April 20, 2008

Wild out of playoffs

The Minnesota Wild were beaten Saturday night 2-1 by the Colorado Avalance, ending their 2007-2008 season, the Star Tribune reported .
The Wild held on to push the best of seven series to six games, but in the end, the Avalanche proved to be too much for them.
"To lose in the first round again is very disappointing," veteran Brian Rolston told the Star Tribune. "[Colorado goalie Jose] Theodore definitely played a role in this series. In a series like this, a hot goalie can take you out. I think that's what happened.
"I thought we outplayed them badly at home, and he snuck out two wins. Tonight, we had enough to get a bounce go our way. It wasn't like last year. We thought we were in this one."
"It was two games that we played better than them and didn't come out with the win (Games 1 and 5), and it cost us the series," Wild winger Stephane Veilleux told the Pioneer Press.
Wild star Marion Gaborik scored only one goal in the series, which will leave him with much of the burden in the Wild's loss, the Pioneer Press reported.
"Tough loss, but we have nothing to be ashamed of. Everybody left everything out there," Gaborik told the Pioneer Press. "Producing and stuff, I wish I would have made a difference. It was very tight out there. They did a great job defensively.
"Either it was tight or there was Theodore ... things didn't work out like I wanted them to."

Two Minneapolis police officers asked to leave

A high-ranking police officer in Minneapolis and a North Side officer were relieved of duty while awaiting the results of a federal investigation, the Star Tribune reported .
One of the officers is Lt. Lee Edwards, who is one of the five black officers suing MPD over allegations of racial discrimination, the Star Tribune reported. The other is Mike Roberts, a 29-year member of the department.
While the Star Tribune reported Roberts allegedly received $200 for giving information to an undercover informant, the allegations against Edwards were unclear.
Edwards is part of a lawsuit against the police department saying there was retaliatory and discriminatory discipline handed down by Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan against officers who spoke up about racist practices of the department, Edwards' attorneys John Klassen and Andrew Muller, told the Pioneer Press.
Minneapolis City Council Member Ralph Remington told the Star Tribune he is deeply troubled by what happened.
"The timing is very peculiar," he said. "And it would beg a question of retaliation, especially considering there's a lawsuit pending from five black police officers and Edwards is one of them."

Pope leads mass at Yankee Stadium

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the last mass of his visit to the United States Sunday at Yankee Stadium, the New York Times reported .
The mass was held in front of 60,000 people, the Times reported, and the pope used his homily to call for unity among Catholics in the U.S.
The pope reportedly garnered loud applause, the Times reported, with his statement against abortion, when he said the “unchanging truths� found in Jesus “alone can guarantee respect for the inalienable dignity and rights of each man, woman and child in our world, including the most defenseless of all human beings, the unborn child in the mother’s womb."
Those in attendance were amazed by the sight of Yankee Stadium dressed up for the pope, the Associated Press reported .

"I have never seen Yankee Stadium so beautiful, and I have season's tickets," Philip Giordano, 49, a tax attorney from Greenwich, Conn., told the AP. He won seats in a section behind home plate through a lottery at his church. "It sure beats sitting in my local church."

His wife Suzanne told the AP, "I'm hoping to feel something from (Benedict). Everyone who has seen him says they crumple, their knees buckle. You come away just feeling different."

March 10, 2008

Bouncing tire on I-35W kills driver

A tire that came off a garbage truck Friday morning on Interstate 35W bounced across the median and killed a driver headed the other way, the Star Tribune reported.

Jerry Ander, 56, of Burnsville who was driving his pickup truck was killed by the tire, according to the Minnesota State Patrol, the Star Tribune reported.

The accident near 46th Street and 35W tied up traffic in both north and southbound lanes during the morning commute and for hours after, the Star Tribune reported.

While the accident occurred around 6:30 a.m., at 9:30 a.m. traffic on 35W was still being stopped at times while helicopters landed on the roadway, Fox 9 reported.

Authorities estimated the tire that killed Ander weighed about 100 pounds, the Star Tribune reported.

Staircase removed from World Trade Center site

A staircase which is cherished by many 9/11 survivors was moved Sunday to enable construction crews to move forward with rebuilding the site, the New York Times reported .

Hundreds of people are thought to have used the stairs to escape from the Twin Towers before they fell, the Times reported.

The next phase of construction is Tower 2, a 1,278-foot-tall skyscraper, will now begin, with workers free to move around the site without damaging what some call a relic of 9/11, the Times reported. Tower 2 is one of the five towers being built at ground zero.

