Staff Directory 6370527

Faiza Mahamud

Reporter | Minneapolis

Faiza Mahamud covers Minneapolis for the Star Tribune. She has previously covered education, immigrant communities, city government and neighborhoods. 

Before joining the Star Tribune, Mahamud was a reporter and editor at Mshale, the largest African community newspaper in Minnesota. She has a bachelor's degree from Augsburg University and a master's degree from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Recent content from Faiza Mahamud
Rep. Ilhan Omar approached the stage to deliver her address to the delegates.

Fact check: What Rep. Ilhan Omar actually said in viral speech

Republican leaders are calling for an investigation over a disputed translation of the congresswoman's comments.
Tou Ger Xiong

Hmong American activist Tou Ger Xiong's funeral service to be held this month

The Xiong family announced on Facebook that services will be held Jan. 27-29 in St. Paul.
No stranger to hardship,  Fartun Weli uses nonprofit Isuroon to help East African families

No stranger to hardship, Fartun Weli uses nonprofit Isuroon to help East African families

The 13-year-old organization has a staff of 38 and provides a wide range of services to Somali and East African women and their families.
Twin Cities break century-old record with Christmas Day high of 54

Twin Cities break century-old record with Christmas Day high of 54

Travelers in west-central Minnesota were urged to be careful while driving.
Man, dog killed while crossing St. Paul street on Christmas Eve

Man, dog killed while crossing St. Paul street on Christmas Eve

The circumstances of crash are under investigation.
Marcia Howard, acting president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, spoke at a 2022 rally after the Minneapolis school district reached a tenta

Minneapolis teachers say resolution on Israel-Hamas conflict harmed families, divided their union

At a Wednesday meeting, the union approved a new resolution that aims to refocus the federation's priorities and unify its members.
Abdisamad Nur Bidar, at the laptop, met Tuesday with the local relief committee he’s chairing for flood victims in Somalia,

Minnesota's Somali community rallying to support its flood-devastated homeland

The heavy rains and floods have killed nearly 100 people, displaced hundreds of thousands and ravaged several regions in Somalia.
Marcia Howard, acting president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, spoke in August at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis. She is defending the

Mpls. teachers' union statement on Israel-Hamas conflict sparking controversy

While the resolution has garnered support from some in the school community, others are calling on MFT to take down the resolution and say it threatens the safety of Jewish students and teachers.
Susan Barksdale inserts her ballot after voting at Martin Luther King Park Recreation Center on Election Day in Ward 8 of Minneapolis, Minn. on Tuesda

It's Election Day: Who's running and what's on the ballot

Minneapolis and St. Paul will pick City Council members; schools have board members and tax requests before voters.
A precinct support judge for the Sixth Ward explained to a group of Council Member Jamal Osman supporters that political campaigners were not allowed

Commotion flares outside polling place in Minneapolis' Sixth Ward

A precinct support judge spoke with people outside Brian Coyle Center to assure them poll workers are trustworthy.
The new Dinkytown McDonald's that is set to open this week in Minneapolis, Minn. is seen on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. ] LEILA NAVIDI • leila.navidi@star

Dinkytown McDonald's will reopen at same site as the one closed in 2020

Known locally as "Drunk Don's" because it was a favorite stop after an evening of drinking, the former Dinkytown McDonald's was a beloved fixture for students and residents in the neighborhood.
Trees along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, October 2022.

Fall colors light up the Twin Cities this week as we bid farewell to autumn

Rain and wind predicted over the next few days could cause many of the remaining leaves to fall.
Minnesota welcomes you sign at the state border

You say Minnesota is the North? Not so, says study finding most residents identify with the Midwest

Researcher says states like Minnesota and Iowa need to help reestablish the significance of the Midwest and its culture.
Trees along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, October 2022.

