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Jennifer Brooks

Columnist | Local
Phone: 612-673-4008

Jennifer Brooks is a local columnist for the Star Tribune. She travels across Minnesota, writing thoughtful and surprising stories about residents and issues.


Previously as a Star Tribune reporter, Brooks covered the State Capitol and the Minnesota congressional delegation in Washington.
Recent content from Jennifer Brooks
Minnesota teachers prep for a school year like no other

Minnesota teachers prep for a school year like no other

For most school districts, this entire year offered two equally bad choices.
To keep their neighbors safe, the one thing they can't do is their job

To keep their neighbors safe, the one thing they can't do is their job

Follow the StarTribune for the news, photos and videos from the Twin Cities and beyond.
To keep their neighbors safe, the one thing they can't do is their job

To keep their neighbors safe, the one thing they can't do is their job

Follow the StarTribune for the news, photos and videos from the Twin Cities and beyond.
To keep their neighbors safe, the one thing they can't do is their job

To keep their neighbors safe, the one thing they can't do is their job

Follow the StarTribune for the news, photos and videos from the Twin Cities and beyond.
To keep their neighbors safe, the one thing they can't do is their job

To keep their neighbors safe, the one thing they can't do is their job

Follow the StarTribune for the news, photos and videos from the Twin Cities and beyond.
Brooks: At last, a mask mandate for Minnesota

Brooks: At last, a mask mandate for Minnesota

Maybe there will be protests. But it's hard to argue that this is a radical policy leap when Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana and Ohio did it first.
Brooks: Minnesota civil rights leaders reflect on the power of the streets and the long road to justice

Brooks: Minnesota civil rights leaders reflect on the power of the streets and the long road to justice

Josie Johnson had always felt a bit of hope.She stayed hopeful as a teenager in Texas, gathering signatures on a petition to end the poll…
Brooks: Minneapolis residents turn out in force to mop up, put out fires

Brooks: Minneapolis residents turn out in force to mop up, put out fires

Who the rioters are is less important than who we are.
Brooks: George Floyd and the city that killed him

Brooks: George Floyd and the city that killed him

Something's not right in Minnesota, land of some of the worst racial disparities in America.
Brooks: The art of the possible continues, despite it all

Brooks: The art of the possible continues, despite it all

The coronavirus might shut down almost everything else, but the art goes on at Interact, a visual and performing arts center for people with disabilities.
Brooks: Minnesotans work to stay close while socially distant

Brooks: Minnesotans work to stay close while socially distant

For the next few weeks or months, keeping our distance will be the surest way to keep each other safe. The distance comes at a cost
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor walked through the elevator lobby of the Hennepin County Government Center with his legal team on Frida

Brooks: Noor verdict challenges police to live up to their motto next time

The murder trial was so tangled up in race and politics and public policy, it's hard to tell where justice begins for some and ends for others.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, center, is accompanied by his attorneys Peter Wold, not pictured, and Thomas Plunkett, right, as he wa

Brooks: At Noor trial and in other police shootings, bearing witness is all we have left

Justine Ruszczyk Damond was one of an estimated 987 people shot and killed by police in this country in 2017.
Brooks: Minnesota's weather watchers embrace their temp gig

Brooks: Minnesota's weather watchers embrace their temp gig

The worse the weather, the happier they are.
Sen. Al Franken will announce plans on Senate floor at 10:45 a.m.

Sen. Al Franken will announce plans on Senate floor at 10:45 a.m.

The Minnesota senator, who called the latest anonymous accusation "preposterous," is set to speak about his future. It comes after Democratic leaders united Wednesday to tell him it was time to go.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) arrived on Wednesday before a confirmation hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for Alex Az

Senate Ethics Committee has opened inquiry into Al Franken

Also, a new accuser, an Army veteran, told CNN that a 2003 encounter came while posing for a photo with Franken, who was on a USO tour.
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., talks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017.

Nov. 27: Back at work, Sen. Al Franken repeats public apology

The Minnesota Democrat continues his apology tour, then turns to legislation.
Iron Range residents look to Trump to 'get something done'

Iron Range residents look to Trump to 'get something done'

Amid the protests and legal battles early in the Trump administration, his northern Minnesota supporters hope he'll honor his promise to make America's steel industry great again.
Heinrich confesses to abducting, killing Jacob Wetterling that day

Heinrich confesses to abducting, killing Jacob Wetterling that day

After Danny Heinrich's detailed, horrifying courtroom confession on how he kidnapped and killed Jacob, Patty Wetterling said, "It's incredibly painful to know his last days, his last minutes."
Paynesville is reeling as search for answers is just beginning

Paynesville is reeling as search for answers is just beginning

As residents tried to make sense of the news, they wished that it might offer some closure to Jacob Wetterling's parents, Patty and Jerry, with whom they've worried and hoped for years.
Jacob Wetterling's remains found on a farm

Jacob Wetterling's remains found on a farm

Danny Heinrich, a suspect in Jacob's disappearance 27 years ago, provided authorities with information about the location.