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April 25, 2007

Santana looses back-to-back home starts for the first time in two years

After having been at yesterday's game, feeling pretty sorrowful at Santana's back-to-back loses and that the Twins have lost the past four out of five games, I thought I'd make my last blog entry about the Twins dissapointing season.

The Pioneer Press posted a story about on their website today titled, "Santana has April blahs." According to their story, "Johan Santana looks nothing like an ace, nothing like an all-star, barely even like someone who is going to win a game this season."

The Star Tribune also posted a story on their website today about Santana's second loss of the season. Their story stated that every five days, opponents fret over how to beat the Cy Young winner. But this season teams like Cleveland and Tampa Bay have been getting lukcy.

But the Pioneer Press says fans shouldn't worry. It was just one year ago that Santana began the season with mediocre pitching, and he ended up winning another Cy Young award. The story also quoted Santan's cather, Joe Mauer, as saying, "Every year, he just gets better and better throughout the year. I think you'll see it, too."


April 24, 2007

17-year-old girl fakes kidnapping

A 17-year-old girl from Plymoth, Minn. faked her own kidnapping, authorities say.

The story aired on KSTP's Chanel 5 Eyewitness news at 10 p.m. lsat night. There was also a story about the alleged kidnapping on their website today.

The story reported that, according to Plymouth Police, Elizabeth Bernstein called 911 and said she had been kidnapped at gunpoint from Armstrong High School.

The story also quoted Sgt. Joe Gebhardt as saying, "Right around the time the alert went out our investigation yielded some information where we no longer believe it's credible."

The Star Tribune also posted a story about the false kidnapping on their website today. They didn't name the 17-year-old girl but said she was the subject of a statewide crime alert on Monday.

The Star Tribune reported that Bernstein had called 911 about 12:57 a.m. Sunday alleging that she had been kidnapped and placed in the trunk of a car by at least one person.

They also reported that the Bernstein turned up unharmed Monday evening, but police declined to say where the girl was found and how police had come to the conclusion the story likely was false.

KSTP's story stated that a person has been arrested and charged with obstruction of justice.

April 23, 2007

17-year-old arrested in St. Paul bus shooting

St. Paul police have arrested a suspect in Sunday's fatal shooting that occurred on a Metro Transit bus.

According to a story posted today on Kare 11's website, Police spokesman Tom Walsh says the 17-year-old was taken into custody Sunday.

The victim was 16-year-old Earl Freeman of St. Paul.

Kare 11 also reported that witnesses told police that two groups of people riding the bus were having a dispute shortly before the shooting occurred and that police don't yet know if the shooting was gang-related.

The Star Tribune also posted a story about the arrest on their website today. They reported that the suspect "reportedly left the bus through a rear exit, then popped back into the bus and fired the fatal shot. He then fled on foot."

The Star Tribune also reported that the suspect was identified early on in the investigation.

As of 11:00 a.m., the Pioneer Press had't posted a story about the arrest of the suspect. The only story on their website about the Metro Transit shooting is an article posted Sunday at 11:59 p.m. that states that, "A suspect in the killing is still at large."


April 20, 2007

Bomb Threat at the University of Minnesota

A bomb threat Wednesday at the University of Minnesota led to an evacuation of thousands of students and staff from eight buildings on the East Bank campus. No bomb as found when the Minneapolis bomb squad searched the buildings and the buildings reopened for classes this morning.

On the front page of the Minnesota Daily today ran a story about the bomb threat. The Dialy reported that a note was found by a University sophomore in a campus bathroom.

According to the Daily, the note read: "I am sick and tired of these buildings and people who operate in them. Today before 10 pm (sic) I am going to bomb them simultaniously (sic), I have nothing to lose."

The Pioneer Press posted a story about the bomb threat on their website today. Along with the story ran a picture of the note.

In their story, the Pioneer Press reported that students and faculty said they were concerned it took more than an hour to get the official word to the whole campus about what was happening.

Campus buildings were evacuated around 1:15 p.m. The Daily reported that around 2:40 students began receiving emergency announcement e-mails from the University. The Pioneer Press stated that some students didn't receive an official email until 4:15 p.m.

According to the Pioneer Press, Kathleen O'Brien, vice president for university services, said the U recognized the delayed e-mails were a concern and would examine the alert system. "We're talking over 80,000 people in the system," O'Brien said. "It just takes that long technologically."



