Mary Lynn Smith | Star Tribune
Reporter | Metro

Mary Lynn Smith is a general assignment reporter for the Star Tribune. She previously covered St. Paul City Hall and Ramsey County. Before that, she worked in Duluth where she covered local and state government and business. She frequently has written about the outdoors.

After graduating with a master's degree in public affairs reporting, the Chicago native moved to Minnesota and fell in love with the outdoors despite being a Girl Scout dropout. Smith became an avid long-distance runner and cross-country skier, keeping her fit so she could backpack in the mountains and paddle the BWCA and Quetico wilderness areas with her husband and three children. Now that her daughters are adults, she gives them the heavier packs.


Big Lake couple found dead in their home are identified

Investigators said there was no sign of trauma or violence and don't suspect foul play.


Jayme Closs finds comfort in the letters and gifts from strangers

The Barron, Wis., teen and her family posted a note of thanks on Facebook.


But wait, there's more: 3-6 inches of snow expected in Twin Cities

A steady, and sometimes heavy snowfall, will continue through most of Thursday before tapering by the evening, Up to 12 inches is forecast for north central and northwestern Minnesota.


Reunited with dog, frostbite victim says: 'This is who I gave up my feet for'

Jay Mitchell says about his reunion with his best friend, Hero: "[He's] all I have in the world right now."


Fight against distracted driving in Minn. focuses on phone use

As Legislature weighs heftier penalties, advocates focus on cellphone use.


'It was pure survival': One man fights despair, frostbite in the polar vortex

Jay Mitchell thought he would die in the relentless, brutal cold. Then he got help and treatment. But there's still a chance doctors might have to amputate one or both feet.


Get ready for weather whiplash as temps could approach 40 this weekend

Temperatures landed into positive territory only early Friday after a 78-hour stretch of sub-zero cold in the Twin Cities area.


Strangers rally to help a homeless man and his dog

Jay Mitchell was stunned by the generosity of those contributing to a GoFundMe page set up to help him during his recovery from frostbite.


Warm-up begins in Minn., bringing relief and home hassles

Temperatures were rising Thursday inside and out, bringing a return to routines. But the deep freeze left some pain, especially frozen plumbing.


Utility asks customers to turn down thermostats in deep freeze

All Xcel Energy natural gas customers are urged to lower thermostats to 63 because of "significant strain" on the utility's natural gas system. Minneapolis, St. Paul and Anoka-Hennepin schools will be closed Thursday.