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Richard Chin

Reporter | Features
phone: 612-673-1775
Richard Chin covers features for the Star Tribune and writes for the Star Tribune Magazine. He is a graduate of Stanford University and was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford.
Recent content from Richard Chin
Stephanie Williams, Michelle Smith, Peggy Berg, Amanda Floyd, Sue Hammond and Stacy Lahti made Knitted Knockers prostheses.

How Twin Cities knitters are creating breast prostheses with yarn

Michelle Smith's group is working with Knitted Knockers, a nonprofit organization based in Washington state that provides lightweight, breathable prostheses out of soft yarn.
Lou Chouinard, left, and friend and fellow glider pilot Paul Remde flying above the Stanton Airfield in Stanton, Minn.

Two 'upper-middle-aged' Twin Cities folks show that learning something new enriches your life

Studies have shown that "sustained engagement" can have cognitive benefits for older adults.
Helen Miller

Woodbury resident Helen Miller, pioneering soldier, dies at 96

When Helen Miller became one of the first women to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II, she promised her parents she wouldn’t…
Everyone plays
Weekly capture the flag games at St. Paul’s Como Park have drawn participants of all ages. The group typically plays from April until

St. Paul Parks offers summertime free outdoor yoga classes, capture the flag and more

From yoga to capture the flag, St. Paul takes fitness outside.
Paul Nazers, bottom left, reacted as the sound system in Dan Horner’s 1993 Dodge Caravan was activated during an Advanced 3 contest at the State Fai

Minnesota's extreme car stereo fans compete to see how loud they can go

Forget muscle cars. In this decibel drag race, competitors empty their wallets to pack their beaters with speakers that blare windshield-cracking sound.
The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society stages old radio shows for audiences. Eric Webster crushed a piece of balsa wood to allude to a bridge coll

DIY radio theater makes a comeback across Minnesota

Driven by technology and the popularity of podcasts, Minnesotans are creating experimental sci-fi, adventure serials, variety shows and more.
A competitor climbed the course at Red Bull 400 at Copper Peak, a “ski flying” facility in Ironwood, Mich. The uphill grind is 400 meters.

Runners find another level at Red Bull's 'steepest race' in U.P.

Energy drink giant goes for another extreme: this time, sprinting 400 meters up a ski jump in Michigan.
Activist Leslie Davis created a dress to draw attention to the plight of butterflies. It’s one of the many unconventional projects he’s dreamed up

At 81, activist Leslie Davis makes his seventh, and likely last, run for governor

For decades, environmental activist Leslie Davis has guarded his Earth Protector brand. Now it's for sale.
Sarah Cade with the AR-15 platform gun she customized herself.

Liberal Maplewood millennial not typical gun rights advocate: 'We're normal people'

Sarah Cade is young, biracial and passionately liberal. She's also become a self-described gun nut and a staunch defender of gun ownership.
Stephanie Brodegard and two of her kids, Grant and Darcy, during a ride.

After ditching their car and riding bikes for a year, Mpls. family buys a minivan

A young Minneapolis family makes an adventure out of going car-free.

Minnesota outdoorsman Robert Dustrude, who built a better camping saw, dies at 97

For decades, Dustrude made the saws in the workshop of his home on Swan Lake in Pengilly, Minn. He continued making them almost to the day he died March 10 at the age of 97.
Siblings Alyssa and Mark Fox, co-founders of Fox Tax in Minneapolis, specialize in preparing taxes for artists. “An artist spends their money and th

Minneapolis sibling tax accountants are 'crazy' like Foxes for artist clients

A brother-and-sister accounting firm makes life less taxing for artists. It helps that the siblings are "a little crazy."
St. Paul caver, urban explorer, writer, historian and DNR research analyst Greg Brick checked the water temperature in a spring hidden near the Mall o

Underground explorer is on a mission to map Minnesota's forgotten springs

A St. Paul man has spent decades hunting the hidden springs of Minnesota, once a source of drinking water and health cures.
Book Across the Bay is considered the second-largest Nordic race in North America.

