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Jon Tevlin

Columnist | Metro
phone: 612-673-1702
Jon Tevlin is a metro section columnist.
Recent content from Jon Tevlin

Tevlin: Minneapolis street doctor dispenses care with a dose of dignity

The son of missionaries, he grew up in the Congo and was shot by the same insurgents who killed his father, forcing the rest of…
Tevlin: Story of accusations vs. Jason McLean 'clawing to be told for decades'

Tevlin: Story of accusations vs. Jason McLean 'clawing to be told for decades'

It was 2002, and I was covering the controversy surrounding one of the city’s hippest hangouts, the Loring Bar. The landlord of the building and…
Tevlin: Minneapolis teen learns about the politics of educating our students

Tevlin: Minneapolis teen learns about the politics of educating our students

At one point in an otherwise raucous Minneapolis school board meeting, Becky and David Branch took to the podium, not to scold or rant, but…

Tevlin: E-mail by MPCA staffer over proposed pipeline project creates political stir

Today’s lesson for new or forgetful government employees comes courtesy of what appears to be a low-level cog working for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency…
Tevlin: Sergio Paez goes into belly of the beast to try to save his job

Tevlin: Sergio Paez goes into belly of the beast to try to save his job

With his reputation under attack and his career on the line, the kid who grew up in the streets of Bogota, Colombia, took on his…
Tevlin: This year-end list is a sad tally of domestic abuse

Tevlin: This year-end list is a sad tally of domestic abuse

The lists arrive with comforting predictability this time of year: the best of this, the worst of that, the funniest, the saddest, the ones we…

Tevlin: Day in court over holidays brings sad stories, tough decisions

On the day before Christmas Eve, they came before the judge in tattered overcoats, torn jeans and orange prison jump suits. Some were alone. One…
Tevlin: A year of lessons from extraordinary people

Tevlin: A year of lessons from extraordinary people

So 2015 slouches to the final days, days of retrospection and assessment, hope and regret. We look at the news: perpetual war, permanent jihad. A…
Tevlin: Harteau says this is where she should be right now

Tevlin: Harteau says this is where she should be right now

The woman with arguably one of worst jobs in the city right now stood in a dingy gymnasium in north Minneapolis and tried to tell…
Tevlin: When the plot is foiled, justice is a tricky matter

Tevlin: When the plot is foiled, justice is a tricky matter

It’s a scenario seen with frightening frequency. An impressionable young man or teen is influenced by outside forces due partly to the convenience and secrecy…
Democracy was a hot mess at the council's budget hearing

Democracy was a hot mess at the council's budget hearing

The Minneapolis City Council budget hearing Wednesday started with the usual plea for consideration from your Average Citizen. She wondered politely if the city couldn’t…

Tevlin: A long journey from addict to prison inmate to lawyer

Suzula Bidon was working in a federal prison kitchen for 12 cents an hour, the result of a drug habit that put her behind bars…

Tevlin: In court, it's brother vs. sister and a family torn apart

Sitting in the hallway of Hennepin County Court, Lissa Miller looked distraught. She didn’t think she would be spending the early years of her retirement…
With Capitol under renovation, debate begins on which art is appropriate when it reopens

With Capitol under renovation, debate begins on which art is appropriate when it reopens

When it comes to the Anton Gag painting “Attack on New Ulm,” which was hanging in the Minnesota State Capitol before being stored during the…
Tevlin: No easy solutions in north Minneapolis

Tevlin: No easy solutions in north Minneapolis

As hundreds of protesters streamed into downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday night, a defiant show of disgust after a white man allegedly shot five black protesters…
Tevlin: Betsy Hodges' measured response is just what's needed

Tevlin: Betsy Hodges' measured response is just what's needed

One Minneapolis spoke loudly and clearly this week about the death of Jamar Clark.It spoke from the Fourth Precinct, where hundreds have gathered to protest…
Modernism Week in Palm Springs lures an eclectic crowd

Modernism Week in Palm Springs lures an eclectic crowd

Modernism Week in this acclaimed center of clean-lined architecture lures an eclectic crowd for a wide range of activities.

