Staff Directory 188067161

Shannon Prather

Reporter | Ramsey County
Phone: 612-673-4804
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Shannon Prather covers Ramsey County for the Star Tribune. Previously, she covered philanthropy and nonprofits. Prather has two decades of experience reporting for newspapers in Minnesota, California, Idaho, Wisconsin and North Dakota. She has covered a variety of topics including the legal system, law enforcement, education, municipal government and slice-of-life community news.

Prather attended high school in Fargo, N.D. and went on to earn a bachelor's of journalism from the University of Missouri. She has received additional training from Investigative Reporters & Editors and The Poynter Institute. She has covered everything from death penalty trials to growing pains in Twin Cities suburbs. She has been recognized for her work by the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists and the California News Publishers Association.
Recent content from Shannon Prather

Shoreview launches trio of affordable housing programs

Programs aid first-time home buyers and provide fixer-upper loans.
The 2017 reopening of the Herberger's store in Roseville. Rosedale representatives are floating a concept that would transform the vacant store into h

Rosedale looks at remaking vacant store into housing, more

Representatives for the Roseville mall are shopping around a "village" concept that would transform the vacant Herberger's department store.

Former Hamline student sentenced to nearly 13 years for raping a fellow student

The families of the defendant and victim sat in courtroom, watching and crying.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said initial efforts made in the last year are already yielding results.

New Ramsey County prosecutor, sheriff investigator to focus on sex crimes

County Attorney John Choi promised to improve sex assault investigations.
Wilma Rudolph wins the 200 meters at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

600 compete in St. Paul Schools' History Day contest

The 600 students were all given the same assignment: Tell a story from history that invokes both triumph and tragedy.
In 2018, Alatus released this rendering of what the Rice Creek Commons business area may look like as it begins to redevelop the former Twin Cities Ar

Ramsey County seeks to end agreement with Arden Hills on ammo plant project

The county and city continue to differ on housing goals, but development of the former TCAAP site will go forward, officials said.
Former Minnesota Rep. Phyllis Kahn, shown in 2016.

Former Minnesota Rep. Phyllis Kahn says it's illegal to name park after Walter Mondale

Kahn authored the 2009 law against legislators naming entities — including buildings, roads and facilities — after a living person and thinks it's still sage advice.
Former Vice President Walter Mondale, shown last year.

Bill introduced to rename Minnesota's Interstate State Park after Walter Mondale

Decades ago, he helped preserve Interstate State Park area along St. Croix.
Rich Hinrichs

Falcon Heights fires its fire chief, citing angry outbursts

Mayor said angry outbursts and violations of the city's respectful workplace policy forced the City Council to act.
Minnetonka High School senior Lily Hohag volunteered to help teach young girls to play lacrosse on a Saturday morning in February.

At Minnetonka High School, students make the grade by lettering in kindness

Minnetonka High School is among several Twin Cities schools that honor community service with a varsity letter.
Tesla Brooks, left, and Adriana Ocampo, students at Fairview Alternative High School in Roseville, examined exhibits at the Maplewood Nature Center bo

East metro cities, counties sharpen job recruitment strategies

Time is right to plant the seed among high-schoolers.
St. Paul City Attorney Lyndsey Olson said that both the city and county were looking for ways to support immigration services, “so it seemed natural

Ramsey County, St. Paul to partner on immigrant defense fund

East-metro officials cite community need and suffering as a result of more aggressive enforcement under the Trump administration.
A Ramsey County corrections officer is seen in bodycam video punching and kneeing a prisoner who is restrained.

New video shows Ramsey County jailer punching, kneeing handcuffed prisoner

Travis VanDeWiele pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and resigned.
Re-meandered Rice Creek winds through the area and gives its name to the project's branding, Rice Creek Commons.

