Recently in Local News Category

Saint Paul public schools adds Hmong history to school

Typically the Hmong culture doesn't get much recognized much outside of Hmong homes, so many children find themselves missing out on learning their history, since it focuses much more on european cultures.

According the the Twin Cities Daily Planet, St. Paul public schools added a Hmong history section on Sunday to their social studies program.

Michelle Bierman, the Supervisor of Instructor Reform and Free Service Teaching for SPPS told the Daily Planet, "the Absent Narrative are stories of individuals who were there during the historical time period," said Bierman. "But their stories are often not told, when we re-tell the history.

The absent narratives that Bierman referred to is the that of Hmong immigration, and history within the United States.

Minnesota is home to an estimated 60,000-70,000 Hmong, making it the 2nd state with the largest Hmong population, according to Minnesota Institute of Public Health. This is a huge proportion of the U.S. Hmong population.

Many see the addition of the curriculum not only as a step forward for the Hmong community, but for St. Paul Public Schools.

"Many internal staff at SPPS and community members was involved in this initiative to be able to bring this forward," Chong Lee, Take Action Community Organizer, Co-Chair on the Education Committee told the Daily Planet.

http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2011/04/13/spps-adds-hmong-history-curriculum

http://www.miph.org/blog/hmong-minnesota

Grain Belt bottle cap target for graffiti, causing problems

The Grain Belt bottle cap, a historic sign that has stood in Minneapolis for over 70 years. It is admired by many and also the target for grafitti, which has come under fire since they city has enforce graffiti removal within seven days.

Daphne R. Eastman Family Trust, the owners of the Grain Belt sign, have been ordered multiple times to have the graffiti removed, according to the Star Tribune.

Winthrop Eastman the representative of the trust has been billed on several occasions to cover the graffiti, which creates a problem for the Family.

"It's meant to do something good," Eastman said to the Star Tribune about the policy. "It really ends up punishing the people who are the victims of graffiti."

According to an article by the Minnesota Independent in 2008, removal costs of the graffiti cost the city $1.5 million a year, according to Sgt. Donna Olson ,who investigates graffiti for the MPD

Due to the new policy to keep the graffiti painted over in seven days, the Eastham family are looking to sell the sign, and have someone restore it to its former glory with its neon lights which haven't been lit since the 1990s, reported the Star Tribune.

Meanwhile Eastman applied for a "microgrant" through a city program, which he will find out if he will recieve in a few weeks. This "microgrant" can be used to fund a mural, or just for clean up of graffiti.

Eastman tells the Star Tribune the mircogrant could be "an effective solution to the problem, once and for all."

http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/119978209.html?page=2&c=y

http://minnesotaindependent.com/3858/minneapolis-doles-out-164500-for-graffiti-prevention-and-clean-up

Two Men Stabbed at Light Rail Station

Friday Night, two men were stabbed at the Lake Street Midtown light-rail station in a fight, according to Pioneer Press.

The men were in serious condition Friday when taken to the hospital but according to KSTP by Saturday the men were considered stable.

Both were jailed at Hennepin County Jail on assault charges on Saturday according to KSTP. The police were called to the station around 10:30 p.m., when a fight broke out at the upper deck.

Metro Transit Police investigated the case, and closed down traffic around lake street for about 90 minutes according to the Pioneer Press. The light rail did not start stopping again at the Lake Street Midtown light-rail station until after midnight.

The Metro Transit Police are looking further into the incident and have found video evidence from a nearby security camera.


http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_17810666?nclick_check=1

http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2058265.shtml?cat=1

Brooklyn Park Shooting Results in 3 Deaths

At Festival Foods in Brooklyn Park, two workers were shot and killed by a fellow co-worker, the shooter then turned the gun on himself, resulting in the death of all three on Friday. Workers and residence of Brooklyn were shocked and stunned by the deaths of the workers, and customers were evacuated quickly after shooting.

"I didn't know what to do; I didn't want to move. My heart was racing," she said. "It was scary to think he was still out there, and we had no idea where." A witness told the Star Tribune.

The victim was 20-year-old, Abigail M. Fedeli and her current boyfriend. The shooter was identified as another Festival Foods worker, who was off duty. Witnesses heard that arguing, and what sounded like a break-up, then six shots.

