Staff Directory 6370521

David Chanen

Reporter | Hennepin County
Phone: 612-673-4465

David Chanen is a reporter covering Hennepin County government and Prince's estate dealings. He previously covered crime, courts and spent two sessions at the Legislature.

Chanen has spent his entire career at the Star Tribune A Minneapolis resident, he owns a pug and a rescue dog that looks like a gremlin.
Recent content from David Chanen
Dan Rassier in 2016.

Court rules against man once a person of interest in Wetterling case

Daniel Rassier said law enforcement defamed him and inflicted distress.
People gather outside the Hennepin County Government Center waiting for the verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Cha

Hennepin County Board rejects resolution condemning use of chemical weapons and less-lethal projectiles

Commissioners also discussed the use of the Government Center's public plaza for protests.
Hennepin County Emergency Management Director Eric Waage, shown in 2013.

As tech evolves for severe weather warnings, Hennepin County leads the way

New equipment assists with evolving plans for warnings.
The Hennepin County Government Center will reopen Monday after new security was erected during the Derek Chauvin trial. Mark Vancleave • Star Tribun

Hennepin County jail, Government Center reopen some services in Minneapolis

Services and buildings will reopen Monday after the trial of Derek Chauvin.
Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene

Hennepin County Board approves latest climate action plan

More than 1,000 people and agencies commented or suggested ideas
People protested Wednesday near the Brooklyn Center Police Department in response to the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

Clashes in Brooklyn Center open rift over law enforcement tactics

Mayor has been critical of Sheriff Office's response to protests.
Minnesota law forbids motorists from driving without current license tabs, and it also bans motorists from driving with anything obstructing the winds

Daunte Wright death draws attention to minor driving infractions

Minnesota law forbids motorists from driving without current license tabs, as well as driving with anything obstructing the windshield, including air fresheners.
Workers build a new home in Woodbury in March 2020. A legal challenge by a trade group representing builders has targeted two small cities in Hennepin

Legal challenge by Minnesota group questions city building permit fees

The state doesn't have specific guidelines for fee costs and usage.
Hennepin County will receive $240 million in federal funding for future COVID-19 expenditures,

Hennepin County receives additional $240M for COVID-19 expenses

One-fourth of last year's federal funding was spent on thousands of small-business grants.
A frame grab of video from inside Cup Foods on Monday, May 25, 2020, showing George Floyd, right. Also pictured is Christopher Martin, top left in gra

Store clerk's testimony triggers talk of expectations for employees to stop theft

Trial observers took to social media to voice their sympathy for Cup Foods clerk, saying he shouldn't have been put in that situation.
Hennepin County had an alarming spike in deaths from fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller that can be lethal even in tiny doses.

Pandemic contributed to record number of opioid deaths

Health officials and street outreach workers across Minnesota said that the pandemic pushed residents struggling with addiction deeper into isolation. At the same time, resources were redirected to tackle the spreading virus.
Gordy Johnson

Gordy Johnson, innovative former Minneapolis police chief, dies of COVID-19 at 92

A 33-year career took him through stints as a sex crimes and homicide detective before his childhood friend Mayor Charles Stenvig appointed him chief in 1971.
Portrait of Andrea Carter an employee at the Ridgedale library Tuesday March 23, 2021 In Minnetonka MN.]  Jerry Holt • Hen

Hennepin County employees will see minimum wage rise to $20 an hour

The county's base wage will be higher than any local government in the Midwest.
“If Hennepin County can bond for stadiums, we can and should consider bonds for affordable housing,” County Commissioner Chris LaTondresse said.

Hennepin County eyes taxes, borrowing to pay for homeless services, affordable housing

Commissioners discussed 11 recommendations over a four hour briefing.
Kory Krause, owner of Frontiersman Sports, said his St. Louis Park gun store saw a surge in sales due to the pandemic and the aftermath of George Floy

Handgun permits surge in St. Cloud area, state

Anxiety over pandemic, local unrest fuels surge.
Kory Krause, owner of Frontiersman Sports, said his St. Louis Park gun store saw a surge in sales due to the pandemic and the aftermath of George Floy

Minn. handgun permits hit record in year of pandemic, unrest

Minnesota's soaring number of permitted holders came in a year in which the FBI conducted a record 39 million background checks for firearm sales nationally.
“We have to demonstrate to the community we are serious about this,” County Board Chairwoman Marion Greene said.