Tevlin: Take a breath, wait for facts as clock ticks in Jamar Clark case

Over the past few nights protesters have set up a base camp in the alcove of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct. They’ve spilled into…

Some Canadians will do anything to get to a U.S. business meeting

Walter David Duncan's Great American Misadventure started in Toronto, traversed southern Canada, crossed the roiling Pigeon River, clomped through thickets and woods teeming with bears…

Tevlin: With blushing concern, Virginia, Minn., confronts sex parties

Bill Hanna has been editor of the Mesabi Daily News for 30 years, so he figured he’d seen it all — at least all that’s…

Tevlin: Can 'holistic' crime fighting conquer real-life violence?

When Carter Averbeck first moved into the Warehouse District of Minneapolis 15 years ago, he expected the drunks and chuckleheads. There were music venues, topless…
Tevlin: Mystery solved; flowers are a mom's tribute for soldier son

Tevlin: Mystery solved; flowers are a mom's tribute for soldier son

Thomas Johnson was a soldier and a son. He read Chaucer and liked sports, and he loved the Minnesota Twins so much he arranged his…
Tevlin: Flowers reveal that soldiers who die by suicide aren't forgotten

Tevlin: Flowers reveal that soldiers who die by suicide aren't forgotten

They come to the cavernous Hennepin County Government Center to solve problems, large and small. One by one, they drop by the information desk in…
Tevlin: Parking issues trip our inner reptile; ask St. Paul

Tevlin: Parking issues trip our inner reptile; ask St. Paul

Somewhere amid the heckling and the boos, the murmurs and groans, city officials tried to invoke his name, like a call to a higher power…
Tevlin: Judge makes thoughtful, solemn decision in LaDue case in Waseca

Tevlin: Judge makes thoughtful, solemn decision in LaDue case in Waseca

The judge was deliberate and solemn, choosing to write and read his decision carefully instead of speaking extemporaneously. It was what the moment demanded. After…

Tevlin: Latest city home inspections roil, worry landlords in Seward

The city, however, says such inspections of rental properties are taking place citywide, in a more focused, systematic way.

Tevlin: Working Families Agenda still faces a long road ahead

Danny Schwartzman grew up just outside of Washington, D.C., with an entrepreneurial mind-set and a socially conscious heart. He wound up in Minneapolis doing organizing…

Tevlin: If information is power, Mike Menner hands out lots of it

Mike Menner strolled into the reception area of St. Stephen’s Human Services, where an hour earlier people had lined up in search of advice on…

Tevlin: My mom, the 'recess consultant'

It’s not every day that you learn something new about your mother, especially when she’s been dead for nearly 30 years. But a story on…

Hurdles are nothing new for this Twin Cities marathoner

Running is nothing new to Crystal Gail Welcome, she’s been doing it all her life. But when she lines up for the start of the…
Tevlin: Posturing might cost Minneapolis a soccer stadium

Tevlin: Posturing might cost Minneapolis a soccer stadium

Last week, a local billionaire and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman got together to show some love for an abandoned bus barn in a shopworn…
Tevlin: State senator's garden project is one thing he can control

Tevlin: State senator's garden project is one thing he can control

It catches your eye not far past Five Mile Rock north of Grand Marais, somewhere between Kimball Creek and the Kadunce River. A thicket? A…
Tevlin: Punch Pizza has the last laugh over its higher wages

Tevlin: Punch Pizza has the last laugh over its higher wages

It was nearly two years ago that Punch Pizza raised its lowest minimum wage to $10, at the same time increasing pay significantly throughout the…

Disability access at the State Fair makes some strides

You griped, and the Minnesota State Fair listened. Mostly.

