Staff Directory 6370429

Allie Shah

Deputy editor | Local
Phone: 612-673-4488

Allie Shah is deputy local editor. She previously supervised coverage of K-12 and higher education issues in Minnesota. In her more than 20 year journalism career at the Star Tribune, Shah has reported on topics ranging from education to immigration and health.

Shah has also written for the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work has been recognized by Columbia University's School of Journalism, the South Asian Journalists Association, and the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists. A native of Iowa, she graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Recent content from Allie Shah
Ceallaigh Anderson Smart’s photos are cherished gifts to those she meets, many of whom don’t have a single photograph of themselves.

Robbinsdale woman travels to the world's poorest countries, bearing one simple gift

Ceallaigh Anderson Smart runs a charity with an unusual focus: traveling to impoverished countries to make photo portraits of people who don't have any pictures of their own.
Sol Sisters Katherine, left, and Sue York gave Evan Hungerbuhler, 18, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, some tips on using the SunSp

Duluth sisters want to help you fight the winter blues – on a bus

The Sol Sisters treat sun-starved Minnesotans to a dose of warm light.
The sound of Bob Ross' baritone voice and his paintbrush made him an accidental pioneer of ASMR.

Scientists have found out why voices like Bob Ross' is so soothing

Read this story in a hushed tone to see if it evokes the brain-tingling sensation known as ASMR.
Maya Peterson, 15, young investor and author

Look out, Warren Buffett — Minnesota teen writes book on investing

Maya Peterson was only 9 years old when she sold one of her beloved American Girl dolls and used that money to buy stock in…
Kids (and some adults) love eating snow. But should you?

Ice cream made out of snow turns a cold shoulder to safety concerns

Do snowflakes pack a hidden punch from toxic pollutants?
Dr. Kate Shafto and students Gretchen Klefstad, McKenna Campbell-Potter and Leo Howard prepared greens in a Food Matters for Health Professionals clas

At the U, future doctors and nurses learning to treat patients with food

Taught by a doctor and a chef, U class focuses on better health through healthier eating.
Ruth Fingerson demonstrated a time-travel concept with a piece of paper during discussion of “A Wrinkle in Time” at Summit Place in Eden Prairie.

Twin Cities book clubs are having a 'senior' moment

Reading and socializing may help reduce the health risks of social isolation, making book clubs a hit with Minnesotans in senior homes.
Reilona McVai as Albus Dumbledore and Gail Mason as Minerva McGonagall posed for a portrait with the sorting hat in the Great Hall.

Full-scale Hogwarts comes to life for Harry Potter fans in Minnetonka

You can tour the ultimate Harry Potter experience created by a Minnetonka business owner for her daughter's college graduation.
Emma Kopp gave her friend, Madie Ley, a stick-and-poke tattoo with the words GRLPWR. Kopp gave herself a matching one.

Despite major risks, Minnesota teens embracing DIY tattoos

Hand-poked body art is going mainstream, worrying health experts.
Mary Chismar Sweeney

Robbinsdale nurse heads to beloved Puerto Rico to help after hurricane

"My heart was getting pulled," said the former Broadway dancer, who has traveled often to the island. "I thought, 'I've got to do something.' "
300 dpi 4 col x 9.4 in / 196x239 mm / 667x812 pixels Rick Nease color illustration of magnified eye spying from within a home computer. Detroit Free P

For parents, monitoring their kids online raises all sorts of conflicting feelings

Most parents monitor teens' digital lives, but where does it become an invasion of privacy?
Would you trade in your Halloween candy for veggies?

Minnesota dentists will donate your Halloween candy to U.S. troops, give you voucher for veggies

HealthPartners' annual candy exchange aims to set record.
Alex Farchmin celebrated with his sons, Eian, 13, left, and Owen, 11, after he graduated from the Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge treatment program i

In opioid epidemic, children are becoming the unseen victims

Many kids of addicted parents have been orphaned or sent to live in foster homes or with relatives. Those who stay at home must fend for themselves.
Sharon Day has led more than a dozen “water walks” to raise awareness about water pollution; this one is on Spirit Island near Lake Superior.

