Staff Directory 6370562

James Walsh

Reporter | St. Paul and St. Paul Neighborhoods
Phone: 612-673-7428

James Walsh is a reporter covering St. Paul and its neighborhoods. He has had myriad assignments in more than 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
Kirstin Knutson, St. Paul Winter Carnival Queen of the Snows.

Meet the St. Paul Winter Carnival's two-time pandemic queen

Kirstin Knutson's reign ends Jan. 28. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, she wore the St. Paul festival's crown for two years.
Although St. Paul has for years been replacing lead pipes as it rebuilds streets, 20 to 25% of its residential customers still may have harmful lead t

St. Paul officials say it's time to get the lead out of city's pipes

Members of the St. Paul Board of Water Commissioners meeting are calling for an aggressive 10-year plan to replace all lead pipes on public or private property at an estimated cost of $220 million.
The state bought Bix Produce Co.’s former cold storage facility in St. Paul to use as a temporary morgue. It will now house a trucking company that

St. Paul building once poised to be a COVID morgue sold to trucking company

Soldier Trucking, which employs veterans and inner-city residents, expects to provide 140 jobs in St. Paul.
Neighborhood Cafe owner Kris Masanz, pictured with some of her staff, shut down for the first year of the pandemic. It’s been a slow trek back.

Meet the St. Paul diner pro who's pinching pennies to get her restaurant through COVID

Kris Masanz has yet to fully reopen Neighborhood Cafe.
Abu Nayeem, the Frogtown Crusader

Who ran for St. Paul mayor wearing a frog costume? This guy.

Abu Nayeem is just a regular guy — who ran for City Council and mayor as the Frogtown Crusader.
A New Year’s Day explosion and fire leveled one Minneapolis garage, set another one ablaze and sent a man to the hospital.

Explosion levels Minneapolis garage, sends man to hospital with serious injuries

Fire crews extinguished New Year's blaze. Cause still being investigated.
Phalen Creek was buried and its water sent through a storm sewer in the 1920s.

Work could begin soon to bring St. Paul's Phalen Creek back to the surface

Restoring portions of the creek, which once coursed through Swede Hollow, is seen as ecologically and spiritually beneficial.
Cartoonist and illustrator Kevin Cannon

Winter Carnival button artist gives fresh take on longtime St. Paul festival

Kevin Cannon welcomed the challenge of creating a new look for 136th Carnival.
Birds and a squirrel enjoyed a meal at Mears Park in St. Paul.

Hungry squirrels play Grinch to park display in St. Paul

Marauding tree rodents dim holiday lights in Mears Park.
Philip Gracia, co-director at Frogtown community radio station 94.1FM WFNU, chats before hosting his regular show on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 in St. Paul

Low-power St. Paul radio station tunes into the heart of Frogtown

Started a few years ago to provide "hyperlocal" programming, St. Paul's Frogtown Community Radio is also giving its neighborhood a bigger voice in local issues.
Sean Kershaw

Meet the man who leads St. Paul's response to snow emergencies, pot holes

Kershaw talks snow emergencies, street repair and leading a department that affects people's everyday lives.
Robin Hickman-Winfield

Eye On St. Paul Q&A: Robin Hickman-Winfield

The longtime St. Paul activist and educator has found a medium that not only provides an artistic outlet, but reinforces positive images for girls of color.
The skyline of downtown St. Paul seen from the Smith Avenue High Bridge.

Kristien Butler tapped to lead St. Paul human rights department

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter names attorney to high-turnover post.
Element Gym owner Dalton Outlaw

Eye On St. Paul Q&A: Dalton Outlaw, boxing instructor and entrepreneur

Raised in St. Paul's Frogtown, Dalton Outlaw is building big plans beyond his Element Gym.
The four official buttons of the 136th St. Paul Winter Carnival were designed by local cartoonist and illustrator Kevin Cannon.

