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

Report lists Minneapolis 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.
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.
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