General News

Tune into MinneCulture on Wednesday, April 24, at 7:30pm to hear a captivating audio documentary by Susan Gray. Second Chances: The Story of Fergus Falls State Hospital explores the history of a Minnesota landmark, and why a place on the National Register of Historic Places may not save it from demolition.

In the late 19th century, insane asylums were built across the country in response to a national outcry over the treatment of the mentally ill. More than 75 asylums were designed using Dr. Thomas Kirkbride’s Moral Treatment Plan, which claimed that mental ailments could be alleviated with beautiful architecture and serene landscaping. The former State Hospital in Fergus Falls is one of the few remaining intact Kirbride hospitals in the country. Re-named the Regional Treatment Center in 1985, the building is destined for the wrecking ball if a developer is not soon found. KFAI producer Susan Gray spoke with preservation supporters to learn about the building’s historical significance to Fergus Falls, and the treatment of people with mental illness.

Eariler In June , Northern Spark provided a collection of all-night arts events in the Lowertown section of St. Paul, and this weekend Minneapolis will answer with its own late-night arts extravaganza  – a free festival called Secret City


Musicians, actors, dancers, bicyclists, ping pong players and more will congregate starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, lighting up the Midtown Greenway and sections of downtown and the Loring Park area, including the Minneapolis Convention Center. 


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Mark Ritchie talks with KFAI’s Mike Fischbein and Flor Frey.

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The Minnesota Senate has approved a bill that will allow same-sex marriage in Minnesota. The final vote was 37 to 30.

With the approval that came in the House of Representatives last week, the legislative work is now done and the bill will become law with Governor Mark Dayton’s signature.

KFAI’s Christina Cerruti and Dixie Triechel were at the capitol as the Senate debated and people on both sides of the issue gathered around.

We’ll hear some of the voices from yesterday afternoon, starting with the bill’s Senate author, Senator Scott Dibble of Minneapolis.

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Gentrification is a concern for many residents of lower income neighborhoods. And with the announcement of the new Seward co-op development in the Bryant neighborhood of South Minneapolis, some residents are wondering if an influx of higher-income customers will marginalize and disenfranchise the people who already live in the neighborhood. 

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On June 21 the Seward Co-op announced plans to open a new location in South Minneapolis’ Central Neighborhood, at Thirty-eighth Street and Clinton Avenue. The announcement set off a public debate that will continue at a community meeting on July 9th at 6:30 at the Sabathani Community Center. Xan Holston has the story.

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Sherisah Ngo talks with The Lennie Chism Show about the latest Nielson Black shopper predictions "Savior of the 2014" holiday season.

The Black consumer according to the Nielsen report will drive holiday retail.

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Shez Cassim is a Minnesotan who spent most of 2013 in a prison in the United Arab Emirates. His nine-month ordeal began when U.A.E. authorities took offense to a satiric video he posted on You Tube. Cassim’s jailers would not tell him why he was imprisoned. His release came only after he was convicted of defaming the country, sentenced to a year in prison and given credit for time served.
KFAI’s Christina Cerruti talked with Shez Cassim in Minneapolis, and filed this report.

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There are plenty of arts performance events to attend in the Twin Cities area, and often you’ll find American Sign Language interpreters translating for hearing impaired audiences. 

Film director and actor Maya Washington thinks more could be done to include deaf audiences and performers in the arts mainstream. 

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Robert Robinson’s musical profile in the Twin Cities is varied and impressive.

He can sing gospel and has led a gospel choir for 20 years.

He’s sung with the Minnesota Orchestra and pop-classical performer Lorie Line and folksinger Larry Long too. 

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