Staff Directory 417082793

Richard Chin

Reporter | Features
Phone: 612-673-1775
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Richard Chin is a feature reporter with the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. He has been a longtime Twin Cities-based journalist who has covered crime, courts, transportation, outdoor recreation and human interest stories.

As a feature reporter, Richard Chin has flown on the Goodyear Blimp, driven the Wienermobile, sunk to the bottom of a lake in a one-man submarine, worn a giant urine specimen cup costume as a mascot for a health care company, rode a vintage Puch at the Sturgis of mopeds and was mistakenly arrested by police hunting for a serial killer. He also spent six weeks in Baghdad during the Iraq war and was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.
Recent content from Richard Chin
Larry Ripp stumbled into his career as “the Baron of Bubble” 10 years ago when he purchased a bubble-making kit for his grandson.

Meet the Baron of Bubble, the maker of car-sized floating art

Larry Ripp is one entertainer whose act is literally good, clean fun.
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

How to protect against COVID-19 when someone gets too close

Humming a tune may help you deal with close encounters of the COVID kind.
Mountain bikers careen down the Happy Camper trail at Spirit Mountain Bike Park in Duluth.

Bored with running, biking or hiking? Try some of these outdoor activities

Not all outdoor pursuits involve getting on a crowded path. Here are suggestions for things to do in the parks, in the woods and on the water.
Roses on display include (clockwise, from left) “Busy as a Bee” by Jim Defeo, “Petals on the Runway” by Christopher Straub, “Bloom” by Eri

Roseville is hoping to lure visitors with 658-pound roses

St. Paul had Snoopy statues. Buffalo has its bison. Roseville is going for roses.
Opera singer Ellie Dehn.

How about this as a gift? A singing telegram from a Broadway star

Thanks to the pandemic, now you can book a star from Broadway or opera to sing just for you.
Lilli Prouty with her mom, Julianna, has created a scale model of the solar system that shows the relative distance between the sun and her nine plane

An 8-year-old St. Paul girl is taking her neighborhood on a space walk

She put up laminated signs to demonstrate the relative distance between the sun and the planets.
Forager Tim Clemens showed off a few of his morel mushrooms.

Mushrooms that smell like Fruity Pebbles and other forest finds by a St. Paul forager

Forager Tim Clemens knows how to live off the land, and he can teach others how, too.
Carolyn Sue Olson’s illustration from her “Essential Workers” series, top, depicts masks that are becoming our new normal. Sai Xiong’s “I AM

You're witnessing history: Minnesota archivists call for help documenting the pandemic

Archivists are asking for blog posts, photos, signs, even T-shirts to capture pandemic history as it's happening.
In this time of the virus corona: Here are the winners of the Star Tribune limerick contest

In this time of the virus corona: Here are the winners of the Star Tribune limerick contest

There once was a winner ...
People gather on Zoom, a video conferencing app. Companies and friend groups across the U.S. are video chatting to keep spirits high. (Jamie Lee Finch

You may be ready for your videoconferencing close-up, but is your makeshift office?

You may be ready for your videoconferencing close-up, but is your makeshift office?
North Oaks city council member Martin Long recently attended a city council meeting from his hot tub.

North Oaks council member attends meeting from his hot tub

This suburban city council member is all wet.
Minneapolis woman collected thousands of bras — then gave them away to women in shelters

Minneapolis woman collected thousands of bras — then gave them away to women in shelters

Annie Richman amassed about 4,000 bras over the past seven years. And gave them all away.
Freewheel Bike locations in the Twin Cities offer a “black glove” delivery service.

Trying to stay fit during the shutdown? These Twin Cities gyms, judo studios and gear shops want to help

Fitness buffs and the businesses that cater to them are finding a way to connect amid COVID-19.
Bryan Korbel of Columbia Heights is prepared for disaster. His supplies include gas masks from Fleet Farm.

Minnesota preppers ready 'for far more than what is coming down the pike right now'

They've been stockpiling and planning for disaster for years. Now they're prepared to cope without fully stocked grocery stores, tap water and electricity.
Diana Neidecker and her spouse Blake Ward, who started filling the little free library outside their home with grocery items on Monday to help those i

Enter the heroes: Ordinary Minnesotans do extraordinary things

The COVID-19 crisis has many Minnesotans rushing to help friends, neighbors and strangers.
Knitting may reduce blood pressure, lower depression and anxiety and increase a sense of well-being.

