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April 25, 2009

Bee keeping allowed in Minneapolis

Beekeeping will be legalized in Minneapolis for the first time in 34 years, according to a report in the Star Tribune.
The City Council passed Council Member Diane Hofstede proposal to keep bees on city limits if permission is acquiried from neighbors.
Owners of the bees will be required to get a signature from all neighbors whose property touches their own as well as 80 percent of those that live within 100 feet of the area the bees will he held.
An area where hives will be kept will be surrounded by netting so bees will have to rise before flying, preventing fly through zones on close property.
Owners will also be required to obtain a permit that will cost $100 initially and $50 annually.
According to the Minneapolis City Pages, the allowing bee keeping in the cities may help bee populations have been facing collapse from human-based stresses.

April 23, 2009

Non-profits discuss cutting poverty by 50 percent in St. Paul

There will be a conference held in St. Paul on Monday to discuss the goal of decreasing poverty by 50 percent by the year 2020, according to a report in the Star Tribune.
Catholic Charities USA, one of the nation's leading charities, will hold their conference titled, "Centennial Leadership Summit: Working to Reduce Poverty in America" at the College of St. Catherine.
Those expected to attend are civic leaders, philanthropists and St. Paul elected officials including St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.
Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, said that Catholic Charities will address causes and ramifications of poverty while encouraging a sustained national commitment to the issue.
"In a country as prosperous as ours, it is simply unacceptable that 37.3 million people, including 13.3 million children, continue to live in poverty," said Snyder.
According to a press release from Catholic Charities, they are holding meetings across the nation "to give a greater priority to the needs of the poor by advocating for changes in public policies, expanding and creating innovative poverty reduction programs, and empowering individuals to embark on their journey out of poverty."
Catholic Charities USA is comprised of 1,700 local Catholic Charities institutions and agencies and helps up to 8 million people a year regardless of their religion or economic status.

April 20, 2009

Local airport aims to decrease collision of wings

Though bird populations are rising, so are the number of flying airplanes causing an increase in the number of collisions. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is taking action to protect the natural habitats of the air, according to a report in the Star Tribune.
On Thursday at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport officials practiced using noise devises 100 yards away to scare away birds and shooting nets into the air to capture those that have been flying and living on the airport's land.
According to the Federal Avian Administration, 122 bird strikes occur in Minnesota out of the, 7,439 incidents that occur nationally.
However, these numbers are likely to be low as the FAA estimates only 20 percent of bird airplane collisions are reported.
In a report in the Pioneer Press in March, the FAA says it needs to expand secrecy in records of the number of bird collisions in specific areas because if the public learned the information then airports would avoid reporting collisions.
The Minneapolis airport's records report that 219 people have been also been killed as a result of bird strikes since 1988.
Though John Ostrom, the manager of air operations at the airport said these precautionary procedures will help, they it will not stop collisions altogether.
"No matter what we do, no matter how much we spend, we will not be able to prevent aircraft from hitting birds," said Ostrom.

Man falls off bridge when only pretending to fall

A 23-year-old man fell off of a bridge Sunday after only pretending that he was going to fall on Sunday, according to an AP story in the Star Tribune.
A 21-year-old man called the police at 5 a.m. Sunday reporting that his friend had fallen off of Hwy 77 into a "marshy area" 30 ft below.
The man said that he was driving north with his friend, who he said had been drinking, told him to pull over into the emergency lane so he could urinate.
The report said that the 23-year-old climbed over the bridge ledge and after looking at his friend pretended to fall.
He then in fact fell," reads a press release from the Bloomington Police Department.
Bloomington and Eagan police responded to the call and a chair lift was used to rescue the man.
The man is now in the Hennipen County Medical Center being treated for serious conditions.

