At 15 years old, Liz Collin made her broadcast debut covering a tornado that touched down in southwest Minnesota. It was her first night on the job at KWOA and KO95.
Since those radio days in her hometown of Worthington, Minn., she’s held producing, investigative reporting and anchoring positions at TV stations in Harrisburg, Pa., Wichita, Kan., Sioux Falls, SD and Miami, Fla.
Liz’s stories at WCCO have helped shape Minnesota public policy in the areas of public safety and fiscal oversight. Daycare centers must now have more trained CPR staff following her series about a little girl who choked to death at a Mankato daycare. Liz exposed the center and the state lacked adequate CPR requirements. Minneapolis added more 911 dispatchers after her series of stories highlighting wait times as long as 3 minutes, contributing to at least one death. Her reporting also exposed a loophole in state law that led to underfunding of electrical inspections statewide, leaving Minnesotans vulnerable to fire fatalities.
Liz says telling stories about the issues that help move Minnesota and its residents forward matter most. Her reporting has earned her opportunities to report live for the CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning.
Liz has also made a mark in other news markets. A Kansas military school brought in new leadership after she uncovered long-term hazing of younger cadets. The Bob Dole Veteran’s Hospital implemented several policy changes after her reporting revealed lax nursing procedures endangering veteran’s health. Pennsylvania’s child welfare system introduced new policies when her reports showed a lack of due diligence in child abuse reports.
Her recognitions include Emmy awards, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, an Education Writers Association award, Associated Press awards and a special citation from The Kansas City Press Club.
Liz lives in Minneapolis with her husband and son.
A Minnesota county attorney sat on the other side of the courtroom Tuesday as his trial for allegedly getting too close to a teenage girl got underway. Tim Scannell faces two felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for kissing and touching a 17-year-old girl.
She’s accused of selling untrained service dogs for $10,000 to families of kids with special needs. Months after WCCO first exposed her business, the Wisconsin woman has shut it down.
After a mix-up in northern Minnesota, a family is questioning the safety of its ambulance service. When Brenda Sordahl’s grandson needed help, the ambulance crew went to the wrong address in Park Rapids. The Sordahl’s stay focused on the things Blake can do, rather than what he can’t.
A Minneapolis man woke up Wednesday to see his car had been set on fire and police say fireworks are to blame. It all happened on Tuesday just before midnight as a security camera rolled. The fireworks totaled Bobby Wilber’s car.
WCCO has uncovered more allegations of abuse against a religious leader in southeastern Minnesota. Susan Wilde spent nearly 20 years as a member of a Christian fellowship called Maranatha. Its leader has been taken to court, and he and the ministry are being sued by other former members who lost their home and business when they got out of the group.
A lawsuit has exposed deep-seated secrets surrounding a religious group in southern Minnesota. For 35 years, Suzanne and Karl Solum were members of a Christian ministry called Maranatha in Spring Grove, Minn. They pooled all their money with everyone else in the group but when they left six years ago, they wanted their share and sued.
The Mississippi River has forced a lot of people out of their homes over the last two weeks. In the small southeastern Minnesota town of Frontenac, nearly a dozen homes on Lake Street are surrounded by the Mississippi. The river has covered their yards and flooded the street.
A photographer has changed her view of Minneapolis’ toughest streets after what she’s witnessed this month. Sarah Hrudka set out to capture the real people of north Minneapolis and their reasons for calling it home. What started as a quick project turned personal.
A woman called 911 in the middle of the night in Minneapolis and an operator picked up five states away. It happened to Faye Lewis last month when she made the emergency call from her cell phone.
A church fire in southwestern Minnesota revealed a surprise that members are now working to restore. Flames and plumes of smoke were pouring out of St. Gabriel’s Church in Fulda when firefighters arrived in April.
Thursday was a long day for some people living near Minnehaha Creek. In St. Louis Park, some homes were surrounded by more than a thousand sandbags.
Technically, it’s still spring, but summer vacation season is heating up. Science tells us we all need a break, but studies show only half of all Americans use all the time they’re given. So, since we’re supposed to taking time away from work, we wondered: How much time do we really need to relax?
The college year came to a violent end near one Minnesota campus. Two young people suffered critical injuries within one week in downtown Mankato in May. One left a former Minnesota State University Mankato linebacker in a coma, while another happened when a student tried to jump on the back of a campus bus. Police believe alcohol played a role in both.
Every day in Minneapolis a teenager is the victim of a crime, which police say has gotten out of control. City police have taken hundreds of robbery reports from kids this year who have had their cell phones stolen. It’s happening on city buses, outside of schools, and on streets and sidewalks all over the city.
They’re trained to run into burning buildings and save lives, but Minnesota firefighters are facing a silent danger long after the flames are out. Studies show more than half of all line-of-duty deaths in firefighting are now caused by cancer. It’s a diagnosis Minnesota firefighters know all too well.
Hundreds of people turned out Thursday night in south central Minnesota to send a message to a young father fighting for his life. They let him know that they are “#22Strong.” Isaac Kolstad, 24, wore the number 22 during his days as a linebacker at Mankato State University.
Minneapolis 911 employees say changes have been made after a WCCO Investigation showed emergency calls were taking minutes to answer.
A benefit is planned for the former Mankato football player nearly beaten to death almost two weeks ago. Isaac Kolstad remains in critical condition after allegedly being assaulted by two men. One of them is said to be former gopher quarterback Philip Nelson, the other, Trevor Shelley.
Many families didn’t want to wait for a law in Minnesota to help their sick kids. They moved to Colorado to get access to marijuana. WCCO caught up with one family seeing some big changes in their daughter after their move.
Police are investigating after a group who had rented an RV from a private party in Anoka County found a dead body inside a storage compartment in Winona. The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office received the report at about 11:15 p.m. Thursday from the Winona Police Department.
When WCCO-TV first exposed 911 calls going unanswered in Minneapolis, the city told us there wasn’t a problem. Leaders pointed to an average answer time of around 8 seconds, as proof the system is working. But when we obtained call records after weeks of asking, we found certain times of day had much longer waits.
A small southern Minnesota community is in an uproar after a popular student learned she can’t return to school for having a pocket knife in her locker.
The Department of Education wants to know if middle school teachers were cheating on the state’s most important math test. The Prior Lake-Savage School District is investigating if some middle school teachers looked at scratch paper students used on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs).
A new trend in gardening is generating a buzz. More growers and gardeners are moving away from chemicals and insecticides that are hurting or killing bees.
A Minnesota sheriff says a hay bale fire that took a little girl’s life appears to be a tragic accident. Firefighters found the body of Perri Heideman on her family’s farm last week. She was just 10 years old, and her death has devastated the small community of Adrian in southwestern Minnesota.