Stressed out by coronavirus? Here are 7 simple things you can do right now to relax

From gum to gratitude, here are some novel ideas of how to improve your mood despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
Kurt Anderson made final adjustments to the Arctic Arrow before its first run at Bear Lake in Manawa, Wis.

A Minnesotan drives a rocket sled across a frozen lake. What could go wrong?

An Orono business owner's quest: to become the fastest man on ice.
Scared? That makes sense.

There's a reason why you're so freaked out by the coronavirus

As the number of cases and the number of places being infected by the novel coronavirus grows, everyone from Wall Street to the man on the street seems rattled.
Dave Gummeson, left, and Doug Furry two of the greatest foosball players from Minnesota, played in Gummeson's Minneapolis basement.

Minnesotans may have never won it all in pro football, but they have in pro foosball

At the height of table soccer's popularity, a couple of teenagers from the Iron Range were the reigning champs.
Barbara Naughton

Barbara Naughton, WWII refugee who became dementia care nurse, dies at 74

Barbara Naughton was born into a world ripped apart by war, a conflict that had already taken the life of her father and all of…
Biohacker Thaddeus Owen in a closet in the family’s home where he bathes himself in red light each day before dawn.

Sleep cages and ice baths: The extreme lifestyle of local biohackers

Can you engineer a better human? These folks are trying to find out by experimenting on themselves.
From left, Dane Edward Miller, Leo Royzman and Chad Juncker (with sign) embrace the ice bath hack. Throughout the winter, biohackers maintain a hole i

Meet the people who think soaking in a frozen Minneapolis lake is the secret to good health

The popular "biohack" cold-water immersion is gaining ground with Twin Cities residents and some scientists.
David Malmberg, a lifelong ventriloquist, and dummy Lars Gunderson. Malmberg is the one on the right. Bah-da-bing!

Can you make a living as a ventriloquist? This St. Paul man can speak to that

Decades after a St. Paul man started making dummies talk, ventriloquism is cool again.
Photographer Cooper Dodds caught this skier after takeoff from the Bush Lake ski jump in Bloomington.

What happens when a ski jumper takes a camera to the top of the hill?

A skier and photographer captures the unique culture of ski jumping in the Midwest.
Uri Sands of TU Dance.

Sex harassment complaint prompts co-founder to quit St. Paul's TU Dance

TU Dance's Uri Sands faces sex allegation; co-founder Toni Pierce-Sands stays on.
A plastic lion, gorilla, polar bear and sea lion from Como Zoo’s Mold-A-Rama machine.

Where to find the last old-school Mold-A-Rama souvenir vending machine in Minnesota

Beloved souvenir vending machines make Minnesota a destination for collectors.
Mining holiday anxieties: Twisted Santa Justin Betancourt lunged for visitor Tylyn Page at Haunted Basement’s the Workshop.

Rest in peace, ye merry gentlemen: Horror isn't just for Halloween anymore

The Twin Cities haunted house known as the Haunted Basement has created a holiday-themed nightmare before Christmas show this December.
Ingrid Maslow

Ingrid Maslow, who survived the Holocaust thanks to nuns and her own resourcefulness, dies at 86

Maslow learned her State Fair prize-winning needlepoint skills from the nuns who sheltered her from the Nazis.
A woman hailed a taxi in Duluth to try and travel during the snowstorm on Saturday.

As historic storm halts travel in Duluth, metro area gets soaked and wind-chilled

Heavy snow forecast for North Shore while wintry mix plagued Twin Cities.
“Game of Thrones” socks advent calendar.

Beard oil, hot sauce, sex toys: The advent calendar gets weird

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 25 pieces of beef jerky.
The living room has one of the two working fireplaces in the house.

