June 16, 2020

Minnesota Senate
Capitol News Coverage
Directory 2020

Published by:

Secretary of the Senate
State Capitol Suite 231
75 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
(651) 296-2344

Members of Capitol News Coverage Organizations are accredited through:

Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate
Suite G430
95 University Ave W.
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
(651) 296-1119

This publication was developed by the following departments:
Senate Sergeant-at-arms, Senate Information Systems, and Senate Media Services

Information Supervision..........................Marilyn Logan
Information Maintenance..........................Charley Shaw
Photography..............................................David J. Oakes
Directory Design..........................................Krista Sheely

Table of Contents

Senate Rule 16 - Credentials for News Coverage
Reporter Index

Capitol News Coverage Organizations

Associated Press
Forum News Service
KNSI - AM 1450/FM 103.3
Mankato Free Press
Minnesota Lawyer/Politics in Minnesota
Minnesota News Network
Minnesota Public Radio
Rochester Post-Bulletin
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Star Tribune
The Uptake
Twin Cities PBS

Senate Rule 16


16. Credentials for News Coverage

16.1 (a) The Secretary of the Senate shall provide a reasonable number of spaces on the Senate floor and in the Senate gallery for individuals and organizations with credentials and passes issued under this rule.

(b) The Sergeant at Arms may not issue credentials or day passes under this rule to political organizations or to individuals affiliated with a political organization. For the purposes of this rule, "political organization" means an organization owned or controlled by a registered lobbyist, a political caucus, a political party, or any party organization and "individuals affiliated with a political organization" means an individual who, during the preceding 24 months, has been employed by or received any compensation from a political organization.

(c) Due to the limited space available for organizations or individuals providing news coverage of the Senate, the Senate finds that there is a compelling public interest in limiting credentials issued under this rule to organizations or individuals who demonstrate that they provide regular news coverage of the legislature. For session credentials, an organization or individual must submit an application to the Sergeant at Arms. The Sergeant at Arms must review the application and approve or reject it within 14 days after receipt. Upon the request of the Sergeant at Arms, an applicant for credentials must provide evidence of the applicant's activities in providing regular news coverage of the legislature. Evidence of regular news coverage must include examples of news coverage of legislative matters produced by the applicant. The examples must include written, video, or audio coverage written or recorded in the past year, and a description of how they were publicly distributed. Any opinion expressed in the examples is not subject to review under this rule at any time.

(d) If an application is rejected, the Sergeant at Arms must state the reason for the rejection in writing and notify the applicant, the Secretary of the Senate, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader in writing.

(e) An appeal of a denial of credentials must be made in writing to the Secretary of the Senate, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Senate Minority Leader. The Committee on Rules and Administration shall review and decide the appeal within 14 days after receiving a letter of appeal.

16.2 The Sergeant at Arms may grant a day pass for access authorized under Rule 16.1, paragraph (a) The day pass may be issued for a single day to an individual or organization who has not applied for credentials and who is not prohibited from receiving credentials under Rule 16.1, paragraph (b). The pass may be granted upon the request of a member or the organization or individual, and may be renewed from day to day upon request.

16.3 The Secretary shall compile and distribute to the public a directory of individuals and organizations who have been issued credentials under Rule 16.1 to provide news coverage from the Senate floor. The directory must include each individual's picture and organization and a brief biography.

16.4 The Secretary must issue each individual or organization with credentials an identification badge showing the individual's name and organization. The individual must wear the badge when in the Senate Chamber.

16.5 (a) A credential shall be revoked by the Sergeant at Arms if the Sergeant has received credible information indicating that the individual or organization either was not qualified to receive the credential when it was given, or no longer qualifies for a credential.

