Staff Directory 6370507

Shannon Prather

Reporter | Ramsey County
Phone: 612-673-4804

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
The F concourse in Terminal 1 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last summer.

Metro briefs: Record number of guns detected at MSP Airport

BloomingtonRecord number of guns detected at MSP airportTransportation Security Administration (TSA) officers discovered a record 58 handguns at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport checkpoints last year.…
A drone used for police operations in Chula Vista, Calif., on Nov. 11, 2020.

Metro briefs: Maplewood police to use drones

Plus: Dentistry program expands at Hennepin Tech in Brooklyn Park; Farmington Library pilot offers self-service hours; sidewalks coming to more Morningside streets in Edina.
Ramsey County attorney John Choi.

Guilty verdicts in doubt as Ramsey County reviews cases linked to ex-medical examiner

Prosecutors will take another look at 71 cases in which Dr. Michael McGee provided key testimony.
How a Twin Cities ammunition factory dominated by women helped U.S. win WWII

How a Twin Cities ammunition factory dominated by women helped U.S. win WWII

The plant in Arden Hills produced billions of bullets in the 1940s. Now it is one of the region's prime development sites.
The former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site in Arden Hills in May 2012.

Arden Hills officials act to spur Ammunition Plant development

The new City Council majority took away the mayor's power to recommend committee appointments and instead appointed themselves to key seats.
Anoka County Commissioner Matt Look

Metro briefs: Look elected Anoka County Board chair

Plus: Former Rosemount mayor joins Dakota County Board; Shoreview City joins Just Deeds Coalition; see stars at Lake Elmo Park Reserve.
A man golfed at the Ponds At Battle Creek golf course in Maplewood in April 2021.

Ramsey County again seeks developers' ideas for shuttered golf course

The future of the Ponds at Battle Creek site has sparked intense debate, with some lobbying to keep it green space while others see it as a prime location for more housing.
People work out during a class at Spenga in Woodbury last week. Boutique fitness joints are opening and are drawing crowds. Memberships typically cost

Boutique gyms offer 'sense of community' in Twin Cities suburbs

Franchises are opening at a brisk pace as remote workers look for connection outside of the office.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

St. Paul mayor's plan to raise sales tax by 1% is no slam dunk

The city must persuade state lawmakers, then voters, that it's the best way to fund roads and parks.
Janie Morissette stands for a portrait outside her home Dec. 21, 2022 in St. Paul, Minn.

Pricey accessory dwelling units slow to take off in Twin Cities

Cost, local restrictions have tempered interest.
“Ho, Ho, Ho,” shouts out Santa Claus, also known as Paul Hollen as he visits with patrons at the annual European Christmas Market outside the Unio

A decade after $243 million renovation, St. Paul's Union Depot struggles to gain traction

The historic train station has become an events hub as transit connections gradually materialize.
The $800 million RiversEdge project would include four towers of offices, condos and apartments as well as street-level retail, entertainment and hosp

Ramsey County to commit $26M to RiversEdge development in downtown St. Paul

The county is hoping to spur matching state funds by investing in a proposed park along the Mississippi River.
St. Paul residents stood in line to speak during the truth in taxation meeting Tuesday at City Hall.

Twin Cities property taxes jump, cutting deep into family budgets

St. Paul is raising its property tax levy nearly 15% in 2023.
A pickleball league at the Minneapolis Cider Co.

Metro briefs: Blaine's National Sports Center hosts free pickleball

Plus: St. Paul winter warming spaces open; Woodbury lodging tax to raise funds for city's promotion; Wayzata to get high-speed internet.
Shoreview Mayor Sandy Martin often brings her dog Rafa to Shoreview City Hall. She is retiring after 26 years in the city’s top job.

At age 80, Shoreview's first female mayor retires after 26 years in top job

Sandy Martin waded into municipal politics in the 1960s when she was a stay-at-home mom.
Maple Grove police are taking steps to try to reduce shoplifting this holiday season.

