A downer of a week in which the financial markets continued their grim slide south nevertheless ended with something to celebrate. On Friday came news from Iran that North Dakota journalist Roxana Saberi is expected to be released from Tehran’s Evin Prison.

Saberi is an honors graduate of Fargo North High School, a former Miss North Dakota, as well as a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead and Cambridge University in Britain. She’s been living in Iran, her father’s homeland, for six years working as a journalist and attending graduate school. Although it’s never been clear why Saberi was arrested, comments from an Iranian foreign ministry official suggest that she was accused of illegal reporting activities. Her arrest came as the Iranian regime cracked down on dissidents in advance of national elections to be held in June.

Saberi picked up some powerful advocates during her month-long detainment. North Dakota’s senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan pressed the U.S. State Department to intervene through diplomatic channels on her behalf. And no surprise that Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the daughter of a newspaperman, was a strong advocate for Saberi, too, sending a strongly worded letter to the United Nations Secretary General. On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Iran through diplomatic channels to release her.

Saberi also got a roar of support from her native Midwest. Saberi’s Facebook support group page rapidly acquired several thousand members, many of them from her home state and Minnesota. Star Tribune readers responding to an editorial about Saberi’s plight also registered their concerns with the Iranian Permanent Mission at the United Nations.

It's hoped that Saberi will be free in several days, according to wire services. Her father this week told the Associated Press that he appreciated the efforts of everyone who pressed for her release . Said Reza Saberi: "All over the world, people have objected to this kind of suppression of freedom. They are voicing their outrage."