Anthony Brandon, a witness that stepped into Festival Foods for a few items, according to the Star Tribune, said that he pulled aside told him witnesses heard "a boyfriend and girlfriend arguing over the phone, breaking up." A short time later, six gunshots rang out, he was told.

The shooter fled the scene after shooting both Abigail and the other male co-worker who died later in the hospital. According to MPR news, when police approached the suspect, the man shot himself and died at the scene. They had no other suspects.

Amanda, Abigail's sister, frantically posted in the comments of a CBS news story that broke shortly after the shooting. She didn't know any information according to the posts until almost four hours after the shooting. She begged people on-line to give her information, and people were forthcoming. She later posted that it was her sister Abby that was killed by an ex-boyfriend, and the male victim was her new boyfriend.

Many people in Brooklyn Park are saddened and shocked by these tragic deaths. Mosaic United Methodist Church pastor Rachel McIver Morey, came to the scene and talked to the Star Tribune.

"God has a way of redeeming horrific situations, and I think Brooklyn Park is well-positioned for that," she said to the Star Tribune.

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/119532294.html

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/04/09/brooklyn-center-shooting/

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/04/08/authorities-grocery-store-shooting-in-brooklyn-park/



Minnesota Angel Tax Credit -- Success?

The Minnesota Angel Tax Credit issued over $7 million dollars in tax credits for new investments, yet only created 47 jobs according to the state legislature early in March, tension between whether or no these numbers equal success .

"47 jobs may not seem like a lot," but the program is a "long-term investment." said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development spokesman Monte Hanson to Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

The program that started in 2010 have already lead to large returns for new companies, and companies that are starting new investments. According to the Pioneer Press, 67 companies raised $28 million using the tax credit.

Many may think this is a large amount of money, but it doesn't compare to the amount made by large companies. The tax credits are essentially used to help entrepreneurs to help pitch business ideas to investors in hope to getting contracts within Minnesota, and therefore creating new jobs.

However with 47 jobs created, $7 million dollars seems a hefty price to pay. The BioBusiness Alliance told MinnPost that the numbers show that companies are getting bigger but the credits are not creating enough new companies. The alliance also told MinnPost that large firms may be purchasing startups in other countries and are likely to keep expanding there rather than in Minnesota.

This could mean that the tax credits are not making as big an impact in Minnesota as intended, but many business owners stand by the credits as benificial.

The tax credit "brings people to the game. That's the most important thing," said Steve Mercil, CEO of Rain Source Capital, a St. Paul-based firm that runs angel investor funds and helps connect new companies and investors told Pioneer Press

Time will only tell if these tax credits will create more jobs in the coming years, however it may be the savior for many new companies

The venture capital firms "can't afford to take the risks they used to," Mercil said to the Pioneer Press. "That's why states have been driven to offer credits (to angels) -- because the gap has gotten bigger."

http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_17754268?nclick_check=1

http://www.minnpost.com/community_voices/2011/03/29/26959/minnesotas_angel_investor_tax_credit_spurs_startups

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2011/03/15/report-angel-tax-credit-created-47-jobs.html

Two People Wounded in Two different Shootings

Two men were shot and wounded Sunday in two unrelated incidents in south Minneapolis. The two shootings were only an hour apart and both shots were non-life threatening because they were in the leg the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press reports.

The first victim was shot a near Franklin and Chicago avenues Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer told Pioneer Press. The shooting took place around noon, where a male victim was shot once in the leg. The victim isn't cooperating with police according to Palmer. He is expected to recover Hennipen County Medical Center told Pioneer Press.
About an hour later another shooting of another man took place.

According to the Star Tribune the second victim was shot twice outside of Crosstown Gas and Convenience store at 34th Avenue S. and E. 58th Street.

The Star Tribune reported that the shooter and the victim knew each other, and were arguing when coming into the store. After moving into the parking lot near the pumps the shooter drew a gun and shot the victim twice in the leg.

The owner of the convenience store Cal Abdul saw the shooting along with his son, who was in the store. This incident was also caught on tape reported the Star Tribune.


