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Matt McKinney

Reporter | Public safety
phone: 612-673-7329
Matt writes stories from Minneapolis, chiefly about crime, but has also told readers about a dying man who recovered his stolen bicycle so he could pass it on to his children; a house built so well it doesn’t need a furnace; a man who died a virtual stranger in his own neighborhood, despite having lived a full life; and shortcomings in the city’s public auctions process. He once wrote a poem about the weather. And the newspaper published it.
Recent content from Matt McKinney
Protesters decry death of Citizens' Board at MPCA

Protesters decry death of Citizens' Board at MPCA

Speakers ask for reinstatement of Citizens’ Board at MPCA.
Minnesotans are rushing north to Winnipeg for Women's World Cup

Minnesotans are rushing north to Winnipeg for Women's World Cup

The crush of fans bogged down a popular border crossing on the eve of the first U.S. game. Hotel rooms in Winnipeg sold out long ago, with some fans giving up and staying in Grand Forks.

Bingo! Woman wins $71,000 in Eveleth playing e-bingo

A customer at Margie’s Roosevelt Bar in Eveleth on Saturday won $71,054 playing an electronic bingo game ­— the largest jackpot ever for the charitable…
Mystery plane that circled Twin Cities was part of secret FBI fleet

Mystery plane that circled Twin Cities was part of secret FBI fleet

The flight path and ownership records of the plane in Minneapolis made it conspicuous to aviation buffs.
Review: Tim Moore traces an amazing bicycle race through Italy's mountains in 'Gironimo!'

Review: Tim Moore traces an amazing bicycle race through Italy's mountains in 'Gironimo!'

NONFICTION: Riding a century-old bike, the author chases the ghost of a 1914 champion while seeking the lost, pure heart of road racing.
Mysterious low-flying plane over Twin Cities raises eyebrows

Mysterious low-flying plane over Twin Cities raises eyebrows

The small aircraft circled Minneapolis, the Mall of America and Southdale for hours late at night.
Minneapolis officer pleads not guilty to perjury, other charges

Minneapolis officer pleads not guilty to perjury, other charges

Michael Griffin pleaded not guilty in his first appearance in federal court and was released on $25,000 bail.
Isaac Kolstad jersey number wins big for ex-teammate on 'Price Is Right'

Isaac Kolstad jersey number wins big for ex-teammate on 'Price Is Right'

A football player for Minnesota State University, Mankato, won prizes including a trip to Paris on an episode of “The Price Is Right” by using…
In Marshall, Minn., Main Street is rising up against a flurry of disability lawsuits

In Marshall, Minn., Main Street is rising up against a flurry of disability lawsuits

Nonprofit has sued businesses from Marshall to St. Paul
Stearns County man sentenced to 40 years for kidnapping, assault

Stearns County man sentenced to 40 years for kidnapping, assault

“Dangerous offender” statute applied in Stearns County case.
Minneapolis cop under investigation by federal authorities

Minneapolis cop under investigation by federal authorities

Michael Griffin, a patrol officer, has been the subject of 22 internal affairs investigations since 2007.
Minneapolis police officer with two costly lawsuits has record of complaints

Minneapolis police officer with two costly lawsuits has record of complaints

All but three of the complaints against officer Michael Griffin, a patrol officer on the North Side, have been closed with no discipline; three cases are still under investigation.

U.S. Appeals Court rules in favor of Indian band over Duluth gaming proceeds

A federal appeals court Friday reversed a lower-court ruling that ordered the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to pay Duluth some…
3 charged in killing of Minnesota farm couple in their 70s

3 charged in killing of Minnesota farm couple in their 70s

The Hivelys were born, raised and married in Lyon County. And then they died there, both shot in their home of 45 years. By the time the bodies were found, the house had been torched.
Controversial Houston County frac sand mine gets day in appeals court

Controversial Houston County frac sand mine gets day in appeals court

Houston County mine owners reject restrictions over trout stream.
Opiate OD deaths drop in Hennepin County, rise in Ramsey County

Opiate OD deaths drop in Hennepin County, rise in Ramsey County

Overdose deaths from heroin and other opiates fell in Hennepin County last year for the first time since 2010, according to a local drug trends report issued Monday.
Part 4: Minneapolis teen struggles to avoid line of fire

