Staff Directory 10646161

James Walsh

Reporter | St. Paul and St. Paul Neighborhoods
Phone: 612-673-7428
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

James Walsh is a reporter covering St. Paul and its neighborhoods. He has had myriad assignments in nearly 30 years at the Star Tribune, including federal courts and St. Paul schools.


"A St. Paul native, Walsh lives in St. Paul with his wife and two cats. He has two adult children. He graduated from the College of St. Thomas, where he was named the top journalism graduate by the Society of Professional Journalists, before beginning his career with stops at the Mankato Free Press and the Rochester Post-Bulletin. Walsh has covered local government, local schools, local and federal courts and even spent some time writing about farming and medical technology. A former college football player and semi-pro coach, he enjoys reading history and following the Vikings, Gophers and Tommies.
Recent content from James Walsh
Jon Prentice

Jon Prentice, longtime Minneapolis police officer, dies at age 83

His career could have been created by a true-crime novelist. In fact, his 1964 gunfight with a suspected rapist was detailed in Master Detective magazine.
St. Paul Police Reserves Sgt. Bob Krizmanic checked in at a home where someone had reported an abandoned bicycle.

St. Paul Police Reserve looks to help make city safer in small ways

That work can involve something other than 911 calls, like dealing with abandoned bikes, reserve says.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter hugged Dora Jones-Robinson at police headquarters after speaking during a news conference Tuesday in response to the rece

St. Paul police chief: 3 shootings are 'shocking' and 'outrageous'

Todd Axtell described the killings as "one of the most violent nights I have witnessed in my career."

Green Fleet grant helps St. Paul replace aging diesel vehicles

Environmental Initiative, a nonprofit, to cover 25% of the cost to update aging equipment.
On the first day of organized trash collection in 2018, Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus worked in the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighbo

Challengers in St. Paul City Council races seize on trash turmoil

Some say the bumpy rollout means it's time for a change at City Hall.
Tony Barranco, shown in April 2017, is Ryan's senior vice president of development and was the only person to get up to speak at the public hearing.

Design standards for St. Paul's Ford site aim for strong 'sense of place'

The St. Paul City Council will vote next week on design standards for how the public moves through the space.
The Rince Na Chroi Irish Dancers performed in the Grand Old Day 2019 Parade on Sunday.

Local, federal investigators look into Grand Old Day finances

A handful of business owners and sponsors scrambled to raise more than $100,000 this spring after the festival's bank account was tens of thousands of dollars short.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s plan for the road trims the number of traffic lanes and adds space for bikes.

Carter pitches green option for crumbling Ayd Mill Road

What to do with the bone-jarring lanes connecting I-35E and Selby Avenue?
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, seen at an Aug. 15 budget address at at Frogtown Community Center, said Friday that a vote against the city's system of

St. Paul mayor: A 'no' vote on garbage could hit taxpayers hard

Critics of St. Paul's garbage system accuse mayor of taxpayer scare tactic.
Minnesota Supreme Court tells St. Paul: Put trash collection to a vote in November

Minnesota Supreme Court tells St. Paul: Put trash collection to a vote in November

The loss in the high court was the latest setback in a bumpy debut for city-run trash collection.
Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St Paul's yellow zone in 2018.

Supreme Court to rule on St. Paul trash plan this week

At issue is whether the city's contract with haulers blocks a public vote on organized trash collection.
Opponents of St. Paul's organized trash collection collected more than 6,000 signatures requiring a referendum, but the City Council refused, saying t

St. Paul trash lawsuit reaches state's highest court

Justices to decide if public must vote on contentious organized pickup system in place since last October.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter gave his 2020 budget address at Frogtown Community Center Thursday August 15, 2019 in St. Paul, MN.

