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Baird Helgeson

Deputy editor | Local
Phone: 612-673-7193

Baird Helgeson is deputy local editor at the Star Tribune. He helps supervise coverage of local news. Before becoming an editor, he was an award-winning reporter who covered state government and politics. He has worked for news organizations in Minnesota, Florida and North Dakota.

A native of Minneapolis, Helgeson lives with his wife and their two young boys in St. Paul. He is a graduate from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in print journalism. He is an occasional golfer, a slow jogger and an avid fly angler.
Recent content from Baird Helgeson

Morning Hot Dish: Labor's revenge

The Star Tribune's morning political newsletter
Senate DFLers to ask for special session on health insurance rates

Senate DFLers to ask for special session on health insurance rates

Senate DFLers want to act fast before the new higher premiums take effect in January.

Obama calls Dayton after St. Cloud attack

President offers assistance after nine people stabbed in a St. Cloud mall.

Paulsen condemns Trump's comments after criticism

DCCC criticized Paulsen for not joining veteran groups in denouncing Trump's comments about family of soldier killed in Iraq
Gov. Mark Dayton

Dayton: Clinton 'dedicated her life to serving the needs of others'

Gov. Mark Dayton addressed the crowd at the DNC

Fitch lifts Minnesota to top credit rating

Rating increase reflects state's economy, budget reserves, financial health

Klobuchar to get second speaking turn at DNC

Klobuchar will talk about bringing orphans to their adoptive families in Minnesota after Haiti earthquake

Morning Hot Dish: Can Clinton hit the high bar tonight?

Philly Day Four
Former Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., waits before asking that Hillary Clinton become the unanimous choice for Preside

Dayton, Ellison ask Sanders' delegates to work for Clinton

Gov. Mark Dayton and Rep. Keith Ellison spoke to a breakfast for delegates from Minnesota and Tennessee at the Democratic National Convention and implored backers of Sen. Bernie Sanders to work for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats down the ballot.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

Klobuchar touts Clinton's work against human trafficking

The Minnesota senator used a high-profile slot at the DNC to praise Democratic nominee.

Morning Hot Dish: 'It was quite a night for Minnesota'

Philly Day Two

Morning Hot Dish: Will Sanders and Clinton play nice?

The newsletter is live from the Democratic National Convention

Morning Hot Dish: 'Vote your conscience'

Cleveland Day Four

Morning Hot Dish newsletter

Cleveland Day Two.

Dayton, legislative leaders resume talks for special session

At stake is a menu of tax cuts, a new science building for the U and a new light-rail line.
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans. Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday called for $842 million in public-oriented construction projects

Minnesota net tax collections totaled $21 billion in fiscal year 2016

Net tax collections for fiscal year 2016 were $230 million more than previously projected.
Walz rules annual congressional Hotdish competition with turkey tacos

Walz rules annual congressional Hotdish competition with turkey tacos

First District Congressman Tim Walz continued his recent domination of the Minnesota delegation's annual hot dish competition with something called "Turkey Taco Tot Hotdish."

Klobuchar hosts roundtable on women violence measure

The Violence Against Women Act faces reauthorization in Congress.
The prison is located just south of Appleton's commercial and residential district.

Dayton vows veto of bill to reopen privately owned Appleton prison

The governor said the state must first look at expanding existing facilities and reducing prison sentences for low-level drug offenders.

See what you are missing in Star Tribune's politics newsletter

Highlights from the day's newsletter.

Minnesota reaction to Obama's Supreme Court pick

Politicians lining up in partisan showdown over Supreme Court nominee.

Minnesota's Oromo community protests at Capitol

The protest was in response to a crackdown on Oromo protestors in Ethiopia

GOP talks term limits, residency in 2nd District debate

With U.S. Rep. John Kline not seeking another term, the race is wide open to replace him.

Wayzata schools debate start times

School officials want to make elementary schools start earlier to high school students can get more rest.

Residents want proven leader in new Mpls. school superintendent

Community forum lets residents share their views on traits they want in next schools leader.

Hayden responds to Davis indictment

The Minnesota Senator served as a board member for the organization, which shut down last year after a state raid.
Beneath the forest of cranes, the new Vikings stadium is taking shape.

