Staff Directory 188067161

Shannon Prather

Reporter | Ramsey County
Phone: 612-673-4804
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Shannon Prather covers Ramsey County for the Star Tribune. Previously, she covered philanthropy and nonprofits. Prather has two decades of experience reporting for newspapers in Minnesota, California, Idaho, Wisconsin and North Dakota. She has covered a variety of topics including the legal system, law enforcement, education, municipal government and slice-of-life community news.

Prather attended high school in Fargo, N.D. and went on to earn a bachelor's of journalism from the University of Missouri. She has received additional training from Investigative Reporters & Editors and The Poynter Institute. She has covered everything from death penalty trials to growing pains in Twin Cities suburbs. She has been recognized for her work by the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists and the California News Publishers Association.
Recent content from Shannon Prather
Falcon Heights' Quentin Nguyen plans to build a neighborhood garden in his front yard came to a sudden halt when the City Council voted to ban front y

Falcon Heights City Council upholds veggie garden ban

One resident's challenge of the ban has drawn the support of thousands in the Ramsey County suburb.
“We know that $7,500 isn’t a whole lot, but it’s intended to get these businesses through the next month or two in terms of rent and utilities,�

Businesses with five or fewer employees are first in line for Ramsey County relief

About half of Ramsey County businesses with five or fewer workers will be the first eligible for $7,500 emergency grants.
Craig Johnson resigned from the Vadnais Heights City Council.

Vadnais Heights Council Member Craig Johnson resigns after exposure of bigoted social media posts

An anonymous person e-mailed the posts to more than 40 members of the media, local leaders and advocacy groups.
Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough led the effort to delay approval of the final $26 million, saying the public needed “transparency and accou

Ramsey County Board OKs spending plan for $96 million in federal pandemic aid

The board earmarked all but $26 million for emergency response costs, which will be approved as it's spent.
The Cathedral of St. Paul. Catholic Archbishop Bernard Hebda said it’s up to parishes to decide if they’re ready for a return to public mass.

Minnesota houses of worship can open at 25% occupancy

State's Catholic archbishop calls executive order "an important breakthrough," while Gov. Walz called it a difficult decision.
Falcon Heights resident Quentin Nguyen said he feels targeted because he started work on his garden before the city passed the ordinance.

No front yard veggies in Falcon Heights this year, city leaders tell resident

Many have rallied to the homeowner's side. The mayor said that he's open to changing city code, after research and discussion.
Fourteen DVS exam stations reopened Tuesday, including this one in Arden Hills where during the mid-morning an estimated 200 people waited outside in

Crowds show up at Minnesota offices for driving tests, licenses

Anxious motorists arrived at sunrise and waited hours to take their written driving tests, long postponed by the state's stay-at-home order issued in late March.
Tents were set up between the History Center and Catholic Charities and in the shadow of the State Capitol in St. Paul in March.

Ramsey County officials ask state to set up homeless shelter

More shelter beds would allow local leaders to take down homeless camps, officials said.

Roseville lowers tree replacement fees for single-family development

But the city's goal remains redevelopment that "preserves big trees."
A bridge along the Rice Creek North Regional Trail in Shoreview.

'Meandering' restores twists and turns on Lambert Creek in Ramsey County

Projects aim to turn dirty ditches into scenic waters.
Noelle Boerboom of East Bethel assisted Brad Matchett of the Original Agricadabra show at the Ramsey County Fair in Maplewood in 2012.

Ramsey County Fair canceled due to coronavirus fears

Ramsey joining a growing list of counties canceling summer celebrations.
A woman napped on the Capitol lawn in St. Paul on Saturday.

$2.2B in federal aid sets up local clashes in Minnesota

An-end-of-year deadline set by Congress to spend all the money is setting up clashes not just between parties but among state, county and city leaders scrambling to meet the ballooning costs of the pandemic at the same time that their tax revenues are plunging.
The Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site in Arden Hills.

Minnesota takes TCAAP soil and surface water off Superfund list

Friday's action, similar to step taken by feds last fall, marks an important step toward redevelopment of the former industrial site.
Lis Moriarty and her two children, Liam, left, and Brenna, walked from their home to the Ramsey County Library-Roseville for curbside pickup.

Ramsey County and other metro library systems pushing curbside books as a great COVID escape

All metro county library systems, along with St. Paul, now offer curbside pickup.
In January, blue crosses of tape were placed on different apartments being repaired at the Pike Lake Apartments in New Brighton.

Apartment tenants file class-action suit against landlord and city of New Brighton

Owner's lawyer denies construction hazard claim.

Hennepin, Ramsey counties move to help homeowners, businesses deal with pandemic

Hennepin County also set up a $2 million relief fund for small businesses.

