Staff Directory 417082793

Richard Chin

Reporter | Features
Phone: 612-673-1775
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Richard Chin is a feature reporter with the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. He has been a longtime Twin Cities-based journalist who has covered crime, courts, transportation, outdoor recreation and human interest stories.


As a feature reporter, Richard Chin has flown on the Goodyear Blimp, driven the Wienermobile, sunk to the bottom of a lake in a one-man submarine, worn a giant urine specimen cup costume as a mascot for a health care company, rode a vintage Puch at the Sturgis of mopeds and was mistakenly arrested by police hunting for a serial killer. He also spent six weeks in Baghdad during the Iraq war and was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.
Recent content from Richard Chin
Marching band enthusiast Brent Turner in his Apple Valley home.

Minnesota's 'Music Man' created a high school championship where the bands are front and center

An Apple Valley booster helped introduce Broadway-style theatrics and create a competition where high school band geeks are the stars.
John “Dex” Dexter

John J. "Dex" Dexter, longtime St. Paul Curling Club manager, dies at 73

This is the time of year when John “Dex” Dexter would be laboring to make the perfect sheet of ice. For nearly 40 years, Dexter…
David Baum watched as Coco made her way through her very own three-season room.

Edina cat-lovers built their indoor cats a 'catio' so they can enjoy the outdoors

Outdoor enclosures that keep cats safe but offer a little wind in their whiskers are sprouting up in the Twin Cities.
Nate Otto repairs player pianos in the workshop of his Anoka home. He cleaned front rail pins on a piano he is fixing up to replace his own.

Remember player pianos? Meet the millennial keeping them alive in Minnesota

A young Minnesotan is trying to save a rare instrument that once was in every living room.
Stephanie Hankerson’s help-yourself Free Little Florist box in St. Paul is a spinoff of Little Free Libraries.

St. Paul woman offers fresh bouquets from Little Free Florist stand

St. Paul community organizer and gardening educator has given away 200 bouquets.
St. Paul's lone Kmart store, on Maryland Avenue East, will close in mid-December, officials said Sunday.

As fourth St. Paul retailer closes, some ask: Where will we shop?

Back-to-back closings of two discount stores in St. Paul months after Sears shut its doors are taking a big bite out of the city's retail offerings.
St. Paul artist Carla Alexandra Rodriguez practices tintype photography, a Civil War era photographic process that creates images on sheets of metal.

St. Paul photographer uses 1800s technology to create stunning portraits

Tintypes, which had their heyday during the Civil War, are being resurrected by young photographers looking to create lasting images.
Street artist Mows510 is the anonymous creator of hundreds of whimsical mouse doors scattered around the Twin Cities area – and the world.

The anonymous Minnesota street artist who invented a better mouse door

An untrained street artist installs his tiny sculptures around town — and the world — to communicate and celebrate whimsy.
In an all-day series of melees at Afton State Park last month, nearly 50 people battled with LED sabers, wearing repurposed sports gear as armor. The

Fighting with lightsabers: Minnesotans do battle in growing 'nerd sport'

Minnesota "Star Wars" fans have created a sport inspired by a sci-fi movie prop.
Saber Legion champion and youth pastor Jimmy Sourile is considered a “prodigy.”

Eagan minister is Minnesota's Luke Skywalker

Jimmy Sourile is the Saber Legion’s Luke Skywalker, an ordinary guy who goes on a hero’s journey and discovers he has the hidden skills to…
Shameem Moshrefzadeh customizes LED sabers.

Oakdale man makes plastic sabers look and sound like the real 'Star Wars' thing

Shameem Moshrefzadeh is the arms dealer for the nerd warrior. “I build lightsabers to pay the bills,” he said. The 31-year-old Oakdale resident turned his…
Dan Wenkel in his St. Paul backyard with the trebuchet he and his wife built.

St. Paul couple find a new home for their giant medieval catapult

Dan Wenkel and Beth Robelia weren't using their home-built trebuchet much anymore. So they went on the neighborhood networking site Nextdoor and offered it for free.
Amudalat Ajasa, 18, and Rande Tomas, 64, danced during a rehearsal for “Holding On: Unexpected Stories of World War II” at the Episcopal Homes i

From the atomic bomb to internment camps, stories of the last Minnesota veterans of World War II

Minnesota World War II veterans' experiences are told in a new play performed by a multigenerational cast.
Robert Fusaro

Robert Fusaro, who opened first karate school in Minnesota, dies at 85

To thousands of his students, he was known as the "sensei's sensei," the teacher of teachers.
Amateur scientist Scott Peterson hunts for micrometeorites on roofs.

