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Erica Pearson

Reporter | Features
Phone: 612-673-4726

Erica Pearson covers features for the Star Tribune, with mini-beat on women’s issues. Before joining the Star Tribune, she spent more than a decade at the New York Daily News, where she was an assistant city desk editor.

A Wisconsin native, Pearson has covered everything from immigration to cops and courts to lifestyle news.
Recent content from Erica Pearson
Brendan Kennealy and his wife Jocelyn at Subtext Books in St. Paul on a date. With grandparents vaccinated and eager to babysit, parents of young kids

Date night is finally returning to Minnesota, thanks to vaccinated babysitters

Forget Netflix-and-takeout dates. With vaccinated grandparents eager to babysit, mom and dad are starting to venture out.
Clockwise from top left: Mary Busch, Rachel Hardeman, Lindsay Guentzel, Ryan Brown, Marsha and Tom Hystead, Michelle Greener and Shane Lueck.

Minnesotans are getting vaccinated in drugstores, shopping malls, even storage facilities

Whether they took epic road trips or drove across town, these readers went for their COVID-19 vaccinations and came away with a dose of gratitude.
Veronica Soria Miller and her husband, Brad Miller, discovered their home in southwest Minneapolis had a racial covenant attached and worked to remove

These Minnesotans renounced the racial covenants for their homes

These Twin Cities residents discovered their homes were once in "Caucasians only" enclaves. They're confronting history in an effort to fight the homeownership gap.
Animal babies born at the Minnesota Zoo’s farm this spring include 11 piglets, three lambs, two goat kids, and a number of chicks.

Need a dose of cute? Minnesota Zoo's Farm Baby webcam shows lambs and kids around the clock

So far, animal babies born at the zoo's farm this spring include 11 piglets, three lambs, two goat kids, and a number of chicks.
Caroline Flor, a senior at Stillwater High School, took a selfie with a llama while visiting Carlson’s Llovable Llamas in Waconia .

Minnesotans' latest pandemic pick-me-up? Hugging llamas

Many are flocking to local llama farms to get a warm, comforting hug.
Mary Krogman made ice lanterns.

The Embrace Winter challenge is done! Looking back at our cold-weather accomplishments

Despite the swings in temperatures, we got outside, tried everything from ice climbing to ice yoga and embraced a Minnesota winter.
George Floyd Square at East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on Saturday night, hours after a person was shot and killed near the interse

Fatal shooting reported near George Floyd Square in Minneapolis

One person died after being taken to a hospital.
An autopsy will reveal whether Mark Pavelich, star of the “Miracle on Ice” game, suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

'Miracle' hockey star Mark Pavelich's brain to be examined for CTE

'Way too much trauma and way too much hurt,' his sister posted.
Alvin Donahoo

Alvin Donahoo, D-Day veteran and former Minneapolis Grain Exchange VP, dies at 102

When the Minnesota Vikings honored Alvin Donahoo with a standing ovation as a "Hometown Hero" a day after his 100th birthday, the U.S. Navy veteran…
Embrace Winter challenge: Go bird-watching or stargazing

Embrace Winter challenge: Go bird-watching or stargazing

Enjoy these two slower, quieter ways to experience winter.
Lou Renner search for the final spot to drive in his ice axe as he topped out on an ice route at Robinson Park.

The next Embrace Winter challenge: Try a new-to-you winter sport

Working out outside and switching up your activities offers surprising benefits.
Glenn Simmons Jr. carries his son, Kai, 2, atop his shoulders as they walk through the Bagley Nature Center in Duluth, Minnesota on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2

Looking for ways to enjoy the cold? Join our Embrace Winter Challenge.

For the next 30 days, we'll spend 30 minutes a day outside to reduce stress, improve our immune systems and see Minnesota's "other" season in a whole new light.
Buddy “Rocketman” Michaelson and Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., inside Michaelson’s store, Rocketman Face Masks, in Bloomington.

Bloomington father and son turn their firm to making – and giving – masks

Company pivots from producing parachutes for sky divers to live-saving masks.
The Rev. Patrick Griffin

Father Patrick Griffin, priest who helped create St. Stephen's Human Services, dies at 79

A big-hearted priest with a "constant grin and twinkle in his eye," the Rev. Patrick Griffin believed it was a privilege to serve poor people."His…
Scott Mayer organized Piece Prize, a virtual puzzle event. SHARI L. GROSS  Star Tribune

Virtual puzzle contest sponsored by Twin Cities impresario

Ready, set, puzzle!This winter, jigsaw enthusiasts by the dozens can gather virtually to spend a few hours puzzling together.There are prizes for putting the puzzle…
Zooming with Santa? Here's how to make the most of it

Zooming with Santa? Here's how to make the most of it

Virtual visits with Mr. Claus can create real magic if parents do a little prep.
The Holiday Reimagined craft market inside the Galleria mall in Edina, Minn., is not running as planned, but instead organizers are creating ways to s

Local alternatives to Amazon abound for safe, convenient holiday shopping

From online holiday markets to virtual personal shoppers, here's how to shop locally for gifts this year.
Taking short breaks — or mini-recesses — could help your child stay focused.