“You were pitting memory and preservation and loss and family against redevelopment and construction, as if you could have one or the other, but you couldn’t coexist,� Avi Schick, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said to the Times. “What we proved is in fact they could coexist.�

Survivors of the 9/11 attacks began campaigning years ago in an effort to leave the staircase where it was, the Associated Press reported .

The staircase will be moved from its original spot, the Times reported, and it will eventually be reinstalled in the museum, alongside the steps and escalator that will be used by museum visitors.

Sarkozy's party trails after local elections

French voters delivered a blow to President Nicolas Sarkozy in local elections held on Sunday, Bloomberg reported .

Those backed by Union for a Popular Movement party and Sarkozy received 40 percent of the vote, while 47.5 percent voted for those representing the Socialists, the Green and Communist parties, according to by CSA, a Paris-based polling institute, Bloomberg reported.

Twenty-two of Sarkozy's ministers which make up two-thirds of the French government were up for election, the Associated Press reported .

Since taking over in May, Sarkozy has seen his popularity drop to around 37-40 percent from a high of around 65 percent in July, according to the AP.

``It's a strong signal,'' Frederic Dabi, director of the public-opinion department of Paris-based Ifop, told Bloomberg. ``It's not the third round of the presidential election, but there is a very strong push from the left.''

Girl who sparked Amber Alert found OK

Authories have found a four-year-old Fridley girl whose abduction triggered an Amber Alert on Friday, the Pioneer Press reported .

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension cancelled the alert at 1:20 p.m. Sunday after Minneapolis police found Anastasia Jones in Minneapolis, Janell Rasmussen, spokesperson for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, told the Pioneer Press.

Her mother, Miracle Angel Flowers, 19, and her mother's boyfriend are now in police custody, according to the Pioneer Press.

Flowers and her boyfriend accused of abducting the woman's daughter are being held at the Hennepin County Jail, WCCO reported .

The abducted girl was at the hospital with her foster mother for a visit to see her younger sister when Flowers took the girl, police told WCCO.

Investigators believe her boyfriend was waiting in the car, according to WCCO, and the car was found in Fridley later Friday evening.

State trooper's squad car hit in accident

A Minnesota state trooper was injured in a traffic accident Sunday on Interstate 94 just west of Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reported .

Traffic was at a standstill for more than an hour and was backed up to Interstate 394, according to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune reported there were minor injuries in the crash.

Trooper Renee Adrian was injured in the accident, Kare 11 reported .

Adrian was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for back and neck injuries, and is expected to be released from the hospital by Sunday night, according to Kare 11.

Authorities told Kare 11 the trooper's seat belt likely saved her life.

February 25, 2008

Coen brothers win best picture

Joel and Ethan Coen took home the Oscars' top honor Sunday night, winning the award for best picture, the BBC reported.

Javier Bardem also won best supporting actor for his role in the film, the BBC reported.

Bardem, from Spain, thanked the Coen brothers for being "crazy enough" to cast him, according to the BBC.

The Coen brothers, who also picked up best adapted screenplay, used their speech to thank the film industry for "allowing us to play in our corner of the sandbox," the BBC reported.

The ceremony gave awards to a number of others, the New York Times reported.

“Ratatouille,� a rodent’sview of the accessibility of cooking, won for best animated feature. Brad Bird, the film’s director, thanked his junior high school guidance counselor: “He asked me what I wanted to do with my life,� Mr. Bird recalled. “I said, ‘Make movies.’ He asked me what else I wanted to do with my life. And I said, ‘Make movies.’ � Mr. Bird said the doubt he faced was “perfect training� for a life in Hollywood, according to the Times.

Raul Castro named Cuba's next president

After his brother Fidel resigned earlier this week, Raul Castro was named Cuba's next president, its first change in absolute power in nearly half a century, the New York Times reported.

In his first statement as president, Raul Castro made said he would make no major changes and promised to consult his brother in important decisions, the New York Times reported.

However, he did propose giving more power to provincial governments and an effort to streamline the bureaucracy in Havana. “Today a more compact structure is required,� he said, according to the Times.

“We should never believe that what we have done is perfect,� he said.

In Miami, where a number of Cubans have lived since the revolution in Cuba, the reaction was subdued to say the least, Reuters reported.

There were no celebrations in the streets and a number of Cubans seem uninterested in the prospect that Raul Castro would bring any change to the island nation.

