General News

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

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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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The World Cup competition in Brazil is moving on to a new stage. On the Morning Blend, Pablo Miranda of the KFAI show Latino Alt Rock talked with Yvette Howie about what happens next.

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As part of a re-shaping of mass transit in the Twin Cities, Metro Transit is moving forward with plans to establish the Orange Line – a bus-based rapid transit link between downtown Minneapolis and Burnsville along Interstate 35W. Part of that plan calls for major changes to the area where the interstate crosses over Lake Street in South Minneapolis. Rico Morales has a report.

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It comes as a surprise to some observers when they find out that the graduation rate in the Minneapolis Public Schools last year was just shy of 54 percent. That means almost half the students don’t graduate on time. And that number represented an improvement over the year 2012.

Achieve Minneapolis is one of the groups trying to change those numbers. Part of the strategy involves mentoring through one-on-one relationships that students have with so-called “Graduation Coaches.”

For the coming school year, Achieve Minneapolis intends to expand the program to serve 500 students. That means more mentors are needed. Accordingly, there’s a recruitment event on June 24th at the Cowles Center on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

Rebecca Noecker is the Director of Community Engagement for Achieve Minneapolis. She talked with KFAI’s Yvette Howie about the job of a Graduation coach.

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June 20th  is an important day for people from the African nation of Eritrea.  It’s Eritrean Martyr’s Day – a day set aside to honor those who died in the country’s war for independence. 

Eritreans all over the world observe it, including here in the Twin Cities where an event is held  at the Eritrean Community Center at 1935 University Avenue in St. Paul. 

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