St. Paul

Recent Articles

A challenge to Black churches: ‘Break down walls’ that divide our community

A St. Paul reverend calls on the faithful to tackle worldly problems
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The Black church must be more vocal on current local and national issues, says a local cleric. During a February 16 joint celebration service at St. James A.M.E. Church in St. Paul, Rev. Dr. James Wilson of St. Continue Reading →

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What health legacy will you leave?

Upcoming health conference to address specific concerns of Black women
 
By Brandi D. Phillips 

Contributing Writer

 

Happy, healthy, family, friends, community, intergenerational, motivational: These are a few words used to describe the upcoming March 19 conference sponsored by Neighborhood HealthSource and many others. The conference is titled “Loving Yourself, Staying Well,” and those simple words seem to be a popular topic of conversation these days. Everywhere you turn, health topics are being discussed. Breast cancer is no exception. In fact, it is one of the biggest concerns in our community these days. Continue Reading →

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City’s ‘Vision, Values, Goals & Strategic Directions’ open to public comment

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The public has until March 14 to submit comments on the City of Minneapolis’ proposed “Vision, Values, Goals & Strategic Directions” plan. If adopted — the City Council hopes to vote on it March 26 — the proposal will emphasize such “values” as “equity, “engaging the community,” and “building public trust.”

The stated “goals” are expected to focus on economic needs; eliminating racial inequities in housing, education, income and health; and creating a “City government [that] runs well and connects to the community it serves.”

Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden said last month during a noontime community meeting that the plan fits in with the OUR MPLS vision and agenda, which includes a citywide racial and economic equity impact framework. Three public meetings were held around the city to inform citizens and hear comments, and according to a City official an estimated 70 persons showed up. When later asked how many persons who attended were Black and other people of color, Deputy City Coordinator Jay Stroebel told the MSR that “the majority” of the estimated 20 people who attended a March 3 meeting

were of color. Councilman Abdi Warsame also announced that 22 seniors attended a March 4 meeting in his ward. Continue Reading →

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Children’s book written to help ‘tear down the walls of prejudice’ against mental illness

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Mental health has always been, at the least, a touchy subject among African Americans. As powerfully as it can impact lives, it doesn’t help to ignore or, still worse, pass judgment on people who suffer mental problems. Accordingly, Linda and Nneka Onyilofor with illustrator Aaron Gilmore have created a remarkable children’s book, My Brother Adam: A journey with schizophrenia (Radiant Heart Press) that can help adults as well as kids gain a constructive outlook on the subject. For the authors, this professional undertaking is one of personal significance. They are moved to inform readers as a public service by family circumstance. Linda Onyilofor states, “So many people are not taught about schizophrenia, and the disease is misunderstood. Continue Reading →

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M.A. Mortenson not up to the task for an NFL stadium

Construction manager track record in construction: junior varsity

 
In these columns a year ago, I called attention to the concerns making the Minnesota Vikings uncomfortable with the selection of M.A. Mortenson as construction manager for the now over $1 billion Vikings stadium, concerns shared also with the NFL. Nothing against Mortenson. It’s a really nice square peg, but they are trying to fit it into a round hole and it doesn’t fit. Mortenson, great at smaller venues (see below), is out of its league with the Vikings, lacking the expertise, experience, and success history with projects of this size and magnitude. Contrast this with those the Star Tribune reported as rejected (January 21, 2013): Hunt Construction, of Scottsdale, AZ, builder of nearly 50 professional sports venues, including NFL stadiums (two with retractable roofs), and Skanska, the international firm that has also built NFL stadiums. Mortenson has built none. Continue Reading →

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President Obama visits St. Paul

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

President Barack Obama, in St. Paul on Wednesday, reiterated his vow he made earlier in his State of the Union address in January that he will take action when needed if Congress won’t. “I’m just going to do what I can…” proclaimed Obama during a nearly 20-minute speech to an enthusiastic overflowing audience at the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. Continue Reading →

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Johnson coming on strong — again

As usual, the favorites to contend for the St. Paul City boys’ basketball title are defending champion Johnson and rival St. Paul Central. (By press time, the teams had already met in the first of two contests.) Challenging them are Como Park and Highland Park; also competing are Harding, Humboldt and Washington with some outstanding players in their own right. Since 2004, Johnson, who prior to that had won their only City crown in 1983 (behind the outstanding play of WAYNE ELLIS, MONTE DEBERRY, SCOTT ACKERSON, CHRIS GARRETT, DARRIN CHAPMON, TONY ADKINS and COY NELSON), has owned the conference. Continue Reading →

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Gopher basketball faces real competition in upcoming Big Ten contests

The non-conference portion of a typical college basketball season, especially in Gopherville, is pretty much fool’s gold. This is where the home team’s fans are fooled into thinking such a gaudy win-loss record will translate into a successful conference campaign. Both non-league-winning Gopher squads begin conference play this week — the men on Thursday, the women on Saturday. If the guards don’t handle pressure better than they did in a loss to UCLA last month, or if other players don’t become more consistent offensively, it will be a long Big Ten season for the Minnesota women (now 11-3). “Other people need to step up — we need to find a third scorer on this team,” bemoaned Coach Pam Borton. Continue Reading →

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New U of M hire advocates for students

Student Affairs Vice Provost challenges Black students
to use their voice on campus
 

First of a two-part story

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

The MSR first met Danita Brown Young at a Gopher football game this fall, just a few months after she’d assumed her duties as the University of Minnesota’s chief student affairs officer this past July. “I am a sports fanatic and love all Cleveland professional sports teams. I also love NASCAR racing,” wrote the Kent, Ohio native on her wedding website. We subsequently arranged a sit-down interview with U of M Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Young at her office in Appleby Hall during first-semester finals week last month. “I am a Midwestern,” she told us proudly. “What’s interesting about my family is that we were the first African American family to settle in Kent, Ohio. Continue Reading →

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One Black coach, a few Black players reach NCAA women’s volleyball playoffs

 

 

 

Each of the four teams that played in the NCAA first- and second-round volleyball matches hosted last weekend by the University of Minnesota had at least one player of color: Cheyanne James (Radford), Alexis Austin (Colorado), Victoria Hurtt and Erin Taylor (Iowa State), and two Puerto Rico-born players: Iowa State’s Neira Ortiz Ruiz and the Gophers’ Daly Santana. James was second on her squad in kills — one of a school-record five players receiving all-conference honors. Hurtt thrice led Iowa State with 20-plus kills. Colorado Coach Liz Kritza called the sophomore Austin “team-oriented.”

While seeing a low single-digit number of players of color at a volleyball match, even a post-season match, wasn’t that surprising, discovering that one of the schools was coached by a Black female was a surprise, especially since, unlike the other three schools, her photo was not included in her school’s pre-game notes. Marci Jenkins last weekend completed her sixth season at Radford (Va.) University, which won the Big South conference this year. Continue Reading →

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