April 11, 2009

University finds contanimated water in 3 buildings

The University of Minnesota found contaminated water in three research and medical buildings on Wednesday, according to a report by the Star Tribune.
The university started an investigation after discolored and foul smelling water were reported in Moos Tower.
The three buildings where water appears to be contaminated are Diehl Hall , Moos Tower and the Philips-Wangensteen Building.
Over 600 dentist appointments were canceled from the complaints, said university spokesman Daniel Wolter.
Wolter said that the cause is more than likely from seasonal maintenance on the water's cooling system
According to the Minnesota Daily, Steve Llewellyn, Bio-Medical Library manager in Diehl said that other than turning off the drinking fountains, staff and classes are unaffected by the water problems.
Officials have been working on flushing water out of the buildings system since Wednesday and dentist appointments are likely to resume by Monday.

April 10, 2009

Zebra mussel shells found on metro lake

The discovery of about a dozen zebra mussel shells in a southwest metro lake have left officials concerned about a possible invasive species infestation, according to a report in the Star Tribune.
DNR officials are concerned that the possible zebra mussel population in Prior Lake, will be a catalyst towards an even greater spread of mussels.
"As one of the larger lakes in the Twin Cities metro area, Prior Lake has significant boat traffic, with people coming and going all the time," Luke Skinner, supervisor of DNR's invasive species unit, said.
Officials have yet to determine if the shells came directly from the lake or equipment surrounding and entering it.
There will be a greater investigation once the ice is entirely off of the lake.
A homeowner first reported the case to officials when he saw "unusual" looking shells along the southeast bank.
According to the Pioneer Press, DNR officials are asking boaters and fishermen to take extra precautions including, power spraying off their boats while moving in between lakes, removing all visible aquatic plants, draining all water from live wells and bait buckets.

April 4, 2009

Harsh winter wheather causes fish kills in local lakes

Harsh winter weather conditions have caused several fish kills lakes in the Minneapolis area, according to a report by the Pioneer Press.http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cgi-bin/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&blog_id=9762#
Mike Adams, a senior biologist for the Lake County Health Department's Lakes Management Unit, said that fish kills are caused by lakes experiencing extended periods of ice and snow cover which cuts off sunlight to the deeper waters decreasing oxygen content.
As a result some of the fish populations die, sink to the bottom and create the "fishy smell" present around many of Minnesota's smaller and private lakes.
Adams said that certain species of fish, like trout, and larger species are most affected.
According the Minnesota Parks Department manager, fish kills are a natural part of Minnesota's environmental cycle and many of the species repopulate themselves without the need for restocking.
According to the Star Tribune. Diamond Lake, Grass Lake, Loring Pond, Powderhorn Lake and Lake Hiawatha are several local lakes where fish kills have been reported.

"Fair-Trade" palms

A University of Minnesota professor and a floral business's program of selling "fair-trade" palms to churches of Minneapolis and Saint Paul for Palm Sunday time for has been growing, according to a report by the Star Tribune.
Dean Current, a University forestry professor, and Hermes Floral started the project in 2005 and grew to distributing numbers of 640,000 palms in 2,500 churches this year.
"A lot of people get excited about this, because they're buying palms anyway," Current said. "Through their purchases they're able to contribute to rural communities of Guatemala and Mexico."
The process starts with indigineous workers harvesting the branches in a way that will not harm the plant. U.S. churches will then buy the stem for 25 cents a piece in which cooperatives will receive 7 cents a piece.
Current says that cooperatives will receive $32,000 this year to buy scholarships, books, and and provide educational opportunities for families in need.
Many believe in the relief effort provided by this program including Rev. Gary Hansen, a local distributor of the palms in his church.
"With millions of these (palms) bought each year, this could really make an impact,'' Hansen said.

