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Pat Pheifer

Reporter | Metro
phone: 612-673-7252
Pat Pheifer covers the Twin Cities metro area.
Recent content from Pat Pheifer
Public weighs in on eve of Minneapolis superintendent vote

Public weighs in on eve of Minneapolis superintendent vote

Minneapolis school board is to select either state's education commissioner or educator from Alaska to be new superintendent.

Prescribed burn in Superior National Forest jumps containment lines

A planned-burn fire in the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota escaped its boundaries Thursday afternoon and was burning just south and west of the…

Globe University/Minnesota School of Business to close 4 Twin Cities locations

Globe University/Minnesota School of Business said Monday that it is closing campuses in Lakeville, Brooklyn Center, Elk River and Plymouth and moving students to other…

St. Paul police, Catholic Charities leader hear neighborhood's frustration over girl's sexual assault

The conversation at the meeting was raw at times, and the anger of Ramsey Hill residents was quick.

Milkweed Editions to open new chapter, bookshop in Open Book building

The publishing house will open Milkweed Books in early July at 1011 Washington Av. S.

Wildfires continue to burn across northern Minnesota

A handful of wildfires continued to burn Sunday in northern Minnesota, the largest of which has charred about 1,000 acres east of Hoyt Lakes in…

First-grade teacher in St. Paul is hurt when student throws chair in class

A first-grade teacher at Cherokee Heights Elementary School in St. Paul was injured Wednesday when an agitated student flung a chair at the teacher, school…

Toddler who drowned in Corcoran holding pond is identified

The toddler who drowned Tuesday in a Corcoran holding pond has been identified as 2-year-old Charlie J. Vollrath, of Loretto, officials said Thursday. Deputies from…

2-year-old drowns in holding pond in Corcoran

A 2-year-old boy drowned Tuesday in a holding pond outside a farmhouse in the 22900 block of Strehler Road in Corcoran, authorities said. Hennepin County…
Light-rail trains moving again in downtown Minneapolis after suspicious package is found

Light-rail trains moving again in downtown Minneapolis after suspicious package is found

A "suspicious package" had been found at the U.S. Bank Stadium stop, Metro Transit said.
South Dakota wildlife artist Terry Redlin dies at 78

South Dakota wildlife artist Terry Redlin dies at 78

Redlin won the Minnesota Duck Stamp competition twice and created an art center in his hometown of Watertown, S.D.
St. Paul officer delivers big assist with 44 pairs of basketball shoes

St. Paul officer delivers big assist with 44 pairs of basketball shoes

The giveaway was the brainchild of Tom Reis, who while working off-duty security noticed some were on the court with loafers and moccasins.
After 24 hours of gun violence in St. Paul: 2 dead, 6 injured

After 24 hours of gun violence in St. Paul: 2 dead, 6 injured

It was not clear whether the shootings Sunday night and Monday were related. "We're still trying to figure that our ourselves," St. Paul police Sgt. Mike Ernster said.
NE. Minneapolis fundraiser fights hunger one bowl of soup at a time

NE. Minneapolis fundraiser fights hunger one bowl of soup at a time

Serving soup in artisan bowls, Empty Bowls NE raised more than $8,000.
Nonprofit seeks $34M to reinvigorate historic Fort Snelling

Nonprofit seeks $34M to reinvigorate historic Fort Snelling

It is asking for $34 million for a new visitors' center.
Town to stay cleared overnight after train-tanker crash and fire

Town to stay cleared overnight after train-tanker crash and fire

Residents of Callaway in northwestern Minnesota may be allowed to return Friday afternoon.

