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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 Ferrari 308 up for bid on Minnesota’s surplus auction website.

Burnsville drunken driving arrest ends with vintage Ferrari on the auction block

It's one of thousands of cars seized every year from drunken drivers statewide.
The Sun Ray Library in St Paul, shown in September.

Twin Cities libraries to consolidate digital offerings in a single app

Patrons in seven counties can share content like e-books and eMagazines.
Ramsey County Sherif Bob Fletcher, shown in 2019.

After cuts, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher asks for beefy budget increase

Civil unrest request nearly three times a previous ask.
In this Jan. 7, 2020, photo, mink fur pelts wait to be graded at Saga Furs, one of only two other similar-sized fur auction houses in Stoughton, Wis.

Midwestern mink farms navigate COVID fears

Animal vaccine possible after outbreaks kill 5,500 on Wisconsin fur farms.
Two men dead in apparent murder-suicide at Mahtomedi FedEx facility

Two men dead in apparent murder-suicide at Mahtomedi FedEx facility

Gun found at FedEx location where men were apparently shot.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher

Ramsey County Sheriff Fletcher elbowed in face during 'Live' broadcast

Ramsey County's Bob Fletcher was livestreaming nearby; incident not filmed.
Patrons navigated the ice maze in Stillwater on Friday night just after it opened to the public for the first time.

Get lost in winter: Stillwater opens an ice maze

The parking-lot sized maze filled with ice sculptures and an ice slide was opening to the public Friday evening.
Police tried to hold back supporters of President Donald Trump who breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6 in Washington D.C.

St. Croix County Republican website with 'war' message goes down

County party chairman initially defiant; unclear who ordered site taken down.
Police clear a mob of Trump supporters from the U.S. Capitol grounds in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, after the mob stormed the Capitol.

Hudson, Wis., Republican Party homepage: 'Prepare for war'

State Republican officials' request to remove message ignored
The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, June 4, 2018.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects suit over Winona County frac sand ban

Mining company first filed suit in 2017
The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, shown in 2019. A more than $1 million gift to the college from the Manitou Fund will help pay for nursing si

White Bear Lake fund donated millions to environment, the arts

Manitou grant recipients ranged from Oregon bees to a school in Switzerland.
A drone used for police operations in Chula Vista, Calif., on Nov. 11, 2020. Minnesota drone trainer and salesman Logan Noess said he’s seen a rapid

Woodbury to join cities flying drones

The devices are increasingly popular among law enforcers.
Bob Fletcher

Citing meager budget, Ramsey County sheriff sues board over COVID-19 cuts

Saying he needs nearly $2 million more for his 2021 budget, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher has taken the Ramsey County Board to court over…
Ramsey County Sherif Bob Fletcher, shown in 2019.

Citing meager budget, Ramsey County sheriff sues board over COVID cuts

Dispute arises over county's pandemic-induced austerity measures
6-10 inches of snow in Twin Cities forecast today enough for white Christmas

6-10 inches of snow in Twin Cities forecast today enough for white Christmas

Strong winds, blowing snow and falling temperatures could make travel difficult heading into Wednesday evening.
Betty Berman

Betty Berman, Holocaust survivor and Mia docent, dies at 90

Betty Berman made a life in Minneapolis after years in forced labor and concentration camps.
Stillwater school board eyes new contract for interim superintendent

Stillwater school board eyes new contract for interim superintendent

A special school board meeting to vote on Malinda Lansfeldt's contract is expected next week.
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan wore a mask during a press conference in July. “For far too long, Native women have been, at best, invisible, and at worst,

Report: Indigenous women and girls face violence epidemic

Indigenous women and girls face an epidemic of violence and are far more likely than other groups in Minnesota to be murdered or to go…
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher

Video shows Ramsey County sheriff driving past struck pedestrian

Bob Fletcher says the wet street and the man's position on roadway made it hard for him to see.
Devin Matthew Weiland

Albert Lea man, 21, admits shooting at neighbors, police

He has been charged with attempted murder and assault.
Instead of sitting out the pandemic winter, Stillwater — reflected Tuesday in the St. Croix River — has decided to decorate and plan low-key outdo

With rink, ice maze, ice-cream social, Stillwater hopes to light up pandemic winter

Town wants tourists but not too many at once.
Firefighters battled a multiple-alarm industrial fire at a warehouse on Bass Lake Road on Tuesday in Maple Grove.