(b) An appeal of a revocation of credentials must be made in writing to the Secretary of the Senate, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Senate Minority Leader. The Committee on Rules and Administration shall review and decide the appeal within 14 days after receiving a letter of appeal.

adopted January 06, 2015

Jeff Phillip Baenen
Associated Press
Capitol: 651-222-4821
Newsroom: 612-332-2727
Fax: 612-342-5299
Cell: 612-242-6194
Email: jbaenen@ap.org
Education: BA, mass communications, Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
Experience: Reporter, The Jamestown (N.D.) Sun, 1976 - 78; reporter, The Associated Press in Bismark, N.D., 1978 - 81 (statehouse reporter 1978 - 81); reporter, The Associated Press in Minneapolis, 1981 - present.
Amy Forliti
Associated Press
Newsroom: 612-332-2727
Fax: 612-342-5299
Email: aforliti@ap.org
Education: BA, print journalism and speech communications, University of St. Thomas.
Experience: AP since 1999. Previously a copy editor at the Star Tribune, reporter at the Chippewa Herald (Chippewa Falls, Wis.) and news producer at WEAU-TV (Eau Claire, Wis.).
Steve Karnowski
Associated Press
Capitol: 651-222-4821
Newsroom: 612-332-2727
Fax: 612-342-5299
Cell: 612-442-7649
Email: skarnowski@ap.org
Education: BA from the University of Minnesota in journalism and political science, 1982.
Experience: Associated Press reporter since 1994; Conus Communications All News Channel, associate producer, 1994; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany, senior news editor, 1985 - 1994; United Press International in Washington, national desk editor, 1985, Minneapolis Bureau reporter, 1983 - 1985; Minnesota Daily, political reporter, 1979 - 1983.
Jim Arthur Mone
Associated Press
Capitol: 612-332-2727
Cell: 612-730-8258
Email: jmone@ap.org
Education: B.S., journalism, Nebraska Omaha
Experience: 47 years as AP photographer.

Dana Ferguson
Forum News Service
Capitol: 651-290-0707
Cell: 952-215-4046
Email: dferguson@forumcomm.com
Education: DePauw University, BA, 2014.
Experience: Joined Forum News Service as Minnesota Capitol correspondent in 2018. Previously worked as a state government and politics reporter for the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., and The Associated Press in Madison, Wis.
Sarah Mearhoff
Forum News Service
Cell: 610-790-4992
Email: smearhoff@forumcomm.com
Education: BA, journalism, Pennsylvania State University
Experience: Political reporter in Minnesota for Forum News Service. Previous Capitol coverage in Pennsylvania, Mississippi and South Dakota.
Thomas A. Olmscheid
Freelance Photographer
Cell: 651-208-4885
Email: taolmscheid@comcast.net
Education: AA degree, Inver Hills Community College.
Experience: MN House of Representatives, chief photographer, 1975 - 2011; Associated Press, freelance photographer, 1978 - 2018; freelance photographer, 2011 - 2018.
John Croman
Capitol: 651-292-8988
Newsroom: 763-797-7215
Fax: 763-546-1111
Cell: 612-209-9091
Email: jcroman@kare11.com
Education: BS, journalism, University of Kansas.
Experience: Reporter for KARE since 1997. Previously worked in TV news in Phoenix, Omaha and Lawrence, Kan.; and radio news in Kansas.

Timothy Blotz
Newsroom: 952-946-5767
Cell: 952-412-7677
Email: timothyblotz@gmail.com
Education: B.S. Political Science, Communication - University of Wisconsin Stevens Point; M. A. Strategic Communications - University of Minnesota
Experience: 30 years of broadcasting and communications.
Theo Keith
Newsroom: 952-946-5767
Cell: 952-257-9690
Email: theo.keith@foxtv.com
Education: Bachelor's of journalism, University of Missouri; bachelor's of arts in political science, University of Missouri.
Experience: WITI-TV/Fox 6, Milwaukee, Wis., political reporter (2015-2018); WAVE-TV (NBC), Louisville, Ky., political reporter (2013-2015); WISC-TV (CBS), Madison, Wis., reporter (2011-2013); KMOX-AM (CBS) and KOMU-TV (NBC), Jefferson City, Mo. (2009-2011).
Tom Hauser
Capitol: 651-665-0920
Newsroom: 651-642-4455
Fax: 651-642-4409
Email: thauser@kstp.com
Education: BA, Journalism and Political Science, University of St. Thomas; MA, Journalism and Mass Communications, Drake University.
Experience: KAAL-TV, Austin, MN; WINK-TV, Fort Myers, FL; WHO-TV, Des Moines; KSTP-TV, Mpls-St. Paul.
Ubah Ali
Cell: 507-884-9272
Email: uali@kttc.com
Education: St. Cloud State University, degree in mass communications.
Experience: KTTC since February 2019; internships with Mayo Clinic, KARE 11 and WCCO-TV.

