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
Kris Sundberg, executive director of Elder Voice Family Advocates, shown in 2018. “This just further erodes any trust that we have had in the Depart

Botched virus testing at St. Paul nursing home brings anger, apologies

Problems surfaced almost immediately: Test samples were ruined because they were not stored in coolers, and oral swabs were used instead of nasal ones.
Sharon Carlson, center, distances even at home in Andover with daughters Jaime, left, and Kristin.

Staying vigilant, Minnesotans stay in to fight COVID-19

In sticking with the routines they've developed, they say they're doing their part to help medical workers, flatten the curve and reduce the spread.
Patty Keeling, with Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, led chants with a megaphone from inside her car parked outside the Pilgrim’s Pride plant in Cold S

Outbreak hits Pilgrim's Pride poultry plant in Cold Spring

As of Monday, state health workers had confirmed 194 COVID-19 cases among workers at the Pilgrim's Pride poultry processing plant — more than double the 83 cases just four days ago.
The Jennie-O plant in Melrose, Minn. COVID cases are surging in Stearns County, in large part due to three meat packing plants in the area.

COVID-19 outbreak in St. Cloud sparks fears of spreading virus

Increased testing among local processing plant workers has established the central Minnesota community as a COVID-19 hot zone.
Brendan Kennealy caught his daughter Hazel, 2, as she went down a small slide in the backyard of their home Friday.

Caution will outlast Minnesota's COVID-19 restrictions

For many, the weeks in quarantine have instilled a sense of concern — or fear — that won't be easy to shed.
David Goulette

David Goulette, a gifted church organist with a rich bass voice, dies of COVID-19 at 83

It was David Goulette’s rich bass singing voice that first caught Carol Carver’s ear at a choir audition decades ago. It was his almost-heavenly organ…
Dr. Geetha Damodaran performed an emergency tooth extraction Thursday at Hope Dental Clinic in St. Paul.

St. Paul dental clinic risks the virus to keep low-income people out of the ER

Dentists, hygienists and dental students continue braving the dangers of COVID-19 to volunteer at St. Paul's Hope Dental Clinic.
Relatives and friends including granddaughter Elianne Farhat, center, prayed during funeral services for Elie Farhat, who recently died of COVID-19 at

Spreads of coronavirus exposes racial inequalities in Minn., U.S.

At first glance, the numbers in Minnesota's cases don't appear out of proportion. But officials say the actual numbers of victims in the state's minority communities are likely higher.
In the 104 years since she was born in Plainview, Minn., Vera Mueller has survived a flu pandemic, a Great War, a Great Depression, a second World War

At 104, Minnesota woman may be oldest in U.S. to survive COVID-19

Her son is convinced that Vera Mueller's faith pulled her through.
The 5-acre Frogtown Farm has supplied more than 40,000 pounds of fresh produce to the St. Paul neighborhood in the past four years.

St. Paul's unique urban farm not planting due to COVID-19

Shutdown has Frogtown leaders concerned beyond 2020
Then-St. Paul schools Superintendent Patricia Harvey, shown in 2002.

Former St. Paul schools chief Patricia Harvey, champion of accountability, dies at 72

By the time Harvey left in 2006, the schools had a flourishing reputation as an urban district on the rise.
St. Paul school bus drivers and aides handed out a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches to families of students along their route Wednesday. Here,

COVID-19 scare prompts Minnesota schools to get creative in feeding kids

With the state's schools closed, districts and other organizations are finding ways to deliver meals to children in need.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has sown confusion about what the rules are regarding where Minnesotans can go, how many can gather and what the governme

Virus fears prompt Minnesotans to spread rumors, misinformation

As a woman walked past Grand Avenue's Wedding Shoppe a couple of days ago, she saw something that alarmed her: a large group of people…
University of Minnesota senior Courtney Hruska (left) helped her younger sister Alexa, a freshman, move out of her dorm room. Both students will retur

Minnesota college seniors grieve the loss of milestone moments to COVID-19

Canceled commencement ceremonies and other events are among the memories lost in the last semester before graduation.
Lucy, left, and Frannie Howatt hopped over the fence of the playground at their neighborhood school, Galtier Elementary in St. Paul after visiting the

As public places close in Twin Cities, there's nowhere to go but home

In a span of days, state, civic and business leaders have locked down public places on a scale not seen here in more than a century.
Students worked on arts and crafts at Highland Park Elementary School last week.

