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
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.
Paul Hansmeier loses bankruptcy attorney Barbara May, who asks to withdraw

Paul Hansmeier loses bankruptcy attorney Barbara May, who asks to withdraw

Barbara May didn't specify why she dropped Paul Hansmeier's case.
St. Peter man gets 5 months in jail for near-fatal Kolstad attack

St. Peter man gets 5 months in jail for near-fatal Kolstad attack

Trevor Shelley of St. Peter, Minn., was sentenced to five months in jail Friday for his role in a nearly-fatal street attack two years ago on Isaac Kolstad, the Mankato husband and father who was left with a severe brain injury.
Duluth school board spurns charter school bid for vacant high school

Duluth school board spurns charter school bid for vacant high school

Board president says competition, long-term benefit were concerns
Food trucks likely to be allowed on public property in downtown Rochester

Food trucks likely to be allowed on public property in downtown Rochester

Mobile vendors likely to be allowed on public property
Anti-Muslim speakers find an audience in rural Minnesota

Anti-Muslim speakers find an audience in rural Minnesota

From Mankato to Mountain Iron, speakers who paint an alarming image of Islam are drawing several hundred people per visit.
Old theater in downtown Rochester headed for renovations and a new life

Old theater in downtown Rochester headed for renovations and a new life

Historic theater likely to get a new life as mixed-use events center.

Destination Medical Center project in Rochester reports strong private investment

Public funds are off-limits until private goals are met.

Batch of heroin suspected in 7 overdose deaths in Minnesota

Officials ask public to identify dealers, users as wave hits northern Minn.
Melrose residents stunned as fire destroys 118-year-old church

Melrose residents stunned as fire destroys 118-year-old church

Townspeople watched with dismay Friday night as smoke billowed out of broken windows near the church's main wooden altar. The fire's cause hadn't been determined.
Obituary: Charles W. Siftar, owner of Tangletown Bike Shop

Obituary: Charles W. Siftar, owner of Tangletown Bike Shop

Ditching a high-stress corporate job, Charlie Siftar made a midlife change a few years ago to open a south Minneapolis bike shop, where he could…
St. Paul landlord wins case against serial ADA litigant

St. Paul landlord wins case against serial ADA litigant

The Disability Support Alliance has filed dozens of such suits statewide.
Red Wing Stoneware settles lawsuit with collectors over trademarks

Red Wing Stoneware settles lawsuit with collectors over trademarks

Nearly a year after it began, a lawsuit that pitted the Red Wing Stoneware factory against a group of stoneware collectors has been settled with…
Rochester couple renovate historic Conley-Maass building

Rochester couple renovate historic Conley-Maass building

The Downses began as Mayo Clinic patients. Now they're helping renovate downtown.
Anti-Muslim billboard posted near St. Cloud taken down

Anti-Muslim billboard posted near St. Cloud taken down

Person behind sign not revealed; sign removed due to inaccuracy
Fire took the buildings, but not Madelia's community spirit

Fire took the buildings, but not Madelia's community spirit

La Plaza Fiesta co-owner thanks her lucky stars, makes plans to rebuild
'We're not going to walk away,' Dayton tells Madelia after fire

'We're not going to walk away,' Dayton tells Madelia after fire

The governor toured the fire-damaged town Friday morning and pledged to support those who lost businesses in the early-morning blaze.
Overnight fire erupts, leaving stretch of downtown Madelia in ruins

Overnight fire erupts, leaving stretch of downtown Madelia in ruins

Fire erupted and raced through adjoining businesses along a small south-central Minnesota town's Main Street, leaving a large stretch of the block in ruins, a witness and city official said.
Amish, non-Amish come together to help after deadly fire near Lanesboro

Amish, non-Amish come together to help after deadly fire near Lanesboro

As Amish arrived for funeral, non-Amish neighbors offered food, bedding, machinery.
Rochester redo could spell future rush-hour headaches

Rochester redo could spell future rush-hour headaches

Plan envisions thousands more commuters.

State: Anoka carnival operator took money but didn't show up for fairs

State attorney general acts to get money back for county fairs and festivals.
Destination Medical Center effort aims to jump-start state biotech sector

Destination Medical Center effort aims to jump-start state biotech sector

Rochester aims to retain the state's brightest talent by building a strong hub.
Slow start to winter slows snow-dependent sports, businesses

Slow start to winter slows snow-dependent sports, businesses

Cold-weather lovers feel jilted and winter sports sidelined as snow plays hard to get
Hotel project to rise in January in Detroit Lakes as city continues environmental rules debate with DNR

Hotel project to rise in January in Detroit Lakes as city continues environmental rules debate with DNR

E-mails illustrate state frustration over hotel project set to break ground in January
Confusion mounts over plans to close Red Wing Stoneware store

Confusion mounts over plans to close Red Wing Stoneware store

Stoneware collectors, city deny owner's complaint of harassment.
Man to be charged with hiding Minn. teen's body after using meth

Man to be charged with hiding Minn. teen's body after using meth

Laura Ann Schwendemann was found dead in October after a two-week search. An autopsy revealed she had been on meth.

Rania, Iraq, becomes Duluth's newest sister city

The two municipalities used Skype to seal their international deal, which grew from contacts made by a Duluth peace activist.
Red Wing pottery store to close, cites harassment from other businesses

Red Wing pottery store to close, cites harassment from other businesses

Owner says his family is being harassed by community members.
Minnesota schools wrestle with history, Indian nicknames

Minnesota schools wrestle with history, Indian nicknames

Schools that keep the mascot can cite historical and cultural links.
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