Vikings stadium more than 65 percent complete

Construction is costing $1.4 million a day, officials say, adding that more than 1,200 workers are involved from 300 Minnesota businesses.

Sister Cities annual conference lands in Minneapolis

International conference brings members, celebrities, political leaders and Olympians.

House Ethics Committee dismisses complaint filed by Rep. Kahn

GOP Rep. Denny McNamara called the ethics complaint 'frivolous.'

Small airplane catches fire at MSP

Nobody was on board the plane and no injuries were reported.
Minneapolis, Mall of America surveillance plane spotted

Minneapolis, Mall of America surveillance plane spotted

Plane had been spotted over Minneapolis, Bloomington and Edina.

Urban League ends contract with Mpls. schools, closes academy

Urban League officials say they were losing money on the school for at-risk youth, despite school district aid.

Minneapolis passes paid parental leave for employees

Full-time employees are eligible for three weeks of paid leave.
Sharing and Caring Hands founder Mary Jo Copeland helped tear down the building that housed her dream for 30 years Thursday, April 23, 2015 in Minneap

Copeland helps raze Sharing and Caring Hands for new facility

Sharing and Caring Hands founder Mary Jo Copeland hopped into a bulldozer Thursday morning and made the first pass at tearing down the homeless shelter she helped build. But it was a happy day.
Sharing and Caring Hands coming down to make way for new facility

Sharing and Caring Hands coming down to make way for new facility

Expanded Sharing and Caring Hands will open in July; no residents will be displaced during renovation.
Michele Kelm-Helgen

Vikings stadium authority erupts in controversy over pay, roles

Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen traded heated comments with John Griffith, a board member who has been an executive vice president at Target Corp.
As drivers enter into Lindstrom, Minnesota city limits, they're greeted with a sign with the town's name and population. What they don't see is an uml

Dayton orders umlauts restored in Lindstrom — uh, Lindström

The governor issued the order days after a Star Tribune report about city officials in Lindström upset that the town's new signage did not include the two dots over the 'o' in the town's name.

Minneapolis kicks off road construction season

The city will overhaul or repave more than 50 miles of roadway.

Minneapolis police investigate double homicide

Police found two victims in tan SUV in north Minneapolis after report of shots fired.

Minneapolis considers new rental permit system

The new system would penalize landlords with a history of problems and give consumers more information.

Minneapolis schools taking first steps in superintendent search

Minneapolis looking for search firms to find a new school leader.

Deal allows bridge, not tunnel, at Kenilworth for SW light-rail line

Agreement drops Park Board's bridge opposition for greater voice in Southwest and other LRT work.
U raises bar for revealing suspect's race in crime alerts

U raises bar for revealing suspect's race in crime alerts

After a wave of student-led protests, including one earlier this month in which protesters staged a sit-in in president Eric Kaler's office, University of Minnesota officials have agreed to end their policy of publishing the race of suspects in campus crime alerts.

Crews respond to early-morning fire at Alliance Steel

Fire officials say they believe a spark caused the blaze.

Minneapolis gathers feedback on goals

More trees, additional help for sustainable businesses are among the top suggestions.

Feds reject hydroelectric plan on Upper St. Anthony Falls

The project is one of three hydro generators proposed on the upper falls.

Clean Energy Partnership fires up

The board has goals of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 percent by 2025.

Minneapolis taking steps to prevent trees from toppling

City considering measures called for after 2013 storms down thousands of trees.

Minneapolis cuts graffiti cleanup funds

'Innovative Graffiti Prevention' micro grant program won't be funded next year.
Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show."

Jon Stewart slams #pointergate story on 'Daily Show'

Host Jon Stewart mocks local TV news story, says he wonders how two people pointing at each other gets "painted as a gang thing."

Minneapolis schools to make suspending students of color more difficult

Proposed suspensions of minority students will first need approval of superintendent's office.

