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Past News

Election divides Oshkosh Hmong residents: Service Center's missing revenue, operations focus of dispute

Jan. 29, 2014 |

Service Center's missing revenue, operations focus of dispute


OSHKOSH — Thirty years ago, the Hmong Service Center was created to help provide basic aid, programs and services to refugees settling in the Oshkosh area.


It should be a time of celebration, both for the center’s anniversary and the election of the center’s first female president, Mee Cha Yang.


Instead, its a time of controversy and divided leadership, with Bee Lee claiming he remains the center’s president and that the Jan. 5 election that selected Yang was a sham.






Free diabetes education classes in Hmong language start today

By The Record February 03, 2014 12:00 AM

STOCKTON - St. Joseph's Medical Center is sponsoring free diabetes education classes in the Hmong language.


The first series of classes will be held from 10 a.m. to noon today at Diamond Cove 2, 5506 Tam O'Shanter Drive, Stockton, and continue for the next five Mondays.


Additional classes at different locations will be added based on demand.


For more information or to find a class near you, contact Jou Moua at (209) 298-2374 or (209) 461-3224.

US ending Myanmar refugee program

Last Updated: Friday, January 31, 2014, 06:36

Washington: The United States is winding down a program which has helped to resettle 73,000 refugees from Myanmar over almost a decade, a US official confirmed.


After being introduced in 2005 primarily to help Karen and Hmong minorities that have been displaced in Myanmar, also known as Burma, "we're reaching the natural conclusion" of the program, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Australia Announces Award to Laos, Hmong Human Rights Activist

January 30, 2014

— Kay Danes is being honored with the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her social justice and human rights work. Danes is an outspoken voice for the victims of extra-judicial abduction, forced disappearance and torture in Laos, where she suffered imprisonment by communist officials as a political prisoner.


“Kay Danes’ determination and courage to give voice to the voiceless has been invaluable in helping to understand the hidden reality surrounding the authoritarian regimes in Laos and Vietnam, especially in light of the abduction of civic activist and Magsaysay Award winner Sombath Somphone by Lao security forces, and the international outcry for his release,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA).

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From refugee to history maker: a Q&A with Merced judge Paul Lo

From refugee to history maker: a Q&A with Merced judge Paul Lo


January 7, 2014


Paul Chapao Lo, a refugee from Laos, has become the first Superior Court judge in the 40-year-history of the Hmong in America.


Just before Christmas, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Lo, a 45-year-old UC Davis graduate, to the Merced County Superior Court, a significant milestone for the roughly 300,000 Hmong refugees in the United States. Tribal people from the mountains of Laos, the Hmong have struggled with the U.S. legal system, where juries, not leaders of the 18 Hmong clans, determine guilt and innocence. In the years after their arrival, they often ran afoul of local laws when their shamans, or spirit healers, performed religious rituals involving animal sacrifice; when teenage girls were suddenly claimed in marriage; and when Hmong children jumped over fences and swam in neighbors’ swimming pools.


David Haycraft, a Merced family law attorney, described Lo as “a very level-headed, intelligent guy. Because of his temperament, he’s going to make a good judge.”

Read more here:

St. Paul's first Hmong firefighter was inspired by 9/11 responders

Posted: 01/02/2014 12:01:00 AM CST

St. Paul's first Hmong firefighter was inspired by 9/11 responders


Posted:   01/02/2014 12:01:00 AM CST


When Tou Lo was about 16, he saw a documentary about New York City firefighters who had responded to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


"I was inspired by what they were doing, and I just made up my mind right there -- that's what I wanted to be doing later," said Lo, now 25.


He didn't know any firefighters, and Lo, who is Hmong-American, had never seen a firefighter who looked like him. But he was undeterred.


On Friday, Tou Lo graduates from the St. Paul fire academy and becomes the first Hmong firefighter in Minnesota's capital city.


The Twin Cities has the largest concentration of Hmong people living in the United States, and the first Hmong officers joined St. Paul's Police Department in the 1980s.


