Patrick Larkin


With snazzy new facilities, Johnson High poised for future

Johnson High School parent Seanne Thomas tries out a flight through the Grand Canyon on one of the new flight simulators the school installed in January. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Peevxwm Yang, a junior at Johnson High, watched excitedly as a Johnson High parent tried out a flight simulator. He said seeing the equipment made him feel inspired to take a pilot class at the school. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

A wind tunnel at the FabLab at Johnson High School will allow students to test out the aerodynamics of their designs. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Johnson High School principal Micheal Thompson recently flew around in the Grand Canyon, nearly crashing during the landing.
All this was within the walls of the East Side school.
Such is an example of the possibilities with the new equipment and curriculum at the school, now known as Johnson Aerospace and Engineering High School, as of the 2012-2013 school year.


St. Paul reveals youth job program

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announces a new youth jobs initiative called Right Track. The program builds on the city’s Youth Job Corps program, adding internships and professional partnerships for kids to gain access to. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

DeShaun Baker, 17, has gained a lot of career experience working for Xcel Energy; he was lined up with an internship with the company through St. Paul’s Youth Job Corps program. (submitted photo)

Harding High School junior DeShaun Baker, 17, has gone in a short time from pulling weeds to pulling files at an Xcel Energy power plant.
He’s got a lot of hard work and initiative to thank for that -- the kid seems to have a lot of “get up and go.”
And he’s also got St. Paul’s Youth Job Corps to thank.


Moonshine Saloon shooting suspect indicted

The Moonshine Saloon was the site of a drive-by shooting in the early hours of Oct. 26, 2013. True Thao was charged Wednesday, Feb. 5 with first-degree murder in the case, a significantly stronger charge than original charges filed in October 2013. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

True Thao, 31, of St. Paul faces a 14-count indictment in connection with a fatal shooting at the Moonshine Saloon on Oct. 26, 2013.
The 14 counts are a step up from charges Thao faced in the incident when he was originally charged last Halloween, and could mean longer sentencing, depending on the outcome of his trial.
The counts come from a grand jury indictment issued late Wednesday, Feb. 5.


With landmark sex traffic sentence, experts reflect and look forward

Jan. 9 marked a historic day for the fight against sex trafficking.
Otis Washington, 30, of St. Paul was given the longest ever sentence for sex trafficking in the state - his penalty was 40 years in prison for an operation that he, his brother Antonio Washington-Davis and two uncles conducted, selling at least 10 vulnerable girls and young women for sex in the Twin Cities and throughout the state, over a period of two years.


East Side Family Clinic doubles dental services

University of Minnesota dental student Jonathan Song works on a woman’s teeth at the recently opened East Side Family Clinic. The clinic recently teamed up with the university to bring dental students in, bolstering the clinic’s dental service capacity. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Things are getting into gear at the recently opened East Side Family Clinic’s dental facility.
The state of the art wing of the building, which opened in November 2013, is a huge boost in dental services for the non-profit organization - it’s gone from having four dental chairs on the East Side to 20.
And thanks to a partnership with the University of Minnesota, the nonprofit clinic now has the staffing to fill nearly all of those chairs, which serve a high number of uninsured patients and lower-income patients on a sliding scale, alongside the fully insured.


East Side residents raise concerns about proposed homeless shelter

A map of downtown St. Paul shows the proposed site for a new Dorothy Day Center on the eastern edge of downtown, along with the current location on the western edge of downtown. (submitted graphic)

Depending on whom you ask, the potential site for Catholic Charities’ new homeless shelter is on the edge of the East Side, the edge of downtown St. Paul, or both.
Seeking to better service St. Paul’s homeless population, the organization is looking to add 50 beds for emergency shelter, transitional housing space, and 135 permanent supportive housing units.
The group has identified a state-owned plot near the intersection of University Avenue and Lafayette Road as a possible site. The spot is currently in use by the state as storage for items removed from the Capitol building during its renovation.


4-3 vote means Prom will manage Phalen Golf Course

The Phalen Golf Course will be under private management this spring. Prom Catering of Oakdale has been approved by St. Paul City Council to manage the course, as well as the Como Golf Course. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

With a vote barely squeezing by, Prom Catering of Oakdale will be taking over management of the East Side’s publicly owned Phalen Golf Course, as well as Como Golf Course.
The St. Paul City Council voted 4-3 to approve a contract between St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department and the private company.
The vote signals the end of a months-long process to figure out what to do with the four city-owned courses which were losing money at a rate of about $400,000 a year.


County attorney: no charge for Archdiocese in Wehmeyer case

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is off the hook with Ramsey County, for the time being, in investigations related to the timeliness of its leaders reporting the clergy sexual abuse committed by former East Side priest Curtis Wehmeyer, 47, as well as the Rev. Jonathan Shelley.
Wehmeyer was a pastor at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, located at the intersection of White Bear and Lacrosse avenues, starting in 2009 up until he was arrested in June 2012.


Moviehouse keeps $2 films, adds new outreach for church

The plaza’s lobby was repainted, given new walls and ceiling tiles, and a collage featuring stills from a wide swath of famous movies was put up. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Charley Swanson, left, and Mike Dougherty, pose in front of the Plaza Theater, or what used to be called Plaza Maplewood. The two are part of the theater’s new management team, and are employed by Woodland Hills Church. (submitted photo)

Woodland Hill renovated much of the Plaza, including the entrance, and made a new logo. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Employees of the Lift work concessions of the Plaza Theater. The theater is staffed by workers from the Lift through a program designed to give people job training. Many of the Lift’s staff are East Siders. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Volunteers from Woodland Hills Church worked to install new seats at the theater. (submitted photo)

With new ownership and plans for a new digital projector, the Plaza Maplewood is back up and running, under the hands of a church.
Following investment and fundraising from the new management, Woodland Hills Church, the place has new carpet, new walls, new ceiling tiles, new seats, and new staff.
The arcade machines are gone and things look fresh, new, and almost pristine.


Chue Vue brings a fresh look to St. Paul School Board

Chue Vue stands in the lobby of Mai Village in December. Vue is a new addition to the St. Paul School Board, and is the only Asian-American currently on the board. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

A photo of Chue Vue during his campaign demonstrates the wide support among Hmong leaders in St. Paul. (submitted photo)

East Sider Chue Vue is a busy guy, and with his new role as a member of the St. Paul School Board, it’s not letting up anytime soon.
But he’s not put off in the least by what’s ahead; rather, he’s determined to get his feet wet.
“It’s a steep learning curve,” he said, “I’m still making my rounds.”