Twin Cities area and southern Minnesota starting to see more peak fall colors

Recent cooler temperatures have spurred the colors to finally start changing in the metro area and other parts of southern Minnesota.
Children watched the August 2017 total solar eclipse with a pinhole projector camera outside the Hennepin County Library branch in Brooklyn Park.

Want to know how to safely watch Saturday's 'Ring of Fire' eclipse? Here's how

Don't use your sunglasses. Get certified eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer instead, and make sure they comply with standards.
Where to find the best fall colors in Minnesota, as of Thursday.

Message from the DNR: Now's the time to get out and see the fall colors

Weather conditions have had a significant impact on Minnesota's fall foliage, making it a quick season for fall colors.
Cellphones across the United States will get a test message Wednesday from the nation’s emergency alert systems.

Don't panic if your cellphone blares an alert at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday. It's just a test.

The federal government will be conducting a nationwide test of its emergency alert systems.
Oberg Lake near Lutsen, Minn., September 2022.

Where to find the best fall colors this weekend in Minnesota

Much of northern Minnesota is nearly at peak, while the southern part of the state is changing slowly.
Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre during his hour-long address to a crowd of about 1600 in a ballroom at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington late

Somali Prime Minister Barre inspires hope during historic weekend visit to Minnesota

In the first visit to Minnesota by a sitting Somali prime minister, Hamza Abdi Barre urged a Bloomington audience to join the country's fight against Al-Shabab.
Third graders showed off their Science Fair projects to volunteer coaches at Adams Elementary School in Coon Rapids in 2018.

State Science Fair and Science Bowl programs safe for another year, but future remains uncertain

The Minnesota Academy of Science secured $100,000 in new donations and pledges to support the programs for another year.
This Monday, March 9, 2020 file photo shows a packet of donated blood at The American Red Cross donation center in Scranton, Pa. On Friday, March 13,

The American Red Cross faces severe blood shortage, appeals for urgent donations

The national shortage has been exacerbated by recent hurricanes that have forced dozens of blood drive cancellations and strained blood supply.
Armstrong High School officials said the cause of sewage backup was a combination of nonflushable items such as vape pens, wet wipes and paper towels.

Classes resume at Plymouth high school following sewage backup caused partially by flushed vape pens

School officials said they have cleared the blockage and cleaned and sanitized the affected areas.
The Space Tower and its rotating observation deck in 2020.

Mechanical issues force closing of Space Tower for the rest of this year's State Fair

Operators of the 1960s-era structure said the ride will be refitted with elevator parts in time for next year's fair.
A couple rode the SkyGlider on the last day of the 2022 Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights.

Looking to avoid the Minnesota State Fair's bigger crowds? Here are tips on how to beat the crush

The opening Thursday of the Great Minnesota Get-Together is historically one of the lowest-attended days.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced Thursday a longterm funding agreement between the city and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. Behind him

Mayor Frey announces funding boost for Minneapolis public housing

City and housing officials say the additional $4 million in funding would help the cash-strapped Minneapolis Public Housing Authority to complete much-needed repairs and plan ahead.
Fall foliage was peaking around Oberg Lake in Tofte in 2020.

How do Minnesota lakes get their names?

Minnesota has more than 200 Mud Lakes, though state and federal guidelines discourage duplicate monikers.
Derrick Strauss, a cannabis glassware artist, on Tuesday enjoyed a puff on a dab rig in Minneapolis.

Want to get high at the Minnesota State Fair? Better stick to the Ferris wheel

Fair officials are prohibiting the use of marijuana during the annual event, which starts Aug. 24.
Man accuses Bloomington police checking a burglary report of 'unlawful' search, detainment

Man accuses Bloomington police checking a burglary report of 'unlawful' search, detainment

A city spokesperson said officers detained the homeowner and his son until confirming there was no burglary, and didn't search the house.
MSP officials say this is only the second time crews recall seeing a snow pile linger this long into the summer.

Stubborn snow pile at MSP Airport persists despite hot weather

Weather officials say a snowy winter and dry conditions are partly to blame.
Hazelnut, the goat stolen from Great River School, a Montessori charter school in St. Paul, and later found dead.

