Staff Directory 9130974

Trey Mewes

Rochester reporter | Rochester
Phone: 507-405-7002

Trey Mewes is a reporter based in Rochester for the Star Tribune. Sign up to receive the Rochester Now newsletter.

Trey Mewes joined the Star Tribune in 2022 as our Rochester correspondent. He has spent more than 10 years reporting on southern Minnesota, first at the Austin Daily Herald, and more recently at the Mankato Free Press. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, with a double major in journalism and history. He is a Minnesota native who grew up in the southern part of the Cities. He enjoys hiking, pop culture, video games and basketball.
Recent content from Trey Mewes
Minneopa Falls, at Minneopa State Park, is the highest waterfall in southern Minnesota.

Authorities ID man killed in landslide near Mankato

Jack Loso of Robbinsdale was visiting Minneopa State Park with family Saturday when he was caught in a landslide near the Minneopa Falls area.
Rochester’s Ear of Corn water tower was built in 1931.

Rochester's Ear of Corn water tower on path to become historic landmark

The city's historic preservation commission has recommended a historic designation for the tower.
Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin answered media questions just outside of the KAAL-TV station parking lot Thursday night in Rochester.

Man dies after police standoff in front of Rochester TV station

Police say the man made suicidal threats, shot at officers before dying of self-inflicted wounds.
Gov. Tim Walz, right, learned how to get vehicle tabs renewed at a kiosk inside a Cub Foods in Rochester on Tuesday afternoon.

Want to pick up vehicle tabs with less hassle? Try a kiosk

State officials are promoting kiosks in eight Cub Foods locations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and Rochester where residents can register their vehicles.
Rochester school district plans to close two elementary schools and one early learning facility next summer.

Rochester school district plans to close three schools

School officials say two elementary schools and one early learning building will close next summer.
Mayo Clinic performed its first organ transplant, a kidney, on Nov. 25, 1963. Mayo’s achievement was overshadowed by the news of the day: the afterm

60 years after its first organ transplant, Mayo Clinic looks to the future

Mayo researchers say multiple studies and projects are in the works to improve organ transplantation.
President of the Highway 14 Partnership Kevin Raney got a friendly greeting from Gov. Tim Walz at the opening ceremony Tuesday for the Hwy. 14 expansi

After decades of work, Hwy. 14 expansion complete

Communities along the southern Minnesota highway have pushed to expand the road to four lanes since the 1960s.
The view of Red Wing from He Mni Can, also known as Barn Bluff. The city and Prairie Island didn’t come together on historic projects in the area un

'A very educational year': Red Wing closes dog park as Dakota reclaim burial mounds

Area could be restored as educational space.
Teachers packed the Rochester Public Schools Board meeting inside Edison Administrative Building on Tuesday in Rochester.

'A really serious situation': Rochester schools to cut $10 million after failed referendum

The cuts come as the district is in the midst of contract negotiations.
Sgt. Cade Wolfe

Mankato native among 5 soldiers killed in Mediterranean helicopter crash

Sgt. Cade Wolfe, 24, a Mankato East High School graduate, died in the military helicopter crash.
Jenn Gulbranson, owner of Stratford Salon, colors Angie Seberg’s hair at her shop on Main Street Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023 in Spring Grove.

How do you grow a small town? Spring Grove is finding out.

This southeastern Minnesota city is proactive with its community planning. The push is paying off with more businesses and a better safety net in case of disaster.
Rochester Public Schools is asking voters to approve a technology tax levy.

Lawsuit seeks to halt one of Rochester's two levy questions next week

Business owner Casey McGregor filed the lawsuit Monday accusing Rochester Public Schools of misrepresenting its technology levy.
Former southern Minnesota priest convicted of sexually assaulting adult male

Former southern Minnesota priest convicted of sexually assaulting adult male

Prosecutor says Ubaldo Roque Huerta exploited the victim's trust.
Health care industry jobs continue to boost economic growth in Rochester.