Space dust from metro rooftops is star of new exhibit at Bell Museum

Micrometeorites discovered by a local resident are part of an exhibit.
Cassie Bonstrom holds a picture of her grandmother, Nancy Jack, who died in 1989.

Two nursing students' lives are linked by controversial death 30 years ago in Edina

The two students discovered that their families are connected through an alleged "mercy killing" from decades ago.
The Revs. Tim Hart-Andersen and Sarah Brouwer recently led a bike-inspired service, which included a blessing of the bikes, at Westminster Presbyteria

Why so many Twin Cities clergy members bicycle religiously

For a growing number of Twin Cities clergy members, biking is part of the ministry.
Richard Chin and pilot John Klatt enjoyed an inverted viewpoint.

Minnesotan John Klatt traded fighter jets for the quiet life of an aerial acrobat

Minnesota pilot John Klatt has flown in war zones, on humanitarian missions and for airlines. Now he provides thrills at air shows across the country.
Retired bus driver Thomas Carr and his “great source of pride” in the 1990s.

How a man tracked down his grandpa's long lost car in Minnesota

Ohio man's search for beloved car culminated in Minnesota.
Traditional wooden small craft take to Lake Superior at the North House Folk School’s Wooden Boat Show & Summer Solstice Festival.

Grand Marais celebration is like the car show for wooden watercraft enthusiasts

A wooden boat parade, puppetry pageant, chowder tasting and contra dancing are part of this North Shore event.
Cameren Torgerud of Studio Payne Art Gallery and Oddities Shop in St. Paul. His store’s offerings include a preserved cat (it died of natural causes

Traveling expo of 'Oddities & Curiosities' comes to Minneapolis

And now for something completely different — an expo devoted to the odd.
Pat "Truck" Moriarty laughed with Brad Adam, of Coon Rapids, as Moriarty stopped by Sky Hill Park to watch a bit of Thursday night's double header gam

These Minnesota grown-ups take Wiffle ball seriously – very seriously

A Cottage Grove man has built what's believed to be the biggest adult Wiffle ball league in the country.
Christian Dalbec has carved out an unusual niche in nature photography. He puts on a wet suit and swims out into Lake Superior to capture waves, surfe

A Minnesotan dives into the dangerous, icy waters of Lake Superior to take photos

A Minnesotan immerses himself in his photography – and the dangerous, icy waters of Lake Superior.
Members of the Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet School patrol during the 2016 parade in downtown St. Paul.

A century later, St. Paul still celebrates 'big tradition' of school safety patrol parade

About 800 young crossing guards, accompanied by high school and middle school bands, will march May 14.
David Bourn

David Bourn, projectionist who lit up the skies and put Prince in the spotlight, dies at 77

Family and friends who were searching for the gathering to honor the passing of David Bourn needed only to follow the lights in the sky.…
A house exploded on the 600 block of Hall Avenue in St. Paul on Saturday afternoon, injuring the man who lived there.

Neighbors dodge flames, debris to rescue 'Sarge' after St. Paul home blast

A gas leak is suspected. The 74-year-old victim was in fair condition at Regions Hospital after the explosion at his West Side home.
Volunteers unfurled one of the pieces of the tifo for the first time. Tifos are a tradition among soccer support groups worldwide to demonstrate their

Hard-core Minnesota United fans prepare to unfurl epic 20,000-square-foot banner

For the first home game, Minnesota United fans will raise something much bigger than team scarves.
Twin Cities performer and instructor Joey Clark is playing a surprise role in the Final Four.

MacPhail instructor coaches team of rivals for student-sung anthem at Final Four

What could go wrong? So far, nothing.
Mike Marcotte is a Guinness World Records adjudicator, one of the judges that the record-keeping and publishing company hires, trains and dispatches a

Trying to set a Guinness World Record? This Minnesotan will be the judge of that

The Guinness World Records has only about 100 judges in the world. This Minnesota man is one of them.
Mastel’s sales associate Sue Bryant, center, helped Debby Newman of Roseville while sales associate Roberta Benson answered the phone.

From Swedish bitters to CBD oil, St. Paul shop has sold health products for half-century

Mastel's Health Foods has been selling health products for half a century.
Ax throwing venues are spreading. FlannelJax in St. Paul, above, is one outlet. Now a movie theater in Monticello is getting in on the ax.

