Author

Anna Koenning

Anna Koenning

Anna Koenning is a reporting intern for the Reformer. She covered international news for Madrid-based El Independiente and works as a barista when she isn't at the Reformer or in class at the University of Minnesota, where she studies journalism, Spanish and political science.

Free tests look for harmful chemicals in young children

By: - November 16, 2021

Children starting kindergarten in southeastern Minnesota can get free testing for possible exposure to harmful chemicals as part of a new pilot program, the Minnesota Department of Health announced on Tuesday. Families who bring their kids ages 3 to 6 to early childhood screening appointments, which are required for public school enrollment, will receive a […]

Home care workers union wins ruling from state board on unpaid pandemic bonuses

By: - November 10, 2021

Hundreds of home care workers still have not received pandemic bonus pay the state Legislature set aside for them more than a year ago, but a ruling by a state employment board on Tuesday could help them be made whole. In October 2020, state lawmakers approved an 8.4% temporary increase in payments to home care […]

Walz appoints Kessler as pollution control commissioner

By: - October 29, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz appointed Katrina Kessler to be his new commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, or MPCA, effective Nov. 1.   Kessler, who has decades of experience as a water regulator, is being promoted after serving as assistant commissioner of MPCA for water policy and agriculture.  Walz struggled to find candidates during a […]

Sen. Tina Smith, former chief of staff to Rybak, will vote no on Question 2

By: - October 19, 2021

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, who is a Minneapolis resident when not in Washington, said Tuesday that she will vote no on Question 2 — the Minneapolis police ballot initiative — joining Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Tim Walz in opposition.  Smith, once chief of staff to former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, said that she agrees with much […]

School bus driver shortage leaves families scrambling to find alternative ways to class

By: - October 18, 2021

Dominique Smith’s daughter was offered a school bus ride to Brooklyn Center’s Earle Brown Elementary throughout pre-K and kindergarten.  This year, due to a dire shortage of qualified bus drivers, she didn’t have that option. Smith said the school sent her a message before the year started stating that the 6-year-old would walk to school. […]

COMMENTARY

“We help women run for office, and win”: Q&A with Run Vote Lead’s Beth Peterson

By: - October 15, 2021

Before running for Eveleth City Council, Beth Peterson connected with Vote Run Lead,   a national organization that provides training, networking and other tools to encourage women to run for office. She won and served a single term. Now she’s the state director for Vote Run Lead in Minnesota. She talked to the Reformer about […]