US Open 2023: Coco Gauff wins 1st Grand Slam title with wild comeback vs. Aryna Sabalenka

Coco Gauff, of the United States, reacts during a match against Aryna Sabalenka, of Belarus, during the women's singles final of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Coco Gauff has her first Grand Slam title.

Coco Gauff has been earmarked as the future of women’s tennis since she was 15 years old. That future arrived at the US Open on Saturday, in the form of her first Grand Slam championship.

The 19-year-old American outlasted No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, the new top-ranked player in the WTA, in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 thriller in the US Open final at Arthur Ashe Stadium. She becomes the 11th teenager to ever win a Grand Slam singles title, and the question now becomes how many more are in front of her.

After shaking hands with Sabalenka and taking a moment to feel the love, Gauff’s first move was to embrace her family in the stands:

“Today was the first time I’ve ever seen my dad cry,” Gauff said to ESPN after the match. “He doesn’t want me to tell y’all that, but he got caught in 4K. He thinks he’s so hard, but you know he’s not … My dad took me to this tournament [years ago], sitting right there watching Venus and Serena [Williams] compete, so it’s really incredible to be on this stage.”

Saturday was Gauff’s third win of the tournament after losing the first set. Per ESPN Stats & Info, the only other person to win the US Open in that fashion was Gauff’s idol, Serena Williams, who did it at 17 years old in 1999.

Coco Gauff overcomes a powerful start from Aryna Sabalenka

It took an epic comeback against Madison Keys for Sabalenka to reach the final as well, but there was no slow start by the Belarusian this time. Sabalenka opened the match by breaking Gauff in front of a highly partial New York crowd looking for the first American US Open champion since Sloane Stephens in 2017.

Gauff broke Sabalenka back three games later, but that was the last game she’d win in the first set. Sabalenka, one of the hardest hitters on tour, showed a form so overpowering that even Gauff’s speed couldn’t neutralize her.

That was particularly clear in a wild point as Sabalenka tried to consolidate a break. Gauff covered every area of the court, but that gave Sabalenka the opportunity to hit her harder and harder:

Gauff got the momentum change the crowd was looking for early in the second set, breaking Sabalenka to go up 3-1 and holding serve from there to take the second set. Gauff got steadily more aggressive rather than let Sabalenka pound away at the ball in extended rallies, and started winning some truly wild points:

Gauff kept up the pressure in the third set, breaking Sabalenka twice to take a commanding lead. She committed zero unforced errors in the first four games of the set, while Sabalenka committed nine as her composure started fading.

By the end of the match, Gauff was showing the kind of form that seemed impossible to beat. Her speed alone made her a nightmare for opponents to put away, but when combined with the shot-making she showed against Sabalenka, it becomes clear why so much has been expected from her over the past four years.

All of those parts finally came together in New York this year. As long as Gauff can keep them together, there’s no limit to what can be expected from her over the next decade-plus.

Coco Gauff goes from 15-year-old breakout star to 19-year-old champion

The vast majority of tennis fans first heard the name Coco Gauff in 2019, when she upset one of her idols Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon. Then the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history, Gauff became the youngest player to win a match in the singles draw at Wimbledon since Jennifer Capriati in 1991.

Gauff compounded the hype by reaching the fourth round of that tournament, then the third round at the 2019 US Open and the fourth round of the 2020 Australian Open. Her next breakthrough came later, reaching quarterfinals in events like the French Open, the Canadian Open and the Italian Open in 2021, then her first Grand Slam final at the French Open in 2022.

It seems so natural now that Gauff has hoisted her trophy, but the journey between tennis prodigy and tennis star has never been an easy one. There is no telling how a player will develop as they go through their teenage years, what weaknesses opponents will find, how their body will hold up in elite competition. A lot more goes into winning a Grand Slam title than surviving seven straight matches, and Gauff had to go through all of that.

After four years of waiting, Gauff won her first WTA 1000 event at the Cincinnati Open last month and didn’t stop there.

“Honestly, thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me,” Gauff said. “A month ago, I won a 500 and people said I would stop at that. Two weeks ago, I won a 1000 title and people said that was the biggest it was going to get. Three weeks later, I’m here with this trophy right now.”

“Those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it.”

Simone Biles wins a record 8th US Gymnastics title a full decade after her first

When the gymnastics star is at her best, as she was on Sunday night while winning her record eighth U.S. championship, she feels like she’s in a “fever dream.” It’s not autopilot exactly. It’s more of a vibe. A flow.

