Deena Winter

Deena Winter

Deena Winter has covered local and state government in four states over the past three decades, with stints at the Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, as a correspondent for the Denver Post, city hall reporter in Lincoln, Nebraska, and regional editor for Southwest News in the western Minneapolis suburbs. Before joining the staff of the Reformer in 2021 she was a contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She and her husband have a daughter, son, and very grand child. In her spare time, she likes to play tennis, jog, garden and attempt to check out all the best restaurants in the metro area.

Restaurant workers speak: Some are done; others want industry changes

By: and - July 9, 2021

Sophia Bishop, 20, left the food service industry a few weeks ago to work in health care. After doing some restaurant work in college, she was at a Burnsville restaurant for about a year and a half. “For me, basically it was complete chaos,” she said. Mother’s Day 2020 was a disaster, she said, when […]


Born in the Delta, she died the grandmother of St. Paul | Remembrance

By: - July 5, 2021

I met Thelma Battle Buckner because her church was just a block from my house when I first moved to St. Paul six years ago. I figured if I only had to walk a block to church, I might just go.   We walked into the small, bland, brick church with a yellowing sign out front […]

Lawmakers to vote on updating sex crime laws 

By: - June 29, 2021

Lawmakers will vote today on updating Minnesota’s sex crime laws, including closing a loophole led to reversal of a rape conviction.

Protesters block Minneapolis council member’s car until she agrees to 6 demands

By: - June 29, 2021

Minneapolis Council Member Andrea Jenkins' vehicle was blocked by activists Sunday and not allowed to leave until she agreed to sign off on six demands, including a demand that Mayor Jacob Frey resign.

The rural, biracial juror on the Chauvin trial: ‘It was absolutely traumatic’

By: - June 25, 2021

Journee Howard grew up in a town of about 900 in lake country, where a Trump rally in nearby Brainerd attracted some 10,000 people last year. Her biracial family was a rarity.  Her mom is white and works at a bar; her dad is Black and works as a chef; her uncle is a cop […]

Minneapolis police workers’ comp claims have skyrocketed

By: - June 21, 2021

The city of Minneapolis could pay some $34 million or more in workers’ compensation claims filed by city employees since the murder of George Floyd by former police officer Derek Chauvin.  The Minneapolis City Council has approved 16 workers’ comp settlements out of 756 claims filed by city employees since Floyd’s murder, for injuries to […]

Minneapolis City Council members accuse mayor of skirting law with Agape contract

By: - June 17, 2021

Several Minneapolis City Council members accused Mayor Jacob Frey of misusing his pandemic emergency powers to approve a $359,000 contract with Agape Movement to try to reopen the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, which has been a semi-autonomous zone controlled by activists since George Floyd was murdered there last May. The council also […]

State Human Services waived burdensome regs during pandemic, wants to continue lighter touch

By: - June 14, 2021

When the pandemic hit last year, the state had to change the way it did a lot of business, and fast. The Department of Human Services made some 115 temporary changes to its rules and regulations for health care, economic assistance and program licensing, from waiving training to incorporating telemedicine into the safety net. The […]

Cities, facing pressure to minimize police presence, turn to unproven community groups

By: - June 9, 2021

Facing increasing political pressure on all sides in the face of rising violent crime and activists demanding the dismantling of their police departments, Minneapolis and some other cities are increasingly turning to private community groups to keep the peace — and provide political cover — in perilous times.  The Agape Movement, a group of ex-gang […]

Anti-vaccine activist charged with stealing vaccines

By: - June 3, 2021

A St. Paul man has been charged with misdemeanor theft and disorderly conduct after livestreaming himself pretending he wanted to get vaccinated and then grabbing vials of COVID-19 vaccine and spiriting them off to be “tested” because he believed they contained poison. Thomas E. Humphrey, 32, who was the subject of a May 8 Reformer […]

What’s up with ‘Umbrella Man’?

By: - June 2, 2021

The internet dubbed him “Umbrella Man.” About a year ago, a man dressed all in black and carrying an umbrella was pictured on video smashing windows at a south Minneapolis AutoZone store amid demonstrations against police for the murder of George Floyd.  A righteous online citizenry accused him of inciting looting and violence and sought […]

Lawmakers decide on billions in spending, shrouded in secrecy

By: and - June 1, 2021

In 2019, after Gov. Tim Walz had ensconced himself with House DFL and Senate GOP legislative leaders behind closed doors to hash out a budget, he told journalists he was frustrated with the lack of transparency into the backroom deals that have come to define the close of Minnesota legislative sessions. Two years later, he […]