Minnesota schools, parents struggle to adjust to school closure

Just as parents scramble to find ways to adjust their lives during the school closures, St. Paul and Minneapolis educators have their own challenge: finding ways to teach nearly 70,000 students from a distance.
The lots on Lexington Parkway are a block south of the Green Line and near Wilder’s headquarters, pictured, at the northeastern edge of St. Paul’s

Proposed apartments set up clash over gentrification in St. Paul's Frogtown

Proposed apartments seen as moving the area toward gentrification
“I have been fortunate to serve at MPHA during a transformative time,” Tracey Scott said in a prepared statement.

Minneapolis Public Housing Authority interim director headed to Chicago

Scott moves to the second-largest public housing authority in the country, serving more than 63,000 families with an operating budget of $1 billion.
A packed room during a listening session on the Minneapolis schools' massive restructuring plan at the district headquarters on Wednesday. Families li

Plan to reshape Minneapolis schools lacks detail, parents say

Families are worried about effects of the Comprehensive District Design (CDD) plan, which is scheduled for a vote in April.
Paul Gutterman, a tax professor at the University of Minnesota and an avid bridge player, offered honors students guidance on their finished bridge ga

Bridge-playing U honors students find fun is in the cards

The weekly class not only is creating a new generation of bridge players but is helping them forge new friendships.
St. Paul resident Dick Kelly mounted video cameras both inside and outside his home for peace of mind. Last year, the cameras caught an unknown man wi

Are smart home surveillance systems a new neighborhood watch?

Network of smart homes helps police crack cases but raises privacy issues.
Sarah Reasoner working out at Los Campeones gym in northeast Minneapolis.

One of the world's strongest firefighters is recruiting other women to St. Paul

Powerhouse Sarah Reasoner has been tapped to recruit more women to careers as firefighters.
The Minnesota Wild has decided not to appeal a city board's denial of its request to allow a 6-story-tall banner to be draped down the side of Xcel En

Minnesota Wild abandons effort to put up behemoth banner

The team had asked for variances to the city's ordinance that limits the number of signs posted on the outside of the arena and the height and elevation of any banners.
Vernon Faillettaz

Vernon Faillettaz, relentlessly inquisitive St. Olaf College religion professor, dies at 91

Small talk was a rarity for Vernon Pierre Faillettaz, professor emeritus of religion at St. Olaf College. A big complex world and its kaleidoscope of…
Mike Evgen explained technique to 10-year-old Soren Holdahl as they worked out with a punching bag. Evgen, now 53, got his start at boxing at age 12.

St. Paul's Rice Street Rocker giving back through 'Old School' gym

Storied local boxer Mike Evgen has finally found a spot for his passion, helping mentor kids on St. Paul's East Side.
Sarah Reasoner graduated from the fire academy in July.

St. Paul firefighter vying to be 'World's Strongest'

Sarah Reasoner will test her muscles against an otherwise all-male field.

St. Paul water utility to refund customers who were overcharged

Homeowners who have 1-inch meters can expect to receive checks ranging from $120 to $320.
The Highland Theater, shown in 2007, before recent renovations were completed.

St. Paul's Highland, Grandview theaters cited for fire code violations

St. Paul helped fund the work at the historic theaters.
Taylor Swift fans crossed Kellogg Boulevard outside the Xcel Energy Center before a concert in 2013. The Minnesota Wild wants to hang a giant temporar

A good sign for St. Paul? Or eyesore? Group fights Wild's big banner

Wild's plan for Xcel banner called "commercial litter."
The former Ford assembly plant site, looking northwest, with the downtown Minneapolis in the background. Area C is a 22-acre parcel along the Mississi

What will happen to Ford's former dump in St. Paul? Meeting focuses on land's future

The 22-acre site along Mississippi River was used by Ford as a dump site for generations.
DFL Rep. Kaohly Her, seen at a 2018 news conference with Mayor Melvin Carter, said both her jobs are to advocate for St. Paul constituents.

Legislator's work as St. Paul mayor's aide raises red flag

After Mayor Melvin Carter proposed plan to start a college savings plan for St. Paul newborns, Rep. Kaohly Vang Her wrote a bill to help pay for it.

