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Pam Louwagie

Reporter | Regional
phone: 612-673-7102
Pam Louwagie writes about various topics around the five-state region. A Star Tribune reporter since 2001, she has worked on the newspaper's investigative team and covered federal courts and legal affairs. She previously worked at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Recent content from Pam Louwagie
11 candles lit for Jacob as thousands attend service

11 candles lit for Jacob as thousands attend service

Thousands gather at the College of St. Benedict to honor and remember the 11-year-old boy whose disappearance came to a tragic end after 27 years.
The final push to finding Jacob

The final push to finding Jacob

Blogger's quest and DNA clue reversed nearly three decades of false starts, missed opportunities, bad tips and dead ends.
After many dry years, alcohol sales begin in two Duluth neighborhoods

After many dry years, alcohol sales begin in two Duluth neighborhoods

Lakeside and Lester Park have banned spirits sales since the 1890s.
Heinrich confesses to abducting, killing Jacob Wetterling that day

Heinrich confesses to abducting, killing Jacob Wetterling that day

After Danny Heinrich's detailed, horrifying courtroom confession on how he kidnapped and killed Jacob, Patty Wetterling said, "It's incredibly painful to know his last days, his last minutes."
Obituary: Edina educator Rolland 'Rollie' Ring was loyal to family, friends and the Hornets

Obituary: Edina educator Rolland 'Rollie' Ring was loyal to family, friends and the Hornets

For 40 years, Rolland “Rollie” Ring sat — or paced — at every Edina High School home football game. A proud booster of the Hornets,…
'Everybody just wants to know why': Town grieves girl's death

'Everybody just wants to know why': Town grieves girl's death

It's unfathomable to residents of close-knit Watkins, Minn., that a 5-year-old girl could end up the victim of a homicide.
Decoy dogs chase geese from Rochester, Minn., golf course

Decoy dogs chase geese from Rochester, Minn., golf course

A Rochester golf pro turned to cutouts to scare off pesky birds
Waseca teen opts for felony conviction over probation in bomb plot

Waseca teen opts for felony conviction over probation in bomb plot

John LaDue has said he believes a felony conviction may not hurt his job prospects as much as he first feared.
Thousands pay tribute to Castile: 'His death is not in vain'

Thousands pay tribute to Castile: 'His death is not in vain'

Thousands gathered at the Cathedral of St. Paul for the funeral for Philando Castile, the St. Paul man shot and killed by police in Falcon Heights last week.
Thousands pay tribute to Castile: 'His death is not in vain'

Thousands pay tribute to Castile: 'His death is not in vain'

The school cook's body lay in a white suit inside a white casket, the expression of serenity on his face belying the national symbol he…
Chalkboard captures the mood outside the governor's residence

Chalkboard captures the mood outside the governor's residence

Colors of anger, hope crowd chalkboard at governor's residence.
Falcon Heights police shooting reverberates across the nation

Falcon Heights police shooting reverberates across the nation

Thousands of people headed to the governor's residence in St. Paul after the police shooting of Philando Castile.
Attorneys for Pine County cult leader Victor Barnard question timing of charges

Attorneys for Pine County cult leader Victor Barnard question timing of charges

The former Pine County religious leader waived his rights to a speedy trial during Tuesday's court hearing.
Why Brainerd wants back in the loop as the center of Lakes Area

Why Brainerd wants back in the loop as the center of Lakes Area

It's known as the Brainerd Lakes Area — not the Baxter Lakes Area. But ever since the Hwy. 371 bypass opened in Baxter in August 2000, Brainerd has struggled to lure people and businesses back.
Frank Lloyd Wright house in Cloquet makes long trip to Pennsylvania

Frank Lloyd Wright house in Cloquet makes long trip to Pennsylvania

Board by board, Cloquet structure relocated to park in Acme, Pa.

Art Institutes International Minnesota headed toward closure

The Minneapolis school announced it will no longer accept new students.

