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
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.
Stephen J. Lee

Storyteller Stephen J. Lee, MPCA worker, wrote his own obit, a love letter to the future

The Circle Pines man died Feb. 28 at age 69.
Kao Yong Yang distributed portioned meals to those in need Tuesday evening at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in south Minneapolis.

Minnesota's front-line workers wait turn for COVID vaccine

Getting a place in line is no guarantee that vaccination is imminent, with thousands risking infection as they wait.
Carrie Lampert of Cambridge, Minn., who had a heart transplant in 1993 and kidney cancer, said it’s practically been a full-time job trying to set u

Many Minn. seniors confused, frustrated in pursuit of vaccine

For thousands, many with serious health issues, the search and scramble to line up vaccine contributes to great angst and much frustration.
A group of regulars, mostly from Robbinsdale, drank and ate dinner at the bar at Tony Jaros River Garden in the summer.

Minneapolis lifts bar service restrictions as COVID-19 cases fall

The move brings Minneapolis establishments in line with state restrictions.
Intern Jens Mellby set up a second appointment for a vaccination shot with Teretha Glass, 72, of St. Paul, after Glass received her first dose of the

Rift at longtime St. Paul clinic leads to new home for residency program

Exodus of longtime doctors sparks anger among some, but not all, patients.
Mildred Hill

Mildred Mae Hill, a teacher and family historian, dies of COVID-19 at 93

For several years, Mildred Mae Hill was a teacher.But her most cherished accomplishment may have been serving as the thread pulling together several generations of…
The proposed Lexington Station apartments in St. Paul

St. Paul Planning Commission denies housing development near Frogtown

Housing advocates fear the project will hasten gentrification.
Inver Grove Heights’ Hilltop Elementary school teacher Larisa Larson-Aguirre cheered after she was vaccinated at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Thursda

Teachers flock to St. Paul for COVID-19 vaccine shots

Thousands of educators expressed excitement and relief as they contemplated a return to the classroom.
June Davis

June Davis, who started treatment program for women, dies at 76

By the time she'd met her future husband, June Marie Fiksdal had already transformed her early years working in her family's Rochester, Minn., flower shop…
Attorney General Keith Ellison

Minnesota settles lawsuit against Monticello cafe that violated COVID-19 restrictions

The Cornerstone Cafe remained open to indoor dining despite a state order prohibiting it.
Dawn Kaphingst, left, toasted her cousin Jane Murray’s birthday Monday. The two cousins got together for the first time since the summer at Longfell

Minnesota restaurants and bars resume indoor service, with restrictions

Monday was the first day for Gov. Tim Walz's dial-back of his holiday shutdown to stem the COVID surge.
Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville reopened briefly earlier in December in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s orders closing bars and restaurants. The state Attor

Judge fines Lakeville eatery $3,000 a day for violating order

The Alibi Drinkery opened to indoor dining in violation of state order aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville reopened briefly earlier in December in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s orders closing bars and restaurants. The state Attor

Minnesota's quandary: How to stop COVID-19 scofflaws

As some businesses across Minnesota continue to defy Gov. Tim Walz's orders to remain closed to in-person dining, a question persists: What, if anything, can the state do?
Sherry Johnson, a nurse practitioner, drew the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth to administer to ICU nurse

Minnesota officials wait to learn stimulus impact on vaccines, nursing homes

Minn. plans include immunization push
Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Minn. center plans New Year's Eve bash in defiance of shutdown order

Despite evidence that a big party is planned, the Winnebago event center's owner says it will be "a religious gathering."
The hospital has a way for parents and extended family to bridge that gap in visits due to COVID-19 limits and feel more connected with their new arri

Hennepin Healthcare video stream lets parents stay close to fragile newborns

Livestream technology allows families of babies in intensive care to look in on them day or night.
Jonathan Aurand of Minneapolis battled wind, drifting snow and below-zero temps while clearing the sidewalk Thursday in south Minneapolis.