April 18, 2007

Two men found shot to death in Minneapolis alley

Minneapolis Police were called to the 4700 block of north Minneapolis in the Lind-Bohanan neighborhood around eleven last night where they found the dead bodies of two men in an alley.

The Star Tribune posted a story about the deaths on their website today. They reported that a resident of that neighborhood "was drifting off to sleep around 11 p.m. Tuesday when she heard a popping sound outside her bedroom window." The woman stepped outside to investigate and was told by police that two men had been shot in an alley near her garage.

Kare 11 posted a much smaller Associated Press story about the shooting deaths on their website today. The AP story stated that "police haven't said whether it appears that the men were shot where their bodies were found or whether the men were shot somewhere else and their bodies moved to the alley."

Kare 11's story stated that the police were called to the 4700 block of north Minneapolis, but called it the Camden neighborhood .

Thus far, no arrests have been made and the names of the victims haven't been released. Minneapolis police have planned a press briefing for 10:30 a.m. today at the 4th Precinct Station.

April 12, 2007

Oetwig to resign from St. Paul school board

St. Paul's longest-serving school board member, Al Oertwig , said he will resign effective this morning rather than fight suggestions he viewed child pornography on a library computer.

The Pioneer Press posted a story about the resignation on their website this morning. They reported that according to a police report, security officers at Metropolitan State University caught a man watching child pornography on a library computer last month and concluded he logged on as school board member Al Oertwig.

The Pioneer Press also reported that Oetwig defended himself Wednesday night by stating, ""The allegation of child pornography is absolutely, totally false." They also reported that Oetwig said he is stepping down from the board after nearly 20 years to avoid a distraction for the district.

The Star Tribune posted a small story on their website about the resignation today. They didn't state any details of the allegation of child pornography, but did report that Oertwig, 62, has served on the school board for 20 years.

Interestingly, toward the end of their story, the Pioneer Press mentioned the fact that Oertwig is openly gay.

April 11, 2007

Capella University puts financial aid chief on paid leave

Minneapolis-based Capella University put its financial aid chief on paid leave Tuesday amid an investigation into the school's relationships with student loan companies. Timothy C. Lehmann was alledgedly on the payroll for a student lending agency.

The Star Tribune posted a story about the financial aid investigation on their website today. They reported that, according to a letter sent to Capella by the New York attorney general's office, Lehmann is being investigated for doing consulting work for a student lending agency, Student Loan Xpress Inc. (SLX), at the same time he was working for Capella.

The Star Tribune stated that Capella is an online university with offices in downtown Minneapolis and a worldwide enrollment of 18,000 students.

According to the Star Tribune, "The letter cited a concern that Lehmann 'may have received payments' for making the company one of its 'preferred lenders'. Students may therefore have been left with the false impression that SLX... was preferred because it was the best for students and their parents when in reality the company was selected, at least in part, because of its payments to Mr. Lehmann."

The Star Tribune also reported that between late 2005 and early 2006 Lehman made $12,400 as a consultant for SLX. He is the only Capella employee being investigated.

The Pioneer Press posted a similar story about the financial aid investigation on their website today. They reported that Capella began examining its practices in light of national concern after the New York attorney general's office began examining preferred relationships between student loan firms and colleges. They also reported that Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson also is seeking similar data from loan companies and state schools.

The Pioneer Press also reported that the company that owns Student Loan Xpress announced Monday that three top executives had been placed on administrative leave. The University of Texas and University of Southern California also have placed their top financial aid officials on paid leave amid conflict of interest investigations.



April 3, 2007

U of M student dies after fall

A University of Minnesota first-year student died Sunday at the Hennepin County Medical Center after he fell from the third level of a parking ramp.

The Minnesota Daily posted a story on their website today about the student's death. They reported that Kyle Sharbonno, 19, died from injuries caused by the fall, which happened at the Oak Street Parking Ramp. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has not released the exact cause of death. They also reported that University police said no foul play is suspected.

The Daily stated that, according to the University police report, "an officer responded to a report of an 'intoxicated male stumbling in the lobby/elevator area of the parking ramp' at 1:36 a.m." Sharbonno reportedly climbed over a ledge in the parking ramp to sit, then fell off.

