General News

KFAI is partnering with The Cedar Cultural Center and Augsburg College as hosts of a benefit concert on Friday, January 24th to raise funds for the victims and their families of the New Year’s Day fire on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. The fire took the lives of three residents of the apartments above 516 Cedar Ave S, destroyed the Otanga Grocery Store on the ground level of the building and displaced tenants in the ten residential units.

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Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Fire Chief John Freutel, Council Member Abdi Warsame and other officials briefed the media on the latest developments in the explosion and fire that destroyed a grocery store and apartment building in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood on New Years’ Day. One body has been recovered from the debris and one person is still missing in connection with the incident. One person receiving treatment has not yet been identified. “It’s gonna take time,” Freutel said. “You can see how unstable that building is.”
Hodges said authorities are trying to handle the situation “… safely and delicately. I carry a message from the city of Minneapolis to the people so affected by this that the city stands with you.”

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Story by Sovejg Wastvedt
In the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, young people are working to transform the area’s reputation.

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MinneCulture presents
The History of Rondo
Wed, Feb 19, 7:30pm

St. Paul’s oldest African-American neighborhood is named after French Canadian fur trader Joseph Rondeau. After the civil war and during the reconstruction period in the south, many African Americans sought a better life and moved north. Some arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota, where jobs in the railroad and lumber industries were plentiful.

Starting a new life on Rondo Avenue, residents became entrepreneurs, opening businesses and catering to the local community. Bonds were formed and frienships developed. A tight-knit neighborhood of people committed to education and opportunity evolved. Families looked out for one another.

Then in the 1960s, construction of Interstate 94 divided Rondo—shattering the community and displacing thousands of African Americans into a racially segregated city and discriminatory housing market. It radically changed the landscape, and erased a now-legendary neighborhood.

Rondo still exists and its persistence and growth are celebrated through events like Rondo Days and the Jazz Festival.

On Wednesday, Feb 19, at 7:30pm, MinneCulture presents an audio documentary on the History of Rondo, produced by Allison Herrera with assistance from Stuart Rosen. MinneCulture is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Photos courtesy of the Minnesota History Center and Allison Herrera.

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Work on the Central Corridor Light Rail line is on schedule and planners say the 2012 construction season was a success.  The track is in place and the 18 stations are largely built.  It looks like a light rail line now, except for the overhead wires that power the engines and the train cars themselves. 

Laura Baenen is Communications manager for the Central Corridor LRT.  She talked with Dale Connelly and Paul Brohaugh on KFAI's Morning Blend.

 

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St. Paul Central High School’s Central Touring Theater (CTT) has been creating original social justice theater for more than three decades. At CTT, juniors and seniors become teachers, and theater to present important issues that resonate in their lives, including racsim, sexism, depression and abuse.

Last spring the group took its play, Training Day: The Battles We Face, on the road—performing and leading workshops at schools locally and nationally. The high-energy show incorporates singing, dancing and hip hop to entertain and enlighten, confronting struggles that students face in and out of the classroom.

This week MinneCulture presents an excerpt from Training Day: The Battles We Face, with commentary by CTT founder Jan Mandell, and teaching partner Emily Gill. This Live from Minnesota segment airs Monday and Wednesday at 7:30pm, and was produced for KFAI by Daniel Zamzow.

Minnesota will soon host four thousand teachers from all across the nation. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools will hold its 12th annual convention June 19th – 22nd in Minneapolis.
Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that are allowed to be more innovative while being held accountable for student achievement. While charter schools may seem like a new idea to some, they’ve been a feature of the education scene for 20 years now, and over 2 million students are enrolled. The National Alliance advocates for charter schools and just named a new Chief Executive . Nina Rees will be formally introduced at the convention in Minneapolis . She talked with Bob Hines and Michelle Alimoradi on KFAI’s Weekly News.

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An exhibition called “Perspectives – (re)Defining the Asian American Experience” is happening on Saturday night, October 19th, at the Neighborhood House in St. Paul.

Chay Douangphouxay is part of the presentation. She’s a spoken word artist of Asian decent. She stopped by KFAI and talked with Dale Connelly on The Morning Blend. Chay shares a little bit about her personal background and how she came to be the artist she is today, re-defining the Asian American Experience and drawing influence from the Asian Community. She also talks about how her living experience in a Thai refugee camp contributes to her work in spoken word and affects her life today in the Minneapolis North side projects.

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Can you name this tune?
“Fish don’t fry in the kitchen. Beans don’t burn on the grill. Took a whole lot of tryin’ just to fix up that meal”
Well… help just arrived… Chelles’ Kitchen, LLC… put down those pots and pans… Shero to the rescue

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Chicago has gained a great deal of media attention this past year due to an upsurge in violence in certain neighborhoods.   Just last week, eight people were shot during a five hour stretch on the city's south side. The increase in violence is a concern for residents, city leaders, and also for Chicagoans who live elsewhere, particularly college students who hope to return home when their schooling is done.

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