Staff Directory 6370583

John Reinan

Reporter | Region & State
Phone: 612-673-7402

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
The Crisman family lost its bid to have Kanabec County reopen the dispute to have the gravel road maintained to their property in Mora, Minn.

With options exhausted, it's the end of the gravel road for family

The Crisman family near Mora, Minn., appears to have no public path to recovering the quarter-mile segment of gravel road that's now been declared the property of their neighbor.
The Crisman family wants Hillman Township to resume maintaining the gravel road to their home near Mora, Minn. Last year the Minnesota Court of Appeal

Mora, Minn., family seeks county's help in gravel road dispute

The family is asking the Kanabec County Board to overrule Hillman Township's decision to stop maintaining the stretch of road.
Kyle Klatt, left, Red Wing community development director, views progress on the old Goodhue County National Bank renovation with construction foreman

Red Wing lures downtown residents with new developments

One new and one renovated building will add about 65 apartments in the historic heart of the city.
Angry exchanges between citizens and Mayor Dennis Walsh have become an ongoing occurrence at Orono City Council meetings. Local resident Brad Erickson

New Orono council member: It's time to end the yearlong chaos

Mayor's actions have caused 'distrust and discord,' she says.
Devin Scott was fatally stabbed on Feb. 10 in Harding High School. Three teens were shot on Friday night at a funeral reception on St. Paul’s West S

St. Paul weathers spike in violence among teenagers

Residents said Saturday that there are no easy answers to youth violence, the day after three teens were shot and injured outside a funeral reception for the Harding High School stabbing victim.
Minnesota briefs: Building permits up sharply in Red Wing in 2022

Minnesota briefs: Building permits up sharply in Red Wing in 2022

And Rocori selects Pipestone leader as new superintendent.
David Hann, chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, is fighting a county GOP official who refuses to step down from his post.

Bitter fight between Moorhead GOP factions lands in court

The state GOP is suing what it calls a rogue party official.
Police took a shooter into custody Thursday morning at the Lund boat factory in New York Mills, Minn.

Workers subdue shooter at Lund boat factory in western Minnesota

Workers at the Lund boat factory in New York Mills, Minn., subdued a shooter at the plant Thursday morning, police said. Authorities arrived and took the suspect into custody. There were no injuries.
What happened to Minneapolis' famous Weatherball?

What happened to Minneapolis' famous Weatherball?

The glowing orb was a fixture on the city's skyline for decades.
Minnesota native Kevin Chapman, left, talked to city officials in Salisbury, N.C., about a veterans housing project he built there. Now Chapman is sta

Edina native buys abandoned Albert Lea house to turn into housing for veterans

Housing advocate Kevin Chapman is rebuilding lives "one man at a time."
Polly Mann

Polly Mann, co-founder of WAMM and leader in Minnesota's antiwar movement, dies at 103

Explaining her mission, she said, 'I have to speak out.'
This funky, 54-foot tower on the main highway in Kerkhoven, Minn., became a sore point in the city’s dealings with its former mayor, Jim Rothers. No

Controversial small-town Minnesota mayor gets probation on federal fraud charge

Jim Rothers resigned as Kerkhoven mayor during an investigation into his construction company.
Russ Sirek, of Lonsdale Hardware and Rental, waited on Tim Hauser on Friday in Lonsdale, Minn. Sirek said he’s had to add higher-end merchandise as

41 Minnesota cities are switched from urban to rural classification

U.S. Census Bureau changed classifications that had been in place since 1910: For more than a century, the bureau had classified areas as urban if they had a population of 2,500 or more. But that holdover from the horse-and-buggy era no longer made sense in the digital age.
Wearing two of just about everything, Tyler Clendenen put in another long, cold day making deliveries for the U.S. Postal Service.

Minnesota workers brave cold, blizzard conditions

From mail carriers to liquor store clerks, Friday was just another day on the job.
Jim White, former Orono mayor, reviews records of a city land deal that he and two other ex-mayors say was illegal.

