Staff Directory 6134699

Emma Nelson

Editor | St. Paul
Phone: 612-673-4509

Emma Nelson is a Star Tribune metro team leader with an emphasis on St. Paul coverage. She previously reported on the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Scott and Dakota counties.


A St. Paul native, Nelson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in journalism in 2014, and has covered local government beats from Scott and Dakota counties to Minneapolis City Hall. She plays violin and acoustic guitar, and in college recorded an album that no-one is allowed to listen to. She lives in the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Recent content from Emma Nelson
The White House announced Thursday that it will send clinical personnel to Minnesota to staff existing state-run testing locations, transforming them

More COVID-19 'test-to-treat' sites coming to Minnesota

The White House will send clinical personnel to Minnesota to staff existing state-run testing locations, transforming them into "test-to-treat" sites where eligible patients can get a prescription for the antiviral drug Paxlovid.
Diego Esquivel and Linda Klaasson comforted each other Wednesday as they honored the victims killed in Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School

Minnesota leaders' response to Texas school shooting shows political divide over guns

It's unlikely that grief will translate into policy changes.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, seen here on Capitol Hill in Washington, visited the American Swedish Institute to highlight Minnesota’s ties to Sweden and Finl

Klobuchar highlights Minnesota ties to Finland, Sweden as they seek to join NATO

The two countries are seeking to join NATO in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison ran towards the stage after being endorsed during the DFL state convention.

Attorney General Keith Ellison easily wins DFL endorsement for second term

Delegates also endorsed Secretary of State Steve Simon, who is seeking a third term.
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and Gov. Tim Walz shared a laugh after they both accepted their endorsements Friday during the 2022 State DFL Conven

Minnesota DFLers endorse Walz, Flanagan for second term

The first day of the party's state convention focused on incumbents' track records and the possibility that Roe v. Wade could be overturned.
Tim Walz, then a candidate for governor, pumped his fist as he took the stage to speak at the DFL state convention four years ago.

Minnesota DFLers work to build momentum in tough election year

With a slate of incumbents on the ballot, party activists are aiming to ramp up enthusiasm at this weekend's convention.
Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement: “With an unprecedented surplus, we have the ability to make significant investments in the things that will impro

Minnesota's divided Capitol strikes end-of-session deal

Gov. Tim Walz said he and top legislative leaders have agreed to the "broad framework" of a deal to spend a historic budget surplus to cut taxes, spend money on classrooms and public safety.
A revenue department error meant the state didn’t collect enough taxes from some of its wealthiest residents for two straight years.

State error means wealthy Minnesotans owe more taxes

The state collected about $38M too little in 2019 and 2020 from some of its wealthiest taxpayers.
Rep. Zack Stephenson is a chief sponsor of the sports betting legislation.

Minnesota House votes to legalize sports betting, but obstacles remain

The measure is unlikely to move forward this session as key differences remain in proposals from the House and Senate.
Front-line workers who couldn’t work from home during the pandemic will get bonus checks.

Who's getting Minnesota's new 'hero pay,' and how will it work?

What you need to know about the Legislature's agreement on bonus checks for front-line workers.
Castle Danger Brewery growlers were on display chained up to illustrate their slogan, #FreeTheGrowler.

Dust off the growler: This could be the year Minnesota liquor laws change

Legislators say they're optimistic a measure allowing larger breweries to sell beer to-go could pass this session.
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan spoke at an abortion rights demonstration Tuesday outside the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis.

Leaked abortion opinion prompts outrage, hesitation

While procedure is constitutionally protected in Minnesota, the draft signaled that opponents may soon win a long-sought victory.
President Joe Biden spoke during a memorial service for former Vice President Walter Mondale on Sunday, May 1, in Minneapolis. “Fritz was a good man

Mondale remembered: 'One of the finest men I've ever known'

The late Minnesotan climbed to the pinnacle of U.S. politics as an influential senator and vice president.
Dr. Sarah Traxler travels from Minnesota to South Dakota one week a month to offer abortion services at the only Planned Parenthood in South Dakota.

If justices overturn Roe, Minnesota could become an island for legal abortions

If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark abortion case, states like Minnesota could become islands for women seeking the procedure.
Former staffer and campaign worker Pat Carroll looked at photos on display in the lobby before a memorial service for former Vice President Walter Mon

Family, friends and officials honor Mondale at U memorial

The event Sunday at Northrop Auditorium includes speeches from President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Minnesota legislators passed a deal on unemployment insurance and front-line worker bonus checks on Friday.

