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.

Walz considering a statewide mask mandate

By: - June 29, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz said today he’s considering a statewide mandate that people wear masks in public to combat COVID-19.  He said Republican governors are also exploring the idea. “All these things are difficult decisions to make,” he said. “The best thing we can do is keep social distance, wear the mask, and if you’re sick, […]

Due to legislative gridlock, more than $1 billion in construction projects left on the table

By: - June 29, 2020

Lawmakers left St. Paul with some big-ticket items still in limbo, including a big public works bill that has become an even-year tradition of the Capitol.  Known around the Capitol as a “bonding bill,” it allows the Legislature to borrow more than $1 billion for construction and maintenance projects around the state, spending borrowed money […]

City Council moves charter amendment to eliminate current Police Department; voters could act on it in November

By: - June 26, 2020

The Minneapolis City Council began the process Friday of allowing voters to scrap the city’s police department and create a new public safety agency. The move comes after a month of protests following the police killing of George Floyd. The council’s vote on an amendment to the city charter is the first step to getting […]

Walz administration to distribute $853 million in COVID aid to counties, cities, townships, food shelves

By: - June 25, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz announced a plan Thursday to dole out $853 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to communities after the money was held up for weeks in stalled negotiations with the Legislature.  The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES, funding became a political football during the regular session as lawmakers […]

Senate Republicans tangle with People of Color Indigenous Caucus over crime, police reform

By: - June 25, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka called for hearings on the riots, looting and arsons that broke out after the police killing of George Floyd, but not the killing itself. He drew criticism from the Legislature’s People of Color and Indigenous Caucus — known as POCI — whose members said his priorities are off. Gazelka questioned […]

Mining agency relents, gives grant to Fond du Lac for clean water

By: - June 25, 2020

A state mining board commissioner today approved a $250,000 grant to the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to provide clean drinking water, after the mining board tabled the grant, citing the band’s opposition to copper-nickel mining in sensitive watersheds. The Reformer reported Wednesday on the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board’s June 10 discussion […]

Resident calls for Falcon Heights council member to resign over front yard gardens

By: - June 25, 2020

The fight over a Falcon Heights vegetable garden continues.  A month ago, Quentin Nguyen had resigned himself to living with a Falcon Heights ordinance that seemed designed to stop him — and just him — from planting a big vegetable garden in his front yard. But now, he’s calling on a Falcon Heights City Council member to […]

Minneapolis City Council to take up change to city charter eliminating Police Department

By: - June 24, 2020

The Minneapolis City Council plans to vote Friday on moving forward with an amendment to the city charter that would replace the Police Department with a new public safety entity.  It’s the first step to getting it on the ballot in November, when Minneapolis voters could decide the fate of the department. Under the proposed […]

Hennepin County Board takes up racism as a public health crisis

By: - June 24, 2020

A panel of the Hennepin County Board voted Tuesday to declare racism a public health crisis, despite the objections of two commissioners who wanted more time to examine it. About a dozen other county boards nationwide have passed similar resolutions in the wake of  George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Hennepin […]

Hennepin County Board starts spending federal money; libraries reopening

By: - June 24, 2020

Commissioners on the Hennepin County Board voted to spend some funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, part of which it has already devoted to emergency housing relief and small business assistance. The board voted to spend: $2 million to feed the hungry. Any of the roughly 150 […]

Minneapolis Council members draft charter amendment to replace existing police department

By: - June 23, 2020

Five Minneapolis City Council members have written an amendment to the city charter that would remove the police department and replace it with a new city agency responsible for public safety, according to a draft of the amendment obtained by the Reformer. The proposed charter amendment, which could go before Minneapolis voters as soon as […]

Trio of GOP state senators to call for federal investigation of Minneapolis Police Department

By: - June 22, 2020

Three Republican state senators are calling on U.S. Attorney General Willliam Barr to open an investigation into the Minnesota Police Department’s response to unrest and rioting that broke out after George Floyd’s death. Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, have scheduled a Tuesday news conference to ask for […]