Arden Hills says no to TCAAP mediation

No end in sight to long-running dispute over Rice Creek Commons.
Construction of Interstate 94 tore a hole through Rondo, St. Paul’s historic black neighborhood, and many view the Dale Street bridge as a lingering

New bridge over I-94 aiming to reclaim part of Rondo's past

The bridge will nod to Rondo's history as a vibrant African-American neighborhood that has persevered despite the displacement decades ago of more than 600 black families.
Ivan Dan Walker, DOB 09/23/1984. Ramsey County Jail

Stillwater man admits killing girlfriend in St. Paul, staging scene like an overdose

Ivan Dan Walker pleaded guilty to murder and sexual assault, and will be sentenced this spring to 30 years in prison.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi seeks to make punishments fit the crime

County attorney's policy weighs how pleas will affect immigration status.
Roseville Firefigher Dave Doucet and Nancie Pass, a deputy director with Ramsey County Emergency Communications, take turns demonstrating hands-on CPR

Ramsey County unveils app that alerts CPR-trained bystanders

The PulsePoint app alerts people nearby when 911 dispatch receives a call of cardiac arrest in a public location.
A rested and bearded Jeff Passolt at home in 2017 recovering from a broken hip.

Fox 9 anchor Jeff Passolt sues state for a slip and fall

Passolt broke his hip in the 2017 fall on an icy sidewalk near the State Capitol.
Defense attorney Murad Mohammad spoke outside of the federal courthouse in Minneapolis during the sentencing of terror suspects in 2016. ] CARLOS GONZ

Attorney who represented terror suspect in Mpls. ISIS trial is disbarred

The Supreme Court order cited misconduct involving failure to "diligently handle matters" for 11 clients.
Joshua McLay

Hastings assistant principal and wrestling coach faces embezzlement, theft charges

Joshua McLay told district officials he was taking staff to coaching clinics.
Vanlice “Vii” Washington took a selfie at the Ocean Buffet in Brooklyn Center on Saturday after the manager demanded he pay first. Washington feel

Under fire in pay-first incident, buffet says it was responding to "dine and dash" kids

A black man said he was singled out to pay in advance; the Ocean Buffet manager said he was caught up in group of kids asked to pay first.
Susan Bass Roberts of the Pohlad Family Foundation.

Preventing evictions becomes a focus in fight against homelessness in Minnesota

Foundation has started legal funds for renters.
War re-enactors at Historic Fort Snelling fire blanks from their muskets during a re-enactment of a battle from the War of 1812.

Historic Fort Snelling renovation to start this fall

Cavalry barracks will be transformed into the visitors center.
A water treatment plant on the TCAAP site cleans tainted underground supplies.

Ramsey County wants outside mediator to thaw TCAAP development impasse

Ramsey County presses to end impasse with Arden Hills over development.
Parent volunteer Mary Beth Anderson helped Rosemount Elementary fifth-graders Manuel Moreno Santanero, left, and Thekta Adane, right, as they worked a

New $20 million financial learning labs for kids open in St. Paul

Junior Achievement expects to draw 30,000 students a year to St. Paul center.
Kim Dobler sifted through information as she joined other YMCA Youth Intervention Services staff for equity training and a walk through the new exhibi

Minnesota's history of racial inequality displayed in first-of-its-kind YMCA center

YMCA's new training and experience space represents a bold public commitment to equity.
Angela Cahill, in background, grabbed a football from her oldest son Lachlan Cahill, 9, as she agreed to play football with him and her other boys dur

Minnesota parents scramble to cover child care during impromptu winter break

They are telecommuting, taking paid time off, asking grandparents for help and leaning on friends.
SPCO guest musician Matthew McClung tuned his drums before a rehearsal. The orchestra didn’t see any changes in its donation level this year.

Twin Cities nonprofits report no drop in donations after first year of tax changes

In first year of new rules for giving, the negative effect that some had feared has not materialized.

Five people charged in Catholic Charities fraud case

One defendant pleaded guilty this week and could face 8 to 14 months in prison.
Vern Cafarella

Vern Cafarella, marketing guru for General Mills, dies at 97

Cafarella's behind-the-scenes work influenced prominent brands such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Eddie Bauer and Big G cereals
Optometrist Dr. Meredith Walburg examines Denae Whitfield’s eyes at Harding High School. Whitfield is one of 2,500 St. Paul Public Schools students

Thousands of Twin Cities kids getting free vision screenings thanks to caring collaboration

ChildSight Minnesota and Phillips Eye Institute join forces to make sure that Twin Cities kids succeed.
Allison O’Toole, formerly the leader of MNsure, has been named CEO of Second Harvest Heartland.

