shootout in Stillwater

A Stillwater man shot two members of his family before being killed by police Friday, The Star Tribune and Pioneer Press reported.

Gerald Propps, 62, fatally wounded his wife, Gertrude "Trudy" Propps, 62, and also injured a young woman who is said to be the daughter of one of the Propps, according to both sources. Trudy was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where she was pronounced dead. The younger woman was treated at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater with minor injuries.

The Star Tribune cited Kathleen Gavegnano, 79, who lives across the hall from the Propps' apartment and bore witness to the entire gory scene. Gavegnano said she opened her door when she heard Gertrude Propps scream, and found her laying on the hallway floor, seriously wounded in the abdomen, according to the Tribune.

"She said, 'If he dies, I want to die,'" Gavegnano said, and that's just what happened. Police arrived and were forced to shoot because Gerald Propps refused to drop his weapon, both sources said. Gavegnano also said that Gerald had been taking medications that seemed to be making him more angry and stressed than usual.

Another witness, Bobby Yates, cited by the Pioneer Press, said he saw Gertrude and the younger woman attempting to flee the apartment. He said it was obvious to him that Propps had a serious physical illness, and that he also knew that Propps' medications were making him irritable.

Stillwater police and the state Beauro of Criminal Apprehension are investigating the shooting.

Woods wins media injunction, leaves golf; mistresses up to 13?

London-based lawyers have won an injunction for Tiger Woods, who says he is "dealing with his behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with his family," according to his website and The Guardian.

The injunction bans the English media from publishing "new details" about Woods' life. While the details are not specifically defined, the injunction particularly bans naked photos of Woods, according to The Guardian. The injunction raises questions about privacy law and global public domain, and is outraging those who think it makes a mockery of English courts.

The injunction was granted by Mr. Justice David Eady, who has come under recent scrutiny for granting celebrities privacy from the media, The Guardian said.  Media Lawyer Mark Stevens said, "This injunction would never have been granted in America. It's unbelievable that Tiger Woods' lawyers have been able to injunct UK press from reporting information."

"The entire universe could be looking at it and it doesn't matter. Clearly there is no point maintaining an injunction that is completely pointless," English Barrister Gavin Millar commented to The Guardian. Millar added that privacy law isn't as strong in the United States, which generally favors free speech, while the British judicial system doesn't acknowledge anything as being in the public domain unless it has been published in Britain.

Woods announced via his website Friday evening that he will be taking an "indefinite" leave from professional golf to work on his personal life, using "infidelity" for the first time to describe his own actions. He again asked for privacy and understanding from those he works with and his fans, saying that he needs the space and time to work on being "a better husband, father and person."

Even before the announcement, Tiger Woods continued to make headlines despite his own attempts to keep things private. His TV commercials have all been yanked since the scandal hit the newswaves, and FOX reported Friday that Woods' corporate sponsors are discussing the impact of his personal behaviors on the terms of his multimillion contracts and the images of the companies he represents, which include Pepsi, Gillette and Proctor and Gamble.

According to the New York Daily News, Playgirl is claiming to have nude photos of the golf star which they are planning to publish, and the current count of those alleging to have been his mistresses has reached anywhere from nine to thirteen, depending on which news source you consult, including at least one porn star.

Friday evening, New York Magazine published a story claiming one of their "Daily Intel" editors was the thirteenth "mistress." The editor, Chris Rovzar, is the first man to claim extramarital relations with Woods, and apparently showed a NY Magazine "source" texts on his phone that show Rovzar and Woods discussing Lady Gaga and a relaxed, playful sexual history.

The source said, "Before Chris knew it, the both of them were taking [insomnia drug] Lunesta, listening to Jimmy Buffett, and rolling around in soiled diapers at the Mercer Hotel."
 
"'Rovzar has been davastated by the news of all these other mistresses,'" NY Mag said. "He thought he was the only one." They also said Rovzar has hired an attorney and will be holding a press conference Saturday.

They also published the following e-mail, allegedly sent to Rovzar by Woods:

"'I had a dream we were gay married and I was leading the tournament. I came home, excited to see you, and there you were in the bedroom playing Lubriderm Twister with Mike Piazza and that guy from Prison Break while Days of Our Lives played in the background. It was an old episode, Stefano was possessed by the devil. Piazza was into it. Some part of me thinks you would like that. But now I can't get back to sleep. My body is tired, but mind awake. Need some Lunesta.'"

big year for Nobel prizes

In addition to President Obama's controversial award, five women were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, according to the Associated Press.

This is the highest ratio of women to men of any year for the Peace Prize, AP said. In 108 years, only 40 women have been given the award, out of a total of 822 awards given since 1901.

There were also a record 205 nominations for this year's Prize, according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee's website.

However, President Obama's Nobel award remained the biggest news item during Swedish and Norwegian awarding ceremonies Friday. Those who thought the award was undeserved or pre-emptive when it was announced in October were given new fuel for these opinions last Tuesday, when Obama announced his plan for the war in Afghanistan, which includes a deployment of 30,000 new troops.

Those critical of Obama's Peace Prize include the Minneapolis Examiner, which accuses Obama of "polarizing the country" and traveling more than any other American President with "nothing to show for it" and bloggers who feel Obama hasn't gotten enough done in his first year as President, and "ordinary Afghans" who are tired of the war in their country.

The Nobel Committee has stayed out of the media hubbub about Obama's Peace Prize, displaying a beaming picture of the President on their website through Friday, when the awards were formally presented. (Read their explanation of his award here.)  

small plane crash in Texas

One of two men suspected to have been aboard an airplane that crashed in Texas was identified Friday afternoon, according to Texas news station KRGV.