St. Paul mayor proposes $20 million to fix St. Paul's crumbling streets

Mayor Melvin Carter says amount in proposed 2020 budget is still not enough.
Demolition of the former St. Andrew’s Church in Como Park began Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in St. Paul. Here, Kristi Donahue, a neighbor, got emotional

Demolition day comes for former Catholic church in St. Paul

Demolition of former church begins to make way for growing German school.
Red Bull Flugtag, last in St. Paul in 2010, comes back to Harriet Island in September with 40 teams with homemade aircraft prepared to fly, or crash t

Leaping Kates, foam loon among contestants in 2019 Red Bull Flugtag

Red Bull Flugtag returns to St. Paul, and Klondike Kates are ready to soar.
A vacant house owned by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter on Hatch Avenue, as seen on Monday.

Neighbors complain about vacant St. Paul home owned by Mayor Melvin Carter

Angry neighbors say they expect Melvin Carter to set a better landlord example.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, center left, and Undersheriff Bill Finney talked with teens during the substation’s grand opening Monday.

Ramsey County sheriff opens Rice Street substation

Beleaguered Rice Street gets the police presence residents have been demanding
The Twin Cities German Immersion School held an open house last month to allow people to say goodbye to the former St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in S

Demolition nears for former St. Andrew's Church in St. Paul after preservation fight

Despite a weekend protest and vigil, most preservationists have admitted defeat.
Neighbors Gretchen Thompson, left, and Cindy Walsh walked at St. Paul’s Indian Mounds Park on Wednesday. “It’s hard to find in the city,” Wals

Plan to move paths away from St. Paul burial mounds welcomed by some, criticized by others

The $2.5 million trail reconstruction project is the subject of a public meeting Monday.
Preservationists want to save the former St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Como Park, built in 1927. The Twin Cities German Immersion School says it h

Demolition of former Como Park church on hold, but there's a catch

Neighbors fighting to save a former Como Park church from the wrecking ball have been granted a reprieve.But there's a catch.A Ramsey County judge has…
Minnesota United has played 12 games at its new St. Paul Midway home — about halfway through the home portion of its schedule -- allowing nearby res

Allianz Field neighbors in St. Paul have mixed feelings about stadium

Halfway into the inaugural season, neighbors embrace — or endure — a new normal
Changsha, China, gave St. Paul a replica of China’s famous Aiwan Pavilion last year. It can be viewed in Phalen Regional Park, where a Chinese garde

$7M Chinese garden to open Saturday in St. Paul

A parade and ribbon-cutting Saturday will mark the opening of a Chinese garden on the shore of Lake Phalen, a project created to highlight the…
Built in 1917, St. Paul's old Arlington Hills Library once brought literature and knowledge to an East Side community of Swedish and Italian immigrant

St. Paul East Side library gets $75,000 grant

Officials say they will use the money to hire more staff and expand operations.
A Waste Management worker collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling-Hamline neighborhood in 2018. A Ramsey County judge on Thursday stayed his p

Judge's order means St. Paul garbage collection stays as is, for now

Ruling to keep organized hauling in place was lauded by Mayor Carter.
The city of St. Paul and Minnesota United unveiled their new cutting-edge rainwater reuse system, complete with water harvesting process and tree-tren

Large-scale rainwater system under Allianz Field makes 'what is invisible, visible'

Underneath the stadium's Great Lawn is a giant tank, sensors, filters and pumps.
Darwin Schmitt

Darwin Schmitt, exceptional listener and beloved family man, dies at 68

Julia Schmitt remembers coming home late one night, bothered by her boss or "20 million things" at work. She found her father, a night owl,…
Christina Anderson-Taghioff and Simon Taghioff near their home in St. Paul in May. He was among those attending City Council meetings in April to chal

St. Paul City Council cuts street repair bills, but some still question fairness

After homeowners challenged street assessments, the City Council slashed many bills. But some say the system remains unfair.
Susan Gethin hugged Norman Irving as they arrived in the visitation area of Red Wing prison. Said Irving about Gethin: “It helps you to know you hav

Once homeless and now in prison, this Minnesotan still has his mentor from years ago in his corner

After landing in prison for aggravated robbery, Norman Irving is trying to turn his life around with the help of an old friend.
A July 2008 fireworks display over downtown St. Paul.

