Staff Directory 10645411

Matt McKinney

Reporter | Regional Team
Phone: 612-673-7329
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Matt McKinney is a reporter on the Star Tribune's state team. In 15 years at the Star Tribune, he has covered business, agriculture and crime. 


McKinney graduated from St. John's University in Collegeville and spent the ensuing years chasing stories through Wisconsin, Rhode Island, and Cambodia. A Minnesota childhood taught McKinney to love winter, skiing, the first warm day of spring, good books and time spent outdoors. He benefited from great teachers at Stillwater High School, and again in Collegeville and at the University of Minnesota. He's a fan of several local breweries, Prince, Jessie Diggins, the Loons, and newspaper reporters near and far who taught him the craft. McKinney bikes to work year-round from his home in the Twin Cities, which he shares with his wife and two sons.
Recent content from Matt McKinney
Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd's six-year-old daughter Gianna Floyd, got emotional during a press conference at Minneapolis City Hall.

Mother of Floyd's daughter speaks out; thousands crowd Capitol

With their daughter by her side, Roxie Washington struggled through emotion to share that Floyd's life was more than his final moments.
Terrence Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, saluted the the site on 38th and Chicago where his brother was killed, Monday, June 1, 2020 in Minneapoli

George Floyd's brother says family has 'a long road ahead to justice'

In a raw, heartbroken appeal for peace following his brother’s death, Terrence Floyd on Monday stood near the spot where George Floyd was held to…
The Stillwater Lift Bridge in downtown Stillwater, earlier in May. It’s expected to reopen to the public at 8 a.m. Monday, state transportation offi

Restored Stillwater Lift Bridge to open to bicyclists and pedestrians on June 1

The extensive renovation was part of the $646 million project that built the new motor vehicle bridge to the south.
Police took control of the area near the Super Target against protesters. Several buildings near the MIdway were either damaged or set on fire. Protes

'Flash looting,' more fires break out in St. Paul as unrest spreads

Looting and fires were reported on University Avenue in the Midway district. An East Side shopping mall also was hit.
Demonstrators confronted Minneapolis police trying to push them south on Minnehaha Ave. late Wednesday night.

Mayor Frey calls for peace as looting, flames erupt around police station

State Patrol troopers moved in to help with growing looting, and the mayor said he asked the governor to consider calling in the National Guard as violence turned deadly.
In a statement, St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler said the diocese is committed to preventing sexual abuse.

St. Cloud Diocese to file for bankruptcy, pay $22.5 million to abuse survivors

Payments, bankruptcy plan to be filed with court in coming weeks.
Two men used a telescopic boom lift to reach the top of the former Church of St. Mary in Melrose, Minn., on Monday morning to remove several metal cro

Demolition of fire-damaged St. Mary's Church in Melrose begins

Four-year preservation effort ends with razing.
Chestnut Street in downtown Stillwater, shown in 2017.

Stillwater considers ordering up outdoor eating zones to help restaurants

To help restaurant and bar business, city might allow special areas for takeout.
The Hastings paper and the Bulletin were both owned by RiverTown Multimedia, a subsidiary of Fargo-based Forum Communications.

Weekly papers in the Twin Cities are shutting down in the face of pandemic

Already struggling before the coronavirus, more weekly papers are likely to close this year, a media analyst says.
The historic Stillwater Lift Bridge, once slated for teardown, has been meticulously restored and will reopen as part of a walking path this month.

Historic Stillwater Lift Bridge could open to walkers, bikers this month

A grand opening celebration is scheduled for Aug. 28.

Lake Elmo City Council boots Stillwater school district out of its bus garage

After owning the property for two years, the district had not yet connected the site to the city's sewer and water utilities.
Tom Bell, a retired Park High School biology teacher, hiked through Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park in 2015. Work on a $3.9 million trailhead build

Washington County Board to consider new trailhead building for Cottage Grove park

But $3.9M project still under consideration in Washington County.

Trial over child's death flawed, but appeals court rejects retrial

Instructions to jurors who convicted man in drunken snowmobile driving case erred, but retrial rejected.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher

Ramsey County sheriff rehires two former employees who were fired

Ramsey County commissioner rebukes sheriff's hiring practices.
The Minnesota State Bar Association is pushing for a change in state law to uphold wills drawn up with minor technical flaws.

As pandemic drives surge of interest in wills, Minnesota lawyers navigate social distancing and the law

The pandemic is spurring Minnesotans to draw up their wills, lawyers say.

Lake Elmo, against staff advice, signals support for Stillwater bus garage plan

City planning director had argued against the project.

