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John Reinan

Reporter | Region & State
Phone: 612-673-7402
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

John Reinan is a news reporter covering Greater Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. For the Star Tribune, he's also covered the western Twin Cities suburbs, as well as marketing, advertising and consumer news. He's been a reporter for more than 20 years and also did a stint at a marketing agency.

Reinan has reported for seven newspapers from Alaska to Florida and points in between. A graduate of Fergus Falls High School and St. Olaf College, he usually can get within two degrees of connection to just about anyone in Minnesota. In his free time, he reads a lot of history, drives the historic Lake Harriet trolley in Minneapolis and plays the stand-up bass.
Recent content from John Reinan
Former Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan (front left) pleaded guilty to two gross misdemeanor charges in the stalking and harassment of a former empl

Former Chisago County sheriff pleads guilty, claims 'hero syndrome' in bizarre stalking case

Rick Duncan says job trauma and stress were factors in "Control Freak" incidents.
Officer Arik Matson and his wife, Megan, arrive at the Waseca Public Safety building as he returned home for the first time since he was shot in the l

Waseca officer shot in the head gets hero's welcome home

The 33-year-old officer waved from a squad car to hundreds cheering and clapping as he returned for the first time since he was shot in the head last winter as he responded to a call about a prowler.
David Andahl

North Dakota legislative candidate dies of COVID-19, will still be on November ballot

As COVID-19 cases surge in North Dakota, the disease has claimed a candidate for state Legislature touted as a “Trump Republican.” But he’ll still be…
Then-Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan, in front.

Former Chisago County sheriff offered no-jail plea deal in bizarre stalking case

Rick Duncan already turned down one plea deal.
Karen Falk held a sign that reads “Life is too short for hate” during a Murdock, Minn., City Council meeting Wednesday during a public discussion

Big crowd in western Minnesota town grills controversial Nordic heritage church

Nearly 50 people filled the hall for a special City Council meeting. No decision was made.

Phillip Radford, avid gardener and cheerful optimist, dies of COVID-19 complications at 77

You could have excused Phillip Radford for being gloomy. At age 12, his father died, and the boy went to work to help support his…
Danger of fire is currently high in the Boundary Waters and along the Canadian border. Here, fire crews fight a 2011 fire just south of the Boundary W

Minnesota's dry autumn has foresters on edge over fire danger

Field conditions are great for farmers, but the risk of fires looms Up North.
The pad cups of a flute are taken out to be fixed at Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing.

Minnesota college is home to elite program in musical instrument repair

Minnesota State College Southeast offers a rare chance to learn these special skills.
Pam Bluhm revived the Chatfield News in March. Now she’s being sued by a rival publisher, who claims she’s illegally using the name and subscripti

Rival small-town Minnesota publishers battle over the revived Chatfield News

After the paper closed, it was brought back to life. But was it legal?
The smiley-faced water tower in Freeport, Minn., will live on after the town raised $33,000 to renovate and repaint it.

Residents of Minnesota town band together to save iconic water tower

Saved from demolition, the smiley-faced tower along Interstate 94 is being refurbished.
A Navy veteran could lose his home after a dispute over this flagpole he installed in the yard of his St. Michael residence.

Minnesota Navy veteran could lose his home in dispute over a flagpole

A homeowners association has foreclosed on the St. Michael home and scheduled a sheriff's sale for it.
Chad Landry helped a customer at the Trump Shop just south of Royalton on Hwy 10. Landry, the manager, said there are 25 or 30 Trump stores in Minneso

Trump Shops pop up in rural Minnesota, owned by Florida entrepreneur

Owned by an entrepreneur, they're not part of the president's campaign.
Treasure City, the iconic gift shop between the Twin Cities and the Brainerd lakes, is for sale. At age 79, the owner is ready to retire.

Iconic Minnesota gift shop Treasure City is for sale: 'We have stuff you won't find in most stores'

After nearly 50 years of selling items you can't find anywhere else, the owner is ready to retire.
Neighbors, volunteers and contract workers from Blue Sky Restoration cleaned up debris from last week’s derecho that ripped through Cedar Rapids.