St. Paul Winter Carnival button unveiling raises curtain on 2022 festival

The four buttons, by local artist Kevin Cannon, are the primary fundraiser for the Winter Carnival.
The former Hillcrest golf course site in St. Paul’s northeast corner.

St. Paul Port Authority seeks community voices for Hillcrest

Development officials want public input on the future of the former golf course.
In 2019, a snowplow made its way up the hill in front of the Cathedral of St. Paul, with the Capitol in the background.

St. Paul snow emergency? There's an app for that

A new mobile phone app shows where you can and cannot park during snow emergencies in the capital city.
SubText Books manager Matt Keliher.

Eye On St. Paul Q&A: Matt Keliher, SubText Books

At a time when many book buyers have taken their shopping online, St. Paul's SubText Books has not only stuck with bricks and mortar, but it has become a downtown anchor.
St. Paul police union sues over city vaccine mandate

St. Paul police union sues over city vaccine mandate

Mayor says that Dec. 31 deadline stands.
The construction of Interstate 94 tore a hole through Rondo, St. Paul’s historic Black neighborhood. Now, a federal grant will help the city study w

Federal dollars heading to St. Paul to study, improve streets, Rondo area

Federal transportation infrastructure grants of nearly $8 million are intended to improve East Side safety and study Rondo area connectivity.
Mary Cutrufello

Eye On St. Paul Q&A with Mary Cutrufello: Rock star, one-time FedEx driver and neighborhood leader

The W. 7th resident and new executive director of its district council once had rock star dreams. She still gigs, but her day job now is to champion her neighborhood.
The former Hillcrest golf course site in St. Paul’s northeast corner.

Naming contest for St. Paul's Hillcrest development will reach new heights

Community will choose from The Heights, Hillpoint Heights and Eastcrest Heights as the new name for a planned mixed-use development.
Owen Johnson, 16, left, and Aiden Maxey, 15, met playing baseball in 4th grade and have been best friends since middle school.

Through loss and illness, teen boys in Blaine turn to each other for strength

Two teens learned at an early age that sometimes the best thing a friend can do is just be there.
FILE - In this April 16, 2019, file photo, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter speaks in St. Paul, Minn. A pilot program proposed by Carter to guarantee $500

St. Paul YWCA to display art highlighting program that guarantees income help

Commissioned by St. Paul Melvin Carter, the piece will be unveiled Dec. 7.
Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling-Hamline neighborhood in St Paul on the first day of organize

St. Paul raises residential trash collection rates

In what has been a contentious issue, the City Council on Wednesday set new rates for 2022.
Photo credit: James Walsh  Chuck Kanski.

Eye On St. Paul Q&A: Owner of Solo Vino wine shop on Selby Avenue

Thirty seconds after you meet Chuck Kanski, you know he was born to run a wine shop. The self-described "wine geek" can break down the…
A view of the central water feature at the planned Highland Bridge development on the former Ford plant site in St. Paul

Portion of Mississippi River Boulevard near Highland Bridge development to reopen in St. Paul

After months of closure and detours, motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on Wednesday will once again be able to use Mississippi River Boulevard between Ford Parkway…
Eye On St. Paul Q&A: Lynette Harris, Moms Food Shelf

Eye On St. Paul Q&A: Lynette Harris, Moms Food Shelf

Lynette Harris was raising three school-age children on the East Side of St. Paul when she discovered that many students at her son's school —…
Hope Breakfast Bar owners Sarah and Brian Ingram.

Eye on St. Paul Q&A: What's next for restaurateur Brian Ingram?

The couple that brought Hope Breakfast Bar to a St. Paul fire station are thinking "very retro Las Vegas."
Voters cast their ballots Tuesday at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul.

