General News

This summer the City of Minneapolis and partners from across the state have collectively hosted events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A closing ceremony is scheduled for the Minneapolis Convention Center on Thursday, July 31st at 5pm. Toni Newborn is assistant director of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and chair of the closing ceremony. She talked with KFAI’s Xan Holston, who asked why it’s important to remember the anniversary of the passage of a piece of legislation.

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While other states and critics of the Obama administration have complained about complying with new rules slashing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Minnesota has been reining in its utilities’ carbon pollution for decades. Minnesota held its first ever Clean Energy Economy Summit on the U of M campus last week to discuss the goals of finding and manufacturing renewable energy resources. KFAI’s Rico Morales attended this event and he brings us this report.

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Andy Driscoll, longtime KFAI volunteer and host of Truth To Tell, passed away on Sunday, July 20th at the age of 74.

On Monday, July 28th, Truth To Tell presented a tribute to Andy that included interviews first broadcast in December of 2012 called Andy Driscoll: A Charcoal Sketch.

The show examines Andy’s life and the inspiration behind the work he did over six decades in broadcasting, public service, and acting. You can hear the program in our KFAI archive. Just select Truth To Tell from the program menu.

Andy spent years in a struggle against pulmonary disease, and within the past year he went through chemotherapy for esophageal cancer and endured a series of strokes. In spite of the challenges, Andy continued to work with his Truth To Tell team to produce compelling radio programs through his nonprofit organization, Civic Media Minnesota.

Andy’s final KFAI broadcast was a conversation on June 23rd about the recent trials of the Minnesota Orchestra and the renewed excitement of classical music fans with the signing of a musician contract and the return of Osmo Vanska. Appropriately, Andy’s sign-off was followed by another rich, deep voice – a cello played by the orchestra’s own Tony Ross. The audio of that program is included on this page.

A tribute to Andy is scheduled for 2pm on Sunday, August 31st at The Klub Haus, 1079 Rice Street, St. Paul. RSVP on Facebook at A Celebration of Andy Driscoll.

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Believe it or not, it’s already time for families to start thinking about children going back to school. Back-to-school supplies are an expense for every family – and for some the cost is prohibitive.

To address this situation, an Edina-based business brokerage firm, the Calhoun Companies, has formed a partnership with Ace in the City, a non-profit organization based in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis. Together they’re assembling backpacks full of school supplies as a way to help neighborhood families prepare for the beginning of the year, and also to raise funds for Ace in the City’s after-school programs.

Andy Kocemba is President of Calhoun Companies and Tim Anderson is Executive Director of Ace in the City. They talked with KFAI’s Janis Lane-Ewart, who asked the pair why they had decided to form a partnership to provide backpacks.

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Recently, The Metropolitan Council announced the release of a regional transit equity plan that promises to invest in bus rapid transit and light rail transit, in order to improve service to what the council describes as “racially concentrated areas of poverty and job centers throughout the region.”

The plan, which is to be implemented over the next five to fifteen years, also calls for increasing the number of bus shelters in these areas.

The Metro Council has opened the plan for public comment, and one of the first organizations to weigh in was ISAIAH, a non-profit coalition of over 100 congregations from various faith traditions working on establishing racial and economic justice.

Recently, KFAI’s Yvette Howie spoke with ISAIAH’s Strategic Campaign Coordinator Lars Negstad. Negstad attended a meeting where the plan was to be released, but he called the result “… a bit confusing.”

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The World Cup competition in Brazil is nearing its conclusion with the final game set between Argentina and Germany. In this edition of KFAI’s World Cup Update, Pablo Miranda, co-host of the KFAI show Latino Alt Rock, talks with Nik Wilson, a soccer fanatic who, before the World Cup began, picked Argentina and Germany to be in the final.

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The Metropolitan Council and the city of Minneapolis have announced a tentative agreement regarding the configuration of the Southwest Light Rail Project.

The project’s path through the city of Minneapolis has been controversial, and the mediated agreement requires approval from a number of cities and government agencies before construction can begin.

After the deal was announced yesterday, opponents weighed in as South West Light Rail Train advocates moved quickly to meet deadlines for getting federal money.

Rico Morales filed this report.

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There is a primary election scheduled for August 12th, when Minnesota voters will help narrow the field in statewide and local contests.

Perhaps the most high-profile primaries are in the Republican Party this year, where multiple candidates are seeking the party’s endorsement to run for Governor and U.S. Senator. In the DFL, one Minneapolis race is drawing lots of attention as Mahamoud (mock-MOOD) Noor challenges long-serving House member Phyllis Kahn.

August 12th may still seem like a long way off, but primary elections can come and go before you realize you had an opportunity to cast a ballot. But there’s an added wrinkle this election year – all Minnesotans are now able to vote absentee without giving an excuse.

Anissa Hollingshead is the Elections Outreach Coordinator with the Minneapolis City Clerk’s office. She talked with KFAI’s Xan Holston about how absentee voting has changed.

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Minneapolis has a Police Conduct Oversight Commission tasked with working to improve the relationship between the Minneapolis Police Department and city residents.
The group held its first community listening session on June 14th. KFAI’s Christina Cerruti was there and she filed this report.

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The World Cup competition in Brazil will conclude on July 13th. The process of narrowing the field to two finalists is underway, and it has proven to be a personally painful experience for Pablo Miranda of the KFAI show Latino Alt Rock. His beloved Uruguay team has fallen by the wayside – a bleak fact that he came to terms with during a conversation with Xan Holston on the Morning Blend.

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