Loss of St. Paul school's beloved goat sparks an outpouring of support

The Great River School has raised $15,000 for a more secure pen to protect the remaining animals from future harm.
Science Fair events, like Adams Elementary School in Coon Rapids in January 2018, are on the chopping block.

Drop in funding is threatening Minnesota's Science Fair, Science Bowl programs

The Minnesota Academy of Science has six months to attract new funders and close a nearly $200,000 budget gap.
A West St. Paul couple has raised more than $1,800 toward their $2,000 goal in order to buy Pride flags for their neighbors who want one, after their

Pride flag stolen in West St. Paul sparks fundraising campaign

Couple want to buy Pride flags for others to fly in their neighborhood and surrounding communities.
Air quality alert for Twin Cities, eastern Minnesota to continue through Tuesday

Air quality alert for Twin Cities, eastern Minnesota to continue through Tuesday

Possible thunderstorms, along with a forecast cold front, may help clear the air late Monday.
Memberships are valid at 19 metro area YMCAs, including Hudson, Wis. The Maplewood YMCA Community Center is shown during a March job fair.

YMCA of the North offering free summer memberships to high school teens

Memberships will be valid at 19 YMCA locations, starting Monday through Aug. 31.
Minneapolis City Council candidate Nasri Warsame spoke at a news conference May 17, days after chaos erupted at a Democratic convention.

DFL punishes candidate after chaotic Minneapolis convention

The Minnesota DFL voted Tuesday to ban Nasri Warsame, the Minneapolis City Council candidate whose supporters stormed the stage of a convention earlier this month, from ever seeking the party endorsement.
Cody White made sure riders were secured in the Corkscrew roller coaster at Valleyfair in 2019.

Valleyfair introduces chaperone policy to cut down on unruly youth behavior

Children and teens 15 and younger at the amusement park now must be accompanied by a chaperone who is at least 21.
Marla Butler of Plymouth sorted books at Books for Africa in St. Paul.

Members of the Somalia Parliament in St. Paul to thank Books for Africa for donations

The nonprofit has sent more than 1.1 million books to the East African country over the past 35 years.
DNR taking heat for euthanizing injured black bear roaming north Minneapolis

DNR taking heat for euthanizing injured black bear roaming north Minneapolis

Officials deemed the bear a threat to the public, while others say it could have been tranquilized and moved to a rural area.
A BNSF rail terminal worker monitored the departure of a freight train in Galesburg, Ill., in 2021.

Longtime BNSF employee suing company for discrimination following gender transition

BNSF declined to comment on the suit, but said it's committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Want to stop crime? Walk with us, say Minneapolis block clubs

Want to stop crime? Walk with us, say Minneapolis block clubs

Neighborhood groups are forming walking clubs to deter crime around the city.
Immigrant rights advocates on Thursday rallied outside the Minneapolis City Council chambers, demanding city leaders implement a list of “pro-immigr

Advocates push Mpls. to issue city IDs to residents, unveil list of 'pro-immigrant' demands

Minneapolis passed municipal ID ordinance in 2018 but halted implementation over concerns information could be used to identify immigrants for deportation.
Council Member Michael Rainville met with some members of the Somali community last week at Dar Al-Qalam mosque in Minneapolis.

Rainville tries to make peace after firestorm over remarks about Somali youth

He had blamed Somali American youth for a wave of violence in the city over the July 4th weekend.
City Council Member Michael Rainville, a Democrat representing Minneapolis’ Third Ward, was responding to a weekend of violence that included a mass

Some Minneapolis council members want to censure Rainville, but it's not so easy

Council Member Michael Rainville's comments singling out Somali American youth for violence over the July 4th weekend sparked anger.
Pressure mounts against Minneapolis City Council's Rainville

Pressure mounts against Minneapolis City Council's Rainville

He has apologized for singling out Somali youth after a wave of violence over the July 4th weekend.
Minneapolis to demolish vacant building on former Kmart site

Minneapolis to demolish vacant building on former Kmart site

A St. Paul-based consulting firm hired by the city will begin community engagement in August around the future of the site.
If the former Victory Memorial Ice Arena becomes a roller-skating rink, it would become the only one in Minneapolis.

