Friday, March 23, 2018


The latest news stories from Hmong TV Network

Dai Thao has been called idealistic. A constant campaigner. And now, St. Paul mayor?

Inside St. Paul City Hall, political peers describe City Council Member Dai Thao as a constant campaigner who has proven, time and again, he’s the wrong person to underestimate.

Thao, who in a 2013 special election became the first Hmong-American to be elected to the city council, now wants to be St. Paul’s first Hmong-American mayor.

“We can’t afford to continue to go down this path — high crime, high taxes, low equity and (low) investment in our neighborhoods,” said Thao, 42, during a recent lunch at Lao Thai, a popular Frogtown restaurant near University Avenue and Dale Street. “We’ve got white people who are struggling just like people of color. We have to unite, and lift each other.”

As proof he’s ready after four years in elected office, Thao — an information-technology worker and former community organizer — points to his track record of political wins for progressive causes. Partially at his urging, the city council recently approved a paid sick-leave mandate that applies to all businesses operating within the city.

“He’s a pretty courageous guy,” said the Rev. Grant Stevensen, a clergy organizer with the faith-based anti-poverty group ISAIAH, which worked closely with Thao on the city’s earned sick- and safe-time rules. “He has a set of values, and he lives by them and he governs by them.”

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Body in Fox River is that of missing Appleton woman

OUTAGAMIE COUNTY (WLUK) — The body found in the Fox River in Little Chute has been identified a woman reported missing from Appleton.

The Outagamie County Coroner’s Office identified the body as that of Caitlyn Xiong, 20. Xiong was last seen Oct. 5.

Her body was found on Saturday in the river near Heesakker Park. Appleton police said Monday they had been contacted to help in the investigation. An autopsy was done on Monday, but the identification was not confirmed until Thursday.

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Tulare County creates high risk team to prevent deadly domestic violence incidents

Family Services of Tulare County Executive Director Caity Meader says there have been 11 domestic violence-related deaths in the county this year, as well as three murder-suicides since April.

“In most domestic violence cases that end in homicide, there are identifiable patterns leading up to the fatal incident,” said Family Services of Tulare County Executive Director Caity Meader. “When we can identify, early in the process, which cases are escalating toward a homicide, there are opportunities for our system to intervene that’s what the Domestic Violence High-Risk Team does.”

Thursday, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and Tulare County officials announced the creation of the county’s first Domestic Violence High-Risk Team-a model developed by a domestic violence center on the east coast.

It started in Tulare County on October 1st and is funded by a $450,000 grant from the Department of Justice.

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Trump gives $25K to fallen soldier’s father, months after to promising to on call

President Donald Trump has sent a $25,000 gift to the father of Cpl. Dillon Baldridge, a 22-year-old Army corporal killed in Afghanistan in June, several months after first making the pledge during a personal phone call with the family, the White House confirmed for ABC News.

In an interview with ABC affiliate WTVD, Dillon Baldridge’s stepmother, Jessie Baldridge, said she and her husband, Chris Baldridge of Zebulon, North Carolina, did not expect the president to send a check.

“We were kind of joking about it,” she said. “Like, this summer we were actually hanging out on the porch, and Chris was, like, you know, just hanging out on the porch waiting for a check we’re never going to get. We just thought maybe he was saying something nice.”

Jessie Baldridge told WTVD that no amount of money could replace what they lost when Dillon Baldridge was killed and stressed that neither she nor her husband is upset with Trump but they are feeling flustered by the amount of media attention they are receiving.

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Bureau Of Criminal Apprehension Releases Documents Detailing Dai Thao Investigation

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) released hundreds of pages of interviews, text messages and reports Wednesday detailing the investigation of St. Paul City Council member and mayoral candidate Dai Thao.

Lobbyist Sarah Clarke accused Thao of attempting to solicit a bribe earlier this year and her concerns were leaked to the news media, sparking the BCA investigation. The Scott County Attorney’s Office reviewed the materials and found there was insufficient information to prosecute.

“It was a very thorough investigation,” Thao said Wednesday. “I go to church. I know that God knows the number of hairs we have on our head. And God knows that I did not ask for a bribe and I’m innocent.”

Two words — “resources” and “rethink” — were particularly important in the investigation, the documents show. Clarke, who represents a packaging manufacturer, set up a meeting with Thao to talk about what was then a proposed city regulation to get businesses to use eco-friendly packaging materials. Clarke said Thao asked for “resources” during the meeting and it seemed clear he wanted a donation.