Former MNsure leader Allison O'Toole named Second Harvest Heartland CEO

The food bank, among the nation's largest, is in the midst of major expansion.
Newlyweds Chara Juneau and Adam Claude walked under a canopy of scoops and measuring cups held by their guests after the couple’s wedding at the foo

Couple hold New Year's Eve charity wedding at Feed My Starving Children

After the ceremony, guests celebrated by packing meals. "We'd rather raise money for kids and use this as an opportunity to serve," said the groom.
The Sheridan Story volunteers John and Sharon Eian slipped take-home meals into students’ backpacks before the holiday break.

Twin Cities nonprofits give out 7,500 meal bags to families over winter break

"The holidays are a wonderful time to get together and celebrate each other," said Bruce Mooty. "I can't imagine how difficult it would be for families who don't have the opportunity to gather around a meal at this time."
People gathered for a Loaves and Fishes meal in August.

Loaves & Fishes serves record 1 million meals to the needy

The Minnesota nonprofit helped feed nearly a third more clients than in 2017.
A woman peruses through the selections at a thrift shop.

Thrift shops are surging despite healthy economy

Thrift stores, viewed a generation ago as places where poor people shop, are now attracting more middle class, environmentally conscious consumers in search of vintage and one-of-a-kind items.
People and Pets Together founder Kimberly Carrier began her nonprofit after facing a serious illness that threatened her ability to care for her dogs,

People and Pets Together feeds four-legged family members in need

The nonprofit food bank and veterinary assistance program provides food and care to prevent heartbreaking human-animal separations.
Sherri Taggart helps her son Jack, 14, hang some Christmas lights. Jack is recovering from leukemia and the family has received help from the Pinky Sw

Pinky Swear Foundation helps families of children with cancer pay the bills

The Minnesota foundation gives away $1 million a year to families facing childhood cancer.
Rendering of the Smithsonian's National Native American Veterans Memorial being built in Washington D.C. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community dona

As giving to tribes declines nationally, Minnesota a bright spot for American Indian causes

Minnesota is home to six of the 30 foundations most generous to Indian causes, giving $118.5 million between 2006 and 2014.
A portion of the new YMCA Camp Northern Lights on the shores of Bear Island Lake in Babbit, Minn.

YMCA opens second family camp in northern Minnesota

Camp Northern Lights is 115 acres on Bear Island Lake in Babbitt, Minn.
Many Minnesota-based char­i­ties, es­pe­cial­ly those with in­ter­na­tion­al reach like Feed My Starv­ing Children, pic­tured dur­ing a vo

Giving Tuesday offers Minnesotans another day to donate

The international event followed record-breaking Give to the Max Day.
Constellation Fund CEO Andrew Dayton handed out information on Monday during a site visit to the YMCA to discuss the organization’s youth interventi

With Constellation Fund, Andrew Dayton launches new data-driven philanthropy

The Constellation Fund will give to poverty-fighting organizations.
Earl Lovelace got help from volunteer Ruth Bowyer as he picked out furniture and household items at Bridging’s warehouse in Roseville.

Furniture bank Bridging connects needy Minnesota families with furnishings

Twin Cities nonprofit Bridging seeks donations, volunteers as it expands into larger space.
The exhibit looks at high rates of incarceration of American Indians, beginning with confinement and forced removals.

Exhibit explores incarceration in America, confinement of American Indians in Minnesota

"States of Incarceration" is a national traveling exhibit created by students and featuring historic photos, original artwork and videos. It will be in the Twin Cities until Feb. 18.
Keren Gudeman lead a group of students during an improv class at United Community School.