Bitter Minnesota wind chills follow blizzard; 8.7" at MSP

A major winter storm moved across the state, causing a multivehicle pileup on Interstate 94 near Albertville and Monticello. The state opened armories to help those stuck on the road.
Patrons packed every table at Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, Minn., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. An attorney representing Alibi Drinkery co-owner Lisa Mone

Defiance of COVID restrictions on some Minnesota menus

They risk fines, brazenly flout ban on indoor dining.
Patrons packed every table at Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, Minn., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Monet Zarza, owner of Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, is part

More restaurants sued for defying Minn. indoor dining ban

Restaurants in Anoka, Monticello and Albert Lea faced enforcement action by the Minnesota AG on Friday, which found them in violation of Gov. Walz's order prohibiting indoor dining.
The construction of Interstate 94 tore a hole through Rondo, St. Paul’s historic black neighborhood.

Why was I-94 built through St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood?

The highway connected Minneapolis and St. Paul, but its construction tore a hole through a thriving, historic Black neighborhood.
Standing room only at the bar at Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, which reopened Wednesday morning in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s orders closing bars an

Minn. AG sues bars that defied Walz ban on dine-in service

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville and Neighbors on the Rum in Princeton violated the Walz order on Wednesday.
Standing-room only at the bar at Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, which reopened Wednesday morning in defiance of Gov. Walz’s orders closing bars and re

State will suspend two spots' liquor licenses for defying order

One of them, the Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville, is one of more than 100 businesses that have signed on to openly defy the order Gov. Tim Walz issued a month ago to slow the spread of COVID-19 across Minnesota.
Gov. Tim Walz spoke about his COVID-19 response on Nov. 18, 2020, in St. Paul. Walz’s executive order closing bars and restaurants is set to expi

Minnesota business coalition plans to defy Walz shutdown order

Loose-knit group of about 160 businesses committed to reopening early.
Three people were stabbed outside Hudson’s Smilin’ Moose Lodge Bar & Grill early Sunday, one fatally. Two suspects from Minnesota have been arrest

Hudson imposes curfew to tamp down late-night rowdiness

City hopes to makes crossing border less appealing to subset of Minnesotans causing trouble after 10 p.m.
Rev. Andrew Jaspers gave the sacrament commonly known as last rites as a precaution to COVID patient Chuck Schuh, 85, Saturday. Relatives gave permiss

Minn. chaplains are adapting to the new COVID-19 calling

Chaplains of all faiths are quietly providing another dimension of support to Minnesota's COVID patients, their families and often medical staff.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in June.

Ellison sues gym defying state order to close for four weeks

Attorney General Keith Ellison says the gym remains open despite a state order to close to prevent COVID-19 spread.
Elizabeth Santoro, a medic with the Minnesota Air National Guard 133rd Medical Group, administered a free COVID-19 test to Thomas Harmon, 61, of Robbi

38 COVID-19 deaths, 6,423 new infections reported in Minnesota

While daily COVID-19 case numbers have leveled off in recent days, the surge may be far from over — especially with Thanksgiving approaching.
Tiffany Lounge on Ford Parkway had its share of patrons because bars shut down under Governor Walz’s orders.] With bars closing down Friday at midni

Twin Cities bars pitch last-call 'specials' before new restrictions

Along with the specials came concerns that such last gasp promotions could attract too many thirsty customers and turn into potential virus superspreader events.
Tyler Johnsen, 20, and Isaac Peterson, 19, both students at North Central University in Minneapolis, got tested with friends at the drive-through COVI

Record 7,228 new COVID-19 cases reported in Minnesota

Daily case count in state tops 7,200
Donald Regan

Don Regan, founder of Premier Bank, beloved father, dies at 91

From Depression-era days as a 12-year-old shoveling coal and stoking the church furnace to, decades later, founding bus companies and banks, Donald Regan diligently earned…
Students at Fairmont High School desperate to return to in-person classes, sports and activities took a gentler approach to persuading their community

Students' video asks their Minnesota county nicely to mask up

High COVID-19 rates in Martin County cut into sports season, classes, so they made a video.
West Side Boosters President Carlo Franco checked Rico Williams’ temperature outside El Rio Vista rec center.

Twin Cities area youth sports coaches add COVID-19 protocols to daily routines

They now forced to do more than manage lineups and the X's and O's to keep players on the field and the virus at bay.
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.
Hartzell

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.