Polls closed: Minneapolis voters weigh in for historic election year

Views on the Minneapolis mayoral race also seemed to be heavily influenced by the city's public safety debate. Voters in St. Paul and cities around the state also went to the polls with big issues at stake.
West Side’s hometown hero: A West Side fixture, Enrique “Cha-Cho” Estrada is one of four community engagement specialists at the St. Paul Police

Longtime West Sider helps St. Paul police make community connections

The longtime West Sider forges connections with the Hispanic community.
Eye on St. Paul Q&A: Joe Spencer, Downtown Alliance president

Eye on St. Paul Q&A: Joe Spencer, Downtown Alliance president

The Downtown Alliance president talks COVID, crime and the future of downtown.
A crowd filled Mears Park for the Lowertown Blues Fest in 2015. Residents are exploring forming their own Residential Improvement District to boost af

As St. Paul's Lowertown grows, residents seek a bigger voice

They want an improvement district with a mission beyond businesses.
The former Hillcrest golf course site in St. Paul’s northeast corner. ] LEILA NAVIDI • leila.navidi@startribune.com  BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The f

Some worry St. Paul Port Authority is not listening to community hopes for Hillcrest

Housing advocates want the site to provide more amenities, affordable housing.
Clubhouse of Hillcrest Golf Club, St. Paul

Time to rename Hillcrest, St. Paul Port Authority says

East Siders asked to submit words that reflect the neighborhood.
Property owners representing downtown St. Paul institutions, including Securian Financial, Travelers Insurance, Ecolab and the InterContinental St. Pa

Officials credit Street Team for cleaning up downtown St. Paul

The team has cleaned up more than 1,000 incidents of graffiti and reached out to more than 800 businesses, according to one official.
Richard Kronick held up the coloring book in front of its cover subject, an 1851 Greek Revival house in Irvine Park. 

Coloring book features historic St. Paul homes

Architecture fans created a paintable book of homes in St. Paul's Irvine Park.
The former Hillcrest golf course site in St. Paul’s northeast corner seen in April. As officials firm up plans to redevelop the 112-acre site to pro

Port Authority aims to bring Hillcrest jobs, housing together

Up to 1,000 jobs at site could be close to home.
Jamie Rattanapamonsook visited with her daughter, Mercy, 8, while her son, Anson, 9, gathered chairs to build a fort as they finished eating in a back

St. Paul helping small restaurants recover from COVID, civil unrest

St. Paul's Restaurant Resiliency Program designed to help owners that lack the expertise to build an online business.
A person walked past Dixie’s On Grand in St. Paul in August.

St. Paul City Council says 'yes' again to Grand Av. project

With the council's 5-2 vote, and barring any new challenges, the $32.5 million development can move forward.
Mychael Wright, the force behind the Selby Avenue JazzFest, ironed out details for the annual event last week at his Golden Thyme Coffee and Cafe in S

St. Paul's Selby JazzFest gearing up for 20th year

Music festival is back before a live audience for the first time since 2019.
Lloyd's Pharmacy owner Jim Stage credits the St. Paul community for helping him rebuild his business, which was destroyed by the riots following t

After destruction and controversy, Lloyd's Pharmacy is back in St. Paul

Owner credits local support with helping him rebuild century-old St. Paul store.
Chuck Repke

St. Paul political strategist Charles 'Chuck' Repke Jr. 'wanted society to do well'

It ended a life lived behind the scenes of campaigns, caucuses and conventions, all with the goal of making St. Paul a better place to live.
With a 6-1 vote, the St. Paul City Council approved a new Midway tax increment financing (TIF) district that would make up to $209 million available f

St. Paul eyeing public money to spur Midway development

The area surrounding Allianz Field could get a $200 million subsidy under the plan.
The former Hillcrest golf course site in St. Paul’s northeast corner. The capital city and its development arm are contemplating eco-friendly techno

Polluted St. Paul golf course could be developed as nation's first carbon-neutral neighborhood