Minnesota 'water walker' hopes to save waterways from contamination

Every step is a prayer for an Ojibwe woman who leads "water walks" to call attention to pollution in rivers, lakes and oceans.
Sasha Houston Brown, center, battled for the ball during an evening of the Creator’s game, which closely resembles lacrosse, in a Minneapolis park.

Minnesota's Native American health advocates use old games as new cures for obesity

Two local Native Americans are leaders in a grass-roots movement to improve Native health by reviving the active ways of their ancestors.

Thomas Vennum Jr., who helped document Ojibwe music, dies at 82

From an early age, music and Madeline Island figured prominently in the life of Thomas Vennum Jr. As a student at Blake School, he played…
Two Minnesota doctors on the front lines of the opioid epidemic describe the telltale warning signs of addiction to prescription painkillers.

Five signs of prescription drug abuse

Two Minnesota doctors on the front lines of the opioid epidemic describe the telltale warning signs of addiction to prescription painkillers.
Ladibugs manager Christina Doran treated a client with an AirAllé device, which uses air hot enough to kill lice but not burn the patient.

Heads up: The hottest way to treat lice catches on in Minnesota

One way to get rid of a louse-y problem is to heat the critters until they dry out. Concerns about chemical-resistant "super lice" are increasing demand for this method.
Parental angst over HPV vaccine leads to fewer Minnesotans getting the shot

Parental angst over HPV vaccine leads to fewer Minnesotans getting the shot

Despite exhortations about reducing cancer, many parents remain hesitant about HPV vaccine.
Halima Aden has her makeup done for the Miss Minnesota USA pageant last year.

Minnesota's pioneering Muslim model featured in new Nike ad campaign

The 19-year-old who has challenged attitudes about the wearing of hijabs has broken yet another barrier — this time appearing in a new Nike ad campaign for a sneaker.

Minneapolis father-daughter team tackle teens and tech use

A father-daughter research team offers guidance for parenting teens in the digital age.
Eclipse watchers look into the sun from downtown Minneapolis.

A day later, eclipse watchers ask: Did I hurt my eyes?

Symptoms of eye damage from the sun include blurriness and spotty vision.
Artist Annie Young has her first solo exhibit at the Ames Center in Burnsville.

Blind Minnesota painter's art created from her 'mind's eye'

Sounds, smells and memories inspire a Burnsville artist's vivid paintings, now on display.
Blowing out candles causes a spike in bacteria on cake.

Icky truth: Blowing out birthday candles causes huge spike in bacteria on cake

Blowing out birthday candles causes an astronomical increase in bacteria covering the cake, a new study says.

What to look for in a personal trainer

Tips on how to find a trainer that fits your needs.
Lily Collins stars in "To The Bone."

Brave or dangerous? Graphic anorexia images in Netflix's 'To the Bone' spark debate

"To the Bone" fuels debate over whether graphic portrayal of eating disorders is safe for young viewers.
Caitlin Singh, a first-time mom from Minneapolis, with her baby, Ganeev.

New U of M project to limit C-sections is showing success

New project at the University of Minnesota aims to reduce the rate of C-section births among first-time moms.
Almost 3% of state teens identify as transgender or gender nonconforming

Almost 3% of state teens identify as transgender or gender nonconforming

"It is much higher than what I was expecting," said the study's lead researcher at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Soft ice cream with sprinkles

Why we get brain freeze when eating ice cream — and tips for avoiding it

We all scream for ice cream, but sometimes snarfing down a cold treat in a hurry makes us scream — in agony.
Fresh Approach: Jocelyn Steinke, who has ditched dieting and believes weight is not the only measure of good health, climbed stairs for exercise at Mi

Overweight Minnesotans are among those who are ditching the diet

Fewer people are trying to lose weight amid a backlash against dieting and growing acceptance of being fat.
Carl Kroening in 1981.