Colton Iverson to leave Minnesota Gophers basketball

The Golden Gophers will be down yet another player next year as Colton Iverson has been released from his scholarship and leaving the University of Minnesota as reported by the Pioneer Press.

The reason for Iverson's transfer is unclear but he did send an e-mail statement to the Pioneer Press.

"My experience at Minnesota was great, but my family and I decided that it is best that we both move on," Iverson said to the Pioneer Press via e-mail. "I have a lot of respect for everyone in this program, and I wish Gopher Nation the best of luck."

According to the Pioneer Press, Matt Slieter the spokesman for the Gophers said he could not "confirm or deny" that Iverson was leaving the team.

Yankton Daily Press & Dakaton reports that Iverson started 11 games under Gophers head coach Tubby Smith, and this year has averaged 5.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 31 games for the Golden Gophers this past season.

Iverson who is from Yankton, South Dakota stated in an interview with the Press & Dakaton last December that he had a hard time adjusting to Minnesota and the play of the Big 10.

"It was definitely tough to adjust to right away, especially coming from a small town like Yankton," Iverson told the Press & Dakaton in an interview last December. "When I first got here, I was pretty weak. Then I had to go against those giant guys in the Big Ten (Conference), and that was definitely a big change for me."

It is unclear what is in Iverson's future, he still has eligibility for one year to play for another division one team, but it has not been announced to where Iverson will be transferring. However with players like Ralph Sampson III and other, Iverson may not be sorely missed

.


Mississippi river reaches flood levels

According to the Pioneer Press, the Mississippi river has reached 'major flood levels' which means that it has risen 17 inches. The city of St. Paul has closed Riverfront parks and Shepard and Warner roads, according to the Pioneer Press.

The Pioneer press also reports that in St. Paul Harriet Island has started to be flooded.

That's not the only place the the Mississippi river has flooded. According to the Star Tribune, in Grey Cloud Island Township which in Washington County has already starting dealing with flooding.

Drifters Bar and Grill which is nestled near the river has already has to close down for 12 days last year because of flooding from the Mississippi river, according to the Star Tribune. Drifters is likely to have to close again as the waters rise. So

The owner, Billy Ruiz, seems to accepting the flooding when interviewed by the Star Tribune.

"These are events that are supposed to happen, what? every two decades, not back-to-back-to-back like that," he said. "But Mother Nature will do what she wants -- it's not up to us."

Vikings player Chris Cook arrested

A heated argument in Lynchberg Va. on Sunday lead to the arrest of Vikings cornerback Chris Cook. Cook to become the first arrest for the NFL in 2011. Cook arrested for pulling out a handgun during an argument with a neighbor.

"He lives two houses down from me, we got into an argument, but nobody did anything," Cook told Pioneer Press.

"I told him I wasn't going to fight him. He was just trying to provoke me. There was no gun involved at all," he said.

Cook claims that after riding his bike around the neighborhood was approached by the neighbor and threatened. The neighbor accused him of calling the cops on his brother.

After the arrest the Pioneer Press reported that he wasn't help over the weekend and it wasn't included in his record.

The rookie Cook only played six games for the vikings due to injures reports KSTP. After being drafted second by the vikings, this could spell trouble for Cook.


http://kstp.com/news/stories/s2015735.shtml?cat=1

http://www.twincities.com/ci_17604689


Goldy Gopher Gets Punched

St. Thomas professor was cited with disorderly conduct after punching University of Minnesota Mascot Goldy Gopher in the face twice on Saturday, March 5th at a gymnastics competition.

What started as slight teasing turned physical when Professor Douglas Dokken, 60, from St. Thomas University, punched Goldy. MPR reported that Goldy was messing with Dokken's hair and tapping him on the shoulder.

The 19-year-old student behind the mask was not injured, and only suffered from a damaged mask, reported CBS news.

Dokken on top of being cited for disorderly contact have been banned from sports events at the University for one year according to FOX Sports.

"I should have just walked out of there," Dokken said in a statement. He also said that he was "sorry" and is glad that no one was hurt.


http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20041705-504083.html

http://oncampus.mpr.org/2011/03/why-goldy-gopher-got-punched-in-the-face/

http://msn.foxsports.com/collegebasketball/story/University-of-Minnesota-booster-banned-after-sucker-punching-mascot-031011

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