Lake Elmo may reject proposed solution for troubled Stillwater school district property

Tangled property dispute over utilities hookup began in 2018.
Washington County Deputy Brian Krook, in 2013.

Washington County deputy not guilty of manslaughter in man's shooting death

The jury returned its verdict only a day after hearing closing arguments in the case.
Washington County Deputy Brian Krook, in 2013.

Washington County deputy on trial for manslaughter called 'reckless' by prosecution, 'stone cold innocent' by defense

A Washington County deputy was portrayed as both at his manslaughter trial Wednesday.
Washington County Deputy Brian Krook, in 2013.

Washington County Deputy Krook says armed and suicidal man left him no choice but to shoot

"I shot until the threat was gone," he said, under questioning from his attorney, Kevin Short.

Scandia seeking state funding to build promising bike trail link

Officials of the Washington County village still hope for project, but virus delays presentation to Legislature.
The intersection where cars used to turn to go onto the Stillwater Lift Bridge in downtown Stillwater, Minn., on August 8, 2018.

Stillwater Lift Bridge celebration is still on for May, despite coronavirus worries

The Stillwater span's restoration party is planned for May 15-16.
Construction plans for the proposed Hwy. 36/Manning Avenue interchange, where Stillwater, Grant and Lake Elmo meet, is considered Washington County’

Hwy. 36 intersection project still on, though open house succumbs to coronavirus

Washington County looks to Legislature to secure final funding.
Brian Krook (left) with then-Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton.

Officers say that they felt threatened by suicidal man before he was shot and killed by Washington County deputy

Prosecutors accused the Washington County deputies of bolstering Brian Krook's defense.
A 50,000-ton pile of sand in downtown Winona in 2012.

Minn. Supreme Court upholds Winona County ban on frac sand mining

Minnesota Supreme Court affirms constitutionality of county's prohibition on frac sand mining.
Dane Miller ran the 10th annual Sunrise 6K on the Stone Arch Bridge on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Minnesota's weekend forecast carries promise of an early spring

Highs in the 40s and 50s will be typical, with a chance to reach the low 60s on Sunday.
Brian Krook with Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton in 2013.

Lawyers fight over evidence in shooting by Washington County sheriff's deputy

Defense attorneys want to introduce evidence that decedent wanted to commit "suicide by cop."

Report: Stillwater schools should spend up to $254M to accommodate rising student numbers

District urged to spend $254M on upgrades and new buildings as student numbers rise.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher

Ramsey County Board covers Sheriff Bob Fletcher's $950K deficit

The sheriff was contrite before the board Tuesday, promising to meet this year's budget.
This prototype of a 100-square-foot house that Faith Lutheran Church and local nonprofit Settled want to build for the chronically homeless was built

Forest Lake church to consider building tiny-house community for the chronically homeless

Forest Lake congregation considers building "tiny" house village for homeless vets.
Sheriff Bob Fletcher's office had at least nine months to correct cost overruns but didn't take steps to do so, according to a memo by County Manager

Ramsey County manager takes Sheriff Bob Fletcher to task for going into the red in 2019

His office had at least nine months to correct cost overruns but didn't take steps to do so, the county manager said.
File photo from December, 1997: Folks looked over detailed maps of the Arctic region at Warner Nature Center near Marine on St. Croix.

Records from closed Warner Nature Center sent to Minnesota Historical Society

Though the documents now are part of history, hopes still flourish that the nature center will reopen someday.
The report covers a period of upheaval last spring and summer when Lakeland Mayor Richard Glasgow and the City Council fought over multiple issues. Th

Auditor finds conflicts of interest, labor law violations in Lakeland

The city misclassified workers, made questionable payments and broke other laws, state review finds.
Stillwater Superintendent Denise Pontrelli said closing three schools in 2017 was needed for balance.

Stillwater may look at reopening elementary school

A rush of new housing developments could overwhelm some already-crowded schools in the Stillwater school district, forcing officials to redraw school boundaries just a few…
Opponents of the proposed 180-foot tower say it would would forever change Marine on St. Croix's identity as a river outpost that wants to hold fast t

Proposed cellphone tower in Marine on St. Croix drawing both support and opposition

Supporters decry spotty reception while some fear it would clash with scenery.
Gov. Tim Walz, Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans, Minneapolis Director of Public Works Robin Hutcheson and city sewer engineer

Walz seeks $300M to upgrade water systems across Minnesota

His goal is to help cities, particularly smaller communities in greater Minnesota, with costly upgrades to water systems needed to remove pollutants without causing soaring utility bills.
In his Facebook post, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell cited Article 1, Section 2: “There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the