Carl Kroening, staunch supporter of Minneapolis schools and parks, dies at 89

The longtime Minneapolis educator and legislator died June 29 at the University of Minnesota Medical Center following a stroke, said his daughter.
A deer tick.

Tick alarmism is overstated in Minnesota, experts reassure

Warnings about an explosion in tick populations didn't pan out here.
The art of deep relaxation is growing, popping up in yoga studios and some hospitals. At left, Matt and Paige Wildenauer at Healing Elements in St. Pa

Deep relaxation is the hot remedy for preventing and curing symptoms of stress

Deep relaxation is hot as a remedy for pain, anxiety and other symptoms of modern life stress.
Sisters Cristina McNamara and Leila Rodriguez.

Sisters offer fitness classes in Spanish at new Twin Cities studio

Language and cultural issues, as well as cost, created a barrier to fitness the two sisters wanted to break.
Before visiting your doctor, it’s best to prepare an inquisitive set of questions.

10 things you should ask your doctor on your next visit

On average, doctors spend a mere 13 to 16 minutes per patient. Here's how to set the agenda for which health issues to cover during your appointment.
A biting mosquito is one of the five bugs to watch out for this summer.

5 nasty Minnesota bugs to watch out for this summer

As Minnesotans, we pine for summer all winter, but we're not the only ones emerging from hibernation. To help you survive the season of bugs, here are five nasty ones to watch out for this summer.
Dan Dailey

Dan Dailey, who helped establish Cedar Lake Park and trail, dies at 68

His efforts to establish Cedar Lake Park contributed to the creation in 1995 of the pioneering Cedar Lake Trail.
Artist Greg Preslicka volunteered to paint murals on bedroom walls of the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery.

Minnesota mural artist pictures a bright future for kids in crisis

Savage artist aims to cheer up children with vibrant murals.
Anthony and Amy Ongaro with their dog, Rocky, in their south Minneapolis home. .

No couch, one car: How these Minnesotans are living with less

The minimalist revolution has led some Minnesotans to shed possessions and embrace a no-frills life.
Laila Ali has a wellness website and podcast.

Ex-boxer Laila Ali fights for a new cause: Healthy living

The daughter of the late boxing legend pulls no punches with her latest venture — a podcast on health.
Does the essential-oil trend pass the smell test with Minnesota hospitals?

Does the essential-oil trend pass the smell test with Minnesota hospitals?

Essential oils are a hot item in today's holistic healing world — touted as a natural way to improve your mood, ward off sickness and treat ailments such as arthritis, dry skin and allergies.
Mayo Clinic pediatric cardiologist Dr. Allison Cabalka and her husband, Jeff Cabalka, visited former patient Rodrigo and his parents in Bolivia.

Mayo doctor performs 'life-changing' work on kids all over the world

Seeing lives transformed by surgery is the reward for doctor who volunteers for the Children's Heart Project.
Halima Aden, 19, cleaned a room at St. Cloud Hospital. “I’m proud of my modeling job, but I’m also proud of this job and that this was my start.

Minn. Somali model walks runways in Milan — and cleans rooms in St. Cloud

No matter how incongruous the notion of a model moonlighting as a housekeeper may seem, to Minnesota's Halima Aden, 19, there's nothing at all unusual about it. Both are part of who she is.
Inside 'Little Mogadishu,' the Somali capital of America

Inside 'Little Mogadishu,' the Somali capital of America

The Cedar-Riverside area has long been a magnet for new arrivals. Today, it's mainly East Africans breathing new life into it.
Dr. Deb Thorp, medical director of the Park Nicollet Gender Services Clinic in Minneapolis, is taking part in a rare national conference next week to

Minnesota medical professionals work to close health gaps for LGBT patients

Minnesota medical professionals are working to overcome "transphobia."
Cover your mouth: These images of a sneeze, captured on video by MIT researchers, show the evolution of a turbulent puff cloud that suspends droplets

Achoo! The distance germs can travel is nothing to sneeze at

Stand back – way back. Super slo-mo of a sneeze reveals that the germs travel a lot farther than had been thought.
Daisy Duarte held the hand of her mother, Sonia.