Kare 11 posted a small story about the student's death on their website today. They reported that, according to police and the student's father, Sharbonno was sitting on a ledge of the Oak Street ramp shortly after 1:30 Sunday morning when he slipped and fell, landing on a sidewalk and hitting his head. They also reported that Sharbonno was from Prior Lake.

Both stories mentioned the recent death of University of Minnesota student Elomo Lenya, who drowned in a swimming pool last Thursday in a New Brighton apartment complex.

Missing Red Lake boys found dead

Two young brothers missing since November from the Red Lake Indian Reservation were found dead in an icy lake Sunday morning.

The Pioneer Press posted a story on their website today about the missing brothers. They reported that "Ralph S. Boelter, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis office, said the bodies of Tristan Anthony White, 4, and Avery Lee Stately, 2, were found 'encased in ice' in a thawing portion of First Thunders Lake, about a half mile from their home."

The Pioneer Press also reported that Tristan and Avery were playing outside their house in the Walking Shield area of Red Lake in Northern Minnesota when they disappeared the morning of Nov. 22. Their disappearance prompted a five-day search that spanned the Thanksgiving weekend and included hundreds of volunteers, as well as search dogs and aircraft used by the FBI.

The Star Tribune posted a similar story on their website today, stating that the boy's ice-encased bodies were found Sunday morning in 6 to 10 feet of water by a St. Louis County volunteer search squad.

They also reported that the boy's "last journey together apparently took them down the dirt driveway from their modest home, across the paved cul-de-sac that stitches their Walking Shield neighborhood and then fatefully through 50, maybe 75 yards of thick, brambled woods to the shore of Thunder's First Lake."

Both stories also mentioned the fact that the tradgedy came two years after the shooting deaths of several students at Red Lake High School and others that happened in March 2005.


March 29, 2007

Court rules that NWA attendants can't strike

The U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, upheld an injunction this morning that prohibits Northwest Airlines flight attendants from striking.

The Star Tribune posted a story about the injunction on their website today, stating that Northwest imposed work terms on the attendants July 31 after the attendants rejected a second tentative agreement that contained pay cuts. Northwest wanted the attendants to agree to concessions that would save the bankrupt carrier $195 million per year, but the attendants have maintained that the airline does not need cuts that deep.

The Star Tribune also reported that last year the attendants were blocked from striking after U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, based in New York, issued a strike injunction that Northwest requested. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) then appealed Judge Marrero's ruling, and both sides made their arguments in the case before the Appeals Court in late November. Today the Appeals Court affirmed Marrero's decision to grant Northwest an injunction to block a strike.

Kare 11 posted a similar, but shorter story about the injunction on their website today. They reported that all three judges on the appeals panel agreed with the result, although Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs wrote a separate opinion.

Kare 11 also reported there's another way flight attendants could still win the right to strike. They have asked to be released from mediated talks with Northwest. They reported that a release by the National Mediation Board would start a potential strike process under airline labor law, outside of the bankruptcy issues at the heart of the case decided Thursday


March 28, 2007

Dog bite victim in critical condition

A Minneapolis woman who was attacked by two dogs Monday has slipped into critical condition.

Kare 11 posted on a story about the incident on their website today. They reported that animal control authorities call it one of the worst dog bite cases in years.

They attack happened Monday night at a house in northeast Minneapolis. Thirty-seven-year-old Paula Ybarra stopped by her neighbor's house and was attacked by the nieghbor's dogs minutes after she arrived. The dogs bit Ybarra in her neck and shoulder. When paramedics arrived, Ybarra wasn't breathing. She was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center.

The Star Tribune also posted a story about the attack on their website today. Theirs was much more desciptive (almost too descriptive) than the one posted Kare 11. The Star Tribune began their story with an account of the attack and how Ybarra, minutes after being bitten, "was starting to convulse, her eyes flickering from side to side."

The Star Tribune reported that the neighbor's dogs were an 150-plus pound American bulldog named Bobo and a pit bull named Merlin. Kare 11 reported that the bulldog weighed 160 pounds and that the pit bull weighed 60. Both stories mentioned that the dogs are scheduled to be destroyed today.

March 27, 2007

Senate passes statewide smoking ban

The Minnesota Senate voted today to approve a statewide smoking ban that will eliminate almost all indoor smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants. The ban still awaits action in the house.

