Monthly Archives: March 2013

‘Enormous’ graduation gap between Blacks and Whites in college hoops


In past years, I used to scrounge newsstands for any piece of needed information to fill out mimeographed bracket sheets, only to later lose my hard-earned money in the worksite pool. Don’t get me wrong — I still sequester myself watching the first two rounds through bloodshot eyes, with the mute button at full volume. However, I no longer act like Marvin Gaye, foolishly asking what’s going on, because I’m now like Johnny Nash and can see clearly now — my eyes are now wide open. While broadcasters and others call it the “Big Dance,” the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament actually is like the players’ ball where the “pimps” — the television networks, the NCAA, advertisers and big-school officials — all get rich. An estimated $702 million in television revenues will be raked in, and with ticket sales, that amount is expected to balloon to around $797 million. Continue Reading →

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Why so little love for the NIT?



The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) and the Women’s National Invitation Tournament both offer “deserved opportunities” to men’s and women’s basketball programs that, for one reason or several others, don’t make the NCAAs. Yet, both by college basketball fans and snobbish media types, the two national tourneys that annually crown champions are treated like lepers. This is the 76th year for the men’s NIT. From 1938-1976, every tournament game was played at Madison Square Garden, which hosts both the tourney semifinals and finals. Its field has been as high as 40 teams but now stands at 32. Continue Reading →

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Tubby Smith relieved of coaching duties at Minnesota


University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Norwood Teague announced today that head basketball coach Tubby Smith has been relieved of his coaching duties, effective immediately. A national search for the 17th men’s head basketball coach in the history of the Golden Gopher program is ongoing. “Tubby has had a long and distinguished career and we feel it’s time for a fresh set of eyes for our student-athletes and our program in general,” Teague said. “We are grateful to Tubby and his entire staff for their hard work and dedication to this University, our students and the entire Minnesota community. We wish Tubby, Donna and the entire staff well.”

Smith compiled a record of 124-81 (.610) in his six seasons at the helm in Gold Country and led the program to five postseason berths. Continue Reading →

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Job vacancies at highest point in seven years

DEED report shows 318 occupations in demand
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


A recent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) survey found that job vacancies in Minnesota have risen 18 percent over a year ago, the highest in seven years. DEED Assistant Labor Market Information Director Oriane Casale, in an interview with the MSR last week, said,

“I think…the most interesting thing…was the ratio between the number of job seekers and the number of job vacancies,” pointing to the findings that noted there were 2.6 unemployed people for each job vacancy, compared to 3.2 unemployed persons per vacancy a year ago. “It had been up to over eight people per vacancy during the recession.”

The DEED Job Vacancies Survey, which was released in February, is used to show hiring demand by employers as well as a leading indicator of economic activity, and is conducted twice annually. Healthcare and social assistance (20.1 percent) had the most job vacancies, followed by retail trade (14 percent), accommodation and food services (11.5 percent), manufacturing (9.2 percent) and finance and insurance (7.6 percent).  


Furthermore, the survey noted that the most job vacancies (62 percent) were reported by middle-sized firms (10 to 249 employees), followed by large firms (23.6 percent). Continue Reading →

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Way to Grow shows one way to close the achievement gap

Intensive home program supports students and their families


News Analysis

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


Way to Grow Executive Director Carolyn Smallwood is passionate about the community empowerment institution. Sitting in a South Minneapolis coffee shop, she animatedly attests, “I have been blessed over the past eight years to be affiliated with such a great organization. It’s an honor. We have great staff. We’ve made a

significant impact in the community. Continue Reading →

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Film documents a year of inner-city high school reality

Tanishia Williams Minor

A documentary on one year at an American high school will premiere on public television next week. 180 Days: A Year inside an American High School airs Monday-Tuesday, March 25-26, 8-10 pm on TPT Channel 2. Continue Reading →

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South High students walk out to protest lack of Native cultural activities



By Sheila Regan

Contributing Writer


The smell of burning sage filled the commons area of South High School on Monday morning, March 11, as what was planned as a student walk-out was turned into a school-sanctioned assembly — and then ended up being a walkout anyway. Students from the All Nations Program, which offers American Indian-specific programming at the school, were protesting the lack of visibility of the program, as well as a lack of cultural activities. They said activities such as drumming and “smudging,” a cleansing act using burning sage, were once regular parts of the program but have been discontinued. Senior Winona Vizenor organized the walkout, but called it off after speaking with Principal Cecilia Saddler, who allowed the students to have a round dance in the main commons area as well as an assembly in the auditorium. Toward the end of the assembly, after getting text messages from people saying they weren’t being let out of their classes, Vizenor went forward with the walkout anyway. Continue Reading →

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Black & Single Blues: Keith worries he might — god forbid! — have found his soul mate


Lesli threatened to — hell, had done it — make a lie of Keith’s conviction that soul mates do not come along in real life. For one, she understood his concerns about identity in relation to her own. That night of their first “date” so long ago, hanging at her crib, he’d listened close as she went on and on about novelists Zora Neale Hurston and Ann Petry (whoever Petry had been). And plays like Dutchman and No Place to Be Somebody. He was blown away by her hipping him to legitimate authors. Continue Reading →

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This week’s Entertainment spotlights!

The Music


Herschel & The Detainees Present… BOOMBASTIC! Sat., Mar. 23, 8 pm • Fine Line Music Café
318 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-338-8100 or
Herschel & The Detainees will be rocking the house along with their brothers and sisters of RJ & The Soul, Devine Collection, and Ceewhy! Continue Reading →

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Living the Single Life: Trina James

This Week’s Single:
Look here every week for MSR’s profiles of local men and women who are, at least for now, unattached and…living the single life.  
Trina James

Age:  45

Profession:  Service Specialist with Lifeworks.  Lifeworks supports adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. City:  Brooklyn Center

Single life is… getting to know who you are and being comfortable with yourself in order to allow someone else to be comfortable with you. Single most favorite past time is… spending time with my children. When I’m alone I love to read any kind of publications. Continue Reading →

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