Staff Directory 10645411

Matt McKinney

Reporter | Regional Team
phone: 612-673-7329
As a roaming reporter for the Star Tribune, my assignments come from all across the region, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to the Bois Forte Band in Tower, from the farm country Amish to up North fishermen. Special areas of interest include but are not limited to business fraud, sand mining, the Mayo Clinic's multi-billion-dollar expansion known as Destination Medical Center, crime, shoreline development and outstate news. Send tips and story ideas to me at mckinney@startribune.com
Recent content from Matt McKinney
Mining the magic: Cuyuna Range reinvented by influx of silent sports

Mining the magic: Cuyuna Range reinvented by influx of silent sports

Thousands of tourists come for award-winning bike trails, trout-stocked lakes, deep waters for scuba diving and quiet bays for paddleboarders and kayakers.
Scenic highway through Jay Cooke reopens five years after flood

Scenic highway through Jay Cooke reopens five years after flood

Repairs restore washed-out passage through Jay Cooke State Park
New Trump travel ban fuels anxiety in Minnesota

New Trump travel ban fuels anxiety in Minnesota

The new order may draw legal challenges, but it's too soon to tell what will eventually happen, said a Somali attorney in Minneapolis.
Obituary: Volunteer chess coach and role model Jack Mangan dies at 67

Obituary: Volunteer chess coach and role model Jack Mangan dies at 67

A fundraiser, elementary school teacher and founder of several Minneapolis chess clubs that continue today, Mangan died Sept. 1, four months after a terminal cancer diagnosis. He was 67.
Hunter rescued after nearly 3 days in forest north of Twin Cities

Hunter rescued after nearly 3 days in forest north of Twin Cities

Robert Kniefel, 61, of Lakeville, built a fire to warm himself and endured heavy rains in the Nemadji Forest.
Missing Minnesota 4-year-old found safe in a field after lengthy search

Missing Minnesota 4-year-old found safe in a field after lengthy search

Authorities believe the girl followed a cat into a cornfield near her home northwest of Kenyon when she disappeared Tuesday night.
Minnesotans living and working in Irma's path face rebuilding task

Minnesotans living and working in Irma's path face rebuilding task

Minnesotans in Irma's path come to terms with what has been lost and count their blessings.
State Supreme Court ruling reverses disorderly conduct conviction of Little Falls woman

State Supreme Court ruling reverses disorderly conduct conviction of Little Falls woman

"I feel like justice was finally served," said Robin Hensel, whose removal at a City Council meeting was at the heart of the court's decision.
Minnesotans with homes or businesses in Florida brace for Irma

Minnesotans with homes or businesses in Florida brace for Irma

Anxiety mounts as residents scramble for food, water, gas and other supplies.
Faribault's Johnston Hall once again eyed for demolition

Faribault's Johnston Hall once again eyed for demolition

Johnston Hall is all that remains of an 1888 divinity school.
Albert Lea rises up against Mayo's plan to trim hospital services

Albert Lea rises up against Mayo's plan to trim hospital services

As Mayo defends planned cuts, Albert Lea fights back.
Minnesota charity officials warn of online scams in Houston flooding

Minnesota charity officials warn of online scams in Houston flooding

Online pleas may not funnel aid to victims of Houston flooding.
Nazi resurgence alarms Minn. WWII vets, Holocaust survivors

Nazi resurgence alarms Minn. WWII vets, Holocaust survivors

In the aftermath of last weekend's deadly violence in Virginia, no one may be feeling more anger and fear than those who battled the Nazis and those nearly killed by them.
First public dollars go to Rochester's Destination Medical Center project

First public dollars go to Rochester's Destination Medical Center project

The money will go to Rochester for infrastructure work related to the project.
Residents fight for old Rochester

Residents fight for old Rochester

Preservationists fear Mayo Clinic development could erase city's history.
Minn. arts group faces upheaval after sex harassment allegations against ex-director

Minn. arts group faces upheaval after sex harassment allegations against ex-director