The Star Tribune posted a story on their website today about the smoking ban. They reported that the Senate passed the bill 41 to 24. They also reported that Gov. Tim Pawlenty has expressed concerns about the impact of a ban to private clubs but has indicated he supports the measure.

Kare 11 also posted a story about the smoking ban on their website today. They reported that the ban would outlaw smoking in bars, restaurants, VFWs, American Legions, bowling alleys, country clubs and other workplaces starting Aug. 1. They also reported that he House version of the bill still must survive at least two committee hearings if it is to come to the floor for a vote.

Both the Star Tribune and Kare 11 mentioned in their stories the fact that seventeen other states have laws similar to the one proposed in Minnesota that include some prohibition on smoking in bars and restaurants. They Star Tribune added that twenty-five states overall have some sort of statewide smoking ban, though some of them exempt certain establishments.

March 22, 2007

Teen gunman says he will surrender to police

The 17-year-old boy suspected of fatally shooting another teenage boy Wednesday night in St. Anthony has agreed to turn himself in today.

The Pioneer Press posted a short story about the surrender on their website today. They reported that, according to KSTP, the boy told police he will turn himself in through an attorney today. They also reported that this is the first homicide in St. Anthony in more than a decade.

The Star Tribune also posted a story about the surrender on their website today. They reported that Minneapolis police had been looking for the gunman since just after midnight when officers were called to a house on the 2700 block of 37th Av. NE. on a report of shots fired. When they arrived, police found a boy inside the home dead from a gunshot wound.

In the Star Tribune article, St. Anthony Police Chief John Ohl stated that neither the victim or the suspect lived at the address. The Pioneer Press reported that the two 17-year-old boys knew each other.

March 21, 2007

Gas prices jump overnight

The price of gas went up at an average of six cents overnight at gas stations across the Twin Cities, bringing the average price for a gallon of self-serve regular-grade gas to $2.50.

The Star Tribune posted a story on their website today about the overnight jump in gas prices, stating that the price for a gallon of regular-grade gas in the Twin Cities on Tuesday was $2.44. They also reported that, according to Dawn Duffy, a spokeswoman for AAA Minneapolis, the higher prices are the results of increased demand and lower reserves at U.S. refineries.

The Pioneer Press posted a similar, but much smaller story on their website about the increase in gas prices around the Twin Cities. They said that gas prices have jumped 10 cents a gallon since last week, now averaging $2.56 a gallon in the metro. They also reported that the price of gas in the Twin Cities is still lower than the national average of $2.59 a gallon.

Both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press reported both the highest and lowest prices of gas this morning in the metro area. However, the Star Tribune reported the lowest price at $2.39 and the highest at $2.75, whereas the Pioneer Press reported the lowest at $2.37 and the highest at $2.69. Both articles say that these prices came from www.twincitiesgasprices.com.

March 19, 2007

Thousands in Minneapolis protest the war in Iraq

An estimated 4,000 people marcheded up Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis on Sunday, from Uptown to Loring Park, in opposition to the war in Iraq.

Kare 11 posted a story on their website about the protest, stating that this week marks the four-year anniverary of the war, which prompted protesters across the country to take to the streets.

The Star Tribune posted a similar story about the march on their website. They reported that, according to protest organizers, they marched in an effort to urge President Bush to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. They also listed the sponsors of the Minneapolis march, saying they included Women Against Military Madness, Twin Cities Peace Campaign and Military Families Speak Out.

Kare 11 also reported that The House plans to vote this week on a war spending bill, which includes a deadline to get troops out by September 2008. They could leave even sooner if the Iraqi government meets certain goals.


March 7, 2007

Pawlenty Visits Iraq

Governor Tim Pawlenty visited troops in Iraq today after he left on an unannounced visit for the Middle East yesterday. Kare 11 posted a story about Pawlenty's unannounced trip saying that it was his third unannounced visit to the country.

Kare 11 also reported that Pawlenty said he planned the trip after about 2,600 Minnesota National Guard troops learned in January that they would be staying in Iraq for as much as six more months. They had been scheduled to come home this month.

Pawlenty is traveling with with two Democratic governors - Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Brad Henry of Oklahoma. He is scheduled to return to Minnesota this weekend.