2 teens severely burned by bonfire in northern Minnesota

They were injured when a gas can exploded as they fed fuel to the fire.
Boy who took cement truck on high-speed chase was just 11 years old

Boy who took cement truck on high-speed chase was just 11 years old

One of the officers who gave chase recalls the frightening incident.
Valspar shares jump sharply after Sherwin-Williams deal

Valspar shares jump sharply after Sherwin-Williams deal

Sherwin-Williams intends to keep a "significant presence" in Minneapolis but its executives were short on specifics in their first explanation of the $11.3 billion deal.
Roseville pastor reinstated to ministry after investigation into abuse allegations

Roseville pastor reinstated to ministry after investigation into abuse allegations

St. Paul police and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis found no evidence to support allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.
Ex-megachurch North Heights Lutheran closes its doors

Ex-megachurch North Heights Lutheran closes its doors

Internal schism proves fatal to North Heights Lutheran, which once boasted more than 7,000 members.

Two arrested in shooting outside Brooklyn Center shoe store

Two teenagers were arrested Wednesday night in connection with a shooting Saturday morning outside a Foot Locker store in a Brooklyn Center strip mall, authorities…
Gov. Dayton visits vandalized mosque in south Minneapolis

Gov. Dayton visits vandalized mosque in south Minneapolis

"This is an assault against all Minnesotans to practice their faith as they choose," he said of the break-in.

Imam barred from security tour at MSP for group of Muslims

The faith leader feels he was singled out; federal officials say it may have been a paperwork problem.

Child thrown from vehicle in crash at Hwy. 55, Rockford Road in Plymouth

An elementary-school-age child was injured Wednesday evening in a two-vehicle crash on Hwy. 55 at Rockford Road in Plymouth, police said. The child, whose name…
Firing of Chaska officer for anti-Hispanic bias was justified, arbitrator rules

Firing of Chaska officer for anti-Hispanic bias was justified, arbitrator rules

Investigation found he targeted Hispanic residents simply because of their ethnicity.

Rochester police officer put on leave after racially offensive Facebook posts

The police chief acted after complaints from 2 groups.
Dalai Lama, visiting Twin Cities, says his health is good

Dalai Lama, visiting Twin Cities, says his health is good

The Tibetan Buddhist spoke Sunday at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and said, "Basic human nature is more compassionate, more loving kindness."
Jacob Wetterling's mom sends birthday message on his 38th birthday

Jacob Wetterling's mom sends birthday message on his 38th birthday

"How I wish to wrap my arms around you and hug you tight!" Patty wrote to her long-missing son.
Woman fatally injured in Minneapolis hit-and-run

Woman fatally injured in Minneapolis hit-and-run

Minneapolis police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a hit-and-run driver who fatally injured a woman in north Minneapolis on Tuesday evening. Officers…
Woman gets 15 years in murder of U student Anarae Schunk

Woman gets 15 years in murder of U student Anarae Schunk

The ex-girlfriend of a man serving life in the U student's death will be imprisoned for about 9 more years.
Bug spray bound for Haiti to fight Zika virus turned away at MSP

Bug spray bound for Haiti to fight Zika virus turned away at MSP

Airline rules kept medical volunteers from taking it on their mission to help combat the Zika virus.
State roads and schools reopen, while city impound lots fill up

State roads and schools reopen, while city impound lots fill up

The metro's first big snow snarled traffic and delighted winter-lovers. A little more might be on the way Thursday.

January deaths on state roads 3 times higher than year ago

January was more deadly than usual on Minnesota roads, with nearly three times as many deaths in 2016 as last year, including two in the last two days of the month.
St. Paul Central mourns 2 more student deaths

St. Paul Central mourns 2 more student deaths

Two students at St. Paul Central High School died this week, school officials said Thursday. A third student died earlier this month. Foul play is…

MnDOT suspends work on Zip Rail to Rochester project

The plan for a publicly funded high-speed rail line between Rochester and the Twin Cities has been shelved because of lack of money and political…

Shots fired outside Shakopee Wal-Mart store; no one hurt

A Craigslist transaction turned into an attempted robbery and led to shots being fired Tuesday evening outside the Shakopee Wal-Mart, police said. The incident took…
Minnesotans talk about the East Coast super-blizzard

Minnesotans talk about the East Coast super-blizzard

Former Minnesota residents give New Yorkers some weather tips.

