January 25, 2021
Minnesota Senate
Capitol News Coverage
Directory 2021




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


Photography 
 Andrew J. Olmscheid
Information Supervision 
 Marilyn Logan
Information Maintenance 
 Charley Shaw
Information Systems 
 Joseph Levine
Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 4
Senate Rule 16
CREDENTIALS FOR NEWS COVERAGE

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

Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 5
Steve Karnowski
Associated Press
 
Capitol: 651-222-4821
Newsroom: 612-332-2727
Cell: 612-442-7649
E-mail: 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
E-mail: jmone@ap.org
Education: B.S., journalism, Nebraska Omaha
Experience: 47 years as AP photographer.
Torey Van Oot
Axios
 
Cell: 310-903-2160
E-mail: torey.vanoot@axios.com
Education: BA, political science and print journalism, University of Southern California.
Experience: Axios Twin Cities (2020 - present); Star Tribune Capitol Bureau (2018 - 2020); Refinery29 (2015 - 2018); NBC-owned TV stations national digital desk (2013 - 2015); The Sacramento Bee Capitol Bureau (2009 - 2013).
Dana Ferguson
Forum News Service
 
Capitol: 651-290-0707
Cell: 952-215-4046
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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.
Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 6
Thomas A. Olmscheid
Freelance Photographer
 
Cell: 651-208-4885
E-mail: 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
KARE-TV 11
 
Capitol: 651-292-8988
Newsroom: 763-797-7215
Cell: 612-209-9091
E-mail: 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.
Theo Keith
KMSP-TV 9
 
Newsroom: 952-946-5767
Cell: 763-257-9690
E-mail: theo.keith@foxtv.com
Education: Bachelor's degrees in journalism and 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
KSTP-TV 5
 
Capitol: 651-665-0920
Newsroom: 651-642-4455
E-mail: 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.
Dan Ochsner
Leighton Broadcasting AM 1450/FM 99.3 KNSI - St. Cloud, MN
 
Capitol: 320-492-5661
Newsroom: 320-203-4831
Cell: 320-492-5661
E-mail: 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.
Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 7
Kevin Featherly
Minnesota Lawyer/Politics in Minnesota
 
Newsroom: 651-222-1837
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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.
David Montgomery
Minnesota Public Radio
 
Newsroom: 651-290-1033
E-mail: dmontgomery@mpr.org
Education: BA in political science, Grinnell College.
Experience: MPR News, 2020-present; CityLab, 2018-2019; St. Paul Pioneer Press, 2014-2017; Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2012-2014; Rapid City Journal, 2010-2012; Pierre Capital Journal, 2008-2010.
Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 8
Tim Nelson
Minnesota Public Radio
 
Newsroom: 651-290-1393
Cell: 651-315-4900
E-mail: 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
E-mail: tpugmire@mpr.org
Education: BS, St. Cloud State University.
Experience: Minnesota Public Radio, 1990-present.
Ricardo Lopez
Minnesota Reformer
 
Cell: 702-426-9165
E-mail: 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.
Max Nesterak
Minnesota Reformer
 
Cell: 612-360-4843
E-mail: max@minnesotareformer.com
Education: BA, Swarthmore College.
Experience: MPR News, NPR.
Deena Winter
Minnesota Reformer
 
Capitol: 763-283-9012
Newsroom: 202-491-7755
E-mail: winterdeena@gmail.com
Education: University of Mary (Bismarck, N.D.)
Experience: Bismarck Tribune, Associated Press, Lincoln Journal Star, Denver Post, Nebraska Watchdog, Southwest News Media, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, New York Times, Wall Street Journal.
Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 9
Peter J. Callaghan
MinnPost
 
Newsroom: 612-455-6950
Cell: 253-219-6332
E-mail: pcallaghan@minnpost.com
Education: BA, University of Washington
Experience: MinnPost; Associated Press in Olympia and Seattle; Everett Herald; Tacoma News Tribune.
Walker Orenstein
MinnPost
 
Cell: 651-276-7490
E-mail: 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.
Martin D. Owings
mncapitolnews.com
 
Capitol: 612-819-8599
Cell: 612-819-8599
E-mail: owings1064@gmail.com
Education: BA, history and political science, Metropolitan State University; MA, organizational leadership, Saint Catherine University.
Experience: Reporter/editor/online host; Board President at Public Record Media.
John Eric Autey
St. Paul Pioneer Press
 
Capitol: 651-228-5136
Newsroom: 651-338-5497
Cell: 651-328-1753
E-mail: 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
Cell: 651-503-0163
E-mail: mgottfried@pioneerpress.com
Education: BA, University of Maryland.
Experience: St. Paul Pioneer Press, 2001 - present.
Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 10
Christopher Magan
St. Paul Pioneer Press
 
Cell: 513-535-0281
E-mail: 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
Cell: 651-283-5489
E-mail: dorrick@pioneerpress.com
Education: Northwestern University.
Experience: Twenty-plus years' experience; 14 years' experience with St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Bill Salisbury
St. Paul Pioneer Press
 
Capitol: 651-228-5538
Newsroom: 651-228-5448
Cell: 651-334-5538
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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.
Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 11
Patrick Condon
Star Tribune
 
Newsroom: 612-673-4413
Cell: 612-655-7312
E-mail: patrick.condon@startribune.com
Education: University of St.Thomas, St. Paul.
Experience: Star Tribune, 2014-present; Associated Press, 2003-2014; The Olympian (Olympia, Wash), 2000-2003; The Forum (Fargo, N.D.), 1996-1999.
Patricia Ava Lopez
Star Tribune
 
Newsroom: 612-673-7028
Cell: 612-599-2654
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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.
Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 12
Lori Sturdevant
Star Tribune
 
Cell: 612-644-6963
E-mail: 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."
Richard Tsong-Taatarii
Star Tribune
 
Capitol: 612-418-2163
Newsroom: 612-673-4517
E-mail: richard.tsong-taatarii@startribune.com
Education: B.A. U.C. Berkeley '92
Experience: 12 years Star Tribune staff photagrapher
Jessie Van Berkel
Star Tribune
 
Capitol: 651-925-5044
Cell: 612-516-0121
E-mail: jessie.vanberkel@startribune.com
Education: BA, journalism, University of Minnesota.
Experience: Star Tribune (2014-present). Previously: Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Post-Crescent.
Michael McIntee
The Uptake
 
Capitol: 651-261-2272
Newsroom: 651-538-0411
E-mail: 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: 612-447-6983
E-mail: 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.
Minnesota Senate 2021 Capitol News Coverage Directory 13
Cirien Issa Saadeh
The Uptake
 
Capitol: 651-538-0411
Cell: 952-423-8186
E-mail: 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.
Mary Lahammer
Twin Cities PBS
 
Capitol: 651-402-8848
E-mail: 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
E-mail: 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.
Caroline Cummings
WCCO-TV 4
 
Newsroom: 612-330-2509
Cell: 240-899-4639
E-mail: crcummings@wcco.com
Education: BA, broadcast journalism, University of Maryland, College Park (2017).
Experience: Iowa statehouse reporter, KGAN-TV, June 2017-December 2020; reporter, WCCO-TV, January 2021-present.