"Castro is still going to have the power. Cuba is going to be the same and nobody is going to have freedom in Cuba," said Eduardo Migueltorena, a Miami real estate agent who came to Florida in the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

Vikings' McKinnie arrested in Miami

Minnesota Vikings' offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie was arrested for aggravated battery following a street fight outside a nightclub early Sunday morning, the Star Tribune reported.

McKinnie was also arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, the Star Tribune reported.

Police were called to Club Space in Miami after McKinnie was arrested by a security guard, the Star Tribune reported.

The Star Tribune reported Miami Police found McKinnie "in the middle of a large crowd, throwing punches and again yelling obscenities," according to the police report.

McKinnie was bonded out for $9,000 at 2:25 p.m., Miami-Dade County Corrections Department spokeswoman Janelle Hall said, according to the Star Tribune.

The trouble is nothing new for McKinnie, the Pioneer Press reported .

The NFL fined him one game check for his role in a team boat party on Lake Minnetonka in 2005. McKinnie pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in that incident, the Pioneer Press reported.

The Vikings released a statement regarding the incident, the Pioneer Press reported. "We are aware of the situation with Bryant McKinnie. We will respond further once we have collected the appropriate information."

February 18, 2008

Police make two additional arrests in stabbing

Minneapolis police arrested two more teenagers Friday in the stabbing death of a 70-year-old woman in her North Minneapolis Home, the Star Tribune reported .

The 15- and 16-year-old brothers are being held in the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center, the Star Tribune reported. Authorities have until Tuesday to file charges, and are expected to charge the suspects as adults.

Police found the body of Pirkko Gaultney on Wednesday and originally arrested 15-year-old Minneapolis boy in connection with the killing.

When police responded to Gaultney's house on Wednesday, they were called to investigate a burglary, WCCO reported.

Police told WCCO the home showed signs of forced entry and neighbors said it was broken into a few years ago, according to WCCO.

The Star Tribune reported all three boys know each other but none have extentsive criminal history or known gang affiliations.

Drive-by shooting at I-35W and Lake St.

Authorities are investigating a drive-by shooting that hospitalized one man at Interstate 35W and Lake St. on Sunday afternoon, the Pioneer Press reported.

The shooting happened just after 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon on the northbound lane of the busy highway, the Pioneer Press reported.

A passenger in a purple Plymouth Breeze fired a shotgun at a car with four occupants, the Pioneer Press reported, and the driver of another car was treated at an area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

John Myers, who lives near the scene of the shooting, toldKARE 11 he heard about four or five gunshots.

It's too early to tell if the shooting was a case of road rage, Lt. Mark Peterson of the State Patrol told KARE 11, but they aren't ruling out any possibilities.

Pakistanis vote, should weaken Musharraf

Pakistanis began voting Monday morning in parliamentary elections that, according to the New York Times, will likely weaken the country's President Pervez Musharraf.

The vote comes nearly two months after the assasination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, and officials say it is likely that unrest will follow the vote, no matter the outcome, according to the Times.

Reuters reported that 80,000 troops were backing up police, watching over polling places, according to the Times.

There have been widespread reports of plans to rig the election. A spokesperson for Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party , which is leading in many polls, said the vote was "not going to be a free and fair election," the BBC reporteda>.

The speculation was not limites to Bhutto's party. Bhutto's former rival, Nawaz Sharif, whose party is also ahead of Musharraf's n polls, said a "massive rigging plan" had "been implemented," according to the BBC.

There have been many threats of widespread protests if the elections are suspected of being unfair, both the BBC and the TImes reported.

Largest beef recall ever

Westland/Hallmark Meat Company, based in Chino, Calif. ordered the largest recall of ground beef in history Sunday, Department of Agriculture officials announced, according to the New York Times.

The recall, which includes 143 million pounds of beef, some of which was used in school lunches, comes after an animal-abuse scandal was uncovered in late January by the Humane Society of the United States, the Times reported.

The video reportedly showed workers kicking sick cows and forcing them to walk, and officials say cow that are unable to walk could be infected with mad cow disease, the Times reported.

However, Agriculture officials say human infection is unlikely because the parts of the cows that hold the disease would not have entered the human food supply, according to the Times.

The recall is the largest since 1999 when a ban of 35 million pounds of meats was recalled, the Associated Press reported.

According to the AP, no illnesses have arisen from the recalled meat, and officials called the potential threat small.

The recall affects beef products dating to Feb. 1, 2006, that came from Chino-based meat comapny, the AP reported.