It’s in those moments that the doubts that still plague her almost daily even now, a decade into a run of unprecedented excellence, fade away.

There is no thinking. No overanalyzing. No “ twisties.” All of it recedes into the background. Her coach Laurent Landi calls it a skill. Biles, even at 26, won’t go that far. Maybe because she simply doesn’t want to.

The return of Simone Biles

She spent a long time, far too long, getting caught up in her head. She’s intent on not doing it this around.

So yeah, she was smiling midway through a floor routine that made almost every other competitor on the floor stop what they were doing to watch and drew a standing ovation from a portion of the sellout SAP Center crowd. No, she can’t explain why. When her coaches told her she’d nailed every tumbling pass, she was clueless.

“It just doesn’t feel real for some reason,” Biles said.

It is. Remarkably.

Frome left, Shilese Jones, Simone Biles and Leanne Wong pose for a photograph after placing second, first and third place, respectively, in all-around competition at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
Frome left, Shilese Jones, Simone Biles and Leanne Wong pose for a photograph after placing second, first and third place, respectively, in all-around competition at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Ten years ago she was a teenage prodigy who doesn’t remember much from her ascension to the top of her sport. She was always fixated on the next thing. World championships. Team camps. The Olympics.

Now she’s a 26-year-old newlywed determined to enjoy this. For real. Six months ago she wasn’t sure she was all in. Three weeks ago she returned to competition in Chicago feeling as if she was going to “throw up” every time she saluted the judges.

The woman who posted a two-day all-around total of 118.40 this weekend in northern California — four points clear of runner-up Shilese Jones and well ahead of Florida junior Leanne Wong in third place — is not ready to hit fast forward. She won. She’s letting herself be happy this time. That didn’t always happen before.

Simone Biles competes on the floor exercise during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
Simone Biles competes on the floor exercise during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, in San Jose, Calif.

“We really try to celebrate our success individually and as a team just so that in a couple of years you can remember this,” she said. “Because I really don’t remember a lot from the past.”

She knows that gymnastics won’t last “forever” even if, for her in a way it has.

Peaks aren’t supposed to last this long. Most elite gymnasts at 26 — at least the ones who haven’t retired — are simply hoping to hold on to what they have.

The athlete who became the oldest woman to win a national title since USA Gymnastics began organizing the event in 1963 is not interested in that. Landi called Biles’ floor routine in the finals the best he’d ever seen her do.

“I think it’s maturity,” he said.

Biles’ eight crowns moved her past Alfred Jochim, who won seven between 1925-33 when the Amateur Athletics Union ran the championships and the men’s competition included rope climbing.

Yes, really.

The sport has come a long way over the last century. No one has spent more time at the far end of the Bell curve than Biles, whose singular talents continue to push boundaries.

She’s training smarter these days, her only real acquiescence to the miles she’s put on it for the last 20 years. While she remains one of the most visible active athletes in the Olympic movement, she’s making it a point not to let the world in on every single little thing as she eyes a trip to Paris next summer.

Biles joked it’s because people are “nosy.” The reality is, she’d just like a little privacy.

“I like to keep (my goals) personal, just so that I know what I’m aiming for,” Biles said. “I think it’s better that way. I’m trying to move a little bit differently this year than I have in the past. I think it’s working so far, so I’m going to keep it secretive.”

There appears to be more balance in her life, leaning into the “it’s just gymnastics” mantra that helped fuel her rise.

Next stop is Antwerp in late September, where Biles will try to add to the 25 world championship medals — 18 of them gold — she’s captured so far.


How to get to the Minnesota State Fair

Parking and shuttle service are free at these 31 locations. However, if you are located farther out in the Twin Cities, the State Fair Express Bus service is operating with Metro Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, and SouthWest transit. Check this website for more information. If you are parking at the fairgrounds, it is first-come, first-serve. The lot rates are $20 for vehicles and $15 for motorcycles. The attendants will accept cash or credit/debit cards. Visit this site for a parking lot map.

For bicyclists, three free parking areas are available here. App-based ride services may drop off and pick up at the north and south ends of the fairgrounds. Taxis are also expected to be running and will operate out of Loop Gate No. 9. Find out more information here.