Gov. Walz signs pandemic pay, unemployment insurance deal

Bonus checks would amount to roughly $750 a person if all 667,000 eligible workers who qualified apply. Also, the House passed the Democrats' $200 million public safety and judiciary bill focused on addressing the root causes of crime.
Sen. Michelle Benson arrived early at a GOP convention for Senate District 57 at Lakeville North High School to mingle with party activists.

Michelle Benson bows out of Minnesota governor's race

The Ham Lake Republican will not seek re-election to the state Senate.
Sen. Warren Limmer, right, said Senate Republicans want to stop a “revolving door of criminal activity.”

GOP legislators pass 'tough on crime' public safety package

Senate DFLers pushed back on the Republican proposals, which focus on boosting law enforcement and strengthening criminal penalties.
Trucks depart the West Basin Container Terminal at the Port of Los Angeles on Oct. 29, 2021.

Rep. Fischbach pushes bill to ease supply-chain woes

The SHIP IT Act would lift some restrictions for truck drivers transporting goods to and from ports.
A community roundtable on a proposed Office for New Americans takes place Thursday at Mercado Central in Minneapolis.

Minnesota could expand support for immigrant workers, business owners

The proposed Office for New Americans would be housed in the state's employment and economic development department.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, left, and Janet McGee, whose son Ted died in a furniture tip-over, hold a news conference at Children’s Minnesota Hospital

Sen. Amy Klobuchar pushes furniture safety standards

Federal legislation would require companies to test clothing storage products for safety and stability.
Gov. Tim Walz’s campaign has raised more than $1 million in the first three months of the year and has $4.1 million in the bank ahead of the midterm

Walz leads GOP challengers in fundraising heading into midterm election

Republican donors are split among more than a half-dozen candidates for the nomination.
Minnesota’s Democratic and Republican legislators have vastly different proposals for education spending. In this photo, Lake Harriet Lower kinderga

Minn. House Democrats pitch $1B boost in annual education spending; GOP offers far less

The Senate Republican proposal calls for about $30 million in spending on literacy.
The Minnesota state flag is seen displayed in the State Capitol building rotunda.

Some Minnesota legislators want to rethink state flag

But some lawmakers contend that redesign shouldn't be a priority.
Members of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals created picket signs ahead of a strike that lasted nearly three

After Mpls. teachers strike reveals divisions, 'all eyes are on the district'

Appointing new leadership, rebuilding trust are among the tasks the district faces.
The Home Front Energy Independence Act seeks to expand production and availability of E15, a blend of ethanol and gasoline.

Klobuchar, Craig among bipartisan group pushing for U.S. energy independence

The Home Front Energy Independence Act focuses on expanding availability of E15.
Union members and supporters created picket signs at the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals offices in northeast M

Some Minneapolis educators of color say teachers' union sidelined them during negotiations

Others say they're proud of the tentative contract's wins.
Sen. Julia Coleman, R-Waconia, is sponsoring Senate Republicans’ paid family and medical leave bill.

GOP legislators propose paid family leave through private insurance

The measure is an answer to Democrats' proposal for up to 12 weeks of paid leave through a state-run program.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said she hopes the CROWN Act has a path forward in the Senate.

U.S. House passes CROWN Act barring bias based on hair

Rep. Ilhan Omar co-led the legislation, which passed the House largely along party lines.
Longtime legislator Tom Bakk, seen here at the Governor’s Fishing Opener in 2019, is retiring.

Longtime Iron Range legislator Tom Bakk announces retirement

His retirement opens up an outstate seat at a time when DFLers are struggling to retain rural power.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Abby Honold, a survivor of sexual assault and advocate for other survivors, pictured before a roundtable discussion they l

For rape victims and police, 'a new beginning' with law named for former U student

The Abby Honold Act, signed by President Joe Biden, aims to improve law enforcement training on investigating sexual assault cases.
Police use metal barricades to keep protesters, demonstrators and activists apart in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in

Do you remember life before Roe v. Wade? We want to hear your story

The Supreme Court is expected to rule this summer in a case that could determine the future of abortion access in the United States.
Construction equipment lined the site of the tunnel in the Kenilworth corridor on the Southwest light-rail project in late January.

Minnesota Senate joins House in approving Southwest light-rail audit

Gov. Walz also supports a look at the project's costs, delays.
Participants in the Safe at Home Program vote absentee, and their registration information remains private to protect them from aggressors.

Citing possible voter fraud, GOP targets program for those at high safety risk

Safe at Home allows victims of intimate partner violence and others to shield their addresses from aggressors.
Matt Birk spent a decade with the Minnesota Vikings before joining the Baltimore Ravens in 2009. In 2012, his last year with the NFL, he supported a p

Former Viking Matt Birk joins Scott Jensen's gubernatorial ticket

Jensen is the first in a large GOP field of gubernatorial hopefuls to announce a running mate.
Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, and Rep. Pat Garofalo (left), R-Farmington, say the state should legalize sports betting.