Aging boomers, lack of funding for Alzheimer's may lead to 'major social and economic crisis'

TPT documentary aims national spotlight on looming Alzheimer's "epidemic" and its financial and emotional toll on families.
Richard and Mason McDeid took a selfie before the Helmet concert. After the show, the band’s guitarist gave Mason a set list and pick, adding to his

500 bands in 365 days: Minn. father, son bond on heavy metal mission

A 21-year-old Maple Grove man with cerebral palsy wanted to see 500 rock bands in 365 days. His dad made it happen.
To stay fit during cold weather, embrace winter sports such as cross-country skiing. Lake Superior provided a nice backdrop for this couple.

5 tips to get off the couch and start moving in winter

Here's how to resist the urge to hibernate and binge-watch until spring.
The Rev. William Rhodes Brice

Obituary: The Rev. William Brice, veteran and civil rights activist, dies at 91

When it came to fighting for justice, the Rev. William Rhodes Brice was never a bystander. In fact, he preferred to be on the front…
The infared sauna at Awaken wellness spa.

Blue about the cold? St. Paul spa offers way to get warm with infrared saunas

Trendy spa treatment creates light rays that produce heat.
Randy Adamsick put a plea on Facebook that he needed a kidney.

Kidney donation gives old friends from Minn. film industry 'amazing bond'

These two men hadn't spoken in 20 years, but when one of them needed a kidney, the other gave his friend the gift of life.
Mingo players conferred with each other as five of hearts was called while they played Saturday afternoon at Thompson Hall. ] (AARON LAVINSKY/STAR TRI

At 100-year-old St. Paul club for the deaf, 'your friends are all here'

St. Paul's 100-year-old Deaf Club still draws a crowd but fights to attract younger folks.
Cheryl Forberg, the nutritionist for the controversial TV show “The Biggest Loser.” A Minnesota native, she has written a book offering advice on

'Biggest Loser' nutritionist, a St. Paul native, says not to skip meals

Don't try to imitate contestants' dramatic results, Cheryl Forberg says.
Dawn Swanson at home with her dog CJ, who also has seizures, in Plymouth.

Minn. doctor pushing for cannabis for canines to treat seizures

Dogs have higher rates of epilepsy than humans do, and Leppik believes a cannabis pill could do for canines what it's done for humans.
Frozen yogurt

Definition of 'healthy' food gets a makeover

It's no shock that some of these foods are considered healthful and others are not. Can you figure out which are which? Be ready to be surprised.
How much screen time is healthy for kids? The American Academy of Pediatrics just updated its recommendations - including for the first time OKing scr

Hold the phone: Doctors OK screen time for kids under 2 (with limits)

For the first time, the nation’s largest pediatricians’ group is saying it’s OK to allow children younger than two to be exposed to television, tablet…
TV watching linked to higher levels of belly fat, a University of Minnesota study shows.

Belly up to the TV: Binge watching could lead to more stomach fat

Binge watchers, you may want to hit the pause button for this: watching TV has been linked to more belly fat — even for people who exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
Herbal supplements at a Target in New York, Jan. 28, 2015.

We still love our dietary supplements even though they might not help

Use of supplements — including vitamins, minerals and herbs — has become a $32 billion industry.
Can playing Pokemon go make you live longer? A Stanford University study found the game added144 billion steps to Americans’ physical activity, incr

Can playing 'Pokemon Go' make you live longer?