A unique weekend of winter racing on frozen Lake Superior

A unique winter duo in northwestern Wisconsin motors by different means.
A worker cleared snow Friday in front of the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis after almost 6 inches fell overnight. More is f

Now that snow has stopped piling up, the wind to pick up

Expect up to 8 inches of snow by morning. One fatal crash was reported Saturday near Foley in Benton County.
A competitor gets some air time, top, at a horse skijoring competition last year in Zumbrota.

Skijoring – combining horses, cowboys, skiers and jumps – is coming to Canterbury Park in Shakopee

Whoa! Minnesotans are horsing around on skis in a resurgent sport with ancient roots.
Gilbert LaLonde with some of his diving medals.

Minneapolis native Gilbert LaLonde, who won diving championships, dies at 89

He set world records and competed around the world as a master athlete well into his 70s.
St. Paul geographer Bill Lindeke is leading a movement to fly the City of St. Paul flag. He's shown on Payne Avenue with the flag.

City flags are having a moment – everywhere but Minneapolis

While St. Paul's city flag is catching on with boosters, many folks are trash talking the Minneapolis flag.
So far, New Hope amateur Scott Peterson has found 36 micrometeorites.

New Hope amateur scientist searches for stardust on Twin Cities rooftops

Particles from outer space are falling all around us. An amateur Twin Cities scientist knows how to find them.
Erwin “Erv” Berglund with his fat-tire bike at the finish of the 2014 Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon.

Two Minnesotans in their 70s tackle 135-mile winter wilderness trek

Held in one of the coldest places in the country, the Arrowhead race frequently involves temperatures well below zero, making hypothermia and frostbite a risk.
The new slide at CHS Field.

Super Slide arrives at CHS Field for Super Bowl

Here's your chance to slide into a base at CHS Field.
Gregory Kelly built a wooden model of U.S. Bank Stadium.

Toothpick replica of Vikings' billion-dollar palace going to the real U.S. Bank Stadium

A man who made a model of the U.S. Bank Stadium gets to see his creation displayed at the real thing.
John O’Connell is the official starter for the City of Lakes Loppet, a volunteer position that requires some good timing.

City of Lakes Loppet starter: 'My customer is the racer'

A former ski racer is the volunteer who gets all of the City of Lakes Loppet races off to a good start.
Roy Cook holds two Lego figurines, which he says “show the complex representations of blackness in Lego.” The Lego on the left shows a “black sk

Minnesota professor explores link between philosophy and Lego

Philosophers ponder the meaning of Lego thanks to a new book co-edited by a University of Minnesota professor.
Chelsea Couillard-Smith, left, and Susan Carr are two of the librarians who decide which of the thousands of books the Hennepin County Library will bu

Hennepin County libraries buy 700K books a year – here are the most popular of 2017

Among the most sought-after of the year: Instant Pot cookbooks.
Salvation Army emergency disaster services volunteer Jim Daly has participated in a disaster drill at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Retired Twin Cities officer now serves with Salvation Army

A former lieutenant in the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office now rushes to disasters — with a hot meal.
University of Minnesota medical student Amritha Yellamilli gives her Three Minute Thesis talk on her research on heart stem cells.

University of Minnesota graduate students compete in the Three Minute Thesis contest

University of Minnesota graduate students compete against the clock in a dissertation contest.
Chris Egert posted this photo on his Facebook account.

Second Twin Cities TV newsperson in 3 months undergoes foot amputation

KSTP's Chris Egert loses the lower part of his left leg in operation, just a few months after Courtney Godfrey's boating accident.
A wooden model of US Bank Stadium built by Gregory Kelly of Minneapolis. Kelley spent about 400 hours of work over 7 months using about 6,400 toothpic

Man creates 4-foot-long replica of U.S. Bank Stadium using 6,400 toothpicks

A California retiree built a detailed model of U.S. Bank Stadium to celebrate becoming a Minnesotan.
Susan Brower is only the third state demographer since the job was created in 1974, replacing Tom Gillaspy, who held the job for nearly 33 years.

This woman is in charge of seeing Minnesota's future — and she's optimistic

Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower tracks who we are and who we'll be in the future.
Ellis Rothke flew across the grip line at Obstacle Academy, which was started by a mom who competed on “American Ninja Warrior.”

