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
In this Aug. 1, 1966 file photo, smoke rises from the sniper's gun as he fired from the tower of the University of Texas administration building in Au

Hamline, Metro State profs create a database to shed light on mass shooters

Minnesota researchers gather facts and dispel myths with the creation of a "Mass Shooter Database"
Two of the four murals in the St. Paul City Council Chambers painted in 1933 by John Norton.

Artists chosen to create new murals for St. Paul council chambers

A diverse group of artists that includes many with Native American and Latino ties was chosen by a community task force organized by the Ramsey County Historical Society.

Judge sets aside prison term, gives man probation for Green Line robbery

The sentence came despite requests from both the prosecutor and victim for an 81-month prison term.
Kenneth Collins, former Maplewood police chief, dies at age 76

Kenneth Collins, former Maplewood police chief, dies at age 76

He was president of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association as well as the first chairman of the gun-control group Citizens for a Safer Minnesota.
Voters cast their ballots Tuesday at the Arlington Hills Community Center in St. Paul, where a question about the city's organized trash collection as

Voters head to polls on issues ranging from trash to schools

Voters across the Twin Cities arrived at the polls at sunrise on Tuesday morning to cast ballots on a variety of local races including school referendums, City Council and county commission seats.
Union Depot Bar and Grill server Molly Ruhoff worked the tables at the new restaurant and bar just after the lunch rush on Aug. 24, 2018 in St. Paul.

Appetite for Change could take over restaurant at Union Depot

Kaskaid Hospitality asks Ramsey County to let nonprofit take over.
Pat Flaherty, owner and manager of Birch Glen Apartments in Maplewood, says Maplewood’s new licensing program will mean higher costs for tenants.

Edina, Maplewood toughen licensing rules for landlords

The suburbs are among those increasing oversight of landlords as cities such as Minneapolis pivot their focus to renter protection.
Larry Cohen, left, shown at a 1974 peace ceremony, was the only person ever to serve as St. Paul mayor, Ramsey County chief judge and County Board cha

Art honoring former St. Paul Mayor Larry Cohen and immigrants to be unveiled downtown

Installations also laud former St. Paul Mayor Larry Cohen's championing of immigrants.

Experts say Ramsey County could eliminate more than $2 million in criminal fines, fees

The consultants from PFM spent months sifting through the county's finances, examining all the ways that people entangled in the criminal justice system are asked to pay.

Police will take vaping devices on Drug Take Back Day

With vaping injuries on the rise, DEA expands its Rx collection event.
Maharaja’s has been in business since 1988, but a four-year battle over sidewalk art is ending in a strong power-washing.

Where the sidewalk art ends: St. Paul removes W. 7th display

The four-year battle is ending in a strong power-washing outside Maharaja's.
Keegan Lund, an aquatic invasive species specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, held up the shell of a native mussel covered i

Zebra mussels discovered in two more Ramsey County lakes

Ten lakes in the county are now infested with the invasive mussel.
Great River Passage Conservancy nonprofit director Mary deLaittre at the St. Paul riverfront.

New nonprofit formed to champion St. Paul's riverfront

Great River Passage Conservancy raises funds to launch three projects.
Safety Signs vice president Jay Blanchard, right, his wife, company president Sue Blanchard, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, laughed as they tried

In Lakeville, Vice President Mike Pence praises 'extraordinary period' of economic prosperity

Pence says Trump's economic policies have helped small businesses like Safety Signs.

Judge bars release of list of former Scout leaders accused of misconduct

The confidential list of 1,500 accused of misconduct was part of a civil case settled in 2014.
Crystal Scott, owner of Java Express inside Union Depot, said events like the European Christmas Market keep her business afloat after quiet days the

St. Paul's Union Depot, transit hub and event center, is fully leased

Seven years after the Union Depot’s pricey renovation, Ramsey County leaders say the building’s $243 million restoration continues to be a wise investment, both for…
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.

Ramsey and Washington county prosecutors want to expunge the records of more low-level offenders

Prosecutors hope to expunge records of some low-level offenders.
Construction was underway on Sept. 11, 2019, on the townhomes at Port Riverwalk in Coon Rapids across from Lili Putt minigolf along Coon Rapids Blvd.

Developers, north metro cities partner to breathe new life into 'Old 10'

Housing, grocery store and other changes transform County Road 10 corridor.
Erik Olson, a driver from Ramsey county, checked his truck during the Roadeo. Minneapolis, Ramsey County and Hennepin County practiced complicated sno

It's September, but metro snowplow drivers are getting ready for winter

About 50 new drivers practiced their skills before the snow flies.

Ramsey County chosen to study how to reduce probation violations

It's among 10 jurisdictions across U.S. investigating how to tackle the problem.
The Gate 4 entrance to the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant.

Ramsey County's TCAAP site hits milestone with partial removal from Superfund list

Move means county can move forward on plans to develop housing.
In April, Maplewood officials ordered Myth managers to comply with an action plan drafted by Police Chief Scott Nadeau after a spate of violent episod

Myth nightclub suing Maplewood over city plan it says would threaten its business

It came after a heightened number of police calls that led the City Council to step in.

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.