Iowa still cleaning up a week later from terrifying derecho

Rare "inland hurricane" caused $4 billion in damage in eastern Iowa
After Hibbing resident John Peterson found a trove of old photos of the Minneapolis Lakers, he became friends with 92-year-old Bob Harrison, a player

Minnesota sports fan becomes pals with player he idolized 70 years ago

What fan hasn't dreamed of being buddies with one of his or her idols? For one Minnesota fan, that dream has come true. But it took a long, long time.
Pam Bluhm worked at the Chatfield News for nearly 40 years. When the newspaper serving Olmsted and Fillmore counties closed earlier this year, Bluhm k

With only $400 in the bank, new owner brings a small-town Minnesota newspaper back from the dead

When the 164-year-old Chatfield paper closed, one loyal employee brought it back to life.
Linda Nelson, left, and Nicole Meyer visited while demonstrating with about 45 other social justice supporters Thursday afternoon as a pro-Trump picku

In rural western Minnesota, divided they stand each week

It's a microcosm of what's happening in America, with both sides passionately proclaiming their views and neither side appearing to make much headway in convincing the other.
Ann Bowman, 75, said the Animal Humane Society is pushing her to retire after receiving a complaint about sick horses on her southern Minnesota farm.

Minn. horse breeder fears she's being pushed out because of age

After allegations of mistreatment, the Humane Society questioned whether the 75-year-old rancher should have such a large herd. The investigator "kept telling me I was old," Ann Bowman said. "Over and over and over."
The water town in Lake Park, Minn., where funeral services in July in the northwestern Minnesota town led 30 family members to become infected with CO

Minn. family's grief grows after funeral leads to an outbreak of coronavirus

Thirty people were infected after services for a northern Minnesota man in July.
A proposal to allow private helicopter pads on the shores of East Gull Lake pits a Twin Cities homeowner against neighbors concerned about noise and s

East Gull Lake is abuzz over proposal to allow helicopter pads

Community abuzz over request to allow private helicopter pads
A view of the crowd at the North Star Stampede Rodeo on July 25.

Minnesota seeks to punish rodeo organizers who bucked governor's safety order

North Star Stampede in Effie was warned to limit spectators but didn't comply, complaint says. Also one spectator tested positive for COVID-19.
The owner of Rooster's Bottle Shop in Brooten, Minn., is charged with swindling more than $135,000 in pulltab receipts that were intended to be donate

Brooten, Minn., divided and devastated after alleged pulltab swindle

A business leader has been charged with stealing gaming proceeds, leaving a trail of debt and broken trust.
This year’s North Star Stampede rodeo will be held without spectators. Here, founder Howard Pitzen announces the action in 1965.

Fans threatening to buck virus rules at Minnesota's largest outdoor rodeo

The plans come after the Minnesota Department of Health and the state attorney general, citing COVID-19 concerns, imposed a spectator limit.
This abandoned Lutheran church in Murdock, Minn., will become a Midwest regional hub for the Asatru Folk Assembly, a Nordic heritage religion that has

White heritage religious group takes root in Minnesota

For $45,000, the Asatru Folk Assembly bought an abandoned Lutheran church in Murdock and is creating its third "Hof," or gathering hall to serve believers throughout the Midwest. Religious scholars have identified the Nordic heritage group as a white supremacist organization.
Author Miles Harvey

Review: 'The King of Confidence,' by Miles Harvey

NONFICTION: The fascinating story of a 19th-century cult leader — part pirate, part politician, 100% con man.
Part of the homeless encampment in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis.

Man shot at Powderhorn Park encampment in Minneapolis

Injuries are not life-threatening in the latest incident in the tent community that has sprung up in Minnesota's largest city.
Law enforcement had both directions of the Mendota bridge closed Monday morning.

Authorities identify man killed by deputies as he held woman hostage on Mendota Bridge

Arlan Kaleb Schultz, 31, of Richfield died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. New orders issued Tuesday by Arradondo encourage officers to try to de-escalate inten

New policy: Minneapolis police must report efforts to de-escalate

Police also must report whenever they draw a gun.
The members of the Chicago rowing team Arshay Cooper depicts in “A Most Beautiful Thing.”

Review: 'A Most Beautiful Thing,' by Arshay Cooper

NONFICTION: An inspiring underdog tale set in a world that few readers have seen.
JBS is giving the city of Worthington $1 million, which will help fund an indoor recreation center.