Daily schedule and hours of operation

Fairgoers looking for daily events to attend can find them here. Otherwise, if you are looking for food, beverages, merchandise, and deals, take a look at this website for food and this one for shops. The fair has released an app that can be used to search and find out all this information, instructions for downloading can be found here.

RELATED: Minnesota State Fair announces new foods for 2023

Also, if you are looking for an accessible way to get around, take a look at this guide. Momentum Refresh is accommodating its “first universal design mobile restroom” which is designed for easy accessibility and inclusivity. This restroom will be available on opening day and is open to staff and fairgoers.


Aug. 24 – Sept. 3: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Labor Day: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.


Aug. 24 – Sept. 3: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Labor Day: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

To buy online tickets, the website launches at 6 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m., with the exception of Labor Day, which ends at 6 p.m. Barn hours are variable; check this site for specific hours.


Saving your buck at the State Fair

Buy your tickets for the pre-fair discount admission price of $15. This could save you $3 off adult admission and $1 off seniors and kids. These may be purchased online or on the phone at 1-800-514-3849.

Children age 4 and under are always free. Mighty Midway and Kidway ride and game tickets are $20 for a 25-ticket Fun Card.

You may also purchase all of these items and a Blue Ribbon Bargain Book at the fairgrounds or some Cub locations until August 23.

Regular admission prices are $18 for adults (13-64), $16 for seniors (65+), and $16 for kids (5-12). Mighty Midway and Kidway tickets are $1 per ticket, $30 for 33 tickets, and $60 for 70 tickets during the fair. The Blue Ribbon Bargain Book is $5 and can be bought at the State FairWear Gift Shops and Bargain Book & State Fair Poster Carts. About 100 coupons are included in this book, with at least 30% off food, merchandise, and attractions. You may preview the book at this site.

Special deal days

On opening day, these discounts can be applied to admission tickets when bought at the gate. Adult tickets are $16, and seniors’ and kids’ tickets are $13. Monday, Aug. 28 and Thursday, Aug. 31 are declared Seniors Days, during which the $13 admission ticket rule applies again.

Tuesday, Aug. 29 will mark Military Appreciation Day. Active military and family, retired and veteran military, and their spouses can purchase tickets for $13 at the gate if they provide military documentation.

Kids Days are on Wednesday, Aug. 30 and Monday, Sept. 4. Tickets bought at the gate will cost $13.

Also, vendors will host deals for all visitors on these special deals days. Those participating are expected to have signage and can be found in the Deals, Drawings & Giveaways Guide. Last chance deals will occur on closing day, Sept. 4. Plus, each of the days above will have deals for the Mighty Midway and Kidway. Early Bird specials close at 1 p..m. on Aug. 25, Aug. 28, Aug. 31, and Sept. 1.


Free entertainment, exhibits and attractions

If you are looking for something new experiences at the fair, you can find those here. Live music will continue each day at the fair, look here for more information on which artists or bands are playing. For families, the fair has posted a kids guide. Whether you want to take photos, need some extra cash, or can’t find something- the amenities FAQ is available here.

The daily parade begins at 2 p.m. and features high school marching bands. Also, there are multiple-day sponsors which can be found at the corner of Wright Avenue and Underwood Street. When planning to stay until the evening, nightly fireworks will go off at the fairgrounds.

The Great Minnesota Get-Together has everything you may need for free while you are there. Check the fair website for additional information including free trolley rides, information booths, daily schedules and ID wristbands for children, free Wi-Fi, and first aid.

Paul Reubens, best known for portraying Pee-wee Herman, has died

The iconic actor and comedian died Sunday night after a private six-year struggle with cancer.

LOS ANGELES — Paul Reubens, the actor and comedian whose Pee-wee Herman character — an overgrown child with a tight gray suit and an unforgettable laugh — became a 1980s pop cultural phenomenon, has died at 70.

Reubens, who’s character delighted fans in the film “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” and on the TV series “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” died Sunday night after a six-year struggle with cancer that he kept private, his publicist said in a statement.

“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” Reubens said in a statement released Monday with the announcement of his death. “I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”

Created for the stage, Pee-wee with his white chunky loafers and red bow tie would become a cultural constant in both adult and children’s entertainment for much of the 1980s, though an indecent exposure arrest in 1991 would send the character into entertainment exile for years.