Ramsey County eliminates nearly $700,000 in criminal fines and fees

The county will stop charging fees for probation supervision, electronic home monitoring and diabetic supplies needed while in custody.
Swans, loons and other birds mistake lead sinkers for small stones they swallow to aid their gizzards with digestion.

Swan, loon poisonings fuel anti-lead sinker campaign in Minnesota

Toll in Ramsey County is fueling a campaign to persuade anglers to stop using lead sinkers.
Reed Martin of Cedar Creek Energy installed solar panels on the roof of Brin Glass on Monday in Fridley.

New suburban solar projects part of a wave of new projects in Minnesota

There are now an estimated 7,500 solar arrays in the state, with 1,000 going in just last year.
The line to pay property taxes in Minneapolis in 2017. Spring property tax statements are starting to show up in mailboxes across the Twin Cities, sto

County leaders looking to state for flexibility on property tax payments

With first half taxes due May 15, local governments are looking for ways to provide flexibility.

Ramsey County starting up on $51 million in road projects

Ramsey County crews have started work on more than $51 million in road construction and maintenance projects for the upcoming 2020 season — and the…
Maplewood firefighters doused a school bus engulfed in flames at the Century Ave. exit ramp on East bound I-94, in May 2014. Maplewood Fire and EMS re

Maplewood will close one fire station, rebuild another

The $10.7 million project will reduce overlap, while a third site will remain.
A sign posted at one of three entrances to North Oaks in 2008.

Private and tony North Oaks struggles with final chapter of growth

Development of the last parcel riles advocates for its outdoor sanctuary.
A security guard at the downtown Minneapolis Public Library turned away a patron after the library closed Tuesday.

Hennepin, Ramsey counties declare states of emergency, close public buildings

Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka and Dakota counties all took steps to cancel face-to-face public services.
Artist's rendering of the planned Dale Street Bridge over Interstate 94 in St. Paul, looking from the south. Credit: Ramsey County/TKDA

Reconstruction of St. Paul's Dale Street bridge starts this month

Officials worked with neighborhood residents to design a bridge that meets modern needs and reflects the area's values and history.
Rebound, a nonprofit founded by Carmeann Foster, runs two group homes for black teens in Minneapolis.

New group home for black teens to open in St. Paul

A culturally specific group home, designed for black teenage boys tangled in the juvenile justice and child protection systems, will open this spring in St.…

Rondo Land Trust eyes affordable housing project in Shoreview

City officials proposed a partnership with the nonprofit to build affordable housing.
The TCAAP site, photographed from the top of the Kame, a former reservoir that is the highest point in Ramsey County, in 2010.

Talks over future ammo plant development break down between Ramsey County, Arden Hills

Failure of mediation means that the county's suit will resume to break its power-sharing agreement with the city.
Open skate at Charles M. Schulz Highland Arena in St. Paul. Ramsey County just changed its policy on naming buildings after people but exempted sports

Ramsey County to stop naming buildings, parks after individuals

The County Board approved the new naming policy that includes an exception mechanism.

St. Paul Fire Department pulls out of mutual-aid pact with Ramsey County suburbs

City Council President Amy Brendmoen said she's hopeful St. Paul and the suburbs can negotiate a new agreement.
Roseville firefighter Dan Concha emptied gear in 2018. Since 2016, Roseville has aided other jurisdictions 11 times in an agreement that may end.

St. Paul fire wants to end aid agreement with suburbs

City cites "disproportionate burden" in fighting fires in suburbs.
In 2019, Roseville officers made 4,123 traffic stops, compared with 5,373 in 2018 and 2,459 in 2017.

Roseville police stopped 20% fewer drivers; nearly 40% were people of color

The third annual report examines the race and gender of drivers, why they were stopped and the outcomes.
Sports arenas bear the names of men who achieved fame decades ago, such as U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Yackel.

Ramsey County holds off on proposal to prohibit naming county sites after individuals

Commissioners decided that more discussion and research was needed before they were willing to approve such a ban.
Many of Ramsey County’s most iconic buildings, such as Landmark Center, at right, don’t reference people.

To avoid controversy, Ramsey County wants to stop naming buildings after people

There are no plans to change current names under the proposed policy, officials said. But names would be reevaluated if the facility undergoes major renovation, or if a name "comes into disrepute."

Public asked to weigh in on new plaza designs outside St. Paul's City Hall-Courthouse

The works are intended to honor Larry Cohen, former mayor and judge.
Ramsey County is poised to sell the naming rights of the Vadnais Heights Sports Center to Twin Cities Orthopedics for nearly $2 million.