Metro briefs: Maple Grove police aim to curb holiday shoplifting

Plus: Stillwater area Catholic youth camp discussion continues; Maplewood library renovation begins.
Caleb Ihla got help from his grandfather Rod Basham as he fixed a lamp during a Ramsey County fix-it clinic Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Ramsey County Li

Ramsey County aims to simplify recycling with new facility

The Roseville center will be a one-stop shop for dropping off hazardous waste, attending a fix-it clinic or picking up building supplies.
Dr. Miranda Torkelson triaged a mallard duck with a fractured wing at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville.

Minn. wildlife hospital, one of world's busiest, plans expansion

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has purchased 22 acres in Grant, Minn., for a new $14 million campus.
Ramsey County social worker Amy Kuusisto-Lathrop and Maplewood police officer Emily Burt-McGregor walked from a squad car on Nov. 21.

Social workers to partner with St. Paul firefighters

Ramsey County is deploying 10 social workers across public safety agencies.
Solar panels collected energy from the sun surrounded by native prairie and flowers like these black-eyed Susans planted at one of Enel’s solar farm

Metro briefs: Minnetonka allows solar energy systems citywide

Plus: Rosemount City Council could have two open seats; St. Paul Union Depot celebrated.
The Schroeder house and stable in Shakopee were built by Herman Schroeder, a German immigrant and prominent local businessman in the late 1800s throug

Metro briefs: Schroeder house in Shakopee recommended for historic designation

Plus: Plans for Brooklyn Park performing art center dropped; Roseville's Oval now open after a renovation.
The Hamline Midway Library in St. Paul

State preservation panel OKs Hamline-Midway library for historic designation

Preservationists are seeking the historical status to keep St. Paul fror replacing the library with a new structure.
The Gate 4 entrance to the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in 2010.

Suburban voters sour on officials fighting growth and development

Pro-development candidates ousted incumbents in Arden Hills and North Oaks.
A Juneteenth celebration on East Lake Street in Minneapolis in 2020.

Metro briefs: Brooklyn Park declares Juneteenth a city holiday

Brooklyn Park is the latest metro city to adopt Juneteenth as an official holiday, and on June 19 it will close City Hall give most…
A voter at an early voting center at the Ramsey County Library in Roseville.

New Ramsey County commissioners highlight personal struggles, professional experience

Interim Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena made her position permanent, defeating Matt Little.
Visit St. Paul and the RiverCentre Authority  CEO to leave in 2023

Visit St. Paul and the RiverCentre Authority CEO to leave in 2023

Terry Mattson led the convention and visitors bureau for nearly a decade.
Ice castles at Long Lake Park in January 2022.

Metro briefs: Ice castles will return to Long Lake Regional Park

Ice Castles will return to Ramsey County's Long Lake Regional Park in January.The Utah-based company responsible for the attraction leases park space in New…
Longtime Ramsey County Commissioners Jim McDonough, second from right, and Toni Carter, second from left, are not seeking reelection and will be retir

Toni Carter, Jim McDonough retirements mark the end of an era for Ramsey County Board

The two former board chairs have led efforts on homelessness, juvenile justice and racial equity.
Anoka County test primary election ballots were processed in July.

PAC ad compares conservative Anoka County candidates to war criminals

A grassroots political action committee called a handful of conservative Anoka County politicians "Hazzard County's Most Wanted," a reference to a 1980s TV comedy.
Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of the Minnesota State college system, plans to retire in August.

Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra will retire in August

He has led the college and university system for six years.
The C bus rapid transit line on Penn Avenue in Minneapolis.

Plans for Purple Line route through Maplewood are not final, Met Council says

The regional planning agency said 'nothing has been finalized or decided' after city leaders took steps to pull their support for the bus rapid transit project.
The Maplewood Mall Transit Center in Maplewood is one possibility for the Purple Line’s northernmost stop.

Maplewood could withdraw support for bus rapid transit line

Mayor says she learned of plans to buy and demolish some or all of a local shopping center to make way for the Purple Line.
The Gate 4 entrance to the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in 2010.