Tim Butler, who became St.Paul's fire chief in 2007, said he had hoped to pin the fire badge on a Hmong firefighter during his tenure.




Dai Thao is first Hmong-American elected to St. Paul City Council

Posted: 11/11/2013 12:01:00 AM CST

Dai Thao is first Hmong-American elected to St. Paul City Council


Posted:   11/11/2013 12:01:00 AM CST


Dai Thao, an information technology manager who moved to St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood from the North End two years ago, has defeated six other candidates to become the first Hmong-American elected to the city council.


He will represent Ward 1, which spans Frogtown, Summit-University and corners of surrounding neighborhoods, one of the most racially diverse areas of Minnesota.

An eight-hour hand count at the Ramsey County Government Building ended Monday afternoon with Dai Thao receiving 1,970 votes, or 41 percent.


Second-place vote-getter Noel Nix got 1,722 votes, or 36 percent, through the ranked-choice election process.

"The voters, they believed in the vision that we put forth -- that our diversity is our strength," Dai Thao said. "Our lives are interconnected. We want progress in the ward."

Hmong family reunited years after war split them up

12:22 a.m. EST December 30, 2013

Hmong family reunited years after war split them up


12:22 a.m. EST December 30, 2013

Boua Xiong, KARE


ST. PAUL, Minn. - Every family has a story, a defining moment that sets a path for all those that follow. The Yang family's moment happened almost 50 years ago.


Xiong Nhia Yang was just six years old when his family fled Laos in 1964. They didn't just leave behind a war-torn country. His parents had to abandon his teenage sister, Sua, who was injured by gunfire.


"My father said … Tell my sister, 'OK, right now I can do nothing for you. I really love you, but you stay here,'" Xiong Nhia said.


His parents promised to come back for Sua once they caught up with other families who were trying to escape. Xiong Nhia said his father tried to come back, but the threat of soldiers foiled his plans. His family escaped to the United States and France, but nobody knew what happened to Sua.

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Racial slurs posted on Facebook prompt investigation

November 26, 2013

Written by Liz Welter

MARSHFIELD — Law enforcement officials have completed an investigation into racial slurs written by Spencer-area men on a Facebook post originating in Marshfield.

Immigration Matters Randy Grandfathers Abuse Our Immigration and Divorce Laws

December 18, 2013

An obscure federal government report has just revealed a hitherto largely neglected set of immigration/rule-of-law problems in one of the nation's larger refugee communities, that of the Hmong tribesmen from Laos, who were our allies in the Vietnam War.



The pattern is a grim one, and one not confined to the Hmong: old men get tired of their old wives, dump them, and, in these cases, fly to Laos (or to nearby China or Thailand) to get new, teenaged wives, often apparently in violation of one or more of our marriage, divorce, bigamy, child support, and/or immigration laws.

St. Paul: Annual Hmong New Year celebration begins today

Posted: 11/27/2013 12:01:00 AM CST

Thousands are expected at downtown St. Paul's RiverCentre this weekend as Minnesota's Hmong community celebrates the Hmong New Year.


The 38th annual cultural event features traditional dance, music, food, crafts and dress. A variety of commercial vendors will also be on hand for the event Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which coincides with the Miss Hmong Minnesota pageant.

Doors are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. all three days. Tickets are available at RiverCentre, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd. Adult admission is $7; seniors 62 and older (ID required) pay $4; and children under 4 are free.

C.H. Bird Elementary School Elementary Hmong club focuses on culture

Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 9:37 am

By Alyssa Skiba Lifestyle Editor |


In an effort to keep the Hmong culture alive among America-born students of her ethnicity, one Sun Prairie Area School District staff member has formed an after-school club focused on reading, writing and speaking in her native tongue.


Xue Vang, a bilingual instructional assistant at C.H. Bird Elementary School, started the Hmong cultural club in late October nearly two years after several Hmong parents requested more after-school activities that would keep their students engaged in learning.

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