Woman found with gunshot wound in Minneapolis alley dies at hospital

A woman who was found shot in a north Minneapolis alley Tuesday night died at North Memorial Hospital, police said. The woman, who has not…
Co-founder Jeff Hegna pretended to wear a halo as he goofed around with Susan Jelinski, right, during the Rock Star Book Club at Fraser in Apple Valle

Lakeville couple create enduring book club for people with autism

Rock Star Book Club was started eight years ago by volunteers to create community for a dozen or so adult residents with autism spectrum disorder.
The former Ford assembly plant site, looking northwest, with the downtown Minneapolis in the background. ] JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.c

Ryan Cos. acquires Ford site for $61 million, announces housing partners

Developer also announces partner and sets spring start for the 122-acre St. Paul project.
The Fairview Station on the Green Line in St. Paul.

Affordable housing project planned along St. Paul's Green Line

Two buildings to be constructed along St. Paul's Green Line will contain 279 units.
Ice and snow were packed in the parking areas along Edgerton Street in St. Paul on Tuesday.

St. Paul asks about plowing streets: 'Why not more towing?' Math is the answer

Clearing St. Paul's car-filled streets during snow emergencies is a lot harder than simply towing more cars, officials say.
B Kyle, president and CEO of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, said St. Paul must address a growing fear that crime is unchecked.

St. Paul Chamber chief says city needs more officers on street

Perception that St. Paul has a crime problem is eroding confidence and stalling momentum for city businesses, she said.
Mustafa Hassan who owns the McKnight Market has a wide variety of foods that cater to various communities including the Somali diaspora.

Small business owners rejoice after St. Paul shopping center reopens

Several immigrant-owned shops are back in business after St. Paul mall is repaired

Neighbors, recycling company at odds over vacant St. Paul lot

A growing business wants to turn a former ash dump into a truck parking area, to neighbors' objections.
Miriam Baer

Demanding rowing coach Miriam Baer dies at 76

Some chilly morning this coming spring, not long after the last of the Mississippi River ice has receded, the waters off St. Paul's Raspberry Island…
The former Ford Motor Co. site is seen prior to an announcement of a more than $92 million investment proposal in the land that would feature affordab

Transportation plan for Ford site encourages walking, biking, transit

New neighbor­hood to cater to transit users, cyclists, pedestrians.
Mike Ryan of Ryan Cos. and Gov. Tim Walz joined Tuesday in the unveiling of the plan which includes plans for an artificial river to capture stormwate

$53M in city financing part of final Ford site development deal

The project will feature the state's largest urban solar array and hundreds of units of affordable housing, and could be worth $1 billion when fully developed, officials said.
Abdinur Omar, second from right, 18, laughed during a youth discussion group about cross cultural connections.

Community center that was mainstay in historic Rondo neighborhood will close

Union Gospel Mission, its owner, to shift resources to serving homeless, addicted.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter joined those at Black Hart of St. Paul celebrating as the yes forces won in the vote of the city's trash-collection syste

St. Paul voters say yes to city's trash collection system

After a year of bitter debate, the victors say it's time to turn their attention to more important issues — affordable housing, public safety and climate change.
Election judge Chris Yang carried voting signs to the parking lot at the start of polling Tuesday, Nov. 5 2019, at the Arlington Hills Community Cente

St. Paul trash vote: Answers to your questions

St. Paul residents will Yes or No Tuesday on whether a city ordinance that  established the year-old system of organized trash collection will continue.
Dan O'Gara, owner of St. Paul's O’Gara’s Bar & Grill, held a press conference at O'Gara's State Fair location in Falcon Heights to talk about his

St. Paul's legendary O'Gara's won't reopen after all

Restaurant's owner blames closure on $15 minimum wage, sick time requirements
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's garbage fight is about more than just trash

Trash collection debate touches on visions for city's future, residents' anger at officials.
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

Voters to weigh in on St. Paul's trash plan next week

Both sides hone their arguments in the week before Election Day.
Candidate Nelsie Yang answered a question during the St. Paul City Council Sixth Ward candidate forum on Oct. 23.

St. Paul race for East Side seat draws diverse candidate slate

The candidates are split on what has become the most contentious issue of the election: whether to jettison the city's year-old program for trash collection.
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,…