Jessica Lee


Everything (even SXSW) is bigger in Texas

AUSTIN – No street corner was out of earshot of an amateur rap performance or without a whiff of Texas BBQ. Crushed mixtapes littered sidewalks in the downtown Austin area last week, where five-gallon bucket drumming mashed with power chords coming from inside bars, and thousands of music connoisseurs waited in lines for a taste of free beer and tunes.

In gay marriage sweep, Minnesota is already covered.

The wait was over. Hand in hand, the couple swapped a warm gaze and a smile before walking up the grassy backyard aisle in step. Family and friends lined their walkway, all beaming with pride and most choking back tears. The long-awaited ceremony signified an end to a fight.

Gymnastics coaches out after harassment claim

Perfect landings and lipstick smiles masked federal and University of Minnesota investigations into complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation within the Gophers women’s gymnastics team last season. Former volunteer assistant coach Jim Stephenson quietly resigned after more than two decades with the program amid the University’s review of his conduct with team members, some of whom allege he repeatedly sexually harassed gymnasts. The team finished the year under the direction of head coach Meg Stephenson, his wife. She resigned on Thursday.

Sale aside, Doran's Dinkytown presence lingers

Around the same time Doran Companies put five apartment complexes up for sale, the development firm snagged two Dinkytown sites, adding to its hefty portfolio of University of Minnesota-area properties. Doran Companies, which is now selling all its luxury housing complexes near the University, recently made a $1.76 million deal on property that has faced up-and-down development drama for nearly a year.

In tight race, Somalis turn out for Noor

The surge in political activism from Somali-Americans in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood is putting pressure on longstanding Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, to prove that she deserves another term in the state Legislature. Somali-born Mohamud Noor, a fellow DFLer, is challenging the 22-term legislator for the seat representing the West Bank, the University of Minnesota and other east Minneapolis neighborhoods.

University professor gets threatening voicemail

A University of Minnesota professor spearheading an effort to cancel Condoleezza Rice’s campus visit received a threatening voicemail on his office line early Friday. William Messing reported a terroristic threat to University police Monday afternoon, according to a University police report.

Former Mayor R.T. Rybak endorses Noor

  Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced his support for Mohamud Noor to represent parts of the University of Minnesota and surrounding neighborhoods in the state Legislature. The hotly contested 2014 race to out seat 22-term Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, is causing some to question if her performance truly reflects the district’s evolving community and some think the area should be represented by a new face. This is the first time for the former mayor to endorse a candidate for the state Legislature.

Kaler outlines long-term lab plans at Senate

The University of Minnesota’s 2014 capital request puts Twin Cities research labs in the spotlight, asking legislators to approve plans to gut some existing facilities and construct new ones, while less-scientific campus buildings have to wait their turn for upgrades. While this year’s request focuses on improving buildings in science, technology, engineering and mathematics departments, the University has a long-range plan to renovate buildings in other campus areas, specifically the English department, as part of a larger arc of construction projects.

Legislature talks medical marijuana

The discussion of whether to allow medical marijuana in Minnesota kicked off in the state Legislature on Tuesday, marking the proposal’s first step in the legislative process. The House’s Health and Human Services Policy Committee weighed the pros and cons of legalization in front of a packed hearing punctuated by emotional testimony.

Obama rallies Twin Cities for 'year of action'

President Barack Obama took over the Union Depot in St. Paul on Wednesday, rallying support to bridge political divides and boost federal funding for road and highway improvements across the country. Against the backdrop of the renovated transit hub, the president praised Minnesota transportation projects, like the Central Corridor light rail, while announcing a four-year, $302 billion transportation plan.