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Two Washburn grads who chose to stay home








When he graduated from Minneapolis Washburn five years ago, RA’SHADE HAGEMAN was the state’s top football prospect and among the nation’s top tight ends. When he entered the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2009, standing at 6’-8”, he had helped the Millers’ boys’ basketball team capture the Class 3A state championship five months earlier. After switching to defensive end and adjusting to the rigor of Division I football and college academics, Hageman developed into one of the country’s top players. He earned All-Big Ten honors and is among the top 25 2014 NFL draft prospects. As a high school senior, Hageman was recruited by a host of Division I schools before choosing to stay home and play for the Gophers. Continue Reading →

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New MPS programs to focus on Black male student achievement

Unified office, more instruction, more teachers planned

This story concludes our report on new MPS initiatives to address disparities that began with last week’s story, “Mpls Public Schools to assess impact of all policies, procedures on race equity.”


Second in a two-part  story 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


A new Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) department “aimed at accelerating academic strategies and reducing the achievement gap” has been established. The primary reason for the office is that there are multiple programs within MPS Central Office “that are doing similar work and as long as these [five] departments are in a silo and not connected together, we are not going to have a comprehensive, unified vision on how we allocate and be more thoughtful [on a] strategic way to deliver services,” explains CEO Michael Goar, who adds that a search for someone to head the new office is currently underway. “We want to make sure that all of our students of color will be just as successful as our White students,” pledges James Burroughs, MPS equality and diversity director. MPS serves approximately 36,000-plus students “and we’re growing,” reiterates Goar. “When you look at our student population, you are talking about the majority of our kids are kids of color. Continue Reading →

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Big week in Twin Cities boys’ basketball








This past week was one to remember in prep boys’ basketball. First I had to choose between two of the top games in the state on Tuesday. That Saturday I ended up attending a Twin City title matchup between upstart Minneapolis North, a dominant program that had recently fell on hard times, and St. Paul Johnson, a perennial power who had made eight state tournament appearances (including the Class 3A state championship in 2010) since 2004. To put everything into perspective, let’s go back to the beginning of the week. Continue Reading →

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Jones’ shot at the buzzer lifts Washburn over North

With four seconds remaining, Minneapolis Washburn guard JEFF JONES, the state’s Mr. Football, received the inbounds pass, dribbled quickly across half court, and launched a one-handed, running three-point shot that careened successfully off the backboard as the buzzer sounded, giving the Millers a thrilling 73-71 City Conference boys’ basketball victory over first-place North.  





Mpls Washburn vs. Mpls North

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014

The victory, witnessed by a capacity crowd at North, opened up the race for the conference title and confirmed that basketball in Minneapolis is back on the rise. Washburn appeared to be in control, taking a 44-33 lead behind the sharpshooting of EVAN SHEPHERD, who finished with a game-high 24 points and Jones, who added 22. Continue Reading →

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My top photos of 2013































































Photos by Mitchell Palmer McDonald 

Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses

to mmcdonald@spokesman-recorder.com. 





  Continue Reading →

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Had to watch Whitney Young beat Apple Valley on TV








The biggest high school boys’ basketball game of the year, and I couldn’t make it. Parent-teacher conference duties as a social studies teacher at a St. Paul public high school prevented me from attending the Apple Valley-Chicago Whitney Young matchup featuring the nation’s top-ranked player in JAHLIL OKAFOR (Whitney Young) and No. 4-ranked TYUS JONES (Apple Valley). Jones, the No. Continue Reading →

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Plenty of action in semifinal playoffs

In the prep football semifinal playoffs last week, one team avenged an early season loss, top seeds from Minneapolis and St. Paul moved a step closer to a state playoff birth, two more top seeds representing each of the Twin Cities didn’t make it past the semifinals, and a brilliant career ended after a loss.  

Cretin Derham Hall gets revenge 

Cretin Derham Hall got revenge last Saturday with a convincing 41-0 victory over Stillwater in a Section 4AAAAAA football playoff semifinal matchup. Running back BLAKE BANHAM led the way with 192 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Backfield mate BRIAN LANKFORD-JOHNSON added 68 yards and another score, while Banham and TONY ADAMLE each scored on pass receptions from quarterback RICARDO JOHNSON. Continue Reading →

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Central prevails over Washburn on the gridiron








St. Paul Central’s football team made a serious statement last week during its 47-25 nonconference football victory over perennial Minneapolis City Conference power Washburn. Before a surprisingly small but enthusiastic crowd at James S. Griffin Stadium (Central’s home field), the defending conference champion Minutemen dominated the Millers, last year’s Minneapolis champs, in every phase of the game. Washburn came in with the state’s top recruit in running back JEFF JONES. Jones came into the game with 16 touchdowns in three victories but was held to 17 yards. Continue Reading →

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Twin Cities face-offs open season


For the first time in recent memory, Minneapolis City Conference teams faced off against their St. Paul City counterparts in nonconference high school football contests to begin the season featuring the state’s top prospect, while a former top Minnesota prospect helped the University of Minnesota claim victory in their opening game.  

Jones leads Washburn

Running back JEFF JONES, the top prospect in the state, left no doubt which school he would represent for his senior year. Jones, rumored to open the season for state power Eden Prairie, scored six touchdowns, including the game-winner with 16 seconds remaining, leading Minneapolis Washburn to a 56-50 victory over St. Paul Highland Park. Continue Reading →

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Still hanging: reflections of the Washburn hate crime



By Dr. K. Stanley Brooks

Guest Commentator


Do the lives of people of color have value in Minnesota or our country as a whole? The question stems from the substantial daily amount of psychological and physical violence and intense force in their direction. Violence in the United States is undoubtedly a characteristic of the “American” way of life. The narrative of how relevant this characteristic of violence has been in the lives of people of color is disregarded in many settings, especially schools. Children often reflect the racial unresolved issues of the elders, the adults. Continue Reading →

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