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Stroller-Jammin’ Moms Beat Gun Lobby in Shootout at St. Paul Starbucks

Some of the Moms Deman Action supporters who demonstrated outside the Grand Avenue Starbucks in St. Paul on Saturday, Sept. 7 to demand that Starbucks stop letting gun owners from wearing and openly displaying weapons inside Starbucks coffee shops. The Moms beat the Guns.

Starbucks finally woke up and smelled the coffee!

The giant coffee chain announced late Tuesday that it will no longer allow the open carrying of guns in its properties, banning the display of guns — even legally licenses weapons — both inside its restaurants and in outdoor seating areas. Stroller-jammin’ moms in St Paul helped win the fight. Continue Reading →

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Family Values II: Baby Grady: The Happy Face of Minnesota’s Same-Sex Marriage Law

No Wonder He's Smiling: Grady Edward Nelson Calhoun -- Born August 5, in Minneapolis, to two moms who were married four days earlier, under Minnesota's new marriage equality law. Click on the photo to see the whole story.

Story by Nick Coleman, Executive Editor

Yesterday, The UpTake brought you the story of a baby boy named Emil , born Aug. 22nd to a lesbian couple, and asked whether Emil might be the first child born to a married same-sex couple after Minnesota’s new marriage equality law took effect Aug. 1. Well, it turns out that Emil and his moms were close, but no cigar. We still love Emil and his moms, but Emil arrived a couple of weeks late. Continue Reading →

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Family Values: Is A Baby Boy Named Emil A Minnesota First?

Family Values: Anj Ronay (left) and Steph Johnson pose for a family portrait with their infant son, Emil, who was born Aug. 22. Big brother Arlo looks on. Click on picture to see the full story. Photo by Sheil Regan

Editor’s note: Is a baby from Minneapolis named Emil — who has a big brother named Arlo — the first Minnesota child born to a same-sex couple whose marriage is recognized by the state? Well, he just might be — unless we hear of a baby born before Aug. 22 to another married same-sex couple. It’s not an important distinction — all children of same-sex families are precious, of course, like all children. Still, it’s fun to think how Minnesota families are evolving. Continue Reading →

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VIDEO: East Side St Paul Neighbors Confront City Officials on Safety

St Paul: "Most Liveable City" or Mean Streets?

Hundreds of residents of St. Paul’s Payne-Phalen neighborhood confronted city officials last Thursday — including Mayor Chris Coleman and top police commanders — about concerns over gang activity, a recent street killing and the brutal beating of a pedestrian, along with a general sense of insecurity in the area. Click here to read The Pioneer Press story on the meeting

The video of the meeting at Arlington Hills Lutheran Church is used courtesy of the St Paul Neighborhood Network. Continue Reading →

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“Justice For Terrance Franklin” Protesters Press Demands As Grand Jury Looms

Terrance Franklin, 22, died n a Minneapolis police shooting in May under murky circumstances. Community activists are pressing authorities for a full accounting as a Hennepin County grand jury gets set to conduct an inquiry. Click on photo to watch protesters demand justice for Franklin at last month's Rondo Days parade.

Tensions around the Minneapolis police shooting of Terrance Franklin, a 22-year-old black man and father, continue to rise as community activists demand a full accounting and the Hennepin County attorney gets set to call a grand jury inquiry into the case. Continue Reading →

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Capitol Gun Safety Discussion Begins, Ends In Confusion, Disagreement. Is Paymar Out?

Statye Rep. Michael Paymar, (D-St. Paul), chair of the House Public Safety Committee, discusses a gun safety bill that passed out of his committee last spring with Joe Olson (l), head of s gun owners' group. Click to see video of Wednesday's task force discussion on gun safety in the Capitol.

Story for The UpTake by Kathryn Nelson and Nick Coleman

The Minnesota State Patrol does not always verify that gun owners have valid permits to carry handguns before they are added to a list of gun owners allowed to carry weapons inside the Minnesota Capitol and its complex. That surprising admission was made Wednesday at a tense meeting of the advisory committee on Minnesota Capitol Security that exposed a number of areas of confusion in the state’s gun permitting laws and how they are interpreted at the Capitol and its 14-acre complex of associated buildings. Testimony by State Patrol Maj. Bob Meyerson caused a number of startled looks on the six-member task force, which is headed by Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon. Meyerson told the panel that gun owners are required to have a Minnesota Permit to Carry as well as permission from the Commissioner of Public Safety in order to bring their handguns into the State Capitol. Continue Reading →

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Armed Mercenaries Returning to Wisconsin Woods — Legally, This Time

Heavily armed and camouflaged guard from Bulletproof Securities, Inc., patrols Wisconsin woods in July. The security force was withdrawn because it lacked legal permits. The permits have now been issued by state authorities and the guns are back. Click to see video report.

Mercenary-style guards carrying assault weapons will return to the north woods of WIsconsin after an Arizona-based security firm received proper permits to operate in Wisconsin. Last month, the heavily-armed guards, wearing camouflage and some with face coverings, startled hikers and other forest visitors when they showed up — without permits or the legally required name tags and credentials.
Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Marriage Marathon: Love Is The Law

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Photo slide show for The UpTake by Judy Griesedieck

After years of struggle for the right to marry, Minnesota’s LGBTQ community partied down and tied the knot — all over the state — as the same-sex marriage law passed last spring took effect at 12:01a.m. on Aug. 1. The UpTake has covered every aspect of this story for years (see below). But here, you can just feast your eyes on the sights and sounds of the historic celebration that began Thursday as the freedom to marry finally has been extended to include all of us. Video for The UpTake by Bill Sorem

Continue Reading →

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Freedom At Midnight: After Years of Struggle, Same-Sex Marriage Arrives in Minnesota

Finally a Family in the Eyes of the Law: Margaret Miles and Cathy ten Broeke celebrate their new marriage with son, Louie. Photo for The UpTake by Judy Griesedieck

Weddings often begin after the appointed time, but this one was almost too early: If Margaret Miles and Cathy ten Broeke pledged their troth before the big clock on the Minneapolis City Hall tower struck Midnight, it wouldn’t count. Continue Reading →

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Rolling Gun Violence Prevention Campaign Hits Minneapolis

Carlee Soto, in green, watches Wednesday's gun violence prevention rally in Minneapolis. Last December, Soto's sister, a teacher, was among the 26 fatalities in the mass murder at Sandy Hook School in Newtown. Conn.

Political figures, faith leaders, community members and prominent survivors of gun violence came together in Minneapolis Wednesday morning to campaign for tighter gun laws, including background checks for all gun sales. The rally was part of “No More Names: The National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence,” a 100-day bus stop campaign that is visiting 25 states. Continue Reading →

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Milwaukee Kid Killer Gets Life in Prison Without Parole for “Evil Act”

Darius Simmons

John Spooner, the 76-year-old Milwaukee gun collector who shot and killed 13-year-old Darius Simmons in front of his mother last year, was sentenced Monday to life in prison with no chance of parole for the shocking murder — captured by a security video camera — by a judge who called the killing “an evil act.”
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