Tevlin: When cops go too far in a sting, we all get stung

When police officers rammed down the door of the massage parlor in a squat stucco building in south Minneapolis, they saw a young woman, topless…

Tevlin: Rugby players team up to give homeless vets a hand

When Andrew Anderson joined the Marines in 2005 and eventually was deployed to Iraq, his buddies from the Metropolis Rugby Football Club were there for…

Tevlin: After a year of protests, attitudes are little changed

It has been a year since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Nekima Levy-Pounds marked the anniversary Monday at a demonstration in St…

Tevlin: Mille Lacs' sad fish story is the season that got away

It’s been a disquieting couple of weeks in Lake Wobegon, our hometown on the edge of the prairie. Our summer light is fading a little…

Veteran Hennepin County social worker has seen it all – and then some

On the good days, clients of the program Carmen Castaneda oversees may just be victims of their own age and deteriorating mental conditions, unaware that…

Tevlin: Ojibwe comedy duo eager to dispense 'good medicine'

Rob Fairbanks grew up in the Little Earth of United Tribes in Minneapolis, then moved to Cass Lake as a member of the Leech Lake…

Tevlin: Data 'nerd' sues Bloomington to keep it transparent

Tony Webster has been called a nuisance, a harasser and “an apparent agent of Black Lives Matter,” among other things. He says he’s just a…

Tevlin: Very bad fall spells trouble ahead for wave of aging boomers

Bob Cervenka's father died when he was 10 and his mother struggled to keep them afloat, so when Bob started a plastic injection molding company…

Tevlin: Good stuff happens when chef chooses your groceries

What happens when you pay one of the region’s best chefs at one of the region’s finest and fanciest restaurants to “curate” your grocery list?…
Tevlin: With a song in his heart, Minnesota pianist celebrates mended ties with Cuba

Tevlin: With a song in his heart, Minnesota pianist celebrates mended ties with Cuba

Monday will be a historic day in Washington, D.C., as Cuba opens its first embassy in the U.S. in 54 years. A delegation from Cuba…
Tevlin: Our experiences color how we see police-public interactions

Tevlin: Our experiences color how we see police-public interactions

The cop video has become our Rorschach inkblot test. There is an altercation between a police officer and a citizen, usually a young black man.…

Transgender life is a long haul for Minneapolis woman

Upcoming episodes of "Orange Is the New Black" will portray some of what "CeCe" McDonald faced being a transgender woman living in a man's prison.

Tevlin: After two years of homelessness, a veteran finds a home

For more than two years, Austin Poons bounced between hospitals and homeless shelters as he tried to stabilize his life after getting laid off from…

Tevlin: Mpls. man's $1 billion suit over pot pipe is no laughing matter

The case in U.S. District Court between Dennis Larson Loop and the federal government and city of Minneapolis has a catchy title — “Rasta Sues…

Tevlin: RIP to MPCA Citizens' Board, open democracy

On Aug. 13, 1973, Minnesota Gov. Wendell Anderson was featured in a now iconic photo on the cover of Time magazine. He was young and…

Daughter's Tay-Sachs disease didn't stop two dads from reaching for a normal life

In her nine years of life, Krystie Anna Karl-Steiger never spoke a single word, but she expressed her love and emotions through her eyes and…

Tevlin: Nienstedt not the only one culpable in church sex scandal

Archbishops Harry Flynn and John Nienstedt couldn't be further apart in beliefs and style, but now they are inexorably linked in the sex scandals and criminal charges that have rocked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Tevlin: Sometimes a phone call is just too good to be true

According to the Wall Street Journal, Americans — mostly seniors — have lost more than $1 billion in lottery scams.

Minnesota's generally scandal-free government just lost a weapon in the state auditor

In a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton Monday over the impasse that threatened to shut down state government and suspend thousands of jobs, House Speaker…

Tevlin: Former students want bow for Minneapolis theater teacher

Chris Fisher practically grew up on stage, getting his first laugh lines from Harry Blackstone, the famous magician, when he was 7 years old. As…
No martinis here: An alligator lunch with Minneapolis Council Member Jacob Frey

No martinis here: An alligator lunch with Minneapolis Council Member Jacob Frey

On a warm, sunny afternoon, Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey nibbled on alligator sausage at New Bohemia Wurst & BierHaus as he talked about…
Tevlin: Wisconsin man has one wild ride in pursuit of stolen pickup

