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November 19, 2008

Bachmann on tv again

Strib reports that Bachmann appeared on Hannity and Colmes tv show on Fox News on tuesday.
When questioned about her comments on Hardball saying that there should be an inquiry into whether members of congress are anti-american, she said it was an urban-legend and that she did not say that.
She claimed Obama was going to be more of the same because alot of his appointments are recycled from the Clinton administation.
She attacked the Minnesota recount, saying that Franken was just going to stuff the ballot with rejected votes.
How did she win?

Recount begins

The Strib reports that the recount of the votes for Minnesota senate race between Coleman and Franken began Wednesday.
Franken gained 28 votes in Saint Louis County.
A representative from Coleman's camp said that they were surprised how low Franken's gain was in that county which historically votes Democrat.
The gains were due to an optical reader which cant read lines that are to faint.
Colemans lead is 195 votes, down from 215 votes after day one.
there were a total of 2.9 million votes cast in the senatorial race.
the PP reoprts that Franken's plea to have uncounted absentee ballots reviewed was approved.

November 16, 2008

Friends no longer um being charged in Amanda Jax's drinking death.

Strib reports Amanda Jax died after drinking large quantities of alcohol provided by friends at Sidelines Bar and Grille.
The friends were charged in a wrongful death suit. Prosecutors say they charged the friends in order to get all the information leading to Jax's death and that a suit against the friends would benefit no parties.
The friends were acquitted of charges related to Jax's death.
Previously there were charges against Sidelines as well, these charges remain.
The family seeks $50,000 from the now defunct bar.

rally for gay rights in minneapolis and country

The Strib reports that 700 people in Minneapolis protested the bans on gay marriage that were passed in several states during the election November 4th.
Join the Impact, the group that organized the protest, asked participants to be respectful of other groups in disagreement with their cause. Similar protests have become violent.
Amy Balliett, a Seattle Blogger, planned the protests days after California's proposition 8 was passed which took away tens of thousands of californians marriages.
State Sen. Joe Marty and Rep. Karen Clark have vowed to push for more gay rights.

November 5, 2008

Man killed by brother and sister

The Strib reports that Edwin Hawes, 46, is believed to have been shot with a crossbow, beaten with a bat and run over at his Andover home by his brother and sister:Andrew Hawes, 36, and Elizabeth Hawes, 43.
After being killed, his body was taken across the state and thrown into a firepit on a farm in rural southwestern Minnesota.
When authorities arrived at the farm at 1 a.m. to inquire about the large illegal fire, Elizabeth Hawes' response was "that's not my brother."
Dental records indicated it was her brother.
The Strib reprts that Andres Hawes' girlfriend, Kritina Dorniden is accused of aiding and abetting second-degree-murder. her bail is set for $500,000.
The siblings bail will be set later this week.

Coleman says he wins

The Strib reports that Sen. Norm Coleman has declared victory even though state law requires a recount for elections that are less than half a percent away from eachother.
Out of nearly 3 million votes, Coleman led by 475.
Coleman released a statement saying that he is "humbled and grateful for the victory that the voters gave us last night." He has said Franken should abandon any pursuit of a recount, because overturning votes is extremely remote.
He said he would step back if he were similarly trailing. again by 475 votes... really?
The chief Supreme Court justice said the recount will coust about 3 cents per ballot and will take between three and 139 days.
"Let me be clear: Our goal is to ensure that every vote is properly counted," Franken said.

October 29, 2008

Northwest now owned by Delta

The Strib reports that Northwest Airlines is now a part of Delta Air Lines.
The merger makes Delta the worlds largest airline.
Changes will occur over the next one to 12 years.
Delta says that the merger will help them overcome the obstacles that all airlines face in these tough economic times by allowing them to be much more flexible.
Federal regulators believe that the merger will benefit consumers.
Northwest said the merger will increase job stability for their employees.
Something confusing that the Strib said was that The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents 12,500 Northwest ground workers, has opposed the merger, but they then said that a spokesman from IAM said that after eight years of the Bush administration the decision will greatly help consumers... they didn't provide any context and those two statements are somewhat opposing

Man kills girlfriend and witnesses

The Strib reports that Johnny Lee Ellis Jr. bludgeoned his girlfriend to death, then stabbed the woman's mother special needs sister to death because he "couldn't leave witnesses."
Ellis, 38, was charged with three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Jolyn Vigen, 75, and her daughters Angela Vigen, 40, Jennifer Vigen, 35.
The police found their bodies in their Mounds View home after a concerned relative called the police because she couldn't get a hold of them.
Police picked up Ellis at a women's Minneapolis home where Ellis after seeing a news report on the murders told the women he was sorry and didn't mean to do it.
When police arrived they had to taser and tackle him before they arrested him because he began stabbing himself in the chest.