Vacant ice arena in north Minneapolis could gain new life as roller-skating rink

Though the plan is still in its infancy, the hope is to open the roller rink by 2024.
Minnesota job vacancies hit a record 214,000 in 2021.

Twin Cities minimum-wage workers get pay raises. Here's what you need to know

The step increases will occur over several years, with Minneapolis small businesses expected to hit the $15 rate by 2024, followed by St. Paul's in 2027.
A Metro Transit bus drove north on Hennepin Avenue in a dedicated bus lane toward the Uptown Transit Station.

Minneapolis City Council fails to override Mayor Frey's veto on Hennepin Av. redo

The matter has been sent back to the city's public works committee.
The Minneapolis City skyline, including City Hall, as seen from the back of the U.S. District Court.

Minneapolis City Council postpones nomination of Barret Lane as city's emergency director

Several members raise questions about Barret Lane's leadership during the unrest of 2020,
The Minneapolis skyline, including City Hall, as seen from the back of the U.S. District Court.

Minneapolis seeks injunction to stop court order blocking 2040 plan

The city argues that allowing the order to go into effect would throw a wrench into its long-range plan and expose it to possible lawsuits.
Minneapolis City Hall

Mpls. City Council committee approves nomination of Barret Lane to head emergency management

The department is tasked with coordinating the city's disaster plans, training and response.
“The only good place I am going to be is in the water,” said University of Minnesota student Lexi Charpentie, who kept cool in her butterfly float

Heat wave parks itself over state; highs in triple digits likely

Authorities urge people to stay hydrated when possible, and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat stroke, heat exhaustion: How to recognize, what to do

Heat stroke, heat exhaustion: How to recognize, what to do

The Minneapolis City Council this week approved a $150,000 settlement for a public housing tenant who said her calls about poor living conditions went

Mpls. Council OKs $150K settlement for tenant who said city failed to enforce code violations in public housing

City officials said they didn't know before that they had the authority to inspect public housing properties.
Angela Williams at a news conference held by current and former Minneapolis city employees outside City Hall before the City Council meeting Thursday.

Minneapolis City Council approves Heather Johnston's nomination for city coordinator

Appointment came as some current and former staffers said Johnston could have done more to combat a racist culture within the department.
The historic $27 million project at the Elliot Twins brought modern fire safety systems and upgraded living spaces in the downtown high-rise apartment

$27M upgrade for aging Elliot Twins public housing towers is complete

Housing Authority officials said the redevelopment of the towers will serve as a blueprint for how the agency can preserve and produce more affordable housing amid a crisis.
A group has launched an online fundraising campaign to help with hiring an off-duty police officer to patrol the Mill District from 5 to 10 p.m. in th

Downtown Minneapolis residents want to hire police to curb crime in neighborhood

The pilot project would bring an off-duty beat officer to patrol the Mill District in the summer.
Minnesota job vacancies hit a record 214,000 in 2021.

Pay increase coming to Twin Cities minimum wage earners July 1

Tips and gratuities do not count toward wage payments.
The fire-damaged building in north Minneapolis.

Why hasn't a fire-damaged apartment building in north Minneapolis been repaired?

The charred remains have been sitting vacant for more than a year, leaving many concerned about safety.
Photojournalist Linda Tirado

Minneapolis to pay $600K to journalist blinded in one eye by police projectile after George Floyd's death

Photojournalist Linda Tirado argued that the city and police conspired to deprive journalists of their constitutional rights during the unrest.
The Minneapolis City Council reappointed three longtime staff to department heads Thursday, May 26, 2022. They postponed a vote on the city coordinato

Three Mpls. department heads get nod; city coordinator decision postponed

While voting to delay the city coordinator appointment, council members acknowledged the position will likely cease to exist in a matter of months.
Community members lay flowers down near gravestone markers at the 'Say Their Name' cemetery.