Combining rooftop solar arrays, a geothermal heating and cooling network, energy-efficiency and electric vehicle charging stations, planners at the St. Paul Port Authority envision something quite unique.
FILE - In this April 16, 2019, file photo, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter speaks in St. Paul, Minn. A pilot program proposed by Carter to guarantee $500

Carter's 2022 budget restores St. Paul library cuts

The fixes would rely on short-term federal aid.
Supporters of a $32.5 million complex on the site of the current Dixie’s on Grand say the project will breathe life into an increasingly sleepy Gran

Divided St. Paul council OKs Grand Avenue development for Dixie's site

Controversial five-story Dixie's complex gets nod from St. Paul Council
Shyenne Lee, 18, the older sister of St. Paul Olympian Suni Lee, left, reacted alongside Souayee Vang, right, and other family and friends, after Sun

Minnesota's Hmong community celebrates Suni Lee's historic gold medal

"Her victory is all of our victory," was how one person summed it up.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

Quiet day for candidate filing in St. Paul

Incumbent Melvin Carter was one of five candidates to file for mayor.
The water feature at St. Paul’s Highland Bridge development, seen on May 10, is an important part of sending treated stormwater to Hidden Falls Park

Hidden Falls Creek closer to reality at former Ford site

The remade creek is the centerpiece of the new Highland Bridge development.
A $32.5 million complex would replace Dixie’s on Grand in St. Paul.

St. Paul panel backs project to replace Dixie's with restaurants, apartments

Emmett's and Saji-Ya will continue in the new space, said Dixie's owner Peter Kenefick, who plans to retire.
A maroon and silver truck drove through the marked crosswalk in front of pedestrian volunteers Dave Passiuk and Nelsie Yang on St. Paul’s East Side

Twin Cities get serious about crosswalk etiquette

Large blue signs, updated weekly, will now show the rate that drivers have been yielding to pedestrians at select sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
A Los Angeles-based developer of the nearly $800 million St. Paul riverfront project will pay for the housing and commercial buildings.

'Land bridge' park new focus of downtown St. Paul riverfront

One official called the proposed park, which would span train and vehicle traffic all the way down to the Mississippi, the "missing access" to the river.
Architectural rending of the Wakan Tipi Center planned near the entrance to the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in St. Paul.     ] Rendering Credit: Full

Years in the making, $8.6M Wakan Tipi Center will be an epicenter of Dakota culture in St. Paul

$8.6M Wakan Tipi Center planned at edge of downtown St. Paul.
While in the area to investigate a car with stolen plates, St. Paul police officer Mahamed Dahir stopped to talk with some kids and hand out stickers.

St. Paul recruitment program aims to diversify police ranks

Law Enforcement Career Path Academy is designed to remove financial and educational barriers to college and a law enforcement career for low-income young people.
The truth behind St. Paul's legacy as a safe haven for Prohibition gangsters

The truth behind St. Paul's legacy as a safe haven for Prohibition gangsters

A strategy to control crime in the capital city grew into a police scandal involving some of the country's most-wanted criminals.
The musical group “Sounds of Blackness” performed during a gathering to celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday at the State Capitol.

On a sunny Juneteenth, hopes for change and peace prevail

For many, the day seemed especially resonant because of the difficult year just passed.
Fireworks at the Taste of Minnesota festival in St. Paul in 2007. (Star Tribune file photo by Carlos Gonzalez)

St. Paul won't sponsor a fireworks display on July 4

Mayor says the city has better uses for its money; Saints, others stepping in.
Hope Breakfast Bar owners Brian and Sarah Ingram, on a busy Tuesday morning. This flag, on display in the upstairs dining area, was found in the wall

St. Paul restaurant owners give 3% of profits to charity: 'It takes a vision'

Brian and Sarah Ingram and their Purpose Driven Restaurants have faith in St. Paul — and humanity.
Nelly McCulloch, 5, prepared to bomb down the slide on the new playground.  Skyline Tower is in the background.