Kamaria Braye
Cell: 612-229-8281
Email: kbraye@kttc.com
Education: BS, Lincoln University (Mo.); MA, University of Missouri-Columbia.
Zach Fuller
Newsroom: 507-535-8932
Email: zfuller@kttc.com
Education: University of Akron, bachelor's degree in mass media - TV/radio communication.
Experience: KTTC since January 2020; four years with ZTV at the University of Akron.
Sarah Gannon
Newsroom: 507-535-8939
Fax: 507-288-6278
Cell: 507-491-6822
Email: sgannon@kttc.com
Education: BS, metorology with minors in geographic information systems and environmental studies, Northland College.
Micah Hagen
Newsroom: 507-535-8955
Email: mhagen@kttc.com
Education: Associate's degree from Rochester Community and Technical College.
Experience: Photojournalist at KTTC (June 2019 - present).

Beret Leone
Newsroom: 507-280-5125
Email: bleone@kttc.com
Education: BA, journalism, Bethel University.
Experience: KTTC-TV, July 2018-present.
Chuck Sibley
Newsroom: 507-280-5125
Fax: 507-288-6278
Email: csibley@kttc.com
Experience: Worked at KTTC since 1972, with more than 20 years as the senior news photojournalist.
Alex Tejada
Cell: 205-789-7029
Email: atejada@kttc.com
Education: BS, international business, Auburn University; BA, mass communication, University of Montevallo.
Experience: KTTC since April 2019; nine months at KEYC in Mankato.
Dan Ochsner
Leighton Broadcasting AM 1450/FM 99.3 KNSI
Capitol: 320-492-5661
Newsroom: 320-203-4831
Fax: 320-251-8952
Cell: 320-492-5661
Email: dochsner@leightonbroadcasting.com
Education: Associates Degree Radio/TV Broadcasting; Bachelor's Degree Media Business.
Experience: 20+ years in radio news and talk radio; KDLM news director, 1998-2001; MN Associated Press Broadcasters Board, past president; Political talk show host, KNSI St. Cloud, 2001-present.

Trey Mewes
Mankato Free Press
Capitol: 651-491-0632
Newsroom: 507-344-6365
Email: tmewes@mankatofreepress.com
Education: University of Minnesota 2006-2010, BA degree in journalism, history.
Experience: Mankato Free Press since September 2015. Previously worked at the Austin Daily Herald.
Kevin Featherly
Minnesota Lawyer/Politics in Minnesota
Newsroom: 651-222-1837
Email: kfeatherly@minnlawyer.com
Education: BA, Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Experience: Most recently 12 years of freelance writing for dozens of local and national publications; held previous positions as reporter and editor with Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, McGraw-Hill, Landmark Communications, North Country Community Newspapers and Internet Broadcasting System.
Scott Peterson
Minnesota News Network
Capitol: 651-224-0355
Newsroom: 952-545-6660
Cell: 612-423-4676
Email: speterson@mnnradio.com
Education: BS - UW - Riverfalls, WI Associates - Radio Broadcast - Brown
Experience: Anchor, reporter, producer, Minnesota News Network; KYMN - Radio; Clear Channel - KTCN 1130
Bill Werner
Minnesota News Network
Capitol: 651-224-0355
Newsroom: 952-545-6660
Email: bwerner@mnnradio.com
Education: BA, Political Science, Macalester College.
Experience: Political correspondent, Minnesota News Network since 1993.

