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

Ramsey County data breach may have affected nearly 118,000 people

A data forensics firm found more people were affected than originally announced.
Shoreview is establishing a new heritage park that will include the restored Lepak-Larson farmhouse.

Shoreview creates heritage park at site of historic farmhouse

New heritage park will feature restored 1896 farmhouse and 1920s gas station
Reservists with the St. Paul Police Department canvassed blocks near Rice Street and Winnipeg Avenue W. on Friday. The neighborhood was the scene of a

Wave of deadly shootings prompts intense debate in St. Paul

Some are rallying behind the increased citywide police presence announced by the mayor and chief.
Dennis Shaw, visiting the Twin Cities for work from Indiana, pulled a kayak into Bald Eagle Lake in White Bear Township. for afternoon fishing last we

White Bear Township wants to tap into city aid but keep rural ways

Residents want state financial aid for cities while maintaining a small-town style of governance.
Two of the four murals in the St. Paul City Council Chambers painted in 1933 by John Norton. The Ramsey County Historical Society seeks “different p

Artists sought for more diverse art to be displayed in St. Paul and Ramsey County council chambers

Work by four artists will be displayed at City Hall.

Proposed Roseville budget would add four cops, three firefighters

Proposed $62.6M budget includes funding for four cops, three firefighters.
Mark McCabe, Ramsey County Parks Director, Aaron Mcfarlane, Army Corps biologist, Mike Goodnature Ramsey County Naturalist, and Nate Campbell Army Cor

At Pig's Eye Lake, officials split over using artificial islands to boost ecology

The shallow lake in St. Paul's remote southeast corner could get habitat restoration, but the public wants to know more.
Five St. Paul police officers are accused of standing by as Tou Cha, an ex-police officer, committed the assault outside Checker Board Pizza in the Pa

St. Paul bar owner pleads guilty in case in which cops were fired

Tou Cha pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree assault for an attack on June 17, 2018, captured on a police squad-car dash camera.
Social worker Kara Haroldson, standing second from left, with officers Justin Tiffany and Lori Goulet as they checked on a man.

St. Paul police join with Ramsey County to expand mental health team

The number of calls involving mental illness have more than doubled to 12,000 a year in a decade's time.
Boys Totem Town, the Ramsey County Home For Boys, opened in 1908 with 76 boys in residence. Officials say the home helped thousands of young boys turn

Ramsey County's century-old Boys Totem Town closes for good

County commissioners, St. Paul's mayor, staffers and men who'd spent time there as youths gathered at the 72-acre campus to eulogize the place.

Ramsey, Anoka counties preparing to fill board vacancies

Two win a spot on Ramsey County's fall ballot while the Anoka County filing period ends.
Paul Gardner stands near his native rain garden, showing off some of his water-saving methods at home in Shoreview.

Shoreview's push to conserve water shows what Minn. towns can do

Residents have conserved 10 million gallons of water in three years, part of a growing group of cities that have adopted an environmental ethos.
Fire investigators looked over the charred remains of a van Tuesday in a Fridley Walmart parking lot.

Fridley van fire renews debate over when kids can be left alone

Minnesota law doesn't clearly define ages or milestones a child must reach to be left alone, leaving counties to rely on guidelines laid out by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
One big issue in the race for a new Ramsey County commissioner is the county’s decision to sue Arden Hills over future development of the former Twi

Nine seek Ramsey County commissioner seat in Tuesday's primary

TCAAP site development has emerged as a key issue in the race.
In April, attorney Jeff Anderson, left, survivor and advocate Birdie Farrell, right, hold a press conference to release the names of more than 130 Boy

Attorney seeks release of list of Boy Scout leaders accused of misconduct

The Ramsey County judge didn't make a decision Tuesday on releasing the files.
Ramsey County Manager Ryan O’Connor said the 2020-2021 budget proposal is full of “transformational change.”

Ramsey County considers nearly 10% tax levy hike over two years

The county will host a series of public meetings to review the proposal.
Suburbs are dotted with problem properties and aren’t entirely sure what to do about them. In Shakopee, property owner Gerald Schmitz has been cited

Suburbs strive to take proactive approach to battle problem properties

Some issue fines and citations while others take a softer approach.
Inside the Maplewood Nature Center, the center’s resident toad lazed in his tank on Friday afternoon.