St. Paul duo who revived Grand Old Day now looking at July 4th fireworks

Timeline is tight, but fundraising is doable, they insist. The effort needs to raise more than $100,000 in just a few days
Sachoua Vang owns the Ninja Sushi food truck.

Thanks to social media, food trucks are headed back to vacant St. Paul lot

When the city booted them from a vacant lot, vendors took their complaints to Facebook.
A remade version of St. Paul’s historic Rice Park opened Tuesday. The familiar girl in the fountain remains, and she was adorned for the occasion.

St. Paul's oldest public space blooms anew after $2.3M makeover

A public square where sheep once grazed, park's transformation is complete
Twin Cities German Immersion School students played in the former Catholic church turned gymnasium in St. Paul.

St. Paul City Council votes against former church's historic designation

The decision disappointed opponents of a charter school's plan to demolish the building.
A Waste Management worker collected trash from the alleys of St. Paul's Snelling Hamline neighborhood in October 2018.

Questions about trash in St. Paul? Here are some answers

A Ramsey County judge ordered the ordinance suspended June 30. A day later, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said the city will appeal the ruling and promised the program will continue. Bottom line: The legal battle has created plenty of confusion among residents about what will happen.
Students play during gym class. ] LEILA NAVIDI ¥ leila.navidi@startribune.com BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Twin Cities German Immersion School in St.

St. Paul group sues to save former Como Park church

St. Paul group wants to halt German School's plan for former church.
Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St. Paul's yellow zone on the first

St. Paul trash collection will continue, even at city's expense, mayor says

Mayor Melvin Carter said it could cost an extra $13 million this year alone to keep the program going, unless the city prevails in court.
St. Paul City Council Member Kassim Busuri won’t resign his position or suspend his campaign.

Kassim Busuri says he decided to run for his St. Paul council seat at the urging of constituents. That's true, for some.

Some say interim post is an advantage; others like his devotion to Sixth Ward.
More than 40 local volunteers will serve steak dinners donated by several local restaurants to about 4,500 troops at three sites at Camp Arifjan in Ku

100,000th meal by Serving Our Troops will connect soldiers in Kuwait with families in Minnesota

The mark will happen sometime early Saturday afternoon.
Council President Amy Brendmoen asked the St. Paul City Council to set aside for two weeks its decision on whether to designate the former St. Andrew�

St. Paul Council delays vote on German Immersion School's request to raze former church

Council members push pause button to give German Immersion school and its neighbors more time to talk.
Still to come for the Ford site is the city’s comprehensive study, called an Alternative Urban Areawide Review.

State gives environmental clean bill of health to Ford site in St. Paul

Cleanup at the site began in 2013 and continued through January.
A wave of store closings on Grand Avenue, a historic St. Paul commercial corridor, has raised questions about the street’s continued vitality.

Empty storefronts fuel concern about St. Paul's Grand Avenue

Task force to study whether vacancies reflect normal churn, or a new normal.
Students play during gym class at the Twin Cities German Immersion School in St. Paul on Monday, November 5, 2018. The school wants to tear down the b

Fight over school's bid to raze former church comes to St. Paul City Council

A charter school voted nearly a year ago to move forward with demolition. But preservationists fight on.
Christina Anderson-Taghioff and Simon Taghioff stood at the intersection of Victoria Street and Osceola Avenue in front of their home in St. Paul.

In St. Paul, massive street repair bills have homeowners upset

Dozens have challenged St. Paul's new assessment system. The City Council decided to put off a vote for 30 days to study the issue further.
Grand Ave. looking west from St Albans Street, was clogged with pedestrians enjoying Grand Old Day in 2018.