Slate of Arden Hills candidates promises to finish TCAAP

Council and mayoral challengers are pledging to spur development at the former Superfund site.
A construction crew worked Monday on the new Battle Creek Winter Recreation area at Battle Creek Regional Park in St. Paul.

Snow-making upgrades should keep Ramsey County cross-country ski trail open all winter

Additions expected to transform a corner of the park's St. Paul section into a dependable regional winter sports destination.
Inver Grove Heights will vote on whether to allow short-term rentals such as Airbnb.

Metro briefs: Inver Grove Heights delays vote restricting short-term rentals

Inver Grove Heights has postponed voting on an ordinance that would prohibit homeowners from offering their homes as short-term rentals through websites such as Airbnb…
North Oaks build-out to continue after settlement with Hill descendants

North Oaks build-out to continue after settlement with Hill descendants

The North Oaks Co., owned by Hill's great-granddaughter and her husband, now has the city's approval to build out the final phases of the private community.
Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett at the 430-acre site of the Twin Cities Army ammunition plant in Arden Hills. The site was once thought to be

Former Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett, who made moonshot attempt at landing Vikings, dies at 82

When the Metrodome in Minneapolis started showing its age, Bennett led an unsuccessful campaign to build a stadium in Arden Hills.
Mike Cassel is upset about the change to his neighborhood after the city of Roseville agreed to allow twin homes on single-family lots. He wonders wha

Roseville neighbors fight zoning change allowing twin homes on single-family lots

A development in the pipeline would turn two single-family homes into seven units.
Connie Kight worked at a fast pace to recycle material from roughly 900 homes on her beat in Roseville, Minn., in September 2009.

Metro briefs: Ramsey County plans new Roseville recycling center

Ramsey County is planning a new environmental service center in Roseville to make it easier for residents to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost.The center…
Michelle Johnson shouted in excitement as Culture Club took the stage at Myth Nightclub on Sunday, July 24, 2016.

Plans afoot to raze Maplewood's Myth nightclub, build apartments

The club has had a tumultuous relationship with the city.
Thelma Boeder owned her Roseville home for 45 years, raised her kids there, built a life. At age 79, she wanted to downsize to a senior co-op, and she

Roseville's housing strategy: asking residents to sell to Habitat for Humanity

The city and the nonprofit partnered on a new land trust that will keep single-family homes affordable.
Employees at Amazon’s sorting center in Woodbury last week. Amazon opened the 525,000-square-foot building, visible from Interstate 94, in August.

Amazon warehouse transforms rural swath of Woodbury

Woodbury leaders say it's the crucial bookend to a 400-acre light-industrial, warehouse, showroom and office district they hope will help the suburb of 75,000 shake any remnants of its bedroom community reputation.
The Rockford Road Library in Crystal.

Metro briefs: Rockford Road Library redo takes shape

Hennepin County has finished the first phase of parking lot improvements at the Rockford Road Library and is now preparing for extensive renovations to be…
Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St Paul’s yellow zone on the first

St. Paul should play a bigger role in trash collection, citizen group says

Mayor Melvin Carter appointed the advisory committee in response to resident complaints.
The Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission has removed approximately 65% of all the carp living in Crystal Lake in Robbinsdale over the past tw

Metro briefs: Carp harvest aims to clean up Robbinsdale's Crystal Lake

Robbinsdale and the Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission this summer removed more than 3,700 common carp from Crystal Lake as part of a project to…
The original Red’s Savoy Pizza at 421 E. 7th St. in downtown St. Paul closed in September 2017.

St. Paul neighbors sue city over homeless day center

Business owners and residents say the city didn't seek public input on the proposed Listening House site downtown.
The Mighty Midway, featuring amusement park rides, is a popular area at the Minnesota State Fair. One person was shot in the leg late Saturday near th

Minnesota State Fair attendance rebounds in 2022, but no records

Two incidents of gun violence marred the event's final weekend.
Volunteer Tina Schwie, Creative Enterprise Zone Executive Director Angela Casselton, and CEZ’s Ben Shardlow water trees along Capp Road Wednesday, A

St. Paul groups plant hundreds of trees to help neighborhoods thrive

Community organizations have taken it upon themselves to improve the urban canopy.
The lobby at the Shakopee Marschall Road Transit Station photographed in 2015.