Pork producer will donate $3.5 million to 3 Minnesota communities

Company says gifts are a response to COVID-19 and an investment in future.
At risk of losing their grocery store, Clara City leaders worked to bring a new market to town. Almich’s Market opened in late 2016.

In danger of losing its grocery, small Minnesota town worked to land a new store

Clara City saw the potential loss of its local market as a danger sign.
Shirley Kittleson, a veterinarian in Sherburn, Minn., says she's owed nearly $1.5 million for the care and feeding of a miniature pony herd that was s

Minnesota veterinarian's bill for rescued miniature horses nears $1.5M

Shirley Kittleson has cared for the herd since it was seized from a pony farm two years ago.
Australian artist Guido van Helten has finished a colossal piece covering the Ardent Mills silos in Mankato.

Mankato's massive silo mural is finished and 'really inspiring people to think big'

Children of Mankato inspired Australian's 135-foot-tall work
Jeff Fitzkappes, a Lutheran minister in Montevideo, Minn., has been outspoken about the need for rural white residents to acknowledge the history of s

Rural Minnesota uneasily ponders systemic racism

MONTEVIDEO, MINN. – When the Rev. Jeff Fitzkappes is preaching about social justice in this western Minnesota city, he knows when he’s pushing the limits.…
8-year-old Josie Hochsprung of Alexandria climbs the Prairie Walls at Blue Mound State Park as part of the " I Can Climb" program that gives novices t

Where did the terms 'outstate' and 'Greater Minnesota' originate?

A reader wonders: Where are "instate" and "Lesser Minnesota" located?
Rollie’s Rednecks and Longnecks, a Sauk Rapids bar, is suing the social justice group UniteCloud, alleging interference with the bar’s business.

'Redneck' bar sues St. Cloud social justice group, claims protests hurting business

Sauk Rapids establishment claims protests led by UniteCloud are hurting business.
The JCPenney store at the struggling Kandi Mall in Willmar will soon close. The mall is offering free and reduced rent to lure small businesses.

Willmar's Kandi Mall offering free rent to lure new businesses

After losing several large anchor tenants, Kandi Mall looks for boost
Police in riot gear stood guard on May 27 at the Third Police Precinct station, which was later badly damaged by during protests.

'Enough talk, we need action': Many call for drastic reform

The May 25 police killing of George Floyd, and the demonstrations that followed, represent a breaking point between citizens and police. While recognizing the need to maintain public safety and protect the city from danger, many say drastic change is desperately needed.
Roland Hogrefe owns Rollie’s Rednecks and Longnecks, a Sauk Rapids bar that displays Confederate paraphernalia. The bar’s listing on the Explore M

Bar's Confederate displays push Minnesota tourism agency back and forth

Sauk Rapids bar delisted twice from state tourism website
Responding to community criticism, the tourism agency for greater St. Cloud has again delisted Rollie’s Rednecks and Longnecks bar in Sauk Rapids fr

Minnesota bar is delisted – again – from state tourism website

After criticism, area visitors bureau says it's committed to "eliminating hate."
An Edina Realty agent was terminated after posting on Facebook about tearing down Black Lives Matters posters in Edina. In 2018, demonstrators gathere

Edina Realty agent terminated after tearing down Black Lives Matter posters

Edina Realty's director of marketing confirmed the company ended its relationship with Babette Gillet Bean after being made aware of the Facebook posts.
Rollie Hogrefe, owner of Rollie’s Rednecks and Longnecks in Sauk Rapids, has an extensive collection of Confederate memorabilia on display.

Minnesota bar delisted from tourism website over Confederate displays, then relisted

After objections from area residents, the head of the local tourism organization said nothing in the displays is against the group's policies.
Forestview Middle School

Brainerd teacher resigns over social media comments

School district criticized her 'troubling' Facebook posts.
Quincy Mason (son of George Floyd) and attorney Benjamin Crump during a press conference in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

Floyd's family applauds charges against four fired Minneapolis officers

And at the area where Floyd was pinned under an officer's knee, flowers and a mural now memorialize him.
Blackduck, Minn., Mayor Rudy Patch resigned after posting a Facebook meme that appeared to support running over protesters.

