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Matt McKinney

Reporter | Regional Team
Phone: 612-673-7329

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
The Minnesota River, seen from Mendota Heights.

Metro briefs: Eroding Shakopee riverbank gets federal funding

A project to stabilize the eroding banks of the Minnesota River in Shakopee has received $3.5 million in federal funding. Representatives from the city, Scott…
Bison at Minneopa State Park in Mankato.

Metro briefs: Nature center welcomes new bison herd

A herd of bison will return May 21 to the Belwin Conservancy for their summer stay, with a festival planned for the day of their…
A memorial for Lily Peters is installed by the playground of Parkview Elementary School where she went to school in Chippewa Falls, Wis., on Tuesday,

Chippewa Falls court releases criminal complaint in Lily Peters death

Document spells out state's case against the 14-year-old accused of murdering Peters.
Iliana “Lily” Peters.

14-year-old returns to court for hearing in death of Wisconsin girl

The alleged killer is being held on $1 million bail.
Metro briefs: Minnetonka considers affordable housing project

Metro briefs: Minnetonka considers affordable housing project

A proposed affordable housing project that would bring a dozen townhouses and two single-family houses to the Minnetonka Mills neighborhood is getting mixed reviews from…
Officers cleared in fatal shooting of armed Forest Lake man

Officers cleared in fatal shooting of armed Forest Lake man

Man pointed rifle at deputy after officers were called about domestic incident, county attorney said.
Iliana “Lily” Peters

Coroner: Death of 10-year-old Wisconsin girl was homicide

A preliminary autopsy found that Iliana "Lily" Peters died of strangulation and blunt force trauma, the Chippewa County Coroner said.
Iliana “Lily” Peters

Eighth-grader accused of rape, murder of girl in Chippewa Falls

In arguing for high bail, the district attorney said the boy told authorities that his intention was to attack her "from the get-go" when he left a house with her to walk a trail.
Woodbury Police Commander Jason Posel will become the city’s new public safety director.

Woodbury names two public safety leaders to replace outgoing chief

Internal candidates named to public safety director, police chief vacancies
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, left, wants to coordinate a metrowide effort to fight violent crime — with a focus on carjacking — that would

Sheriff's plan to lead metrowide team gets a mixed reception

The Senate bill would have Ramsey County reporting to the commissioner of public safety, but the commissioner knew nothing about it.
Andrew Tolbert

Metro briefs: Brooklyn Park officer named Negotiator of the Year

Brooklyn Park police officer and crisis negotiator Andrew Tolbert has been named the Special Operations Training Association's Negotiator of the Year.Tolbert won the award for…
Faith Rose Gratz

Guard charged in scheme to smuggle drugs into Minnesota prison

Stillwater correctional officer faces charges after meth bust at prison.
Pete Orput, seen in 2013 in his office at the Washington County Government Center. Orput died April 3 at his home in Stillwater.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput dies at 66

Orput recently told staff he had cancer. He opted not to seek re-election after earlier Parkinson's disease diagnosis.
Farmington City Administrator Lynn Gorski

Metro briefs: Farmington leaders appoint new city administrator

The Farmington City Council has appointed Lynn Gorski, former assistant city administrator, to fill the city administrator role.Gorski will replace City Administrator David McKnight, who…
Connie Goldman

Connie Goldman, NPR host and author on aging, dies at 91

In radio she found a talent for drawing out people's stories, whether they were celebrities or those she called "extraordinary ordinary" folks, her son said.
Brothers Kolton and Callen Wanous walk on a section of the floating trail at Mankato’s Rasmussen Woods in 2020.

Mankato steps up plan to remake floating path

City council wants state funds for Rasmussen Woods paths
A solar garden at the northeast corner of the intersection of Manning Trail North and Scandia Trail North.

Solar vs. scenery: Scandia solar panels show a tense debate

Local governments are weighing property rights vs. idyllic vistas as gardens of panels proliferate.
The Shakopee branch of the Scott County library system.

Metro briefs: Scott County libraries stop charging late fines

Scott County libraries have stopped charging late fines for overdue materials. The county previously charged daily late fines for overdue books and other materials as…
General Mills’ corporate headquarters and sign in Golden Valley.

