Recently in National News Category

Minnesota women makes up story of service.

Local Minnesotan Elizabeth McKenzie, 20, is being charged with impersonating an officer after she made up a story about one year of service to the US Army in Iraq, reports UPI. McKenzie's arrival home from Afghanistan was celebrated by her local town Cass Lake in a celebration for returning troops, says UPI.
Though McKenzie isn't a tribal member, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Honor Guard gave her a blanket and an eagle feather to mark her service, which was still unknown to be phony, reports the Star Tribune. McKenzie also made up that she was seriously injured while serving the country, reports The Star Tribune.
"Before a departure ceremony last year that was held at the town's American Legion hall, she posed in an Army battle dress uniform and told supporters she would be serving overseas with the Army's 302nd Battalion, 16th Regiment Military Police, an apparently fictional unit," reports The Star Tribune.

An Applebee's restaurant in Madison Heights, Michigan is under fire after mother Taylor Dill-Reese said that her 15-month-old son was served alcohol instead of apple juice, reports CNN.
A similar incident occured about 1,000 miles away Friday night at an Olive Garden in Lakeland, Florida where Jill Vanheest claimed her two-year-old son was served sangria instead of juice, reports CNN.
Leaders at Applebee's and Olive Garden declined to be interviewed over the situation, reports USA Today. Applebee's did however issue a statement regarding a new juice pouring training for all employees and new regulations about drink container policies, reports
Both boys were taken to local hospitals and released with no long term harm done, reports TIME.
The mix ups reportedly happened when juice pouring containers were mixed up with liquor pouring containers, reports TIME.

Storms in the South kill 17 people

Violent storms ripped across Little Rock, Ark. and Jackson Miss. overnight Thursday and into Friday, killing 17 people--said authorities to The Baltimore Sun.
Six of the seven deaths occurred when wind uprooted trees and they smashed into houses, as reported by the National Weather Service meteorologist John Robinson in The Baltimore Sun.
In total, over 100 tornadoes blew through the South on Saturday and many power lines were blown down as a result of the storms, reported CNN. Three of the deaths resulted from trees smashing into parked mobile homes, CNN reported.
The storm system also damaged dozens of homes, businesses and churches Friday afternoon, reported The Star Tribune. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency for the entire state over the weekend as a result of the storms, reported The Star Tribune.

Houston area at high risk for wildfires

Someone from the Texas Forest Service said that this past Sunday was the single worst fire day in the state's history, as reported by ABC Local 13. So far, the largest fire has burned more than 71,000 acres of land according to ABC Local 13. Firefighters battled a wild fire Sunday that burned nearly 400 square miles across the state, reports The Associated Press. The fires from Sunday miss several historical monuments including the Army cavalry fort and Fort Davis. The fires also missed one of the world's leading astronomical research facilities, this all according to The Associated Press. In total, the fires from Sunday burned more than 230,00 acres in Texas, says Reuters. The fires destroyed 80 homes and critically injured a firefighter, according to Reuters.

Obama and the deficit

President Obama has suggested plans to raise taxes for anyone earning over 250,000 dollars a year, reports the Wall Street Journal. His other plans to reduce the national deficit include cutting funding for Medicare and Medicaid, reports the Washington Post. USA Today reports that the total cuts to the national budget total $38.5 billion, which doesn't include the raised taxes on the wealthy. The White House doesn't believe the short-term deficit is being added to by Social Security, says USA Today.

Jennie-O recalls almost 55,000 pounds of ground turkey

Jennie-O has announced a recall of nearly 55,000 pounds of turkey meat Saturday after 12 people were diagnosed with salmonella poisoning, as reported by KTLA.
The recall affects approximately 54,960 pounds of frozen turkey products sold in 4-pound boxes, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Food and Safety Inspection Service in an article for KTLA.
The meat in question, was reported by CNN as being, "All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat," with a expiration date of December 23rd,
2011. The recalled meat is sold by Sam's Club exclusively, reports CNN.
The products were packaged November 23rd, 2010 and were not recalled until this past Saturday, reports The Star Tribune. People have reported illness in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin over the past four months, reports The Star Tribune.

Thousands of protestors gathered in Madison on Saturday to protest an anti-union bill that Governor Scott Walker signed into law.

The law will affect over 300,000 state employees by removing their rights to collective bargaining, according to Duluth News Tribune (http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/193743/). The law will also change the take-home pay amounts for many state employees.

Also in attendance at the rally were the 13 of the 14 Wisconsin Democrats that fled the state earlier in the year to prevent a vote on the bill. According to CBS News (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/12/national/main20042464.shtml?tag=cbsnewsLeadStoriesAreaMain;cbsnewsLeadStoriesHeadlines), they were greeted with cheers and crowds yelled, "Fab 14, our heroes!"

As reported by CBS News, in an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Walker called the law "progressive," and said he had no doubt public support for the measure would grow as people experience "more efficient" government."

Democratic Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk filed a lawsuit after Walker signed the bill Friday morning claiming that the bill was passed illegally. Protestors plan to continue their fight despite passing of the law by Walker on Friday. As reported by Duluth News tribune, Madison police officer Kevin Lingmeier said, "(The protesters) have inspired us. They have created a new dynamic in this state," he said. "This is going to be a battle for the future of the state of Wisconsin."

On Friday night around 10 p.m., a floating restaurant called Jeff Ruby's took off down the Ohio River after it broke free from its dockside mooring and took off 100 yards downriver.

High water levels are believed to be the reason behind the incident. The river was said to be in a mild flood stage after recent winter storms, according to Fox News. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/12/83-rescued-floating-restaurant-breaks-loose/). Diners at the popular river restaurant called emergency authorities for help after the restaurant moved and broke away from its dock.

The restaurant came to a halt after it reached a bridge that links Cincinnati with northern Kentucky. Jeff Ruby's is one of several waterfront restaurants along the Ohio river.

Popular former Cincinnati Bengals star and Sunday Night Football commentator Cris Collinsworth was said to be among the 83 diners that were rescued from the floating restaurant, as reported by The New York Daily News (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/03/12/2011-03-12_83_diners_including_cris_collingsworth_rescued_after_restaurant_breaks_free_of_d.html?r=news/national).

Emergency crews used a combination of ropes and ladders in a rescue effort that took over an hour, said The New York Daily News.

Jeff Ruby's is scheduled to be moved by tugboat to a new location at Covington Landing starting on Sunday. There were no incident-related injuries reported.

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