'Playgrounds on steroids': Ninja warrior gym craze sweeps Minnesota

At least six ninja warrior gyms have sprung up in the Twin Cities, inspired by the obstacle-course competition made popular on NBC's television show "American Ninja Warrior." And more are coming.
Dance instructor Ellen Keane led Tappy Hour on a recent Friday at Can Can Wonderland in St. Paul. “Anyone can pick up the stuff we’re doing,” sh

Dance away your frustrations at St. Paul bar's Tappy Hour

St. Paul's kooky Can Can Wonderland bar adds free dance lessons during its weekly Tappy Hour.
Krishna Seshan

Former Silicon Valley engineer Krishna Seshan dies at 71

Seshan, of Minneapolis, had an accomplished career as a researcher and academic. But after he retired and moved to the Twin Cities, the former engineer became an artist and musician. He died Oct. 25 at age 71.
Brian Krohn is founder of Soundly, a game-driven app that trains you to do “pushups for your tongue."

A cure for your snoring might be an app developed at the University of Minnesota

“Nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee. Naw. Nee-nee-nee. Naw-naw-naw-naw.” Brian Krohn is chanting into his phone, which is displaying animated missiles shooting down a red whale. It’s a new smartphone…
Brian Krohn, founder and CEO of Soundly.

Cure for snoring? St. Paul inventor Brian Krohn may have it with wizard tools

From wizard staffs and surgery tools to sleep apps, this Minnesota genius applies science to real life
Dan Brown, the author of “The Da Vinci Code” and “Origins,” at home in Rye Beach, N.H.

'Da Vinci Code' author Dan Brown's code for thriller novel success

In the bestselling novelist's latest thriller, "Origin," science threatens to kill off God.
Kim Insley

KARE 11 and longtime morning anchor Kim Insley 'part ways'

Insley talked about some future plans in a video she posted on Facebook.
The neon sign from the now-closed Nye's in Minneapolis.

'Nye's is better off dead': Minnesotans air contrarian views with hilarious hashtag

A writer asks Twin Citians for their controversial opinions, and they let him have it on Twitter.
Nathan Maehren of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities demonstrated a machine that combines a core workout with a virtual reality experience.

You can fly! Virtual reality workout coming to Minneapolis

Exercise machines allow you to run, row, bike and climb. Now you can also fly.
University of St. Thomas engineering Prof. AnnMarie Thomas worked out on her Cyr wheel in front of her St. Paul home.

St. Paul prof on Squishy Circuits: 'So much of the work I do is about play'

Prof. AnnMarie Thomas teaches, leads a lab and lives her life through spectacle and playful learning.
The Spartan Strong workout, a collaboration between the Spartan obstacle course race series and Minnesota-based Life Time gyms, uses the Spartan Panca

How can a pancake help you get in shape?

A group fitness class called Spartan Strong uses a "pancake" and more to give you a full-body workout.
Stephanie Brodegard crossed Lyndale Ave. S. as she biked home from her son’s school with all three of their kids seated on the back rack of her carg

Who needs a minivan? 'Adventurous' Twin Cities parents cart kids on bikes

Some Twin Cities parents are driving the switch from cars to cargo bikes to haul kids and groceries.
The Hex houses for refugees can be linked together or stand alone.

Flat-pack Hex House by Minnesota architects is designed to help refugees

An architecture group hopes its design will help refugees, victims of natural disasters.
High School Band Day in the 1950s at Memorial Stadium. Provided

U resurrects High School Band Day with 120 trombones, 180 cornets, 800 kids

About 800 members of high school bands from around the state will take part in a revived University of Minnesota tradition.
Screen grab from BTN Minnesota's video showcasing the U marching band's "Row the Boat" performance.

Watch the University of Minn. marching band 'Row the Boat' for P.J. Fleck

During the halftime show Thursday, the 324-member band performed a synchronized tribute to the new Gophers coach P.J. Fleck.
Kareem and Elizabeth Abdelrahman at last year's Minnesota State Fair. They're among the many newlyweds who go to the fair to celebrate.