Part 4: Minneapolis teen struggles to avoid line of fire

Part 4: One family shows how the threat of illegal firearms hangs over life on North Side.
Part 3: Illegal gun market thrives in Minn.; penalties light

Part 3: Illegal gun market thrives in Minn.; penalties light

Federal law enforcement officials say their limited presence in the state and significant constraints in federal law present serious obstacles to cracking down on illegal gun trafficking.
Part 2: One stolen gun blazes violent path

Part 2: One stolen gun blazes violent path

Thousands of illegal guns flood city streets, moving easily from hand to hand.
March 17: A gun at 14, then a senseless killing

March 17: A gun at 14, then a senseless killing

Two young lives are swept away in Minneapolis by a relentless flow of illegal firearms.
State champion jack pine in Mountain Iron felled by loggers

State champion jack pine in Mountain Iron felled by loggers

The tree would have held the national title but was cut down to make room for a $40 million expansion of U.S. Steel’s Minntac mine.
Tiny Tower, Minn., has big tourism hopes

Tiny Tower, Minn., has big tourism hopes

The little Iron Range town has spent $8 million so far hoping to lure boaters off Lake Vermilion to its harbor.

Detroit Lakes approves $11.8 million project, defying DNR

City Council approves the hotel-restaurant complex, in spite of a legal threat from the DNR.
State official: Collapsed water park roof at Ottertail resort was never inspected

State official: Collapsed water park roof at Ottertail resort was never inspected

  The water park roof that collapsed Tuesday night in Ottertail, shuttering the Thumper Pond Resort and leading to the evacuation of 25 to 30…
Sacred items prepared for return to Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

Sacred items prepared for return to Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

In the near-century since their accidental discovery, most of the artifacts have been in storage at the Minnesota Historical Society, where they’re known as the Crane Lake Cache.
Federal civil rights officials to visit St. Cloud high school over Somali student allegations

Federal civil rights officials to visit St. Cloud high school over Somali student allegations

Somali students’ claims of harassment in St. Cloud prompted meeting.
Electric bikes make inroads in the U.S.

Electric bikes make inroads in the U.S.

They're getting traction in the U.S., and helping people stay on the road.
Frac-sand debate tears SE Minnesota county apart

Frac-sand debate tears SE Minnesota county apart

Ethics investigation finds Houston County official threatened opponents.
Rochester might give old movie theater a sequel

Rochester might give old movie theater a sequel

The grand old Chateau Theatre could fit in with the city’s coming plans for a major renovation of its downtown.
Rochester Civic Center expansion begins

Rochester Civic Center expansion begins

It comes in a busy week that included plans to buy a historic downtown theater and the start of a study needed for high-speed rail to Twin Cities.
Obituary: Longtime Minneapolis Library Board member Mary Doty

Obituary: Longtime Minneapolis Library Board member Mary Doty

Mary Doty, the longtime Minneapolis Library Board member who helped usher in the new Central Library and who was known for her sharp intellect and gracious leadership while serving as board chair, died March 6. She was 85.
Court affirms tossing most serious charges in Waseca bomb case

Court affirms tossing most serious charges in Waseca bomb case

Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed a lower court’s ruling that dismissed the most serious charges against a young man accused of plotting to bomb his Waseca school.
Fans of a Minnesota ghost town fight to save empty church

Fans of a Minnesota ghost town fight to save empty church

“You tear down the church, Terrebonne really doesn’t exist anymore,” said Dan Derosier, the head of a small group working to preserve St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.
Hamline U. forensic anthropologist helps police identify old bones

Hamline U. forensic anthropologist helps police identify old bones

The bones that end up with forensic anthropologist Sue Myster come from the strangest places: construction projects, disturbed grave sites, long-hidden crime scenes.
Jury seated in trial of Brian Fitch, man accused of killing cop

Jury seated in trial of Brian Fitch, man accused of killing cop

A jury has been selected in the trial of a man accused of gunning down Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick and shooting at three St. Paul police officers.
Fitch trial opening delayed until Thursday

Fitch trial opening delayed until Thursday

Defense attorney Lauri Traub said that an alleged jailhouse confession by Fitch was brought to her attention Monday morning.
Prosecutors show video of officer's death as Fitch trial begins

Prosecutors show video of officer's death as Fitch trial begins

Prosecutors opened with chilling images of Scott Patrick being shot during routine stop.
Officer feared for his life in shootout with Fitch

Officer feared for his life in shootout with Fitch

Police who captured Brian Fitch after a shootout take the stand Monday.
Brian Fitch was arrested with a hand-drawn map to Luck, Wis.

