March 31, 2007

Bjork teases fans with tidbits of "Volta"

Teasers of Icelandic megastar Bjork's new album "Volta" hit the Internet waves this week in anticipation of the album's release next month.

Videos, sound clips and lyrics of "Volta," due out in stores May 8, have been posted on the web. And not by web pirates, but rather by the musician's reps, one of Bjork's spokespeople confirmed.

The video and audio clips for "Volta," which included the album's first single "Earth Intruders," were posted onto popular websites Myspace and Youtube.

The Icelandic pop princess is currently touring the U.S., and will head back overseas for shows in the summer.

Trimspa head speaks out over Anna Nicole Smith autopsy

TrimSpa CEO Alex Goen spoke out Wednesday about autopsy results concluding the death of Anna Nicole Smith, the diet pill's former spokesmodel, was due to a drug overdose.

"I didn't really know which prescription drugs she took, " Goen said. "It really wasn't my business to know what drugs she takes or any of our customers take."

The report also contained a claim that Anna may have been injected with human growth hormone to aid in weight loss, which would contradict Trimspa's claims that her weight loss was due solely to their product.

Captured criminal claims, "I'm Dick Cheney"

A Connecticutt man was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after he led authorities on a high-speed chase Monday and then claimed to be Vice President Dick Cheney.

John Spernak, 42, later admitted he wasn’t the vice president, but actually Jaclyn Smith, star of “Charlie’s Angels." He also claimed to be the husband of Paris Hilton’s sister, police said.

Spernak was driving over 90 mph, hit a patrol car and was shocked with a stun gun before police could arrest him. He was charged with attempted first-degree assault, engaging police in a pursuit, reckless driving, criminal mischief, interfering with police and being in a town park after dark, police said.

The police officers were on a routine patrol when they spotted Spernak in his parked car, who drove away as they approached.

March 25, 2007

Triple homicide at St. Paul home

Three people were shot and killed early Friday by masked assailants in a St. Paul home.

Maria McLay, 32, and McLay's boyfriend and daughter, Otahl Saunders, 31, and Brittany Kekadakis, 15, were killed by a group of men demanding money and drugs at around 6:30 am Friday.

McLay's two youngest children survived the shooting and fled the scene to a neighbor's house.

The intruders likely had some connection with Saunders, whose record includes charges involving drugs, money and stolen property, police said.

Deadly earthquake strikes near Tokyo

An earthquake struck near Tokyo early Sunday, killing at least one and injuring 162 others.

At 9:42 am the 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the north coast of Ishikawa, located approximately 225 miles northwest of Tokyo. A small tsunami also hit the area shortly after the quake.

Aftershocks are expected to strike the affected area, said Takeshi Hachimine, seismology and tsunami section chief at the Meteorological Agency.

March 10, 2007

Rare gorilla is born in Congo

Conservationalists announced Mar. 2 the birth of a rare mountain gorilla in eastern Congo, an area where the species has been endangered.

Baby gorilla Ndeze was born Feb. 17 in Congo's Virunga National Park, said Samantha Newport of conservation group WildlifeDirect.

Rebels living in the region have contributed to the species' endangerment, who have killed and eaten the rare gorilla. Park officials made a verbal agreement with the rebel group in late January to stop the killings.

Black leaders speak out against opposition to St. Paul's fire chief

Leaders among St. Paul's black community are speaking out against the opposition for the city's fire chief.

Black leaders held a news conference at the Martin Luther King recreation center to support St. Paul's first black fire chief, Doug Holton.

"Race is the core of the discussion," said Nathaniel Khaliq, the president of St. Paul's NAACP and a retired firefighter.

Chris Parsons, a black firefighter, challenged Khaliq's comments, insisting that opposition for the fire chief is due to poor management and leadership. Several other firefighters support Parsons' comments.

Mall of America sets weekend curfew for juveniles

Mall of America officials are re-emphasizing their curfew policy, after a 10-year-old boy was left at the park for a day by his mother.