St. Paul Central High School student taken to hospital Monday dies

The St. Paul Central High School student who was taken to the hospital Monday after a medical emergency has died, school officials said Wednesday. Central…
Meeting on St. Paul charter's gender policy brings silent protest

Meeting on St. Paul charter's gender policy brings silent protest

Minnesota Family Council discusses issues over a charter school's plan for inclusion.
Windchill advisory until noon; frigid temps to linger

Windchill advisory until noon; frigid temps to linger

The air will warm into the teens Wednesday afternoon and into the 20s Thursday and Friday before another cold front descends Saturday.
At the stadium: 'No such thing as bad weather. Only inappropriate clothing'

At the stadium: 'No such thing as bad weather. Only inappropriate clothing'

Kara Buckner of St. Louis Park wore two pairs of long underwear, two pairs of snow pants, six layers on top, ski goggles and mukluks she'd had overnighted to her.
Longtime gay activist and publisher of GLC Voice Tim Campbell dies at 76

Longtime gay activist and publisher of GLC Voice Tim Campbell dies at 76

Often divisive, he steadfastly pushed for gay rights.

Potters create bowls for a cause at Eagan Art House

  Local potters will come together next week at the Eagan Art House to make hundreds of beautiful bowls, each its own distinctive piece of…
Obituary: Monique Schwartzberg, 88, traveled the world

Obituary: Monique Schwartzberg, 88, traveled the world

To say that Monique Ribaux Schwartzberg was an independent and adventurous woman would be an understatement. Her careers and travel took her to remote parts…

Armful of Love makes holidays happier for Dakota County families

  It will be a much happier Christmas for more than 1,000 families in Dakota County, thanks to 360 Communities’ Armful of Love program. It’s…

Apple Valley Community Center has no fire alarm system

A plan to replace or improve the alert system is in the works, though.
Lakeville South students return, mourn two of their own after fatal crash

Lakeville South students return, mourn two of their own after fatal crash

Lakeville's police chief said he has had no previous reports of students playing "Nerf wars" while driving.
Case of young informant found dead gets national attention on '60 Minutes'

Case of young informant found dead gets national attention on '60 Minutes'

Dead student's mother seeks new information and reform in how informants are recruited.
Warm autumn weather brought more complaints about airport noise in Eagan

Warm autumn weather brought more complaints about airport noise in Eagan

The chilly and windy weather of the past week means some relief for people in Eagan and other parts of the south metro from the…
As Black Lives Matter meets, it posts shooting scene video

As Black Lives Matter meets, it posts shooting scene video

Family says the funeral for Jamar Clark will be held Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Eagan spending $12M to clean up algae-choked lakes

Eagan spending $12M to clean up algae-choked lakes

Working with the MPCA, the city plans to spend more than $12M to improve water quality in the algae-choked lakes.
In Minneapolis, a march and memorial for those slain in Paris

In Minneapolis, a march and memorial for those slain in Paris

Most of the marchers have a friend, relative or some emotional connection to France that drew them to the memorial walk down Hennepin Avenue Sunday .
Wis. derailment spilled 18,000 gallons of ethanol into Mississippi

Wis. derailment spilled 18,000 gallons of ethanol into Mississippi

Of 32 BNSF train cars that hurtled off the tracks near Alma, Wis., on Saturday, five of them broke open and spilled at least 18,000…
Lakeville gets pet oxygen masks as part of Project Breathe

Lakeville gets pet oxygen masks as part of Project Breathe

A resident, new to Lakeville, brought the masks to the attention of Fire Chief Mike Meyer and Assistant Chief Charles Smith.
Brian Fitch appeals conviction for killing Mendota Heights police officer

Brian Fitch appeals conviction for killing Mendota Heights police officer

The appeal filed Tuesday asks for two new trials.
Obituary: Sculptor Anthony Caponi was Macalester educator, mentor, art park visionary

Obituary: Sculptor Anthony Caponi was Macalester educator, mentor, art park visionary

Anthony Caponi, an artist, poet, professor and sculptor who envisioned and created the Caponi Art Park and Learning Center in Eagan, died Friday at his…
Oven suspected in North Side fire that killed 3 children

Oven suspected in North Side fire that killed 3 children

Fire may have been caused by an oven that was left turned on and unattended. The landlord said the heat not yet turned on for the new tenants.