Brian Fitch was arrested with a hand-drawn map to Luck, Wis.

Prosecution also focuses on phone records, escape plan. Jurors could have the case by Friday.
Fitch doesn't take the stand in his defense; closing arguments come Monday

Fitch doesn't take the stand in his defense; closing arguments come Monday

Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.
Profane outbursts after Fitch found guilty

Profane outbursts after Fitch found guilty

“He has taken so much from us,’’ widow of slain officer says.
No jail time for Philip Nelson in Kolstad beating

No jail time for Philip Nelson in Kolstad beating

The former U quarterback apologized to Isaac Kolstad, as he received 100 hours of community service and no jail time for the Mankato fight at bar-closing time.

Fergus Falls council member's death ruled a suicide

Drugs, alcohol played no role in death, State Patrol report says.
High-profile public defender Lauri Traub also waits tables

High-profile public defender Lauri Traub also waits tables

Public defender Lauri Traub still works part-time waiting tables.
Fitch sentenced to life without parole in officer's slaying

Fitch sentenced to life without parole in officer's slaying

With his mother in the courtroom, Brian G. Fitch Sr. was sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday. Officer Scott Patrick's widow, speaking of her slain husband, told the court: “He has changed more lives than we will ever know."
Foreman: Convicting Fitch of murder took 45 minutes

Foreman: Convicting Fitch of murder took 45 minutes

It wasn’t the most difficult decision the jurors made compared to some of the other charges they weighed, said the foreman, Garrett Zimmerman.
Fitch found guilty on all counts in officer's murder

Fitch found guilty on all counts in officer's murder

After deliberating about nine hours, a jury found Brian Fitch guilty of murdering Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick.
Ex-cellmate testifies Fitch asked him to kill Fitch's former girlfriend, another witness

Ex-cellmate testifies Fitch asked him to kill Fitch's former girlfriend, another witness

“He just wanted them dead,” the former cellmate testified.
Exploring St. John on the cheap

Exploring St. John on the cheap

A family of modest means splashes down in the former playground of the Rockefellers, thanks to cheap flights, a national park and a tent.
Testimony in Brian Fitch trial centers on threat, alibi, lifestyle

Testimony in Brian Fitch trial centers on threat, alibi, lifestyle

Ex-girlfriend says Brian Fitch threatened to shoot if stopped.
Dec. 18: Kolstad says, 'I can feel myself getting better'

Dec. 18: Kolstad says, 'I can feel myself getting better'

A remarkably improved Isaac Kolstad spoke publicly for the first time about his recovery from a near fatal beating seven months ago in Mankato that left him in a coma.
Judge allows evidence about suspect in officer's slaying allegedly plotting to kill witnesses

Judge allows evidence about suspect in officer's slaying allegedly plotting to kill witnesses

Six jurors have been seated so far.
Material witness missing in Brian Fitch case, turns up

Material witness missing in Brian Fitch case, turns up

Six jury members have been seated so far in the high-profile murder case.
Prosecutors say Fitch drew a map to witness' house in plot

Prosecutors say Fitch drew a map to witness' house in plot

Prosecutors say suspect in slaying of cop drew a map to have witnesses killed.
Defense hopes to exclude some evidence in Brian Fitch trial

Defense hopes to exclude some evidence in Brian Fitch trial

Moments after proceedings got underway Monday in the Brian G. Fitch Sr. trial over the killing of a Mendota Heights police officer, the defense attorney said she was “putting everyone on notice” that she plans to ask that some of the state’s evidence be excluded.
Jury selection begins in killing of Mendota Heights officer

Jury selection begins in killing of Mendota Heights officer

When potential jurors file into the Stearns County Courthouse Monday, it will be nearly six months since Brian Fitch was accused of killing a Mendota Heights police officer during a routine traffic stop.
Prosecution expert: Philip Nelson's kick unlikely to have caused Isaac Kolstad's brain injuries

Prosecution expert: Philip Nelson's kick unlikely to have caused Isaac Kolstad's brain injuries