Northern Minnesota mayor resigns over inflammatory Facebook post about protesters

In Sauk Rapids, two volunteer firefighters were terminated over social media posts.
A Stearns County judge ruled that Kris Schiffler and Shady's Tavern in Albany, Minn., must abide by an executive order limiting on-premise dining and

Defiant Minnesota tavern owner loses COVID-19 case but vows to fight on

Kris Schiffler said he expected to lose this round but plans to take his case to federal court.
Police arrested about 150 protesters outside Bobby and Steve's Auto World on Sunday, May 31, 2020, at Washington Avenue and I-35W in Minneapolis.

A dramatic clash during George Floyd protest turns into peaceful arrest in Minneapolis

After a tense standoff lasting nearly an hour — with concussive devices and tear gas — police boxed in the protesters on all four sides…
Peaceful protesters, including Actor and comedian Nick Cannon celebrated the memory of George Floyd and demanded justice outside the Cup Foods store o

George Floyd's death fanned the flames of long-smoldering grievances

Felt oppressed and voiceless, now spurred to action by a brutal and public death.
Billy Hanisch delivered personalized cakes for the high school graduates in Plum City, Wis.

Red Wing baker providing donated cakes to graduates of 12 area high schools

His shop is rising to the occasion, donating 800 commencement cakes.
Dr. William Robinson, left, and Dr. Elvis Francois performed "God Bless America" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Mayo's 'singing surgeons' take their act to the Indianapolis Speedway

They'll sing in Memorial Day celebration at Indianapolis Speedway.
Kris Schiffler, owner of Shady's Hometown Tavern in Albany, Minn., told supporters this week that he wouldn't defy an order by Gov. Tim Walz limiting

Judge to rule soon on whether Minnesota bar can reopen

Shady's Tavern in Albany, Minn., is fighting governor's order barring drinking and dining on premises during COVID-19 pandemic.
Megan Callahan-Beckel, a member of the Wildlife Science Center animal care staff, held one of three 12-day-old wolf pups that were temporarily removed

How did wolves become dogs? These Minnesota wolf pups may hold the answer

Three wolf puppies are key to a new theory about how wolves evolved into dogs.
Steve Preston was faced with a decision as the Drake Hotel went up in flames -- save his comic book and coin collection, or the cat he’d been caring

Treasured comic book collection found in Drake Hotel rubble reunited with owner

Collector thought he lost it all in Christmas Day fire.
Crowds gathered outside Shady's Hometown Tavern in Albany, Minn., waiting for the doors to open before noon on Monday, May 18, 2020.

Judge shuts down attempt to open Stearns County bar early

"I'm not standing here in tears because I'm happy to open," said Kris Schiffler, owner of Shady's Hometown Tavern. "I'm standing here in tears because the attorney general has just shut us down."
A maintenance worker dusted in an otherwise deserted skyway over S. 3rd Avenue in Minneapolis on Tuesday afternoon.

When Twin Cities downtowns reopen, so will their skyways

When the stay-home order is lifted — now set for Monday — and business as usual is allowed, the skyways also are likely to go back to their usual operation. Owners say safety will be stressed in the corridors that carry hundreds of thousands.
A KnightKrawler robotics team meber from Irondale High School in New Brighton at work making face shield visors with a 3-D printer.

Minnesota's high school robotics teams design gear for COVID-19 first responders

Minnesota high schools are manufacturing protective gear
File photo of COVID-19 tests being administered outside of the St. Luke's Miller Creek Medical Clinic in Duluth on April 27.

North Dakota loses out in COVID-19 competition for supplies, cancels testing events

With 50 states and the federal government competing for scarce COVID-19 testing supplies, North Dakota came out on the short end Monday.The state was forced…
Brendan Kennealy caught his daughter Hazel, 2, as she went down a small slide in the backyard of their home Friday.