Rochester area added health care jobs, reduced unemployment in September

About three in five workers in the Rochester area work in health care and social assistance.
Cole Redhorse Taylor, a Prairie Island Indian Community member and artist, presents an artwork he was commissioned to create Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023,

Red Wing's relationship with American Indian community shifts to partnership

The Prairie Island Indian Community brings visitors and an economic boost to the area, according to the city's recently completed diversity project.
The Oronoco City Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday to remove the city’s administrator after council members brought forth an “unsatisfactory” perform

Oronoco City Council publicly fires city administrator; council member resigns in protest

The City Council voted 3-2 to remove Sunny Bjorklund Schultz a little more than a year after she was hired.
The city of Zumbrota has been weighing whether to disband its police department or replace police officers who recently left for better pay.

Zumbrota leans toward keeping police force after union talks

The southeast Minnesota city is losing a third of its police department to better-paying jobs with Goodhue County.
Zumbro River, Mayo Civic Center, downtown Rochester on May 12, 2022.

Advocates to Rochester: Spend more on sustainability

Residents, volunteers and environmental advocates packed a Rochester City Council meeting Monday night.
A Mayo Clinic shuttle bus moved along W. Center Street on Tuesday in Rochester. Kutzky Park homeowners who have complained about the shuttle buses wer

Finally, Mayo Clinic plans to move noisy bus route away from Rochester neighborhood

Kutzky Park residents say they've avoided being outside during certain times as buses transported Mayo's workforce.
Ablam Adoku, an employee for 8 years at Hormel, joined in with about 1000 members of the local 663 Hormel meatpackers ,marching through downtown Austi

Hormel meatpackers approve new contract, ending months of negotiations

Meatpackers will see $3-$6 an hour wage increases over the next four years.
Wade Gordon Jr.

'Undetermined' cause of death for man found in pond behind Byron City Hall in southern Minn.

Wade Gordon Jr. was reported missing for more than a week.
The Bendel-Stenzel family, from left, Lilly, Linus, Ellen and Michael. Michael was known for his many bow ties.

'The family wants you to get better': Driver in fatal I-35 crash gets merciful sentence

Kaytlen Greenlee will serve no jail time for causing the multi-car crash that killed Dr. Michael Ray Bendel-Stenzel.
About 1,000 members of the local 663 Hormel meatpackers marched through downtown Austin, stopping at the Spam Museum, on Labor Day to highlight ongoin

Hormel, meatpackers reach tentative contract agreement

Union workers in Austin are set to vote on the proposal next week.
A photo of Madeline Kingsbury stood at the front of a room alongside law enforcement during a news conference at the Winona City Hall in June.

Grand jury returns first-degree murder charges for Madeline Kingsbury's ex-boyfriend

A grand jury has indicted Adam Fravel on two counts of first-degree murder in the death of the mother of his two children.
Broadway Ave, Downtown Rochester, Minnesota, Thursday, May 12, 2022 Rochester, Minn. ] GLEN STUBBE •

What's in Destination Medical Center's 2024 budget for Rochester?

The agency looking to bring billions of dollars in economic development to downtown Rochester is budgeting $40 million on projects and operating expenses next year.
Plans include two new medical buildings at the site of the Damon Parking Ramp, left, and the Ozmun Building, as well as subway and skyway connections

More details emerge in Mayo's multibillion-dollar Rochester expansion

Mayo lists potential projects in an updated five-year infrastructure plan presented to city officials.
DMC plans to continue using the $585 million allocated by the Minnesota Legislature on infrastructure and beautification projects downtown.

Destination Medical Center on track to hit $5.6B in new development in Rochester

With a $4 billion Mayo expansion on the way, Destination Medical Center officials hope to bring more health-related businesses to the area.
Steve Lawler talked about aggregation in the soil profile for local farmers during a presentation by the Olmsted Soil and Water Conservation District

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, corn harvest will be diminished by drought, hot summer

Minnesota corn yields — including bushels-per-acre — have dramatically increased over the decades, but low rainfall will still lessen this year's harvest.
The Edison Administrative Building photographed in Rochester, Minn., on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. ] Elizabeth Flores •

After cyberattack, Rochester schools puts $10 million tech levy before voters

The spring cyberattack prevented the district from administering state standardized tests.
Broadway Avenue in downtown Rochester in 2022.

