Staff Directory 6134696

Katy Read

Reporter | Carver and western Hennepin Counties
Phone: 612-673-4583

Katy Read writes for the Star Tribune's Inspired section. She previously covered Carver County and western Hennepin County as well as aging, workplace issues and other topics since she began at the paper in 2011. Prior to that, she was a reporter at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, La., and the Duluth News-Tribune and spent 15 years as a freelance writer for national and regional magazines.


Read has also written for Salon, Real Simple, Working Mother, Minnesota Monthly, the Chicago Sun-Times, The Toronto Globe and Mail and other publications. Her essays have been published in several anthologies including "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir." She has won a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and multiple literary awards, as well as four fellowships for journalists on aging. She is a Minnetonka native and a University of Minnesota graduate. Her most exciting hobbies include working (very slowly) on a memoir, cruising the internet and walking her dog.
Recent content from Katy Read
Jean Cerisier, known as Ms. Jean, greets students during a school carnival.

Retiring Minneapolis teacher 'Ms. Jean' has offered a living lesson in caring

School to salute "Ms. Jean" Cerisier, who is "respected and revered" by her peers and students alike.
Michael Hewitt (third from right, orange shirt) hangs out with Effective Altruism practitioners at a local Meetup event.

How do you decide how to give? These Minnesotans practice Effective Altruism

The practice aims to save lives using logic — but why is it so controversial?
At a Vikings alumni weekend, Maya Washington took a selfie with her father Gene, left, along with Clinton Jones, a college and NFL teammate.

Former Vikings star's daughter wants to help other families tell their stories

Filmmaker and author Maya Washington has designed a program on making a creative project.
Donna Traefald, center, surrounded by kids and grandchildren.

Lakeville mom has more than 100 kids: 'If there's room in the heart, there's room in the home'

Donna Traefald raised nine adopted children and fostered more than 100, much of that time as a single mother working full time.
In Open Studio sessions, participants are invited to help themselves to assorted art materials and make whatever they like.

Curiosity Studio in Minneapolis offers open-ended approach to art therapy

Programs include Open Studio, in which participants can create whatever they want while interacting with others.
Names of people lost to suicide are listed on a memorial wall inside the SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) offices in Bloomington.

Why has Minnesota's suicide rate been steadily rising?

This heartbreaking public health trend has mirrored a similar increase across the country.
Lehman Riley said caring for 5-year-old Zorah Riley helped him deal with grief. “If I didn’t have my granddaughter through this, I don’t know wh

These Minnesotans channeled their grief into 'a force for good'

For some people, a project offers a way to cope with grief and honor the memory of a loved one.
Salim Soussi, 9, a third grader at DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science, walks to his locker to put away his dinosaur mask, followed by his mom Sana So

Blaine mom helps school understand son, other kids with Down syndrome

Sana Soussi hopes the program she organized will lead to more acceptance and inclusion of kids with special needs.
Registered nurse Chris Niederer with SoleCare for Souls gives a hug to Brian Campbell after working on his feet at the Catholic Charities Opportunity

16 Minnesota volunteers discuss the rewards of giving time

During March, the Star Tribune explored volunteering, from how to find opportunities to how helping others can make your life better. Each week, four volunteers explained how they give back and why they volunteer.
These Minnesotans volunteered to help others. They ended up helping themselves.

These Minnesotans volunteered to help others. They ended up helping themselves.

Folks who participated in the Star Tribune's Volunteer Challenge talk about the joys of helping others.
Emily Meister gives medicine to a three-legged sheep at Farmaste in Lindstrom, Minn.

Minnesota volunteers discuss rewards of sanctuary farming and other roles

Emily Meister Barista, Minneapolis, 25 Volunteer RolesAnimal care volunteer at Farmaste Animal Sanctuary, a farm outside Lindstrom, Minn., that takes in abused farm animals and…
Michael Engebretson, with some of the pieces in Transdimensional Multiversal Nonlinear Cosmic Traveler.