Maplewood frog count measures wetland health

Volunteers fan out after dark, listening for the distinctive croaks, chirps and ribbits of nine species of frogs and toads living in the Twin Cities.
Rebecca Lucero

Ramsey County settles sex assault case, institutes new rules to protect underage workers

A teen employee reported being raped by a supervisor. Two other supervisors failed to act.

Ruling: Extended paid leave can be considered retaliation under whistleblower statute

The Minnesota Court of Appeals restores a sergeant's lawsuit against New Brighton.
The Riversedge project, shown in this rendering, would be built in three phases that could span a decade.

Developer seeks $80 million from Ramsey County for St. Paul towers

Riversedge, a dramatic $788 million redevelopment that would include a hotel, luxury housing, retail and office space in four towers, would dramatically change the downtown skyline
Blake Huffman ran Journey Home Minnesota while on the Ramsey County Board.

East metro communities left to clean up after defunct veterans' charity

Journey Home defaulted on mortgages; properties look unkempt, abandoned.
Maplewood police officer Ashley Bergeron, who has a psychology degree, says she eagerly volunteered to be part of the unit.

Maplewood police, paramedics launch mental health team

The new team is reaching out to frequent 911 callers who exhibit symptoms of mental illness and their families.
Monica Peterson threw a ball for her Labs during a visit to Battle Creek Regional Park. She said she brings her dogs to the park four or five times a

Ramsey County thinks big as it reimagines Battle Creek

Ramsey County's largest park could transform into a regional destination.
Allison Hofstedt served the Cuban-style beef picadillo over fluffed jasmine rice that she prepared for dinner on a recent summer evening.

East Side Table brings fresh food, fresh ideas to St. Paul families

It's sponsoring meals at nonprofits and schools, hosting free cooking demonstrations and distributing hundreds of meal kits — 6,100 so far.
Approximately 1,000 people marched through the streets of Minneapolis on Sunday to protest the treatment of migrants on the U.S. border. Above, Hikmah

Marchers in Minneapolis protest ICE policies separating families, immigration raids

More than 1,000 people marched and chanted down Lake Street in south Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon demanding an end to federal immigration raids and policies…
Since 2015, the number of homeless people statewide has risen by 10% to 10,233, according to a Wilder Research report.

Ramsey County to open its own year-round homeless shelter

Ramsey County's Safe Space will likely be ready in August and provide 64 beds year-round.
Some Ramsey County Board candidates say they can repair the schism between the county and Arden Hills over the contentious redevelopment of the 427-ac

Dozen vie for Ramsey County Board seat vacated by Blake Huffman

Several candidates say the TCAAP dispute with Arden Hills drew them into the race.
The USS Minneapolis-St. Paul will be launched from the Menominee River in Marinette, Wis.

Navy will launch combat ship USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul from Midwest port

Navy's newest near-shore combat ship was built in northern Wisconsin.
Judge Jerome G. Arnold

Former U.S. Attorney Jerome G. Arnold dies at age 78

Jerome G. "Jerry" Arnold served as Minnesota's U.S. attorney under two presidents, prosecuting not just drug dealers and bank robbers but savings and loan executives…
Deputy Mike Servatka, right,trained Women’s Academy participants, including Paxton Hall, center, on mobile field force tactics to push back proteste

Ramsey County sheriff experiments with new way to recruit women

Weeklong academy offers free instruction on everything from investigations and defensive tactics, to de-escalation and firearms use.
Ramsey County Commissioner Trista MatasCastillo, right, talked with Yvette Cross of St. Paul at a safety event last week.

'Road diets' gain traction in safety planning by metro counties

Counties cutting lanes on busy streets to protect drivers and pedestrians.
The program will develop a plan for phasing out the use of fines and fees, with a goal of presenting an action plan to Ramsey County leaders by the en

Ramsey County joins national effort to reduce reliance on criminal fines

Ramsey County joins Dallas and Nashville in rethinking the impact of its penalties.
A Ramsey County corrections officer is seen in a video punching and kneeing a prisoner who is restrained.

