Monday, December 18, 2017


The latest news stories from Hmong TV Network

Lawyer of Hmong descent blazes trail as new Minnesota judge

Gov. Mark Dayton made another history-making appointment to the Minnesota courts Thursday, appointing a woman who will become the state’s first judge of Hmong descent and only the second in the country with that history.

The DFL governor named attorney Sophia Vuelo to the Ramsey County District Court bench, filling a vacancy created by a retirement.

Raised in Wisconsin, Vuelo currently has a solo practice where she handles cases in juvenile protection, family and criminal matters. She has worked in various prosecuting roles, too. Vuelo holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and the Hamline University School of Law, which is now part of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Vuelo wasn’t immediately available for comment. State Rep. Fue Lee, DFL-Minneapolis, applauded the pick.

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Woman in Wisconsin tells Hmong shoppers on Black Friday to ‘speak the language’

APPLETON, Wis. — A Walmart shopper here approached two women on Black Friday, admonishing them to “speak the language” as they talked to one another during what is supposed to be a season of peace and goodwill.

Jasmine Xiong, 22, of Appleton was talking to her mother in Hmong when a woman approached and told both of them: “If you live here in America, speak the language.”

After the unidentified shopper spoke to the women for a few minutes, Xiong began recording.

“I was really shocked and upset and offended that she would say something like that,” Xiong said Monday.

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Why this deer disease could change the way Americans hunt forever

DETROIT — Despite rain and snow, thousands of Michigan hunters dragged their
deer to check stations to be tested for chronic wasting disease — a condition that comes from the same family as “mad cow” disease.

“I was amazed that we had 150 deer come through the check station on the first day of gun season in Montcalm County,” said Chad Stewart, Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer specialist. “Given the Wednesday opener and the bad weather, I was blown away.”

Dollars generated from deer licenses and hunting-related purchases bring in millions in matching funds for habitat restoration and endangered species. They also help fund the testing for CWD, a demon of a disease that has been identified in 11 free-ranging Michigan deer and is feared to be on the verge of crossing over to humans. It just might alter the way we hunt forever.

“When they look back on the history of deer management in Michigan, these years will be considered pivotal to the culture of deer hunting,” said Stewart. “I don’t want people to think it’s a death sentence for deer management.

“For now, there will be changes and additional restrictions. Change is hard to adapt to.”

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Jay Xiong running for open East St. Paul seat in Minnesota House of Representatives

St. Paul, Minn. (Nov. 19, 2017) — Jay Xiong has declared his candidacy for Minnesota State Representative in St. Paul House District 67B, the seat is currently held by nine-term State Rep. Sheldon Johnson, who recently announced his retirement.

Johnson is co-chair of the Xiong campaign. He called Xiong an experienced nonprofit leader, campaign organizer and legislative staffer who understands the legislative process and the need for strong progressive leadership.

“As a seasoned community advocate and successful grassroots political organizer, he knows the value of direct community engagement in the democratic process and will work hard to represent East Siders and all the residents of St. Paul,” Johnson said. “He has the heart and the smarts to do this job. I am proud to be his campaign co-chair and will be even more proud to see him as our next state representative.”

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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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