Orono gave 'sweetheart' land deals to city officials, ex-mayors charge

Current city leaders say the transactions were needed to correct inaccurate, century-old property maps.
State Auditor Julie Blaha presents her office’s annual audit of municipal liquor store sales Thursday.

Rural Minnesotans head back to taverns as municipal liquor sales set a record

Profits more than doubled at muni-owned bars, largely in rural Minnesota.
Saying he was inspired by the March for Life, a rally against abortion held at the Minnesota State Capitol every January, a Minnesota man gave nearly

Minnesota organization opposed to abortion sues Bemidji man over $842K donation

He says Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life took advantage of his ailing father before his father's death.
The St. Cloud Times, which once had more than 40 people in its newsroom, is now a “ghost paper” with two reporters to cover a region of 200,000 pe

Deep staff cuts leave St. Cloud Times a 'ghost paper'

Serving a region of 200,000 residents, the paper now has a news staff of two.
The Rock County History Center in Luverne now has more nutcrackers — more than 5,000 — than the city has residents.

Minnesota briefs: Luverne museum now has more nutcrackers than city has residents

Plus: Duluth direct flights to Florida paused in January; USDA looking to give out digital access grants; Bemidji moves to limit teardowns.
Stars are reflected in Elbow Lake Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022 on the Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, Minn. To make this image, a ten-minute exposure was

These Minnesota cities are winning the fight against light pollution

Much of the progress with "dark sky" initiatives has come from rethinking public buildings.
The lobby of the quirky Don Q Inn, located in Dodgeville, Wis., features a fireplace made from a steam engine surrounded by barbershop chair.

Wisconsin's famed 'Fantasy Suites' hotel answers questions you never asked

Some call it a "sex hotel," offering fantasy suites featuring an igloo and a hot air balloon.
Rosella Decker, the mother of Tommy Decker, who was shot to death while working as a Cold Spring police officer in November 2012, put a hand on his gr

Minnesota briefs: Memorial to honor slain officer Tom Decker, others on 10th anniversary

Plus: U.S. Supreme Court allows Red Wing garbage plans to proceed; northern cities get grants for water projects.
Abortion opponents celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Now some Minnesota activists are trying to make abortion illega

Small Minnesota town may become focus of abortion fight

Under a proposed ordinance, citizens of Prinsburg (pop. 500) could sue abortion providers.
Russ Bjorhus

Farm advocate 'Russ' Bjorhus dies at 93

Longtime Litchfield resident led federal agency during farm crisis of the 1980s.
Minnesota briefs: Winona homeowner told he can't live in his garage

Minnesota briefs: Winona homeowner told he can't live in his garage

And Brainerd businesses tell city not to end downtown snow removal.
Quinlan McWilliams, voting in downtown Minneapolis, had only one choice for state House as the Republican Party failed to field a candidate in his dis

More than ever, Minnesota's political parties failed to fill their candidate slates

Two dozen legislative seats were unopposed this year, an unusually high number.
Heather Kirby, a victim advocate in rural Norman County, Minn., has caused a stir with her complaints about lax enforcement of victims’ rights.

Rural Minnesota victim advocate says cops are failing to protect battered women

Norman County sheriff defends his deputies and said he's the target of a critic who is politically motivated.
Rush City has ordered Erin and Jason Oare to paint over the mural on their hair salon. The city contends that it violates a zoning ordinance.

Rush City salon owners fight City Hall to keep mural of racial inclusion

City leaders may have OK'd the mural's message, they said, but not without prior consultation.
Nicholas LeFlem of Hopkins bought Powerball tickets at several different locations to spread his luck around.