Ramsey County to pay $525K to handcuffed man beaten at jail

Video of the beating by a correctional officer was recorded by a supervisor, and it shows other correctional officers failing to intervene.
A resident walked between buildings at the Loden.

Suburban leaders allowing larger, denser developments in this building boom

Many are skirting development restrictions to meet housing demand.
English teacher Roy Pierson explained an assignment at Boys Totem Town. A group of six young men will be the last class at the facility.

Facilities for troubled youth closing in favor of community-based care

Facilities for troubled youth closing in favor of community-based care
Blake Huffman

Ramsey County to hold special election to fill Blake Huffman's County Board seat

The election will come at a critical time for TCAAP redevelopment, as the county sues Arden Hills to break off joint effort.
St. Paul Expo Elementary School students headed out on a fossil hunt in Lilydale Regional Park in this 2008 photo. When the Brickyard Trail reopens, b

Six years after landslide, restoration of St. Paul's scenic Brickyard Trail nears completion

Parks staffers declined to commit to a reopening date for the Lilydale Regional Park trail but said sometime this year wasn't out of the question.
John Wilgers, president and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way

Greater Twin Cities United Way names John Wilgers new CEO

John Wilgers is a former Ernst & Young managing partner and former United Way board chairman.
The Ramsey County Board accepted Blake Huffman’s resignation.

Ramsey County Board accepts Commissioner Blake Huffman's resignation after investigation of his charity

Board Chairman Jim McDonough said the county was committed to full transparency.
Alatus released this rendering of what the Rice Creek Commons business area may look like as it begins to redevelop the former Twin Cities Army Ammuni

Ramsey County sues Arden Hills over TCAAP agreement

The county is seeking to end a power-sharing agreement that guided the redevelopment of the 427-acre site.
“American steel has come roaring back,” Vice President Mike Pence told steelworkers at Gerdau Ameristeel in St. Paul on Thursday.

In St. Paul, VP Pence talks up new Mexico-Canada trade deal

In response, Democrats criticized the Trump administration as having "done real harm to the health and livelihoods" of Minnesotans, especially farmers.

St. Paul man pleads guilty to killing child during malicious punishment

Alontae Kaypre Butts was charged in the death of Levi Gardent Jr.
Nils and Jan Anderson went door-to-door for the Animal Humane Society — as they have for 45 years — in a Golden Valley neighborhood last week.

Plymouth couple raise $1 million for Animal Humane Society

Nils and Jan Anderson top $1 million for Animal Humane Society the old-school way.
Man charged in fatal drive-by shooting in St. Paul's North End

Man charged in fatal drive-by shooting in St. Paul's North End

A St. Paul man has been charged with murder in the shooting death Saturday of a man in a parking lot in St. Paul’s North…
Katie Hastings, the bird, reptile and mammal manager at SeaQuest Roseville, fed coatimundi babies on Friday, the attraction’s opening day.

SeaQuest at Rosedale opens with more than 100 species, some controversy

SeaQuest opens at Rosedale with more than 100 species and some controversy
Citizen historian Kathleen Jones discovered a photo of Minnesotan Leo Kotchevar on one of her visits to the Minnesota History Center Library. She lear

Dakota County's volunteer sleuths find treasure trove of stories about WWI vets

The south metro Historical Society's first citizen historian project is called "Adopt a WWI Soldier."
May Vang, who babysits her grandkids during the week, got help replacing her lead-coated windows through a Hennepin County program last November.

Old windows the biggest cause of lead poisoning in Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Ramsey and Hennepin counties all have programs to help families.
Todd Olson

Roseville School District paid $115,000 to associate principal who resigned

The settlement bars disclosure of the reasons for the payment, and school officials declined to elaborate.
Former Vice President Walter Mondale

Plan scrapped to place Mondale's name on park on St. Croix River

A proposal to rename one of five state parks on the St. Croix River after former Vice President Walter Mondale has been abandoned after strong opposition from nearby residents.
Lt. Col. Lyndsey Olson, deputy staff judge advocate with the Minnesota National Guard, answered a question Thursday.

