May 3, 2011 — Several dozen young people today signed up for an Emergency Medical Technician training program in St. Paul. The city launched the program to increase diversity in the city's emergency responder pool, which is mostly white. The program trains young people to work alongside professional firefighters, paramedics and hospital staff, and then helps them find jobs. St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman says the city needs a more diverse workforce of emergency responders.
April 21, 2011 — Several St. Paul families are asking President Obama to demand the release of three Hmong-American men they say have been falsely imprisoned in Laos for nearly four years. A Washington D.C.- based human rights group called the Center for Public Policy Analysis, is also asking for the U.S. State Department to engage in high level talks with the Laotian government. The center's director, Phillip Smith, says the men traveled to Laos in 2007 to visit and explore investment opportunities. Smith says according to multiple sources, including some inside the Lao government, the men were arrested without being charged and imprisoned.
April 4, 2011 — HealthPartners and AT&T confirm they have pulled advertising from the Twin Cities radio station KDWB after a parody song about a fictional Hmong family aired last month. The song poked fun at teen pregnancy and overcrowded living situations. Jeff Shelman is a spokesman for HealthPartners, and says the song was, in his words, "highly offensive."
March 29, 2011 — A group of nine clergy sex abuse victims has reached a settlement with St. John's Abbey in Collegeville. As part of the agreement, Abbot John Klassen must send a letter to thousands of former students at St. John's Preparatory School that lists 17 priests and monks who were credibly accused of abuse. Plaintiffs' attorney Jeff Anderson of St. Paul filed the lawsuits and held a news conference today. Anderson would not discuss the financial terms, and he says naming the alleged abusers publicly is more important than the money.
March 28, 2011 — A group of nine clergy sex abuse victims has reached a settlement with St. John's Abbey in Collegeville. As part of the agreement, Abbot John Klassen must send a letter to thousands of former students at St. John's Preparatory School that lists 17 priests and monks who were credibly accused of abuse. Plaintiffs' attorney Jeff Anderson of St. Paul filed the lawsuits and held a news conference today. Anderson would not discuss the financial terms, and he says naming the alleged abusers publicly is more important than the money.
January 13, 2011 — The St. Paul School Board has narrowed the field of candidates who applied for an open seat on the board. There are now 10 finalists remaining from the 41 who originally applied.
January 13, 2011 — Members of Minnesota's Hmong community are making alternate plans to witness the funeral of General Vang Pao. The Hmong military leader died last week, and family members say his body will remain in Fresno, California and won't be transported to Minnesota so followers here can pay their respects. Minnesota is second to California in Hmong population and Vang Pao family members live here. Lee Pao Xiong, director of the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University says organizations are trying to organize air and ground travel arrangements for people who want to attend the funeral in California.
January 9, 2011 — Funeral arrangements for General Vang Pao are beginning to take shape as Hmong communities in Minnesota and around the country mourn the loss of a leader. Vang died Thursday at the age of 81. Lee Pao Xiong is spokesman for those arranging events in the Twin Cities. He says visitation for the General will be held from February 11th through the 18th in Fresno California, afterwards the body will travel to the Twin Cities for visitation. Xiong says finding a means to accommodate everyone who will want to pay their respects will be a difficult task.
January 7, 2011 — A leader of the nation's Hmong community has died at the age of 81. Vang Pao was a general who led Hmong mercinaries allied with the US in the Vietnam War. Pao also helped to settle Hmong refugees in the US after the war. Ilean Her, executive director of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, says Hmong-Americans are mourning Vang Pao's death.
November 30, 2010 — Minnesota's Hmong community has higher rates of poverty than the overall population. However, their economic status is steadily improving. Nou Yang directs a youth leadership program at the Wilder Center in St. Paul. Yang says Hmong income levels are rising, and family size is declining. But she says supporting a family is still a challenge for many Hmong, because of larger family sizes.