Hennepin County releases comprehensive climate action plan

Plan includes more than 200 strategies, including electric cars, efficient buildings.
Public defender Adam Lipson spoke with a defendant appearing before Judge Bruce Chan in Young Adult Court, in San Francisco, March 28, 2017. T

Hennepin County pilots new program for young adults on probation

Special unit uses team approach, support to keep risk-taking behavior of 18- to 21-year-olds in check.
FBI Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge Michael Paul.

Threats by white supremacists in state continue to be serious, officials say

Supremacist groups are more likely to operate covertly, FBI agent says.
“The juvenile court bench is … fully committed to … an equitable, fair, and effective justice system.” Judge Mark J. Kappelhoff, Youth Justice

Hennepin County launches initiative to eliminate disparities in juvenile system

A coalition of stakeholders established first ever Youth Justice Council.
Oscar Backlund

Oscar Backlund, stage and movie actor, dies at 94

He played character roles in more than 100 theater productions and had small parts in the movies "Grumpy Old Men," "Grumpier Old Men" and "D3: The Mighty Ducks."
Kevin Anderson wants a strong county-community partnership.

Hennepin County ushers in unique opportunity with three new commissioners

They join 2 other recently elected women of color for young, diverse board.
Alex Riley, an associate librarian with the Arvonne Fraser Library in Minneapolis, processed returned books Friday.

Hennepin County libraries end overdue book fees

The intent it to make libraries more accessible to low-income patrons.
After giving a resident of a homeless camp on Kellogg Mall a hat on Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Jaime Tincher asked her what other needs she had.

As cold sets in, St. Paul, Mpls. dismantle more homeless camps

St. Paul leaders said Tuesday they will dismantle eight homeless encampments and relocate residents to shelters starting next week, citing the risk of fires and…
Trees along E. 42nd Street in south Minneapolis have been trimmed severely so that they don’t interfere with power lines.

Why does Minneapolis keep planting trees under power lines?

After a few years, the trees are pruned into "ridiculous V shapes" to keep them from hitting power lines, a Curious Minnesota reader points out.
The fire bombing at the Dakota County Service Center in Apple Valley occurred May 29, four days after George Floyd’s death.

Arsonist sentenced to six years for fire, damage at Dakota County government building

A Savage man was sentenced to more than six years Wednesday for throwing Molotov cocktails into a Dakota County government building in May, causing more…
A single-engine plane came to rest atop a concrete barrier on northbound Interstate 35W after hitting an SUV while making an emergency landing on Wedn

Small plane crash-lands on I-35W south of I-694, hitting vehicle

All lanes on a north metro freeway are back open Thursday morning after a  small plane made an emergency landing Wednesday night, striking at least…
One person was found dead Wednesday in a Maple Grove commercial building that was heavily damaged by fire the night before.

Body found at Maple Grove business heavily damaged by fire

The Fire Department said the medical examiner would release the victim's name once it is confirmed.

Former Lakeville South high school softball coach charged with stealing from booster club

Eric Heflin, 65, of Rosemount, was charged with three felony counts of theft by swindle.
Siblings Karen Lopez, below on phone, JD Rowland, 9, left, and Kiki Rowland, 11, right, took a break for ice cream at Lake Nokomis beach in summer 201

Minneapolis Park Board: No more citations for women going topless in the parks

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted Wednesday to allow anyone to go topless in the city’s parks without being ticketed. Under city and state…
A masked employee cleaned a table at Blarney Pub & Grill in Dinkytown on Nov. 13. Hennepin County commissioners approved $8 million Tuesday to help st

Hennepin County approves $8M to help bars and restaurants

Funding expected to help hundreds of businesses hurting under COVID rules.
The Pierre Bottineau Library in Minneapolis, seen in 2013, is one of eight Hennepin County Library branches that would reopen early next year under a

Hennepin County Board amends proposed 2021 budget to reopen 8 libraries next year

Branches have been closed to combat coronavirus.

