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Tony Kennedy

Reporter | Outdoors
phone: 612-673-4213
Tony Kennedy covers the outdoors for the Star Tribune. Previously he had been an investigative reporter since 2002, starting with a probe of the plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone. His work includes a 2012 collection of stories on executive compensation at the University of Minnesota; a four-part series on judicial penalties against BNSF Corp.; and an examination of factors leading to the collapse of the I-35W Bridge.
Recent content from Tony Kennedy
Dec. 4, 2015: DNR tweaks strategy to boost elk population, retain hunting

Dec. 4, 2015: DNR tweaks strategy to boost elk population, retain hunting

Three herds in northwestern Minnesota total about 130 elk; hunting has been allowed under tight restrictions.
Stopping for a 'cold one' takes on new meaning on Lake of the Woods

Stopping for a 'cold one' takes on new meaning on Lake of the Woods

Anglers in the lobby of Zippel Bay Resort want to know where walleyes are biting — and whether the Igloo Bar is for real. The answer lies nearly 2 miles from shore on Lake of the Woods.
Proposed field station in Mille Lacs to focus on walleye management in lake

Proposed field station in Mille Lacs to focus on walleye management in lake

Facility would oversee walleye at a lake hurt by low numbers.
Lake of the Woods legend recalls early years of ice angling

Lake of the Woods legend recalls early years of ice angling

Resourceful Lake of the Woods resort owners came to embrace winter anglers
Private ditches seen as 'small portion' of farm drainage

Private ditches seen as 'small portion' of farm drainage

Gov. Mark Dayton's reluctant decision last week to exclude private ditches from buffer strip mapping was an obvious setback to his hard-fought 2015 water-quality law.

Ice fishermen flocking to fish at Courthouse Lake in Chaska

Chaska's Courthouse Lake is continuing to draw trout anglers more than a week after the 10-acre fishing hole drew a crowd on the opening day of winter trout season.
Minnesota considers elk management plan

Minnesota considers elk management plan

Backers of a reintroduction project see it as restoring part of Minnesota's wildlife heritage
Field report: Snowmobile trails are recovering in northern Minnesota

Field report: Snowmobile trails are recovering in northern Minnesota

The North Shore State Trail has bounced back from rough start.
Custom paddle board maker takes talents to Minneapolis Boat Show

Custom paddle board maker takes talents to Minneapolis Boat Show

Shore Boards owner Tim Shore saw the paddle board craze and began handcrafting wood models
Lake associations flex muscles over muskie infusion

Lake associations flex muscles over muskie infusion

Opponents railing against long-range DNR plan to spread species to chains.
Sportsmen's Show is ready for its run at St. Paul RiverCentre

Sportsmen's Show is ready for its run at St. Paul RiverCentre

St. Paul's RiverCentre will open Thursday to the 46th annual Minnesota Sportsmen's Show for fishing, hunting, boating, camping and family vacations.
DNR roundtable to focus on variety of wildlife conservation issues

DNR roundtable to focus on variety of wildlife conservation issues

Scarcity of some baitfish in Lake Mille Lacs and the dynamics of how aquatic invasive species contribute to the Mille Lacs walleye crisis will take center stage Friday morning when the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) launches its annual roundtable with outdoors stakeholders.
New regulations offer turkey hunters a second shot

New regulations offer turkey hunters a second shot

The one-bird bag limit stays, but the empty-handed can try again.
DNR's new deer, elk and moose manager facing big job

DNR's new deer, elk and moose manager facing big job

Adam Murkowski will deal with the state audit on his agency's deer management programs and a controversial elk management plan.
Delayed first ice is nice for anglers

Delayed first ice is nice for anglers

Ice fishermen could hardly wait this winter to cut holes and resume their annual traditions
Otter Tail County Board asks DNR to delay stocking of muskies

Otter Tail County Board asks DNR to delay stocking of muskies

Commissioners worry other fish might be harmed.
Outdoors headliners: the stories of the year

Outdoors headliners: the stories of the year

A pheasant plan was made, a buffer bill passed. But Mille Lacs was the year's top outdoors story.
Bird feeding taking wing by the million in Minnesota

Bird feeding taking wing by the million in Minnesota

According to the latest estimate by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at least 25 percent of Minnesotans — more than 1 million people — feed birds.