'Isn't that cool?' White Bear Lake artist's autism helps shape his futuristic work

Michael Engebretson's paintings and drawings reflect his fascination with advanced technology and other universes.
Volunteer Chris Niederer talks with Brian Campbell about his feet at SoleCare for Souls at the Catholic Charities Opportunity Center in Minneapolis.

Minnesota volunteers discuss rewards of medical outreach and other roles

Chris Niederer Registered nurse, Minnetrista, 56 Volunteer rolesLittle Hospice in Edina, Westwood Community Church youth ministry in Chanhassen, SoleCare for Souls in Minneapolis…
Volunteers say helping others helps them, too: 'It's a two-way street'

Volunteers say helping others helps them, too: 'It's a two-way street'

When you improve other people's lives you might wind up improving your own.
As numbers decline, the nature of volunteerism is changing

As numbers decline, the nature of volunteerism is changing

The pandemic opened new avenues for serving while closing others.
Sando Cooke is one of the foster grandparent volunteers at the Northside Child Development Center.

Minnesota volunteers discuss rewards of foster grandparenting and other roles

Sando Cooke Minneapolis, 79 Volunteer RolesFoster grandmother at Catholic Charities Northside Child Development Center Volunteer challenge During the month of March, The Star Tribune will…
Dog foster parent Leah Anderson of Robbinsdale plays with Biscotti, who was in her care in February.

Minnesota volunteers discuss rewards of animal rescue and other roles

Leah Anderson Brand Manager, Robbinsdale, 29 Volunteer RolesDog foster parent and adoption event volunteer for Midwest Animal Rescue since May 2022, started with another animal…
Irene Ford, 68, of Minneapolis, spends time with infants as one of the foster grandparent volunteers at the Catholic Charities Northside Child Develop

Minnesota volunteers say they get more than they give: Take our annual reader challenge

This year's installment of our annual Reader Challenge series invites you to join the 35.5% of Minnesotans (more than 1.5 million) who volunteer.
Teresa McClain, a lawyer and former labor and delivery nurse, shows how she would explain a birth problem to a jury.

Minneapolis nurse turned lawyer fights on behalf of children injured at birth

In evaluating cases, Teresa McClain uses knowledge acquired as a labor and delivery nurse.
Volunteers, including David Law (far right, second from top) and Jan Haeg (top center) and local residents pose with a finished wall of bottles.

Eden Prairie company organizes trip to build school in Guatemala out of plastic bottles

Employees of Eden Prairie-based Lifetouch, accompanied by educators, helped expand a school using pop bottles stuffed with discarded plastic bags.
Dylan and Hayden Moan, born extremely prematurely, are now lively fourth-graders.

Minnesota mom's gift of Potato Heads comforts other parents of 'micro-preemies'

Kristin Moan liked measuring her tiny daughters' growth with Potato Heads and decided to share that comfort through her nonprofit Potato Head Project.
Mike Nordberg, a senior account executive at the John Roberts Co., shows the Rev. Erich Rutten of St. Odilia’s parish pages of the Heritage Edition

Coon Rapids printing company donates valuable reproduction of St. John's Bible

The printed version is a careful achievement of state-of-the-art printing technology.
In “The Way We Play,” young animals cheerfully accept each other’s different levels of ability.

Minnesota medical student has message for kids: It's OK to be bad at some things

Eden Prairie native and friend published children's book "The Way We Play" to help combat ableism.
Crafters Gerri Broome, Nancy Benson and Lorraine Purcell at the counter of The Landing Shop in Minnetonka.

Minnetonka's Landing Shop sells items made by residents ages 55 to 96

"As we get older, we want something to do," one crafter said.
Anne Emerson placed an ornament on a tree honoring those who have had drug-related deaths.