The two men were flying overnight to meet up with family members for a fishing trip, KRGV said. The plane and two men were reported missing early Friday morning after the Federal Aviation Commission lost its radar signal and contact with the plane, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies have been searching for the men and the plane since the FAA lost contact. Authorities found plane wreckage about a mile from the Port Mansfield airport, and are investigating whether it is from the missing craft as well as searching for the other man, according to both sources.

faster transport times downtown, Metro Transit says

Downtown transit will be getting faster, according to Minneapolis city and transportation leaders behind a new plan for express buses on Marquette and Second avenues, KSTP and FOX News reported.

Over 26,000 riders are expected to enjoy a ride that is up to ten minutes shorter as the result of a plan that allows buses to pass each other on the aforementioned avenues. Buses will also stop every other block instead of every block, and within a few weeks, two dozen heated bus shelters will be added to the streets with real-time bus arrival information, according to KSTP and FOX.

Officials are meeting downtown today to celebrate the project, which had to be completed by the end of 2009 as a condition of a $133 million grant given by the federal government, FOX said.

The changes come into effect Monday, Dec. 14.

teen arrested for Monday bus stop rape

A 16-year-old boy was arrested Thursday in connection with an alleged sexual assault at a north Minneapolis bus stop, according to Minnesota Public Radio and the Pioneer Press.

Police were on the hunt for a man who crept up behind the woman at a bus stop near Fremont Avenue North and 39th Avenue North around 8:45 a.m. Monday, showed a gun and demanded money. When the woman said she had no money, he forced her into an alley and assaulted her between two garages, FOX and the Press reported.

He allegedly walked her back to the bus stop, and then fled when she began flagging down passing vehicles for help, FOX said. He was arrested Thursday and confessed during questioning with sex crime investigators.

"That's a well traveled area and for this guy to do that openly at that time, that's pretty brazen," police spokesman Jesse Garcia said to the Pioneer Press.

MPLS police shoot driver of stolen car

A man who stole a BMW from the home of former WCCO-TV anchor Jeanette Trompeter was shot by police near I-394 Friday afternoon, The Star Tribune and Fox News said.

The car had been left running on Trompeter's driveway while her boyfriend ran inside to get wine for her going-away party that was being thrown in her honor, FOX said. He was trying to run police down with the car when they shot him in self-defense, Deputy Policle Chief JaneƩ Harteau told The Star Tribune.

The man, who has an extensive criminal record, was tracked to south Minneapolis restaurant Burger Jones via a GPS device in the car. He apparently ran out without paying his check, and then headed towards I-394, where the incident occurred, FOX said. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center after the shooting and was listed in critical condition at 10 p.m.

Russian fire claims 100+

A fire at a nightclub in Perm, one of Russia's central cities, claimed over 100 lives late Friday night, according to The New York Times and CNN.

Investigators have attributed the cause of the tragedy to a performance artist who was juggling "cold-flame pyrotechnical maces," CNN said, one of which started the ceiling, which was plastic and lined with twigs, on fire. As the blaze began, the M.C. shouted, "ladies and gentlemen, we are on fire! Leave the hall!" the Times reported.

The blaze quickly spread to the club's wooden walls and engulfed the club, causing a panicked stampede that contributed to the death toll as well as the 130 injured, according to CNN. Those who died are said to have been trampled or inhaled large amounts of smoke.

The nightclub did not have a permit to use pyrotechnics indoors, the Times said, and they allegedly had been fined by inspectors in the past for having unsafe conditions.

Russian authorities have detained the club's two co-owners, manager and art director, as well as the man who provided the fireworks, in a criminal investigation of the tragedy. One Russian official blamed the "unsanctioned use of pyrotechnical devices," CNN said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared Saturday a national day of mourning and called for the harshest possible punishment for those responsible. "First of all, they had neither brains nor a conscience," he said, according to the Times. "Secondly, they were completely indifferent to what happened. I watched a report--they even fled."

He also sent officials to Perm to take care of survivors and investigate, according to CNN.

others send troops, too

NATO announced Friday that its member nations would be sending 7,000 soldiers to Afghanistan in support of the 30,000 Obama pledged Tuesday, according to The Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press.

Twenty-five NATO nations have pledged to send troops thus far, not among them France and Germany, who have yet to commit, the LA Times said.

The support comes after days of mixed responses to Obama's announcement in the United States. Some Americans view the deployment as a begrudged but necessary next step, while some others feel the move was against the spirit of "the hope we voted for."

Hillary Clinton supported Obama's announcement this week, appealing to foreign ministers for military support as well as nonmilitary aid, AP said. "Today, our people are weary of war," she said to AP. "But we cannot ignore reality. The extremists continue to target innocent people and sow destruction across continents."

giant Asian carp threaten Midwest waterways

The giant Asian carp has been slowly infiltrating the waterways of Illinois for decades, posing serious threats to ecosystem stability and fisherman safety, according to ABC News and The Associated Press.

The main threats posed by the Asian carp is that it could starve out native fish species--it can eat up to 40 percent of its own weight, and can weigh up to 100 pounds, according to ABC. The fish can also jump up to 8 feet out of the water, possibly over or into boats, posing a serious threat to fishermen.

Wildlife officials dumped over 20,000 gallons of rotenone, a toxic chemical, into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in Illinois Friday, ABC said. The 'fish kill' was a pre-emptive strike designed to kill off the Asian carp while waterway officials repaired an electric barrier that was specifically designed to fend off the carp, ABC said.

Some criticized the decision to perform the kill, which cost $3 million, and seems to only have turned up a single carp among thousands of other dead fish. The Chicago Sun-Times posted an article Friday asking this very question, but they cited officials who said the operation was necessary either way.