Actor Paul Reubens portraying Pee-wee Herman poses for a portrait while promoting “The Pee-wee Herman Show” live stage play, Dec. 7, 2009.

The staccato giggle that punctuated every sentence, catch phrases like “I know you are but what am I” and a tabletop dance to the Champs’ song “Tequila” in a biker bar in “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” were often imitated by fans, to the joy of some and the annoyance of others.

Reubens created Pee-wee when he was part of the Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings in the late 1970s. The live “Pee-wee Herman Show” debuted at a Los Angeles theater in 1981 and was a success with both kids during matinees and adults at a midnight show.

The show closely resembled the format the Saturday morning TV “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” would follow years later, with Herman living in a wild and wacky home with a series of stock-character visitors, including one, Captain Karl, played by the late “Saturday Night Live” star Phil Hartman.

HBO would air the show as a special.

Reubens took Pee-wee to the big screen with 1985’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” which takes the character outside for a nationwide escapade. The film, in which Pee-wee’s cherished bike is stolen, was said to be loosely based on Vittorio De Sica’s Italian neo-realist classic, “The Bicycle Thief.” Directed by Tim Burton and co-written by Hartman, the movie was a success, grossing $40 million, and continued to spawn a cult following for its oddball whimsy.

A sequel followed three years later in the less well-received “Big Top Pee-wee,” in which Pee-wee seeks to join a circus. Reubens’ character wouldn’t get another movie starring role until 2016’s Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” for Netflix. Judd Apatow produced Pee-wee’s big-screen revival.

His television series, “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” ran for five seasons, earned 22 Emmys and attracted not only children but adults to Saturday-morning TV.

Jimmy Kimmel posted on Instagram that “Paul Reubens was like no one else — a brilliant and original comedian who made kids and their parents laugh at the same time. He never forgot a birthday and shared his genuine delight for silliness with everyone he met.”

Both silly and subversive and championing nonconformity, the Pee-wee universe was a trippy place, populated by things like a talking armchair and a friendly pterodactyl.

Director Guillermo del Toro tweeted Monday that Reubens was “one of the patron saints of all misfitted, weird, maladjusted, wonderful, miraculous oddities.”

The act was a hit because it worked on multiple levels, even though Reubens insists that wasn’t the plan.

“It’s for kids,” Reubens told The Associated Press in 2010. “People have tried to get me for years to go, ‘It wasn’t really for kids, right?’ Even the original show was for kids. I always censored myself to have it be kid-friendly.

“The whole thing has been just a gut feeling from the beginning,” Reubens told the AP. “That’s all it ever is and I think always ever be. Much as people want me to dissect it and explain it, I can’t. One, I don’t know, and two, I don’t want to know, and three, I feel like I’ll hex myself if I know.”

Reubens’ career was derailed when he was arrested for indecent exposure in an adult movie theater in Sarasota, Florida, the city where he grew up. He was handed a small fine but the damage was incalculable.

FILE – In this Nov. 11, 2010 file photo, Paul Reubens, in character as Pee-wee Herman, attends an event for “The Pee-wee Herman Show” on Broadway.

He became the frequent butt of late-night talk show jokes and the perception of Reubens immediately changed.

“The moment that I realized my name was going to be said in the same sentence as children and sex, that’s really intense,” Reubens told NBC in 2004. “That’s something I knew from that very moment, whatever happens past that point, something’s out there in the air that is really bad.”

Reubens said he got plenty of offers to work, but told the AP that most of them wanted to take “advantage of the luridness of my situation”,” and he didn’t want to do them.

“It just changed,” he said. “Everything changed.”

He did take advantage of one chance to poke fun at his tarnished image. Just weeks after his arrest, he would open the MTV Video Music Awards, walking on to the stage alone and saying, “Heard any good jokes lately?” (Herman appearances on MTV had fueled Pee-wee’s popularity in the early 1980s.)

In 2001, Reubens was arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of child pornography after police seized images from his computer and photography collection, but the allegation was reduced to an obscenity charge and he was given three years probation.

Born Paul Rubenfeld in Peekskill, New York, in 1952, the eldest of three kids, he grew up in Sarasota where his parents ran a lamp store and he put on comedy shows for neighbor kids.

After high school he sought to study acting. He spent a year at Boston University, and was then turned down by the Juilliard School and Carnegie-Mellon University. So he enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts. That would lead to appearances at local comedy clubs and theaters and joining the Groundlings.