General Mills suspends Russia business

Minnesota-based food giant suspends advertising, capital investment in cereals partnership in Russia.
Metro briefs: South St. Paul won't seek grant to move Armour gates

Metro briefs: South St. Paul won't seek grant to move Armour gates

South St. Paul officials have decided not to pursue $50,000 in state money to pay for moving two historic Armour gatehouses to a new location.The…
Keller Regional Park in Maplewood

Metro briefs: Ramsey County implements new fines for parks offenders

Ramsey CountyNew fines for parks offendersBreaking Ramsey County parks rules will cost offenders between $50 and $300, but in most instances it won't leave them…
Brooklyn Park man sentenced in Washington County to 16 years for sex trafficking

Brooklyn Park man sentenced in Washington County to 16 years for sex trafficking

Brooklyn Park man had previous trafficking conviction
Katie Bryant, Daunte Wright’s mother, spoke after the sentencing of former police officer Kim Potter.

Wright's family and friends disappointed, upset at Potter sentence

His mother said it was as if her son had been killed a second time, and friends said the two-year sentence was proof that racism still guides the judicial process.
Suspensions will begin next week Feb. 22 for a handful of Ramsey County employees who have refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide weekl

Ramsey County employees suspended over COVID policy

Failure to vaccinate or get tested leads to five-day suspension.
Exonerated man sues Ramsey County, says he was framed by deputy

Exonerated man sues Ramsey County, says he was framed by deputy

Benjamin Hill served 39 months in prison, was later exonerated
The union representing Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office deputies has pushed back against the county’s threat to suspend deputies who don’t comply

Ramsey sheriff's deputies union says privacy concerns at root of vaccine reluctance

Vaccinate-or-test policies meeting some resistance
Pfizer vaccine and syringes at the St. Paul Eastside YMCA. About a third of Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office employees are in violation of the county�

Ramsey County says staff flouting vaccine rule may face suspensions

About a third of Ramsey County Sheriff's Office employees are in violation of the county's COVID-19 vaccination and testing policy.
Dusty Thune, of the Team House of Thune, chipped away at a sculpture that he and his sister, Kelly, were creating at Stillwater’s Lowell Park for th

Artists craft cool sculptures in World Snow Sculpting Championship

Snow carvers descended on Stillwater for the competition.
Kevin Magnuson said he will run for Washington County attorney.

Assistant Washington County attorney to run for top job

Lake Elmo native Kevin Magnuson has worked for Washington County since 2019.
An official with the regional chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers said local staffing is down by 20%, mainly due to COVID, and mana

Mail, garbage delays in store as omicron wave builds in Minn.

The omicron wave has left local postal offices understaffed, with managers filling in on some routes, and might also lead to delays at one of the region's largest private garbage haulers.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput revealed over a year ago that he has Parkinson’s disease.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput to retire at end of the year

Former Marine and teacher prosecuted criminals for decades.
Metro briefs: Plymouth's Fire & Ice festival to return in 2022

Metro briefs: Plymouth's Fire & Ice festival to return in 2022

Following a year of at-home activities, Plymouth's Fire & Ice festival will return with live programming and events Feb. 5.The 33rd annual celebration at Parker's…
Stillwater piano restorer Ken Hannah uses the woodworking skills he’s developed over the years restoring pianos to create whimsical toys from mahoga

Stillwater piano craftsman uses woodworking skills to create one-of-a-kind toys

Ken Hannah creates a one-of-a-kind wooden toy each Christmas for family and close friends.
Toshira Garraway, founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, spoke Friday at a news conference in support of Daunte Wright famil

Some thought Kimberly Potter's emotional testimony was genuine; others say she was acting

Those with a law enforcement background had a different take from community activists on the Potter trial
Wanda Grady, Crystal Rex, Charlene Harper, Laurie Eastwood and Lucretia Brewer stood outside Wings of Newport apartments in Newport. The residents wer

Seniors fight eviction in Newport apartment complex

Tenants file lawsuit against landlord alleging fraud, other violations, and ask judge to block any eviction attempt.
State Fair police squad cars at the fairgrounds in 2020.