Powerball fever grows as jackpot hits an estimated $1.2B, second highest

"It's like buying a dream for a day," one Minnesota player said.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey visited a homeless encampment near the LIttle Earth housing project in 2018. Protesters who are angry about what they cal

Mpls. protesters set up daylong homeless camp near Mayor Frey's home

Angry at what they called the "militarized" response to homelessness by the city of Minneapolis, protesters set up a sidewalk encampment Sunday.
Eddie Gould and Sandra Olson say their peace and quiet have been disturbed by a crypto mining operation that opened recently near their home in Glenco

Neighbors unhappy about crypto mining operation in Glencoe, Minn.

Crypto company says it's doing everything possible to reduce noise.
State Demographer Susan Brower in a Minneapolis classroom in 2019.  “You can look out decades after a childhood where someone has experienced povert

Minnesota sees historic drop in child poverty

Support programs, work requirements cited as keys
Activist Winona LaDuke won a court decision preventing Hubbard County officials from blocking protesters near the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline.

Judge rules Hubbard County can't blockade protest camp near Enbridge Line 3 pipeline

Hubbard County had barricaded a road and arrested protesters who drove on it.
Minnesota briefs: Groundbreaking for major city park held in Duluth

Minnesota briefs: Groundbreaking for major city park held in Duluth

The city of Duluth celebrated the start of Lincoln Park's reconstruction Friday in the neighborhood of the same name.A plan for the park was adopted…
A bitter battle over Tammie Krebsbach’s unfinished home in Rochester may be entering a new phase.

Unfinished Rochester dream home gets reprieve from teardown

The 16,000-square-foot hilltop house has been vacant since 2018. Neighbors want it gone.
Olivia Barr, 25, of Minneapolis was pleasantly surprised when she learned on Instagram that virtually all her student debt would be canceled thanks to

For many recent Minnesota college grads, debt plan is 'life-changing'

Most graduates with loans can have up to $10,000 forgiven.
'We might not have to struggle': Minnesota graduates react to Biden's loan debt plan

'We might not have to struggle': Minnesota graduates react to Biden's loan debt plan

Name: Leah Payne, 27City: DuluthCurrent job: Looking for work in music therapy fieldCollege: Colorado State University, graduate degreeStudent loan debt: $40,000Monthly loan bill: About $300/monthHow…
Brad Erickson laughed angrily before storming out of a recent Orono City Council meeting. The public comments began with Mayor Dennis Walsh detailing

Bitter disputes in Orono pit unhappy residents vs. officials

Mayor Dennis Walsh calls his critics "clowns" as they dispute the city's land deals.
The Crisman family of rural Kanabec County lost an appeal in the long fight over the gravel road to their home.

Minnesota Court of Appeals sides with township in gravel road saga

Hillman Township has won the latest — and perhaps final — round in a bitter fight over a rural Minnesota gravel road, as the state Court of Appeals ruled that the township has no duty to maintain the road to a private residence outside Mora, Minn.
Teens pack the dance floor at the Tower, which operated in Austin, Minn., from 1957-71. The town is holding a celebration to mark the club’s 65th an

Austin celebration to rekindle fond memories of bygone teen club

The Tower was a hot spot for southern Minnesota teens in the '50s and '60s.
Excessive drinking costs Minnesota nearly $8 billion a year, according to a newly published study by Minnesota Department of Health researchers.

Huge liquor tab: Excessive drinking costs Minnesota $8 billion a year

Study by Health Department researchers tallied the costs of problem drinking in the state.
How property assessment works in Minnesota

How property assessment works in Minnesota

Minnesota's property tax system is among the most complex in the nation. But in simple terms, here's how it works.— County assessors gather all property…
The assessment on Bruce Anderson’s lot on West Leaf Lake in Otter Tail County doubled in just one year.

Soaring property values shock owners in Minn. lake country

Many owners saw the value of their properties double in just one year.
A pharmacist at the McGregor Pharmacy, which was then a Thrifty White, declined to fill a contraception prescription.

