Kelly Busche has spent time in the biggest newsrooms in the state, but she's found a home in Duluth.

Busche officially joined the News Tribune earlier this month, covering business and the health industry across the Northland. Her byline has appeared in the newspaper since May, when she signed on as an intern after earning degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Minnesota.

"It's a great newsroom of people who are super passionate about what they're reporting on, and also the community cares a lot about what's going on, so it seemed like a perfect combo," Busche said of her first few months in Duluth.

A native of small-town Dassel, Minn., about an hour south of St. Cloud, Busche served as the editor-in-chief of the Minnesota Daily campus newspaper in her final year at the U of M.

She also found time to complete internships at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press and APM Reports, the investigative and documentary wing of Twin Cities-based American Public Media Group.

In Duluth this summer, Busche hit the road to cover the Rainbow Gathering in Northwestern Wisconsin, analyzed data behind the flow of opioids into the Northland and explored the causes of a shortage of area construction workers, among other topics.

"Kelly's a talented journalist who enjoys not only telling people's stories, but also digging into data and investigative journalism," said News Tribune Executive Editor Rick Lubbers. "She's one of the top summer intern reporters that we've ever had, so it's a joy to have her join us as a full-time reporter. The DNT and its readers are very fortunate to have her."

Busche said she's looking forward to bringing a data-driven approach to complement human-interest angles on what she described as a "really impactful beat."

She joins the News Tribune at a time when Essentia Health and St. Luke's are both embarking on major redevelopment projects that are projected to bring more than $1 billion in total investment to the city.

"There's going to be so much to report on," Busche said, "but that's a great problem to have."

Busche also wants to hear your story ideas. Drop her a line at 218-723-5320 or kbusche@duluthnews.com.