Minnesota National Guard received 90 reports of sexual assault in past 5 years

First-ever tally discussed in candid meeting with more than 400.
Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance

No-nonsense judge with prosecutorial experience presides over ex-police officer's murder trial

Judge Kathryn Quaintance, at the helm of the murder trial of a former Minneapolis police officer, is stern but fair, colleagues say.
New solar panels installed on the roof of Roseville City Hall.

Roseville invests in solar power at its City Hall, fire station

The rooftop solar arrays are expected to lower the city's utility bills and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by much as 55 tons a year.
Ivan Dan Walker

Stillwater man sentenced to 30 years for rape, murder of girlfriend at St. Paul home

A Stillwater man who admitted strangling his girlfriend at her St. Paul home last summer, staging the scene to look like a drug overdose and…
Former Minneapolis teacher's license revoked for corporal punishment

Former Minneapolis teacher's license revoked for corporal punishment

Herandez Cortez Evans had been fired in St. Paul for allegedly punching a student.
The St. Paul development would include retail stores, restaurants and 8 acres of terraced public space, much of it green.

Riverfront development plan could redo St. Paul skyline

Ramsey County's chosen developer wants to build an office tower of up to 40 stories on the edge of the Mississippi River bluffs
The Myth in Maplewood, shown in 2013.

Frustrated Maplewood leaders to lay out new rules for Myth nightclub

Failure to follow a new "operational action plan" could result in fines, suspension and revocation of the Myth's liquor license.
Tonya Lennox of Catholic Charities checked on Rai Anderson, 71, who has stable housing for the first time in 10 years.

Twin Cities partnership opening new doors for area's most vulnerable homeless people

St. Paul's most frequent shelter-users get permanent housing.
Myth Nightclub

Maplewood to review safety of Myth nightclub after recent police calls

Police were called to the club five times in one night in March for a shooting, two drug overdoses, a large fight and thefts.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi

Ramsey County prosecutors, police vow to improve sex crimes investigations

Minneapolis authorities announced their own investigative reforms for sexual assaults a day earlier.
Former Falcon Heights Fire Chief Rich Hinrichs, pictured here from the fire department's 2017 annual report.

Former Falcon Heights fire chief released from jail pending further investigation

Rich Hinrichs was fired in March over angry outbursts.
Falcon Heights City Council terminated its Fire Chief Rich Hinrichs, pictured here from the fire department's 2017 annual report.

Ex-Falcon Heights fire chief jailed for alleged terroristic threats

Rich Hinrichs was terminated in March for angry outbursts.

Art teacher, photographer Thorvald Hansen dies at 58

Hansen left behind more than 35,000 images that he photographed during his lifetime and a generation of schoolchildren he influenced with his creative teaching style.
A rendering of the Rice Creek Commons plan. Ramsey County now wants to build as many as 2,500 new houses and apartments on the massive Twin Cities Arm

Ramsey County proposes 2,500 homes on TCAAP site

The proposal is an increase over the more than the 1,460 homes and apartments laid out in a 2016 preliminary master plan.
North St. Paul is advertising its development opportunities along 7th Avenue East.

North St. Paul in building boom, with 400 townhomes, apartments in the works

The cause is partly market forces, partly city initiative spurred by the need to enliven a sleepy downtown, officials said.
The plan would put bodycams on 400 more officers, deputies.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher wants to expedite 'groundbreaking' plan for body camera use

Nearly all 400 deputies and corrections officers could be wearing them, with the rollout to start by late summer.

Ramsey County to declare state of emergency to aid flood fight

The expected declaration will allow fast response to the threat of flooding.
Taressa D. Wilson-Snyder

St. Paul teen charged in fatal hit-and-run

The suspect tried to have his car repaired within hours of the crash, police say. The auto shop owner turned him in.

Man accused of breaking into ex-wife's Shoreview home, preparing 'kidnapping kit'

Nathan James Homme, 39, of Altoona, Wis., with attempted kidnapping and first-degree burglary for the March 13 break-in, which was captured on a home surveillance system.
The former site of the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills, shown in 2011.

Arden Hills refuses to end TCAAP power-sharing

Arden Hills officials accuse Ramsey County of "bullying" them to come to the table.

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.
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