Metro briefs: Shakopee social services center will relocate to transit station

Scott CountyFamily Resource Center will move to transit centerScott County will move its Shakopee Family Resource Center, which is currently set up at the library,…
Natalie Windels and Maciej Bajer, both seasonal field technicians with Carp Solutions, along with Cameron Swanson, an assistant manager, check the box

Scientists try to get a handle on invasive carp at St. Paul's Como Lake

The bottom-feeding fish proved elusive as crews attempted to capture them Friday.
Veterinarian Robert Skinner held a newborn piglet for fairgoers to pet Tuesday at the State Fair’s CHS Miracle of Birth Center. The Minnesota State

Foundation adds fan favorites and creature comforts to Minnesota State Fair

The State Fair Foundation keeps the Great Minnesota Get-Together ticking, from major building renovations to caring for fairground trees.
New Brooklyn Park Police Chief Mark Bruley

Metro briefs: Brooklyn Park hires new police chief

Mark Bruley is the new top cop in Brooklyn Park. Bruley had been serving as interim police chief since June, when Craig Enevoldsen retired. On…
Errol and Gretchen Kantor have been keepers of the Star Fair Space Tower for 40 years.

Minnesota State Fair Space Tower a 40-year legacy for one family

The ride gently sweeps up to a height of 300 feet and slowly spins, giving panoramic views of the fairgrounds and the Twin Cities.
Greyson DeWalt, 11, of Roseville (in Green Bay Packers jersey) made his way through the crowd Thursday at the Minnesota State Fair.

For Minnesota State Fair goers, it feels like old times again

Traffic was backed up for miles even before vendors and attractions had opened.
Eric Schultz moves a large pumpkin with a forklift toward a scale to officially weigh it outside the horticulture building Wednesday in advance of Thu

Mood — and prices — are higher as Minnesota State Fair opens

Inflation has hit the Great Minnesota Get-Together. But after two years of COVID-19, officials are optimistic about attendance.
Autumn Xiong, of St. Paul spent Tuesday evening casting at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul.,Minn. on Tuesday Aug 23, 2022.

St. Paul maps out next decade for city parks

City leaders say they want parks and trails to meet changing community needs.
New trails and an underpass to improve bike and pedestrian safety are included in plans to redo the intersection of Hwy. 55 and County Road 73 in Plym

Metro briefs: Federal grant will help Plymouth improve safety, accessibility on Hwy. 55

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Plymouth $15 million to make transit, mobility and safety improvements in the area of Hwy. 55 and County…
Woodbury Police Chief Omar Maklad, left, and Director of Public Safety Jason Posel. Posel grew up in a blue-collar household on St. Paul’s East Side

New Woodbury police leaders have local roots: 'We are in the service industry'

The east metro suburb looked to its own when choosing a public safety director and police chief.
After an initial surge of voters came to cast primary ballots at Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka, things slowed down with no lines mid-morning on Tuesda

Matt Little, Kathy Keena lead Dakota County Attorney race

Outgoing state Rep. Rena Moran took a commanding lead in her primary for Ramsey County Commissioner.
Yard waste piles up in an alley in Robbinsdale.