The Star Tribune also posted a story on their website about Pawlenty's visit to Iraq. They reported that for security reasons, such trips usually are not announced in advance. They also said that on Tuesday, Pawlenty's office said the governor had no public events scheduled for today.

March 5, 2007

Par Ridder Leaves Pioneer Press to become Star Tribune Publisher

At 9:16 a.m. this morning the Star Tribune posted a story on their website announcing Par Ridder as their new publisher. They reported that Ridder,38, was the publisher and president of the Pioneer Press for the past three years. He was named publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune today, replacing J. Keith Moyer, who recently resigned after almost six years as publisher of the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune also said that the announcement of Ridder’s appointment, which is effective immediately, came on the day that Avista Capital Partners officially took ownership of the Star Tribune from The McClatchy Company.

They also said that before coming to the Pioneer Press in 2004, Ridder was publisher of The Tribune in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where he won numerous awards for outstanding journalism and business performance.

Curious as to what the Pioneer Press would print about this new change in management, I checked out their website. Posted today was a two-sentence blurb that read, "Media News Group announced today the appointment of Fred Mott as the interim Publisher of the Pioneer Press. Mott replaces Par Ridder."

In another story on the Pioneer Press website, it was reported that Ridder, is leaving the Pioneer Press to take the same job at the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune. They reported that in a staff meeting this morning, the CEO of the firm that controls the Pioneer Press told employees that Ridder relayed his decision Friday afternoon.

The story also quoted William Dean Singleton, the CEO of MediaNews Group Inc., the company that is in the process of buying the Pioneer Press, as saying, "I'm suprpised and dissapointed."

February 28, 2007

Sponge Bob Takes on the Mall of America

Mall of America officials announced today that they are teaming up with Nickelodeon to be the face of their new amusement park. Nickelodeon will bring their network characters, such as SpongeBob SquarePants, to the former Camp Snoopy.

Both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press ran a story about the amusement park deal on their websites today, along with images of SpongeBob SquarePants. The Star Tribune reported that mall officials signed a branding-rights deal with Nickelodeon in which their popular cartoon characters will replace Peanuts and the Gang.

The Pioneer Press reported that the new park will be the first-ever Nickelodeon-themed amusement park when it's unveiled in spring 2008. They also reported that Nickelodeon, which is seen in nearly 92 million households, will also open a 4,000-square-foot Nick store at the mall, offering t-shirts and souvenirs.

Both stories discussed plans for new rides, two of which are a freefall tower and an upside-down roller coaster. They also each mentioned that the amusement park at the Mall of America has gone without a theme since last year after the mall was unable to reach an agreement with Cedar Fair LP, an Ohio-based company that has exclusive license from United Media to use the Snoopy name at several amusement parks it owns or operates. For the past year the amusement park has simply been called "The Park at MOA."

February 26, 2007

Chaska Man Dies After Found Frozen to Pavement

A man who was found early Saturday partly frozen to the pavement on the side of a road in Chaska died Sunday. It was the day he turned 19 years old.

The Star Tribune posted a story on their website about the death Sunday evening. They reported that Sean Patrick Humphrey, a Chaska resident, died Sunday afternoon at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. The man apparently fell while he was walking and hit his head on the curb. Sgt. Mike Duzan said that Humphrey was found early Saturday by a city snowplow driver. In the Star Tribune story, it was reported that police estimate that Humphrey had been out on the street with no coat, hat or gloves for a couple of hours. By the time Humphrey was taken to a hospital, his core body temperature was 77 degrees.

Kare 11 ran a similar story on their website. Although they ran a shorter story, they gave more specific details about the death than the Star Tribune. Kare 11 reported that Humphrey's body was found around 5 a.m. Saturday. and that the temperature overnight Friday in Chaska was around 25 degrees.

Both stories asked anyone with information as to Humphrey's whereabouts Friday night until early Saturday is asked to call police at asked to call police at 952-448-4200.

February 21, 2007

Man Missing After House Explodes

A house north of Loretto, Minn. was leveled this morning. Authorities say that one of of the three people who lived in the home is missing.

The Star Tribune posted on a story on their website today that the explosion and fire started at 7:20 a.m. It took about 50 firefighters from six departments about two hours to bring under control the fire that followed the blast.