St. Paul chief vows to rid state Constitution of slavery language

After Police Chief Todd Axtell's Facebook post, legislators were publicly talking about holding hearings to launch a constitutional amendment.
John Juergens

John Juergens, Mayo Clinic cardiovascular specialist, dies at 94

The pioneering cholesterol researcher also taught at the Mayo Medical School.
St. Paul Park resident Andrew Jerome Placzek shows the sign that his landlord hung at an apartment complex after a turkey began hanging out in the par

Wild turkey ruffles feathers in St. Paul Park

Puffing its feathers at passing cars, chasing children at bus stops, its bald head turning from side to side, a wild turkey has moved into a St. Paul Park neighborhood.

DNR puts temporary ban on movement of farm-raised deer, following CWD

Transport of farm-raised deer halted over chronic wasting disease case.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon

Challenge to Trump-only GOP primary ballot leaves early voting in limbo

State election officials sought an expedited decision to meet the Jan. 17 start of early voting.

Owner of boat stuck in the frozen St. Croix River still hopeful he can dislodge his craft

A tow truck operator from Willmar has offered to help out Mike Olson, for free. He just hopes the cameras stay away.

Mark Ritchie says congressional failure won't handicap Minnesota's hopes for 2027 Expo

A bid to host the World's Fair in Bloomington eight years from now is still alive, despite the failure of a critical step in Congress…
Former barracks at Fort Snelling's Upper Post, shown in 2018.

Affordable housing project at Fort Snelling stalls

Developer cites rising costs and increased complications.
Richard Bild

Lawsuit: Washington County jail ignored red flags before inmate's suicide

Richard Bild died when he jumped from a jail balcony rail in June 2018.
Boats clogged the St. Croix River in 2018. More nonmotorized boats could join the mix with a push to open a rowing club and sports center just north o

Rowing club pushes Stillwater to kick-start riverfront park plans

Stillwater owns riverfront land, but doesn't yet have a master plan for it.
Charles P. Nord, 30, was identified as the Minnesota National Guard pilot who died in Thursday’s crash of a helicopter on a maintenance test flight.

Soldiers killed in copter crash returned from Mideast in May

Charlie Nord, 30, was piloting the UH-60 Black Hawk on a routine maintenance test flight when it fell into a field shortly after takeoff. He was killed along with two other Guard members aboard, who were named Saturday morning.
The site where a Minnesota National Guard Black Hawk helicopter crashed killed three service members in Stearns County.

Cause of Guard helicopter crash that killed 3 under investigation

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced the deaths of the crew members, which came during a maintenance test flight. The copter took off from St. Cloud and went down in a tree-lined farm field near Cold Spring. "My heart breaks for the families," Walz said.

Minneapolis man dies 2 days after being hit by a car on Hiawatha Avenue

The retired truck driver was hit as he walked in the predawn darkness.

Stillwater man takes matters into his own hands to free sailboat stuck in frozen St. Croix

Stillwater man steps in to rescue the boat stuck in the frozen St. Croix River.
Alexander Weiss

Murder charge against Rochester man dismissed in 2018 fender-bender shooting

Prosecutors won't try case again after juries failed to reach a unanimous verdict in two earlier trials.
Officer Heidi Eisenbeis watched video evidence in Minneapolis. St. Paul’s police chief wants ShotSpotter technology, but the mayor has doubts.

As gunfire continues in St. Paul, so does ShotSpotter debate

In St. Paul, leaders debate whether ShotSpotter technology is a useful tool or an unproven sales pitch.
Foundation President Oliver Din said the Manitou Fund wants to retool the Warner Nature Center and that it could reopen within a couple of years.

Manitou Fund rises from obscurity to leading charity

A recent infusion of nearly $1 billion has made even more puzzling the decision by foundation officials to pull the plug on a popular nature center on the St. Croix River.
Ramsey County Sherif Bob Fletcher collects a Public Employees Retirement Association pension on top of his salary.

Some Ramsey County sheriff's workers get pension plus salary

The County Board chairman said it was "baffling" that several high-ranking Sheriff's Office members were collecting pensions while working. Bob Fletcher defended it, citing "a lifetime of contributions."
Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said the proposal “does not appear it could meet applicable statutory requirements."

Minn. DNR: 'Virtually no scenario' for shipping water to Southwest

The response came amid widespread shock and concern over the water shipment plan proposed by Empire Building Investments Inc., the real estate arm of Lakeville-based Progressive Rail.