March 27, 2009

Minneapolis youth worker nationally recognized

A Minneapolis youth worker was given an Above and Beyond Citizen Award Wednesday at Arlington Cemetery for heroic action in the I-35 Bridge collapse according to a report by the Star Tribune.
The award that Jeremy Hernandez, 22, accepted "on behalf of his community" is sponsored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
Hernandez was recognized for rescuing over 50 children from a school bus that fell after the bridge collapse.
In a CNN report a passenger on the bus, 12-year-old Nina, said Hernandez "busted open the backdoor of the bus and he told everyone to get out from the back of the door. We jumped on the highway and then jumped on the sidewalk."
President Obama also arrived at the ceremony announced to lay a wreath on behalf of the winners of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor.
Hernandez said he was honored to be in the presence of 36 of the 98 Medal of Honor winners present.
"Being around people who have received the Medal of Honor in war means a lot to me," he said. "They've gone through a lot more than I have."

March 26, 2009

Anti-Abortion protester pleds guilty in criminal damages

A Cottage Grove man pled guilty to criminal damage after driving his SUV into the front enterance of the St. Paul Planned Parenthood clinic, according to a report by the Star Tribune.
Derosia, 33, crashed his mothers boyfriends vehicle into the wood framing of the door causing what the clinic estimates of $2500 to $5000 in damages.
Matthew L. Derosia reported his act of protest was a response to Jesus who had told him to "stop theses murders" after watching a program covering abortion on a Catholic television channel.
The Pioneer Press reports that Derosia has a history of mental illenss and is also viewed as a "hero" from the Army of God known for their Anti Abortion protests.
"Matthew Derosia rammed the babykilling abortion mill twice and then got out and quoted verses from the Holy Bible ... (on) the date when babykilling was made legal nationally," the Army of God Web site says.
The Press also says that the Army of God is known for their violent protests against abortion and that the National Abortion Federation describes the Army of God as "an underground network of domestic terrorists."

March 15, 2009

Twin City schools offer economic aid to families

Twin City Schools are reaching out to the community to help families in need during the economic crises, according to a report by The Star Tribune on Saturday.
Schools across the metro area are seeking resources to help families in times need weather it is offering free meals, giving away school supplies, or paying rent so the family can stay in a district.
"Families when confronted with lean times aren't always sure where to turn," wrote Michael Lovett, superintendent of White Bear Lake's schools, in a community newsletter. "If your family or a family you know is facing economic hardship, your school community is there to help."
Schools have often given their services to lower income families with free breakfasts and non-profits have given students backpacks also.
Now The Tribune reports that middle income students and families are also having a difficult time.
"Those students are often tougher to help because they are unaware of the available resources because they've never used them," Marisa Zimmerman, a social worker at Richfield High School, said.
Many schools are working to inform families of the services available to them.
For example, in Forest Lake when parents come in to teacher conferences there are tables set up by school counselors to give information on economic assistance.

Police question connection of attacks on Lake Phalen

St. Paul police are investigating if the attack on a female runner near Lake Phalen maybe be connected to other crimes in the southern St. Paul area, according to a report by The Star Tribune on Saturday.
Police officials said that the woman was running on the north shore when she was attacked by two males in full face masks. The men took her ipod, and she was then struck in the head and kicked.
"Fortunately, though bruised, she was not more seriously injured," police said in a news release.
Several unresolved cases have occurred around the lake recently.
A man walking his dog was attacked by four males last month as well as a woman and couple that were attacked by men with baseball bats last year.
Police have suspicion to believe that the attacks may be related.
A report by The Pioneer Press said that St. Paul police would increase security around the lake and offer help to Maplewood authorities.
The Press also included that St. Paul Police said "at this early stage of the investigation it does not appear that this senseless crime is related to incidents that have occurred in the past year" in a press release last Friday.