They reported that a husband and wife and their 2-year-old boy live at the house. The woman and son spent the night elsewhere last night after after having a propane comany crew come out to refill their tank and check the furnace, which was not working. It is unknown where the husband spent the night.

Kare 11 posted a similar story on their website today about the explosion. They gave the address of the home as 6890 County Road 19 in Corcoran, but said the explosion happened around 7:30 a.m. They also said that the couple had just started remodeling the home, which was built in the 1970s.

The Star Tribune reported that crews at the scene have yet to get in the home and that the state fire marshal is assisting in the investigation.

10-year-old Left at Mall While Mom Gambles

Mall Security found a 10-year-old boy at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Mall of America unattended and without money. In an article that was posted on the Star Tribune's website today, police Cmdr. Jim Ryan said that the boy's mother left him there before noon with an unlimited-ride wristband for the theme park, but no money. After failed attempts to reach his mother, security called the police who had her paged at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake around 9 p.m. Mall security told the Star Tribune that the boy had been found alone in the mall before.

On Kare 11's website today was a similar story by the Associated Press. They reported that police took custody of the boy, who's now being cared for in a Minneapolis group home. It is possible that his mother could face child-endangerment charges, a gross misdemeanor.

However, Kare 11 printed the mother's age as 41. The Star Tribune said she was 43.

The Star Tribune said the mother had been staying at a Bloomington women's shelter, and told police she couldn't get back to the mall until the midnight shuttle bus left the casino. She has not yet been arrested.

February 14, 2007

2 More Minnesotans Die From The Flu

A 44-year-old Minneapolis firefighter and a fourth child are the lastest victims of the flu. A total of five Minnesotans, four of them children, have died of the disease this winter.

Barry DeLude, a veteran of the Minneapolis Fire Department, died Tuesday morning at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. The Star Tribune reported that he may have had an underlying health condition that contributed to his death, officials said.

An unidentified 8-year-old from Carlton County died Monday of the disease. The Star Tribune reported that the child had another health condition in addition to the flu but had been vaccinated. She is the only victim this year that had received the vaccine.

The Pioneer Press printed a similar story to the Star Tribune's on the influenza-related deaths. In it they estimate that influenza and pneumonia combine to kill 700 to 800 Minnesotans every year, but most of the victims are elderly or have other illnesses. In their story, state health officials said the deaths of DeLude and the four children suggest this is a relatively severe flu season.

February 12, 2007

25-year-old Shot and Killed by St. Paul Police

St. Paul police shot and killed a 25-year-old motorist who fired at them as he fled from officers on the St. Paul's East Side this morning. The Pioneer Press identified the man as Mitchell Moua of Minneapolis, who is wanted in St. Paul for aggravated assault and false imprisonment. He is also wanted by U.S. marshals for a weapons violation. Read their story here: http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/16682179.htm.

The Pioneer Press reported that Moua was fleeing from the police in an Acura SUV with Wisconsin plates when he shot at officers through a rear window. Moua then crashed into several cars about 11:30 a.m. on East Seventh Street at Arcade Street. Moua was taken to Regions Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:26 p.m.

The Star Tribune posted a similar story on their website this afternoon. Read their story here: http://www.startribune.com/467/story/997481.html. The detials of the chase and shooting were, however, different than the ones the Pioneer Press gave in their story.

At 3:52 p.m., which was when the Star Tribune posted their story, they still had not identified the suspect as Mitchell Moua. They also reported that the suspect was at Regions Hospital but in "grave" condition.

The Pioneer Press reported that Moua hit two vehicles while trying to drive in between them and then hit a parked car. The Star Tribune reported that the suspect "crashed into a couple parked cars and a tree."

The Star Tribune also reported that authorities said the suspect was wanted in connection with possible aggravated assault and kidnapping charges. The Pioneer Press story didn't mention possible kidnapping charges but did say Moua was also wanted for false imprisonment and a weapons violation.

February 7, 2007

Teens Could Face Charges For Dumping Cold Water on Eldery

A group of four Minnesota boys, one from Cloquet and three from Proctor, have been throwing cold water on hospital and nursing home residents. They could be charged wtih disorderly conduct or assault. In The Star Tribune, Cloquet police said that the boys grabbed pitchers or glasses of cold water, ran in to random rooms, doused the residents, and then ran off. Read their story here: http://www.startribune.com/462/story/986931.html.