After hatchery by Altura closes, two Wisconsin facilities to stock trout in Minnesota

Disease closed hatchery by Altura; it won't be viable for at least three years.

Early ice fishing good on Upper Red Lake

While there's still open water on the south end of Upper Red Lake, 4 to 7 inches of ice in other areas have tempted some anglers to venture out on four-wheelers.
Bigger, better buffers the target of proposed $800 million, five-year program

Bigger, better buffers the target of proposed $800 million, five-year program

Its purpose is to simultaneously address water pollution and make up for lost wildlife habitat in 54 counties in southern and western Minnesota.
Q&A: DNR commissioner is proud of inroads made

Q&A: DNR commissioner is proud of inroads made

Tom Landwehr, a waterfowl biologist who was hired by the state Department of Natural Resources in 1982, is entering his sixth year as the agency's top gun.
Winter's late, but options for fishermen, hunters abound

Winter's late, but options for fishermen, hunters abound

There's North Shore fishing, walleyes by Red Wing, and grouse, pheasant, deer and goose hunting.
In Minnesota's farm country, clean water is costly

In Minnesota's farm country, clean water is costly

Ag runoff is costly pollutant, but safe practices can help.

Delayed ice freezes up Minnesota's winter fishing season

It's too warm even in Minnesota's winter hot spots.
Mille Lacs produces second monster muskie in 17 days

Mille Lacs produces second monster muskie in 17 days

The catch on Thanksgiving eve of a beastly muskie, estimated at 61 pounds by Dominic Hoyos of Stillwater, eclipsed the possible world record fly-fishing muskie caught by Robert Hawkins just 16 days earlier, also on Mille Lacs.
Venison lovers must hunt for carcass processors as options dwindle

Venison lovers must hunt for carcass processors as options dwindle

Chronic wasting disease spurred a shift away from the whole-carcass trade.
Obituary: Faith Lowell, admired landscape painter and mentor to St. Paul artists

Obituary: Faith Lowell, admired landscape painter and mentor to St. Paul artists

She reveled in the outdoors and loved painting it.

State deer hunting improving from disappointing past years

With more shooting opportunities still to go, mild weather and a larger deer herd have contributed to a 13 percent overall increase in Minnesota's whitetail harvest.
Wisconsin expects larger deer firearms harvest despite ailing population

Wisconsin expects larger deer firearms harvest despite ailing population

Wisconsin, battling issues within the deer herd, still expects 'a really nice year'
Dayton lauds community monitoring of mine in Michigan

Dayton lauds community monitoring of mine in Michigan

The governor says environmental oversight by a local foundation could be a model if PolyMet plan proceeds.
'Momentous' decision at stake as Dayton tours mine sites

'Momentous' decision at stake as Dayton tours mine sites

Dayton will visit two operations, chosen by opposing advocacy groups on PolyMet, to show the best and worst environmental consequences of modern mining.
Fall fishing trip offers the right amount of bite

Fall fishing trip offers the right amount of bite

Crisp air, plenty of walleye made for quite the memory.
R.D. Offutt's pines-to-potatoes plan is scaled back in compromise with Minnesota DNR

R.D. Offutt's pines-to-potatoes plan is scaled back in compromise with Minnesota DNR

Deal is designed to protect groundwater and forests.

Minn. Confederate flag defenders' planned Capitol protest fizzles

But counter-protesters gathered anyway.
DNR issues citations after treaty rights challenge on Gull Lake

DNR issues citations after treaty rights challenge on Gull Lake

A treaty rights challenge by tribal members regarding wild rice harvesting broadened into a confrontation over netting on nearby Gull Lake, where two band members were issued citations.
Wild rice protest defused Thursday, may be revived Friday

Wild rice protest defused Thursday, may be revived Friday

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources defused a confrontation with Chippewa band members Thursday by issuing an unrequested one-day, special permit to harvest wild rice. But band members said the temporary move won't settle the treaty rights issue.
Obituary: Hockey star, sports buff Wade Wallen helped others with Huntington's disease

Obituary: Hockey star, sports buff Wade Wallen helped others with Huntington's disease

Huntington’s disease took its toll on Wade Wallen over the course of more than 12 years, leaving the former Bloomington Jefferson High School hockey star…
Wild rice showdown looms in northern Minnesota

Wild rice showdown looms in northern Minnesota

Chippewa band members push for off-reservation rights in 1855 Treaty territory.
Monarch butterfly rescue effort receives $20 million boost

Monarch butterfly rescue effort receives $20 million boost

Federal initiative follows a previously announced push by the White House.