A Monticello, Minn., movie theater will offer ax throwing as well as cocktails and heated reclining seats

A luxury movie complex in Monticello, Minn., is sharpening its offerings with ax throwing.
Pet shrimp are popular in Taiwan and Germany, but they are catching on among aquarium keepers in the U.S.

This Minnesotan paid $1,000 for a single shrimp. Not to eat — as a pet

A Minnesota man breeds, sells and shows a colorful, convenient pet: shrimp.
Daniel Taradash, shown in his home office in Champlin, saw about 150 to 200 movies last year. He has saved hundreds of ticket stubs, and keeps a movie

Minnesota superfans race to watch all nominated movies in Oscar 'chase'

The average American saw only about four films last year in a theater. But some Minnesotans, out of a pure passion for film, will see hundreds.
Linda Sone, a driver with the Minneapolis fire department, made her way up the stairs with fellow firefighters during a training session at the Hennep

Want a cheap way to get healthier and develop a fabulous butt? Take the stairs

Avoiding the elevator is the secret to fitness for some stair climbers — and a fiercely competitive sport for others.
Dustin Peterson of Big Lake, Minn., floated under the watchful eye of instructor Mike Silva at the iFLY vertical wind tunnel in Minnetonka.

Too cold to skydive or ski? Take it inside with these 6 Twin Cities thrill factories

Tired of Netflix, board games and books? It's possible to have offbeat, active, midwinter fun without boots and parkas.
John Uldrich, fish finder pioneer (and guy in background of Time cover), dies at 82

John Uldrich, fish finder pioneer (and guy in background of Time cover), dies at 82

Uldrich enjoyed not just the good life, but "a quirky, quixotic, quintessential Minnesotan existence," according to his family.
Avid Hot Wheels collector Ryan Wurzbacher held up his favorite car, a 1968 olive green Camaro with a white interior that cost him about $2,000.

Twin Cities collectors have serious drive to accumulate Hot Wheels: 'They're pieces of art'

Adult collectors are obsessed with the tiny cars, hoarding them by the hundreds, selling rare ones for thousands.
Chuck Zwilling and his crew worked on cutting the ice for their giant floating ice carousel -- more than 130 meters across -- on Green Prairie Fish La

Minnesota man makes carousel out of enormous floating disk of ice

Extreme ice carousel builders across the world are one-upping each other in a challenge to create the biggest and best.
Former attorney Taryn Singer of New York City is the owner of WithThanks, a company that will ghostwrite — and send — handwritten thank you notes.

Don't want to write your own thank you note? Just outsource it

Signed, sealed and delivered: Ghostwriters and robots will write your thank you notes for you.
Revelers in the Philippines. Fireworks are big in many countries on New Year’s Eve.

From quirky to scary, how the rest of the world celebrates New Year's Eve

Sure, we kiss, we drink. But compared with the rest of the world, Americans have downright dull New Year's Eve customs.
These holiday gifts are so good, PR people wrote us poems about them

These holiday gifts are so good, PR people wrote us poems about them

PR firms were pitching gift ideas. We asked them to do so in verse. Surprisingly, they were not averse.
Todd Millenacker works on a demo of a jingle.

Savage man's successful ad jingles tout pizza and electric back shavers

He lost a pizza-eating challenge but landed a song in a national ad campaign.
Charley Brandt, 71, rang his big brass bell at the Lunds & Byerlys in Roseville. Brandt — who is often dressed as Santa or accompanied by his Yorkip

Salvation Army bell ringer finds purpose and joy: 'I have a new Christmas'

One of the Salvation Army's most ardent Twin Cities volunteers finds connection as a bell ringer.
Elizabeth Delmore

Elizabeth Delmore, Catholic sister and librarian who climbed mountains, dies at 97

Elizabeth Delmore was a Roseau girl who lived and traveled around the world as a Catholic sister, and a librarian who wrote poetry and climbed…
Hearing protection is being seen more often at music venues.

Are you ready to rock? Just don't forget your earplugs

More rock and classical fans (and musicians) are protecting their ears from loud performances.
The Science Museum of Minnesota has a new boneman. Alex Hastings is recently started work as the museum’s Fitzpatrick Chair of Paleontology. Here, H

Meet the new dinosaur bone hunter at the Science Museum of Minnesota

The Science Museum's new paleontologist really digs crocodiles and "Jurassic Park."
Tucker, a Shetland Sheepdog-terrier mix with a pronounced underbite aka Dracula.