Minnesota tribes signal support for sports betting push

Yet bipartisan bills legalizing sports betting have a long road through the Legislature.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson spoke after President Joe Biden introduced her as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 25.

Klobuchar expects bipartisan backing for Biden's Supreme Court confirmation

The Minnesota senator and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee met with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Thursday.
The Minnesota State Capitol.

Minnesota House committee hears bill that would ease sentencing for abuse victims

The Survivors' Justice Act would encourage judges to depart from sentencing guidelines for some offenders.
Rep. Esther Agbaje, DFL-Minneapolis, center, and Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, left, House and Senate authors of the CROWN Act, held a new

Minnesota House passes bill banning hair discrimination

It's unclear how the CROWN Act will fare in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Freeborn County Republican Chairman Robert Hoffman had a photo display of the late Congressman Jim Hagedorn in his office.

Race to succeed late First District Rep. Jim Hagedorn begins

The filing period begins Tuesday for the special election to fill the remainder of the Republican's current term.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Betty McCollum attended the Munich Security Conference.

Klobuchar, McCollum reflect on international security conference focused on Ukraine

The two members of Minnesota's congressional delegation attended the Munich Security Conference alongside other world leaders earlier this month.
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said he will recraft his bill to bolster law enforcement ranks.

Minnesota DFL police recruiting bill encounters setback

The House majority leader's bill doesn't yet have buy-in from the Public Safety Committee chair.
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, speaking with House Speaker Melissa Hortman on the floor, says the bill is the product of conversations with law e

DFLers unveil plan to recruit officers with 'strong moral character'

A new program would provide free tuition, bonuses and other incentives to attract high school and college graduates to law enforcement.
Sen. Tina Smith is pushing federal action on incentives to switch to electric vehicles and buildings.

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith calls for federal action on electrification rebates

The Minnesota Democrat co-chairs the congressional Electrification Caucus.
U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn.

First District Rep. Jim Hagedorn dies at 59 after cancer battle

Hagedorn, a Republican, was serving in his second term at the time of his death. His wife, Jennifer Carnahan, announced the news in a Facebook post on Friday morning.
Attorney Ben Crump speaks during a press conference with the family of Amir Locke to demand the abolition of no-knock warrants on Feb. 10 at the State

Push to curtail no-knock warrants clears Minnesota House committee

A hearing coincided with the funeral for Amir Locke, killed during a no-knock raid.
State Sens. Julia Coleman, Roger Chamberlain and Karin Housley presented a bipartisan plan to legalize sports betting in Minnesota.

Minnesota legislators renew bipartisan sports betting push

A Senate proposal would allow in-person betting at tribal casinos and racetracks.
Sens. Michelle Benson and Paul Gazelka are among the Senate Republicans calling for a “Parents’ Bill of Rights.”

Senate Republicans introduce 'Minn. Parents Bill of Rights'

The package includes bills that would require districts and teachers to provide a wide range of information to parents.
State Sen. John Jasinski said he is expected to make a full recovery.

Minnesota state senator injured in Morrison County snowmobile crash

Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault, whose injuries included broken ribs and fractured vertebrae, said he will participate in legislative sessions remotely.
State Sen. John Jasinski said he is expected to make a full recovery.

Report: Alcohol, drugs not a factor in Minnesota senators' snowmobile crash

An incident report says Sens. John Jasinski and Mark Johnson were traveling 10 mph when they crashed.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced his office has filed a consumer-protection lawsuit against HavenBrook Homes.

Minnesota attorney general sues hedge fund-owned landlord over maintenance problems

HavenBrook Homes allegedly failed to maintain properties and violated the statewide eviction moratorium.
State Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, has sponsored four bills this session that would make it more difficult to obtain an abortion in Minnesota.

Abortion fight takes on fresh urgency at Minnesota Capitol

With the U.S. Supreme Court weighing a rollback of abortion rights, both sides of the debate say this session — and midterm elections — are crucial.
Gov. Tim Walz listened as First Lady Jill Biden spoke in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota Child Development Laboratory School, to highlight

First Lady Jill Biden touts federal child care spending during Minneapolis stop

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra joined the first lady in a visit to the University of Minnesota campus.
Caucusgoers recited the Pledge of Allegiance before the start of a GOP precinct caucus at White Bear Lake Area High School.

