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April 28, 2008

Pothole Problem

The issue of potholes on Minneapolis streets is becoming a serious problem WCCO reports.
One reason for the problem is the budget tightening. There was $26,000 devoted to street paving in Minneapolis in 2001, it is now only $11,600 this year.
Money was saved for fire and police while funds for street repairs were cut.
The Pioneer Press reports that more strain is being put on city streets and residents are not happy.
The number of calls complaining about potholes has increased 150 percent compared to this time last year.

U of M Student Assulted

The Pioneer Press reports that police are looking for two suspects in connection with a sexual assault that happened in a U of M residence hall.
Early Sunday morning two men grabbed an 18-year-old girl and dragged her into a bathroom on the third floor of Pioneer Hall. The men raped her and then fled while the victim went back to the room she had been in.
Police said they did not see any of the victims enter through the surveillance monitored doors KARE 11 reports.
They suspect that they came in through a propped open door or followed other students in a door that was unmonitored.

April 14, 2008

Dubious Deaths

The Pioneer Press reports that two people were found dead in Silver Lake, Minn. Sunday.
The husband and wife were discovered at their home in what investigators are calling a murder-suicide.
The couple were identified as Donald Francis Czeck, 41 and Katrin Rose Czeck, 35 KARE 11 reports.
The couple had three children 19, 11 and 8. They had lived at the home for only a few years.

Minnesota Delt a Merger?

Northwest Airlines and Delta have agreed to merge Monday the Pioneer Press reports.
The merger would make it the largest airline by traffic in the world. The new company would remain under the name Delta.
The two have tried to merge in recent months but have struggled to work out personnel issues.
Once the merger is announced a long regulatory review process with take place.
The merger has its opponents like Rep. Jim Oberstar chairman of the House transportation committee.
The process will look into if the combining of the two companies makes it an unfair monopoly.
MPR reports that there are still staff issues that need to be worked out.
Four airlines have shut down or declared bankruptcy in the past two weeks.
This is considered a move to help both of these airlines from ending up with the same fate.

April 8, 2008

Canceled Escort Leads to Shooting

A man who ordered an escort off was shot in the face after he said he canceled the order the Pioneer Press reports.
Jeffrey L. VanDyke, 42, was shot in the jaw by Brock A. Franklin, 22, while trying to keep the man out of his home. Franklin was running a escort service out of his apartment on Portland Ave. in Minneapolis WCCO reports.
He and two other men intended to rob VanDyke, who found the escort service off of the popular Web site craigslist.org.
VanDyke was shot through the door and woke up in a pool of blood and called police.
Franklin has been charged by the Anoka County Attorney with attempted first degree murder. The 18-year-old women who was with Franklin that day, Starsha Swift, is also being held by police.

April 4, 2008

NWA Cuts

Northwest Airlines will cut flights after the summer season the Pioneer Press reported Thursday.
The move to cut flights along with employees comes in response to the high rising cost of fuel.
The result is about 15-20 planes being parked and the use of attrition to lower the employee numbers.
This move also means that the airline will not be seeking to hire additional pilots and flight attendants.
Reuters reports that Northwest Airlines "will improve its bottom line by $100 million on an annual basis."
The airline hopes that higher fare costs and fuel surcharges combined with the cut backs will keep it viable.
Other major airlines are facing similar decisions because of skyrocketing fuel costs.

Charges in Abduction Attempt

A man was charged Thursday in connection with an attempted abduction FOX 9 reports.
Ali Sid Abdilahi , 31, was found after the 14-year-old girl who he tried to kidnap recalled enough of his license plate and automobile information to track down the vehicles owner.
He is in the Ramsey County Jail and his bail has been set for $75,000.
Police are still looking for another man who was in the car with Abdilahi.
The girl screamed for help as they tried pulling her into the car but no one came to her aid the Pioneer Press reports.
She managed to stay out of the car by holding onto the side mirror and was eventually dragged about 30 feet before she was finally released.

March 28, 2008

Chem Leak

The Pioneer Press reports that students can return to school after a chemical leak sent dozens of people to the hospital.
The Rocori High School in Cold Spring was evacuated today after a chemical leak involving liquid chlorine.
The leak, which sent 37 students and one staff member to the hospital, was linked to the pool the St Cloud Times reported.
None of the injuries were considered serious.
The building was evacuated and given the all clear after emergency crews and a hazardous materials team inspected the school.

March 25, 2008

Republican Candidate Out

The Pioneer Press reports that Republican party activists will not support incumbent candidates.
House representative of Andover, Kathy Tingelstad, announced Monday that she will not seek re-election.
After Tingelstad voted against party lines on the transportation bill she fell out of favor with party activists who will not endorse her.
The Republicans who went against party lines, now being called the "Override Six," are losing their district endorsements.
The Coon Rapids Herald reports that the loss of endorsement was only part of why she will not seek re-election.
Tingelstad would like to pursue other ventures at an executive level in either business or government.