Brian Bakst
Minnesota Public Radio
Capitol: 651-291-1035
Newsroom: 651-290-1424
Cell: 651-226-6089
Email: bbakst@mpr.org
Education: BA, Political Science/Journalism, University of Minnesota.
Experience: Copy editor, Albuquerque Journal; legislative correspondent, Murphy McGinnis Media; legislative reporter, Associated Press, 1999 - 2016.
Tim Nelson
Minnesota Public Radio
Newsroom: 651-290-1393
Cell: 651-315-4900
Email: timnelson@mpr.org
Education: BA, Gustavus Adolphus College.
Experience: Minnesota Daily, St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Tim Pugmire
Minnesota Public Radio
Capitol: 651-291-1035
Newsroom: 651-290-1424
Cell: 651-261-3287
Email: tpugmire@mpr.org
Education: BS, St. Cloud State University.
Experience: Minnesota Public Radio, 1990-present.
Ricardo Lopez
Minnesota Reformer
Cell: 702-426-9165
Email: ricardo@minnesotareformer.com
Education: BA, journalism and Spanish, University of Nevada, Reno.
Experience: Previously at The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.), Variety (Los Angeles), Star Tribune, Los Angeles Times.

Peter J. Callaghan
Newsroom: 612-455-6950
Fax: 612-455-6960
Cell: 253-219-6332
Email: pcallaghan@minnpost.com
Education: BA, University of Washington
Experience: MinnPost; Associated Press in Olympia and Seattle; Everett Herald; Tacoma News Tribune.
Erin Hinrichs
Cell: 952-594-1090
Email: ehinrichs@minnpost.com
Education: BA, English, Gustavus Adolphus College; MA, journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Experience: MinnPost education reporter (Jan. 2016 - present); Lillie Suburban Newspapers staff reporter (Dec. 2014 - Dec. 2015).
Walker Orenstein
Cell: 651-276-7490
Email: worenstein@minnpost.com
Education: BA, University of Washington.
Experience: Reported on Washington State's Legislature for The (Tacoma) News Tribune and The Associated Press. Interned for The Seattle Times.
Katharine DeCelle
Cell: 651-398-7334
Email: katharine.decelle@gmail.com
Education: BA, Metropolitan State University (2005).
Experience: Producer with MN Capitol News, podcast producer with Storymobile, producer at KFAI and WFNU radio.

Martin Delmar Owings
Capitol: 612-819-8599
Cell: 612-819-8599
Email: owings1064@gmail.com
Education: BA, history, Metropolitan State University; MA, organizational leadership, Saint Catherine University (Exp 2019).
Experience: Covering the Capitol for KFAI Radio News, Public Record Media, Capitol Conversations and mncapitolnews.com since 2008.
John Eric Autey
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Capitol: 651-228-5136
Newsroom: 651-338-5497
Fax: 651-228-5528
Cell: 651-328-1753
Email: jautey@pioneerpress.com
Experience: St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer: 20 years with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, 15 years in the newsroom.
Mara Gottfried
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Newsroom: 651-228-5262
Email: mgottfried@pioneerpress.com
Education: BA, University of Maryland.
Experience: St. Paul Pioneer Press, 2001 - present.
Christopher Magan
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Cell: 513-535-0281
Email: cmagan@pioneerpress.com
Education: B.S. Journalism from Tennessee State University
Experience: Education reporter for Pioneer Press, 2011 - present; education/government reporter for Dayton Daily News, 2004-2011

Dave Orrick
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Capitol: 651-224-5812
Fax: 651-228-5500
Cell: 651-283-5489
Email: dorrick@pioneerpress.com
Education: Northwestern University.
Experience: Twenty-plus years' experience; 14 years' experience with St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Jean Pieri
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Newsroom: 651-228-5497
Fax: 651-228-2169
Cell: 651-325-6017
Email: jpieri@pioneerpress.com
Education: University of Minnesota.
Experience: St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer since 1983.
Bill Salisbury
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Capitol: 651-228-5538
Newsroom: 651-228-5448
Cell: 651-334-5538
Email: bsalisbury@pioneerpress.com
Education: BA, history, University of MN, Morris.
Experience: Reporter, Fairmont Sentinel, 1971-72; reporter, Rochester Post-Bulletin, 1972-77; reporter, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1977-present.
C. Scott Takushi
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Newsroom: 651-228-5497
Fax: 651-228-2169
Email: ctakushi@pioneerpress.com
Education: BA, Wheaton College.
Experience: Seattle Times, 1985-1987; St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer since 1987.