Improv Parenting takes center stage with upbeat, resilent message

It's a bit of a pushback to many of the driven, competitive, anxiety-ridden parenting styles batted around in pop culture today.
Several groups gathered at the workstation tables inside Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids on Give to the Max Day. FMSC received an additional

On record Give to the Max Day, Minnesota charities reap millions in donations

Organizers of the 24-hour online giving marathon aim to beat last year's total of $20.6 million.
Volunteers from left, Maria Kreidermacher, Sara Grasmon, Muffie Foreman and Erika Finne joined the Current staff to help pack rice at Second Harvest H

Give to the Max Day celebrates 10 years, looks to help nonprofits year-round

Donors gave a record $20.6 million last year.
David Reiling is CEO of St. Paul-based Sunrise Banks, which has $1 billion in assets.

Nonprofits find key partner in St. Paul-based Sunrise Banks

The company has built its reputation on serving working-class customers.
Volunteers from Reading Partners helped pack FoodRx boxes. Boxes may vary to accommodate Somali and Hispanic preferences. “People are looking forwar

Giving Back: FoodRx program embraces Food as Medicine

Packing nutritious food for people in need, Second Harvest Heartland's FoodRx embraces the concept of "food as medicine."

Enthusiasm, worry drive brisk midterm turnout in Minnesota

The mood was muted, with many voters lamenting the country's deepening political divide.
Mary Menne, with her children Peter, from left, 4, Josephine, five months, and Isaac, 2, fills out her ballot at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Parish C

Minnesotans casting ballots with enthusiasm, anxiety and disgust

Minnesotans cast a huge number of early votes in the run-up to Election Day, but turnout at polling locations has been strong all day, with people lining up in a steady drizzle to cast ballots before heading to work.
Princess Titus, and her nonprofit Appetite for Change, won a reality-style grant-making event at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Charities pitch donors for share of Greater Twin Cities United Way money

Other Twin Cities foundations have also been exploring ways to involve more people in awarding grants.
Margaret Anne Combs, longtime adoption counselor, died at age 94.

Margaret Anne Combs, adoption counselor for Catholic Charities, dies at 94

Margaret Anne Combs served as a Catholic Charities adoption social worker for three decades, helping hundreds of eager couples become parents.At the same time, Combs…
Volunteer Megan Yoshida organizes school supplies for the The Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 6th Annual Action Day earlier this year. Photo by Sha

Greater Twin Cities United Way narrows focus of its grantmaking

United Way will concentrate its grants on programs that address education success, household stability, and employment and income gaps. It will eliminate grantmaking categories for legal services and independent living.
Melvin Broom raised his hands in praise during worship time as Herris Heidenreich, center, led the song “Power in the Blood” at the weekly fellows

Ex-prisoners program expands, faces wary neighbors in Mpls.

FreedomWorks is expanding from a 15-bed building it recently sold in north Minneapolis to a remodeled nursing home campus that could one day serve as many as 180 men and women.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Paul, the only African-American Episcopal church in Minnesota, is celebrating its 130th anniversary.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church celebrates 130 years of fighting for racial equity and healing

The church has long been a social and spiritual center for its congregation.
Above, Aboubacar Bangoura, 2, played the drums during a demonstration by Duniya Drum and Dance. Cat toys made from plastic Easter eggs, pasta shells a

Festival of Giving helps grow Twin Cities children's hearts and minds

The inaugural Festival of Giving encouraged parents and children to volunteer together in fun, creative and, most important, lasting ways.
State Attorney General Lori Swanson has sued the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens Inc.

Florida charity accused of deceiving donors supporting police families

American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens raised $425,000 from Minnesotans from 2011 to 2017, according to the lawsuit by the Minnesota attorney general.
Minneapolis Foundation president and CEO R.T. Rybak read Good Night, Little Sea Otter to a group of kids at the Book It to the Parks event.

Minnesota philanthropy turns to data to identify and solve problems

More nonprofits sell their stories through analysis.
Psychologist Meaghan Johansen was hired by the mission.

Union Gospel Mission adds mental health clinic at St. Paul homeless shelter

More than six in 10 homeless people in Minnesota report struggling with significant mental illness, experts say.
Cathy Blaeser of Lakeville and Cailin Bjorlin of New Prague spoke in support of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination on Wednesday in Lakeville.