Shooting wounds 3 at house party in southern Minnesota

A female was in critical condition Saturday after authorities found her with a gunshot wound to her upper torso at a residence in Rice County.…
Duluth, Fond du Lac Band reach agreement over casino revenue

Duluth, Fond du Lac Band reach agreement over casino revenue

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, along with tribal Chairman Wally Dupuis, announced that the band has agreed to pay $150,000 a year for services the city provides.
Calling all colleges: Please come to Red Wing

Calling all colleges: Please come to Red Wing

The push to attract a four-year school was launched when local business leaders complained they were having trouble filling technology positions, particularly those in cyber security, digital forensics and gamification.
Facing questions, confidants of Prince staying loyal to boss

Facing questions, confidants of Prince staying loyal to boss

The latest — and last — members of Prince's ever-evolving, elusive inner circle face a firestorm of questions about his apparent illnesses and sudden demise.
Teen in Waseca bomb plot returns home after two years in custody

Teen in Waseca bomb plot returns home after two years in custody

Parents welcome son home, but some in Waseca find massacre plans hard to forget.
Waseca teen arrested in school bomb plot can go home, judge rules

Waseca teen arrested in school bomb plot can go home, judge rules

An evaluation of John LaDue, who will be on probation said his risk to his hometown is now low.
In Moline, few answers on Prince's emergency landing

In Moline, few answers on Prince's emergency landing

What happened to Prince here in a middle-of-the-night medical emergency landing just days before he died? Did it prefigure his subsequent collapse inside Paisley Park? Those questions have made this city the unlikely center of a mystery riveting the world's attention.
Twin Cities, world show love for Prince's purple majesty

Twin Cities, world show love for Prince's purple majesty

Hours after learning about the pop star's death Thursday morning at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, fans around the world took to social media to pay their respects to Prince and his music. Thursday night, thousands gathered in downtown Minneapolis to remember the legend who was one of them.
At Children's, American Indian babies get gift of moccasins

At Children's, American Indian babies get gift of moccasins

The effort, called First Gift, is one of several new programs that Children's is sponsoring to engage with the community and break mistrust.
Historic Duluth theater on the brink of renovation

Historic Duluth theater on the brink of renovation

The project would be a key piece in efforts to revitalize downtown.
City officials across Minnesota vie for aid to rebuild crumbling streets

City officials across Minnesota vie for aid to rebuild crumbling streets

Minnesota cities look for legislative help to fix roads in dire need of repair.
Dollar stores are changing rural Minn. landscape

Dollar stores are changing rural Minn. landscape

It's a landscape-changing scene playing out in small towns throughout rural Minnesota and across the nation. Small-box stores with "dollar" in their names are opening new locations at a frantic pace, delighting residents with the convenience of big inventories and low prices while threatening local merchants who say they can't compete.
Obituary: William Rowe: Anthropology professor, founder of Open Arms of Minnesota

Obituary: William Rowe: Anthropology professor, founder of Open Arms of Minnesota

The cakes are often chocolate, frosted and decorated with delicate sugared leaves. For many recipients, especially those who are isolated and low-income, it may be…
Murder conviction affirmed for Byron Smith in Little Falls case

Murder conviction affirmed for Byron Smith in Little Falls case

The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Little Falls man serving life in prison for killing two teenage intruders at his home in 2012. "We're not done. We are far from it," his attorney said after the decision.
State high court to decide fate of Little Falls man convicted of killing teens

State high court to decide fate of Little Falls man convicted of killing teens

Byron Smith is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole, pending the outcome of his appeal. The court said it will release a decision on Wednesday.
Bemidji State students park free on frozen lake — while it's still frozen

Bemidji State students park free on frozen lake — while it's still frozen

Campus officials say it's fine – just keep an eye on Mother Nature

Deaths of Meeker County teen siblings are ruled as a murder-suicide

Two teenage siblings found shot to death in a Meeker County house on Monday died as a result of a murder-suicide, officials said.
Jack Jablonski forges a new life at college in Southern California

Jack Jablonski forges a new life at college in Southern California

With the worst of his long and often very public recovery behind him, Jablonski is pivoting into adulthood with the same tenacity he once showed on the ice

Suicidal woman shot by law enforcement near Duluth identified

Authorities have identified the woman who was injured in an officer-involved shooting last week outside of Duluth. Kristen K. Johnson, 48, of Cloquet, was still…
Grand Marais residents raise ruckus over chain stores

Grand Marais residents raise ruckus over chain stores

Residents swarmed City Hall to protect the lakeside town's home-grown charm.