Gregory Stavrou, accused of sexual harassment, had resigned in April after arts group called for his firing.
Failure to turn on body cameras flouted policy

Failure to turn on body cameras flouted policy

The officer who shot and killed 40-year-old Justine Damond late Saturday apparently violated his department’s rules on the use of body cameras when he…
Chance of reopening Fort Ridgely golf course 'not promising,' supporter says

Chance of reopening Fort Ridgely golf course 'not promising,' supporter says

A surprise 'No' vote from the Fairfax City Council left the Friends of Fort Ridgely without a government entity and fiscal agent to pursue their plan.
Somali-American family from Eagan sues feds after being detained at border

Somali-American family from Eagan sues feds after being detained at border

The family was released after authorities determined that the father, who was on a watch list, wasn't a threat.
WWI patriotism, repression swept Goodhue County

WWI patriotism, repression swept Goodhue County

Author documents Goodhue County's passions and prejudice.
Was Mankato boom a mine blast or an earthquake?

Was Mankato boom a mine blast or an earthquake?

Mining firm blames earth­quake after quarry blast.
North Shore's Lutsen Resort goes up for sale

North Shore's Lutsen Resort goes up for sale

The listing includes 50 acres and some Lake Superior shoreline, but does not include the popular ski hill of the same name.
Virginia, Minn., launches plans to refurbish historic fountain

Virginia, Minn., launches plans to refurbish historic fountain

The Olcott Park Fountain needs $900,000 in repairs for the structure, built in 1937.
Duluth's record-setting rains led to harrowing tale

Duluth's record-setting rains led to harrowing tale

Five years later, a son's close call still gives a mother chills.

Rally at Capitol scheduled for day Yanez verdict is delivered

Supporters and friends of Philando Castile plan to hold a 7 p.m. rally at the Capitol the day a verdict is delivered in the trial…
In Melrose, plans to raze church wound many

In Melrose, plans to raze church wound many

A year after arson, parish is divided over the fate of St. Mary's.
Wetterlings sue, stopping release of files in Jacob's investigation

Wetterlings sue, stopping release of files in Jacob's investigation

A district judge on Friday stopped the scheduled public release next week of some investigative documents related to Jacob Wetterling's 1989 abduction and murder.
Rochester Int'l Airport says it's poised to take off with new routes, more Mayo biz

Rochester Int'l Airport says it's poised to take off with new routes, more Mayo biz

An airline analyst said new routes are a sure sign of a growth market.
After audit, Rochester Art Center moves to shore up finances

After audit, Rochester Art Center moves to shore up finances

ROCHESTER – The Rochester Art Center outsourced its bookkeeping to a local accountant after an audit released in January raised serious questions about its…
Longtime sheriff adds fourth Minnesota county to his list

Longtime sheriff adds fourth Minnesota county to his list

Don Gudmundson has been sheriff in four Minnesota counties

St. Paul-to-Canada route added to U.S. biking network

An existing set of roadways and bike paths between St. Paul and Grand Portage State Park has been designated U.S. Bike Route 41.
Duluth woman carries aid into ruined Syrian city

Duluth woman carries aid into ruined Syrian city

Duluth woman delivered cash raised in Minnesota to rebuild Kobani's demolished library.
Lighthouse, northern trails feel the power of volunteers

Lighthouse, northern trails feel the power of volunteers

Crews work to restore historic beacon and clear overgrown trails
Financial troubles, staff turnover put Rochester Art Center's future in doubt

Financial troubles, staff turnover put Rochester Art Center's future in doubt

The local arts community is alarmed and calling into question the management of the publicly supported organization.
With $300M in private funds, Rochester's DMC project set to get $585M in public aid

With $300M in private funds, Rochester's DMC project set to get $585M in public aid

Public dollars pledged by Legislature will now be available for Destination Medical Center project.
Obituary: Lee Smith, owned Lee and Dee's Barbecue in St. Paul

Obituary: Lee Smith, owned Lee and Dee's Barbecue in St. Paul

He was “Bubba” to family and “Mr. Lee” to others, but to legions of barbecue-loving diners in St. Paul, Lee Claudie Smith was the man…
Mother of man killed by police: 'They have to live with what they've done'