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Man Arrested For Lewd Act At Como Park Zoo And Conservatory In St. Paul, Police Say

A 22-year-old man pulled down his pants and touched himself as he talked to a woman and her 4-year-old grandson at the the Como Park Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, St. Paul police said Thursday.

The Ramsey County attorney’s office charged Joshua Davi Lor on Thursday with fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct — lewd exhibition for the incident in a children’s play area of the conservatory.

After police were called about 11 a.m. Wednesday, a 53-year-old woman told an officer that a man walked up to her and her grandson as they looked at a frog exhibit and began talking to them about frogs, according to the criminal complaint and Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman.

The man, later identified as Lor, pulled down his pants and began to masturbate in front of them, the complaint said.

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Family Says Missing Appleton Woman Wasn’t A Runaway Or Suicidal

APPLETON – Caitlyn Pa Chia Xiong, the 20-year-old Appleton woman who has been missing for more than a week, disappeared under suspicious circumstances, her family said.

“She’s not a runaway,” Kerry Yang, a spokesman for Xiong’s family, told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. “She wasn’t suicidal. We think something has befallen her.”

Yang is pleading for the public’s help to find Xiong.

“We’re trying to locate her in any way that we can,” she said. “The police have been looking for her, but we have not had any leads. We are really worried about her.”

Appleton police haven’t disclosed a lot of information about Xiong’s disappearance.

“In speaking with investigators, there are some things we are working on which require us to keep details to a minimum,” Sgt. Dave Lund said in an email.

Investigators asked the Appleton Fire Department and the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department to help them search a stretch of the Fox River from Peabody Park to State 441 on Wednesday, but they found no sign of Xiong.

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Maplewood Man Sentenced For Defrauding People With False Promise Of Hmong Homeland

Seng Xiong preyed upon “the open wounds” of particularly vulnerable people within the Hmong community when the Maplewood man promised them access to a new Hmong homeland in Southeast Asia in exchange for money, a federal judge said Wednesday.

Through his lies, the 49-year-old defrauded more than 400 Hmong people from across the United States — many of them elderly — of thousands of dollars each. Their contributions totaled about $1.7 million.

U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson went above federal guidelines in sentencing Xiong to more than seven years in prison. He also was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution and comply with a long list of conditions upon his release.

As Seng Xiong was sentenced in St. Paul, about 50 of his supporters outside waved signs and shouted demands for his release.

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Fresno New Year Update: 2 New Years This Year

Fresno will be hosting 2 Hmong New Year celebrations this year and both at the same time from December 26th to January 1st.  This has been seen before but this year there are big differences in the organizations that will be hosting the new year events.

Hmong Cultural New Year Celebration, Inc. is the new organization that won the bid in May to host the new year celebration at the Fresno Fairgrounds.  The winning bid amount was $352,200 per year for the next five years.  HCNYC (Hmong Cultural New Year Celebration) has many plans to make the new year celebration at the fairgrounds much better such as organizing lines similar to security checkpoints at airports, allowing advance ticket sales online, giving school supplies to the community, and more.  They will offer competitions during the new year celebration such as a pageant, traditional dance, soccer, and volleyball.

Hmong International New Year Foundation, Inc. is the organization that used to host the new year since 1999 at the fiargrounds.  Now, they are hosting the new year at Granite Park in Fresno.  HINYF (Hmong International New Year Foundation) is also offering competitions including a pageant, traditional dance, singing, and sports.  HINYF has been hosting the new year celebration since 1999 so they know what it takes to make such an event successful.

Which one will you attend?  What are the reasons behind your choice?

Hmong Cooking Class Brings Generations Together

Yia Vang, center in black apron, of the pop-up Union Kitchen, taught the class with his mother, Pang Vang, at left.

Her daughters, Susan and Lou Her, hovered over their mother as the dough started to resemble a ball. “Good job, Mom,” said Susan.

The Hers were among a dozen Hmong-American women who learned to make bánh bao (steamed buns) and sweet-potato-and-corn dumplings at a Falcon Heights commercial kitchen recently.

The class, part of the Hmong Food Tradition workshops at the Good Acre, brings adult children and their older relatives together to re-create Hmong delicacies and deepen understanding of shared traditions. The classes proved so popular that all four of them were nearly sold out.

This class was taught entirely in Hmong, and attendees were required to bring an elder. Most of them brought their mothers.

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