Briana Bierschbach
Star Tribune
Capitol: 651-925-5042
Cell: 320-469-3206
Email: briana.bierschbach@startribune.com
Education: BA, journalism, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Experience: Star Tribune since 2020. Previous experience at the Capitol for The Associated Press, Politics in Minnesota, MinnPost and Minnesota Public Radio.
Patricia Ava Lopez
Star Tribune
Newsroom: 612-673-7028
Cell: 612-599-2654
Email: plopez@startribune.com
Education: California State University, Los Angeles.
Experience: Editorial writer, Star Tribune; former state and national political editor, Star Tribune; former chief political reporter; Star Tribune; Previously reporter for Cincinnati Enquirer, Los Angeles Times, Roanoke Times, Los Angeles City News Service.
Stephen Montemayor
Star Tribune
Capitol: 651-925-5048
Newsroom: 612-673-1755
Cell: 612-760-8405
Email: smontemayor@startribune.com
Education: BA, journalism, University of Kansas.
Experience: Star Tribune (2015 - present). Previously: Twin Cities Business; Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World.
Leila Navidi
Star Tribune
Newsroom: 612-673-4840
Cell: 612-710-1293
Email: leila.navidi@startribune.com
Education: Rochester Institute of Technology, B.A. Applied Photography, 2003
Experience: Star Tribune since Sept. 2014; Las Vegas Sun, 2007-2013

Glen Stubbe
Star Tribune
Capitol: 612-210-8603
Newsroom: 612-210-8603
Email: glen.stubbe@startribune.com
Education: BS Photojournalism, Syracuse University.
Experience: Wilkes-Barre, PA, Times Leader, 1981-83; Tampa Tribune, FL, 1983-86; Washington Times, DC, 1986-98, Star Tribune, 1998 - present.
Lori Sturdevant
Star Tribune
Cell: 612-644-6963
Email: lsturdevant@startribune.com
Education: BA, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; graduate work, University of Minnesota.
Experience: Star Tribune reporter, 1976-1986; assignment editor 1986-1992; editorial writer and columnist, 1992-2018. Retired from the Editorial Board in December 2018 and continues as an occasional columnist. Author and/or editor of 12 books, including "Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women's Movement" and "The Pillsburys of Minnesota."
Jessie Van Berkel
Star Tribune
Capitol: 651-925-5044
Fax: 651-222-0101
Cell: 612-516-0121
Email: jessie.vanberkel@startribune.com
Education: BA, journalism, University of Minnesota.
Experience: Star Tribune (2014-present). Previously: Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Post-Crescent.
Torey Van Oot
Star Tribune
Capitol: 651-925-5049
Cell: 310-903-2160
Email: torey.vanoot@startribune.com
Education: BA, political science and print journalism, University of Southern California.
Experience: Freelance journalist (The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, InStyle, Glamour, Public Radio International); politics editor and reporter, Refinery29; editor, NBC-owned TV stations national digital desk; political reporter, The Sacramento Bee.