March 9, 2009

Safety concern of Edina Bike Trail

According to a report by The Star Tribue, A group of Edina residents are protesting the plan of building a the recreational trail saying that it is detrimental to the environment and it comes to close to homes.
Opposers of The Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail, which would run 17 miles from Hopkins through Edina to Richfield, have started Facebook group and a web page explaining the trail would bring consequences such has harm to native species and crime to the neighborhoods.
Though there are no plans for the trail to be placed on private property some residents are still skeptical.
"People are realizing that it really is going to be right in their back yard and in the back yard of their schools," said web-site creater Pam Johnson. "The more people think about it, the more difficult it is for them to embrace this giant thing."
Though there is community support for the trail also. In a 2006 survey, Edina residents said their top recreational priority was more outdoor trails.
"If Edina wants to be attractive to young families who want to be active, this is an important thing," said former city council member Alice Hubert.


Local companies turn off their night lights

Health Partners in Bloomington has joined a city wide movement to decrease energy and help migrating birds, according to a report by The Star Tribune.
The Auburn Society's "Lights Out Campaign" encourages buildings to turn off their lights in earlier in the evening hours and during cycles of bird migrations.
"It's believed that the light from buildings and communication towers draws birds off course -- especially when clouds are low and birds tend to fly lower," said Joanna Eckles, Lights Out coordinator for Audubon Minnesota.
The Lights Out Campaign first encourages companies to dim their exterior lights around the building as well as their higher floors. Lower floors are also important, but do not affect the birds as much.
HealthPartners has made considerable changes to their staffs evening activites to have their upper floor lights off by midnight.
"We have already turned off all the exterior decorative lighting as well as the atrium lighting,'' said Peg Younghans, director of corporate facilities for HealthPartners.
Lights Out started three years ago and currently has 29 Minneapolis and Rochester companies participating.

February 26, 2009

Mardi Gras protester march

RNC protesters marched through the streets adorned in Mardi Gras attire on Wednesday according to a report by The Minnesota Daily.
The march, from the Capitol building towards St. Paul City Hall, is a start to the process of suing the city of St. Paul for alleging misconduct during the National Republican Convention.
Attorney Robert Kolstad said police brutality, including the use of pepper spray, was used against protesters while practicing their freedom of expression.
The Pioneer Press said that 35 protesters were present at the march with sparkling opera masks, sequin hats and kazoos.
"The action today is primarily symbolic, to put the state on notice that we're not going away," said Rick Kelley, of the Coldsnap Legal Collective.
So far there have been varied lawsuits asking anywhere from an apology to $2 billion as payment.

Minneapolis Somali community hopes to help understanding through open house

Minneapolis Muslims have invited the public to attend a prayer session and dinner regarding the concern of young Somalis leaving the city to return to their homeland militias according to The Star Tribune on Thursday.
The Community Open House and Dinner is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. at the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center, 2824 13th Av. S.
Though commanders of the local police department were among the individuals specifically invited, the event is open to the public.
“We invite our neighbors of all faiths to come and learn more about the Somali Islamic community and to see that Muslims share the same challenges and concerns as other Minnesotans,” said CAIR-MN Communications Director Jessica Zikri.
Suspicions of Muslims leaving the country were heightened after Robert Muller believed a suicide terrorist bomber involved in an attack in Somalia had started his extreme beliefs while living in the Twin Cities in the 1990's.
There have also been reports in The Star Tribune denying local Somalis from leaving airports with specific names on a "no fly list."
Zikri hopes that the event will help the public to "see that Muslims share the same challenges and concerns as other Minnesotans."

February 20, 2009

Homeless facility to be built in Dakota County

A new apartment building for the homeless is being built for young adults in Dakota County, according to a report by The Star Tribune on Friday.
The building is being going to be an appartment complex constructed by non profit agency Link and the Dakota County Committee Development Agency ifor 18 to 24-year-olds.
The complex, will open the spring of 2010 at Cedar Grove Parkway and Gold Trail and.estimated to cost $4.71 million. Payments will mostly come from state bonds and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.
The facility is not only designed to put a roof over the heads of the homeless. The building will also have offices for on site help from the Link organization in which there will be offered counseling, support groups, and workforce training.
According to a report by the National Health Care and Homeless Council, young adults are especially at risk of homelessness and national rates of these individuals is increasing.
There is an estimated 750,000 to 2 million individuals currently in the nation and the number is believed to be increasing annually.


