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
Andy Slavitt, former Obama health care head who now influence public opinion and public policy for fighting COVID-19, was photographed inside his home

Minnesota's Andy Slavitt: An influential voice on COVID-19

The former Obama health care official takes on coronavirus fight from his Edina home.
Kara Goucher, right, with son Colt, 10, and nephews Luka and Lachlan Grgas visited her grandfather Calvin Haworth at the hospital as he battled COVID-

Trump's call not to fear COVID hurts those ill and in mourning

Trump's tweet — "Don't be afraid of Covid" — strikes some as reckless and disrespectful, seemingly downplaying the severity of a pandemic that continues to spread.
Travis Smith received his first COVID-19 test, administered by Hien Bui Hien Bui during a free testing event at New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapoli

Minn. health officials hope for no virus spike after Labor Day

After seeing Minnesota's COVID-19 case numbers jump following Memorial Day and July 4th, state officials hope to avoid a repeat after this holiday weekend.
Jessica Kvanbeck drove her Metro Transit bus route on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Though it's hard to be the enforcer of strict passenger limits on buses, Kva

Front-line workers deal with fears, unhappy customers

Five months into the pandemic, front-line workers wage a wearying fight to safely do their jobs without the refuge of working from home. While others around them have grown COVID-fatigued, they work to stay vigilant.
FILE - In this June 8, 2019, file photo, two women smoke cannabis vape pens at a party in Los Angeles.

Uptick in Minnesota vaping-related lung injuries linked to dangerous additive

Vitamin E acetate, often used as a thickening agent in cosmetics, is also added to THC to make it appear more substantial.
As young adults fuel a surge in new coronavirus cases across Minnesota, they're making it increasingly difficult for contact tracers to keep up. Above

COVID-19 surge in young adults a challenge for contact tracers

More than 924 COVID-19 cases this summer have been tied to two dozen bars and restaurants. The median age in those cases is between 23 and 24.
Lindsey West who teaches fifth grade at Clara Barton Open School in Minneapolis, held a sign as she and others demonstrated Friday outside the governo

New CDC guidance one factor among many for decisions about Minnesota schools

The governor is expected to make an announcement Thursday.
Jerry Snyder, the Iron Range band leader everyone liked, died in Arizona at age 81.

Gerald Snyder, who led Chisholm High band for 30 years, dies at age 81

In 30 years of teaching band and choir at Chisholm High School, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who heard Jerry Snyder raise his voice.…
A view of the Highland Bridge central water feature at the St. Paul development, released during the virtual groundbreaking Tuesday.

Ryan Cos. holds virtual groundbreaking for Highland Bridge, new name for Ford site

Developer of 122-acre site announced additional development partners.
A group of Minnesota State University, Mankato students enjoyed time at the 507 in downtown Mankato.

Can bars and COVID-19 coexist? Mankato might have the answer

What happens in the city's drinking establishments over the next several weeks could have a real impact on the size and scope of an expected second wave of the coronavirus.

Don Hartzell, longtime principal at North Branch Elementary, dies at 86

Each morning for more than 25 years, a beaming Don Hartzell greeted his students as they poured through the front doors of North Branch Elementary…
A 2019 rendering of future development on the former Ford plant site in St. Paul. Officials this week announced plans to build a 6-acre solar array as

Ryan Cos., Xcel Energy plan large solar array for St. Paul's Ford site

6-acre array, nearby plant could generate power for thousands of homes.
A few hundred protesters gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday to take part in the "International

Emotions run high at Minneapolis protests

A crowd of several hundred gathered in downtown Minneapolis for two back-to-back protests calling for an end to police brutality and racism.
As the morning sun rose, Josiah Russell, 10, left, and his brother Jay, 8, posed for a photo near a large painting of George Floyd outside Cup Foods.

Shrine to George Floyd could be permanent at 38th and Chicago

Neighbors and community leaders are discussing ways. Possibilities include a traffic roundabout, a peace garden or perhaps a sculpture.
Former professional football player Tyrone Carter dropped to a knee Wednesday at the site in Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed.

Legal developments bring hope that calm is returning to Twin Cities

The buses have started again, with plans to restart light-rail service Thursday, even as curfews have been extended until Friday morning.
Quincy Mason (son of George Floyd) and attorney Benjamin Crump during a press conference in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

Floyd's family applauds charges against four fired Minneapolis officers

And at the area where Floyd was pinned under an officer's knee, flowers and a mural now memorialize him.
The crowd held posters with the image of George Floyd's face while listening to speakers in front of the Governor's residence.

Thousands gather in St. Paul to protest George Floyd's death

Summit Avenue was swarming with thousands of peaceful protesters Monday afternoon as they demanded all four officers involved in the killing of George Floyd be jailed and prosecuted.
Police arrested about 150 protesters at gas station near Washington and Interstate 35W on Sunday night in Minneapolis.

Police arrest 150 Sunday night; driver who pushed into crowd is in custody

Hundreds in downtown Minneapolis ignored the curfew and were met with police lines and tear gas. Earlier, officials warned of continued arson attacks, after several caches of flammable materials were found in neighborhoods.
On Friday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced criminal charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of Ge

Mike Freeman faces new challenge in case against Derek Chauvin

Freeman attempts to succeed a second time at what has been an exceedingly rare result — convincing a jury to convict an officer of murder.
The Nicollet Diner in Minneapolis had a shed constructed behind the restaurant to quickly be able to accommodate outdoor dining when it begins on June

Minnesota cities testing new plans to expand outdoor dining during coronavirus

Changes come as retail and restaurant customers in Minneapolis must start wearing masks Tuesday night.
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.