Tevlin: Wisconsin man has one wild ride in pursuit of stolen pickup

If you’ve ever visited the rolling hills and deep valleys of Wisconsin’s “driftless area” south of La Crosse, you know it’s a lovely place to…

Tevlin: Twin Cities scholarship program helps students dream big

Fatima Ahmad is not your stereotypical 17-year-old. Sure, she uses teenage phrases like “that was insane” to describe interesting experiences and she loves words such…

Minnesota Legislature's cone of silence makes for a bad environmental bill

They came with fishing poles and seed caps and dragged along some giant puppets and a couple little kids dressed as bumblebees for fun. Unlike…

With a shirt, Minneapolis city worker shows act of kindness

The Public Works employee prefers to remain anonymous, saying his act "felt like the right thing to do at the time."
Tevlin: Airport doing right on pay, but it's too late for fired Delta worker

Tevlin: Airport doing right on pay, but it's too late for fired Delta worker

It looks like the big shots are about to follow the advice of Kip Hedges, who was fired in December for giving it. Four months…

Tevlin: Anatomy of the bird-flu joke that flopped in the House

You have to know your joke didn't go over well when the response from your colleagues comes in a letter beginning, "We, the undersigned."That's what…

Tevlin: North Minneapolis culinary nonprofit has appetite for social change

Most restaurants start out as for-profits and end up as nonprofits by happenstance. Breaking Bread Cafe opened last week as a nonprofit with for-profit dreams,…

Tevlin: Penumbra play of Detroit's 1967 riots is painfully familiar

In the tattered basement of an inner-city home, a young black family and their friends talked about love, death, race and their dreams of a…

Tevlin: Minnesota House says: 'What climate change?'

On the front page of Tuesday's newspaper, a headline read: "As summers get hotter, humans get more blame." This idea is being accepted as fact…

Tevlin: Is a leader unbound a good thing or a bad thing?

Gov. Mark Dayton appeared at the old Star Tribune building on Friday to officiate the transfer of the newspaper's time capsule to the new digs,…

Tevlin: Roosevelt parents mobilize, demand budget equity

When Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower got an early copy of the proposed budget for Roosevelt High School for the 2015-2016 school year, the document was “like…

Tevlin: Did booze bring out the best in our legislators?

A couple of weeks ago I finally wandered into one of those giant suburban liquor stores, the ones that are either a sign of the…

Tevlin: Living wages should start with employers, not taxpayers

On a beautiful spring morning, Ricardo Chavez spent a little of his free time to speak out for some fellow janitors that he has never met.

Tevlin: Why do we treat superintendents like royalty?

St. Paul school board member John Brodrick has had a range of emotions over the past week as he learned of the city’s school superintendent’s…

Tevlin: Even with remarkable changes in Minneapolis, I've heard this speech before

By now I should know not to expect too much from ceremonial speeches such as the State of the City. They all sound vaguely the same, save for a pet word or phrase.

Tevlin: KFAI Radio works to stay scrappy, remain relevant

Shortly before 9 a.m. one day last week, moderators for the nationally syndicated radio program “Democracy Now” were talking to a writer for Rolling Stone…

Tevlin: Bill on bodily fluids merits much more than snickers

The debate on the floor of the Minnesota House surfaced near midnight, when most of the curious and the connected had gone home. It followed…

Tevlin: Why the focus on the state's servers just to save $1 a hour?

Perhaps I’m just conditioned to siding with waiters and waitresses. I’m decades removed from my abandoned degree in psychology, so I’m going on emotion rather…

Tevlin: Snubbed builder gives Wayzata a hot pink poke in the eye

After the city of Wayzata turned down Brad Hoyt’s proposal to build a five-story mixed-use building near the far end of its main drag, Hoyt…

Tevlin: Life, death, joy, sorrow punctuate pastor's sermon

When the Rev. Jason Niemi got up to give the sermon for his old college friend Brad Einck last month at United Lutheran Church in Red Wing, Minn., he was as conflicted as he had ever been.
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