Suicidal woman with gun shot by police near Duluth after long standoff

A suicidal woman from Cloquet, Minn., was in critical condition Friday after an officer-involved shooting at a church near Duluth. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s…
Billy Glaze died a serial killer, but lawyers still fight to clear his name

Billy Glaze died a serial killer, but lawyers still fight to clear his name

Now that Glaze is dead, what happens to his case? It's a first-of-its kind question in Minnesota.
With time in jail over, Waseca teen John LaDue goes to state facility

With time in jail over, Waseca teen John LaDue goes to state facility

Teen will undergo treatment as part of his sentence; not even his parents know where he is being placed.
Waseca teen who plotted massacre no longer set to go home today

Waseca teen who plotted massacre no longer set to go home today

John LaDue was set to return home today until officials found a bed for him at a state-run evaluation facility.
Gold on the Iron Range? Results of soil tests are raising hopes

Gold on the Iron Range? Results of soil tests are raising hopes

Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources have found promising results in tests from soil near Tower and Soudan.
Jan. 21: John LaDue could be going home

Jan. 21: John LaDue could be going home

For the first time since authorities arrested John LaDue in April of 2014, there is a chance he could go home if a bed doesn't open soon at a state-operated evaluation facility.
North Mankato among cities looking at streets through a different lens

North Mankato among cities looking at streets through a different lens

North Mankato is one of the latest Minnesota cities to adopt policies mindful of all
Duluth head shop owner, employees lose appeal of synthetic drug convictions

Duluth head shop owner, employees lose appeal of synthetic drug convictions

The owner of a onetime Duluth head shop and two shop employees have lost a federal appeal of their convictions for selling synthetic drugs. An…
Lottery tix flying off the rolls across Minn. amid record $800M jackpot

Lottery tix flying off the rolls across Minn. amid record $800M jackpot

Heading into Saturday night's drawing, the Powerball jackpot is officially in unchartered territory, soaring to an estimated $700 million, the largest in U.S. history. And Minnesotans from Warroad to Worthington are getting in on the action.
Teenager LaDue to stay in state while evaluated for treatment

Teenager LaDue to stay in state while evaluated for treatment

The Waseca teen was arrested for plotting a massacre at his local school. He will stay in Minnesota while being evaluated for treatment as part of his probationary sentence, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Jan. 1: Behind the person of interest in Jacob Wetterling investigation

Jan. 1: Behind the person of interest in Jacob Wetterling investigation

Long before he was named in the Jacob Wetterling abduction, Danny James Heinrich, now 52, led a troubled early life of burglary, drinking and financial difficulties, records and interviews show.
Billy Glaze, convicted in 1980s Mpls. serial killings, has died

Billy Glaze, convicted in 1980s Mpls. serial killings, has died

He was convicted in a series of murders of American Indian women, but attorneys for the Minnesota Innocence Project were working to exonerate him based on DNA testing.
Georgia declines to take Waseca teen accused in bomb plot

Georgia declines to take Waseca teen accused in bomb plot

John LaDue's defense attorneys have filed a motion to clarify or modify his probation terms.
After LaDue charges dismissed in Waseca, law gets a new look

After LaDue charges dismissed in Waseca, law gets a new look

The dismissal of charges tests the definition of "attempt." LaDue eventually pleaded guilty to one charge of explosives possession
Duluth's latest adventure: Ice climbing in a new park

Duluth's latest adventure: Ice climbing in a new park

Duluth can now officially lure climbers as it turns an old quarry into a park.
Former Minnesota teacher sentenced to three years for having sexual relationship with student

Former Minnesota teacher sentenced to three years for having sexual relationship with student

He pleaded guilty to a sexual relationship with student on hockey team.

Man found dead in Austin, Minn., garage fire

Authorities are investigating a man's death in connection with a garage fire in Austin, Minn., on Thursday morning. Firefighters were called about 8:50 a.m. to…
1 dies in Minn. crash; wintry weather impacts travelers

1 dies in Minn. crash; wintry weather impacts travelers

The State Patrol now says weather wasn't a factor in Hwy. 52 crash near Rochester, but state had at least 90 crashes as drivers got a taste of winter.
Obituary: Engineer Max Goldberg led committees on Hiawatha corridor planning

Obituary: Engineer Max Goldberg led committees on Hiawatha corridor planning

As Minneapolis citizens and community leaders sat down to study dozens of options for a swath of land cutting from downtown to the airport in…
Paynesville victims recount rash of attacks before Wetterling case