One person unaccounted for after fire at Maple Grove commercial building

Fire crews battled a large fire at a one-story commercial building in Maple Grove on Tuesday night, and one person remained unaccounted for, according to…
Aggregate Industries was seeking a variance to mine gravel and limestone closer to homes in Grey Cloud Island Township.

Mining company pauses Grey Cloud Island expansion

Some residents say they remain wary of future operations near homes.
Cathy Spann said a group of Minneapolis residents who sued the city over police funding is fighting for the entire city.

Judge allows Minneapolis residents' lawsuit alleging inadequate police staffing to proceed

"Minneapolis 8" say the city's safety is at stake.
Breanna Baker lives across the street from the Grey Cloud Island Town Hall, which was sold to a mining company that plans to excavate on the site.

Grey Cloud Island residents dig in against expansion of gravel mine

Plans took many residents of the riverside area of Washington County by surprise.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, at an election night party.

Two new shelters opened for homeless in St. Paul

The temporary shelters will be open until Dec. 31, when Bethesda Hospital site becomes available.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher invited people into an open house for a new Rice Street substation in 2019.

Ramsey County sheriff criticized for high-speed chase he streamed on Facebook

In a statement Friday, Fletcher defended himelf and said that car thieves are emboldened because they think police won't chase them.

Minneapolis police investigating suspicious death

Minneapolis police are investigating the death of a woman who was found unconscious on Tuesday morning. The woman, believed to be in her 50s, was…
Grey Cloud Island Township is a riverside community in southern Washington County.

Coin flips decides an election tie in Washington County

Toss was used to break tie in Grey Cloud Island Township. Heads won.
“This is a nice little quote that stands here and doesn’t need attribution in here.”

Those we've lost: Donovan John Fisher, owner of Don's Bakery in Elk River

Don Fisher spent most of his life going to work just as everyone else was going to bed.The longtime owner of Don's Bakery in Elk…
Maintenance crew member Craig Lee rode an ATV to check on the snow-making equipment at Hyland Hills Ski Area on Tuesday afternoon.

Rain, sleet and snow pelt Twin Cities after balmy reprieve

Rude wintry intrusion follows balmy week, but a slight warm-up is expected by weekend.

Stillwater school board hoping to move beyond contentious year with five new members

A union-backed slate of five candidates who swept the Stillwater school board race on Election Day will see a smooth transition in January with the…
The Pine Bend Cemetery entrance sign frames nearby Pine Bend Refinery, owned by Koch Industries, and traffic along Hwy. 52.

Historic cemetery in Rosemount running out of time to find a caretaker

The oldest Pine Bend Cemetery Association volunteer is 88. The others aren't much younger.
An election judge at North High School in Minneapolis looked outside to check for more voters on Tuesday night. Voters in Minneapolis and St. Paul wer

Voters in metro decide on trash collection, council and mayoral races

Suburban residents in the metro area decided numerous races Tuesday involving local government leaders, school board members and ballot questions. Bloomington Four years after the…
Department of Homeland Security’s Ken Cuccinelli is trying to get the word out on Trump’s new refugee restrictions.

Tough election race means top government officials are calling Minnesota reporters

  In ordinary times, it’s not easy to get the top officials at the Department of Homeland Security to grant interviews. But it’s almost Election…
Tony Pham, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, took aim at local jurisdictions that don’t cooperate with immigration offici

ICE director, in Twin Cities, announces more than 100 immigration arrests

Nationwide enforcement action includes 31 arrests in Minnesota.

State grant kicks off fundraising for Black business district

Grant supports renovation of building that once housed the Dreamland Cafe.
In this June 30, 2020, photo, a box of absentee ballots wait to be counted at the Albany County Board of Elections in Albany, N.Y.