South metro news: Deer hunt is slated for Spring Lake Regional Park in October

A special deer hunt in Spring Lake Regional Park will be held Monday to Wednesday and Oct. 26 to 28. The Three Rivers Park District…

South news briefs: Lebanon Hills park hosts mountain bike festival

Mountain bikers of all skill levels can participate in the third annual Wild Ride Mountain Bike Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct.…
Metro Transit diverts Green Line traffic for St. Paul protest

Metro Transit diverts Green Line traffic for St. Paul protest

Buses replaced light-rail trains for several hours in the area of St. Paul where a Black Lives Matter protest was held Sunday.
Sept. 20: Black Lives Matter protest diverts light-rail traffic to buses

Sept. 20: Black Lives Matter protest diverts light-rail traffic to buses

Metro Transit says that buses are replacing Green Line trains between the Snelling Avenue and Capitol/Rice Street stations. Staff will be on hand to direct riders.

Some cry foul over Burnsville's proactive code enforcement

New approach to code enforcement has led to more citations, for which residents may face court or jail.
90-year-old who fatally shot son in Maplewood said to have Alzheimer's

90-year-old who fatally shot son in Maplewood said to have Alzheimer's

They shared Maplewood home; victim had spoken of his dad's dementia.
Minnesota Family Council plans to protest Planned Parenthood outside governor's residence

Minnesota Family Council plans to protest Planned Parenthood outside governor's residence

Family Council wants action against Planned Parenthood.
With storms forecast tonight, State Fair plans for bad weather

With storms forecast tonight, State Fair plans for bad weather

The fair's 140 buildings include five designated as storm shelters.

South arts briefs: Auditions ahead for 'Christmas Belles'

Expressions Community Theater will hold auditions for the play “Christmas Belles” at the Lakeville Area Arts Center from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 31 and…
Dakota County briefs: Ride the MVTA bus to the Minnesota State Fair

Dakota County briefs: Ride the MVTA bus to the Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority will have special buses running between the south metro and the Minnesota State Fair from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7.…
Dakota County arts briefs: Ames Center sets fall lineup

Dakota County arts briefs: Ames Center sets fall lineup

The Ames Center in Burnsville’s Heart of the City has announced its fall lineup of musicians and performers. For more information, visit www.ames-center.com or call…
Dakota County news briefs: Burnsville choir holding reunion, concert

Dakota County news briefs: Burnsville choir holding reunion, concert

Choir alumni from Burnsville High School classes of 1980 to 1983 will hold a reunion and concert Friday and Saturday. Rehearsals will be Friday evening…
Bikers wrap up 2,100-mile ride to erase stigma of mental illness

Bikers wrap up 2,100-mile ride to erase stigma of mental illness

A dozen or so friends and supporters climbed on their bicycles and accompanied Lakeville banker Tom Mork and his three companions Thursday on the final leg of their 2,100 mile ride to raise awareness of mental illness and raise money for the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Dakota County news briefs: 'Fill the backpack' campaign underway in South St. Paul

Dakota County news briefs: 'Fill the backpack' campaign underway in South St. Paul

The South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force began its “Fill the Backpack” campaign last week, and is asking neighborhoods, groups and residents to buy…

Dakota County arts briefs: For kids and parents, a chance to make Raku pottery

Children 6 and older and their parents can create a Raku vase at a workshop from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Lakeville Area…
Burnsville's leaky, aging Bicentennial Garden fountain to get a facelift

Burnsville's leaky, aging Bicentennial Garden fountain to get a facelift

The Bicentennial Garden fountain was the city's first piece of public art.
Apple Valley readies for growth with expanded water treatment facility

Apple Valley readies for growth with expanded water treatment facility

The expanded treatment plant will allow the city to keep up with growth, officials said.
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