“Paul’s contributions to comedy and entertainment have left a lasting impact on the world, and he will be greatly missed by all in the Groundlings community,” the group said in a statement.

After the 1991 arrest, he would spend the decade playing primarily non-Pee-wee characters, including roles in Burton’s 1992 movie “Batman Returns,” the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” film and a guest-star run on the TV series “Murphy Brown.”

He also appeared in the 1999 comedy film “Mystery Men” and Johnny Depp’s 2001 drug-dealer drama “Blow.”

Reubens — who never lost his boyish appearance even in his 60s, would slowly re-introduce Pee-wee, eventually doing a Broadway adaptation of “The Pee-wee Herman Show” in 2010, and the 2016 Netflix movie.

2023 Winners Stellar Awards

Category #1


stellar gospel music awards

Pastor Mike Jr.; Winning; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide

Category #2


stellar gospel music awards

Impossible; Pastor Mike Jr., James Fortune & JeVon Hill; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide

Category #3


stellar gospel music awards

Pastor Mike Jr.; Winning; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide



stellar gospel music awards

DOE; Clarity; Life Room Label/RCA Inspiration



stellar gospel music awards

Maverick City Music x Kirk Franklin; Kingdom Book One; Tribl Records / Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Inspiration



stellar gospel music awards

Lena Byrd Miles; Brand New; My Block Inc.



stellar gospel music awards

Winning; Pastor Mike Jr.; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide



stellar gospel music awards

Brent Jones; Nothing Else Matters (INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING, PRAISE HIM); JDI Entertainment



stellar gospel music awards

Tye Tribbett & Joseph Bethea; All Things New; Motown Gospel



stellar gospel music awards

Maverick City Music x Kirk Franklin; Kingdom Book One; Tribl Records / Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Inspiration



stellar gospel music awards

Pastor Mike Jr.; Winning; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide



stellar gospel music awards

Zacardi Cortez; Imprint; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide



stellar gospel music awards

DOE; Clarity; Life Room Label/RCA Inspiration



stellar gospel music awards

Category Omitted



stellar gospel music awards

Winning; Pastor Mike Jr.; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide



stellar gospel music awards

Imprint; Zacardi Cortez; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide



stellar gospel music awards

When I Pray; Doe; Life Room Label/RCA Inspiration



stellar gospel music awards

Mr. McClure; Michael McClure, Andre Rudolph & Antonio Minifield; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide



stellar gospel music awards

Category Omitted



stellar gospel music awards

Category Omitted



stellar gospel music awards

T.D. Jakes Presents “Finally Loosed”; Various Artists; Dexterity Sounds



stellar gospel music awards

Church Clothes 4; Lecrae; Reach Records



stellar gospel music awards

Detroit Youth Choir; Rockspell; Confidential Records



stellar gospel music awards

Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson; Restructure, Renew Reunion; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide



stellar gospel music awards

All Things New; Mike McKesey & Trent Nicholson; Motown Gospel



stellar gospel music awards

Hymns; Tasha Cobbs Leonard; TeeLee Records/Motown Gospel



stellar gospel music awards

You’ve Been Good To Me; Zacardi Cortez; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide



stellar gospel music awards

Blak Sheep; Pastor Mike Jr.; Blacksmoke Music Worldwide




MEDIUM MARKET OF THE YEAR WXHL 89.1 FM Reach Gospel Radio, Wilmington



GOSPEL ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR Melanie Pratt, WPZS Praise – Melanie In The Midday


Singer C Ashley Brown-Lawrence passed away after major health battle that saw fluid accumulating in her brain

Christian singer C Ashley Brown-Lawrence has passed away after suffering a stroke and fighting a serious health battle that led to fluid accumulating in her brain before her death.

The Gospel singer was well-known among fans for her powerful voice. Her songs such as I’m Depending on You, I’ve Got the Victory Single and more touched the hearts of many. Her father, Bishop John Eric Brown, recently revealed that C Ashely Brown Lawrence who was in her 30s has sadly passed away. Many fans took to Twitter to mourn the star’s untimely death.

C Ashley Brown Lawrence has passed away

Taking to his Instagram Ashley’s husband of eight years Regi C Lawrence wrote on Thursday, July 6, “My life was favored beyond measure to have such a fragrance for 13 years. My heart is broken but I have no doubt God will get glory out of her life. My answer is and will always be, YES LORD,” a heartbroken Regi said.