Grand Old Day is back on, a week after St. Paul fest was called off

The street festival has run for 45 years on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.
Joey Spencer prepared to throw a punch at Osias Vasquez.

Fight Night at Minneapolis Armory is back in a big way

The sounds, sights, smells and splatters of big-time boxing are on display at the Minneapolis Armory.
Jess Dording, the vocalist in Brat Pack Radio, sang as the band performed in the parking lot of Billy's on Grand in 2018.

Last-ditch effort seeks to rescue St. Paul's Grand Old Day

A fundraising effort must bring in $100,000 by next Monday.
Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St Paul's yellow zone on the first d

St. Paul trash collection: More acceptance, but many still not paying their bills

Complaints have dwindled, but a significant percentage of customers still won't pay.
St. Paul's Grand Avenue looking west from St. Albans was clogged with pedestrians enjoying Grand Old Day in 2018.

Organizers cancel Grand Old Day, St. Paul's summer kickoff

The June festival is still planned for 2020, but organizers say they couldn't raise enough money this year.
The home of carpenter John Lewis, built in 1856, was saved due to the work of the Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association.

Historic St. Paul house on verge of restoration

The house on Goodrich Avenue was built before Minnesota became a state.
Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter on Tuesday announced a lease extension that will keep the Minnesota Wild at the Xc

Wild commits to playing in St. Paul through 2035

The team and city reached 10-year deal to keep games at Xcel Energy Center, with the Wild eyeing upgrades to arena and parking.
Eric Gary Barnes

Drummer Eric 'Edgar' Barnes, founder of Midwest Art Catalyst, dies at 49

Eric Gary Barnes thought his first name sounded too much like “ear ache” for his liking. So he chose Edgar Burn, a name that stuck…
St. Paul City Council Member Mitra Jalali Nelson, shown during her swearing in, will help put on the city's first Renters Voice Summit.

St. Paul seeks a greater voice for renters

Organizers hope an upcoming renters summit leads to better representation.
A March rendering for Ryan Co.'s proposal for the Ford plant site in St. Paul.

Plan for Ford site in St. Paul moves forward on 6-1 council vote

The City Council approved on a 6-1 vote the developer's request to amend the master plan to allow for single-family homes.
Allianz Field, shown Wednesday, sits amid Interstate 94, University Avenue and the Green Line light rail in St. Paul.

Ahead of first Allianz Field game, traffic questions persist

Where will people park? Will traffic snarl the area for hours before and after matches? Will, as a St. Paul traffic study suggests, nearly 8,000 fans leave their cars at home and take light rail or bus rapid transit to games?
Natalie Elizondo, a Texas Tech freshman studying pre-med, took photos of fellow students before Monday night's national championship game.

With season almost over, Virginia, Texas Tech fans holding their breath

Virginia and Texas Tech are playing tonight in Minneapolis for the NCAA title.
The former Ford assembly plant site, looking east, with Highland Village and then downtown St. Paul off in the distance.

St. Paul council members appear to line up behind Ryan plan for Ford site

The council is expected to vote next week on what the future will look like at the former Ford site in Highland Park.
A coal-fired power plant

St. Paul's District Energy burns last of its coal, readies to phase it out

For years, District Energy St. Paul has been phasing out its use of coal to heat buildings downtown, in Energy Park and in Duluth. On…
Ryan Cos. wants to build 35 single family homes along the Mississippi River, some of the nearly 3,800 units of housing it intends to build at the Ford

Single-family houses are back in the mix for St. Paul's Ford site

The 4-2 vote by the City Council shows split over riverfront homes.
Kay Kuehn, Open Hands Midway executive director, cleared away boxes from a meal the St. Paul organization served Monday to those in need.

Allianz Field viewed with hope, concern by those who serve St. Paul's poor

In the shadow of Allianz Field, local pastors ponder the future of anti-poverty programs.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and snowmobile racer Levi LaVallee after their 12,000-foot parachute jump onto Harriet Island Tuesday.