Two years later: 'I'm going to still be out here to honor George'

George Floyd's brother and his aunt came to the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue on Wednesday night, exactly two years after his killing, and quietly made official the name the intersection has carried almost ever since.
Brian Smith, director of the office of performance and innovation and interim director of strategic management for the City of Minneapolis, looks back

Minneapolis council committee forwards city coordinator appointment without recommendation

The full council could decide on Heather Johnston's nomination later this week. She's served as interim head of the department since August.
In 2013, Peter Ginder addressed crowded controversial hearings in Minneapolis City Council chambers on whether the city should form its own utility.

Retired Minneapolis deputy city attorney named acting head of the department

Peter Ginder will serve as interim city attorney until a permanent replacement is selected.
Omar "Shooli" Mohamed shoots a video for Snapchat while visiting his friends at Botiyow Barber Shop on Lake Street.

Minnesota Somali singer fights deportation as he faces death threats in native country

The Minneapolis resident who came to the U.S. as a refugee teenager said he fears militants will kill him if he's deported to Somalia.
Tom Hoch tapped to lead Minneapolis Public Housing Authority board

Tom Hoch tapped to lead Minneapolis Public Housing Authority board

Hoch, who previously served as MPHA's deputy executive director, will preside over the board through 2024.
City Coordinator's Office staffers allege 'toxic, racist and unsafe workplace conditions'

City Coordinator's Office staffers allege 'toxic, racist and unsafe workplace conditions'

Groups says they want the interim head of the department gone and have made several demands to create a better work environment for employees of color.
A screenshot from body camera footage shows Minneapolis police officer William Gregory punching Damareion McKizzie in the face before he is taken into

Man who sued Minneapolis, police settles for $50K

Damareion McKizzie accused officers of violating his civil rights when they used excessive force and detained him in March 2021 when he was 17. The settlement awaits the mayor's approval.
Tasha Julius, production manager for the nonprofit

Minneapolis officials say it's time to take lead out of homes

Mayor Jacob Frey announced that more than 3,000 school-age children, the majority of whom are students of color, have been poisoned by lead.
Minneapolis city crews worked Tuesday to clear a homeless encampment during rush hour along 5th Avenue near Lake Street in Minneapolis. Traffic in the

Minneapolis closes homeless encampment in Phillips West neighborhood

The camp, which was on city property, was a temporary home to more than 20 adults.
Minneapolis renters Jon Wills, left and Kiesha Steele with others attended the Minneapolis City Council meeting with hopes of a rent stabilization sol

Minneapolis to form rent control work group

The 25-member panel must submit a final report to the council by the end of the year. The City Council will submit a ballot question to voters in 2023.
Minneapolis Convention Center, which has been a ghost town during stretches of the pandemic, is slowly coming back to life. Here, workers prepared the

Convention Center expects slow recovery after pandemic crash

It could take three years before business returns to normal at the Convention Center, which saw at least 70% decline in revenue during the pandemic.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

Panel says Mpls. should invest more in youth, entrepreneurs, new homebuyers

Mayor Jacob Frey said the recommendations will be used in planning for the second phase spending of the pandemic relief money and the city's 2023 budget
Minneapolis City Council Member Jamal Osman

Mpls. mosques will broadcast call to prayer all year round

The City Council unanimously supported the broadcasts and recognizing Ramadan, which begins April 2.
Steve Meldahl has dozens of properties across Minneapolis and is often facing fines and other entanglements with the city over resident complaints. Bu

Minneapolis landlord ordered to pay $1 million in legal fees after tenants' rights violations

Judge notes a "disrespectful and unlawful treatment of vulnerable low-income residential tenants."