Recently in Local News Category

To balance books, libraries close, take new forms

"Shutting down a library ... that would be like shutting down the arts." That is how Margaret O'Brian feels as many small libraries are about to close as the funding to keep them open just isn't currently available, including the Arden Hills library that O'Brian loves to go to.

But the libraries will not go down without a fight. They argue that the demand for library use has increased. It is hard to justify, however, as libraries nationwide are having the same problem and many are already closed.

Funding for libraries has always been provided by the state, but with the recession nearly 75 percent of libraries have seen their budgets drop.

According to some, the funding hasn't been able to keep up with the demand for nearly 30 years, and now with the demand going up, the funding keeps going down.

For some of those libraries that are extremely struggling, they may not close but hours may be cut from employees or the libraries could be moved into bigger buildings. While in some cases combining the small libraries with other ones has shown improvement, it is still a possibility that many libraries in the state, and country, will be closing in the near future.

Pioneer Press

Louisville Slugger Museum

This piece was found in the travel section of the Pioneer Press.

Now this is a cool museum I would like to go to. Lousiville, Kentucky is home to the Louisvile Slugger Museum where bats once swung by greats like Pete Rose and Johnny Bench are kept for show and can even be touched by those in attendance.

Not only is this a museum of some of the greatest bats swung, but it also shows how these bats were crafted as well. Hillerich & Bradsby Co. is the name of the company that has been making bats since 1884 and distributes around 1.8 million wooden Louisiville bats a year.

One of the cooliest attractions to the Louisville Museum is the nearly 120 foot bat standing straight up on the outside of the museum.

The museum and factory are right next to each other which makes it possible to few the past bats and witness the future ones being made.

One of the most prized possessions owned by the museum is a bat used in 1927 by one of the greatest players of all-time: Babe Ruth.

And one of the greatest things that the museum offers is a place where you can hold a number of the bats once used by greats in the past.

Gleason's Gym in Eagan

Bill Ward of the Star Tribune did a piece on Gleason's Gym, which features senior citizens doing acrobatic moves such as back flips on trampolines and cartwheels on beams.

Every week for lessons or open gym, the middle-aged people of the community come out to have fun and work out with younger trainers, some who are even their offspring.

While it is a workout and challenge for many of these older people, what attracts them is the fun aspect such as jumping on trampolines where the trainers showed them how to o different flips and aerials.

One of the things Gleason's preaches is to set your mind to something, your body will allow for it to happen. Think positive, if you think you can't, you won't. If you don;t worry about it and just do it, you can accomplish it.

I think it would be funny, but cool to see a 63-year-old man doing back flips on a trampoline.

Kevin G. Hall wrote about how the U.S. economy it starting to make a turnaround for the good as 162,000 jobs were added in March. More good news coming out of Washington included that the unemployment rate stayed steady at 9.7 percent for the third consecutive month.

Some other news of improvement included that instead of 26,000 jobs lost in January and 36,000 in February, they were determined to a gain of 14,000 jobs those months.

Other encouraging news showed that construction sectors added 15,000 jobs in March after 72,000 construction jobs were lost over the past 12 months.

It has been determined, however, that in order for the economy to completely rebound more than 11 million jobs still need to be created.

The star tribune ran an article by David Germain of the associated press about how "Clash of the Titans" clearly took over the box office this weekend. So far the movie has made $64.1 million in ticket sales since its release Thursday night, early Friday morning. The thing that makes many want to see this movie is the same thing that drew people to see Avatar; The 3D effects.

Coming in at No. 2 this weekend was Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married Too?" which came in with $30.2 million. Coming in third for the weekend was "How to Train Your Dragon" drawing $29.2 million.

The rest of the weekend looked like this in this order was Miley Cyrus's "The Last Song" taking in $16.2 million and "Alice in Wonderland", which rounded out the top five, took in a mere $8.3 million, though raising its total since release to $309.8 million in the U.S. and $722 million worldwide.

Berniece Houle O'Gorman

For whatever the reason, there's something about seeing somebody really old that died that gets my attention. Now that might sound bad, but when I saw that Berniece died at the age of 95, all I could think about at first was that she was alive during the 1910's, thats insane!

The other insane thing when I read her obituary is the number of family members she has left behind; 9 children, 25 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren, and 3 great, great grandchildren. That's amazing the generation gap for this family.

She was a very interesting and busy woman throughout her life as she received numerous community awards, Outstanding Senior Citizen award and many others as well. She was big on education and preached it to her family members and others as well.

Michael Gramling made Powderhorn Park a better place

The Star Tribune did an obituary on Michael Gramling, a very busy man during his lifetime, to say the least.

Gramling was very active within the community, most of his time being spent on making Powderhorn Park a lot better place for everyone. Some of his other time was spent on things such as planting flowers, alley cleanups, and many other community activities.

The story had just a brief sentence on his death, saying he died of colon cancer at 54. I know that obituaries are suppose to be celebrating ones life, but unless his family wished not to have any focus on the cancer, I was a bit suprised how they kind of squeezed it in as a little nugget.

The story really focused on how he dedicated most of his time to helping the community. It sort of is a shame that people like Gramling, who spend so much time helping the community and others, go unrecognized until after they are gone.

Lesbian Air Force Sergeant

I found a story in the Star Tribune titled "Lesbian Sgt. Discharged after Police tell Military." It peaked my interest so I read over it and found that Sgt. Jene Newsome had been given an honorable discharge after South Dakota police saw a marriage certificate in her home showing she was married to someone of the same sex. Newsome has become very upset because she has abided by the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and feels she shouldn't have been discharged because of a third party outing her for her sexuality.

I went to see what the Pioneer Press had to say, maybe they would get a quote or two that the Star Tribune didn't get, or maybe more news not present in the other paper, but the story and headline were the exact same. Both papers took the article written by Timberly Ross of the Associated Press. I thought maybe because the story was close in proximity to where we are that maybe a reporter could of went and gotten a story themselves, but that's not the case here. I was actually a bit disappointed to see the same story, I really was expecting a little difference in the papers.

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