April 4, 2007

Red Lake Indian Reservation

Recently, the bodies of two young brothers were found in First Thunders Lake, near the Red Lake Indian Reservation. The boys had disappeared in November of 2006 and the parents had believed since that they had been abducted. Authorities have not found any evidence of foul play, but think there is a possibility that the boys wandered away from home, went onto the frozen lake and fell through the ice. A full autopsy report has not been released but the statement was released saying the boys died of "probable fresh water drowning."

This indian reservation was also the location that 16-year-old Jeff Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather's companion, killed seven people at the high school and then killed himself.

Do we see a pattern here? The boys who recently were found dead are believed to had wandered away from home. Where were the parents? Isn't it dangerous to leave a 4 and 2 year old by themselves outside? What about Weise; what were the reasons behind him killing nine people and then himself? Is it the Red Lake Indian Reservation community? Or just pure coincidence? Why are there particular neighborhoods where more commonly have tragic events take place?


Floyd Jourdain, Jr. - Red Lake Tribal Chairman: 218.679.3341
Ralph Boelter - FBI Special Agent: 612.376.3200
Oran Beaulieu - Tribal Health Director at Red Lake: 218.679.3316

March 27, 2007

ClearWay Minnesota, who has recently been involved in the smoking ban bill
in Minnesota, offers an online quit plan for smokers called
It is a freewebsite that serves as a personal support center and offers
helpful and interactive quit-smoking resources such as personalized
quit-smoking plans, expert counselors who respond to user questions within
a 24 hour period, a forum to talk with other smokers trying to quit,
self-evaluations and even tools tha track the quitting progress,
calculating savings and suggesting next steps. ClearWay Minnesota also has
a QUITPLAN helpline as well as QUITPLAN centers. According to,
the online program "provides options for smokers who may not want to use
face-to-face or telephone counseling." Does this really work? What are the
advantages and disadvantages of doing a smoking plan online? What other
companies fund an online quit-smoking plan? What are the results compared
to face-to-face counseling? Is this an issue that should be taken to the
internet? Will this trend carry over to online counseling in other areas of
life (it might already have)?


Joanne D'Silva, research program manager of ClearWay Minnesota - 952.767.1400
John R. Polito, editor of - 843.849.9721
John L. Kirkwood, president and CEO of the American Lung Association - 212.315.8700

March 17, 2007

Banning of foreign-made U.S. flags

(For the week of March 18-23)

A bill passed the Minnesota House on Thursday would require all flags and flag merchandise sold in Minnesota be made in the United States. According to an article from the Winona Daily News:

**"That includes flag replicas, along with anything and everything emblazoned with the flag’s image — coffee cups, T-shirts, key chains, even the pins politicians wear on their suit lapels."**

Besides making people "irked" by U.S. Flags being sold in other countries, why is this a big enough issue that a bill must be proposed? It is obvious people are bothered by it, but why is a bill necessary? How would this bill be enforced?

Possible sources:

Rep. Tom Rukavina (the bill's sponsor): 651.296.0170
Senator Steve Murphy (co-author): 651.385.7649
Rep. Dan Severson (opponent): 651.296.7808

March 9, 2007

The Mayor's "New Minneapolis"

R.T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis, has strived for what he calls a "New Minneapolis" since he came to office in 2002. He wants to reweave urban fabric; he doesn't believe that the city should concentrate on housing, jobs, or transportation individually. It should be organic and every aspect of the city should be quality. So, how is Minneapolis doing so far? What changes have been made? What does the future look like? Will our city really be a "New Minneapolis?"


Mayor R.T. Rybak - 612.673.2100
Barbara Johnson - 612.673.2204 (City Council President)
Betsey Hodges - 612.673.2213 (City Council Member)

March 2, 2007

Why not us?

Most metro area schools cancelled school today. Numerous flights were cancelled. News forcasters discouraged travel. Yet, the University of Minnesota was one of the only schools in the area to reopen Friday for classes. The U of M is known for never cancelling classes even during the worst of conditions, but why? Why are universities always the last to close their schools when weather is bad and travel is dangerous?

Possible sources:

E. Thomas Sullivan, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, 612-625-0051

Robert H. Bruininks, President of the University of Minnesota, 612-626-1616

Rick Krueger, Executive Director of the Minnesota Transportation Alliance, 651-659-0804 or Mr. Krueger directly by e-mail at