The mall's Parental Escort Policy has been in effect since 1996, which states that any youth under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age after 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

When the policy was put into effect, the number of juvenile incidents at the mall went from 300 to 2, mall officials said.

ABC orders TV pilot about Geico cavemen

ABC announced Friday that the network has ordered a pilot about the Geico cavemen.

"Cavemen" is the tentative sitcom about the well-known neanderthals' struggle to live prejudice-free in present-day Atlanta.

Geico's advertising campaign is well known for its slogan "even a caveman could do it," a claim that insults a neanderthal or two standing nearby the commercial's spokesman.

The advertisement writer will also pen the pilot, the studio said.

Boston singer found dead in home

Boston lead singer Brad Delp, 55, was found dead Friday in his New Hampshire home.

Delp was found dead by police responding to a call placed by the deceased, who was found alone at his home. No foul play was indicated at the scene.

An incident report will not be released until Monday, police said.

Boston enjoyed their heyday during the seventies and eighties, with hits such as "More Than A Feeling" and "Amanda."

March 2, 2007

Brother of Wolf Eyes member injured in fire

Peter Young, the brother of Wolf Eyes band member Nate Young, was severely injured Feb. 24 during an ill-fated attempt to rescue his dog from a fire.

Young safely evacuated his apartment but re-entered to locate his dog, Little John. Then he became unconscious from smoke inhalation and suffered second- and third-degree burns on between 30 to 44 percent of his body, police told Nate Young.

Little John died in the fire.

Young, who currently has no medical insurance, must remain in the hospital for two to three months. Wolf Eyes have created a Paypal account for donations to help cover the cost of medical bills and apartment repair.

Army secretary resigns

Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey stepped down from his position Mar. 2, as the Bush administration faces a scandal alleging poor hospital conditions for wounded Iraq soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Only hours before Harvey's resignation, President Bush requested a review of military and veteran hospital conditions in light of the alleged incident. White House officials said the president would call upon a bipartisan commission to investigate Walter Reed and other medical facilities.

The Army also announced Mar. 2 Walter Reed's new commander as Maj. Gen. Eric R. Schoomaker.

Harvey, who has been Army secretary since November 2004, will depart Mar. 9. Pete Geren will act as secretary until the president names a nominee for the position, White House officials said.

March 1, 2007

Boy found frozen near home

An 18-year-old Chaska boy found frozen near his home Feb. 24 died at the hospital the next day--on the teen's 19th birthday.

A snowplow operator discovered Sean P. Humphrey early last Sunday morning and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Humphrey's body temperature had dropped to 77 degrees, approximately 20 degrees lower than normal, police said.

Humphrey was found with a cut head, which investigators believe occurred when the boy walked on a sloping curb near the site where he had been discovered. Bob Humphrey, the teen's father, said his son had been at a party with friends the previous night.

February 24, 2007

St. Paul proposes unveils light rail development plans

Task forces announced Feb. 16 plans for a $1 billion light rail line connecting St. Paul with Minneapolis, which would also create a downtown village and more stores in the Midway.

The proposed light rail system would connect the capitol's historic landmarks and establish a transit hub at Union Depot, according to Tony Bennett, chairman of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners.

Other developments within the plan include a major development at Midway consisting of new stores and city routes in the Midway, which could create up to 2,500 new jobs, according to a task force repor.

Officials are debating over the proposed transit route and the plan's high costs.

Flaming Lips singer to host NPR show

Flaming Lips frontman Layne Coyne will appear Feb. 26 on NPR's "This I Believe" series, a program included in the station's "Morning Edition" broadcast.

"This I Believe" focuses on the keys of happiness in life, as explained by celebrities and everyday people alike, including more noteable appearances by Colin Powell, Bill Gates, Tony Hawk, Gloria Steinem, John Updike.

According to Pitchfork Media, Coyne will discuss how an 11-year long fish frying venture encouraged him to become a musician.

The Flaming Lips will be touring in Southeastern U.S. starting this April, in addition to appearing at this year's Bonnaroo Festival in June.