Bloomington and Minnetonka voters approve ranked-choice voting

Cities are state's fourth and fifth to use the voting method, which eliminates primary elections.
Kenner Bell of Forest Lake held a sign during the National Day of Protest rally and march Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Hundreds of protesters arrested after marching onto I-94 in Minneapolis

Opposition to Trump's presidency, racism, police violence were among protesters' passions.
Al Cannon

Al Cannon, pioneering Black teacher at Roosevelt High in Minneapolis, dies at 91

When Cannon was introduced at the Roosevelt Hall of Fame ceremony, the crowd jumped to a standing ovation.
Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is responding to data breach

The data of at least 1,400 individuals had been breached, the office says.
From left, Hennepin County Commissioners Jan Callison, Jeff Johnson and Mike Opat, shown in 2011.

With three incumbents stepping down, Hennepin County Board in line for a major makeover after election

The board will look different after veterans Opat, Callison and Johnson chose not to run.
Ramsey County is considering leasing Bethesda Hospital, which has been used for treating COVID-19 patients, into a homeless shelter.

Ramsey County considers turning Bethesda Hospital into homeless shelter

Ramsey County Manager Ryan O'Connor said the county has been in closed-door talks with Fairview for several weeks.
The Hennepin County Government Center, shown above.

Hennepin County poised to spend $22 million on 6 new sites to help the homeless

COVID-19 and the need to serve the homeless is driving the new purchases.
Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao was at the Hennepin County Family Justice Center earlier this month for a hearing.

Trouble signs showed up early in the career of fired Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao

His decision May 25 to help two rookie officers on what seemed a routine call involving George Floyd would be his last for the department.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, right, and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

Frey's budget envisions 100 fewer police, raises property tax for some

Minneapolis would operate with about 100 fewer police officers than it has planned for in recent years and would increase property taxes for some under a new budget proposal
Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, leaves the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Del., Sept, 16, 2020.

Biden heads to Duluth on Friday as Trump visits Bemidji

President Donald Trump will also be in the state Friday, in Bemidji.
FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, the Department of Justice seal is seen in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Department of Justice files sexual harassment lawsuit against Mpls. landlords

It's part of a new initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing, leading to 18 lawsuits.
County Administrator David Hough, shown in 2018.

Hennepin County proposes smaller budget, no property tax increase for 2021

Proposed 2021 budget is $300 million less than this year, due to COVID.
Hennepin County Administrator David Hough, shown in 2018. Hough said final costs were still in flux because of potential expenses related to COVID-19.

Hennepin County Board considering no property tax levy increase in 2021

Commissioners expressed concern about COVID-19 costs next year.
Jerome Misters

Newport man charged in fatal shooting in South St. Paul

An argument over the telephone came before the shooting death, according to the charges filed Wednesday.
Dr. Richard Sletten

Dr. Richard Sletten, co-founder of Twin Cities Orthopedics, dies at 82

Sletten suffered a sudden heart attack and died Aug. 13 at his home in North Oaks.

Minnesota Supreme Court decision issued on victims' privacy rights

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a victim’s privacy involving a sexual assault case in Minneapolis, issuing a rare writ of prohibition.…
Brenna Connelly, a 19-year-old college student from Byron, Minn., and representing Olmsted County, was crowned the 67th Princess Kay of the Milky Way

U student from Byron, Minn., named next Princess Kay

Even without the Minnesota State Fair, the tradition of Princess Kay of the Milky Way carries on.
From left, Hennepin County Commissioners Jan Callison, Jeff Johnson and Mike Opat, shown in 2011.

Hennepin County Board candidates to replace longtime commissioners

The open districts represent the county's northern and western suburbs.

Frey working with Police Department to pair new officers with those with limited misconduct complaints

Training is key to preventing misconduct, the Minneapolis mayor said.
Xue Lor has always relied on foot traffic to bring business to his electronics repair shop, Lor Imports & Custom PC, in Hmong Village in St. Paul.

Minnesota's cultural malls will benefit from $2.5 million state grant

The recipients, most in Minneapolis, have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Jacob Babcock, shown with his family, was recovering from surgery after a shooting Tuesday near the Sherwin-Williams paint store he manages on W. Lake

Good Samaritan is shot trying to help stranger being robbed on Lake St.

Sherwin-Williams paint store manager who ran out to assist is recovering from a gunshot wound.
People demonstrate at the Minnesota Capitol on June 19 to mark Juneteenth. Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston,

Hennepin County Board again delays vote on making Juneteenth a paid holiday

Commissioners are split over the $2M price tag to make it a paid holiday.