Two homicides in St. Paul bring city's total to 26 for year

The two homicides continued a violent streak in St. Paul. Nine people were killed in the city in September and 2019 is the deadliest in the past decade.

Public budget hearings scheduled for Minneapolis City Hall

Three meetings scheduled for Minneapolis residents.
Beverly Jonnes

Pioneering schoolteacher Beverly Jonnes dies at 87

Beverly Jonnes, a pioneering elementary school teacher who relied on listening and empathy to lead students and who later authored voluminous poetry about her life…
Former Vice President Walter Mondale spoke to about 150 supporters and friends Tuesday at William O’Brien State Park near Marine on St. Croix, at th

Minnesota honors Walter Mondale by naming 5 St. Croix river spots for him

The memorials recognize the former vice president's early role in efforts to protect the St. Croix and other vulnerable rivers.
Dan and Brooke Triplett and daughters Macyn, 10, left, and Madelyn, 7, enjoyed the fall colors Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Warner Nature Center near Marine

After sudden closing, fate of 900-acre site still a mystery

The private foundation that owns the Warner Nature Center's land near Marine on St. Croix said last month it was severing its relationship with the Science Museum of Minnesota, which staffs the center and runs programming.
A group calling themselves Neighbors Together in Solidarity appears every Friday to show support for Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, site

Bloomington mosque leaders unnerved by photographers

Strangers bearing still and video cameras have come and lingered in the parking lot or walked around the building, officials say.
Serier

Former Ramsey County sheriff disputes accusations of overspending

Serier disputes Ramsey Sheriff Fletcher's accusation of over-hiring.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

Ramsey County imposes financial restrictions on Sheriff Bob Fletcher's office

Fletcher said he inherited the cost overruns; county will monitor spending.
The crowd waited Tuesday night to be let into Lakeland City Hall.

Lakeland City Council strips mayor of most of his powers

The move follows months of acrimony between the mayor and council.
Lakeland Mayor Richard Glasgow, shown in 2012.

Lakeland mayor locks City Hall to block out City Council, in latest flare-up snarling the east metro city

Lakeland officials have feuded since winter over how to fill vacancies in the St. Croix riverside burg.
A silver carp found in 2017 in Illinois waters.

Minnesota DNR catches, tags silver carp in the St. Croix River

Wildlife officials found the silver carp, the first of its kind to get a tag, while tracking a tagged bighead carp.
In 1994, Randy Christman, left, of the Raptor Resource Project directed students from the Marcy Open Elementary School in Minneapolis as they hoisted

Warner Nature Center in St. Croix Valley to close at end of year

No explanation given for closing of the Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center near Marine on St. Croix.
A.J. Klein controlled the race, winning in a “devil takes the hindmost” contest where the last to finish each lap is eliminated.

Blaine velodrome that hosted Olympic trials gets ready to close

One of the only outdoor wooden tracks in the nation and a source of pride for the local bicycling scene, the 250-meter velodrome will be torn down after this race season.

Mower County deputy charged for allegedly punching teen

Rough arrest leads to charges.
Laile Vang, 24, was a 2013 Chippewa Falls High School graduate.

Wisconsin woman targeted by gunman remembered as happy, 'bold'

Laile Vang studied at UW-Eau Claire, was a YouTuber, traveler and "glue" for her family.
Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk and held a press conference with further information that Ritchie German Jr. fatally shot his 66-year-old moth

Sheriff: Wis. man who killed 4 may have sought to imitate Closs kidnapping

A motive for the shootings at two Chippewa Falls area residences remains unclear, but investigators believe Ritchie German Jr., may have been trying to kidnap a woman at one house.
Lake Hallie police and the Wisconsin State Patrol investigated Monday the scene of a shooting that left two dead and two in the hospital. Three people

Relative identifies three of the five killed in Wisconsin shootings

The suspected shooter was among the dead, and his father said he had struggled with mental illness.
A burrowing mayfly rested on the leaf of a tree hanging over the Mississippi River near Red Wing. A plentiful hatch is a signal that the river is in g

Mayfly hatch is a sure sign of summer

Some years it's a black plague; others, just a brief nuisance
Minnesota's new wage theft law doubles the number of state investigators examining wage theft cases and will mean more site visits, said state labor C

Rochester case is first test of new wage theft law

A group of construction workers alleges they were shorted thousands of dollars in pay after working much of last year on a $40 million, city-supported affordable housing project
Rochester United FC players Lindsey Monnet (left) and Thainá Cavalcante during a recent team practice at Mayo High School in Rochester, Minn.

Women's soccer team brings international competition to Rochester

Rochester United FC notched its first win of the season last week