Love at State Fair: First kisses, crop art proposals and even weddings

Romance, like the scent of mini-doughnuts, is always in the air at the Minnesota State Fair.
The original Red's Savoy Pizza location will close in September.

Original Red's Savoy Pizza location in St. Paul to close

The original Red's Savoy Pizza location, an institution on the east side of St. Paul's downtown, will be closing next month.
Olive Hachlowski was an Irishwoman who fell in love with a Minneapolis GI during World War II.

Olive Hachlowski, 97, was part of a wave of war brides that immigrated to the U.S. after WWII

The young Irish woman who was doing her bit to help Great Britain found herself the bride of a GI from Minneapolis.
Katie Bono on top of Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The Minneapolis native and cross-country skiing champ lives in Boulder, Colo.

Former Minnesota Nordic skier is now a record-setting mountain climber

Katie Bono has turned her endurance skills from cross-country skiing to speed climbing mountains.
Slam four beers while running? 'Beer mile' races go mainstream

Slam four beers while running? 'Beer mile' races go mainstream

The "beer mile" has gone from an underground race for college kids to a challenge for elite runners — and Joe Sixpack.
The Chancellor’s Quartet (top) and Tony Grainger Jr. (above) perform at the State Fair Amateur Talent Contest open auditions on Monday. You can watc

State Fair talent show attracts hopefuls, dreamers, maybe a future star

At open auditions for the Minnesota State Fair's amateur talent contest, anyone can take a shot at stardom.
Alpine Factory owner Jessica Parcheta moved back and forth as she helped Henry Schwartz, 12, with his form on the fast moving slope.

Minnesota skiers defy summer heat on giant indoor treadmill — with fake snow

You can ski for miles and miles in Minnesota — in summer — thanks to a giant treadmill and synthetic snow.
Puppeteer Wayne Krefting, above, with his creation, Otis Rabbit, at his home. Puppets like Otis and Mesner Puppet Theater’s characters, below, will

Hundreds of puppets from around the world converge on St. Paul this week

How'd we get this interview with a puppet about a puppetry convention in St. Paul? We pulled some strings.
Dan Stoltz, who was the St. Paul Winter Carnival’s King Boreas Rex LXXIX, is the Minneapolis Aquatennial commodore.

Aquatennial commodore also reigned at St. Paul Winter Carnival

Dan Stoltz of Lino Lakes has been a president, CEO and chairman of the board, as well as Winter Carnival king and Aquatennial commodore.
Tom Hedberg and his company, Hedberg Maps, are keeping the craft of mapmaking alive, finding a niche market in maps that show all the dog parks, brewe

Who needs GPS and Google? Mpls. map publisher is 'master of cartography'

A Minneapolis mapmaker stays in business mapping everything from dog parks to UFO sightings.
Tessie and John "Sly" Sylvester, with their two sons, Gus (left) and Freddy.

Minn. mom with 2 young boys gets cancer diagnosis on same day husband dies

Tessie Sylvester of West St. Paul was just finishing the call to the funeral home after her husband's death following a long struggle with ALS when another call came in. It was her doctor, calling with the results of her biopsy.
Bicycle enthusiast Juston Anderson rides an 1890 Victor high wheeler bicycle in Loring Park.

In its 200-year history, bicycling has gone from risky to healthy

The bicycle turns 200 this year. Add to your longevity by riding one.

Pedaling health

  298: Number of calories burned by a 155-pound person bicycling 12-14 miles per hour for 30 minutes 244,000: Number of people in the Twin…
Student Chelsea Pioske at adult summer camp at Flying Colors Trapeze.

Quite a circus: Trapeze camp has middle-aged adults flying high in Marine on St. Croix

The sky is the big top at this outdoor trapeze camp for adults.
Nanakuli, a Hawaiian surfing cat featured in the book "Adventure Cats."

Minnesota has its own 'adventure cat' – Max the paddleboarding kitty

Whether it's a paddleboard, pontoon boat or kayak, Max the cat will ride it.
Reese Burnett of Woodbury recently combed Lake Phalen in St. Paul.