Our Halloween Pet Costume Contest got hundreds of entries: Here are the best

From witches to wizards, our contest elicited some scary, wacky and creative outfits for four-legged fur kids.
Zombie walking and reaching

A Twin Cities expert's terrifying take on trends in Halloween props

Psychos, aliens and zombies: A ghoulish expert's take on what's hot and what's not in Halloween props.
Thomas Carr Sr. with his 1968 Ford Torino in 1994. Carr later sold the car and his grandson is now hoping to find it and buy it back.

Ohio man is searching for his grandfather's Ford Torino in Minnesota

A 50-year-old car somewhere in the state may be this man's connection to his grandfather.
Francis Shen at the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis.

From cyborgs to sex robots, U professor studies how brain science is changing legal system

At the law school, neurolawyer Francis Shen studies the legal implications of emerging brain science.
Dr. Michael Joyner in the courtyard of Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Mary’s campus in Rochester.

Mayo Clinic expert on world-record athletes says a sub-2-hour marathon is possible

Michael Joyner has been called "one of the world's most widely cited experts on the limits of human performance."
Slackliner Mark Mckee and Michael Nichols walk the line 300 feet above the water at Palisade Head.

Minnesota slackliners test balance (and gravity) high above Lake Superior

The motto is "longer and higher" for Minnesotans practicing the gravity-defying sport of slacklining.
Nicolle Peltier helped with the building of a new playground at Jenny Lind Elementary School in Minneapolis. Pelter said the new playground close to t

New, safer playground going up near site of traumatic Minneapolis crash

Near the site of the crash that shattered a family, a new, safer playground is built in north Minneapolis.
Marsha McDonald and Patrick Hinch climbed Mount Gilboa in Bloomington. She’s training for the Superior Hiking Trail; he’s headed to Machu Picchu.

Why are people going uphill at Hyland Hills Ski Area all summer long?

Bloomington's Hyland Hills has become a training destination for Twin Cities adventurers seeking to conquer real mountains.
Lucy Francis is a Hastings artist who makes miniature fuzzy sculptures of actual pets, living and dead.

Hastings artist can create a tiny, soft sculpture to memorialize your dog

Dog lover turned miniature artist makes tiny memorials of deceased pets — and animal actors from "The Walking Dead."
Diane and Jim Cook after renewing their wedding vows in the parking lot of a Pilgrim Dry Cleaners location in Robbinsdale on their 60th anniversary.

After 60 years, couple renew vows in Robbinsdale dry cleaner parking lot

Children hold surprise renewal of vows for parents — married 60 years — on site where their church once stood.
Michael Hauser, a profession musician and expert in flamenco guitar, performed along Nicollet Mall on Aug. 17.

Some Minneapolis street performers are collecting more than just tips

The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District says downtown streets are more vibrant if the city encourages entertainers and pays some of them.
Kristin Wilke Detailleur ORG XMIT: o0EvimyTIEH9vlxcSrCL

Kristin Wilke Detailleur, veteran Twin Cities stage manager and props designer from St. Paul, dies

Detailleur was a longtime stage manager and prop master for theaters throughout the Twin Cities, a theater veteran who loved working behind the scenes on local productions of shows ranging from "God of Carnage" to "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding."
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.
More than two tons of cheese filled the world-record-breaking cheeseboard in Madison.

World record for largest cheeseboard set in — where else? — Wisconsin

The 35-foot-long board served up more than two tons of cheese.
“I’m a headbanger for the Lord,” said Katie King, a worshiper at the Minneapolis Metal Church, who also sings during services. “It gets me goi

Heavy metal pastor's Minneapolis church attracts 'headbangers for the Lord'

The Minneapolis Metal Church makes a joyful — and loud — noise unto the Lord.
The Blue Sun Soda Shop has hundreds of varieties of soda on display in their store in Spring Lake Park.

Shop boasting 1,300 flavors of pop expands with first Minnesota Soda Festival

The man who brought many sodas to Minnesota is hosting a celebration of pop culture.
St. Cloud police apprehended the missing crocodile sculpture on Friday morning.

The 10-foot steel crocodile gone missing in St. Cloud art heist has been found

A crocodile sculpture installed in downtown St. Cloud says "See you later, alligator."
A row of five bouncy houses sat at the top of a hill on the edge of Ryan and Emilie Matthias’ front yard in Van Meter, Iowa, during a unique memoria

Revenge, humor, irreverence: These obituaries get the last word

Families — and the recently departed — crack jokes, reveal flaws and settle scores.
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.
Dustrude

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.