Christmas trees at Brooklyn Park treatment center honor loved ones lost to drugs

Wanting to commemorate her fiancé, Anne Emerson put up a Christmas tree at Valhalla Place in 2018 — and the project is still growing.
Jordyn Brennan.

Minneapolis artist focuses on the 'positive, beautiful experience' of caregiving

Artist Jordyn Brennan's MCAD master's thesis was based on firsthand experience.
The downtown Minneapolis skyline, photographed in 2014.

Why workers are reluctant to come to Minnesota, but stay once they're here

The state is grappling with one of the worst workforce shortages in the country.
Firefighter Joe Quast greeted service dog Tanya at St. Paul Fire Station 1.

St. Paul firehouse dog helps rescue the rescuers: 'It's just her presence'

The trained service dog helps first responders deal with the pressures of their work.
Host J.P. Der Boghossian, right, spoke with William Burleson, author of “Bi America: Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community,” in a

Minnesotan's podcast showcases 'life-saving' books with LGBTQ guests

On "This Queer Book Saved My Life," host J.P. Der Boghossian asks guests what books made them feel "seen for the first time."
“To see all those people show up for that cause was heartwarming and emotional,” said Lamin Dibba, who in 2012 walked across the Gambia, distribut

Minneapolis man has helped send 1 million books to Gambia, his home country

Lamin Dibba wants to give back to a country where library shelves are empty and few people own books.
Anne Tudor, 75, leads a popular fitness class for older people at the Ridgedale YMCA in Minnetonka. Her classes draw more participants than any other

Meet the 75-year-old YMCA 'exercise goddess' whose classes are Y's most popular

Anne Tudor's fitness classes help people in their 70s and 80s stay active and healthy.
The bumphead parrotfish creates a transparent “sleeping bag” of excreted mucus every night.

Catch this Minneapolis fish exhibit for its exotic creatures — and its warning message

"Voices From the Water" demonstrates the variability of ocean inhabitants, and explains how they're threatened by human activity, notably plastic pollution.
Lynn Underwood Ballinger most recently wrote for the Homes & Gardening section.

Longtime Star Tribune reporter Lynn Underwood dies at 65

She loved pop culture, trivia contests and her career.
Jane and Richard Miller, wearing their do-rags at a Ronald McDonald House in Billings, Mont.

Albert Lea couple turn old hotel sheets into bandanas for cancer patients

Thrift store owners Richard and Jane Miller keep discarded hotel sheets out of landfills by helping cancer patients and people who are homeless.
Kathy Sublett

Winona woman helps people erase the stigma of past mistakes

People being denied housing or jobs based on long-ago records learn how to seal them from public view.
Maria Schmidt tries out the all-terrain wheelchair available at the Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield.

Richfield park's all-terrain wheelchairs let people explore new worlds

Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield is among area parks that offer chairs that make rougher trails accessible.
Farmaste founder Kelly Tope feeds pigs peanut butter sandwiches filled with their medication at the farm in Lindstrom, Minn.

Minnesota sanctuary farm provides 'rescued' animals with comfort, care and space

Farmaste Animal Sanctuary outside Lindstrom, Minn., lets animals live out their natural lives.
Noel Robinson

Noel Robinson, University of Minnesota voice instructor, bicyclist, 'vagabond,' dies at 85

Noel Robinson called himself a vagabond, which was not strictly accurate because he did live part time in his own home — an off-the-grid shack…
Many of last year’s scholarship recipients became medical students.

Former Lost Boy of South Sudan wants to help young people in his impoverished home country go to college

Partnering with a St. Paul friend, Augustino Ting Mayai wants to boost education in an area where the average income is below $1 a day.
A CaringBridge site for Priya Smith of Burnsville, center — with her mother, Christy Becker, left, and aunts Joy Schulte and Julie Mills — has bee

A graceful way to request — and provide — help in a health crisis

CaringBridge wants to get the word out about its underused planning tool that lets loved ones volunteer for patients' and caregivers' specific requests.
Paul Dixon

Toy seller says a favorite childhood toy can help adults reconnect with youthful joy

Today's busy adults can forget what it's like to have fun, says Paul Dixon.
Mark and Max Eati

People with autism speak through poetry

Alternative communication methods allow neurodivergent people to show that an inability to speak does not mean an inability to think.
Cars drove into the Apple Valley Transit Station parking ramp in 2010.