March 10, 2008

Frontrunner now Franken

Mike Ciresi announced Monday that he will no longer campaign for Senate MPR reports.
After a lackluster campaign for US Senate Ciresi ended his bid for Senate today. "In my judgment, continuing the endorsement race would only lead to an unnecessary floor fight. It is time to step aside," Ciresi said.
Ciresi decided not to dump money into his campaign this time around hoping instead to win based on his stance on the issues.
Recently Ciresi criticized Al Franken on his political past and his current stance. He suggested that Franken will have a tough time against current Senator Norm Coleman.
Franken said he will not make a statement until he has had a chance to speak with Ciresi the Associated Press reports.
Franken's success has been attributed to his massive fund raising combined with his political affiliations and endorsements.
The dropping out of Ciresi makes Franken the lead candidate for the Democratic Party.
Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer another candidate said he has a legitimate chance to be elected and was actually doing better than Ciresi.

Justice Stepping Down

Minnesota's Supreme Court Chief Justice announced his retirement Monday MPR reported.
Russell Anderson will end his 25 year career in the state’s judicial system effective June 1, 2008.
Anderson has a long history of public service. From a stint in the Navy to being Chief Justice on the Supreme Court Anderson has invested in the state and country.
After being a County Attorney and a district court judge for many years Anderson was appointed Associate Justice on the Supreme Court in 1998.
Anderson was appointed Chief Justice by Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2006.
During his years as a judge Anderson worked on starting and building the Minnesota Judicial Council.
"Chief Justice Anderson is an extraordinary leader and public servant," Pawlenty said as reported by the Pioneer Press.

March 4, 2008

Borrowing a Billion

The Minnesota State Senate Tuesday approved a $1 billion borrowing plan MPR reported.
The bill would help pay for public building projects like college campus construction and state Capitol restoration as well as landfill remediation and hiking trail upgrades.
Sen. Keith Langseth said "You know, the best time to build is during the recession." He and other members of the Senate Capital Investment Committee scaled back the $1 billion bill from its original request for $3.5 billion.
Still Gov. Tim Pawlenty would like to see the bill cut back even further in light of projected state budget deficit.
Some Republicans including Pawlenty have suggested a 10 percent decrease bringing the bill to around $825 million.
Despite asking for cut backs to the overall cost The Associated Press reports that the bill lacks funding for a new state park that Pawlenty proposed.
The bill easily passed in the Senate with a 51-7 vote and is expected to be voted on in the House Thursday. The hope is to have a bill on Pawlenty's desk by March 15 so that some of the projects can be started this spring.

Minneapolis 911 honred

The Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center won an award Tuesday for there efforts during the I-35 bridge collapse the Star Tribune reported.
The 2008 award for 911 Outstanding Call Center was given by the E9-1-1 Institute. The not-for-profit organization based in Washington D.C. promotes emergency call and 911 issues.
The recognition comes from the Aug. 1 bridge collapse. During the first two hours after the collapse the center handled 505 calls. That is more than triple the normal call load.
Employees who also had the day off came into help out with the high demand.
On top of that they worked seamlessly with the emergency services and their radio transmission. During the first six hours of the emergency, only one high-priority transmission received a busy signal according to the Pioneer Press.

March 2, 2008

Minneapolis shooting

The Pioneer Press reports that a Minneapolis teenager was killed today.
The shooting happened at the intersection of Portland Ave. S. and Lake St. E. The boy was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center where he was brought.
The boy was walking with a group of people when the five shots were fired KARE11 reported.
Another person was injured when a stray bullet broke a glass window at a nearby Midas.
Police have no suspects or arrests in the investigation.

Explosion yeilds body

A body was discovered in the remains of a house explosion in Rochester the Associated Press reported. The house that was built in 1931 exploded early Saturday morning. The cause of the explosion is unknown and police are still considering the area a crime scene. KTTC reports that the man was identified by family members as 23-year-old Paul Beuleoh.

February 19, 2008

Cottonwood Crash

Three people died in a car accident on Tuesday in southwest Minnesota the Pioneer Press reported.
The accident, involving multiple vehicles including a school bus, happened in Lyon County near Cottonwood, Minnesota.
Fox 9 is reporting that at least one of the three deaths is a child from the bus.
Helicopters were called in to help get the injured to the hospital. Bystanders on the scene were asked to drive children to the hospital as well.