Ramsey County to sell naming rights to expanding Vadnais Heights sports complex

Ramsey County Board to vote on sale of Vadnais Sports Center's naming rights

Blighted Mounds View motel site could be turned into senior, affordable apartments

Representatives from Augusta Development and MWF Properties have shared their vision with a seemingly receptive Mounds View City Council.
A new landlord has ordered Michelle Doran, shown trapping roaches, and other tenants of New Brighton’s Pike Lake Apartments to vacate the complex.

New landlord forces out tenants in New Brighton, raising issues about renters' rights

Upgrades at Pike Lake Apartments raise concern along with the rent.

Ramsey, Hennepin counties kicking in money to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing

$33.5 million fund will be used to keep rents lower.
Arthur Sloth

Arthur Sloth, a Minneapolis school district principal and a nursery owner, dies at 95

Arthur “Art” Sloth spent his career nurturing and educating children as a teacher and then principal for three decades in Minneapolis Public Schools. In retirement,…
Vadnais Heights Mayor Heidi Gunderson, shown in 2014.

Vadnais Heights takes a new approach to redevelopment: Ask the neighbors

Task force proposes a destination brewery or distillery for city parcel.
Hamline University Prof Jillian Peterson

Minnesota creators of 'Mass Shooter Database' sharing work with politicians, educators, police

A training session Friday in downtown St. Paul will discuss their preliminary findings and mass shooting prevention strategies.
Workers put the final touches on the Ice Castles display that makes its debut Friday night at Ramsey County's Long Lake Regional Park in New Brighton.

Workers put final touches on Ice Castles, opening Friday in New Brighton

Popular massive display made of icicles fused with water spray is ready to be unveiled.
The Minnesota State Capitol is shown in this Jan. 10, 2020 photo in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Ramsey County Board votes to continue refugee resettlement

The county with the largest percentage of foreign-born residents said it will continue to welcome refugees.
Children listened at storytime at the Ramsey County Library in Roseville. The system dropped fees for overdue kids’ materials.

Ramsey County Library will no longer fine for overdue youth materials

Ramsey County forgoes fines on kids' books
Ramsey County's very first Zamboni, mothballed three decades ago with a leaky tank, is being restored with plans is to make it a fully functional ice

Ramsey County restores its first Zamboni for 'Miracle on Ice' anniversary

The county hopes to use it between periods at big hockey games and in a parade for the 40th anniversary of the "Miracle on Ice" Olympic hockey win.
The website, created in partnership with St. Paul and the county’s suburbs, was designed to replace a stack of papers typically provided to prospect

Ramsey County unveils website to attract companies

Designed specifically for businesses and corporate site selectors, includes an interactive map of nearly 60 available properties.
A $23 million reconstruction of the Rice Street-694 bridge is long overdue, planners say. They hope that the project will revive the area.

Hopes are high for repairing bottleneck at I-694 and Rice Street

Roundabouts, redevelopment are in the works for outdated Ramsey County interchange.
Ramsey County Manager Ryan O’Connor Source: Ramsey County ORG XMIT: 2019 Ramsey County

Ramsey County Board approves nearly 5% tax levy hike for 2020

The Ramsey County Board, expressing a mix of emotions, voted unanimously Tuesday to raise the property tax levy by 4.75% in 2020 — the first…

Ramsey County jailers now wearing body cameras

Correctional officers at the Ramsey County jail started wearing body cameras Tuesday, recording interactions with inmates and members of the public.Deputy sheriffs in court security…
A crowd outside Myth in 2007.

Maplewood renews Myth liquor license with conditions

An attorney for the concert venue called the conditions, including regular meetings with police, unconstitutional.
The Falcon Heights department, with one firehouse and a $185,000 annual operating budget, has no full-time staff. It provides fire services for neighb

Falcon Heights to contract with Roseville for fire department leaders

Instead of replacing a chief, the council will vote on whether to hire Roseville to administrate services.
Ramsey County uses tax-forfeited property for affordable housing

Ramsey County uses tax-forfeited property for affordable housing

Ramsey County effort has created about 110 more affordable homes and apartments since 2013.
“Our peer counties are already levying for affordable housing,” said Kari Collins, Ramsey County’s economic development director. “We are in a

Ramsey County weighing $10 million in new property taxes to fund more affordable housing

New funds would be directed at affordable housing, redevelopment.
Samuel Bouffleur, 7, thrilled when a realistic juvenile T-Rex puppet reached down onto a Science Museum building block table where the boy was playing

Science Museum celebrates winter solstice with 'Illumination'

The exhibit, a solstice celebration of light and shadows, starts on Black Friday.
Retirees Jerry and Karen Wah are volunteer drivers for the American Red Cross. The Scandia couple has crisscrossed the state delivering lifesaving blo

Minnesota Red Cross seeks more volunteer drivers to deliver blood

Karen and Jerry Wahl, a retired Scandia couple, have crisscrossed Minnesota for two years delivering blood to hospitals and clinics as Red Cross volunteers.They signed…

Roseville landlord could lose license over code violations

City says it has found unsafe, unsanitary conditions in every apartment and common space inspected.
Kurt and Lindsey Carpenter live on East Goose Lake. “The boating restrictions feel very heavy-handed,” Lindsey Carpenter said.