Paynesville victims recount rash of attacks before Wetterling case

Authorities now believe the string of 1980s assaults of boys in Paynesville may be connected to more serious crimes that followed: the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy in Cold Spring and the unsolved abduction of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in St. Joseph.
Minnesota lip syncing sports teams get powerful new fan in Joe Biden

Minnesota lip syncing sports teams get powerful new fan in Joe Biden

Coach's idea to teach respect through videos was embraced by others, including Biden
'Person of interest' in Jacob Wetterling case to stay in custody

'Person of interest' in Jacob Wetterling case to stay in custody

A man identified last week as a "person of interest" in the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling 26 years ago will remain in custody on child pornography charges, a federal magistrate ruled Wednesday morning.
Patty Wetterling: 'We were caught off guard, like all of you'

Patty Wetterling: 'We were caught off guard, like all of you'

Patty Wetterling said she and her husband were surprised when authorities told them they had identified a person of interest in their son Jacob's abduction 26 years ago.
String of attacks on Minn. boys in late 1980s draws fresh scrutiny

String of attacks on Minn. boys in late 1980s draws fresh scrutiny

Eight assaults against Paynesville boys ages 12 to 16 take on new significance with the person of interest in Jacob Wetterling's disappearance.
'Person of interest' named in 1989 Jacob Wetterling disappearance

'Person of interest' named in 1989 Jacob Wetterling disappearance

Jacob Wetterling was 11 when he was abducted while riding on his bike near St. Joseph, Minn., 26 years ago. Danny James Heinrich, who was charged with possessing child pornography, is a person of interest in the case.
In St. Joseph, hope is renewed for an end to the Jacob Wetterling mystery

In St. Joseph, hope is renewed for an end to the Jacob Wetterling mystery

St. Joseph, Minn. – Wherever there was a television, radio or computer screen on Thursday afternoon, eyes and ears in this central Minnesota town…
On its signature Lakewalk, Duluth ponders more commercial activity

On its signature Lakewalk, Duluth ponders more commercial activity

More commercial sites are weighed on popular trail.
Waseca teen sentenced to probation, treatment over school bomb plot

Waseca teen sentenced to probation, treatment over school bomb plot

Judge cites violent plotter's autism disorder, urges compassion.
American Indian students make trip to grow nature, themselves

American Indian students make trip to grow nature, themselves

Teens from Minneapolis spread wild rice seeds and glimpsed their heritage outside of the city confines.
Out of tragedy at Bemidji State comes a focus on cold-weather safety

Out of tragedy at Bemidji State comes a focus on cold-weather safety

After one freezing death and one near-death, Bemidji State groups mobilize.
Red Wing calls for hate crime protection for police officers

Red Wing calls for hate crime protection for police officers

After City Council resolution vote, officials say they may consider calling for similar protection under state law.
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City coach aims to teach lessons beyond the football field

Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City coach aims to teach lessons beyond the football field

An unconventional high school football coach aims to teach life lessons beyond the Xs and Os.
Local Tibetans relieved to see healthy-looking Dalai Lama

Local Tibetans relieved to see healthy-looking Dalai Lama

Local Tibetans relieved to see Dalai Lama in good spirits after Mayo Clinic visit.

Royalton woman dies in single-vehicle crash

A Royalton, Minn., woman died Tuesday afternoon when her vehicle crashed in Benton County, just down the road from her home. Sheriff’s deputies responded to…
Closed head shop in Duluth to be refurbished

Closed head shop in Duluth to be refurbished

A building that many had considered a major blemish on Duluth’s downtown Superior Street is headed for revitalization. The structure that housed the now-shuttered head…
DNR investigates report that deer drowned after being harassed by boater

DNR investigates report that deer drowned after being harassed by boater

Pontoon driver allegedly harassed the buck.
After guilty plea, teen accused in school plot likely to avoid prison

After guilty plea, teen accused in school plot likely to avoid prison

The plea agreement calls for John LaDue of Waseca to go to a long-term secured treatment facility as part of five to 10 years' probation.

Informant alleges coerced sex by former Faribault police officer

Detective cleared her drug case in exchange for sex and information, federal lawsuit alleges.
90-year-old Maplewood man arrested in death of his 65-year-old son

90-year-old Maplewood man arrested in death of his 65-year-old son

A 90-year-old Maplewood man is in the Ramsey County jail on suspicion of fatally shooting his 65-year-old son, police officials said Saturday night. Maplewood Police…
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