Jennifer Brooks | Star Tribune
Columnist | Local

Jennifer Brooks is a columnist for the Star Tribune. She travels across Minnesota, writing thoughtful and surprising stories about the state's residents and issues.

Previously as a Star Tribune reporter, Brooks covered the State Capitol and the Minnesota congressional delegation in Washington.

Brooks: Purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, if you dare

If people are the cause of most of life's troubles, we're also the solution, as the lake cleanup shows.

Brooks: Topless Duluth swimmer has police called on her, touching off debate over indecent exposure

"I'm not half-naked," Duluth photographer Michelle Bennett tried to explain to the officer who approached her on Park Point beach last month. "I'm topless."

Brooks: Like the flag, Pledge of Allegiance means something different to all of us

I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. That was…

Brooks: LOL, nothing matters this early when it comes to Democratic presidential debates

If you heard someone or something you liked on stage last week and you want to hear more, just wait.

North Side community gardens are labor of love for teens

  It was morning in the garden. The start of the workday. Half a dozen 14- and 15-year-olds fanned out across an overgrown lot at…

Brooks: There'll be July 4th fireworks anyway, even if not in St. Paul

If a save-the-fireworks effort doesn't come together this year, Grand Old Day Anyway plans to return the donations and try again in 2020.

Brooks: For once, St. Paul residents were smiling about garbage

For six straight hours, people in St. Paul smiled when they talked about garbage.

Amateur beekeeper stages a honey of a rescue in downtown Mpls.

It's swarm season in Minnesota, when honeybees fan out in search of new homes. Sometimes, they pick the wrong neighborhood.

Brooks: When Minnesotans can't afford insulin — but can't live without it

The Legislature's session ended with no emergency insulin aid. Some would die for a special session.

Mpls. struggles to build a more inviting downtown, with room to, well, sit

You can find a seat downtown, if you know where to look. You just have to navigate blocks of seatless streets and charmless plazas to get there.