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
Stacy Opitz, marketing and communications manager for St. Paul Public Libraries, and Claire Huber, marketing and communications specialist, created th

Meet the women who launched the St. Paul library's Laser Loons

How an effort to get library cards into the hands of more St. Paul residents took off.
The University of St. Thomas suffered a setback in its plan to build a new sports arena in St. Paul, after the Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered a ne

Appeals court orders new environmental assessment for St. Thomas arena in St. Paul

Neighbors argued the city and university didn't do enough to study the arena's impact.
Max Lewis, 8, takes a slide at PK's Place, next to Alianz Field, a few blocks from his home on June 28.

New inclusive St. Paul playground allows children of all abilities to play

Advocates hope P.K.'s Place, next to St. Paul's Allianz Field, is sign of things to come.
Bill Collins bought Alary's in April. Some things have stayed the same: Bears bar, cops bar. Some things haven't: Servers are no longer in skimpy outf

Meet the guy who brought Alary's Bar back to life in downtown St. Paul

A Bears bar. A cop bar. Bill Collins returns Alary's to its old ways ... mostly.
Monica Bravo, executive director of the West Side Community Organization, leads a community discussion on the West Side Flats in April.

Families uprooted from St. Paul's West Side seek redress from the government

From 1961 to 1964, the flood-prone neighborhood was razed for an industrial park. Now community members are calling for action.
A new Saint Paul garbage can. Waste Management worker Daniel Westerhaus collected trash from the alleys of the Snelling Hamline neighborhood of St Pau

St. Paul signs new trash deal with single hauler

After years of garbage angst, the new citywide system is set to start in April 2025.
Josh Hoaby, executive director, and his son, Eli, in the postal railroad car.

Get to know the St. Paul museum dedicated to preserving Minnesota's railroad history

Josh Hoaby, executive director of the Minnesota Transportation Museum, connects the state's railroad past with its present.
Therese Kulas donates blood during a Red Cross blood drive at Union Depot in St. Paul on Thursday, June 20.

After COVID stopped downtown St. Paul employer blood drives, residents rolled up their sleeves

The monthly blood drives at Union Depot have fostered a sense of community for downtown neighbors who noticed that the pandemic had slowed the flow of donations.
Sarah Reasoner, Megan Roesler Turner and Martha Fecht, all firefighters in St. Paul, lead an effort to empower more women to consider careers as firef

Meet the St. Paul women empowering women to battle blazes

The three firefighters are working to build strength and confidence in female recruits.
Tyrone Minor prepared his Fit Lab gym for opening day at the Mali Center, a hub for Black and Bipoc-owned businesses on St. Paul's North end.

Mali Center hopes to create collaborative space for business owners of color

Tyrone Minor hopes center recreates Rondo's old spirit of cooperation.
Jonathan and Lisa Lemke published their son Aaron's book to honor his memory. It hit bookshelves May 1, Aaron's birthday.

A Minnesota man dreamed of being published. After his suicide at age 20, his parents made his dream come true.

"The Hub" was one of three novels that Aaron Lemke wrote.
Mikeya Griffin, executive director of Rondo Community Land Trust.

Meet the woman working to create a Rondo renaissance in St. Paul

The head of Rondo Community Land Trust sees Selby Avenue becoming a Black economic and cultural corridor.
Jaimee Lucke Hendrikson, president and CEO of Visit St. Paul.

Meet the woman working to make St. Paul more magnetic

As president and CEO of Visit St. Paul, Jaimee Lucke Hendrikson sees the fun in the less-glitzy of the Twin Cities.
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St. Paul restaurant owner Brian Ingram withdraws charity's nonprofit status after state warnings

Ingram said the decision to dissolve the nonprofit was in the works before the attorney general's letters.
Chris Jensen, president of Grand Avenue Business Association

Meet the man who resuscitated St. Paul's Grand Old Day street festival

Chris Jensen, a mortgage specialist, wanted "to bring some joy back to St. Paul." The festival attracted an estimated 200,000 visitors last year.
Dave Thune, a resident of Irvine Park, former City Council member and owner of Thune Studio on West 7th Street, plays guitar in his studio Thursday in

Old guard of St. Paul's historic W. 7th neighborhood seeks to connect with newer residents

Oldest neighborhood in city becoming younger, wealthier and less connected to bedrock organizations.
Noe Frausto, executive chef at Emmett's Public House and Saji-Ya Sushi and Japanese Kitchen.

Irish pub? Sushi bar? Meet the Grand Avenue chef who can do it all

Noe Frausto ran Saji-Ya for years. Then the bosses asked him to add Emmett's. No problem, he says.
Jennifer Weir plays the drum during a recent Taiko performance at the Ordway.