U.S. Postal Service to public: We'll get the ballots delivered on time

The system defended its readiness for record-setting mail ballots in the upcoming election.
A fallen leaf is buried in fresh snowfall on the grave marker of WW II Air Force Cpl. Gunnar Hansen at Fort Snelling National Cemetery Wednesday in Mi

Season's first major snowfall breaks record in Minnesota

The 7.9 inches of snow at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport shattered the previous record for Oct. 20 of 3 inches, and nearly bested the all-time snowiest October day in the Twin Cities.

Lake Elmo mayoral candidate Justin Bloyer alleges defamation in lawsuit against him

Justin Bloyer says a housing nonprofit defamed him by naming him in its lawsuit over a set of rental properties he owns in St. Paul.
By almost any measure, the U.S. Postal Service has had an extraordinary year, from weathering bad publicity in April when President Donald Trump said

Despite late deliveries this summer, local postal officials confident they will handle rush of mailed election ballots

Around mid-July, one in four pieces of mail in Minnesota wasn't delivered on time.
Families of those killed by police marched with hundreds of supporters to the Capitol in St. Paul on Thursday night.

In St. Paul and Minneapolis, hundreds join in second night of protests

No arrests were reported after the marches wrapped up Thursday, one night after 51 people were taken into custody, mostly in south Minneapolis.
Frac sand pile in Winona.

Company wants to take Minnesota county's frac sand ban to U.S. Supreme Court

Winona County's ban was upheld by state Supreme Court earlier this year.
The latest vandalism to the George Floyd mural at 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue S. was noticed Monday and shared on the Black Lives Matter Minneso

George Floyd mural damaged for a second time

The damage is more extensive than an August incident.
An overhead view of the University of St. Thomas campus in St. Paul.

St. Thomas discussing what to do about campus building named after slave-owning bishop

Nineteenth-century Iowa Bishop Mathias Loras oversaw the area that later became Minnesota.
Jon McTaggart is president and CEO of American Public Media.

CEO of MPR's parent group tells the staff that he will step down

Jon McTaggart, president and CEO of American Public Media, informed employees in a memo.
A bomb threat disrupted classes and eventually closed campus at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. ] Shari

Former University of St. Thomas student pleads guilty to making bomb threat

Three bomb threats alleged, all in 2019.
Choulykor Vue

Maplewood hit-and-run victim's family offers reward for information

Choulykor Vue's family offered $20K for information leading to an arrest.
Corwin “Corky” Peterson

Corwin 'Corky' Peterson, who skied to North Pole at age 69, dies at 90

Corwin "Corky" Peterson, a Minneapolis man who skied to the North Pole at age 69 to fulfill a childhood dream of Arctic adventure, died Aug.…
Results of the May 1965 tornado in Fridley. Anoka County Historical Society ORG XMIT: MIN1504301341252304

What was the most destructive tornado in Minnesota history?

The state has seen dozens of terrifying twisters over the years.
Ramsey County Sherif Bob Fletcher.

Ramsey County sheriff goes live online, but not everyone's a fan

The sheriff's Facebook livestream has rankled members of the Ramsey County Board and city leaders, who say they expect more.

Two teens arrested in Minneapolis carjackings, armed robberies

Two juvenile suspects captured, one by canine officer
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz put his face mask at the conclusion of a press conference in July announcing the learning plan for Minnesota schools for the u

Minnesota governor asks Trump and Biden to abide by virus rules during stops

Trump, Biden will be in Minnesota on Friday.

Stillwater school board fires finance manager Kristen Hoheisel

Dismissal comes after months of tension involving a land deal.

Oakdale business hit a second time by alleged bookkeeper fraud

Both former bookkeepers are facing theft charges for allegedly siphoning funds from the Oakdale business.
Molly Taylor

Mary Ellen (Molly) Taylor, who promoted the arts, dies at 93

She launched the arts nonprofit COMPAS and shepherded the organization through decades of growth, raising millions.
St. Paul police are investigating a fatal shooting Tuesday on the 1200 block of Hazelwood Street.

Man found shot in the head in a pickup truck on St. Paul's East Side dies

A possible suspect was being held, a police spokesman said. It was the city's 22nd homicide so far this year.
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, right, entered the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility on June 29 with his attorney Earl Gray, left.