The finding gave renewed urgency Friday to calls from Nelson’s attorney for dismissal of felony charges against his client.
Lawyer for trooper says he'll seek to have charges dismissed

Lawyer for trooper says he'll seek to have charges dismissed

Trooper who was responding to report of injured motorcyclist had lights and siren on.
Sudanese Lutheran pastor Dup, community leader, dead at 47

Sudanese Lutheran pastor Dup, community leader, dead at 47

The African refugee built a school in war-ravaged South Sudan last year.
Dylan Days fest goes on hiatus

Dylan Days fest goes on hiatus

A long-running Iron Range celebration of native son Bob Dylan has been canceled after the forced closure of the restaurant that hosted the annual event.
Hibbing's Dylan Days festival goes on hiatus

Hibbing's Dylan Days festival goes on hiatus

A long-running Iron Range celebration of native son Bob Dylan has been canceled after the forced closure of the restaurant that hosted the annual event.
Review: 'Adventures in the Anthropocene,' by Gaia Vince

Review: 'Adventures in the Anthropocene,' by Gaia Vince

NONFICTION: A science writer examines the damage humans have done to the Earth’s climate and the ways people are working to improve it.
Winter returns with gusto; 3 to 6 inches across metro

Winter returns with gusto; 3 to 6 inches across metro

Minneapolis and St. Paul declared snow emergencies. Now that the snow has tapered off, cold weather will follow for the next few days.

Fergus Falls council member, professor led cops on 11-mile chase before fatal crash

Assistant county attorney was fleeing law enforcement Monday in a high-speed chase when he hit a squad car.

Driver killed after 11-mile police chase was Fergus Falls council member, professor

Timothy Rundquist was killed Monday evening after crashing into a patrol car.
U.S. court rules gray wolf hunts in Great Lakes states illegal

U.S. court rules gray wolf hunts in Great Lakes states illegal

Returning the wolf to “endangered” status ends three years of hunting in the region.
State's only velodrome could be torn down due to disrepair

State's only velodrome could be torn down due to disrepair

Its wooden trusses failing, the state’s only velodrome will close for good this winter unless an 11th-hour appeal by cyclists and their supporters can raise the cash needed to fix it.
Selling the cold, Minnesota's tech community welcomes data centers

Selling the cold, Minnesota's tech community welcomes data centers

Low temperatures can help attract data centers.
Aaron Purmort and his wife faced his death with humor, frankness

Aaron Purmort and his wife faced his death with humor, frankness

It turns out that Aaron Purmort was not Spider-Man, as he claimed in the funny-sweet obituary written by him and his wife, Nora, shortly before his death last week.
Philip Nelson's attorney says charges should be dismissed

Philip Nelson's attorney says charges should be dismissed

Multiple causes of Isaac Kolstad’s injuries muddy case against Philip Nelson, his lawyer argued at a Monday hearing.
Obituary: Theodore Papermaster, longtime Twin Cities pediatrician, World War II vet

Obituary: Theodore Papermaster, longtime Twin Cities pediatrician, World War II vet

Theodore “Ted” Papermaster, a longtime Twin Cities pediatrician known for a prodigious memory and swift diagnostic skills, died Nov. 10 after a brief illness. He…
St. Cloud domestic violence court takes on 'worst of the worst'

St. Cloud domestic violence court takes on 'worst of the worst'

Stearns County Domestic Violence Court is a novel program that was recently recognized by the U.S. Office of Violence Against Women as a “mentor court’’ where other jurisdictions could learn useful lessons.
Unsolved stabbing death of Minneapolis woman came after years of drug addiction, homelessness

Unsolved stabbing death of Minneapolis woman came after years of drug addiction, homelessness

Minneapolis woman’s death came after years of drug addiction and homelessness.
July 30: Unsolved crimes, Flowers' arrest get spotlight in Minneapolis

July 30: Unsolved crimes, Flowers' arrest get spotlight in Minneapolis

City seeks independent probe of activist Al Flowers' arrest; Terrell Mayes Jr., who was killed nearly three years ago when he was hit by a stray bullet in his home, inspires street march.
In nearly two years, Chief Harteau has spent 66 days on the road

In nearly two years, Chief Harteau has spent 66 days on the road

Minneapolis police chief says out-of-state conferences have benefited the department.
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