Marion Renault


Augsburg graduate student sues for discrimination

A Nigerian-born Augsburg College graduate student is suing the college for discrimination after a dispute over a financial aid check ended in her suspension. Ugonwayi Ugo — who was enrolled in Augsburg’s Master of Social Work Program — deposited a copy of an old financial aid check in February 2013 that she had already cashed a year before.

Muslim students find room to pray

Shortly after noon Friday, the room fell into an intent, reverent silence, interrupted only by the padding of shoeless feet on carpet and the occasional creaking of a door as latecomers trickled in. More than 150 Muslim University of Minnesota students and employees filled the conference room for weekly community prayer on the third floor of Coffman Union at 12:30 p.m. Throughout the week, students can be found spread across campus, tucked in hallway corners or kneeling in open courtyards for their daily prayers.

Gopher Chauffeur launches Thursday night shuttle service

The University of Minnesota’s Gopher Chauffeur extended service to Thursday nights this weekend, shuttling 135 riders in its first Thursday out. The change follows talks with the Minnesota Student Association, which took up the issue in response to recent violent crimes on and around campus. The free ride service is also looking to change its hours next semester to 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. from its current 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. schedule.

Gopher Chauffeur launches Thursday night service

The University of Minnesota's Gopher Chauffeur service will now run on Thursday nights, a change following talks with the Minnesota Student Association. The student shuttling service is also looking at changing its hours next semester to 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. from its current 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. schedule. MSA took up the issue in response to recent violent crimes on and around campus, pushing for extended pick-up hours and Thursday night service.

For St. Paul, it’s Coleman

With more than 78 percent of first-choice votes, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman sealed his re-election Tuesday night, defeating three challengers by a wide margin. Coleman was highly favored for re-election, touting endorsements from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee and the support of all seven St. Paul City Council members. The victory makes Coleman the first St. Paul mayor in 23 years to serve more than two terms.

Bicyclist injured in Dinkytown collision

A bicyclist was rushed to the hospital after colliding with a vehicle outside the Dinkytown McDonald’s parking lot Wednesday evening, according to University of Minnesota police. The cyclist seemed to be obeying traffic laws when the accident occurred around 5:30 p.m., said UMPD Officer Kay Temple, who was on the scene. Authorities gave conflicting reports about who struck whom. The bicyclist was wearing a helmet, according to the vehicle’s driver.

Police report typical homecoming weekend

The University of Minnesota Police Department kept busy over homecoming this year, but “nothing on a major scale” occurred, Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said. UMPD deployed extra officers over the weekend, he said, focusing on homecoming activities like the parade, concert and football game. Extra squad cars also focused on recent robbery patterns in neighborhoods near campus. There were no robberies reported to UMPD. Miner said officers detoxed and hospitalized about a dozen attendees at the homecoming concert.

Somali youth speak out against al-Shabab recruiting

A Somali youth organization gathered Wednesday to address concerns about recruitment of area youth by the terrorist group al-Shabab. Ka Joog, a Twin Cities nonprofit geared toward supporting local Somali-American youth, held a press conference in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in response to last week’s attacks on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Al-Shabab, an extremist Somali Islamic group, claimed responsibility for the attack, which has killed at least 67 and injured 175 others, according to the Associated Press.

Sticker shock: calculating the cost of care

The University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview charged $163,690 for gastrointestinal hemorrhage surgery in fiscal year 2011. Nine miles away, the same procedure cost $19,770  — an eighth of Fairview’s sticker price — at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital. This gap illustrates the murky business of how hospitals decide the cost of care. It’s standard practice for hospitals to slap essentially meaningless sticker prices on their lists of procedures — prices that patients rarely pay in full.