Descended from cops, he saw his Mpls. police career last 4 days

Thomas Lane's life, viewed through the lens of those who knew him, shows a quiet man challenged at times with personal struggles, yet driven by his desire to wear a badge.
Hundreds of volunteers showed up to clean along University Avenue, organized by Hamline Midway Coalition, Friday, May 29, 2020 in St. Paul.

Effort to aid St. Paul's Midway area after riots stalled by argument over who benefits

More than $800,000 in donations that poured into the Neighbors United Funding Collaborative is caught up in the controversy.
St. Paul firefighters quickly got a fire at Metro Metals Recycling under control on Tuesday.

Large blaze breaks out at metal plant in St. Paul

Firefighters weren't able to say what caused the fire. There were no reports of injury.

House DFL candidate won't get felony charges for offensive Hugo protest comments

Rally at home of police union chief included profanity and effigies.
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, shown in 2018.

Minneapolis City Council president says her home was vandalized

Tensions have been high as the city weighs the future of the Police Department.
A bowfisherman cruised the St. Croix River shallows near the Allen S. King power plant in 2015. The plant could close in 2028, open a large tract of l

Xcel coal plant closure later this decade poses big question for Oak Park Heights

2028 closure is expected to open up 4,500 feet of riverfront.

Man whose body was found in a St. Louis Park Lake is identified

A drowning victim found May 29 in St. Louis Park's Victoria Lake was identified Tuesday as Malik Christopher Lee Ambers, 25, of Minneapolis, according to…
Jacob McPheeters

Man charged with shooting his girlfriend in Bloomington, then fleeing to Wisconsin

Guns, pipe bombs found in man's car

Century-old building torn down in Stillwater

New surface lot expected; city could build ramp.
The ATF is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Jose Felan, Jr. and Mena Dyaha Yousif, wanted in connecti

Texas man charged with helping couple suspected of St. Paul arsons to evade authorities

Authorities say that Jose Felan Jr. and his wife, Mena Dyaha Yousif, may have fled to Mexico.
Ramsey County Sheriff's Deputies in boats searched for a young boy who went missing late Tuesday along the Mississippi River near Hidden Falls Regiona

Search for boy missing in Mississippi is now recovery operation

The boy has been missing since Tuesday evening.
A water search was underway Tuesday for a possible drowning victim at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul.

Search underway for possible drowning victim at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul

Site of possible drowning known for strong undercurrents
Looters trashed Cadillac Pawn in Minneapolis on May 27.

Authorities seek help in weighing charges in fatal pawnshop shooting

The plea comes as attorney Ben Crump joins the dead man's family in pushing for the businessman to be prosecuted.
More than 1,000 people protesting the Ethiopian government's treatment of the Oromo ethnic group briefly closed down the Interstate 35W bridge Friday

1,500 shut down freeway briefly to protest Ethiopia's treatment of Oromo

Largest ethnic group in Ethiopia calls for changes in homeland.
Attorney Ron Meuser Jr. said some 150 Minneapolis police officers out of a sworn force of 850 have contacted him to start filing disability paperwork.

MPD officers filing for PTSD disability at unprecedented levels, their attorney says

He said 150 Minneapolis police officers out of a sworn force of 850 have contacted him to start filing paperwork, a majority of them for symptoms of PTSD.
Ryan Youngdale stands in front of the beer fridge at Stinson Wine, Beer, and Spirits. ] COURTNEY PEDROZA ¥ courtney.pedroza@startribune.com July 2, 2

Why is Minnesota the last state with 3.2 beer?

Low-alcohol 3.2 beers specially made for grocery stores are a dying breed. But efforts to overturn the 3.2 restrictions have been opposed by liquor stores and interest groups.
Bikers crossed the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge, now exclusively for pedestrians and bikers. Finally connected by a historic bridge and opened to t

New St. Croix River Crossing Loop Trail has Stillwater going round and round

The new trail was finally completed this spring with the reopening of the historic Lift Bridge.
A suspect was transported to a local hospital after a standoff in a residential Spring Lake Park neighborhood on Monday, July 6.

Man who shot at SWAT team in Spring Lake Park arrested in similar incident June 26

A man using a high-powered handgun outfitted with a scope fired several shots Monday afternoon at an Anoka County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team during a…