General News

Music, so we're told, can soothe a savage breast. But the working men and women who built Virginia, Minnesota's Socialist Opera Hall in 1913 also believed it could educate the masses. In the opulent 800-seat auditorium, concert-goers were treated to opera's greatest hits—as well as labor rallies and socialist lectures. KFAI's Britt Aamodt talks to Clarence Ivonen, who as a boy, sat rapt in his balcony seat, and as a man, reported on the decline of the aged beauty for the Mesabi Daily News.

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Where do you go when you want to hear live music? 

If you follow an online community called Sofar Sounds, you could wind up just about anywhere.   Sofar stands for “Songs From  A Room”.  It started five years ago in London, and has since spread to ninety cities worldwide, including Minneapolis.

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There is no word for “autism” in the Somali language. And yet as many as 1 in 32 Somali children in Minneapolis have been identified with autism.

Recognizing the need, St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development decided to open an autism day treatment program in Northeast Minneapolis. There, St. David’s is partnering with Somali staff and a Somali day care to help Somali children with autism ages 3-4.

The new program, a replica of the existing ADT program at St. David’s Minnetonka location, features a four-hour morning program supported by home visits. It uses a mental health approach in a small-group, natural setting to help children improve communication, social interaction, and family support. Treatment plans are customized for each child and subject to parental approval.

The Somali Autism Day Treatment program is accepting enrollment applications now for a four-hour morning program, supported by home visits, for Somali children ages 3 to 4. You can find out more by contacting St. David’s at 952-548-8700.

KFAI’s Sharon Chen spoke with program consultant Mariam Mohamed and St. David’s Senior Director of Autism Services, Beth Fagin.

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Somalia’s Olympic team is two people strong, and it has backing from around the world – including Minnesota.

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Acclaimed writer Nurrudin Farah is finishing a three year stint at the University of Minnesota with a staged reading of his play, “A Stone Thrown At The Guilty” at Rarig Center at 7:30 pm this coming Friday and Saturday night. In addition to winning many literary awards, Farah is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times and Washington Post. He was featured on KFAI’s Morning Blend and Minneculture in conversation with Zuhur Ahmed, the former host of the KFAI program “Somali Community Link”.

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July first is Independence Day in Somalia.  Just as Americans have for centuries, Somali people set aside the beginning of July to celebrate getting their freedom from the British Empire. 

Mohamed Farah is Executive Director of Ka Joog, a Somali youth organization that’s putting on a celebration Sunday, July 2nd from 2 to 9 pm on Lake Street between Blaisdell and Pleasant. 

He talked with KFAI's Paul Brohaugh on The Morning Blend.  Paul asked Mohamed to explain the significance of Independence Day in Somalia.    

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President Obama has told congressional leaders he may “take further action to support the security of U.S. Citizens” in South Sudan.
Four U.S. service members were injured over the weekend as part of an effort to evacuate almost four hundred U.S. officials and private citizens from the African nation.
Fighting in South Sudan between government loyalists and rebels who are aligned with a former Vice President has claimed hundreds of lives.
As Americans and other foreigners leave South Sudan, some South Sudanese are trying to get back into the country. And others who live abroad are trying a new peacemaking tool – they’re attempting to stop the fighting through the use of social media.
Some of those efforts originate right here in Minnesota. KFAI’s Christina Cerruti has more.

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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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How many languages do you speak?  

Gregg Roberts, a world language specialist for the state of Utah, says “Speaking only one language is the illiteracy of the 21st century”.

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The east side of Saint Paul is a self-described “area in transition.” In the mid-century, it was a hub for industry. Hamms brewery, Whirlpool and the 3M plant were all located there and supported thousands of blue collar jobs. But today, those businesses have closed down, and the area is in the process of re-branding itself as up-and-coming. KFAI’s Jemma Brown headed across town to explore St. Paul’s east side for herself.

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