Minnesota State Fair reinstates its police force

Ramsey County sheriff's commander to lead the department.
Metro briefs: Farmington outsources trash collection

Metro briefs: Farmington outsources trash collection

Farmington has approved a contract with Dick's Sanitation for once-a-week garbage and recycling pickup, ending more than half a century of city-led residential trash collection.City…
Metro briefs: Anoka County crime lab wins prestigious award

Metro briefs: Anoka County crime lab wins prestigious award

The city of Richfield has passed 5,000 COVID-19 cases, as Minnesota's infection rate continues to hover at a national high."Richfield is not faring any better,"…
Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter has been put up for sale by its longtime owner, Kim Quade, who is retiring.

Beloved German restaurant up for sale in Stillwater

Owner's retirement to end 55 years of family business.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said he’s filed a petition to try the teenager in adult court, a move he said he’s willing to make for any j

Teen charged in Woodbury armed carjacking

Rochester 17-year-old captured after crime spree that targeted several people.
Laurie Eastwood hugged Wanda Grady, left, outside Wings of Newport apartments on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Newport. They were recently told they have

Disabled seniors fight eviction in Newport as moratorium ends

Building was touted as a top-notch assisted living facility when it opened last August, but landlord says needed repairs forced his decision.
Metro briefs: Anoka County crime lab wins prestigious award

Metro briefs: Anoka County crime lab wins prestigious award

Food trucks in Blaine will now be allowed to operate at business events where they are the lone attraction, after the City Council on Nov.…
A 39-year-old Taylors Falls man killed in car crash

A 39-year-old Taylors Falls man killed in car crash

Authorities say speed appears to be factor in crash
School buses sat idol at Bille Bus Transportation in Northeast Minneapolis Thursday. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com Scenes from

Minneapolis school bus drivers threaten strike

School officials say they are committed to reaching an agreement
Sherri Ann Jarvis

Missing Stillwater girl, 41 years a Texas Jane Doe, ID'd via DNA

She was a Jane Doe in Texas for years until new technology cracked case.
Image provided

Hastings "Heroes Monument" set for Veterans Day unveiling

Monument to recognize more than 4,000 service members
The few political offices on the ballot included the mayor in White Bear Lake, where Dan Louismet and Don Mullin hoped to succeed Jo Emerson, above, w

Schools and taxes take center stage in east metro elections

School board candidates from Mounds View to Hastings vied for office while Stillwater school district voters considered millions in tax levies.
Ramsey County Sherif Bob Fletcher, shown in 2019.

Ramsey County documents: Sheriff used taxpayer funds to plan new school

Contracts mention Sheriff's Office employees working with students
Ramsey County Sherif Bob Fletcher

Ramsey County Board gives sheriff $869K for civil unrest

Tensions simmer over budgets, charter school plan
Edward Schwartzbauer

Edina attorney Edward Schwartzbauer, who remained student of history after opposing Vietnam War, dies at 90

Edward James Schwartzbauer, an accomplished attorney and anti-Vietnam War activist who was one of 11 delegates from Minnesota to cast votes for Eugene McCarthy at…
Tony Bol of Share With Others supplies families and organizations with wood boxes to use as free libraries or pantries

From books to free food, Stillwater family builds on Little Free Library legacy

For more than two years now, Tony Bol and his wife Eden Penn have made wooden boxes for people who want to install them in their front yards to share something: books, food, seeds. Even poetry.
One of the Washington County Heritage Center’s first exhibits showcases Stillwater fashion of the 1860s and 1960s, which is striking in its contrast

History center opens in Stillwater after years of planning

After years of planning and renovation, the museum opens this weekend
A view of the Upper Harbor Terminal site, looking south from the Mississippi Riverbank near the 42nd Avenue Bridge.

Minneapolis riverfront plan for housing, amphitheater approved

The plan would convert a blighted industrial stretch of Mississippi River waterfront north of downtown Minneapolis into a 20-acre park ringed by affordable housing, a health center and an outdoor amphitheater.
Chad McDonald rides the mountain bike trails of Willow River State Park in Hudson.

New Hudson-area mountain bike trail promises to be among largest in region

What will be one of the largest mountain bike trail systems around gets rolling.
A bald eagle lifts from its perch along the Mississippi River near Wabasha, home of the National Eagle Center.  BRIAN PETERSON • brian.peterson@star

National Eagle Center in Wabasha will close for multimillion-dollar expansion

The Prairie Island Indian Community donated $1 million to the renovation.
This booking photo released by the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 shows Antoine Darnique Suggs, 38.

