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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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BREAKING: Milwaukee Killer Of 13-Year-Old Black Neighbor Found Sane, Faces Life In Prison

John Spooner, in court. Photo Miliwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Breaking News: The elderly “gun nut” convicted of the murder of a 13-year-old Milwaukee boy was found sane by a Milwaukee jury on Friday. The determination — after brief jury deliberations — that John Spooner was mentally competent when he shot 13-year-old Darius Simmons on May 31, 2012, means Spooner faces a sentence of life in prison. He will be sentenced Monday afternoon. Stay on The UpTake for more. John Spooner, the 76-year-old Milwaukee white man seen shooting his 13-year-old black neighbor to death on a video taken by his own home security camera, has been found guilty of the murder by a jury and now awaits another jury decision as to whether he is mentally competent and should be sentenced for the crime. Continue Reading →

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Milwaukee Jurors See Video of Shooting of 13-year-old youth by White “Gun Nut”

Darius Simmons, 13, was shot by a white neighbor in 2012

A Milwaukee jury was shown dramatic and disturbing video Tuesday of a 13-year-old boy being shot at point-blank range by a 75-year-old neighbor who confronted him in front of the boy’s home while the youth was bringing in garbage bins from the curb. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis, Milwaukee Protesters March For Trayvon Martin, Local African-American Victims

Milwaukee protesters demand "Justice for Trayvon." Click on photo to see videos of Minneapolis and Milwaukee protests

Protesters demanding justice and demonstrating outrage over the Florida acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer marched in Milwaukee and Minneapolis. In both cities, protesters were motivated by controversial police killings of black youths that have caused outrage in the African-American communities. Continue Reading →

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Remembering With Pride: The St. Paul Red Caps Who Built Rondo

St Pauls Finest: The Red Caps in 1952 on the steps of the Union Depot

Cherished in St. Paul’s African-American community, the Red Caps had nearly been forgotten by the city at large, just as their contributions were overlooked during their life times. Now the Red Caps are being given the recognition they richly deserve. Continue Reading →

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Signs Budget

Gov. Scott Walker signs the $68 Billion Wisconsin budget Sunday.

Story for The UpTake by Tracey Pollock

Pleasant Prairie, Wis. Gov. Scott Walker signed the $68 billion biennial Wisconsin state budget Sunday, visiting a private trade show exhibits manufacturer that recently moved its headquarters to Wisconsin from Illinois, and laying out five goals of the state budget he said benefited “the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin.” But, as critics of Walker’s budget noted, the wealthiest taxpayers will benefit the most. Walker made 57 line-item vetoes before signing the budget, which passed along strict party lines, with only one Republican state senator joining the Democrats in opposition. The last-minute vetoes included removing a provision that would have allowed for a private bail-bonds system in the state, and another that would have kicked the Center for Investigative Journalism off the UW-Madison campus. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis Dems Fail to Choose Mayoral Pick; Ranked Choice Voting Comes to Fore

Candidate Betsy Hodges, with support from Gary Schiff's campaign, blocked endorsement for Mark Andrew. Photo courtesy Terry Gydesen, of terrygydesen.com

A contentious, 12-hour convention Saturday failed to endorse a DFL candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis, increasing the significance of the role that Ranked Choice Voting will play in the November 5 election and giving a crowded field of candidates more room for maneuver. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis Protest Demands Answers in Police Shooting

Click on Photo to watch video of protest

Terrance “Mookie” Franklin, a 22 year-old African-American male was shot during a shootout with police on May 10th in the Uptown Neighborhood of Minneapolis. Friends and family say there are too many questions surrounding his death and are demanding answers from the police. Continue Reading →

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Push for Anti-Foreclosure Legislation Wins Abbreviated Homeowner “Bill of Rights”

Click on Photo to watch video on How Rose McGee's Struggle Led to the Homeowner Bill of Rights Passing in Minnesota

Minnesota homeowner Rose McGee won a year-long struggle with CitiBank to keep her home. Along the way, she became a champion of anti-foreclosure movement, which pushed the state legislature to pass a Homeowner Bill of Rights. Continue Reading →

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Mom, Student, Tireless Community Voice…An UpTake Leadership Profile: Chanida Phaengdara Potter

Doing It All For Family, Community, Connections: Chanida Phaengdara Potter. Click on her photo to watch a video report on her leadership.

This story about Chanida Phaengdara Potter is the latest continuing series of UpTake profiles on men and women whose names may not be widely familiar but whose leadership makes our neighborhoods, our cities and our states better places. Continue Reading →

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