Michael McIntee
The Uptake
Capitol: 651-261-2272
Newsroom: 651-538-0411
Email: michael.mcintee@theuptake.org
Education: BA, journalism, University of MN.
Experience: WMMR-AM news director, 1977-81; WCCO -TV producer, 1979-1982; KGBT-TV producer, 1982-84; KETV-TV producer 1984-87; KWTV TV producer, 1987-88; Conus Communication 1989-2002; cofounder and executive producer, The UpTake, 2006-present.
Sheila Regan
The Uptake
Cell: 612-578-7373
Email: sheilacecilia@gmail.com
Education: BA, Macalester College; MFA, Indiana University.
Experience: Twelve years' experience as a freelance journalist. Bylines in the Washington Post, Star Tribune, Salon, Mic, PRI, Vice; stringer for The Associated Press.
Cirien Issa Saadeh
The Uptake
Capitol: 651-538-0411
Cell: 952-423-8186
Email: cirien.saadeh@theuptake.org
Education: BA, political science, St. Catherine University, 2012; MA, humanities, Prescott College, 2015; Ph.D., sustainability education, Prescott College, 2019.
Experience: Freelance reporting during the last several years on local politics and community mobilization efforts. Previous work as a reporter at the Minnesota State Capitol, reporting on both state and local elections, as well as legislative politics for independent, nonprofit organizations.
Bill Sorem
The Uptake
Capitol: 651-452-0530
Newsroom: 651-452-0530
Cell: 952-239-1169
Email: bill_sorem@me.com
Education: BS, Agriculture Sciences, University of Minnesota.
Experience: 20 years advertising agency experience 5 years reporting for TheUptake

David N. Gillette
Twin Cities PBS
Capitol: 612-296-9030
Newsroom: 651-229-1345
Cell: 612-296-9030
Email: dgillette@tpt.org
Education: BA, Art, Creative Writing, Univ. of MN; Honor Program, 2001; Policy Fellow, Hurbert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, 2009 - 2010; Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.
Experience: Commentator and essayist for TPT since 2007, Almanac and Nightly Business Report; covered Legislative sessions for Almanac At The Capitol, since 2007.
Mary Lahammer
Twin Cities PBS
Capitol: 651-402-8848
Email: mlahammer@tpt.org
Education: University of Minnesota; major: Journalism and Mass Communications; honors: Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Experience: Host, Almanac at the Capitol; reporter, Almanac; anchor/reporter, WQOW-TV, Eau Claire, Wis.; anchor/reporter, KUMV-TV, Williston, N.D.; winner of several Emmys and other awards for hosting, reporting, producing, and photography.
Scott Trotman
Twin Cities PBS
Capitol: 612-867-8358
Newsroom: 651-222-1717
Email: strotman@tpt.org
Education: BA, Winona State University; major, Mass Communications, Broardcasting; minor, Speech Communications.
Experience: Over 20 years of video production experience; 16 years with TPT. Worked four sessions with Senate Media in 1990's.
Pat Kessler
Capitol: 651-287-6991
Newsroom: 612-330-2509
Email: pjkessler@wcco.cbs.com
Education: Macalester College, English/Journalism.
Experience: WCCO-TV; Minnesota Public Radio.

Ali, Ubah
Autey, John
Baenen, Jeff
Bakst, Brian
Bierschbach, Briana
Blotz, Timothy
Braye, Kamaria
Callaghan, Peter
Croman, John
DeCelle, Katharine
Featherly, Kevin
Ferguson, Dana
Forliti, Amy
Fuller, Zach
Gannon, Sarah
Gillette, David
Gottfried, Mara
Hagen, Micah
Hauser, Tom
Hinrichs, Erin
Karnowski, Steve
Keith, Theo
Kessler, Pat
Lahammer, Mary
Leone, Beret
Lopez, Patricia
Lopez, Ricardo
Magan, Christopher
McIntee, Michael
Mearhoff, Sarah
Mewes , Trey
Mone, Jim
Montemayor, Stephen
Navidi, Leila
Nelson, Tim
Ochsner, Dan
Olmscheid, Thomas
Orenstein, Walker
Orrick, Dave
Owings, Martin
Peterson, Scott
Pieri, Jean
Pugmire, Tim
Regan, Sheila
Saadeh, Cirien
Salisbury, Bill
Sibley, Chuck
Sorem, Bill
Stubbe, Glen
Sturdevant, Lori
Takushi, C. Scott
Tejada, Alex
Trotman, Scott
Van Berkel, Jessie
Van Oot, Torey
Werner, Bill