He shared the Brown and Lawrence family’s statement announcing Ashley’s death. “We sadly announce the transition of our Beloved C.Ashley Brown-Lawrence,” the statement read.

Mourning his daughter Ashley’s dad took to Facebook writing, “God considered me special to have let me father the sweetest, caring, genuine, anointed, singing girl in the whole world!! My best friend, my ride or die, my encourager, my confidant, my Boonie! I’m lost right now!!”

32nd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards - Arrivals
Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

Ashley struggled with massive medical issues before death

Just like her father Ashley’s husband Regi had been documenting her medical condition via his social media. The singer’s family made an effort to keep fans informed about what was happening with her health.

In an Instagram post from last week, he detailed the medical issues Ashley had been fighting. He shared that the Neurosurgeon and the Neurologist had noted that her “drainage is lower than average” and that there wasn’t a need for “surgical intervention to place a shunt.” For the unversed, a shunt is a hole or a small passage that allows the movement of fluid from one part of the body to the other. Regi noted that the doctors were considering placing it in her skull to “assist in the removal of excess fluid accumulating in the brain.”

In a Facebook post shared by her father on July 4, it was revealed that since Regi’s update, Ashley had suffered a serious stroke. “We need to pray for BRAIN ACTIVITY!!” her father said in another post.

Frey rolls out new government reforms

Jacob Frey is the first elected Minneapolis mayor to preside under the new “strong mayor” model of city government. It took effect last December, about a month after voters approved a change in the previous governing structure, in which much of the policymaking and executive authority was shared between the city council and the mayor. The exception to that power-sharing is the mayor’s singular authority over the police department. 

Mayor Frey recently talked with the MSR in his City Hall office. Our interview with the mayor took place before the Department of Justice report released on June 16, which found that the Minneapolis Police Department routinely engaged in racist and abusive behavior against Black and Native Americans.

“We campaigned hard to get this new system,” Frey said of his expanded authority. “I think it’s probably the most important accomplishment that I’ll ever have in public service,” said Frey. “The full rollout takes longer, because we’ve got 100 years worth of culture that is built into the bricks and mortar of City Hall just because the law just changed. It’ll take a while.”

The new city government structure features four officials who report directly to the mayor—the city operations officer, the community safety commissioner, the city attorney and the mayor’s chief of staff. In addition, Frey’s administration created two new offices—public service and community safety.

“This is a seismic shift,” continued Frey. “It allows us to have more of a clear delineation of authority. I think it’s working.”

Two significant hires by the mayor—MPD Police Chief Brian O’Hara last November and Dr. Cedric Alexander as community safety commissioner last summer—are key to implementing the new structure. “Chief O’Hara is working his tail off to make sure that he’s building out positive relations in the community,” stated Frey. “We’ve got a commissioner [Alexander] who’s charged with coordinating the effort and is working his tail off. I think we’re making some really good progress.”

On police-community relations, the mayor said, “It is not a destination but an ongoing journey. I do think we’ve made some very significant improvements. Building trust between police and the communities that they’re charged with protecting and serving, this is what they said that they were going to do.

“Reforms are happening,” said Frey. “Policy changes have already been made. Many of them are now in the process of being installed to reduce the muscle memory of police officers. I feel that the programs have happened, and I’m optimistic.”

In early June, the mayor led local media on a walking tour of Nicollet Mall to promote the “Vibrant Downtown Storefronts Workgroup” recommendations intended to help revitalize downtown. We asked Frey about North Minneapolis, particularly the West Broadway corridor.  In recent months, the area has seen the loss of a grocery store and a pharmacy, and several other businesses have left the Northside since 2020.

“While we can’t dictate what the private sector does, we can help advocate and heavily influence,” stated Frey. “The day after we learned of the closure of the grocery store, I had the [building] owners in my office. I’m confident we’re going to be able to get a grocery store back, and we’re gonna work our tails off to get there.

“West Broadway is on the verge of a renaissance. There are some really great things that are happening on West Broadway and in North Minneapolis right now that we’ve never seen before.”

Even before the pandemic, the city has doubled down on its commitment to economic recovery, according to Mayor Frey. Through his annual budget and using funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress in 2021, “Minneapolis has invested millions into small businesses, especially on East Lake Street and West Broadway,” noted the mayor. 