Why do Minnesotans call them 'parking ramps' instead of 'garages'?

The auto-related regionalism is unique to Minnesota and some nearby states.
Leo St. Martin, 6, of Inver Grove Heights, catches a ball during a Beautiful Lives Project event that offered people with disabilities an opportunity

Saints players, people with disabilities team up for baseball fun at CHS Field

"I wanted to help people with disabilities be able to live their dreams," said Bryce Weiler, co-founder of the Beautiful Lives Project.
Rose Dunn-Wright plays the ringmaster in “Confetti.”

Minneapolis performer explores circus history, finds community at Circus Juventas

Twenty-year-old Rose Dunn-Wright has found inspiration in two legendary ringmasters.
Mary Wagner

Mary Wagner of St. Paul, who promoted libraries here and around the world, dies at 76

She was a lifelong library advocate, working at libraries in the Twin Cities and teaching library and information science at St. Catherine University.
School photos of Eli Hart and toy cars, one of his favorite things, were on display during a celebration of life at the Randolph High School football

Mound City Council names bridge after 6-year-old boy found slain in car trunk

More than 2,300 signed a petition to name the Mound bridge after Eli Hart, whose mother has been charged in his death.
Evelyn Jeanetta, 8, and her mother Natalie meet Rudy, a baby kangaroo at Sustainable Safari in the Maplewood Mall.

Maplewood attraction lets you meet animals you've never seen up close (and maybe never even heard of)

At Sustainable Safari at Maplewood Mall, visitors see, hold and feed animals — and, its founders hope, come away wanting to protect their cousins in the wild.
Hennepin County sheriff’s deputies spoke to a paramedic and EMS worker near a crashed vehicle at 53rd and Humboldt avenues on Friday, July 15, in Br

Child dies after crash during Brooklyn Center police pursuit

The 6-year-old was one of five people injured Friday after colliding with a suspect being chased by police.
Volunteer Deb Lewis of Maple Grove stalked twinkling insects during a firefly hike at Eastman Nature Center in Maple Grove.

In Maple Grove, nets, jars and a field full of twinkling bugs

Participants in Eastman Nature Center's firefly hike could see dozens of the little lanterns.
On the day after July 4th, volunteers look for trash left over from holiday festivities near Big Island on Lake Minnetonka.

Post-holiday Lake Minnetonka garbage pickup is getting easier, volunteers say

A combination of factors — including responsible lake users — could be contributing to declining litter.
Alex Cahoy

Minneapolis man died of unknown causes on Continental Divide Trail

Alex Cahoy was 32 and a healthy and experienced hiker.
The Norwood Young America bandshell is back in its original location in the city’s Legion Park.

Norwood Young America's bandshell back home after nearly a century in private hands

The structure, which the city sold to a private party for reasons unknown, was returned to its old home this month.
Michael Kelly, co-president of MD Link

University of Minnesota medical students create program pairing mentors with challenged youth

Students are trained to help those who've experienced homelessness, foster care, the juvenile justice system or human trafficking.
Robert O. Fisch, with some of his artwork in the background.

Robert Fisch, Minneapolis doctor, artist, author and Holocaust survivor, dies at 97

People were understandably outraged when a local weekly published photos in 2014 of men at a Minneapolis restaurant wearing Nazi uniforms and surrounded by Nazi…
Matthew Kempf

Minneapolis chef Matthew Kempf dies at age 44: 'He pushed and he hustled'

"Once he set his mind to something he became very good at it," said a friend.
FreeWriters founder Nate Johnson said the program offers people in jail an opportunity for creative expression and emotional release.