Kavanaugh supporters in Minn. say they're holding firm

Many say they're eager for another justice with more conservative ideals on the U.S. Supreme Court, and they view the allegations against him as a partisan attack.
Karin Olofsdotter, left, Sweden’s ambassador to the U.S., was in Minnesota to meet with Jewish community leaders to discuss anti-Semitism, including

Swedish ambassador, Minnesota Jewish leaders met to discuss surge in hate crimes

Karin Olofsdotter is gathering information about the surge in anti-Semitism in the U.S. — a grimly similar issue in Europe.
Nurse Bonnie Morcomb felt overwhelmed after her breast cancer diagnosis. Firefly Sisterhood paired her with a caring, and knowing, survivor.

Firefly Sisterhood offers support to women facing breast cancer

The St. Louis Park nonprofit started in 2014 and has since matched 740 breast cancers patients with mentors who have survived breast cancer.
A student from Sand Creek Elementary in Coon Rapids took a turn on the rock-climbing wall at the Northern Star Scouts Base Camp at Fort Snelling. It c

Urban adventures open to all at Scouting Base Camp

$26M facility at Fort Snelling spreads the group's mission.
Red Cross volunteer Warren Buerkley, who goes door-to-door, installed a smoke detector in a home in Inver Grove Heights.

Red Cross sounding the alarm about dangers of house fires

Last year in Minnesota, 68 people died in home fires, the highest number of fatalities in 20 years, according to the State Fire Marshal's office. The Red Cross Home Fire campaign aims to reduce that number by 25 percent.
Molyka Sour, right, and Jennie Heinze sorted potatoes at Second Harvest’s warehouse in Brooklyn Park as part of a Wells Fargo volunteer outing.

Second Harvest Heartland to move to expand food rescue

A shift to more nutritious ingredients is a big part of what prompted Second Harvest Heartland to move into a new warehouse.
Roy Wilkins (center) with Martin Luther King and Thurgood Marshall, c.1959.

University of Minnesota hosts conference on civil rights-era Kerner Commission

Fifty years ago, a presidential commission reached this searing conclusion: "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal." This week, scholars, politicians and the public gather to reflect on the document.
Kia Cheng, right, a Humane Society vet assistant, intubated a cat. The high cost of pet care can leave some owners unable to pay the bills.

Animal Humane Society to open low-cost vet clinic in St. Paul

Humane Society hopes new clinic will help households that can't pay high vet bills.
Melissa Evers, an AmeriCorps member who is part of Minnesota’s first-ever Recovery Corps, at the nonprofit Avivo, where she provides peer-to-peer su

Thousands of volunteers make Minnesota an AmeriCorps hot spot

Minnesota ranks third in the number of volunteers per capita.
Families celebrated at Project Arise’s annual Twin Cities Pride parade-watching party and fundraiser in June. Project Arise, focused on helping home

Greater Twin Cities United Way 'giving communities' meld personal passions with philanthropy

The groups bring people together for socializing and philanthropy.
As part of their exposure to the great outdoors, kids used binoculars during a nature hike at Hidden Falls Regional Park.

Twin Cities Y says 'Get Outdoors' to help cure modern-day maladies

The year-round nature initiative is aimed at all demographics: kids, adults, seniors, city dwellers and suburbanites.
Eric Jolly is the CEO and president of the St. Paul foundation.

Two quiet giants of local philanthropy rebrand to raise profiles of giving

Twin foundations respond to donors who want impact.
Medina Mayor Robert “Bob” Mitchell Jr. Courtesy: City of Medina

Robert Mitchell, mayor of Medina and community booster, dies at 74

Medina Mayor Robert “Bob” Mitchell Jr. used his position at the podium to infuse civility and courtesy in public discourse. “He listened rather than judged.…
The nonprofit NeighborWorks Home Partners helped Naima Mohamed, right, and Jacob Croonenberghs buy a house in St. Paul for their growing family.

Alliance pushes to close racial gap in Minnesota homeownership

Families of color are much less likely to own a home in Minnesota, research shows
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