Patrick Larkin

Mon
14
Oct

City launches Railroad Island sweep

As part of an effort called “Spotlight on Railroad Island,” the St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections will do an “environmental sweep” of properties in the Railroad Island neighborhood.
DSI director Ricardo Cervantes said the sweep will involve city inspectors looking for exterior property maintenance issues, including weeds, tall grass, litter and graffiti -- “those particular code issues that diminish the livability of the neighborhood,” Cervantes said.

Tue
08
Oct

East Side resident in critical condition after hit-and-run


Wade Souster, 31, is shown in critical condition, lying in a hospital bed in the surgical intensive care unit at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. (Photo courtesy of Wade Souster's family)

Wade Souster’s mother Sandy Romero (left) and cousin Angie Hammerlindl plead to the driver who hit Souster to turn him or herself in. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

The Downtowner Car Care Center, where Souster works as an assistant manager, is a bustling car wash just on the eastern edge of downtown St. Paul. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Photos from Souster’s childhood were displayed at Regions Hospital on Tuesday, Oct. 8. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Wade Souster, 31, was nearly home when a vehicle struck him in the early hours of Thursday, Oct. 3. The driver did not stop.
At 4 a.m., another driver spotted Souster lying in the median of Phalen Boulevard, near the intersection of Atlantic Street. Emergency personnel were called to the scene, and he was brought to Regions Hospital.
Now, he lies in a hospital bed, fighting for his life.

Mon
07
Oct

East Sider’s car stolen three times within a year

While car thefts are not unheard of in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood, it’s perhaps a bit out of the ordinary to have your vehicle stolen three times in a year.
But Lisa Venticinque has struck just this stroke of bad luck. Since December 2012, her 1997 Honda Accord has thrice been stolen, each time seemingly by young thieves looking for joyrides.
For Sgt. Tom Radke, who works in the auto theft department at the St. Paul Police Department, Venticinque’s story doesn’t particularly surprise him.

Mon
07
Oct

Plaza Maplewood Theatre to change management


On Nov. 1, Woodland Hills Church will take over management of the Plaza Maplewood Theatre. The church has owned the building since 2001 and will continue to run it as a theater, while also adding church programming. (photos by Patrick Larkin/Review)

Nathan Block gets a film going in the projection room at the Plaza Maplewood Theatre. Block has owned the Plaza business for over fifteen years, but will give it up at the end of the month.

Brent Erwin, long-time manager at the Plaza Maplewood Theatre, sits at his desk. Erwin will stop working at the theater at the end of the month.

The Plaza is known for its popcorn, which is made fresh before each showing with real butter. Using real butter is a rarity in theaters these days, Erwin said.

A moviegoer purchases an evening matinee ticket at the Plaza Maplewood Theatre.

When 25-year-old movie nerd Nathan Block was offered the chance to buy the Plaza Maplewood Theatre 15 years ago, he tried to play it cool.
He says he told the owners that he’d have to think about it, and that he’d need to see the numbers.
“But inside, I was like ‘Where do I sign?’” he said. “It was all I had ever dreamed of doing since my college days.”

Mon
07
Oct

With Boys Totem Town’s 100-year anniversary, staff talk changes


The sleeping areas at Boys Totem Town are communal rooms with cots and very little privacy. In an updated facility, boys would have their own private rooms, said Steve Poynter, superintendent of Boys Totem Town. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Steve Poynter, superintendent of Boys Totem Town, stands in a narrow stairway in the facility. Dated architectural feartures such as the stairway is one of the reasons the juvenile detention facility needs an upgrade. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

With its 100-year anniversary celebration coming up this Wednesday, Boys Totem Town is a facility in transition.
The Ramsey County correctional facility houses juveniles, including some East Side kids, who are there after sentencing for crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. The offenses can include everything from thefts to assaults.

Mon
30
Sep

Long-time East Side barber closes up


Cliff Gebhard, 72, sits in one of two barber chairs in his shop at the corner of Minnehaha Avenue and Stillwater Road. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Cliff Gebhard’s shop is full of curiosities from bric-a-brac to an ìInformationî sign, much like the man himself. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Cliff’s Barber Shop is one of those places that was always full of regulars, quirk and charm, and where the haircut service provided wasn’t necessarily the only reason you’d swing by.
Rather, you’d also be there to catch a story, and to chat with your neighbors.
It’s been a community of sorts for the owner, Cliff Gebhard, and his customers.

Mon
30
Sep

District Five holds community meeting to take action


About 80 people gathered Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Arlington Hills Lutheran Church to discuss ways to take action against violence in Payne-Phalen and surrounding neighborhoods. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

About 80 people showed up for a Thursday, Sept. 19, discussion about recent violence in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood.
The meeting came one month after a lively August meeting where community members erupted with emotions and concern about area violence, following the shooting death of 17-year-old Vincent Arron Allison by another teenager in a store parking lot, and the brutal beating of Raymond Widstrand, a young man who was attacked on a walk in his own East Side neighborhood.

Mon
30
Sep

Heights playground goes up in a single day


Heights Community School’s playground went up in a quick four hours thanks to volunteers and school staff. (submitted photo)

It was a whirlwind of activity, involving hundreds of people and months of preparation and anticipation.
And in a quick four hours, the East Side’s Heights Community School had a spiffy new structure to show for it.
Around 300 volunteers and 100 students from the Heights Community School managed to build a playground in a single day.

Mon
23
Sep

City looks for new community-minded owner of Arlington Hills Library


Arlington Hills Library, a Carnegie building, was constructed in 1916. (submitted photo)

The St. Paul Public Library has put out an open-ended request for proposals to find a new owner for Arlington Hills Library, a historic Carnegie building located at 1105 Greenbrier St. The library’s been in the Payne-Phalen community for nearly a century.
The public library will be relocating next spring to the new Payne-Maryland Project, a one-stop shop community center, which also will include recreation facilities.
Brian Tourtelotte, project manager for the Payne-Maryland project, said “construction is moving along nicely.”

Mon
23
Sep

Two men sentenced in sex trafficking case


Fonati Diggs

Timothy Cross

Two men were sentenced to more than 21 years in prison for prostituting a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman in multiple locations in St. Paul.
The sentences may be the longest in Minnesota history, according to the Ramsey County attorney’s office.
Fonati McArthur Diggs, 24, of Northfield and Timothy Denzel Cross, 20, of St. Paul were found guilty of engaging in both first- and second-degree sex trafficking.

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