Temporary East Goose Lake boating ban advocated by water management scientists

Lakeshore homeowners push back, question plan.
In this Aug. 1, 1966 file photo, smoke rises from the sniper's gun as he fired from the tower of the University of Texas administration building in Au

Hamline, Metro State profs create a database to shed light on mass shooters

Minnesota researchers gather facts and dispel myths with the creation of a "Mass Shooter Database"
Two of the four murals in the St. Paul City Council Chambers painted in 1933 by John Norton.

Artists chosen to create new murals for St. Paul council chambers

A diverse group of artists that includes many with Native American and Latino ties was chosen by a community task force organized by the Ramsey County Historical Society.

Judge sets aside prison term, gives man probation for Green Line robbery

The sentence came despite requests from both the prosecutor and victim for an 81-month prison term.
Kenneth Collins, former Maplewood police chief, dies at age 76

Kenneth Collins, former Maplewood police chief, dies at age 76

He was president of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association as well as the first chairman of the gun-control group Citizens for a Safer Minnesota.
Voters cast their ballots Tuesday at the Arlington Hills Community Center in St. Paul, where a question about the city's organized trash collection as

Voters head to polls on issues ranging from trash to schools

Voters across the Twin Cities arrived at the polls at sunrise on Tuesday morning to cast ballots on a variety of local races including school referendums, City Council and county commission seats.
Union Depot Bar and Grill server Molly Ruhoff worked the tables at the new restaurant and bar just after the lunch rush on Aug. 24, 2018 in St. Paul.

Appetite for Change could take over restaurant at Union Depot

Kaskaid Hospitality asks Ramsey County to let nonprofit take over.
Pat Flaherty, owner and manager of Birch Glen Apartments in Maplewood, says Maplewood’s new licensing program will mean higher costs for tenants.

Edina, Maplewood toughen licensing rules for landlords

The suburbs are among those increasing oversight of landlords as cities such as Minneapolis pivot their focus to renter protection.
Larry Cohen, left, shown at a 1974 peace ceremony, was the only person ever to serve as St. Paul mayor, Ramsey County chief judge and County Board cha

Art honoring former St. Paul Mayor Larry Cohen and immigrants to be unveiled downtown

Installations also laud former St. Paul Mayor Larry Cohen's championing of immigrants.

Experts say Ramsey County could eliminate more than $2 million in criminal fines, fees

The consultants from PFM spent months sifting through the county's finances, examining all the ways that people entangled in the criminal justice system are asked to pay.

Police will take vaping devices on Drug Take Back Day

With vaping injuries on the rise, DEA expands its Rx collection event.
Maharaja’s has been in business since 1988, but a four-year battle over sidewalk art is ending in a strong power-washing.

Where the sidewalk art ends: St. Paul removes W. 7th display

The four-year battle is ending in a strong power-washing outside Maharaja's.
Keegan Lund, an aquatic invasive species specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, held up the shell of a native mussel covered i

Zebra mussels discovered in two more Ramsey County lakes

Ten lakes in the county are now infested with the invasive mussel.
Great River Passage Conservancy nonprofit director Mary deLaittre at the St. Paul riverfront.

New nonprofit formed to champion St. Paul's riverfront

Great River Passage Conservancy raises funds to launch three projects.
Safety Signs vice president Jay Blanchard, right, his wife, company president Sue Blanchard, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, laughed as they tried

In Lakeville, Vice President Mike Pence praises 'extraordinary period' of economic prosperity

Pence says Trump's economic policies have helped small businesses like Safety Signs.

Judge bars release of list of former Scout leaders accused of misconduct

The confidential list of 1,500 accused of misconduct was part of a civil case settled in 2014.
Crystal Scott, owner of Java Express inside Union Depot, said events like the European Christmas Market keep her business afloat after quiet days the

St. Paul's Union Depot, transit hub and event center, is fully leased

Seven years after the Union Depot’s pricey renovation, Ramsey County leaders say the building’s $243 million restoration continues to be a wise investment, both for…
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.

Ramsey and Washington county prosecutors want to expunge the records of more low-level offenders

Prosecutors hope to expunge records of some low-level offenders.