A Minneapolis mindfulness expert's tips for helping kids find calm

A Minneapolis mom and mindfulness educator has strategies to keep calm and carry on.
A young participant drew a picture, supported by an oversized teddy bear. The camp, run by nonprofit Children’s Grief Connection, was founded nearly

Minnesota's Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camp gives mourning kids a place to connect — and have fun

Long-running family camp continues to help kids facing loss despite pandemic challenges.
Cindi Yang started decorating her home for Christmas the day after Halloween this year. "With everything that’s happened in 2020, I think people are

Minnesotans are decking the halls weeks ahead of the holidays, hoping to boost spirits

Even before the skulls and ghosts from Halloween came down, Christmas lovers across Minnesota were pulling out the ornaments and twinkly lights.
Family holidays will look different this year.

How Gov. Walz's new COVID guidelines will shape Thanksgiving for Minnesotans

It's possible to limit the risks of a large gathering and still keep some of the magic.
Alison Malone showed photos to Charlie Kazama, 5.

Twin Cities photographers rescue school picture day for distance learners

Photographers are hosting shoots outside or in garages: Even in an age when parents' phones are filled with images of their children, the humble school picture still carries meaning.
Seena Hodges, Minnesota's "Woke Coach."

Meet Minnesota's Woke Coach: Seena Hodges

Seena Hodges works to set her clients on the path to create a more anti-racist, inclusive world.
Don Piccard, shown in January 1989, spent much of his life in Minneapolis.

'Father of modern hot-air ballooning' Don Piccard dies at 94

Piccard organized the country's first hot-air balloon race, launching from a frozen White Bear Lake as part of the 1962 St. Paul Winter Carnival.
As winter approaches, we are closing ranks into more fixed "covid bubbles" of friends or family. Does Grandma get left out?

Your winter COVID bubble: How can you decide who's in, who's out?

As colder weather sends us indoors, many Minnesotans are shrinking their social circles.
Devin Johnson and Rob Lambert of Lakeville decorated their SUV with winnings from past midway winnings before driving through the Minnesota State Fair

From the safety of your car: It's a drive-thru life during the pandemic

Many activities — from concerts to church to doctor visits — can now be experienced from the safe bubble of our vehicles. But car-first culture comes at a cost.
As parents prepare their kids for in-class, distance learning or some combination of the two, they’re adding new items to the back-to-school list.

Back-to-school shopping? You may need more than No. 2 pencils and glue sticks

From portable hand sanitizer to stylus pens for tablets, school supplies have been altered by the pandemic.
Minneapolis jeweler Larissa Loden's "Vote" collection.

Michelle Obama's 'Vote' necklace gives local jeweler Larissa Loden a sales boost

Loden got a post-convention bump, thanks to Michelle Obama's fashion sense.
Carol Hauck is marking the centennial celebration of U.S. women’s right to vote with an all-women motorcycle ride across several states.

Minnesota woman will take a cross-country motorcycle trip to mark 100 years of women's right to vote

A retired IT consultant from Chaska will join six other women to celebrate suffragists and their movement.
Elise Schneider, 6, dissected an owl pellet for bone fragments.

Help for Minnesota parents comes in the form of kids' camp-in-a-box

Minnesota museums, nonprofits and stores are packaging up activity kits for home use. We tested some on real kids.

How to get your kids to wear face masks

Cartoon characters, local nurses and pediatricians help parents get their kids to wear the face coverings.
Provided photo

Now you can invite an actual bird of prey to join your next Zoom meeting

The Raptor Center offers "Raptor Zoomies" with a bird of prey.
Water closet with toilet partition in public toilet.

How risky is using a public restroom during the COVID-19 pandemic?

More Minnesotans are venturing out, but still avoiding public restrooms. Is the worry warranted?
Meghan Leahy

How to help kids navigate coming out of quarantine and other COVID-19 struggles

Parenting coach Meghan Leahy offers tips on how to help kids coming out of quarantine and other COVID-19 struggles.
What to expect when you head to the pool this summer.

Some Twin Cities beaches, pools and splash pads have opened, but precautions vary

Lakes, pools and splash pads offer a way to beat the heat. But safety precautions vary widely.
As some outdoor pools reopen this pandemic summer, there are a few new rules. The Oak Hill Park Splash Pad in St. Louis Park had a limit of 75 people

Here's where outdoor splashy fun is still happening

Many pools, water parks and beaches have been closed because of the pandemic, but a growing number have recently reopened or are scheduled to do…
Josephine, 7 and Finley, 6, measure their social distancing before going out for a canoe ride at YMCA Camp Day Croix.