Medical examiner identifies the woman killed in Big Lake

The suspect, the 20-year-old son of the victim, is expected to make his first court appearance Monday.

Crystal police officer injured after pursuit is identified

Jessica Donahue, a 19-year veteran, has been released from the hospital and is recovering from her injuries, according to the BCA.
Mikayshia Horton, the daughter of Calvin L. Horton Jr. held his granddaughter Mi'kayah Horton as she said goodbye to him before the coffin was closed

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent family of man killed by Minneapolis pawnshop owner

Man was shot in Mpls. by pawnshop owner.
St. Paul police investigated a fatal shooting near the intersection of Western Avenue and Concordia Avenue West on Wednesday.

St. Paul homicide remains under investigation

Bajuan Adams, 25, was fatally shot Wednesday in the city's 18th killing.
Minneapolis police officers and SWAT team members stood outside Target Field in 2019.

Minnesota Twins re-evaluate relationship with police

Although no fans will be allowed at Target Field, Twins examining security measures.
Sheriff Dave Hutchinson and other leaders told the Hennepin County Board about his office’s initiatives to train deputies, control COVID-19 in the j

Hennepin County Board quizzes Sheriff Dave Hutchinson on policing

Talk centers on Sheriff's Office role in light of Minneapolis police issues.
Hennepin County Commissioner Debbie Goettel, one of the three sponsors, said her research found that many counties, cities and businesses across the U

Hennepin County Board weighing whether to make Juneteenth a paid holiday

The board may make a decision at its next meeting on the proposal.
Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard

Minn. Guard releases recommendations to prevent sexual assault and harassment

The Guard reported its assault numbers publicly for the first time last year.
Boaters took to the water as the sun set on Lake Minnetonka on July 2, 2019. Traffic to Big Island was down about one-third over the holiday weekend t

Fewer people, more citations over July 4th on Lake Minnetonka

Slight uptick in boating under the influence tags, however.
Hennepin County Commissioners Angela Conley, left, and Irene Fernando.

Hennepin County Board declares racism a public health crisis

The resolution came with a series of directives for developing policy.
A security guard earlier this year let an employee into the downtown Minneapolis Public Library, where patrons have had no access since the March 17 p

Hennepin County board declares racism public health crisis

Full board also voted to keep nine of 41 libraries closed until 2021.
Scott F. Fortier

Sex abuse lawsuit filed against Minn. horse riding camp

Scott Fortier is serving a 25-year prison sentence.
The Minneapolis Downtown Neighborhood Association covers the Downtown West and East neighborhoods.

Downtown Minneapolis residents voice concern over police reform proposals

Group speaks to Mpls. City Council members.
Dr. Andrew Baker of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office at a 2017 news conference about confirmed cases of carfentanil overdoses.

Hennepin County Board reappoints Dr. Andrew Baker as chief medical examiner

One commissioner raised concerns about Baker's autopsy of George Floyd.
Branden M. Wolfe.

Suspect in Mpls. precinct fire makes first court appearance

Another hearing was scheduled for Thursday to determine if Branden M. Wolfe, 23, will be eligible for release.
Dr. Andrew Baker, Hennepin County's medical examiner, shown in 2012.

Hennepin County commissioner challenges reappointment of medical examiner

Conley said she was displeased with Baker's autopsy of George Floyd.
An image from federal charges against Branden Wolfe show his arrest in St. Paul, where he was wearing a tactical vest and police-issue duty belt.

St. Paul man charged with arson of Minneapolis Third Precinct station

A St. Paul security guard boasted on social media about the fire, gear theft.
University of St. Thomas students walked to classes in 2019. UST will begin gradually opening next week and reopen to students for fall semester.

University of St. Thomas plans to reopen campus by August

Gradual reopening by August starts next week.
Chad Helton

Chad Helton, a pioneering black librarian, will be new head of Hennepin County Library

When Helton takes over the county library in late August, it will be nearly two years since previous director Lois Langer Thompson left.
Hennepin County Commissioners Angela Conley, left, and Irene Fernando.

2 Hennepin County commissioners press Mike Freeman for charges vs. fired officers in George Floyd's death

They described the Minneapolis Police Department as an oppressive system.

Hennepin County Board to require masks for employees and visitors

Two commissioners voted against the measure.