A day after Minneapolis Star Tribune Editor Nancy Barnes announced she's leaving to become editor of the Houston Chronicle, three staffers also announced their departures.

Liala Helal, who works out of the paper's Burnsville bureau, is leaving at the end of the month to become an online local news reporter for he Minnesota Public Radio.

Rose French and Brad Schrade, husband and wife, are leaving for jobs at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Schrade -- along with Jeremy Olson and Glenn Howatt -- won a 2013 Pulitzer for their series of reports on the increase in infant deaths at daycare homes in Minnesota.

Managing Editor Rene Sanchez shared this memo with staffers Thursday:

I am sorry to report that after three years of strong reporting work in our newsroom, Rose French and Brad Schrade are soon bound for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

For Brad, this is a homecoming of sorts. Atlanta is his hometown, and the AJC was where he began his rise as a reporter. He will be joining their investigative team. Meanwhile, Rose will be joining the AJC's education team as an enterprise reporter. They start work there next month.
We owe them both thanks for the good spirit and the journalistic ambition they've shown in our newsroom over the past three years.

On the religion beat, Rose has found a range of illuminating stories around the metro area on that subject, one so important in the lives of many of our readers. Her reporting on the Catholic Church's role in the state's great debate over same-sex marriage also helped keep us ahead of the news.

Meanwhile, Brad's relentless commitment to investigative reporting culminated this year in a Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting along with Glenn Howatt and Jeremy Olson for their stellar series "The Day Care Threat'' --- powerful public-service journalism from start to finish.

Please join me in thanking them for their contributions to the cause of great journalism, and in wishing them well in the next chapter of their reporting careers in Atlanta.