February 18, 2008

Hub in trouble

The possible merger of Northwest Airlines and Delta concerns Minnesota legislators about the future of NWA hub KARE 11 reports.
Governor Tim Pawlenty and other government leaders held a press conference expressing their concern.
NWA, which has its central hub in Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport, is on the verge of a deal which would merge them with Delta Airlines.
The move could potentially move NWA hub to Atlanta, a location where Delta Airlines chief executive Richard Andersen believes the joint hub should be.
Because very little information is available about the deal legislators are meeting to decide what Minnesota's stance and best interests are.
"Northwest Airlines has been excellent for Minnesota, and Minnesota has been excellent for Northwest," Senate Majority Larry Pogemiller said.
The state and airline have had a very intertwined past and NWA still owes the state $445 million in loans and concessions the Pioneer Press reported.
Pawlenty is hoping the airline will stay true to its word and maintain its Minnesota hub. The move of the hub would result in the loss of at least 1,000 jobs at NWA's Eagan headquarters.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is a "highly desirable hub," Pawlenty said.

February 16, 2008

Answering a bullet

A Coon Rapids man was shot on Friday while opening his front door WCCO reported.
The 41-year-old man was shot at point blank range through his front door. Investigators believe he was answering a knock on the door when he was shot.
The man was able to call 911 and is in critical condition at a local hospital according to the Pioneer Press.
The police have no suspects at this time and no motive for the attack. The shooting appears random because police do not know why anyone would want to hurt the man.

February 10, 2008

Familiar fire

A fire broke out at the Plymouth Oaks Apartment complex on Saturday in the same place a fire occurred in July according to Karla Hult of KARE 11 News.
The fire was blamed on electrical wiring officials said, but they are not ruling out other possibilities. Firefighters battled a blaze in the same location just seven months ago.
For many residents the process of rebuilding after another devastating fire is hard to comprehend. "I seriously can't believe this is happening. We were just starting to save for a house and now everything is probably gone," said Jackie, a resident.
The Pioneer Press reported that the fire injured one person and forced 50 people out of their homes.

Caucus crazy

People showed up in record numbers around Minnesota to take part in the caucus the Pioneer Press reported.Minnesota was one of over 20 states that held caucuses or a primary on what has become known as "Super Tuesday."
In years past Minnesota has held its caucus much later than the rest of the country. This often leads to a lower turnout because by that time the candidates are usually already selected and the votes do not have much of an impact.
This year the races are close and the voting is taking place in line with most of the rest of the country. High turnout was expected but the amount of voters was overwhelming in much of Minnesota. "We guesstimated high as far as supplies, and even our highest estimates weren't enough," said Jeffrey Williams, co-chair of the Republican House District 55A caucus.
The people voiced their support strongly for each party. Democrat candidate Obama won much of the young vote appealing to the college towns of Minnesota Associated Press writer Brian Bakst reported. For the GOP voters selected Mit Romney by a large margin.

February 2, 2008

Vulcans making headlines in a positive way

The Pioneer Press reports that the famous St. Paul winter carnival Vulcans are being acknowledged for their good deeds rather than their dirty deeds this winter. The Vulcans who have been a staple of the carnival for decades have come under scrutiny over the years for lewd acts and raucous behavior. All of this coming to head in 2005 when the Vulcan King pleaded guilty to inappropriate contact with female bartenders at a downtown bar.
Despite the negative image the Vulcans have been tagged with in recent years the organization has a long history of philanthropy and community service. "In the coming year, Vulcans will participate in about 200 events, provide hundreds of holiday meals and gifts, and raise thousands of dollars for various causes." reports Alex Friedrich of the Pioneer Press.
This year they are getting noticed for saving the ever popular snow sculpting contest. Originally cancelled due to lack of funds the Vulcans donated their time and $10,000 to keep the contest. The Associated Press reports that "About 70 former Vulcans will donate their muscle and equipment beginning Sunday to scoop the snow and stuff it into large wooden molds."
Making headlines for charity and service is the image Vulcans are looking for. Even though they have had some rocky years in the past it seems the Vulcans are still beloved as carnival chief Kate Kelly said "Without Vulcans, the Winter Carnival would be "booorrrrrinnngg.''

Body found in Fridley Lake

The body of a missing man was found the Pioneer Press reported. The 38 year old man whose identity has not been released was pulled from Moore Lake in Fridley on Thursday. The Associated Press reported Police Captain Brian Weierke saying that foul play was not suspected.
On Wednesday a city employee found personal items including a hat and drivers license frozen in the ice around a hole. The hole which is not hard to see was caused by an aeration system. People do not often fall into these holes "It's very easy to see," Weierke said. "This is an unusual case."
Medical reports are waiting to determine cause of death which is most likely accidental or suicide.