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.

Minnesota mask mandate goes into effect with a helping hand

The 4 million masks sent out to chambers of commerce and other groups for distribution should make it easier for businesses around the state.

Alexandria makes veterans memorial a town centerpiece

A group of local vets decided three years ago that Alexandria needed its own veterans memorial and wanted to do things differently.

Rise in unknown COVID-19 sources amplifies call for masks

It comes as Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is debating whether to mandate mask-wearing in the state.

July 4th weekend lures many in Minnesota back to socializing

State health care and government officials hold their breath over how the summer festivities will affect the spread of the virus.

Minnesotans, nation prepare to celebrate July 4th with COVID-19 cases on the rise

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm urged Minnesotans to celebrate the holiday primarily with the people in their own households and to consider virtual visits with larger groups.

Abortions in Minnesota again fall below 10,000

The 9,922 abortions in 2019 is the fourth time it has hit near record lows since 1980.

George Floyd memorial still draws crowd: 'His life was given to wake us up'

The thousands of colorful bouquets placed on the street where George Floyd died are shriveled and faded now, but no one dares to move them.…

Mining politics stall money for Minn. tribe's water treatment project

IRRRB members cite Fond du Lac band's "anti-mining" stance in opposing aid request.

On the street where George Floyd died, mourners see some reason to hope

As the broadcast of the memorial ended, a street celebration began at 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue, with calls for the crowd to be respectful.

Officials back off after first blaming outsiders, extremists for Twin Cities violence

For two days, state and local officials blamed "outside agitators" for the spasm of violence and property damage that erupted when a black man, George…