Minnesota metal 'detectorists' track down rings, keys and memories

Metal detecting is a quirky hobby, but if you ever lose a wedding ring, these Minnesota enthusiasts are the ones to call.
The 42-mile Root River State Trail begins in Fountain, Minn., and runs through Lanesboro.

Outdoor adventure? These 4 Minn. towns are tops in natural beauty

We asked winners of our online poll to make their case for why their town is best for outdoor fun.
Jack Lieberherr, an eighth-grader at St. Anne’s Academy in White Bear Lake, won a national contest for his penmanship. “I practice it every day,�

Forget texting: North St. Paul teen is national handwriting champ

In an increasingly digital world, a Minnesota kid has become a cursive writing king.
A sample of some of the home brews offered at a local homebrew fest.

Make your own beer? Homebrewers national convention is coming to Minneapolis

Minneapolis will be the epicenter of do-it-yourself beer making and drinking as Homebrew Con 2017 hits town this week.
Joel Yau created this Viking image for last year’s Chalkfest street painting festival in Maple Grove.

More than 30 street artists will be chalking it up at Chalkfest in Maple Grove

Nearly three dozen professional chalk artists from the U.S. and other countries will use three blocks of Main Street asphalt as their canvases.
Jane Becker Nelson, director of the Flaten Art Museum at St. Olaf College, with a poster to recruit young French men to join the Waffen-SS unit of the

Controversial collection of Nazi propaganda posters finds home at St. Olaf

A rare collection of Nazi propaganda posters is being restored, and eventually displayed, at St. Olaf College.
The Mall of America has named the winner of its writer-in-residence contest.

After 4,000 entries, Mall of America names winner of writer-in-residence contest

A poet from Los Angeles will be taking his typewriter for a gig at the Mall of America.
Graduates at commencement.

Bored at commencement? Play our Graduation Bingo game

Our Graduation Bingo Card will help you pass the time at any commencement you're forced to attend this spring.
Ben Liestman, 6, played with a Dyson DC24 he had spotted in the backroom of Osseo Vacuum while at the sales and repair shop with his dad, Joel. Ben ha

Maple Grove boy with rare syndrome has unusual love: 'All vacuums, all the time'

A Maple Grove 6-year-old with a rare genetic condition finds joy in the everyday — including noisy appliances.
Bruce Shapiro's latest project is a computer-controlled, magnet-driven steel ball that endlessly traces intricate designs and images on a table covere

Mpls. man raises $2M on Kickstarter to make kinetic art for your living room

Bruce Shapiro's robotic creations have appeared at the White House and on Martha Stewart's TV show.
The milk carton boat race is no longer part of the Minneapolis Acquatennial (shown here in a file photo), but a group of skippers is bringing it back.

After being axed, the popular milk carton boat race returns to Minneapolis

Aquatennial mainstay was dropped in 2015 but is returning under new management.
The Cass Gilbert Society is looking for furniture from when the Minnesota State Capitol was first built.

Got a 1905 chair from Minnesota State Capitol? Cass Gilbert Society wants to know

Missing: 800 pieces of furniture from the Minnesota State Capitol. If you know where any of it is, the Cass Gilbert Society wants to hear from you.
Lisa Richardson of Hastings, left, running the Antarctic Ice Marathon in November 2015, with Sasie Smittipatana of Thailand, center, and Teresa Strad

Minnesota woman conquered Antarctica marathon. Now she's raced at the North Pole

Lisa Richardson will run laps on a 4.2-kilometer loop on the snow and ice, watched by race organizers who have rifles on hand in case a polar bear shows up.
Daisy Islas, right, cruised to a 19:33 time in the Valentine’s Day TC 5K in Minneapolis in February.

'I just got beat by a 10-year-old': Rosemount girl is a running phenom

Rosemount 10-year-old is an inspiration to older, slower runners (that is, most of us).
Photos of hot peppers help brighten U Prof. David Baumler’s lab, where he and students filmed a music video that garnered enough hits to win the lab

U professor and musician is a red-hot chili pepper expert

Despite being in the land of "not too spicy, please," a University of Minnesota microbiologist is making Minnesota an epicenter for chili pepper research.
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