General News

On Capitol Conversations this week, Marty Owings talked with two members of the state legislature – DFL'er Senator Jeff Hayden representing South Minneapolis, and Republican Represenative Tony Cornish, representing the area south of Mankato.   Hayden and Cornish talked about gun control, the state budget and minimum wage proposals.  

You can see the video here, and listen to the audio below.     





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Marty Owings and Paul Gardner talk with House Majority leader Erin Muprhy and Senate Minority Leader David Hann.

Marty will talk with Morning Blend hosts Flor Frey and Mike Fischbein at 7:40 am on Wednesday, February 6.

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Katherine Bergman is a local composer and one quarter of the Caprice Saxophone Quartet. She's also part of the Spitting Image Collective, a group of composers and performers who togtether create and critique their own music, as well as commissioning new works from other local composers.

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Just before Christmas a judge in the United Arab Emirates sentenced a Minnesotan living in Dubai to a one year jail term for posting a satirical video on You Tube.
Shez Cassim has been in prison in since last Spring, in spite of efforts by his family and the U.S. government to win his freedom.
Cassim’s Minneapolis attorney is Susan Burns. She talked with KFAI’s Yvette Howie on The Morning Blend on Friday, December 27th, 2013.

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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.