Metro briefs: Robbinsdale seeks new vendors for yard waste pickup

RobbinsdaleCity seeks new vendors for yard waste pickupThe Robbinsdale City Council voted unanimously last week to direct city staff to find vendors to pick up…
Jake Grussing said he will return to the Scott County Library director position starting Monday, but the role will include new initiatives. He’s pic

Ramsey County library director resigns after less than 6 months

Jake Grussing plans to return to his previous role in Scott County.
Jean Illsley Clarke of Plymouth

Jean Illsley Clarke, parent educator and author, dies at 96

The longtime author and educator encouraged lifelong affirmation and self-esteem for children and families.
Boaters took advantage of a pleasant evening on Como Lake in late July. The lake is looking and smelling a lot cleaner these days, thanks to a series

St. Paul's Como Lake is looking — and smelling — better

Years of environmental remedies are paying off.
The 2,000 volunteers of Twin Cities Trout Unlimited have worked for years to restore trout streams in the metro area, including the Vermillion River n

Metro briefs: Dakota County seeks input on plan to reduce water contamination

Dakota County officials are asking the public to weigh in on a new plan that aims to encourage voluntary measures to reduce nitrate pollution in…
People stood in line Wednesday at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds hoping to be chosen to fill one of the 1,200 open jobs the fair wants filled before

State Fair seeks 1,200 more workers for Great Minnesota Get-Together

The fair fell short of its 2,700-worker goal last year.
Ti Tamng, 62, tended her plot on July 7 at Rice Street Gardens in Maplewood. The parcel owned by the St. Paul Water District is slated for redevelopme

Rice Street gardeners trying to buy land, make greenspace permanent

Advocates are working to balance their garden's future with housing plans.
Alexia Lythos, 24, right, played chess with her stepsister Megan Hall, 25, in their rental home in Lauderdale on June 30. Lythos, a Marine vet, loves

Landlord snapping up Lauderdale's single-family homes

A local business owner says he's investing in the community. Other residents aren't so sure.
Vaping and the use of flavored nicotine products are under fire across the United States.

Ramsey County may ban all smoking in its buildings, parks; some say it's too much

Public health advocates say e-cigarettes are pushing youth tobacco use up in Minnesota.
The Animal Humane Society clinic in Golden Valley.

Metro briefs: Animal Humane Society gets $6M gift

Golden ValleyHumane society gets $6M giftThe Animal Humane Society recently received a $6 million gift from the estate of longtime volunteers Steve Nordberg and Betsy…
Fireworks burst over Lake Minnetonka in 2021 after anonymous donors came up with funds for the fireworks show in Deephaven.

After two years of COVID cancellations, Minnesotans eager to resume 'normal' July 4th fun this weekend

Most of the usual holiday festivities are back on this year.
Hudson, Wis., Prairie Elementary fifth-graders Soren Byrnes, Katya Nolan, Brady Jacobs, Andrew Seiffert, Landon Poser, and Max Moklegaard with some of

Metro briefs: Students send blankets to Ukraine

Any day now, Ania Nolan hopes to hear good news from Ukraine. The Hudson, Wis., resident sent three boxes of blankets to the war-torn country…
Shuntay Thomas and son Brandon, 10, listened to music at the Project Home at the Provincial House in St. Paul in December. The building used to house

Walz proposes $6M for Ramsey County homeless shelters

County leaders have warned of an imminent "funding cliff" that will reduce shelter beds and could force hundreds of homeless individuals and families back to unsafe outdoor encampments in St. Paul and its surrounding suburbs.
Mereti Burbach, a member of the TU Dance Studio, danced Sunday during the Rondo Center for Diverse Expressions Juneteenth Celebration in St. Paul.

More Twin Cities communities, schools celebrate Juneteenth

The 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and its aftermath nationwide highlighted the need for a sharper focus on equity, and elected leaders say recognizing Juneteenth is a step toward achieving that.
Ramsey County is rebuilding a stretch of Lexington Avenue, which borders Arden Hills and Shoreview, to replace the deteriorating pavement and improve

Northern Ramsey County drivers demand answers after 2-hour backup

Construction on suburban Lexington Avenue has reduced a business corridor to one lane in one direction.
Members of the Ramsey County Board are Jim McDonough, Mary Jo McGuire, Rafael E. Ortega, Chair Trista MatasCastillo, Toni Carter, Victoria Reinhardt a

Ramsey County commissioners propose 1.5% raise for themselves

The pay increase matches the raises given rank-and-file employees.