December 2011 Archives

Arsenic in juice: how much is too much?

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A new study came out Wednesday that said there are potentially cancer-causing levels of arsenic in store-bought apple juice, according to NBC News.

Consumer Reports tested 88 apple juice samples and found 10 percent had total arsenic levels higher than the limit the Food and Drug Administration sets for drinking water, reported Tom Costello.

"Kids have much smaller weights; much smaller bodies," said Consumer Reports Director of Safety Urvashi Rangan. "They don't need that much to reach their daily arsenic limits a day."

The FDA said it would be concerned if the arsenic levels reached 23 parts-per-billion. They are considering a new standard hat will reduce consumer's exposure to arsenic in apple juice.

According to NBC News, the results showed there were not only different levels of arsenic between brands, but also within brands, even bottle to bottle. The tested juices were produced in multiple countries, including the U.S.

Members caught in middle of Bally Fitness buyout

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Bally Total Fitness recently sold off 170 of its locations nationwide to LA Fitness, and most Minnesota sites will soon be gone, reported KARE 11.

James Iliff just spent over $150 to renew his Bally's contract, but no one seems to recognize it, reported Dave Berggren.

"When I came over here, I was hoping it would just roll over seamlessly to this," Iliff said. "But they're saying that the $160 is Bally's responsibility, and I need to go hunt them down."

The transition is a logistical nightmare that employees at LA Fitness are trying to handle the best they can, reported Berggren.

LA Fitness officials said their objective is to make this transition as easy as possible, and they will be servicing all of the membership agreements that they acquire from Bally, reported KARE 11.

"It's just not an ideal situation," said one Bally member. "But, it is what it is."

Police seize 400 pounds of pot

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The Dakota County Drug Task Force confiscated over 400 pounds of pot in a historic marijuana bust in Inver Grove Heights Wednesday, reported WCCO-TV.

Scott Bradley Cunningham, 42, of Inver Grove Heights, 52-year-old Brian Lee Speldrick, Holly Joann Swenson, 28, of Rosemount and Jerilyn Reis, 41, of Kiester were all charged with first-degree controlled substance crime with intent to distribute and first-degree controlled substance crime with possession, according to the Dakota County Attorney's Office.

"This is one of the largest marijuana seizures in Dakota County's history," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.

According to the criminal complaint, drug task force agents executed a search warrant at Cunningham's house at 9244 Inver Grove Trail in Inver Grove Heights on Nov. 4, 2011. While there, agents recovered 14.42 pounds of marijuana. Several guns were also seized, reported WCCO-TV.

On Nov. 28, agents received a call from an anonymous tipster, who stated that agents missed a secret room during the previous pot bust. The tipster said the room, concealed by a false wall, contained a large amount of pot, reported WCCO-TV.

Police estimate the street value of the marijuana to be more than $1,000,000.

Teen's Facebook sex scam

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An 18-year-old high school senior in Wisconsin is accused of using a popular social networking website for an elaborate sex scam, reported CBS News.

Authorities charged Anthony Stancl with 12 felonies, including sexual assault and possession of child pornography, after a tip to police, reported Michelle Miller.

"This is the most horrific complaint the court has ever reviewed," said Wauksha County Court Commissioner Laura Lau.

Police said Stancl set up profiles of three female students at Eisenhower High School. Posing as the girls, he allegedly sent explicit emails to at least 31 boys.

According to CBS News, more than 300 photos of Stancl's alleged male victims were found on his computer. Authorities say he used them to blackmail his victims into having sex, often on school property.

"From what I've heard there's some people I know who were victims of that," student Tyler Roberson said. "But I think it's just wrong."

US-Pakistani relations severely damaged

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NATO aircraft killed at least two dozen Pakistani troops along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border Monday, straining already tense relations between the U.S. and Pakistan, reported NBC News.

Pakistan responded quickly today, closing its two border crossings into Afghanistan, cutting off the main supply routes for U.S. and NATO forces within hours of the NATO attack, reported Atia Abawi.

"Today at 2:00 a.m., there was an attack on Pakistan," said Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. "An attack on Pakistan's solidarity and independence."

According to NBC News, Pakistani officials are calling the incident a grave infringement of the country's sovereignty, and have moved to cut off critical support to the American led war effort in neighboring Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government ordered the United States to vacate an airbase in northern Pakistan it reportedly uses to launch CIA drone operations.

"We look at it from a strategic standpoint," said NBC News Military Analyst Jack Jacobs. "Why can't we identify Pakistanis across the border and not bomb them. But from the guy on the ground, if someone is trying to kill you, you will try to kill him back."

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2011 is the previous archive.

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