General News

Some Dakota County law enforcement officials have joined with a national organization called “Fight Crime – Invest in Kids” to support new federal spending that would expand preschool options nationwide.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom was part of an event yesterday in Hastings that called attention to a new study. The research claims Minnesota would save millions if President Obama’s ten-year, seventy-five billion dollar early education measure is passed.
James Backstrom talked with KFAI’s Yvette Howie on The Morning Blend.

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When you dream about the great jobs you don’t have but wish you did, have you ever considered being a professional ballroom dancer?

Yes, there are people who do that.  Many of them are in Columbus, Ohio this weekend for the Ohio Star Ball, a competitive festival of dance sport. 

One of them is Jon Chen, a professional ballroom dancer.  He talked with KFAI’s Mark Koerner, who asked Jon how he got into the business.   

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A couple of months ago, Ohio State University student Balpreet Kaur  was surprised to see a photo of herself on Reddit, a social news website. Reddit users post comments and stories under thread categories which range from World News to Technology. Balpreet's photo was posted under Reddit's "Funny" thread and, underneath it, a caption read "I'm not sure what to conclude from this." By the time she saw it, dozens of other users had posted reactions to the photo.

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Best Academy in Minneapolis is an award winning charter school educating African American boys in kindergarten through 8th grade. Last week the school received a ten thousand dollar prize from a group called the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color – a Chicago-based organization that promotes solutions to the racial achievement gap nationwide.
Best Academy is having a celebration of its successes later today at the Heritage Park YMCA at 1015 4th Avenue North in Minneapolis.
The school’s CEO, Eric Mahmoud was added to the National Public Charter Schools Hall of Fame last summer. He’s been called “a rock-star educator.” Eric Mahmoud talked with KFAI’s Bob Hines, who asked what he thought was the greatest success he’s seen at Best Academy.

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There was a rally out in the marshlands of the Minnesota River over the weekend – it was all about bicycling and a bridge.
KFAI’s Paul Brohaugh reports.

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Independent Producer and KFAI regular Todd Melby is on assignement for a year in the oil fields of North Dakota, following the changes that come from an economic boom that runs counter to the rest of the economy. He stopped by as part of KFAI’s new morning show to talk about some of the people he’s met so far.

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An international group of researchers, including astronomers from the University of Minnesota, have launched a new “citizen science” project called Galaxy Zoo. The project allows anyone to become a cosmic explorer by looking for black holes in space. And yes, this is something you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Lawrence Rudnick is a University of Minnesota Professor and an astrophysicist who studies large-scale structures in the Universe. He talked with KFAI’s John Helgeson, who asked the professor why black holes are important.

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The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a new report that says global warming is changing human and natural systems worldwide. The panel is calling for swift action to mitigate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. Without action to address the problem, hundreds of millions of people could be affected by coastal flooding and displaced due to land loss by the year 2100.

J. Drake Hamilton is the science policy director at Fresh Energy, an organization that advocates for a forward-thinking energy policy. She talked with KFAI’s Terry Carter, who wanted to know if there was anything truly “new” in this assessment.

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Two University of Minnesota professors worked with high school students at the Perpich Center for Arts in Golden Valley as part of a new program that encourages working across disciplines, combining artistic and analytical thinking.
Dance professor Carl Flink and Biochemical Engineering professor David Odde joined the Black Label Movement Company to demonstrate a technique called Bodystorming.

Professor Flink is also the artistic director of Black Label Movement. He and professor Odde talked to KFAI’s Dale Connelly and Siobhan Kierans on the Morning Blend.

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Eyenga Bokamba has been appointed Director of Sprockets – a St. Paul collaboration between the city, the school district and a host of community organizations to provide summer and after-school programs for young people in the city.
Bokamba is an experienced educator who most recently was the Youth Programs Manager at Pillsbury House in Minneapolis. She has also worked as a teacher, spending thirteen years in the Hopkins district.
She talked with KFAI’s Paul Brohaugh, who asked why it’s important to support summertime and after-school programs.

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