Caution will outlast Minnesota's COVID-19 restrictions

For many, the weeks in quarantine have instilled a sense of concern — or fear — that won't be easy to shed.
“It’s not hopeless”: Mother Marie Immaculata, from left, Sister Mary Christiana, Sister Mary Matthew, Sister Marie Elizabeth, Mother Mary Barbar

Cloistered Minnesota nuns share thoughts on handling social isolation

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across Minnesota and much of the globe, several sisters graciously consented to meet and offer their thoughts on how the rest of us can cope with our social isolation during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
LM Wind Power in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Response to major COVID-19 outbreak in Grand Forks, N.D., raises questions

One of the Midwest's largest COVID-19 hot spots — with 128 confirmed cases, including 11 Minnesota residents — is linked to LM Wind Power.
Randy and Cindy Driscoll were a couple for more than 30 years, but a new will he signed on his deathbed cut her inheritance by $2 million. In court do

Widow claims lawyer funneled husband's $5M estate to East Grand Forks church

A new will signed in the final weeks of Randy Driscoll's life gave his family farm to the local Catholic church.
Friends and family celebrated the 112th birthday of Erna Zahn with a parade in front of her window at the Oak Hills Living Center, Tuesday, April 14,

Oldest-living Minnesotan celebrated with 112th birthday parade

Erna Zahn says the secret to longevity is a good breakfast.
Oxbow Country Club and several prominent members were ordered to pay $2 million for slandering a Fargo businessman.

'Power group' of Fargo-area country club hit with $2 million judgment for spreading drug rumors

Local real estate broker's business dried up after members spread false story about cocaine use.
Last year, the Minnesota National Guard assisted with flood response in Oslo, Minn. They're returning this year under an executive order signed Wednes

Walz activates National Guard to combat flooding threat

First up, the Guard will assist in Marshall County and in Oslo, in northwest Minnesota.
Helping Hands of Alexandria volunteers and organizers said goodbye to CentraCare dialysis staff members after delivering gift cards, flowers and sweet

Thousands of helping hands rally to support Alexandria

The massive volunteer effort started with some friends getting together on Facebook to chat about what they could do to help their neighbors during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Fergus Falls woman gets 10 years in prison for abuse death of 6-year-old child

A Fergus Falls, Minn., woman was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for the death of a 6-year-old boy she abused while taking care…
Mel Jacobson, left, with neighbor Rod Hyde, abandoned Minnetonka for his cabin across the St. Croix River to wait out the virus pandemic.

Minnesotans hunker down at cabins to escape coronavirus

Despite concerns of year-round residents, some cabin owners head north to wait out the crisis
A worker wore a protective mask and gloves as he cleaned the light-rail platform outside Union Depot on Saturday in St. Paul.

As stay-at-home order takes hold in Minnesota, the streets go quiet

In a region embarking on a deep lockdown to keep a potentially deadly virus at bay, the mood was solemn and subdued, the landscape a still life largely devoid of humans and hundreds of businesses dark.
The historic Calumet Inn in Pipestone, Minn., is the subject of a fierce fight between its owner and local officials who have shut down the landmark h

Historic Calumet Inn in Pipestone shuts down in fierce fight between owner and city

In "absolute shock," owner Tammy Grubbs says the city acted illegally in condemning the property.
Diana Neidecker and her spouse Blake Ward, who started filling the little free library outside their home with grocery items on Monday to help those i

Enter the heroes: Ordinary Minnesotans do extraordinary things

The COVID-19 crisis has many Minnesotans rushing to help friends, neighbors and strangers.
These baby black bear cubs were rescued from a northwest Minnesota farm after their mother was injured by a combine harvesting corn.

Tiny bear cubs rescued in northwest Minnesota after mother struck by combine

Weighing only 5 pounds now, the cubs will be freed next spring.
The Roseau Stone had been at the University of Minnesota for years, but it is back at its place of origin and will be on display at the Roseau County

Another Minn. runestone? Mysterious stone lost for decades returns to Roseau

Are its odd markings natural, or carved by someone long ago?
Colten Treu was led into Chippewa County Court for a preliminary hearing, Friday, April 12, 2019, in Chippewa Falls, Wis.

Wis. man gets 54-year sentence in roadside deaths of Girl Scouts

Wisconsin man was high when he ran down three girls and a parent in 2018.
Osceola High School, in Osceola, Wis., was closed Tuesday for cleaning after someone testing positive for the coronavirus attended a function Saturday

Osceola, Wis., schools to resume Wednesday after scrubbing and cleaning

They had been closed Tuesday after a visitor tested positive for the coronavirus.
"You can take Winona out of Winona..." Ryder ponders while lying in a snowbank under the Winona, Minn. welcome sign.

Winona's Super Bowl ad felt more like 'Fargo,' residents say

City has launched marketing campaign to counter Super Bowl spot.