St. Paul's newest park was a community effort

St. Paul's Midway Peace Park officially unveiled Tuesday.
George Floyd’s memorial at 38th and Chicago.

Star Tribune wins Pulitzer for George Floyd reporting; Darnella Frazier also cited

Star Tribune staff wins for its coverage of George Floyd killing
A memorial to George Floyd outside Cup Foods in south Minneapolis in June 2020.

Star Tribune wins Pulitzer for George Floyd reporting; Darnella Frazier also cited

For its coverage of the police killing of George Floyd, and the landscape-altering racial reckoning that fanned out across the world from Minneapolis in its…
Rebecca Montez was consoled Thursday at the funerals for two of her sisters at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on St. Paul.

Devoted sisters laid to rest at historic church on St. Paul's West Side

A St. Paul parish mourned the loss of two beloved sisters who died just weeks apart.
With downtown St. Paul barely visible, Pigs Eye Lake is the largest public green spaces in St. Paul you’ve probably never heard of or visited. A bac

Land swap will give Pig's Eye Park in St. Paul new visibility

The restructured deal gives the East Side more access to parkland rather than adding more green space to Highland Park neighborhood.
Betty White sparred recently at Elements Boxing Gym in St. Paul. She’s among a growing number of people with Parkinson’s taking up the sport to st

Former all-star athlete from Minnetonka battles back against Parkinson's with boxing training techniques

Betty White took up boxing to battle back against Parkinson's disease.
The Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul.

Owners of St. Paul's Amsterdam Bar fear impact of planned bike lane

Loss of parking could impact bar's bottom line, which affects city, too.
At the old Ford site being redeveloped into housing, a central water feature will capture runoff and send filtered stormwater down to Hidden Falls Par

Work begins to restore St. Paul stream, revive Hidden Falls

Through the summer, workers will build a tunnel beneath Mississippi River Boulevard that will allow runoff from a wide area to reach Hidden Falls.
Activist Raeisha Williams addressed a rally last summer calling for gun violence to end.  Now she’s starting a center where Black people can gather

Afaya Sanaa Healing Center opening in St. Paul Midway

Activist beckons others to the St. Paul site who've suffered trauma of violence in the community.
Rendering of the proposed mixed-use development at Dixie’s on Grand in St. Paul.

Project to replace St. Paul's Dixie's On Grand sparks neighborhood debate

Some worry whether the development will be out of scale. Others welcome higher density.
The St, Paul Port Authority plans to make the former Hillcrest golf course a mixed use development with 5 acres of parkland and another 15 acres of op

Aim higher, some St. Paul East Siders tell city, over plans for Hillcrest site

Port Authority's massive redevelopment of former Hillcrest golf course is less ambitious than Ford site.
The proposed Lexington Station apartments in St. Paul

St. Paul mayor vetoes council rejection of housing development on vacant lot

Mayor Melvin Carter said St. Paul needs a range of housing to meet its goals for vitality and affordability.
Nearly a year after the unrest following the killing of George Floyd left parts of St. Paul’s University Avenue in flames, damaged and demolished bu

Millions in public, private aid help rebuilding in St. Paul's riot-damaged Midway

Cash grants to businesses hurt by pandemic, riots give hope to St. Paul neighborhood
The proposed Lexington Station apartments in St. Paul

Divided St. Paul City Council rejects development on vacant lot

Developer says vote will dampen development efforts.
Mitra Jalali, a St. Paul City Council member who has championed renters’ rights, said she backs the effort, because a state law prohibits cities fro

Petition drive kicks off in St. Paul to put rent control on the November ballot

The proposal is more detailed than similar efforts this year in Minneapolis.
The scramble to set up vaccination appointments intensified Friday hours after Gov. Tim Walz announced Minnesota was making vaccines available to ever

Competition heats up as more Minnesotans hunt for shots

Another 900,000 Minnesotans were added to the pool of state residents vying to secure a shot of virus protection, adding to the scramble for appointments.