Are your kids going to camp? It's up in the air for many Minnesota families

Many camp organizers and parents are still gauging the safety of this mainstay of Minnesota summers.
Maddy Goeden rented a tent sauna for the night, set up in her Minneapolis backyard.

Here's how Minnesotans are managing to create summer fun in their own backyards

With trips canceled and some playgrounds, beaches and splash pads closed, Minnesotans aren't going far in pursuit of summer fun.
Trudine "Trudy" Stringer

Trudine 'Trudy' Stringer, a woman who treated everyone like family, dies of COVID-19 at 74

Trudine “Trudy” Stringer was “the epitome of a neighborhood mom” who welcomed everyone into her north Minneapolis home and would make sure they didn’t leave…
“Cathy” cartoonist Cathy Guisewite.

Ack! 'Cathy' cartoonist takes to Instagram to share daily 'Scenes From Isolation'

Cathy Guisewite has been capturing our collective pandemic anxieties and ack-worthy quarantine moments.
Izaak Mendoza celebrated as he watched to the video commencement address in his graduation robes alongside his wife, Becky, and his family, who were o

For new University of Minnesota grads, ceremony is virtual, but pride is real

Technology and distance failed to dampen the enthusiasm or dry the happy tears.
Mother’s Day can be particularly difficult for women who have lost their own. At last year’s brunch in St. Paul, women formed a circle and held ha

Missing their moms, this Twin Cities group keeps their memories alive

Twin Cities group supports women and girls through mother loss with "healing, joy and gratitude."
Don’t worry about gaining weight during quarantine.

Here's why you probably won't gain the 'Quarantine 15'

We may be snacking more, but home cooking can keep our scales steady.
In a video posted on her Instagram account, podcast host Bert Anderson of Rogers made do with what was on hand to do squats.

For home workouts, trainers suggest using soup cans, water bottles, even your kids as weights

There are plenty of workouts that don't require equipment at all, but for those who love to lift weights, higher rep sets using household items can provide a great workout.
“This is All I Got” by Lauren Sandler

Review: 'This Is All I Got: A New Mother's Search for Home,' by Lauren Sandler

NONFICTION: A New York journalist documents a year in the life of a homeless mother and the system that failed her.
Erika Larson checked out at the Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis. Larson is a zero waster. When she shops for food, she buys in bulk, brings a reu

Earth Day is 50 years old today. So why is plastic making a comeback?

The shutdowns for the coronavirus pandemic have made the skies clearer, but many of us have ditched eco-friendly practices at home.
Celeste Headlee

Author of 'Do Nothing' book says quarantine gives us a rare chance to slow down, reassess

She wants people to relearn how to appreciate leisure and rethink relationship with work.
Frankie Scherer cuts the hair of her dad, Matt Scherer, in the family’s backyard.

With salons closed, Minnesotans are having a rough time keeping up appearances

Many folks are going without makeup and other grooming products or breaking out the hair clippers and drugstore hair dye.
For Jonah Larson, crocheting is more than a hobby.

5 crafts you can teach yourself to calm your mind and keep you busy

You can only watch so much Netflix.Taking up a new craft (or two) is fun and offers proven benefits.
Support systems and humor are tools parents are using as they cope with two full-time jobs.

Minnesota parents are working at home and making it work

Using support systems and humor, Minnesota parents are finding ways to tackle two full-time jobs at once.
People sat a recommended distance apart from each other during the presentation of the new FIAT 500 electric car in Milan on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

Minnesotans may have a leg up when it comes to social distancing

Michael Osterholm is a frequent flier, often racking up more than 200,000 miles a year. But as the number of U.S. coronavirus cases climbs, the…
30-day Sleep Challenge: Small changes to nighttime habits can make big difference

30-day Sleep Challenge: Small changes to nighttime habits can make big difference

Many of us have come to learn about our sleep rhythms and make small, doable changes that improved the quality and quantity of our rest.
Rather than moving to downsize, Arlys and John Edson remodeled the kitchen of their longtime home in Plymouth.

Instead of downsizing, Twin Cities baby boomers remodel homes for long haul

Downsizing is still happening, but later, studies suggest.
30-Day Sleep Challenge: Try these four hacks to help you sleep

30-Day Sleep Challenge: Try these four hacks to help you sleep

Power naps — whether at your desk or in a fancy pod — are just one of the most popular sleep hacks that local experts suggest.
Sleep challenge: sleep hygiene (Jon Krause/Special to the Star Tribune)

Change these habits for a better night's rest

Making a few simple changes in your routine can have a profound effect on how you sleep.
Setting a sleep schedule

How to get on a healthy sleep schedule with our 30 Day Sleep Challenge

You can use information from your sleep diary to help pinpoint adjustments to try in the weeks ahead.
Special to the Star Tribune

Want to sleep better? Join our 30-day Sleep Challenge. Here's how.