Rochester council signs off on 9.4% maximum tax levy increase

A home valued at $315,000 would see a $72 increase on its 2024 tax bill.
About 1,000 Hormel meatpackers and union supporters marched through downtown Austin, Minn., on Labor Day, stopping at the Spam Museum to highlight ong

Hormel meatpackers in Austin, Minn. reject contract offer, setting the stage for strike

The United Food and Commercial Workers union in a statement called on company leadership to come back to the bargaining table.
A memorial to slain police officer Kevin Cram has been collecting flowers and visitors.

Update: Suspect who shot, killed northern Iowa police officer is arrested in Minnesota

The shooting occurred late Wednesday about 35 miles south of Iowa's border with Minnesota.
Jeff Allman, owner of the Residences of Old Town Hall in Rochester, showed an empty room at the low-income apartment building on Tuesday. Allman is se

Olmsted County plans $13M homeless shelter that will double area's available beds

The Housing Stability Center would be located in a longtime low-income apartment building in Rochester.
About 1,000 workers and union supporters marched through downtown Austin, Minn., on Labor Day to highlight contract demands by United Food and Commerc

Possible Hormel strike looms as union recommends rejecting contract offer

Meatpackers will vote this week on a new four-year contract from Hormel Foods Corp. The current contract expired Sunday.
About 1,000 members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 marched through downtown Austin, Minn., on Labor Day, Sept. 4, 2023, to highlight

Nearly four decades after infamous strike, Hormel workers march on Labor Day for better pay

The demonstration comes as union members negotiate a new contract with Hormel leadership. The current contract expires Sept. 10.
Joseph Alexander discussed his work in front of a portrait of drag queen Anita Tiara on Aug. 24 inside the Historic Chateau Theatre in Rochester. Tiar

Rochester artist preserves Minnesota drag queen history through portrait series

The Rochester-based artiest painted five queens as part of "The Grand Drag Legacy of Southeastern Minnesota."
A rendering of how Red Wing Shoes new “Trades-Made” campaign will illuminate the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023.

Red Wing Shoes to light skylines across U.S. with Labor Day weekend campaign

The new campaign, "Trades-Made," is meant to spotlight trade skills and workers.
Rochester, Minnesota skyline including Mayo Clinic, Gonda Building, Plummer Building, Kahler Hotel Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, Rochester, Minn.

Kahler Grand Hotel to restore its iconic downtown Rochester sign

The sign, long a part of the Rochester skyline, will debut later this fall.
Josh Madson, center, prepared to photograph residents June 10 inside the Coffee Hag cafe in Mankato, as part of his portrait collage project to showca

Photographer shows diverse face(s) of Mankato with collage of 800 portraits

Commercial photographer Josh Madson said he fell in love with a community that embraces creativity and connection.
The Goodhue City Council on Wednesday approved a deal worth $43,000 for sheriff’s deputies to patrol the city of 1,300.

Sheriff's deputies will cover Minnesota town whose entire police force quit

Goodhue will pay $43,000 to Goodhue County for patrols six hours daily through the end of the year.
Roxi Manacoochi performed “The Music of Motown” outside of her home Friday in Austin, Minn. “The age variety is so fun … people are so vocal o

A drag queen called bingo at a Minnesota county fair for years. This year, she wasn't asked back.

Austin native Dylan Kaercher has received pushback in recent months for his work as drag performer Roxi Manacoochie.
A parked Goodhue police car Monday, August 14, 2023, at Goodhue City Hall in Goodhue, Minn. The Goodhue city council met for a special meeting to addr

Goodhue reaches tentative deal with county for police services after entire force quit

The move comes after the city's police force quit last week.
A parked Goodhue police car Monday at Goodhue City Hall in Goodhue, Minn. The Goodhue City Council met for a special meeting to discuss what to do aft

Entire police force resigns in southeastern Minnesota city

The Goodhue City Council wants to rebuild the city's police force rather than contract with Goodhue County.
Olmsted County Extension Master Gardener Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick examines apple trees in Slatterly Park Thursday, Aug. 11, at the site of a future food

Rochester food forest plans wither with the summer drought

Local volunteers are holding off planting trees, shrubs and other food-bearing vegetation.
Mayor Thomas Kuntz.