October 15, 2008

Another perv cop

The Strib reports that Stillwater police officer, Scott Gerald Geving, 49, kissed a motel employee and tried to get her to touch his privates all while she was on duty.
He has been charged with "a felony count of fourth-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct, gross misdemeanor fifth-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct and two gross misdemeanor counts of misconduct by a public officer for an incident that occurred on Aug. 20."
The police department says Geving has an excellent record with no disciplinary issues.
After repeatedly being told no, Geving told the woman he would be back at 3 a.m. after he was off duty. at 3:30 Geving came back in T-shirt and shorts. the woman told him to leave.
The Pioneer Press had much of the same info but at the end they added "According to the Stillwater Police Department's Web site, Geving is a certified safety-seat inspector. Residents are instructed to call him to set up an appointment to have their children's car seats inspected. "
They also had a picture of Geving and links to the criminal complaint aand the Dakota County Attorney's news release.

vulnerable man tortured

The Strib reports that four men lured 24-year-old mentally disabled, Justin Hamilton, to a remote Dakota County area where they for two days last weekend they beat him, tied him to a tree, burned him and dragged him behind a motorcycle for 200 feet.
After the second day they left him unconscious for dead.
The four men were charged Tuesday. authorities say the motive for the assault may involve a 16-year-old girl Hamilton recently befriended.
Hamilton is recovering at home with his adoptive mother, who says he may lose the sight in one eye, has broken ribs and possible kidney damage. Hamiltion was a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Baby.
'"I've seen the photographs from this particular beating, and in nearly 30 years of law enforcement, the level of beating this man took was savage. It was just savage," said Dave Bellows, chief deputy with the Dakota County Sheriff's Office.'
The Pioneer Press reports that the four men and the 16-year-old girl picked Hamilton up Friday night and took him to a secluded area where they beat him and then took him back home where they stole his x-box and wallet. On Saturday night the men found Hamilton hanging out with the girl. They took him back to the same spot and beat him again.
Another article by the Strib says that the girl, Natasha Dahn, lied about being assaulted and caused the beating. she appered in juvenile court today. prosecutors want to try her as an adult.
One of the suspects, Timothy Ketterling, is developmentaly disabled.
Two of the men are in the Minnesota National Guard.

On the Stribs website this story was one of the first to pop up, on the press it was hard to find.

October 8, 2008

real cop in illegal porno

The Pioneer Press reports that Lakeville police officer, Albert Reitmeier, 25, pleaded guilty in Dakota County District Court to a felony charge of using minors in a pornography and a misdemeanor charge of for the reckless use of handguns.
he is accused of getting two 17-year-old girls drunk at his party after they were invited over by one of Reitmeier's friends that knew one of the girls, then they took pictures and video of the girls as they became partially undressed.
Reitmeier did not know the ages of the girls, his friend did however.
Reitmeier will spend 30 days in jail, be on probation for four years, and lose his job.
The Strib reports that he will be on probation for three years.
Rumors of the photos and video spread at school, and a student told a police liason officer about it, which led to the seizure of Reitmeier's computer that had the evidence on it.

Cleaning Petter's money

The Minnesota Independent reports that Tom Petters, who is accused of being the ringleader of a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme, has made $16,000 in political donations so far this election year to politicians including "Sens. Amy Klobuchar ($5,000) and Norm Coleman ($1,600), Rep. James Oberstar ($3,300) and Sixth Congressional District challenger Elwyn Tinklenberg ($500)."
Petters faces charges of mail fraud, money laundering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
So far Klobuchar and Tinklenberg have given their money to charity.

October 5, 2008

Rehab Specialist mollests patient

The Star Tribune reports that rehab specialist Ronald Martin Bateman, 61, at Courage Center has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in Hennepin County District Court. It is alleged that he innapropritaely touched a female patient over the last two years and exposed himself to her this summer.
Bateman had been treating the patient since 2001 for pain from cerebral paulsy. In 2006 Bateman allegedly touched the victims private parts and after she questioned him he said the manipulation of the privates was necessary for treatment.
The Strib reports that it is unknown whether Bateman still works at Courage Center. That seems like something that would be easy enough to find out.

Obama ahead in Minn.

The Star Tribune reports that a recent poll of 1,084 likely voters in Minnesota has Obama getting 55 percent of the votes and McCain getting 37 percent of the votes.
The last poll, taken in September, had both candidates getting 45 percent of the votes.
Obama’s surge in the state can be attributed to voters thinking that Obama is better suited to deal with the financial crisis, his performace in the first debte, and more Minnesotans considering themselves Democrats.
A CNN/Time poll taken last week had Obama ahead 54 percent to 43 percent. A USA poll had McCain ahead 47 percent to 46 percent.