Mysterious explosions have poice baffeled

Unexplained explosions in the night have citizens in South Minneapolis concerned, according to a report by The Star Tribune on Friday
About 100 blasts have occurred since summer. Mysterious blasting has been taking place on and off for three years.
In 2006 and 2007 police attributed the commotion to fireworks. However, now officials say half they can be explained by this.
"For the rest, we just don't know," he said. "We can't explain it." said Lt. Dean Christiansen
There have been many theories about who or what is behind the explosions. For example for a time it was thought that a chemical reaction was occuring from the city's water treatment program.
The latest is from individuals only trying to cause a disturbance.
"There's one theory that competing groups of some kind are trying to see who can come up with the loudest," said Christiansen.

February 13, 2009

Woman extremist suicde bomber cause of deadliest attack this year

A female suicide bomber targeted a tent of women and children Shiite pilgrims in Iraq on Friday killing 30 and wounding 80, according to a report by USA Today.
The attack took place in the holy city of Karbabla, which is not the first time the city has been targeted.
Procession Mussa al-Kadhem, said he noticed a "suspicious-looking woman" enter the womens tent right before the blast.
Though no organization has been proven, the woman was believed to be associated with al-Qaeda, known for terrorist attacks against the Shitte people.
This incident is thought to be the deadliest so far in a number of attacks against the Shiite people marching to the holy cities after the from the fall of Saddam Hussien.
According to The New York Times, several attacks have occured under the newly developed security measures of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who now faces criticism.
Soliders and police line the highway to Baghdad and there are checkpoints set up every few miles.
Though Sheik Sabah al-Saeidi, the head of the anticorruption committee in Parliament, said there have been problems with security agencies gathering information.
“You can’t really control a woman that walks with thousands of marchers,? al-Saeidi said.
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Rally for the Stillwater Starbucks

Taking away the java is the cause for a stir in Stillwater, said a report Thursday from the Star Tribune.
Kevin Thode will lead a rally at noon on Saturday to protest the closing of the mainstreet Starbucks in Stillwater.
The Tribune said that Thode's efforts include passing out fliers, sending e-mails, and recruiting others to join his cause.
He hopes to get as many as 200 people present at the protest to demonstrate the coffee shop's popularity.
"I thought that that Starbucks would be impregnable," said customer Tom Loom in a report by the Pioneer Press. "Aesthetically, it's a gorgeous location."
Starbucks branch has announced they will be shutting down 300 of the stores in the nation that have been "underpreforming." The execution date for the Stillwater cafe is set for Feb. 27th.
"It may be a fools errand said Theode, who is not known for causing political unrest, said his demonstration may be "It still will be fun no matter what the results are."

Wolves may be removed from Endangered Species List

The wolf population of Minnesota is estimated to be high enough to be removed from the endangerd species list, according to a report by the Minnesota Daily on Thursday.
A panel of experts decided that when the population reached 1250 in Minnesota, the wolf population would be stable enough to be delisted. David Mech, world known wolf expert and a professor of fisheries and wildlife classes at the University of Minnesota, was on this panel and estimates the wolf population is at least 3000 in Minnesota
“ The endangered species list is meant to keep a species from going extinct,? said Mech. “When you have 4000 wolves in the Midwest, you don’t have to worry about them going extinct.?
Wolves were originally placed on the List in 1968 because their numbers dropped to an extreme low as a result of the government paying bounties to those that killed a wolf.
Delisting the wolf allows farmers to shoot at those that kill livestock and also opens the possibility of a hunting and trapping season.
Though Mech believes the population will remain stable as wolves are naturally elusive. Many of those that killed wolves in the 50s and 60s hunted from planes, a practice that is now illegal.