Mother of man killed by police: 'They have to live with what they've done'

St. Paul cops "have to live with what they've done," she declares at a vigil at the spot where her son died.
Klobuchar seeks money to fight anti-Semitic threats

Klobuchar seeks money to fight anti-Semitic threats

She pledges federal money for security at community centers.
Hell's Kitchen fundraiser helps Madelia restaurateurs

Hell's Kitchen fundraiser helps Madelia restaurateurs

La Plaza Fiesta restaurant owners Krystal Hernandez and her husband, Daniel, took home 10 percent of the day's proceeds.
New travel ban order draws mix of reactions in Minnesota

New travel ban order draws mix of reactions in Minnesota

Refugee arrivals here had already dropped off dramatically as the Trump administration slashed the number to be received, and local agencies prepared for a slow spring and summer.
Boosters make bid to save 90-year-old golf course

Boosters make bid to save 90-year-old golf course

The DNR closed the money-losing course at Fort Ridgely last fall
Trump immigration orders raise Minn. fears, sanctuary offers

Trump immigration orders raise Minn. fears, sanctuary offers

In Minnesota, more than a dozen churches have pledged to safeguard those facing deportation.
Warm weather is melting winter economy in Minn., Wis. towns

Warm weather is melting winter economy in Minn., Wis. towns

Small-town festivals and ski races across the region are in danger of being curtailed or canceled, jeopardizing needed tourism dollars.
Lori Swanson: 'More deliberate approach' could have avoided litigation

Lori Swanson: 'More deliberate approach' could have avoided litigation

While some legal observers expressed jubilation, they also cautioned that the controversy is far from resolved.
Attorneys pull MSP shifts to help incoming refugees

Attorneys pull MSP shifts to help incoming refugees

The volunteer group has been stationed at the airport for days now, watching and waiting at the international arrivals gate for anyone who might need legal help.
Some in Faribault see sense, not bias, in an immigration timeout

Some in Faribault see sense, not bias, in an immigration timeout

In Faribault, President Trump's travel ban has been welcomed by residents who feel the cost and pace of immigration is too much too fast.
Trump supporters say his travel ban is needed to protect U.S.

Trump supporters say his travel ban is needed to protect U.S.

The president's executive order on immigration is necessary for public safety, say supporters of the move, and they've largely tuned out the airport protests and…
Trump's move on refugees stirs praise, worry in Minnesota

Trump's move on refugees stirs praise, worry in Minnesota

In remarks from the Pentagon on Friday, the president said the moves were necessary to prevent terrorists from entering the nation.
Border wall order finds fear, welcome in Minnesota

Border wall order finds fear, welcome in Minnesota

Apprehension mixes with defiance as local Latinos, leaders grapple with news.
For many, President Obama delivered on his promise of hope

For many, President Obama delivered on his promise of hope

As the Obama presidency came to an end this week and with it, Barack Obama’s tenure as the nation’s first black president, a group of…
E-bike sales grown in Minnesota; some are envious, others dubious

E-bike sales grown in Minnesota; some are envious, others dubious

As electric bikes sales grow, their presence on local trails, paths and roads has made some bicyclists envious, others dubious.
Decision to stop maintaining fire-damaged BWCA trail worries hikers

Decision to stop maintaining fire-damaged BWCA trail worries hikers

As the wilderness regenerates following a fire, hikers seek reassurance that the Forest Service won't let the much-loved Powwow Trail fade away.
Owners of North Shore's stunning Naniboujou Lodge put it up for sale

Owners of North Shore's stunning Naniboujou Lodge put it up for sale

Built for rich Duluth businessmen in 1928, it lists for $3.295 million.