Owatonna mayor, LGBTQ group make amends after Pride controversy

Rainbowatonna, Kuntz pledge to work on LGBTQ education and community building events in the future.
Kim Doublin of Cottage Grove loaded an upgraded golf cart she and her husband traded another in for onto their trailer at Golf Carts of Minnesota.

Do golf carts belong on city streets? Communities across the state are tackling the demand

Rochester is among Minnesota's latest cities discussing whether to allow golf carts on public roads.
A photo of Madeline Kingsbury stood at the front of a room alongside law enforcement during a June news conference at Winona City Hall.

Warrants: Slain Winona woman had feared ex-boyfriend charged in her death

A Winona County judge last week unsealed search warrant affidavits in the investigation of Adam Fravel.
An Oronoco woman is suing four out of this city’s five City Council members for allegedly violating her First Amendment rights after she was thrown

Southeastern Minn. council sued after resident thrown out of meeting

Andrea Johnson is suing most of the Oronoco City Council for violating her First Amendment rights and throwing her out of a meeting after she criticized council members' actions.
The Mayo Clinic Gonda building in Rochester, Minnesota.

Mayo's multibillion-dollar Rochester expansion to include 'at least seven years' of projects

Mayo officials hope to begin construction next year.
Zumbro River, Downtown Rochester, Minnesota, Thursday, May 12, 2022 Rochester, Minn.

Rochester bans new cannabis businesses until 2025

The city joins other communities with moratoriums as they wait for the state to create business regulations.
Broadway Ave, Downtown Rochester, Minnesota, Thursday, May 12, 2022 Rochester, Minn.

Rochester proposes a 9.4% property tax hike

City officials say the increase offsets rising costs to maintain city programs.
Wade Gordon Jr.

Body found behind City Hall in southeast Minnesota identified as missing man

Olmsted County sheriff's deputies recovered the body of an adult male in a pond behind Byron City Hall.
Tom Kuntz has been mayor of Owatonna since 2004.

Owatonna LGBTQ group calls for mayor's resignation over 'homophobic' actions

Mayor Tom Kuntz asked pastors at a church holding a Pride event if there would be stripper poles in the sanctuary and posted a public prayer alluding to "sin and brokenness" at the event.
Leigh Nelson, Welch Village founder, died last month at age 94.

Welch Village co-founder and skiing advocate Leigh Nelson dies at 94

Leigh Nelson, who started Welch Village with his brother in 1965, skied into his 90s.
Zumbro River, Mayo Civic Center, Downtown Rochester, Minnesota, Thursday, May 12, 2022 Rochester, Minn.

One referendum or four? Rochester officials split over how to ask voters for $205M

Mayor Kim Norton said she supports extending a sales tax but takes issue with a single-question ballot.
Swimmers found in Vermillion River near Red Wing ID'd

Swimmers found in Vermillion River near Red Wing ID'd

Church laments deaths of three family members on the same day.
Bodies found of three missing swimmers in Vermillion River near Red Wing

Bodies found of three missing swimmers in Vermillion River near Red Wing

Searchers discovered the remains of two adults and one girl around 7 a.m. Wednesday.
Hundreds of family, friends and supporters came to Winona on Sunday to celebrate Madeline Kingsbury, who vanished at the end of March.

Hundreds mourn Winona woman, whose disappearance brought thousands together

Madeline Kingsbury disappeared from her home at the end of March. Her body was found earlier this month.
A photo of Madeline Kingsbury stands at the front of a room alongside law enforcement during a press conference at the Winona City Hall on Thursday.