$1.45M Mpls. home designed by team behind Swedish Institute's 'Castle'

The duo behind the American Swedish Institute "Castle" also designed this Lowry Hill house.
Gipson Shoemaker III in his shop in Minneapolis, where he creates cigar box guitars, an old-time folk instrument that’s experiencing a modern resurg

Mpls. man resurrects a storied folk instrument: The cigar box guitar

In the hands of Gipson Shoemaker III, the simple wooden box becomes a musical instrument worth hundreds of dollars and capable of producing a raw, gritty and authentic sound.
Nate Mielke of Hopkins leads Casey Johnson of Golden Valley in a race around the track. Riders compete in a series of races, each consisting of 3-4 la

A Minneapolis distillery brings a scrappy new form of bike racing to Minnesota

British-style racing with brakeless bikes ups the Anglophile ante at Royal Foundry Craft Spirits.
Peter Yang and Seppy Yoon tried Four Humours for the first time, at Tower Games in Minneapolis.

Twin Cities seen as 'one of the premier places to make board games in the world'

The Twin Cities has become a hotbed for board games, from design and development to hard-core players.
2019 Halloween Pet Costume Contest winners

Is your pet ready for Halloween? See the winners of the Star Tribune Pet Costume Contest

The winners in our Halloween Pet Costume Contest ranged from the elaborate to the adorably goofy.
Paranormal investigator and pro wrestler Bryan Dorn held the trophy belt he won recently at the Paranormal Pro Wrestling event, part of the Chicago Gh

Meet the pro wrestler moonlighting as a Minnesota paranormal investigator

In his citizen history project, Minnesota's Famous Dead, Bryan Dorn locates and photographs the most notable Twin Cities grave sites.
Marching band enthusiast Brent Turner in his Apple Valley home.

Minnesota's 'Music Man' created a high school championship where the bands are front and center

An Apple Valley booster helped introduce Broadway-style theatrics and create a competition where high school band geeks are the stars.
John “Dex” Dexter

John J. "Dex" Dexter, longtime St. Paul Curling Club manager, dies at 73

This is the time of year when John “Dex” Dexter would be laboring to make the perfect sheet of ice. For nearly 40 years, Dexter…
David Baum watched as Coco made her way through her very own three-season room.

Edina cat-lovers built their indoor cats a 'catio' so they can enjoy the outdoors

Outdoor enclosures that keep cats safe but offer a little wind in their whiskers are sprouting up in the Twin Cities.
Nate Otto repairs player pianos in the workshop of his Anoka home. He cleaned front rail pins on a piano he is fixing up to replace his own.

Remember player pianos? Meet the millennial keeping them alive in Minnesota

A young Minnesotan is trying to save a rare instrument that once was in every living room.
Stephanie Hankerson’s help-yourself Free Little Florist box in St. Paul is a spinoff of Little Free Libraries.

St. Paul woman offers fresh bouquets from Little Free Florist stand

St. Paul community organizer and gardening educator has given away 200 bouquets.
St. Paul's lone Kmart store, on Maryland Avenue East, will close in mid-December, officials said Sunday.

As fourth St. Paul retailer closes, some ask: Where will we shop?

Back-to-back closings of two discount stores in St. Paul months after Sears shut its doors are taking a big bite out of the city's retail offerings.
St. Paul artist Carla Alexandra Rodriguez practices tintype photography, a Civil War era photographic process that creates images on sheets of metal.

St. Paul photographer uses 1800s technology to create stunning portraits

Tintypes, which had their heyday during the Civil War, are being resurrected by young photographers looking to create lasting images.
Street artist Mows510 is the anonymous creator of hundreds of whimsical mouse doors scattered around the Twin Cities area – and the world.

The anonymous Minnesota street artist who invented a better mouse door

An untrained street artist installs his tiny sculptures around town — and the world — to communicate and celebrate whimsy.
In an all-day series of melees at Afton State Park last month, nearly 50 people battled with LED sabers, wearing repurposed sports gear as armor. The

Fighting with lightsabers: Minnesotans do battle in growing 'nerd sport'

Minnesota "Star Wars" fans have created a sport inspired by a sci-fi movie prop.
Saber Legion champion and youth pastor Jimmy Sourile is considered a “prodigy.”