St. Paul mayor skydives into news conference to say Red Bull's 'Flugtag' event will return

Mayor Melvin Carter parachuted onto Harriet Island to spread the news.
Owner Tom Bielenberg mans the front desk at Micawber's Books in their new smaller location just steps away from the old one.

Broken hip forces longtime St. Paul bookseller to close shop

Black ice accomplished what years of online, big box competition couldn't.
St. Paul DFL caucuses are planned for Sunday afternoon, followed immediately by conventions, in three wards where only incumbents are seeking the part

St. Paul council candidates head into DFL caucuses, conventions

City Council incumbents seek party endorsement.
The former Ford assembly plant site, looking east, with Highland Village and then downtown St. Paul off in the distance.

St. Paul planners reject single-family homes in Ford project

Commissioners want denser housing than the 35 homes Ryan Cos. wants to build along Mississippi River Boulevard.
To achieve a “bold master plan” for redevelopment of the former Ford site in St. Paul, Ryan Cos. said it needs more than $107 million in public fi

Ryan Cos. seeking $107M in public financing for Ford site

After months of planning, the Minneapolis-based developer said a "public-private partnership" is needed. The money would go toward infrastructure, green space, a stream-like water feature and 760 units of affordable housing.
Chicago mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle speaks at her election night event in Chicago on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Cook County Board President Preckw

Chicago mayoral contender got start in St. Paul

Toni Preckwinkle's passion for politics and public service was sparked while she was a top student at Washington High School.
The Como Lake Pavilion

St. Paul's Como Lake pavilion getting new food vendor — again

Lancer Hospitality is the fourth company in the spot since 2015.
Fawn E. Wilderson, playing Aunt Frankie, and Roxanne Poindexter, playing Nellie, rehearsed "Not in Our Neighborhood" at Landmark Center in St. Paul.

Play about St. Paul's racist past sparks discussion and sold-out crowds

Performance in Macalester-Groveland neighborhood brings to life a painful racist incident from the 1920s.
“Safe, secure, affordable housing is vital to building a city that works for all of us,” said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, shown in May.

St. Paul approves tax breaks to get landlords to preserve affordable housing

St. Paul program offers landlords a break to keep rents from spiking.
Central Midway building

Concordia withdraws request for tax-exempt bonds to buy Midway building

College had proposed tax-exempt bonds to buy Central Midway building.
Manik Tandon of St. Paul cleaned ice and snow off of his windshield during a snow storm on Feb. 7.

Amid snow angst, some St. Paul residents clear their own streets

Snow emergencies and delays in clearing streets yield gripes and self-help.
(Left to right) Nelsie Yang (a candidate for the City Council's Sixth Ward seat), Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, and Ramsey County Commissioner J

Area leaders answer the call to help St. Paul apartment after its heating went out

More than 30 people rushed in to help residents of the Edgerton Hi-Rise.
The former Ford assembly plant site, looking northwest, with the downtown Minneapolis in the background.

Ryan Cos. wins over neighbors with scaled-back plan for Ford site

Ryan Cos. scaled back density plan, needs city leaders to OK changes.
A new Saint Paul garbage can. Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St Pau

St. Paul residents sue over city's trash plan

The suit demands that St. Paul officials respect thousands of signatures on an anti-trash plan petition and put it to a citywide vote.
Jolene Gill ate breakfast at Listening House in St. Paul.

Church, St. Paul near settlement over homeless drop-in center

Settlement sets guidelines for church's drop-in site in St. Paul neighborhood.
Peter Butler of St. Paul removed the chip that was embedded in his city-issued garbage bin.

New focal point for garbage ire in St. Paul: Hidden tracking chips

With new collection system under fire, St. Paul swears its chip isn't collecting data.

Shows added for new play about St. Paul history

“Not in Our Neighborhood!,” a play about the racism faced by a black couple who tried to move to a white St. Paul neighborhood…