Scott Jensen leads Minn. GOP straw poll in governor's race

Kicking off election season, DFL activists focused on party platform on caucus night, while GOP caucusgoers voted for their preferred candidates for governor.
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and Gov. Tim Walz deliver dessert bars around the Capitol on the first day of session, starting at the Senate Chamber with Sen

Legislators kick off session with big surplus, long list of priorities

DFL Gov. Tim Walz and both parties in the divided Legislature have outlined lengthy — and at times dueling — lists of priorities in recent weeks.
Hennepin County medical examiner seeks help identifying pregnant woman

Hennepin County medical examiner seeks help identifying pregnant woman

The woman died at 3513 Hennepin Av. in Minneapolis, a release said.
Becky Smith, currently Violence Free Minnesota’s interim executive director, spoke at a news conference in 2016. (Star Tribune file photo by Leila N

Minnesota intimate partner homicides rose 40% in 2020

At least 30 Minnesotans were killed in domestic violence-related homicides last year. The intensifying violence followed national and global trends during the pandemic.
Sen. Jennifer McEwen, DFL-Duluth, spoke to more than 100 who gathered at the State Capitol in St. Paul on Monday to show their support for abortion ri

Abortion rights backers say Minn. shouldn't take its protections for granted

More than 100 people attended a rally at the State Capitol.
A security guard opened the door on Wednesday to the Whole Women’s Health Clinic in Fort Worth, Texas.

Minnesota is bracing for an increase in abortion demand

The U.S. Supreme Court decision on Texas' 6-week ban means more patients will travel to Minnesota for care.
Planned Parenthood supporters gathered in 2019 to rally and raise funds for patients at the Vandalia health center behind the Planned Parenthood build

In Minnesota and nationwide, COVID has complicated abortion access

Even as life returns to normal, financial and logistical hurdles remain.
Body recovered after apparent drowning in pond at Minneapolis' Loring Park

Body recovered after apparent drowning in pond at Minneapolis' Loring Park

Crews responded Sunday evening after reports of a male struggling to swim in the pond at Loring Park.
The state’s first electric school bus hit the road in late 2017. It still serves the Lakeville school district.

South metro group pushes for electric school buses

Forum invites the community to join efforts for low-emission vehicles in districts' fleets.
Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde

Brooklyn Park hires consultant to study policing

It is the latest in a series of steps toward police changes that the City Council started taking after George Floyd's killing.
Founder of Darcy Solutions Jimmy Randolph, right, oversaw the installation of one of the four heat transfer cores at a geothermal installation at Stea

St. Paul explores powering Como Zoo with geothermal energy

Como plan part of St. Paul's effort to bring city buildings to carbon neutrality by 2030
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has made community-first public safety a top priority.

St. Paul Mayor Carter launches commission to rethink public safety

The panel will study how city staff could respond to low-priority 911 calls.

St. Paul will pay for public art along Wheelock Pkwy.

As many as six projects are eligible for $20K to $50K.
The St. Paul City Council is expected to pass a resolution Wednesday calling for a community-first public safety commission to set “a vision for pub

St. Paul considers redirecting lowest priority 911 calls

City Council likely to back commission that will reimagine public safety.
A strong westerly wind kicked up snow Sunday afternoon drifting it over area roads and parking lots. A St. Paul resident used a snow blower in an atte

Why does St. Paul leave alley snowplowing to its residents?

In St. Paul, many residents have to band together to hire plow drivers during the winter.

St. Paul wants state to help pay for North End Community Center

High school youth will partner with city officials to lobby for funding.
Ricardo Cervantes, director of St. Paul's Department of Safety and Inspections, read a statement as a homeless encampment near downtown St. Paul and I

St. Paul to open day shelter in W. 7th neighborhood

A St. Paul fire station in the West 7th neighborhood is slated to become a day shelter for people experiencing homelessness.Fire Station 51, at 296…
The new bike trail on Ayd Mill Road, south of the Grand Avenue overpass.

Updated Ayd Mill Road to reopen Saturday with new trail, lower speed limit

St. Paul's Ayd Mill Road will reopen to the public on Saturday, complete with a new trail and a lower speed limit.The 1.5-mile stretch of…
The state’s COVID-19 guidance for caterers is less clear than for restaurants and bars, with different rules depending on venue size and event type.

Longtime D'Amico server says she lost her job after raising safety concerns

The company says that it's regularly updating safety protocols and that a drop in business forced layoffs.
Trash haulers made their way through an alley in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul.

More trash means higher rates for St. Paul residents

Volume spurred higher rate, which is still lower than it was some years.
St. Paul tees up tax incentives for development around Allianz Field

St. Paul tees up tax incentives for development around Allianz Field

Move allows St. Paul to incentivize development around stadium.
At Caydence Records & Coffee on the corner of Payne and York avenues in St. Paul, the coffee shop and retail staff are back, but business has been “

As winter approaches, Payne Avenue business owners are determined to hold on

The St. Paul neighborhood's renaissance is threatened, but owners are determined to hang in there.