Jail writing program helps reduce stress, clear heads, gain insights

While prison courses are intended to teach writing skills, this jail program has other goals.
Children at Lake Harriet United Methodist Church in Minneapolis played in a pile of (plastic-wrapped) pillows, which will be donated to local homeless

Pillow fort at Minneapolis church is more than just fluffy fun

The pillows donated for the fort will provide comfort for homeless families.
Arielle Grant, founder and CEO of Render Free, a communal wellness organization for women of color, sat for her interview in “Shot of Influence.”

Documentary showcases power of women, including its Minneapolis director

In Gabrieline Reece's documentary, local women share their thoughts on women's influence.
Two bodies found in Scandia lake

Two bodies found in Scandia lake

Witnesses noticed boaters in trouble Friday afternoon on Big Marine Lake in Washington County.
Star Tribune photographer Carlos Gonzalez won a first-place National Headliner Award for this photo of Luke Loewe (12) of Minnesota, as he was blocked

Star Tribune wins five National Headliner Awards

Photographers and columnists received awards.
Christina Woods will sit on the U.S. Senate’s Curatorial Advisory Board.

Duluth Art Institute director expanding involvement by artists of color

Christina Woods has been named to the U.S. Senate's Curatorial Advisory Board.
Bloomington accountant who championed community theater from behind the scenes dies at 76

Bloomington accountant who championed community theater from behind the scenes dies at 76

William Muchow, who died at 76, gave his money, time and knowledge to theaters throughout Minnesota and beyond.
Verde CEO Jason Sundby

Disposal bags help in the battle against drug abuse

Minnetonka company's campaign aims to curb spiking overdoses.
Dorothy Molstad

Dorothy Molstad, who helped promote hopeful authors, dies at 79

Marketing books was just one of the Brooklyn Park woman's many passions.
Ice-out on Lake Minnetonka is considered the official start of the boating season.

Ice-out call opens boating season on Lake Minnetonka

The lake typically is the last in the metro area to melt.
Minneapolis police responded around 11:35 p.m. Friday to a report of a shooting inside the building on the 300 block of Hennepin Avenue.

10-year-old boy dies after shooting in Minneapolis apartment building

Police spokesman calls juveniles alone with access to gun "a bad recipe."
Zenobia Silas-Carson used her computer to access training programs for people with vision impairment.

Losing her eyesight, Minnesota woman helps others who are also losing theirs

Zenobia Silas-Carson of Brooklyn Park shares her struggle to adjust to midlife vision loss.
Roseville officer shot on the job is discharged from hospital

Roseville officer shot on the job is discharged from hospital

Fellow officers, bystanders cheered officer Ryan Duxbury as he left the hospital following surgery.
One dead, two severely injured in Burnsville crash

One dead, two severely injured in Burnsville crash

The victims appear to be teenagers.
U of M student Ashley Walker, on a veterinary internship at the Greek feline rescue program Let’s be S.M.A.R.T., spays a cat.

Minnesota veterinary students travel to Greece to help stray cats

Program rounds up cats from city streets and gives them room and board and medical care.
Jackie Renzetti

Minneapolis program hires citizens to serve as reporters

Documenters cover Minneapolis and Hennepin County government and the Minneapolis school board.
Judge Luis Bartolomei presided over a courtroom at the University of Minnesota Law School, as St. Louis Park Middle School student Lucia Versalles, ri

Minnesota middle-schoolers learn legal skills, confidence in mock trial program

Diverse students participate in UPLIFT, a program started by a Minneapolis law firm.
Minnesota public defenders reached a tentative contract agreement late Friday night.

Minnesota public defenders reach deal to avert strike halting courts

The tentative agreement forestalls a walkout that could have brought much of the state court system to a standstill.
Nils Richards

Minneapolis man loved literature and philosophy but succumbed to drugs

Brilliant and passionate, Nils Richards struggled with depression, grief and heroin.