February 8, 2009

War Protestor gets paid $5000 by St. Paul

A 51-year-old male war protester will payed $5000 by the city of St. Paul after he was arrested last June from handed out leaflets outside the Excel Energy Center according to a report in the Star Tribune Saturday.
Mick Kelly was protesting the RNC when he was issued a citation and taken by Minneapolis Police in a squad car away from the center.
Kelly brought the arrest to the attention to the press and filed a lawsuit.
After a police investigation it was announced "that he had been improperly detained and that the citation would be dropped and Kelly would be issued an apology."
A report from Minnesota Public Radio announced Saturday that Kelly sought $75,000 originally in damages.
Though the city did not admit to being wrong, they offered to pay Kelly $5000 or $50 per each sheet of paper that was confiscated.
Kelly says he will place the money towards "movements for peace, justice and equality."

February 6, 2009

University of Minnesota strives to increase diversity

The University of Minnesota is working to increase its diversity of its student body, according to a report by the Star Tribune on Friday.
The University hopes to more than double the percentage of international students in their undergraduate classes from 2%, the lowest percentage in the Big Ten Conference, to 5%.
Recruiting efforts include University faculty and alumni traveling around the globe to visit high schools in foreign nations as well as sending out e-mails to "promising" students in different countries.
However, some parents and students are concerned that this new initiative will take away positions for local students in state.
Though officials said they will continue to admit just as many or more of Minnesota students as well as foreign students.
"The point is, increasing the number of our international undergraduates is not going to displace Minnesotans," said Meredith McQuaid, associate vice president and dean of the Office of International Programs. "It's going to change the mix of students that Minnesotans go to school with."
According to a report by Minnesota Public Radio, the University of Minnesota's graduation rates of students of ethnicity were also lower than most. University President Robert Bruininks said in 2005. "If they're students of color, it's about a 20 percent rate. We need much higher levels of success for the students who enter the University of Minnesota."

February 1, 2009

Queer womens march takes place in Uptown

A march in response to the recent hazing of hate crime vicitim Kristen Boyne was held on the corner of Bryant Avenue South and Lake Street West Thursday reports The Minnesota Daily
Boyne, 32, was hospitalized last week after she was verbally abused and attacked in Uptown by two grown men.
In response to the hate crime, Boynes friends organized a gathering in which 200 students and concerned citizens congregated at Dunn Brothers to listen to women speak out against violence on both gay and straight females.
“I think it’s pretty cool that something could get mobilized this quickly; it definitely is a positive … I hope that we can continue to have that kind of motivation,? communications studies major Samone Derks said.
Afterward they organized and marched east on Lake Street toward Fremont Avenue South for the cause of drawing support towards the queer community in the cities.
The Star Tribune reported that http://www.startribune.com/local/38430199.html?elr=KArksUUUUThe peaceful demonstration will show that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women will not tolerate victimization.


January 29, 2009

High snowfall reduces Minneapolis road salt supplies

Minneapolis will be limiting it’s use of road salt in the upcoming winter months due to a national shortage according to a report by the Star Tribune.
The harsh conditions in the last two years of winter have reduced rock salt supplies and budgets. With continual days of snowfall Minneapolis has already depleted half of their salt in stock.
“ We just have these continuous smaller events, and that's harder on us both budgetarily and as far as materials usage and staff time than to have a couple of big snowfalls,? says Mike Kennedy, a Minneapolis public works director.
To avoid a complete depletion of salt , an act that has occurred in the past, Minneapolis officials will begin to use more sand on roads if weather conditions mirror those of December. Though in a report by The Twin Cities Daily Planet, Steve Lund, Minnesota's Department of Transportation chief maintenance engineer says that sand is largly ineffective for improving traction, and like salt, it is also a pollutant.
Also Bud Osmundson, another public works director, says that sand is costly to sweep up and vacuum out of storm sewers. Currently according to Osmundson, the city cannot renew its supplies because of a state contract. Though officials say that there is enough salt for the remaining winter.