Memorial service for Madeline Kingsbury set for June 25 in Winona

Kingsbury disappeared March 31, and her body was found earlier this month south of Winona.
The University of Minnesota Rochester, which began in a downtown shopping center, remains a disparate collection of owned and leased spaces along 1st

10 years after first graduating class, U of M Rochester looking for 'imaginative solutions'

The university started with ambitious goals but has settled into a role as a smaller institution focused on a health care workforce.
The Zumbro River and Olmsted County Government Center in downtown Rochester.

Rochester grapples with growing number of homeless camps

City officials say they've dealt with at least 20 camps that have been abandoned or cleaned up since April.
A photo of Madeline Kingsbury stands at the front of a room alongside law enforcement during a press conference at the Winona City Hall on Thursday.

Judge: Man charged in Winona woman's death can keep pursuing custody of their kids

Adam Fravel, 29, is accused of killing Madeline Kingsbury, the mother of his children.
Roads were blocked after 69-year-old Linda Rud was struck and killed by a Rochester city snowplow on Pinewood Road SE in February.

No charges for Rochester snowplow driver who fatally hit woman

The Minnesota State Patrol concluded its investigation into the accident, Rochester officials said Thursday.
A photo of Madeline Kingsbury stands at the front of a room alongside law enforcement during a press conference at the Winona City Hall on Thursday.

Winona police: Missing woman's body found, father of her children arrested

A Fillmore County deputy discovered the missing Winona woman's body shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday.
When can residents move back into unsound Rochester condos? Officials aren't sure

When can residents move back into unsound Rochester condos? Officials aren't sure

Engineers are assessing the building for further structural problems after shoring up a weakened column over the weekend.
Rochester City Hall.

Rochester council overrides mayor veto on plan to open school gyms on Saturdays

Mayor Kim Norton argued city staff hadn't thoroughly studied the issue.
Madeline Jane Kingsbury was last seen March 31.

Children of missing Winona woman to remain in custody with her parents — for now

On the eve of a trial Tuesday, Winona County will drop its petition for protection against children's father as part of an agreement.
Mayo Clinic expansion plans in Rochester include razing the parking ramp at left for a new clinical building that would be connected to the Gonda Buil

Mayo unveils billion-dollar expansion in Rochester

The expansion involves several blocks downtown surrounding Mayo facilities, with a goal to streamline and modernize the campus.
David Gamble, of Gamble Associates based in Cambridge, Mass., talked with participants during a tour of the Zumbro riverfront, part of the Destination

After dismal 2022, Destination Medical Center retooling its Rochester pitch

Many of the types of companies DMC hoped to attract weren't even aware of Rochester and its connection to Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic officials are reiterating their plans to invest in Rochester.

Mayo Clinic to 'transform health care' with Rochester investments

Medical giant is working out next steps for a "multi-year strategic initiative," though details were scarce.
Rochester is set to receive more than $18 million in new infrastructure funding for a parks and forestry facility, a regional trail connection at Will

What Rochester, southeastern Minnesota won in Minnesota's budget

Tens of millions of dollars to go toward recycling, water treatment facilities.
Principal Jill Rollie greeted students as they came back from recess at Woodson Kindergarten Center in January 2019.

Austin debates dismantling Minnesota's first all-day kindergarten center

Woodson Kindergarten Center would become space to pre-K, family education under district proposal.
One of the four original faces of a clock tower built in Rochester in 1898 will be part of a project to restore the tower at Broadway Avenue S. and 6t

Historic clock tower on the rise in Rochester once more

City officials, volunteers break ground on first phase of project; $500,000 fundraiser in the works.
A produce display at Cub Foods in Apple Valley in April 2021.

Cub Foods plans second Rochester store — nearly 40 years after first

The 80,000-square-foot store is expected to open in spring 2024.
Minnesota briefs: Rock Ridge School trail system proposed with Eveleth connection

Minnesota briefs: Rock Ridge School trail system proposed with Eveleth connection

St. Louis County Public Works will host an open house Tuesday to gather feedback on a proposed new trail system connecting Eveleth west of…