st.-paul

Meet Minnesota’s first Somali woman police officer

The Twin Cities has the largest Somali community outside of Somalia, and one Somali woman is one of the latest to be sworn in to a metro area police department.

Kadra Mohammed is one of the first 12 new Metro Transit Police Officers. “I’m excited, definitely excited.” She is the first sworn in female Somali officer in Minnesota and quite possibly the country. “It’s just a step forward, I plan on making more steps forward in my career, so I’m very excited for that.”

Fox 9 first met Kadra over a year ago when St. Paul police hired her to be a community service officer. She was also the second officer in the country to wear a special hijab with her uniform.

Now, she will have a badge and a gun, while she rides Metro Transit buses and trains.

“She represents that large population of Somali women who use transit. I hope when they see her on the train on the bus they feel more comfortable.” Said Chief John Harrington

The first Somali sergeant in the US, Waheid Siraach, who is currently on a leave of absence to train national police back in Somali, awarded Mohammed her badge. “To have first Somali female officer in Minnesota, it’s an historic day for the people of Minnesota and the Somali community.”

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Como Zoo’s new baby giraffe already stands at 5-foot-8 

The Como Zoo this week has a new addition: a baby giraffe born Monday.

And if Mama Clover permits, she will make her public debut Thursday. Giraffes at the Como Zoo have the option of going out into the yard or staying inside, and Clover seems more inclined to stay behind the scenes, according to a release issued by the zoo. 

The yet-to-be-named female is the sixth calf born to Clover, and the 19th giraffe born at the zoo since the early 1990s, Como officials said. She already stands 5 feet 8 inches, and weighs 135 pounds. 

The baby joins the Como’s herd of giraffes, which includes her father Skeeter, Daisy and Sky in addition to Clover.

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So I got to meet Chris Colfer tonight and he is just so AMAZING~! I can’t even handle his lovely face in person!

I gave him the Cooper and Brian mug that sunshunes sent to me, and he ADORED IT! *this mug HERE —-> http://sunshunes.tumblr.com/post/88584174730/mug-brian-cooper-awwwwww-im-so-happy-of-the *

Me: Hi Chris!

Chris: Hi! What’s your name?

Me: Nicole

Chris: Hi Nicole!

Me: I actually have a gift for you from my friend Agnes who lives in France. She sent this to me to give to you. *gives him mug*

Chris: OH MY GOD! This is so awesome!

Me: Yeah I know! She’s so great!

Chris: She made this?

Me: YES!

Chris: This is so cool! You’ll have to thank her for me!

Me: I will~! *grabs signed book* Thank you so much for coming, Chris!

Chris: Absolutely! Brian’s gonna be SO MAD that Cooper is wearing the crown….

Me: *cracks up* Thank you again!

I hope Agnes is somewhere crying right now, because real friends make eachother cry. It’s true. I looked it up on wikipedia, which is never wrong.

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GHOST SIGNS - ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA

Like whispers from the past, or phantom apparitions, a handful of almost unreadable ghost signs can still be found on a scattering of brick buildings in Lowertown Saint Paul.

A ghost sign, or “brickad,” is a hand-painted advertisement. Once bold hucksters, they announced store names, services and products. Some of them were painted over a hundred years ago. Now they are faded, peeled, and bleached from constant exposure to sun and rain, heat and cold. Faint, almost invisible, they have a ghostly ethereal quality that speaks of a different time, before television and the internet. 

These muted signs tell the city’s story. They remind us of our heritage and those who came before us, the ones who forged the way into the present.

* * * 

Marianne McNamara is a retired jack of all trades turned writer living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Find her at 16celsius.blogspot.com.

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#BlackBrunchMN
Today in St. Paul, MN we did our first black brunch. There were only about 12 of us but our presence was great! We went to every restaurant, store, coffee shop, etc…that was along our route. We saw so much white uncomfortableness and so much hatred but also occasional moments of support and appreciation. Police were called at most if not all places we went but never showed up until our last location. Ultimately it was a very powerful and energizing action that hopefully woke some of the white community up. I have a feeling it won’t be long until #BlackBrunchMN is stirring things up again. 
Shoutout to stayw0ke for helping me organize this event and actjustly for leading chants and always showing mad love and support. 
Follow our organization, The Black Liberation Project, on twitter @blklibmn to see what else we are up to. 


Photo credit to the talented bleakandblooming(hers are in black and white) and minnieleephotos(hers are in color)! Check out their work on their blogs.