Wisconsin county settles with frac sand firm over road damage

In an issue vexing many communities, Pepin County will get $480,334.
Green scum and fish kills have Albert Lea on edge

Green scum and fish kills have Albert Lea on edge

A revitalization of the area's waters will require reduced use of chemicals that seep off fields into local rivers and lakes, state officials say. But that argument is fueling sharp debate.
Judge denies media access to meeting on MN sex offenders

Judge denies media access to meeting on MN sex offenders

A federal judge has declined requests by the Star Tribune, New York Times and others to open the doors on a courthouse conference next week that he hopes will produce reforms of the troubled Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

Large fish kill in southern Minnesota trout stream is under investigation

State wildlife officials are investigating a large fish kill in southern Minnesota, along a designated trout stream on the South Branch Whitewater River just upstream…
Misconduct allegations 'dumbfounded' Nienstedt

Misconduct allegations 'dumbfounded' Nienstedt

The former archbishop denies allegations of personal misconduct that emerged last year during an internal church investigation of his behavior — a report that the archdiocese now is considering making public.
Wasps deployed in a sting operation against emerald ash borer

Wasps deployed in a sting operation against emerald ash borer

The beetle bandit wasp can help find infestations.
In farm country, tainted water is 'just the way it is'

In farm country, tainted water is 'just the way it is'

As costs climb to treat water, neighbors avoid blaming farmers.
Nienstedt accused of retaliating over rejected advance

Nienstedt accused of retaliating over rejected advance

A man who once studied under John Nienstedt to become a Catholic priest told investigators that Nienstedt made a sexual advance toward him and then expelled him from the seminary after being rebuffed.

After feedlot feud, a Minnesota citizens' board may bite the dust

After feedlot feud, Pollution Control Agency's board became a lightning rod for agribusiness, GOP.

Nitrates from agriculture a 'growing threat' to Minnesota drinking water

Annual drinking water survey says supplies are safe overall, but finds need for prevention and vigilance.
Half of S. Minn. waters found too polluted for safe swimming, fishing

Half of S. Minn. waters found too polluted for safe swimming, fishing

Pollution pervasive in southern Minnesota, and growing worse, but waters in the state's central and northeast regions are much cleaner.
Tainted drinking water costs Minn. taxpayers millions

Tainted drinking water costs Minn. taxpayers millions

Randall's water emergency is the latest sign of an environmental problem in Minnesota. Nitrogen fertilizer is leaching into groundwater from farm fields, contaminating wells and costing taxpayers millions.

April 2: Small Minn. town's drinking water crisis highlights larger problem for state

High nitrate levels in Adrian, Minn., and several nearby towns are making water unsafe for babies, pregnant women.
Obituary: Ole Hage, proud concrete craftsman, kept it simple

Obituary: Ole Hage, proud concrete craftsman, kept it simple

The hands-on owner of Hage Concrete Works wanted to experience at least one more season of bidding jobs, making new friends and assisting his crews, but he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on March 17 at age 74.

Southern Minnesota farmer asks: Who's minding the feedlots?

Those regulating feedlots have ties to them, drawing lawsuits.

