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
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.
Economic development chief is the force driving Rochester's $6B rebirth

Economic development chief is the force driving Rochester's $6B rebirth

Executive works overtime to keep massive redevelopment project moving forward.
Midwest Traveler: Marquette, Mich., is mountain bike city

Midwest Traveler: Marquette, Mich., is mountain bike city

The plan, basically, was to drive east and see what happened. Plenty could go wrong as we ventured into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan without a detailed itinerary.
Derailments, spills bring safety worries to the fore

Derailments, spills bring safety worries to the fore

Two weekend derailments in Wisconsin lead to renewed calls for action on oil trains.
Flood-ravaged three years ago, Duluth's Lake Superior Zoo likely to shrink

Flood-ravaged three years ago, Duluth's Lake Superior Zoo likely to shrink

The remade zoo would shrink in half and include indoor and outdoor recreation space to boost offseason revenue
Slate of new leaders, including first woman mayor, chosen in Duluth

Slate of new leaders, including first woman mayor, chosen in Duluth

Mayor-elect Emily Larson and council newcomers are looking to build on the city's recent momentum.
Lanesboro weighs beliefs of Amish vendors, city rules

Lanesboro weighs beliefs of Amish vendors, city rules

Told to buy liability insurance, they left the farmers market in the town's park.
Farmer recounts finding body of missing Minn. college student

Farmer recounts finding body of missing Minn. college student

Human remains found in a western Minnesota farm field are those of college student Laura Ann Schwendemann, who was missing for nearly two weeks.
Mayo plan to remake Rochester is slow to gather steam

Mayo plan to remake Rochester is slow to gather steam

The city has little to show for the hoopla that surrounded the Legislature's $585 million assist in Mayo's plan to remake Rochester into an international center for medicine, research and health care.

State housing office awards $92.4 million for affordable housing projects statewide

Funds are for new builds, rehabilitation projects.
Killer of Aitkin County sheriff's deputy terrorized wife week earlier

Killer of Aitkin County sheriff's deputy terrorized wife week earlier

Danny L. Hammond terrorized his wife and threatened to kill her after she told him she wanted to leave their marriage of 12 years, authorities said.

Rochester's City Council explores arena proposal

The Rochester City Council asked for more information Monday after hearing a consultant’s report envisioning a $75 million, 6,200-seat sports and entertainment arena for downtown.…
Duluth Mayor Don Ness faces lifetime ban from local labor hall

Duluth Mayor Don Ness faces lifetime ban from local labor hall

Don Ness ate lunch at a local restaurant and, according to the union, crossed a picket line to get there.
Frac sand slowdown has some Wis., Minn., towns worried

Frac sand slowdown has some Wis., Minn., towns worried

The oil-industry boom aided towns in Wisconsin and Minnesota that are now waiting for a turnaround.
A weekend at Cuyuna park: It yurts so good

A weekend at Cuyuna park: It yurts so good

New housing option at the state park proves to be perfect base for a family of four.
Pine Island biotech park's legacy: foreclosures, unpaid taxes and interchange to nowhere

Pine Island biotech park's legacy: foreclosures, unpaid taxes and interchange to nowhere

The fast-growing biotech companies and high-paying jobs never materialized near Rochester, leaving a story of what might have been.
Washington Post detractor gets tour of 'ugliest' Red Lake County

Washington Post detractor gets tour of 'ugliest' Red Lake County

A marching band, a gaggle of beaming local officials and lots of civic pride were on display for reporter Christopher Ingraham's visit.
At Camp Ripley, National Guard trains for the worst

At Camp Ripley, National Guard trains for the worst

The disaster drills, which involved about 2,000 people and were two years in the making, put the Guard's emergency skills to the test.
Federal Reserve launches Center for Indian Country Development

Federal Reserve launches Center for Indian Country Development

New center will try to combat widespread poverty on reservations.

Husband says wife fatally shot by intruder in their SW Minn. home

The 40-year-old woman in Brewster, Minn., was shot to death in her own bed early Wednesday.
Ugly Minnesota? Residents take to Twitter to differ

Ugly Minnesota? Residents take to Twitter to differ

A Washington Post reporter gets an earful after Minnesota ranks low on his list of the most desirable counties to live in, with Red Lake rated the worst.
Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter lands $25 million donation from former students

Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter lands $25 million donation from former students

Calling it an “extraordinary” gift and the largest in the school’s history, the president of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., said the institution…
Driver accused of texting in Glencoe crash that killed cyclist

Driver accused of texting in Glencoe crash that killed cyclist

Prior Lake woman, 25, denied using phone; records showed texts about the time of the crash.
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