ST. PAUL (AP) -- The editor and co-publisher of the Hmong Times says the bimonthly newspaper will continue to publish in spite of the fire that destroyed its offices.
Cheu Lee spent Monday photographing the rubble with a camera he borrowed from his brother-in-law.
A fire Saturday destroyed two buildings on St. Paul's University Avenue and displaced several Hmong businesses, including the small community paper.
Firefighters saved some equipment, but most of the newspaper's cameras and computers, a fax machine and files were destroyed.
Gone forever are "drawers and drawers" of research, newspaper clippings and other information -- Hmong history that Cheu Lee had been documenting since 1980.
The free, bimonthly publication, known as "The Newspaper of the Hmong Community," is about 4 years old and has a circulation of 13,000. In its short history, though, it has made headlines itself. Last year, the paper was involved in an incident involving a security guard at a Hmong event over the taping of remarks by Gen. Vang Pao, an international Hmong leader.
The feisty paper, which offers both community coverage and national and international news, has had its newspaper racks looted because of controversial articles it has published.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Lee said he will continue to publish the paper from his home until midsummer, when he expects to rebuild editorial and business offices at the same location.
Ying Vang, executive director of the Lao Family Community of Minnesota, said he was relieved the paper will continue from a temporary site. "We hate to lose the Hmong Times paper. That is the only local Hmong paper people depend on."
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