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
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.
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.
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