St. Paul Taiko group beating the drum for state support so they won't be noisy neighbors

The group's Senate ally says bonding money is not likely this year. But TaikoArts Midwest says they'll keep fundraising for their new North End location.
Mychael Wright is the owner of Golden Thyme Coffee, the organizer of the Selby Avenue Jazzfest and champion of cultivating black-owned businesses on S

Walker West Music Academy taking over Selby Avenue JazzFest

School's faculty and students also taking on bigger roles as performers.
Jeana Anderson, right, executive director of the Germanic-American Institute in St. Paul, with Philip Strege, who manages the grounds.

Meet the woman working to keep German language and culture relevant to new generations

Jeana Anderson has led St. Paul's Germanic-American Institute for 18 years.
Macalester College's new mascot: the Highland Cow.

Macalester College chooses new mascot. It's a cow.

The St. Paul college is retiring 'Mac the Scot' and — after voting among students, alumni and others — replacing him with a Highland Cow.
Monica Bravo is director of the West Side Community Organization.

Meet the affordable housing champion fighting for St. Paul's West Side

Monica Bravo knows something about housing insecurity. Now, the head of the West Side Community Organization is studying the displacement of families in the 1960s.
Rendering of a hockey game at the planned Anderson arena.

St. Paul neighbors working to upend St. Thomas arena construction

Opponents fear snarled traffic, air quality issues from thousands of cars.
Star Tribune reporter James Walsh enters the Tropical Encounters room of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park Zoo in St. Paul on Tuesday. Wa

Concerns about historic preservation delay wheelchair ramps at Como Park Conservatory

Work on the ramps now is expected to begin this summer at the popular St. Paul attraction.
Braille is a tactile writing system used by people who are visually impaired.

Lack of volunteers forcing longtime Golden Valley Braille service to close

Volunteer Braille Services, a 56-year-old nonprofit based in Golden Valley that transcribes written materials into Braille, will close May 31.
After 30 years living and working on the West Side, Janet Gracia will lead Neighborhood House.

Meet the West Sider taking the helm at Neighborhood House, helping new arrivals find a better life

Since arriving from Iowa in 1990, Janet Gracia has dedicated herself to St. Paul's West Side.
Kandi Krush in action.

This St. Paul native now goes by Kandi Krush, and she body-slams her opponents in the ring

After stints as a swimmer, actor and boxer, Amberley Shaw has found a home in women's professional wrestling.
Jen Moberg and husband John Iverson are getting ready to open Choo Choo Bob's at St. Paul's Union Depot. Moberg and Rachel Jacobson bought the longtim

Meet the woman bringing (tiny) trains back to Union Depot

Choo Choo Bob's returns to St. Paul with a May 3 grand opening.
Crews of volunteers and students of the construction trades are working to transform a hangar at the downtown St. Paul airport into a year-round class

Summer camp at St. Paul airport seeks to inspire future first responders

The free First Responders day camp, which runs from June 24-28, still has openings, organizers say.
Grand Ave. looking west from Saint Albans St. was clogged with pedestrians enjoying Grand Old Day Sunday afternoon.   ]  JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler

After years of uncertainty, Grand Old Day is making a repeat appearance in 2024

First financial struggles, then the pandemic, cast the future of the long-running St. Paul festival in doubt. Supporters say that's not the case anymore.
Afternoon traffic moved along the I-94 freeway as it cuts through the Rondo neighborhood Tuesday in St. Paul.

Group pushes replacing Interstate 94 with thoroughfare between Minneapolis, St. Paul

Our Streets Minneapolis says replacing freeway will be better for cities' health, economy and environment.
Tim Nicholson

Meet the St. Paul manufacturer who helps disabled golfers get on their feet and hit the links

"People say, 'Man, this is going to change my life.'"
Liam O'Neill and Maeve O'Mara, owners of Irish On Grand.

Meet the couple who put the Irish on St. Paul's Grand Avenue

The owners of Irish on Grand in St. Paul, Maeve O'Mara and Liam O'Neill, preserve capital city's emerald ties.
Clover Ward, a junior, worked on a dress designed with a tablecloth as a base at Avalon School in St. Paul.