"Pokémon Go" fanatics, rejoice! Your collection addiction may pay off in the long run, in the form of a longer life.
Remember this: brain game claims can't be proven, study says

Remember this: brain game claims can't be proven, study says

An exhaustive review of published studies on brain-training products incuding Lumosity, CogniFit and BrainHQ tests whether brain games can make you smarter.
That euphoric feeling many people get from running, aka “runner’s high,” may be triggered not by endorphins but by marijuana-like chemicals in t

What causes runner's high? Scientists are still chasing after the answer

For many of the runners in this weekend's Twin Cities Marathon, the reward for pushing themselves during the race will extend beyond the finish line in the form of a hidden perk: runner's high.
Cat-scratch disease can be more serious than previously thought, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Playing with your cat could be hazardous to your health

Warning: Playing with your cat could be hazardous to your health. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s…
Getting a flu shot can be scary and painful for kids.

Missing mist? How to help your kids handle the flu shot

Parents are scrambling to deal with children's fear of shots now that doctors say to avoid the nasal spray.

Hospitals still overusing antibiotics, feds say

Amid rising fears about "superbugs" that are resisitant to antibiotics, hospitals are still overusing antibiotics to treat patients.
Nearly 85 percent of caregivers made one or more dosing errors when giving medicine to children, according to a new study in the journal, Pediatrics.

Study: Ditch spoon or risk giving your kids wrong amount of medicine

Doctors are urging parents to ditch the spoon in favor of an oral syringe to measure medicine for young children, arguing that using spoons often…
The rapper K'naan was met Saturday with a hostile reaction to his TV project. The Somali artist says he’ll “represent my people in a true light.�

'Mogadishu, Minnesota' HBO series stokes hopes and fears in Minneapolis

Heated debate over a TV pilot for the series reached a boiling point at the West Bank Block Party, when a protest ended with arrests and police pepper-spraying the crowd.
Fitness trackers, from left, Basis Peak, Adidas Fit Smart, Fitbit Charge, Sony SmartBand, and Jawbone Move. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Why people quit their Fitbits

Once embraced with enthusiasm and worn with pride, fitness trackers are now winding up in the bottom of a drawer months later.
John Hodowanic

Obituary: John Hodowanic, 86, past president of the World Press Institute

John Hodowanic never did anything halfway. The former editor of Twin Cities magazine and president of the World Press Institute threw himself into every job…
Pre-schoolers who had early bedtimes were less likely to be obese as adolescents, according to a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Later bedtimes for tots can lead to weight problems as teens

Benjamin Franklin may have been on to something when he prescribed "early to bed" for better health.
Despite increases in education and awareness of concussion dangers, many athletes continue to play with signs and symptoms of a sport-related concussi

Playing through concussion doubles recovery time, new study shows

Playing through the pain of a concussion doubles your recovery time. It also could lead to more severe symptoms, according to new research.
Bonnie Olson participated in a yoga class for people with Parkinson’s disease at Tarana Yoga Studio. At top, Amy Samson-Burke led the class.

Om power: Minnesota study looking at yoga's ability to offset Parkinson's symptoms

Can yoga help ease Parkinson's disease symptoms? A University of Minnesota researcher aims to find out.
Craving one more cup? The desire for more or less coffee may be embedded in our genes, a new study says. (Erika Schultz/Seattle Times/TNS)

Coffee craving may be hard-wired to genes, research says

If you’re reading this while sipping your second — or more — cup of coffee today, blame it on your genes. Scientists say they’ve identified…
The American Heart Association is recommending that children, ages 2 to18, should consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugars in their daily di

Not so sweet news: Doctors set new limits for kids' sugar intake

A group of heart doctors is calling on parents to stop indulging children's sweet tooths by curbing the amount of added sugars in their kids' diets.
Nissa Valdez completed 300 hours of training to become an oncology massage therapist.

Minneapolis massage therapist offers soothing touch to clients with cancer

Minneapolis massage therapist offers free services with a goal of relaxation and a supported immune system.