Threat against Somali woman in Little Falls investigated as hate crime

A recent threat by two men to burn down the house of a Somali woman if she and her family didn't leave Little Falls, Minn.,…
Rural Minnesota man who shot at helicopter now faces federal charges

Rural Minnesota man who shot at helicopter now faces federal charges

Carstie Lee Clausen told authorities he pointed a rifle at the helicopter; said it's their job to determine if he fired
Clearbrook, Minn., man charged with shooting at drug agent's helicopter

Clearbrook, Minn., man charged with shooting at drug agent's helicopter

Clearbrook man ran failed campaign for sheriff.

Deputy injured after helicopter fired on near Fosston, Minn.

A Clearbrook, Minn., man allegedly shot at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter Monday morning, shattering one of the helicopter’s windows and injuring a…
Prince's ex attends hearing over bid to unseal divorce file

Prince's ex attends hearing over bid to unseal divorce file

Attorneys for Manuela Testolini argued in court Thursday that the details of her divorce from Prince should remain private.
Obituary: Pioneering advertising copywriter Irene Borden dies at 91

Obituary: Pioneering advertising copywriter Irene Borden dies at 91

A writer who penned witty ads and lasting slogans, Irene D. Borden was a trailblazing copywriter who rose in the industry at a time when…
Rochester tries embracing Zumbro River as remake proceeds

Rochester tries embracing Zumbro River as remake proceeds

Projects coming out of the Destination Medical Center effort are embracing the riverfront and raising hopes of river fans.
On Ely public access TV, anyone can be a star

On Ely public access TV, anyone can be a star

A prize fish, prom dates and birthday parties all make the cut

Major Rochester investment hits roadblock, is stalled again

Broadway at Center was one of three major residential/retail projects proposed for the southeastern Minnesota city's downtown.
Fire-ravaged Madelia slowly rebuilding itself

Fire-ravaged Madelia slowly rebuilding itself

All businesses have reopened, though the town is still fighting for property tax relief and other aid from the state.
Heartland of Minnesota farming hopes campaign boosts profile

Heartland of Minnesota farming hopes campaign boosts profile

Farming in south-central Minnesota draws little attention beyond farm country, but a local business group hopes to change that on Monday with a bit of marketing magic. At a two-hour "celebration event" in Mankato, it will reveal the region's new name, which is being kept secret until then, and a website for the area designed to raise its public profile.
Rochester finally OKs food trucks after months of council debate

Rochester finally OKs food trucks after months of council debate

After months of contentious debate, a law got final approval this week allowing food trucks.
Mayo Clinic unveils plans for expanded research space

Mayo Clinic unveils plans for expanded research space

The space in downtown Rochester will focus on cures, new partnerships.

Fergus Falls police say son fatally shot father with high-powered rifle

Dustin M. Defiel, who was being held in Otter Tail County jail on charges of second-degree murder, has had run-ins with the law.

One dead, one arrested in Fergus Falls homicide

A Fergus Falls man is dead and another is under arrest in what Fergus Falls police are calling a homicide. Authorities were notified of a…

Federal agency judge fines landlord $44,000 for refusing to rent to a disabled woman

He told tenant that owner didn't want "a bipolar in the house."
5 years after bullet nearly killed her, South teen joins graduates

5 years after bullet nearly killed her, South teen joins graduates

Minneapolis South's Guadalupe Galeno-Hernandez, shot by a gangster, will be the first child in her family to finish high school.
Rochester kicks off its renovation of a beloved local theater

Rochester kicks off its renovation of a beloved local theater

ROCHESTER – With a flourish that included a mayoral proclamation, city officials here officially launched their renovation of the city’s historic Chateau Theatre on…
Riverfront plans get first look from Rochester's Destination Medical Center board

Riverfront plans get first look from Rochester's Destination Medical Center board

Project includes a hotel/retail complex, restaurant and fountain on Zumbro.

Protests planned as anti-Muslim speaker Usama Dakdok tours state

Usama Dakdok to appear in four Minnesota towns this week.
Minn. steam engines that gave children rides sold to Mo. theme park

Minn. steam engines that gave children rides sold to Mo. theme park

Engines will be restored, put into service next year in Branson.
Federal authorities believe Melrose church fire was arson

Federal authorities believe Melrose church fire was arson

Authorities are offering $7,500 reward for info.
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