Leader of young artist program sees a statewide appeal

The Emerging Young Artists program pairs students with resident artists in east metro schools.
Mychael Wright is the owner of Golden Thyme Coffee, the organizer of the Selby Avenue Jazzfest and champion of cultivating black-owned businesses on S

April festival at St. Paul Union Depot is second act for the Wrights

The founders of the Selby Avenue Jazz Festival are taking their show downtown.
Rhiana Yazzie

Meet the woman who founded a theater group to tell Native American stories to Native American audiences

Rhiana Yazzie founded the New Native Theatre in 2009.
Once buried beneath the former Ford site, a reconstructed Hidden Falls Creek is a centerpiece of the new Highland Bridge development. The water featur

Still waiting on big solar, but St. Paul's Highland Bridge embracing green all over

Plans for a massive solar array at the Highland Park site are under environmental review, officials say. The development is moving ahead with other projects.
A week after a story about inaccessibility at St. Paul City Hall, officials added two disablity parking spots.

Fallout from saga of trapped reporter: St. Paul City Hall starts to get more accessible

Two disabled parking spaces were installed Tuesday. More changes are promised.
Rita Li, center, and St. Paul Academy's Rubicon staff.

Meet the state's top student journalist, who first learned English from sci-fi books and Duolingo

Rita Li was 9 when she arrived from China. At 18, she's in the running to be named the nation's top journalism student.
Fans trekked across an empty field up on a warm sunny day before the Minnesota United home opening game at Allianz Field in St. Paul on March 2.

St. Paul's Midway neighborhood still waiting for renaissance around Allianz Field

A playground and sculpture garden are coming to United Village soon. Excitement over the site's potential has been tempered by frustration over pushed-out and scaled-back plans.
Star Tribune reporter James Walsh exits an elevator in the City Hall Annex building as he navigates the skyways to enter St. Paul City Hall on Feb. 29

He and his wheelchair were trapped in St. Paul City Hall. The city says it's sorry.

Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act isn't the same as actually being accessible.
Christopher Harrington, president and CEO of the Ordway.

Meet the Ordway boss working to keep the arts relevant and vital to the Twin Cities

Christopher Harrington said arts organizations must better connect with people.
Mike Steenson started as faculty advisor to the William Mitchell law review in 1974.

As a young prof teaching night school, he launched the Mitchell law review. He's still at it, 50 years later.

Mike Steenson helped start the school's law review in 1974, when some wondered if busy night students could pull it off.
A classroom at the St. Catherine Early Childhood Center.

To parents' dismay, St. Kate's day care center to close after a 93-year run

Some question whether alternatives to closure were explored.
A rendering of housing at The Heights.

St. Paul commits nearly $32M in tax subsidies for affordable housing in 'Heights'

Without the public support, housing developers say building the income-restricted units would be impossible.
Greg Brick.

Underground explorer finds evidence of an ancient glacial lake in St. Paul's Highland Park

St. Paul native digs into city's prehistoric past by splashing around in caves, hiking through ravines and sloshing in sewers.
David Fenley, Minnesota Council on Disability.

Meet the folks working to make Minnesota more accessible — more than 30 years after the ADA

Executive Director David Dively, Operations and Program Director Linda Gremillion and ADA Director David Fenley say there is much still to be done.
Brian Driscoll played Pontius Pilate in Theatre 55's Jesus Christ Superstar.

Meet the St. Paul kid who rediscovered the joy of hamming it up after 55

Before Theatre 55, Brian Driscoll hadn't been on stage since high school.
John Njoes carved this phoenix for Winter Carnival 2021.

Meet the Winter Carnival ice-carver who wields a chainsaw in public

John Njoes loves the temporary nature of his medium. It's even more temporary this year.
Carol Carey is retiring as executive director at Historic St. Paul. She stood outside a home from the 1850s that Carey helped redevelop into apartment

Carol Carey fought the wrecking ball in St. Paul. She won, a hundred times.

Carey, longtime director of Historic St. Paul, is retiring after 20 years of saving history.
Jody Vander Hart was recently chosen as the St. Paul Winter Carnival's Klondike Kate for 2024.

Meet the St. Paul Winter Carnival's 'coy' new Klondike Kate

Jody Vander Hart of Vadnais Heights fulfilled a childhood dream by being named Klondike Kate.
Kevin Washington ,center (a teacher at Walker West Music Academy)  helped music students Wesley Sims left, and Joseph Cole at Walker West Music Academ

Making sweet music: Walker West and Ujamaa Place team up to teach, digital-wise

St. Paul community-based organizations seek to give young Black men more ways to succeed.
Connie Maertz Kasella with her brother’s sled, lost decades ago, likely at Town and Country Club.

After more than a half century, St. Paul woman recovers her brother's long-lost sled

He likely left the sled on the snowy hills at the Town and Country Club decades ago.

Meet the St. Paul car guy who followed his father's repair footsteps

Raks Pham keeps Tuan Auto Repair customers smiling.
Vikings & Goddesses Pie Co. owners Yoji Moro and Rachel Anderson.