Jury finds for pharmacist who declined to fill birth control prescription

The Aitkin County jury awarded $25,000 for emotional harm to the woman who was denied a morning-after pill.
The crux of the Aitkin case under the law, Judge David Hermerding wrote, “is whether [Badeaux] deliberately misled, obfuscated and blocked Ms. Ander

'I was asking to be excused,' Minnesota pharmacist testifies in contraception trial

George Badeaux said he tried to walk the line between his religious beliefs and his medical duties.
Andrea Anderson is suing pharmacist George Badeaux and her local pharmacy under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, claiming they discriminated against he

Aitkin County woman testifies about roadblocks in getting emergency contraception

Questions at trial delve into the most personal aspects of her life.
A trial involving a rural Minnesota woman who was denied emergency contraception may be the first of its kind in the nation.

Minnesota jury to decide rights case on morning-after pill denial

A mother of five from McGregor, Minn., sought a morning-after pill after a condom broke during sex. Her pharmacist, citing his beliefs, refused to fill the prescription.
A returning son creates an artful amenity for his Minnesota hometown

A returning son creates an artful amenity for his Minnesota hometown

Art in Motion attracts Stearns County locals as well as cyclists on the Lake Wobegon Trail.
A woman in line for Dave Chappelle’s show at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis on Wednesday evening had a heated exchange with protesters who viewe

Trans rights protesters heat up the scene outside relocated Chappelle show

Comedian's appearance was moved from First Avenue to the Varsity Theater amid backlash over perceived transphobia in his act.
Video of a loon and its babies hopping on land toward Cass County’s Roosevelt Lake has gone viral online.

Minnesota loon family lights up social media with hopping journey to lake

Birds aren't made for navigating the lakeshore.
Donald James taught and tutored for decades.

Donald James, mathematician and mushroom fanatic, dies at 88

A lover of music, he composed a new song every day to play for his wife.
Four wounded in St. Cloud shootout

Four wounded in St. Cloud shootout

Police investigating dispute that left two young men and two teenagers injured.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a verdict awarding nearly $1.5 million to Sherburn, Minn., veterinarian Shirley Kittleson for care and feedi

Minnesota appeals court upholds $1.5 million award for care of miniature ponies

A Sherburn, Minn., veterinarian cared for more than 70 ponies after authorities removed them from a breeder's farm.
A Minnesota beekeeper must pay $370,000 after he took to Facebook and libeled a couple who sold him bees that later died.

Venting on Facebook costs angry Minnesota beekeeper $370,000

A judge ruled that his posts libeled a couple who sold him bees that later died.
This group of volunteer bakers turns out more than 20,000 cookies a year to raise money for senior meal deliveries in the Eagle Bend, Minn., area.

Minnesota senior bakers are building a community 20,000 cookies at a time

In Eagle Bend, Minn., senior volunteers bake good cookies that do good.
A man wakesurfed behind a boat on Lake Minnetonka on Thursday. As the sport has grown in popularity, so have complaints from lake users and homeowners

Lake Minnetonka wakesurfing stirs up debate over calls for ban

Opponents call for banning wakesurfing within 700 feet of shore while advocates say more education is the answer.
Gregory Ulrich

Ulrich found guilty on all counts in Buffalo clinic attack

A Wright County jury deliberated for six hours after he admitted shooting five people at Buffalo Allina Health Clinic last year.
Gregory Ulrich

Buffalo clinic shooting victim: 'My God — are we going to die here?'

Victims of Buffalo, Minn., shooting attack testify as alleged killer hides his face.
Lee Zion, owner of the Lafayette Nicollet Ledger in Nicollet County, is giving away his weekly newspaper so he can go to Ukraine to serve in the strug

Owner wants to give away his small-town Minnesota newspaper

He's off to Ukraine to fight against Russian invaders.
Gregory Ulrich

'I knew I was going to die': Clinic workers, patients recount attack in Buffalo, Minn.

