The Athena Awards Committee asked St. Paul area schools to nominate their top female athlete for the award. The schools obliged, and 43 girls, representing city and suburban, public and private high schools were selected to receive the award.
The newly elected board members, from left to right, are Maychy Vu, Mark Dawkins, Charles Dexter, Marny Xiong, Athena Hollins, Ploua Yang, Eric Foster and Valentine Awasom. (Marjorie Otto/Review)
The number of candidates far exceeded the expectations of many of the staff and board members of the Payne-Phalen District Five Planning Council at the April 26 annual meeting held at the Arlington Hills Community Center.
From left to right, St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith, Ray Widstrand, Assistant Chief Kathy Wuorinen, Linda Widstrand, Peter Widstrand, Joyce Edmondson, Hugh Edmondson and Alice Johnson. (Marjorie Otto/Review)
Ray Widstrand does not remember the night he was brutally and randomly attacked on the East Side.
Koua Yang, teacher and coach at Harding High School, says, “I just want people to know how challenging and how rewarding teaching is.” (Marjorie Otto/Review)
Harding teacher shares his philosophy on how to connect with students
“I just really love working with kids. They just make me happy,” says Koua Yang, a Harding High School instructor, coach, and one of 11 finalists for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award, an award that celebrates Minnesota’s teachers and their work.
For 16 years, Yang has been a social studies teacher at Harding High School. He currently teaches Asian American studies and human geography, and coaches the boys and girls tennis teams.
“It was instilled in me early on that education was important by my mom. My mom was my greatest teacher,” Yang says.
The Rev. Darryl Spence, a Minneapolis Baptist minister, stands before a microphone and prays with police and leaders of the St. Paul African American community during a press conference following gun violence on the East Side last week. (Marjorie Otto/Review)
Community leaders come together to ask for help
After a rash of gun violence and two shooting deaths early last week, St. Paul civic and religious leaders came together on April 20 to share their ideas on how to curb it.
The gathering took place on the Mississippi River bluff at Indian Mounds Park, the site of last week’s first homicide. Leading the group were: Tyrone Terrill, chairman of the African American Leadership Council of St. Paul; Nathaniel Khaliq, former president of the St. Paul NAACP; the Rev. Darryl Spence from the collective of religious leaders known as the “God Squad;” St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith, and Mayor Chris Coleman.
They shared their plans for reining in gun violence before the summer heats up, with Smith urging those in the community to report gang activity, either to the police, or to religious and African American leaders in the city.
Starting in the back row, from left to right Tim Triplett, Tom Casperson, Stu Sonnee; front row, left to right Kathy Hofmeister, Khou Thao, Magdelene Xiong, Chai Xiong, and Chue Fang. (Marjorie Otto/Review)
Khou Thao and Chai Xiong, a Hmong couple living on the East Side, had their first daughter, Magdalene Xiong, on April 4.
She’s a healthy, alert baby, and the family is happy.
Besides not having enough parking spots, vehicles are having difficulties making left turns from the parking lot onto Johnson Parkway. Hmong Village wants to add a traffic signal to make it easier to make left turns. (Marjorie Otto/Review)
Parking has been tight at the Hmong Village Shopping Center ever since its grand opening in 2010.
East Side resident Jeremy Sartain teaches East Side kids basic bike repair skills, such as how to replace a tire or inner tube. (Marjorie Otto/Review)
East Side resident filling a need for youth programs
“There’s just not a heck of a lot for teens to do around here,” says Jeremy Sartain, an East Side resident and creator of ESP (East St. Paul) Bikes.
Sartain is using bicycles to get East Side youths involved in their community and to learn some valuable skill sets. He teaches them how to fix donated bikes and then has them give them away in the community.
The idea of instructing kids on how to repair bikes came about in an unlikely way -- after a bike theft.
In 2015 Sartain had two of his bicycles stolen from his garage. One bike was traced by police to a nearby pawnshop. While searching for his second bike, Sartain noticed many homes in his neighborhood had a bunch of bikes, but most were inoperable because no one knew how to fix them up.