Eagan minister is Minnesota's Luke Skywalker

Jimmy Sourile is the Saber Legion’s Luke Skywalker, an ordinary guy who goes on a hero’s journey and discovers he has the hidden skills to…
Shameem Moshrefzadeh customizes LED sabers.

Oakdale man makes plastic sabers look and sound like the real 'Star Wars' thing

Shameem Moshrefzadeh is the arms dealer for the nerd warrior. “I build lightsabers to pay the bills,” he said. The 31-year-old Oakdale resident turned his…
Dan Wenkel in his St. Paul backyard with the trebuchet he and his wife built.

St. Paul couple find a new home for their giant medieval catapult

Dan Wenkel and Beth Robelia weren't using their home-built trebuchet much anymore. So they went on the neighborhood networking site Nextdoor and offered it for free.
Amudalat Ajasa, 18, and Rande Tomas, 64, danced during a rehearsal for “Holding On: Unexpected Stories of World War II” at the Episcopal Homes i

From the atomic bomb to internment camps, stories of the last Minnesota veterans of World War II

Minnesota World War II veterans' experiences are told in a new play performed by a multigenerational cast.
Robert Fusaro

Robert Fusaro, who opened first karate school in Minnesota, dies at 85

To thousands of his students, he was known as the "sensei's sensei," the teacher of teachers.
Amateur scientist Scott Peterson hunts for micrometeorites on roofs.

Space dust from metro rooftops is star of new exhibit at Bell Museum

Micrometeorites discovered by a local resident are part of an exhibit.
Cassie Bonstrom holds a picture of her grandmother, Nancy Jack, who died in 1989.

Two nursing students' lives are linked by controversial death 30 years ago in Edina

The two students discovered that their families are connected through an alleged "mercy killing" from decades ago.
The Revs. Tim Hart-Andersen and Sarah Brouwer recently led a bike-inspired service, which included a blessing of the bikes, at Westminster Presbyteria

Why so many Twin Cities clergy members bicycle religiously

For a growing number of Twin Cities clergy members, biking is part of the ministry.
Richard Chin and pilot John Klatt enjoyed an inverted viewpoint.

Minnesotan John Klatt traded fighter jets for the quiet life of an aerial acrobat

Minnesota pilot John Klatt has flown in war zones, on humanitarian missions and for airlines. Now he provides thrills at air shows across the country.
Retired bus driver Thomas Carr and his “great source of pride” in the 1990s.

How a man tracked down his grandpa's long lost car in Minnesota

Ohio man's search for beloved car culminated in Minnesota.
Traditional wooden small craft take to Lake Superior at the North House Folk School’s Wooden Boat Show & Summer Solstice Festival.

Grand Marais celebration is like the car show for wooden watercraft enthusiasts

A wooden boat parade, puppetry pageant, chowder tasting and contra dancing are part of this North Shore event.
Cameren Torgerud of Studio Payne Art Gallery and Oddities Shop in St. Paul. His store’s offerings include a preserved cat (it died of natural causes

Traveling expo of 'Oddities & Curiosities' comes to Minneapolis

And now for something completely different — an expo devoted to the odd.
Pat "Truck" Moriarty laughed with Brad Adam, of Coon Rapids, as Moriarty stopped by Sky Hill Park to watch a bit of Thursday night's double header gam

These Minnesota grown-ups take Wiffle ball seriously – very seriously

A Cottage Grove man has built what's believed to be the biggest adult Wiffle ball league in the country.
Christian Dalbec has carved out an unusual niche in nature photography. He puts on a wet suit and swims out into Lake Superior to capture waves, surfe

A Minnesotan dives into the dangerous, icy waters of Lake Superior to take photos

A Minnesotan immerses himself in his photography – and the dangerous, icy waters of Lake Superior.
Members of the Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet School patrol during the 2016 parade in downtown St. Paul.

A century later, St. Paul still celebrates 'big tradition' of school safety patrol parade

About 800 young crossing guards, accompanied by high school and middle school bands, will march May 14.
David Bourn

David Bourn, projectionist who lit up the skies and put Prince in the spotlight, dies at 77

Family and friends who were searching for the gathering to honor the passing of David Bourn needed only to follow the lights in the sky.…
A house exploded on the 600 block of Hall Avenue in St. Paul on Saturday afternoon, injuring the man who lived there.

