have hit person who reportedly jumped from I-94 overpass

Witnesses indicated the truck driver may have struck the person without realizing it.
Rochester to ban unvaccinated students from school today

Rochester to ban unvaccinated students from school today

Officials say the students have to prove they were vaccinated or exempted from state immunization law.
Birkebeiner ski race canceled for only second time in history

Birkebeiner ski race canceled for only second time in history

Wisconsin towns scramble to salvage sustaining revenue from the country's largest cross-country race.
Rochester set to remove 180-plus students over failure to follow vaccination law

Rochester set to remove 180-plus students over failure to follow vaccination law

School officials said they have worked "diligently" since January to inform families that students must be vaccinated to attend school or provide documentation for an exemption.
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.
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