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.

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…

Minnesota casinos begin to reopen with safeguards in place

Mystic Lake welcomes guests, masks required.

Minnesotans can finally return to salons, barbershops

Barbers, stylists and their clients must wear masks and services will be done by appointment only.

Now what? Gnats? Black fly invasion torments Twin Cities

The aggressive biters are leaving bloody welts and driving some indoors.

Safety debate continues as bars, businesses reopen in Wisconsin

Many business owners were as eager to reopen and stem financial losses as they were cautious about the virus' spread, expecting guidance and possibly restrictions from state and local officials.

Minnesota Judge Steven A. Anderson dies of COVID-19 at 65

In the courtroom, he was Judge Steven A. Anderson. On the street, he preferred to be called Steve.

Minnesota bans large, in-person ceremonies for 2020 grads

Most students and graduates are disappointed that in-person graduations are nixed. But the decision also is sparking anger for some and relief for others.

Minnesota's resorts walk a fine line between safety and service

Anglers headed north will find the opener a very different affair from previous years.

Minnesotans urged to stay close to home for fishing opener

That means no overnight stays and traveling no farther than what can be done to and from on a single tank of gas or a single charge, officials said.

Spring weekend to bring out Minnesotans looking for open spaces

Parks officials warn restless visitors not to overcrowd public spaces.