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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
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.
Behind the person of interest in Jacob Wetterling investigation

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…
Family in Lake Minnetonka mansion likely dead for days

Family in Lake Minnetonka mansion likely dead for days

The Hennepin County medical examiner's office confirmed Brian Short's death was a suicide and the rest of his family died by homicide.
Duluth enjoying a new image, and it's been long in the making

Duluth enjoying a new image, and it's been long in the making

Such positive attention is the envy of midsize cities across America. So how did Duluth do it? City leaders started long, long ago with careful plans, lots of patience and, most recently, loud cheerleading.
Finding dangerous trucks can be inspectors' needle-in-haystack

Finding dangerous trucks can be inspectors' needle-in-haystack

Federal and state regulations govern truckers' driving hours, equipment maintenance and load sizes, but enforcement of those rules through surprise roadside inspections has been falling.
Injured for life, victim urges higher truck insurance

Injured for life, victim urges higher truck insurance

Mike Tomars spends most days inside his darkened St. Paul home, trying to stave off the headaches and nausea that have plagued him since…
In Cook County, more ATVs allowed on parts of the Gunflint Trail

In Cook County, more ATVs allowed on parts of the Gunflint Trail

Some ATV riders in northeast Minnesota are rejoicing after a couple of stretches of the state's iconic Gunflint Trail opened to them.

Supreme Court passes on Winona rental restriction case

The court's order leaves in place the city's law capping rental properties to 30 percent per block in some neighborhoods.

Reports from Katrina, Sept. 7, 2005: Men throw lifeline to neighborhood

Three men from a hard-hit area create their own rescue patrol.

Reports from Katrina, Sept. 12, 2005: From Ramsey County, boats and aid

Dive teams volunteer to help rescue victims in aftermath of hurricane.

Reports from Katrina, Sept. 19, 2005: What will rise from the flood?

After Katrina, some New Orleans residents can't come back, and others simply won't. Those who will return wonder about jobs, homes, schools.
Waseca teen in alleged bombing plot called a 'significant risk for future violence'

Waseca teen in alleged bombing plot called a 'significant risk for future violence'

A hearing Tuesday is to determine whether John LaDue should be tried as an adult, as prosecutors want, or keep him in juvenile court.
June 4: Appeal in Little Falls killings called 'irrelevant sideshow'

June 4: Appeal in Little Falls killings called 'irrelevant sideshow'

The case, in which Byron Smith killed two teens who broke into his home, became a flash point nationally in the debate over "castle doctrine" laws.
Holdout landowners lose fight against Sandpiper oil pipeline in N.D. court

Holdout landowners lose fight against Sandpiper oil pipeline in N.D. court

The North Dakota landowners who are fighting the selling of an easement to the Sandpiper oil pipeline have lost a battle in district court.A North…
Grand Marais runway expansion aims to help firefighting, local economy

Grand Marais runway expansion aims to help firefighting, local economy

The expansion will help firefighters battle North Woods wildfires as well as help bolster the local economy.
North Dakota holdout landowner refusing to sell rights for Sandpiper oil pipeline

North Dakota holdout landowner refusing to sell rights for Sandpiper oil pipeline

The company sued, citing its rights to the land under North Dakota's eminent domain law, giving them power to condemn land for a right of way.

Star Tribune questions courtroom closure in Little Falls murder trial

Judge in Byron Smith trial closed courtroom before ruling on teens' testimony.
Byron Smith's attorneys file appeal in Little Falls murder case

Byron Smith's attorneys file appeal in Little Falls murder case

His lawyers argue in papers filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court that Smith, convicted of killing two teenage intruders in his Little Falls home, shouldn't have even been on trial for first-degree murder.
April 13: Murder verdict in Little Falls killings has not ended debate

April 13: Murder verdict in Little Falls killings has not ended debate

A group that seeks to free shooter Byron Smith meets regularly; others see it as misguided effort.
Obituary: Audrey Benson, advocate for the disabled

Obituary: Audrey Benson, advocate for the disabled

On the back of her electric wheelchair, Audrey Benson left an entertaining compilation of messages in her wake. “Why be normal? Be free,” read one…
Apostle Islands ice caves open this weekend

Apostle Islands ice caves open this weekend

The caves, which open to the public Saturday, were on display in a preview. Going? Share your photos with us!
Apostle Islands ice caves to open Saturday

Apostle Islands ice caves to open Saturday

Those making the one-mile walk atop frozen Lake Superior will be facing an extremely treacherous but spectacular trek, officials warned.
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