September 23, 2008

Augsburg freshman killed

The Star Tribune reports that an Augsburg freshman was killed as he was leaving a community center he volunteered at in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
The man was shot after 5p.m. and died at the scene. No arrests have been made yet, authorities said.
The Pioneer Press reported that police would not disclose the name.
Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, Identified the deceased 20-year-old as Ahmed Nur Ali.
The police are asking that anyone with information come forward.

zero-tolerance loses in favor of common-sense

The Star Tribune reports that a Blane High School senior that was suspended for 10 days will now be allowed to return to school.
Tony Richards,17, was suspended after a security guard noticed that Richards had a box cutter in his car parked in the school parking lot. The box cutter was in violation of the school zero tolerance of weapons policy. Richards explained that the box cutter was used for his job as a member of the clean-up crew at a local Cub Foods.
The school recommended the school board to expel the teen, but the board decided to allow him back to school after a 5-1 vote.
For the purpose of records however, the punishment will be considered an expulsion.

September 18, 2008

new 35W bridge

The Star Tribune reports that Interstate 35W traffic has been moving swiftly since the 35W bridge opened at 5am this morning.
The bridge opened with a procession of the emergency vehicles that were among the first responders at the collapse last year. Then came Department of Transportation vehicles, followed by traffic that had been “queuing up all night," Lt. Mark Peterson of the State Patrol said.
Cars weren’t allowed to line up until 4:45 a.m.
The Pioneer Press reports that drivers honked their horn and waved American flags as they crossed the bridge.
Bobby and Steve’s Auto World employees handed out $25 gift cards to the first 100 cars that entered downtown via the new bridge.
The $234 million bridge has 323 sensors that collect data on how the bridge handles stress so that another disaster will be avoided.

September 17, 2008

Green Tonka elementary school's $550,000 eco-lab

The Star Tribune reports that Groveland, a Minnetonka elementary school has plans to build a $550,000 eco-lab. a classroom where students will be able to study solar energy, plants and the life cycle of butterflies.
The school is hoping to raise the money through grants and private donations, they see it as being a community project and if their fund raising is succesful the lab should be built by the end of 2009.
Groveland is already a school that prides itself on being green. A member of the schools administration justified the eco-lab by saying that America is falling behind in science and math, "You have to wire those brains from the beginning. There's no better way to teach and no better way to learn than to actually touch, feel, experience and manipulate."
In a related story the Pioneer Press reports that River Crest Elementary School in Hudson, Wi was designed to conserve energy and save water. The school has the latest energy saving technology built into it. The school was built after voter approved $12 million in bonds in December 2006 to accompany %3.5 million the district had already saved. River Crest is anticipated to be the second school in Wisconsin to be certified a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design building by the Green Building Concil.

September 10, 2008

Smoking down in Minnesota

The Star Tribune reports that 164,000 Minnesotas have quit smoking since 1999.
The nations avergae of 20 percent of adults as smokers has not changed since 2004, while The percentage of Minnesota's adults who smoke has dropped to 17 percent from 22.1 percent in 2000.
Health officals say this will lead to a reduction in the $2 billion that is spent annually in Minnesota to treat tobacco-related illness in Minnesota.
The tobacco industry spends $238 million advertising in Minnesota.
Minnesota spends $30 million annually on anti-smoking campaigns.
"We have unparalleled access to quit-smoking programs," said Barb Schillo, director of research for ClearWay.
The Pioneer Press reported on this story, there approach was less about the numbers and facts and tried to go for a more personal touch. The story begins with the survey results, goes to the parking lot of of the Department of Health where people are smoking, cuts back to results and quotes from experts, then ends in the parking lot:
" Steven Srey, 24, said he quit without any help for three weeks last winter, when it seemed too cold to go out to the parking lot for a smoke. But then stressful events made him start again. He recalled how his father's death and other conflicts at age 16 got him started in the first place.

"Stressful times," he said, "bring you back." "

September 9, 2008

Life with no parole for former NBA players killer

The Pioneer Press reported that Raleigh Rashad has been sentenced to life with no parole for his involvement in the murder of Howard Porter, a probation officer and former NBA player.
Tonya E. Johnson pled guilty to aiding and abetting: she lured Porter into a house promising sex where Rashad and a third man, Fredquinzo (Snake Eyes) King, beat and robbed him.
King faces two counts of first-degree murder and Johnson will be sentenced later this month.
The Star Tribune reported that at Rashad's sentencing, Porters loved ones were allowed to speak at how their lives have been impacted.
Theresa Neal, Porter's fiancee according to the Press and widow according to the Strib, said "Our lives have been shattered. Our hearts have been broken, and parts of us have been laid to rest with Howard, It will never change. Howard will never return to me."