Neighbors dodge flames, debris to rescue 'Sarge' after St. Paul home blast

A gas leak is suspected. The 74-year-old victim was in fair condition at Regions Hospital after the explosion at his West Side home.
Volunteers unfurled one of the pieces of the tifo for the first time. Tifos are a tradition among soccer support groups worldwide to demonstrate their

Hard-core Minnesota United fans prepare to unfurl epic 20,000-square-foot banner

For the first home game, Minnesota United fans will raise something much bigger than team scarves.
Twin Cities performer and instructor Joey Clark is playing a surprise role in the Final Four.

MacPhail instructor coaches team of rivals for student-sung anthem at Final Four

What could go wrong? So far, nothing.
Mike Marcotte is a Guinness World Records adjudicator, one of the judges that the record-keeping and publishing company hires, trains and dispatches a

Trying to set a Guinness World Record? This Minnesotan will be the judge of that

The Guinness World Records has only about 100 judges in the world. This Minnesota man is one of them.
Mastel’s sales associate Sue Bryant, center, helped Debby Newman of Roseville while sales associate Roberta Benson answered the phone.

From Swedish bitters to CBD oil, St. Paul shop has sold health products for half-century

Mastel's Health Foods has been selling health products for half a century.
Ax throwing venues are spreading. FlannelJax in St. Paul, above, is one outlet. Now a movie theater in Monticello is getting in on the ax.

A Monticello, Minn., movie theater will offer ax throwing as well as cocktails and heated reclining seats

A luxury movie complex in Monticello, Minn., is sharpening its offerings with ax throwing.
Pet shrimp are popular in Taiwan and Germany, but they are catching on among aquarium keepers in the U.S.

This Minnesotan paid $1,000 for a single shrimp. Not to eat — as a pet

A Minnesota man breeds, sells and shows a colorful, convenient pet: shrimp.
Daniel Taradash, shown in his home office in Champlin, saw about 150 to 200 movies last year. He has saved hundreds of ticket stubs, and keeps a movie

Minnesota superfans race to watch all nominated movies in Oscar 'chase'

The average American saw only about four films last year in a theater. But some Minnesotans, out of a pure passion for film, will see hundreds.
Linda Sone, a driver with the Minneapolis fire department, made her way up the stairs with fellow firefighters during a training session at the Hennep

Want a cheap way to get healthier and develop a fabulous butt? Take the stairs

Avoiding the elevator is the secret to fitness for some stair climbers — and a fiercely competitive sport for others.
Dustin Peterson of Big Lake, Minn., floated under the watchful eye of instructor Mike Silva at the iFLY vertical wind tunnel in Minnetonka.

Too cold to skydive or ski? Take it inside with these 6 Twin Cities thrill factories

Tired of Netflix, board games and books? It's possible to have offbeat, active, midwinter fun without boots and parkas.
John Uldrich, fish finder pioneer (and guy in background of Time cover), dies at 82

John Uldrich, fish finder pioneer (and guy in background of Time cover), dies at 82

Uldrich enjoyed not just the good life, but "a quirky, quixotic, quintessential Minnesotan existence," according to his family.
Avid Hot Wheels collector Ryan Wurzbacher held up his favorite car, a 1968 olive green Camaro with a white interior that cost him about $2,000.

Twin Cities collectors have serious drive to accumulate Hot Wheels: 'They're pieces of art'

Adult collectors are obsessed with the tiny cars, hoarding them by the hundreds, selling rare ones for thousands.
Chuck Zwilling and his crew worked on cutting the ice for their giant floating ice carousel -- more than 130 meters across -- on Green Prairie Fish La

Minnesota man makes carousel out of enormous floating disk of ice

Extreme ice carousel builders across the world are one-upping each other in a challenge to create the biggest and best.
Former attorney Taryn Singer of New York City is the owner of WithThanks, a company that will ghostwrite — and send — handwritten thank you notes.

Don't want to write your own thank you note? Just outsource it

Signed, sealed and delivered: Ghostwriters and robots will write your thank you notes for you.