Better mood, sharper thinking, improved cardiovascular health: Turns out, getting more sleep can have a profound impact on your quality of life.
Special to the Star Tribune

How keeping a sleep diary could be the key to better health

Our 30-day Sleep Challenge begins with understanding that sleep is essential to our health.
Renting furniture through a subscription service is a growing option. Chicago-based Inhabitr, which rents the furniture shown here, plans to launch in

Bored with your decor? Popular furniture rental options coming soon to Twin Cities

Furniture and home goods subscription services aim to give millennials flexibility and sustainability.
Helen McNulty

Helen McNulty, University of Minnesota Spanish teacher and international consultant, dies at 97

She took all five kids and her husband on study-abroad adventures while she worked as an adviser to the Student Project for Amity Among Nations program.
Minneapolis actress/writer Mo Perry ditched her hair dye two years ago.

These Minnesota women will never say 'dye' again

An online movement to embrace gray hair is helping inspire many women to ditch the hair dye.
Matriarch Digital Media founder and CEO Twila Dang.

Twin Cities mom and radio host builds podcast network 'that talks to grown women'

Matriarch Digital Media's stable of shows aim to offer a place women can go to be "understood, encouraged and uplifted."
Ada Calhoun writes about sleepless nights and sudden rages behind closed doors.

Author tackles Gen X women's midlife crisis: 'You're not imagining it, and it's not just you'

NONFICTION: Journalist Ada Calhoun plumbs the question of what's keeping women up at night.
Sarah Agaton Howes creates “Ojibwe contemporary art for all.”

From blankets to phone cases, this Minnesota designer creates 'Ojibwe contemporary art for all'

There’s often a strawberry in the striking floral designs that Sarah Agaton Howes creates. For the Anishinaabe entrepreneur, teacher and community organizer, the little red…
For Jonah Larson, crocheting is more than a hobby.

An 11-year-old La Crosse boy has become an international crochet phenom

A seventh-grade boy's love of crochet has helped him focus, brought him a viral following and changed his family's life.
The gang returns in "Frozen 2."

Minnesota kid critics weigh in on Frozen 2: It's 'super, super good'

Our panel of kid critics, ages 3 to 9, quickly warmed to Elsa and Anna's return.
Kao Kalia Yang and Shannon Gibney.

Bookmark: A conversation with Kao Kalia Yang and Shannon Gibney

 After suffering a miscarriage at 19 weeks, Kao Kalia Yang wrote a post on Facebook. It was a message addressed to her lost baby, and…
The app Peanut is “like Tinder for moms.”

'Tinder for moms' app Peanut aims to help Twin Cities women make friends

The app doesn't make new friends for you. You still have to put yourself out there.
Patina Park, president and CEO of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, is among the people represented in the new “#MeToo in Minnesota Hi

Minn. History Center exhibit wants to keep us talking about #metoo

New exhibit at the Minnesota History Center aims to foster a collective conversation about sexual violence.
Margaret "Peg" Filipczak

Margaret Filipczak, tiny tap dancer in New York vaudeville shows turned teacher, dies at 99

Nearly eight decades after she appeared in New York vaudeville shows as a tiny tap dancer, Margaret Filipczak could still knock out a little routine…
Jessie Diggins

Gold medalist Jessie Diggins opens up on working to be own best cheerleader

Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins will be in town for live podcast.with Ch. 11's Jana Shortal and to participate in a race on rollerskis through downtown Minneapolis.
Running woman with baby stroller enjoying summer day in park. Jogging or power walking supermom, active family with baby jogger.

This Minnesota researcher is harnessing the power of exercise to fight postpartum depression

University of Minnesota researcher is studying how working out can help prevent postpartum depression for those most at risk.
Azadeh Moaveni

Review: 'Guest House for Young Widows: The Women of ISIS,' by Azadeh Moaveni

NONFICTION: What compels a modern woman to join ISIS? This collection of interviews gives a clue.
Heather Whelpley, an imposter syndrome coach, says Minnesotans’ culture of humility can add to the obstacles associated with impostor syndrome.

With classes, coaching, Twin Cities women tackle impostor syndrome

Twin Cities women — and men — are learning to identify and hopefully fight impostor syndrome.
Sheila O'Connor

Grandma's six-year sentence for teen pregnancy in 1930s inspired Edina author's latest book

Hamline professor uncovers the story of young women who were incarcerated for being pregnant.