Columnist | Local

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

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


Brooks: A neighborhood rises above viruses, vandals and other plagues

This is a story about someone who wanted to help: Cedar Thomas is an artist, a college senior and one of millions of Minnesotans making the best of bad times.


Brooks: The art of the possible continues, despite it all

The coronavirus might shut down almost everything else, but the art goes on at Interact, a visual and performing arts center for people with disabilities.


Brooks: Minnesotans try to make the best of the worst of times

Staying happy and healthy while staying at home is the challenge now for 5 million-plus Minnesotans.


Brooks: To keep their neighbors safe, the one thing they can't do is their job

  The one thing Justin Sutherland can’t do right now is his job. “All we’ve done, all our lives, is feed people,” the chef


Brooks: Minnesota children's book finds audience as schools, libraries close

The middle of a public health emergency is terrible timing for a book launch. But that was just the beginning of the story.


Brooks: Minnesotans work to stay close while socially distant

For the next few weeks or months, keeping our distance will be the surest way to keep each other safe. The distance comes at a cost


Brooks: Minnesota dairy farm survives and thrives after a blizzard of bad luck

The new year has been kinder to the Hoffman family after their dairy farm almost went out of business.


Brooks: Just put down the mask, wash your hands and other virus advice

Despite practical, affordable and common-sense advice, pandemic panic has emptied store shelves across the city, state and country.


Brooks: Every campaign that ends breaks somebody's heart

At Klobuchar headquarters in northeast Minneapolis, they were clearing out the campaign bus. Yard signs. Leaflets. “Amy for America” buttons. The candidate’s staff piled them…


Brooks: On Radio Five Watt, Tucker Jensen's love of Minnesota music and musicians lives on

On Tuesday, a year after they lost Jensen to cancer at age 29, his family, friends and fans will gather at a benefit concert to celebrate his life and continue his work.