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October 14, 2007

Native American Activist Dead

According to an AP article used by WCCO and CNN, Vernon Bellecourt, who fought against the use of Indian nicknames for sports teams as a longtime leader of the American Indian Movement, has died at age 75 of complications from pneumonia. He was a member of Minnesota's White Earth band and was an international spokesman for the AIM Grand Governing Council based in Minneapolis. Recently, Bellecourt was active in the fight against American Indian nicknames for sports teams as president of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media. He was arrested in Cleveland during the 1997 World Series and again in 1998 during protests against the Cleveland Indians' mascot, Chief Wahoo. Charges were dropped the first time and he was never charged in the second case.

Suspect Arrest

Kare 11 reports that on Friday police arrested a suspect in the October 4th abduction and rape of a woman who was taken from the 38th Street light rail station in Minneapolis. They report the suspect as a 28-year-old Minneapolis man with no permanent address. According to WCCO the suspect is but 20 years old. They report that the 44-year-old Minneapolis woman was waiting by herself at the light rail station just before 2 a.m. Oct. 4, when a man walked up to her, threatened her with a gun and then took her to a nearby apartment. They credited police with saying the suspect robbed her, and brutally beat and raped her before letting her go.

October 7, 2007

Twin Cities Marathon

Ukrainian Mykola Antonenko from Ukraine won the men's race at the Twin Cities Marathon Sunday, and Svetlana Ponomarenko from Russia won the women's, according to USA Today. Antonenko, who placed second in the race in 2004, had a time of 2 hours, 13 minutes, 54 seconds, which was more than 6 minutes faster than second-place Joseph Mutinda. It was Ponomarenko's first marathon win, with a winning time of 2:34:09. According to WCCO, the front pack consisted of all Kenyan runners, besides Antonenko. The top American male runners avoided running the full-marathon because of the Olympic Marathon Trials in New York next month. They instead competed in the 10-mile race, which was won by Abdi Abdirahman.

Missing Girl

Police are looking for 17-year-old Lindsey Marisa Lease, reported missing by her parents Sunday, according to Fox Twin Cities. She's from Worthington, MN. Police are looking for a vehicle believed to be involved in this case, a 1999 GMC K-15 Suburban, Minnesota license plate KCR 031. According to WCCO Lease is believed to be with Sonny Syhavong, 17, who Lease currently has an order for protection against. They report the girl's car was located in Worthington with a window broken out, and blood was found on the interior of the car. Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact the Worthington Police Department at (507) 372-2136.

September 30, 2007

Sprint Nextel vs MN

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson accused Sprint Nextel Corp. of extending customer contracts without the informed consent of those customers in a lawsuit filed Thursday. WCCO reports the Attorney General filed the suit based on hundreds of complaints from Minnesota residents, including some who said they were threatened with $200 cancellation fees for trying to get out of contracts they thought had already expired. Aside from barring certain practices, Swanson is seeking restitution for victims and civil penalties of up to $25,000 per incident. According to Fudzilla Swanson claims that Sprint Nextel violated the Minnesota Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Smoking Ban

A statewide smoking ban for Minnesota takes effect on Monday. KARE 11 reported the "Freedom to Breathe Act" starts Monday at 12:01 a.m. and makes Minnesota the 17th state to implement a statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. Some other local news outlets had the same AP report like WCCO and KSTP . The report lists what will be prohibited and what will remain legal. Prohibited places includes bars, restaurants, private clubs, bowling alleys, country club lounges, hotel and motel lobbies, public buses and trains, taxis, home offices where employees work or customers visit, home day cares when children are there, and smaller commercial vehicles if more than one person is present. Places not affected by the ban includes private homes and cars, designated hotel and motel rooms, buildings on family farms, cabs of heavy commercial trucks and farm vehicles, a disabled veterans camp in Washington County and tobacco shops if you're a customer trying out the products. Smoking remains legal for scientific studies, American Indian ceremonies and actors performing on stage. The ban also doesn't cover casinos and other establishments on Indian lands.

September 24, 2007

Fatal Crash

WCCO reported 25-year-old Jesse Lenertz of Columbia Heights, Minn., was driving a pickup that drifted off state Highway 11 late Friday night and into a ditch, resulting in his death.

Duck Beheading

According to KSTP 5, a guest at the Embassy Suites hotel in St. Paul was accused of killing a duck on Saturday. They report that 26-year-old Scott Clark cornered one of the hotel's domestic ducks and ripped its head off. Clark was taken into custody by the security officer who later called police. KARE 11 also reported this story. They report that this man began chasing one of the domesticated ducks the hotel keeps in a fountain. They credit police said the man allegedly cornered the duck, grabbed it and tore its head from its body. Witnesses say he yelled "I'm hungry and I'm going to eat it!"

September 17, 2007

Shot Fired at Target Center

According to KARE 11, police are looking for a man who fired a gun inside the Target Center Saturday night. The man who the gun was aimed at got away without injury, and the fight continued as planned. KSTP 5 also reported the shooting providing a little more detail. According to them the shot was fired shortly after 11 p.m. and was reported at 11:51 p.m.

September 16, 2007

Death of a Minneapolis Bicyclist

A Minneapolis man was killed Wednesday night while riding his bike. KARE 11 reported that 41-year-old Mark Loesch left his house Wednesday night with nothing of value on him, and was found the next morning on somebody’s front lawn in the 3700 block of Elliot Avenue South in Minneapolis. They reported that he died of severe trauma several hours before paramedics arrived, possibly beaten to death. KSTP 5 had a very similar report. They do use the word ‘murdered’ instead of ‘killed’ however, and say that he was found barely breathing the next morning around 7 a.m. and died before paramedics arrived. Both articles maintain there is no explanation for his death and that ‘severe trauma’ was the cause.