Charges: Suspect in St. Paul quadruple murder said he 'snapped'

The bodies were found in an SUV hidden in a Wisconsin cornfield.
Antoine D. Suggs, left, and Darren McWright

Second suspect in deaths of 4 found in Wisconsin cornfield arrested in Arizona

Antoine D. Suggs, who was seeing one of the shooting victims, surrendered to police on Friday.
Darren Lee McWright was arrested. Antoine Darnique Suggs is believed to be in the Twin Cities area.

St. Paul man arrested, another man sought in quadruple murder

Bodies were found Sunday in a western Wisconsin cornfield.
Peace activist KG Wilson, wearing the hat, released balloons Wednesday near the spot where four people were found slain. Damone Presley, Sr., the fath

Vigil held for four found dead in Wis.

The Dunn County, Wis., Sheriff's Office didn't release any new information about the investigation. The father of one victim said he was bewildered as to why his daughter ended up in Wisconsin.
Matthew Pettus  Credit: Provided by Elizabeth Brown

SUV abandoned with four bodies inside leaves rural Wisconsin community shaken

The discovery was made Sunday afternoon about 65 miles from St. Paul.
Traffic flowed in all lanes in both directions on the newly reopened I-35W as seen from the 40th St. pedestrian bridge Friday in Minneapolis.

State's 'busiest intersection' at I-35W and I-94 is fully open once again

After four years and $239M, the I-35W overhaul is declared completed. But some touch-ups do remain.
Driver from Maplewood crash in court

Driver from Maplewood crash in court

Criminal vehicular homicide among charges
Alyjah Thomas, from a GoFundMe page.

Two teens killed in Maplewood crash identified

They died when a stolen car carrying six people crashed after a chase by Ramsey County deputies.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, shown in 2019.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher loses appeal to add $2.54 million to his budget

In a dispute with the County Board, a judge denied Fletcher's argument that his department was entitled to more funding.
Residents of the Broadmoor Valley mobile home park in Marshall, Minn. formed an association several years ago to try to get the park’s owner to fix

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sues Marshall mobile home park owner

Suit addresses excessive late fees for properties in chronic need of repair.
Kimberly Potter

Defense attorneys ask state to clarify charges in Daunte Wright shooting death

Attorneys want to know if additional or different charges will be filed.
Aubrey Wright held a crystal keychain pendant with a photo of his late son Daunte.

Daunte Wright's parents forced to grieve in the spotlight

Daunte Wright's parents feel the public's support — but also the blame.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

Ramsey County commissioners tangle with sheriff over civil unrest costs

County commissioners expressed frustration over Sheriff Bob Fletcher's latest funding request.
Fairgoers played the Whopper Water game in the Mighty Midway section on opening day of the 2017 Minnesota State Fair.

Ramsey County Sheriff's Office to provide State Fair security

Deal requires State Fair organization to get $10 million in private insurance
Kicker herey Orville Staffenhagen 88,(left center) and his wife Deloris and their son Anthony Staffenhagen watched as his brother Navy 1st Class Neal

A Minnesota sailor lost at Pearl Harbor finally comes home

The Defense Department used DNA technology to identify 22-year-old Neal Todd of Akeley, Minn.
Richard H. Jefferson

Richard Jefferson, Minneapolis legislator who wrote bill honoring Juneteenth, dies at 90

He led an effort to recognize Juneteenth in Minnesota.
Terrance Franklin was shot and killed by Minneapolis police in 2013.

Freeman: 2013 police shooting warrants new review

Citing new evidence, he asks BCA to look into police shooting of Terrance Franklin.
People line up at the main ticket booth on the first day of the 2016 Minnesota State Fair.  [Leila Navidi/Star Tribune] • leila.navidi@startribune.c

State Fair security not yet settled, Ramsey County considers helping out

But the state should also step in, county commissioners argue.
Ramsey County Sherif Bob Fletcher, shown in 2019.

Ramsey County officials tell sheriff he needs their signature for State Fair duties

It's 71 days to the Minnesota State Fair, but who will provide security?
Washington County drops charges against bookkeepers

Washington County drops charges against bookkeepers

New information led to charges being dropped