Gregory Ulrich is charged in the 2021 attack that killed one and wounded four.
Gregory Ulrich

'I would send a lot of ambulances': Alleged Minnesota clinic attacker's 911 call played at trial

Five people were shot, leaving four injured and one dead, in the attack at a primary care clinic in Buffalo, Minn., in February 2021.
This booking photo released by the Wright County, Minn., Sheriff’s Office shows Gregory Paul Ulrich. Opening statements and testimony began Monday,

Testimony underway in trial for Buffalo Allina clinic attacker who killed 1, injured 4

Prosecutors say he planned the ambush; defense says he was a desperate man.
Gregory Ulrich

Jury selection in Buffalo clinic attack is painstaking, time-consuming and fascinating

Judge, attorneys are spending up to an hour quizzing each prospective juror, one at a time.
Minnesota briefs: Benson rejects city manager candidates

Minnesota briefs: Benson rejects city manager candidates

The city of Benson has reopened its search for a new city manager after rejecting two candidates.At a meeting earlier this month, the City Council…
The Pipestone Indian School in Pipestone, Minn., was among 21 Indian schools in the state. It opened in 1893 and closed around 1959. This photo shows

Federal report lays out historic effort to dismantle Indian families and culture

It's the first step in addressing 'intergenerational trauma' caused by placement of children in the Indian school system.
Students with their parents pay their respects for Lily Peters at the Parkview Elementary memorial in Chippewa Falls, Wis., on April 27.

Teen accused of killing Wis. girl had a chaotic start in life

Custody battle, father's prison time colored the 14-year-old's experiences.
Tamanna Krebsbach hoped to live in this 15,000-square-foot Rochester home with her husband. But they divorced and work on the home stopped. Now her ne

Rochester neighbors want woman to tear down her half-built dream home

A divorce halted construction on a couple's dream home. Neighbors call it a dangerous eyesore and want it torn down.
Parents pick up their children at Parkview Elementary School following advice by police in Chippewa Falls, Wis., on Tuesday, April 26.

Juvenile suspect arrested in Wisconsin girl's killing

Police said they arrested a suspect who was "known to the victim" and that there is no further danger to the community.
A Duluth police officer was found not guilty of charges arising from a shooting at the Kingsley Heights apartment building.

Duluth officer acquitted after shooting through door, wounding 1

A jury returned a quick verdict in favor of Tyler Leibfried, the first Duluth officer to be charged with a crime for a shooting on duty.
Police say a man having a mental health crisis killed five members of the Barry family Wednesday inside their home in the 700 block of E. 12th Street

Suspected Duluth killer confessed to killing family in social media post

He posted a confession and apology before allegedly taking 5 lives, including his own.
Five people were found dead inside a Duluth home, at right, on Wednesday after police received a report of a male experiencing a mental health crisis,

5 found dead in Duluth home after police asked to make check

Police found the bodies after a welfare check call and said the victims were related. Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken called the scene an "unimaginable tragedy."
A Cook County jury acquitted a man who left the scene of a fatal crash deep in the woods of the North Shore.

Jury acquits northern Minnesota man who fled scene of friend's death

He said he left the scene of a fatal crash in the remote North Woods because it was the only way to find help.
Ryan Martens, former chair of the Hillman Township Board of Supervisors, was convicted Wednesday of a felony sex charge.

Former township board chair in central Minnesota convicted on felony sex charge

Ryan Martens faces up to 15 years in prison.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar talks with Minnesota native Tyler Jacob during a news conference Tuesday. Jacob was recently released after being detained by Russi

Minnesota teacher returns home after imprisonment while fleeing Ukraine

Russian authorities suspected Tyler Jacob of spying, but Sen. Amy Klobuchar helped secure his release.
Neighbors allege that the $18 million Lake Minnetonka home of Tom and Cindy Redmond is built too close to the shore of Lake Minnetonka.

New $18 million Lake Minnetonka mansion escapes teardown — for now

A judge said neighbors missed a deadline for objecting to a zoning variance, but he left another avenue of appeal open.