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
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.
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.
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