Kare 11's website has a similar story about the prank. They said the incident first happened last summer and has happened three times since - most recently in January. They also said that the boys are between 15 and 16 years old. Read their story here: http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=242622.

Neither story mentioned how the boys were caught or who they were caught by. There was no mention of any police action taken besides the possible charges the boys could face.

February 6, 2007

Minnesota Soldier Found Guilty of Going AWOL

Spc. Melanie McPherson, 28, of Tofte, Minn., was found guilty today and sentenced to three months in military prison for deserting her Army unit on the eve of deployment to the Middle East. McPherson fled Fort Bliss the day before her unit was supposed to leave for Kuwait in July.

She pled guilty to going absent without leave, but her plea was suspended by a military judge's ruling on the more serious charge of desertion.

The Startribune reported that McPherson, who was trained as a military photojournalist, said she left because she was afraid she would eventually be deployed to Iraq as a truck driver or military police officer. Read their story here: http://www.startribune.com/484/story/982528.html.

The Pioneer Press ran a story in today's paper that was almost identical to the one that ran in the Star Tribune. Both were by the Associated Press. Read The Pioneer Press story here: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/local/16628819.htm.

January 31, 2007

School Bus Crashes in Andover This Morning

Seven people were hurt today when a St. Francis school bus collided with a car in Andover. Kare 11 reported that the bus rolled over and landed on top of another vehicle. Read their story here: http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=240720
They also reported that five students, the bus driver and the driver of the other vehicle were taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and that most had minor injuries, but one adult was being looked at more closely.

The Star Tribune identified the bus driver as Nancy Mei, 57, of Ham Lake. Read their story here: http://www.startribune.com/462/story/971339.html. They reported that authorities aren't sure what made the bus tip over, but preliminary results of the investigation show that the bus driver, while rounding a curve, overcorrected and lost control. Veronica Cich, 12, who was one of 25 students on the bus but wasn't hurt, said in the Star Tribune that this is not the first time her school bus has been involved in a crash this year. She said that a few weeks ago that the driver bumped a car while at a stop light.

January 30, 2007

11-year-old St. Paul Girl Hit and Dragged By Van

Sunday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. an 11-year-old was hit by a van and dragged for nearly a half-mile. The Star Tribune reported yesterday that a St. Paul man is being held in the Dakota County Jail and is expected to be charged in the crime. Read the Star Tribune story here: http://www.startribune.com/467/story/966690.html. Gladys Reyes,the victim, is in critical condition at Regions Hospital . She is a sixth grader at Heritage Middle School in West St. Paul.

The Pioneer Press, which printed a more detailed report of the crime in today's paper, said that Reyes owes her life to an alert driver who followed the suspect's van and forced him to pull over in a parking lot. Read the Pioneer Press story here: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/16575869.htm.

Although the Star Tribune has yet to publish the suspect's name, the Pioneer Press identified him as Mauricio Sanchez, 33, of St. Paul. They said that he could face charges face charges of criminal vehicular operation resulting in great bodily harm, leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license.

January 26, 2007

U Tries to Negotiate Reciprocity with Wisconsin

The Star Tribune reported yesterday that the University of Minesota is threatening to pull out of their reciprocity agreement with Wisconsin. Read the story here: http://www.startribune.com/1592/story/961067.html. It was reported that Wisconsin students pay $1,200 to $2,700 less than Minnesotan students.

The Minnesota Daily reported last week that the current reciprocity act has been there since the 1980s http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2007/01/22/70400 . In the Minnesota Daily article, director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Susan Heegaard, was quoted as saying, "We just want Wisconsin students to pay what Minnesota students pay."

According to the Star Tribune, there are more talks set for next week.

January 24, 2007

Minnesota Timberwolves Fire Coach

The Timberwolves fired head coach Dwayne Casey today after four consecutive losses. It was Casey's second season with Minnesota At 6:26 p.m. the Star Tribune had the story http://www.startribune.com/511/story/955112.html on it's website. They reported that assistant coach Randy Whittman will take over as interim coach.

Kevin McHale stated a lack of consistency as his reason for firing Casey. The Star Tribune also reported the interesting fact that longtime coach Flip Saunders is the only coach to last more than two years with the wolves.