He added that the city invested $2 million in the Ownership and Opportunity Fund to provide opportunities for BiPOC business owners. “We often talk about equity in a social sense. There’s also racial equity in the business sense. When you have equity that’s being able to have a stake in the decision making process…we need both the social equity and the business equity.”

Frey was reelected as Minneapolis mayor with over 56 percent of the vote in 2021. Now, nearly midway through his second term, we asked his final thoughts on his standing with the city’s Black community.

“First, I’ll say, as mayor you will get hit from every single different angle. But I have felt we have had a really close relationship with the Black community.  No community is a monolith. What has been inspirational is the resilience and talent of the Black community over these last several years.  


“We’ve had broad support, specifically from North Minneapolis. I appreciate it personally, how important that coalition is to getting things done.

“We have a whole lot of work to do,” he said. “Our city has seen tough times over these last couple of years. But I think we’re coming out in the right trajectory.”

Tina Turner, the exuberant, heel-stomping, wild-haired rock goddess who sold out stadiums, earned a dozen Grammy Awards and won the adoration of fans around the world in an electrifying music career spanning five decades, died Wednesday at her home near Zurich after a long illness, according to her publicist.

She was 83.

“With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model,” Turner’s publicist, Bernard Doherty, said in a statement. Doherty added that there will be a private funeral ceremony for close friends and family members. He did not specify a cause of death.

The arc of Turner’s high-flying but tumultuous life was music industry legend — as well as the basis for a hit 1986 autobiography (“I, Tina”), a Hollywood biopic (“What’s Love Got to Do With It”) and a Broadway jukebox show (“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”).

Tina Turner during a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City
Tina Turner during a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1969. Walter Iooss Jr / Getty Images

She ascended from rural roots to the heights of national stardom, blasting into public consciousness as one half of the sensational rhythm-and-blues duo Ike & Tina Turner and later establishing herself as one of the most popular Black female solo artists in the world.

She was the first woman and the first Black artist to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone — in just its second issue — and her massively successful solo career broke barriers for future generations of Black women in music.

But along the way, Turner experienced personal upheavals and private traumas. She alleged that Ike Turner, her ex-husband and artistic collaborator, subjected her to years of horrific physical abuse and tried to take control of virtually all aspects of her life.

“It was my relationship with Ike that made me most unhappy. At first, I had really been in love with him. Look what he’d done for me. But he was totally unpredictable,” Turner wrote in “I, Tina,” a memoir co-authored by music critic and MTV News correspondent Kurt Loder.

In the late 1970s, Turner managed to extricate herself from her husband and set out on her own. In the ’80s, Turner pulled off one of the most triumphant comebacks in modern rock music, reinventing herself as a gleefully liberated hit-maker who topped the Billboard charts.

Image: Tina Turner performs at the World Music Theater, in Tinley Park, Ill., in 1997.
Tina Turner performs at the World Music Theater, in Tinley Park, Ill., in 1997.Paul Natkin / Getty Images

Turner, a supremely talented vocalist who belted out songs with abandon, recorded one chart-topping song after another in the ’80s, but one track in particular made her a superstar: “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” a show-stopping anthem off the 1984 album “Private Dancer.”

Turner’s other big hits from the era included “Better Be Good to Me,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome),” “Typical Male,” “The Best” and “I Don’t Wanna Fight.” 

In the decades that followed, she toured around the world, racked up awards, occasionally acted in films and remained one of the signature musical personalities of the late 20th century. She decided to retire in 2009 after having wrapped up her 50th anniversary tour.

“I’ve done enough,” Turner announced to a crowd of 75,000 people at Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich that year. “I’ve been performing for 44 years. I really should hang up my dancing shoes.”

Turner earned eight competitive Grammy Awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame prizes and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement trophy. She was a two-time inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — first with Ike Turner (1991), then as a solo artist (2021). 

Tina Turner in 1964.
Tina Turner in 1964.Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Humble beginnings

Anna Mae Bullock was born on Nov. 26, 1939, in rural Brownsville, Tennessee, to a family of sharecroppers. She loved to sing as a young girl. When the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, she threw herself into the city’s R&B community.

In the mid-1950s, she met Ike Turner at a gig by his band, the Kings of Rhythm. Soon enough, she was part of the group, performing under the alliterative name he chose for her — Tina Turner.