State sweep targets southern Minnesota farm wells

State steps up efforts to make sure excess water isn't being drawn, especially by livestock industry.
Standoff over huge Minn. dairy opens new chapter in feedlot battle

Standoff over huge Minn. dairy opens new chapter in feedlot battle

Common to the battles is a concern that the feedlots will deplete local groundwater, spill manure into waterways and produce odors that spoil rural living.
Rules for sand mine companies are melting under pressure

Rules for sand mine companies are melting under pressure

Miining companies are leveraging jobs and money to exert their will in the small communities of southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, where a sand rush has led to the permitting of more than 100 facilities in the past four years.
Feb. 6: DNR halts pines-to-potatoes conversion in central Minnesota

Feb. 6: DNR halts pines-to-potatoes conversion in central Minnesota

Study could take up to a year and will look at potential threats to groundwater

Minnesota frac sand project, stalled by environmental issue, resurfaces

Minnesota Sands makes $130K payment to fund environmental impact statement.
Bankruptcy case brings financial fears for Catholic schools

Bankruptcy case brings financial fears for Catholic schools

Institutions hope troubles of archdiocese don't impact them.

Sleepy Eye moose died from brain worm infection

Brain worm infection caused a young moose to wander far south of its normal range late last year, where it died on a farmstead near…
In protecting wolves, advocates seek middle ground

In protecting wolves, advocates seek middle ground

They worry that a court decision made in December will trigger a backlash in Congress.
Twin Cities Catholics brace for archdiocese bankruptcy fallout

Twin Cities Catholics brace for archdiocese bankruptcy fallout

Twin Cities Catholics going to mass this weekend saw something waiting for them along with the bulletins and hymnals — fliers explaining their church's bankruptcy.
Archdiocese weighs bankruptcy, cites costs of sex abuse cases

Archdiocese weighs bankruptcy, cites costs of sex abuse cases

The report in the Catholic Spirit online newspaper says litigation claims are expected to grow beyond the $5.3 million the chancery has reserved for them. Only two cases have been settled so far.
Former archdiocese official vouched for accused priest

Former archdiocese official vouched for accused priest

Ex-vicar general helped out despite Rev. Michael Keating's record of abuse allegations.
Jan. 2014: Doubts shadowed St. Thomas priest on the rise

Jan. 2014: Doubts shadowed St. Thomas priest on the rise

Documents show the Rev. Michael Keating's career was advancing as investigators gathered information about alleged improprieties.
Oct. 15, 2013: Twin Cities woman sues Keating

Oct. 15, 2013: Twin Cities woman sues Keating

The Rev. Michael J. Keating, 57, a University of St. Thomas professor, has been accused of sexual contact with a 13-year-old Twin Cities girl more than a decade ago, and of then giving her his car when she confronted him about the incidents eight years later.
Minnesota invasive species effort hits resistance before it begins

Minnesota invasive species effort hits resistance before it begins

An effort going into effect this summer already is facing a repeal effort.
Flu outbreaks soared in Minnesota schools before winter break

Flu outbreaks soared in Minnesota schools before winter break

One child died during the week, the third such flu-related death of the season among Minnesotans under 18. Last year's influenza season produced no flu-related deaths among Minnesota kids.
Aitkin County gets swamped by state wetlands rules

Aitkin County gets swamped by state wetlands rules

In an unintended consequence of a state law, 65 percent of Aitkin County is covered in wetlands, largely to accommodate mine expansions to the north.
U.S. court rules gray wolf hunts in Great Lakes states illegal

U.S. court rules gray wolf hunts in Great Lakes states illegal

Returning the wolf to "endangered" status ends three years of hunting in the region.
Obituary: Journalist, free-speech advocate Richard Kleeman loved to play with language

Obituary: Journalist, free-speech advocate Richard Kleeman loved to play with language

Living-room Scrabble games were vicious in the Kleeman home, where Dick Kleeman taught his children to love writing and language. An education and political reporter…
July 30: Portion of investigation of Nienstedt is complete

July 30: Portion of investigation of Nienstedt is complete

The archdiocese commissioned the investigation in an effort to address accusations received by the chancery as Nienstedt fended off mounting criticism over the church's handling of other sexual misconduct cases.
Giant S.D. dairy farm threatens revived Minn. border lake town

Giant S.D. dairy farm threatens revived Minn. border lake town

Leaders of Hendricks, Minn., say the efforts to clean up their lake are threatened by a giant 4,000-cow dairy farm proposed just across the border in South Dakota, on top of the area's highest hill.
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