Christine Schuster

Multimedia Journalist

Location icon United States

Reporter with Southwest News Media covering anything and everything happening in Savage, Minnesota.

Drop me a line at [email protected]

Songs from home: How a local educator's song collection project is changing music education

Becca Buck, a local elementary music specialist, knew something was missing from the repertoire of standard music she taught her multicultural students. So she set out to collect lullabies and other songs from students' homes - a project that's bringing music from around the world together and transforming her classroom and music education around Minnesota.
After 150 years of family farming in Savage, Ray Loftus prepares to sell

Ray Loftus knew he'd be the last person working his family's land when he took over the dairy farming operation in 1983. Over the past century, 600 acres of farmland in Savage has passed down the Loftus family line, dispersed on the map by swells in the city's development, and leaving behind the 15 acres that Loftus hobby farms today.
Local legislators seek to repeal controversial Dan Patch moratorium

Savage officials say they're still hopeful that one day passengers will board Minneapolis-bound commuter trains in Savage on the existing Dan Patch rail line. Since 2002, a controversial state bill has banned the Minnesota Department of Transportation and any other state agency from considering the idea.
Meet the organization behind the mental health facility nearing approval in Savage

Michelle Roubik went to the emergency room after attempting suicide, but there weren't any psychiatric hospital beds open in the metro. After hours of waiting, Roubik learned a hospital bed had opened nearly two hours away. She was transferred there for treatment - away from family, friends and her everyday life in St.
Commissioner of Education talks budgetary needs with Burnsville-Eagan-Savage district officials

The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District and other districts across the state need more funding from the state for pre-kindergarten, special education and school safety programs, district officials told the Minnesota Commissioner of Education this week. Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker and key members of her staff met with Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District officials on April 2 to discuss the impact of the governor's education budget on district programs and budget shortfalls.
April blizzard doesn't stop treasure hunters at Canterbury's Junk Bonanza

SHAKOPEE - Schools and offices across the state had closed, but the blizzard conditions and high winds Thursday didn't keep antique lovers away from one of the biggest shows in the Midwest, the biannual Junk Bonanza. Friends Jeanne Verbanae and Chris Kuffel arrived with their trailer from Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the gates of Canterbury Park at 6:30 a.m.
Savage Fen a 'success story,' officials say efforts not enough

The 441-acre Savage Fen wetland - home to rare and endangered plants and birds - is nestled between busy roads, industrial operations and housing developments. The expansive wetland is seemingly in a bubble, but that's far from the truth.
Companies along Minnesota River in Savage say high water causes headaches

The Minnesota River in Savage crested for the third time this year on July 12 at 705.52 feet, according to observations reported to the National Weather Service by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For operations along the river that depend on barge traffic, high water comes with a hefty price tag.
Gallery: New and familiar holiday traditions at Savage Police Department's Santa Cop

The Savage community came together to celebrate the holiday season and give back to several families at the Savage Police Department's seventh annual Santa Cop event Tuesday. Officials and residents gathered for s'mores, ornament-making and holiday tunes sung by the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District Freestyle jazz choir at City Hall before counting down to the tree-lighting, a new addition to the festivities.
Burnsville High School students "speak up" about race and equity and first-of-its kind event

Students and staff at Burnsville High School last week came together for what attendees described as a powerful conversation race and equality. The Dec. 13 event, entitled Speak Up, aimed to give students a time to express their feelings, challenge their beliefs and address the pain caused by racist acts at the school, such as racial slurs recently painted on the school's spirit boulder.
Savage unites in annual National Night Out celebration

Around 80 neighborhood gatherings took place on Aug. 7 for Nite to Unite - Savage's annual National Night Out celebration. The community building event - held on the first Tuesday in August each year - brings together neighbors, local law enforcement and local officials to celebrate community relationships, trust and working together toward a safer community.
Two years in the red, Savage city officials discuss future of municipal liquor operation

Some city officials have questioned whether Savage's municipal liquor operation should continue after years of losing money, though others say it's not as much of a problem as it appears. Over the past 20 years, profits from the city of Savage's municipal liquor operation have contributed millions of dollars to community facilities.
Mountain biking at Murphy-Hanrehan Park can present challenges to first responders

The sprawling forest, dense tree canopies and narrow, rugged trails that attract mountain bikers to Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve in Savage also can create dangerous challenges for first responders, local officials said in recent weeks. "Obviously, we have a lot of mountain bikers in the community, which we are happy to report because it's a great park for health and wellness," Savage Fire Chief Joel McColl said.
Family-owned Whiskey Inferno raises drinks to Savage history

The restaurateurs behind several downtown-style south metro eateries have opened Whiskey Inferno in their hometown. The new Savage restaurant features a wide range of steakhouse and barbecue eats and, true to its name, over 250 whiskeys. Owners Tony and Rheata Donatell also oversee the rustic-chic south metro spots Bourbon Butcher, Burgers and Bottles and Volstead House.
A Savage celebration, an album and the 'gifts of cancer'

Around 300 people from around the country gathered at the Ames Center on July 29 for Savage resident Andy Nelson's album release party. It was also his cancer victory party. In October 2015, Andy put his mind to recording and releasing an album. One year later, he was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer.
Heart transplants bring Savage, Prior Lake families together

Through tears, Christin Gigstad thanked the crowd that gathered under the shelter at River Bend Park on July 12 - severe thunderstorms in the area had not kept anyone away. "This last year has been the worst storm of our lives, so it can't be any worse than what we've had to go through," Christin said.
What the experts say about increasing traffic on Highway 13

Officials called for public input in a Highway 13 study they hope will guide decision-making about the roadway's future design while balancing needs for mobility and access to local Savage. John Solberg with the Minnesota Department of Transportation said the department plans to launch a study of the highway and its connecting roads that could take two or three years.