DFLers press GOP for more evidence in Hayden inquiry

Sen. Jeff Hayden faces ethics inquiry over potentially directing money to group with ties to his father.
April 14: Minnesota makes history with largest minimum wage hike

April 14: Minnesota makes history with largest minimum wage hike

The bill, signed into law Monday, will raise the base wage from $6.15 to $9.50 an hour and give raises to more than 325,000 Minnesotans.
HCMC082714 * Mark Vancleave - * Minneapolis police investigated shots that were fired at Hennepin County Medical Center

Police investigate shots fired at HCMC

Police have area closed off with crime scene tape.
Between campaign stops, Scott Honour made phone calls and checked email from the front seat of his Ford F-350 truck which he had converted to run on n

Governor: Political rookie Scott Honour makes his case

Republican Scott Honour has made a fortune confounding doubters in the business world. Now he is out to do it in politics, without a shred of political experience or even his party's endorsement.
FILE - In this May 31, 2014 file photo State Auditor Rebecca Otto speaks in Duluth, Minn. Ott will face Matt Entenza, the former state legislator who

Conflict-of-interest claims add heat to state auditor race

Minnesota property taxes to go down, with help of aids and credits

A new report by nonpartisan legislative analysts has touched off a fresh round of political fighting over property taxes.

Minnesota property taxes down, with help of state aid, credits

But Republicans say taxes actually are rising for all.

Zellers touts Dayton's 'surrender' after shutdown

Zellers highlighting shutdown also reminds Minnesotans that Republicans suffered historic losses and Dayton did finally get the tax hikes he wanted.

Minnesota tax collections beat annual target by $168 million

Stronger than expected income tax collections allowed state to keep budget forecast on track.

Zellers picks up legislative endorsements

Sixteen current and former legislators endorsing Zellers for governor.
At the House of Representative building, Jennifer Parrish , Senators David Senjem and Carla Nelson celebrated a Supreme Court ruling case in Illinois

Supreme Court union dues ruling may upend Minnesota workers' fight

Glen Taylor

Star Tribune buyer Glen Taylor has GOP tilt to giving

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor says he tends to support moderate candidates from either party whose views are similar to his.
President Barack Obama picked up a baby from the crowd after he spoke at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, Friday, June 27, 2014 in Minneapolis, MN.

In Mpls., Obama defends record, tries to reignite Democrats

The president came to Minnesota to show that he is in touch with middle-class struggles.
Obama vows to keep listening, fighting

Obama vows to keep listening, fighting

Band-shell speech, stop at job-training site end visit.
Obama presses for higher base wage, equal pay

Obama presses for higher base wage, equal pay

Obama said he shares the frustrations of Minnesotans who went to college, work hard and still struggle to buy homes, pay for child care and dig out from student loan debt.
Gov. Mark Dayton is starting to sound like candidate Dayton

Gov. Mark Dayton is starting to sound like candidate Dayton

Dayton is starting to sketch out the political narrative that will shape his first-ever re-election campaign. He is talking more about his job-creation accomplishments.
Iron miners listened to Gov. Mark Dayton at a rally in Virginia, Minn., against alleged illegal steel dumping from Asian countries.

Dayton joins Iron Range rally seeking end to illegal steel dumping

More than 1,500 attended the Iron Range rally as the federal government scrutinizes foreign steel imports.
Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth

Minnesota, Wisconsin are back negotiating tax reciprocity

Minnesota revenue officials on Thursday offered to lower Wisconsin's annual payment by $1 million if the Badger State approves of the agreement by Sept. 30.

Minnesota makes another push for income tax reciprocity

Minnesota offers to shave $1 million from Wisconsin's annual bill if an agreement can be reached.

GOP group launches radio ad against Dayton

Americans for Prosperity accuses Dayton of over spending, but rival group says the GOP only looking out for millionaires.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert spoke to delegates at the Minnesota Republican Party Convention at the Rochester Civic Center May 30,

Minnesota parties fight for relevance in political primaries

DFL and GOP candidates are taking on endorsed candidates, forcing the parties to prove their relevance.
State Economist Laura Kalambokidis explains part of the state's budget forecast, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota's projected budget

New state economist Kalambokidis takes over from 'legend'

Screenshot of ad.

GOP group blasts Dayton over health insurance overhaul

Minnesota Jobs Coaltion attacks President Obama and links health care overhaul to Gov. Mark Dayton.
Governor Dayton

Dayton off to D.C. to press for water project funding, talk economy

The governor will join the congressional delegation in pushing for Lewis and Clark water pipeline funding and join Lynx for White House celebration.