Meet the St. Paul bakers who opened a walk-up window in Merriam Park

Vikings & Goddesses has been offering goodies through a walk-up window for a few months now.
John Wirtz, left, cleared snow on the pedestrian bridge connecting Loring Park to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on Jan. 4, 2023. Right, a snowless

A snowless winter takes its toll on Minnesota's way of life

With only a fraction so far of a typical snowfall, annual winter events are being canceled or adjusted — and that means less social interaction.

Meet the St. Paul woman coaching companies to address racism and bias

Seena Hodges says "woke" means empathy and an openness to other experiences.

New year brings in two new millionaires, courtesy of Minnesota Lottery

Two tickets scored prizes of $1 million, lottery officials said.

Early morning shooting is St. Paul's first homicide of 2024

Police were looking Monday for leads.
St, Paul City Council President Amy Brendmoen spoke at the Dec. 6 meeting as the council approved the city’s 2024 budget.

As St. Paul prepares for a new City Council, three veteran council members look back

Advice from Brendmoen, Tolbert and Prince as they leave City Hall: work hard and stay humble.
Angelique McDonald Flohrs

Meet the St. Paul hockey mom working to keep girls hockey alive in the Capital City

Angelique McDonald Flohrs is on a mission: Get more girls on hockey rinks in St. Paul.

Meet the St. Paul Snow Angel who finds volunteers to shovel snow for those who can't

Heather Worthington's volunteer shoveling service has grown to 1,200 users in less than four years.

St. Paul officials say Xcel Energy Center is showing its age — and they want state help to fix it up

The city and Minnesota Wild plan to seek state funding to renovate the 23-year-old arena. The total cost is likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

After 40 years, St. Paul's Listening House for vulnerable adults finally has a home of its own

The daytime drop-in center has renovated a former pizza house on the East Side and plans an expansion in the lot next door.

Meet the St. Paul police officer who fills in the public on what's going on in the city

After working in patrol and K9 units, Sgt. Mike Ernster said he loves working with the public every day.

St. Paul Winter Carnival taps Frogtown artist for new button designs

Button sales are the primary fundraiser for the St. Paul Winter Carnival.
Owner Liz Murphy, right, showed customer Harriette “Cookie” Jandric a silver candle holder at Betty’s Antiques in St. Paul.

From tiny desks to midcentury art, antiques alley transforms Selby/Snelling area

Betty's Antiques is the latest shop to join the growing enclave of vintage clothing and decor businesses.
Mukhtar Ibrahim

Meet the St. Paul journalist dedicated to 'laser-focused' coverage of communities of color

Mukhtar Ibrahim is stepping down from leading the Sahan Journal to spend more time with his family. But he looks forward to seeing what's next.
St. Paul officials are struggling to keep the streetlights on, as copper thieves across the city have made whole blocks go dark.

Officials seek solutions as copper thieves plunge parts of St. Paul into darkness

The city is trying everything, from gluing panels shut to installing metal bands, in an effort to keep streetlights burning.
Kayla Jackson

Meet the woman who preserves and catalogs St. Paul's Rondo memories

Kayla Jackson is an archivist at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center. She describes her work as like being a road builder.
Betty and Dan Butler, co-founders of Circus Juventas.

Circus Juventas founders stepping away from Big Top in St. Paul

After 30 years and nearly 30,000 students, Dan and Betty Butler are retiring from the circus school in Highland Park.
Brenda Lamb, owner of Candyland, mixed a fresh batch of caramel popcorn on Oct. 20, 2023, in St. Paul.

Meet Brenda Lamb, the woman who makes St. Paul's Candyland both sweet and salty

Lamb has been in charge of St. Paul's iconic candy shop for more than 40 years.
Pilgrim Baptist Church is seen Wednesday, Nov. 08, 2023, in St. Paul, Minn. The church was founded by escaped slaves and has been named Minnesota's fi

St. Paul's Pilgrim Baptist Church added to Underground Railroad rolls

Genealogist Elyse Pearson-Hill's work led to the National Park Service recognizing the church. It becomes the first Network to Freedom site in Minnesota.
Alex Kempf-Schwarze, derby name "Major Threat," skates around the loop with at practice in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023 in St.

Minnesota Roller Derby spins into its 20th year in St. Paul

On Saturday night, the club's four in-house teams will take to the track again.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter at the city’s asphalt plant in April. Carter was joined by state Sen. Sandy Pappas and other city officials to make a p

St. Paul voters pass sales tax hike to improve streets, parks

Measure to put nearly $1 billion into capital city infrastructure won with 60% of the vote.