Recently in Local News Category

Champions bar sues Minneapolis

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Champions Saloon and Eatery is suing the city of Minneapolis for engaging in what it says is a racially-motivated and malicious attempt at shutting its doors, said Eric Roper of the Star Tribune.

The bar, located on Lake and Blaisdell streets in southern Minneapolis, filed the lawsuit Thursday morning, Roper said.

Rick Nelson, Champion's owner, says he feels the police are unfairly targeting his business, said Holly Wagner of WCCO.

It all stems from a drug bust that happened earlier this year where police say undercover officers bought crack in big drug deals on several occasions at Champions and at the bus stop right outside the bar, Wagner said.

The owner says these events and their high media profile damaged Champions' reputation, according to a KARE11.com article. Of the 14 people arrested, only two were convicted in court, and none had any connection to Champions.

Champions attorney Ed Matthews says city licensing officials attempted to use the arrests as grounds for attempting to revoke Champions' liquor license, according to the article.

Adrian Peterson ran for 210 yards, but it was not enough, as the Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field Sunday 23-14, said Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.

Despite a great effort on the ground, Christian Ponder threw two costly interceptions that ended up costing the Vikings the game, Wiederer said.

The Vikings playoff hopes took a big hit, as they fell to 6-6 with the loss, said Jack Cassidy of SBNation.com.

The victory was Green Bay's tenth straight over a NFC North opponent, and put them into first place in the division, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com said.

The Chicago Bears lost at home to the Seattle Seahawks to allow the Packers to move into first place, Seifert said.

The Vikings will try to get back into the win column next week with a home game against the Bears, and will play the Packers once more in week 17.

Cold Spring officer killed

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A suicide call led to the shooting of Cold Springs officer Tom Decker Thursday night, said Larry Oakes of the Star Tribune.

Ryan Larson, who lived in an apartment above the bar where Decker was shot, has been accused of murder, and is currently in custody, Oakes said.

Chief Phil Jones described Decker as the office jokester, and said everyone who met him, liked him, according to a Kare11.com article.

Jones added that Decker was married with four kids, the article said.

The man taken into custody, 34-year-old Ryan Michael Larson of Cold Spring, was being held Friday on suspicion of second-degree murder, according to a WCCO.com article. The county attorney's office was considering criminal charges.

Several guns were found, according to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but the agency was searching for additional weapons that may be related to Decker's death, the article said.

Daughter of Kevin McHale dies at 23

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Alexandra McHale, known as Sasha, and the daughter of former Minnesota basketball star Kevin McHale died this weekend, said Heron Marquez Estrada of the Star Tribune.

Sasha, who helped Totino-Grace win a state basketball championship in 2008, had been attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth until her illness forced her to take a leave of absence, Estrada said.

Sasha suffered from lupus, an auto-immune disease, a ColumbusDispatch.com article said.

Kevin McHale, the current head coach of the Houston Rockets, took a leave of absence, leaving Kelvin Sampson to take over the coaching duties, the article said.

Following his Hall of Fame playing career with the Celtics, McHale spent several years with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a coach and executive before joining the Rockets following two seasons as a television analyst, according to a Boston.com article.

''While Kevin was with our organization, we all watched Sasha grow up and become an outstanding young woman,'' Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. ''She will be sorely missed by her family and friends."

Three dead in Inver Grove Heights

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At least three people died Friday afternoon in Inver Grove Heights when a bus collided with a car, said Nicole Norfleet of the Star Tribune.

The crash happened a little before four in the afternoon at 77th Street W. and Argenta Trail south of Hwy. 55, she said.

The crash destroyed the car and ripped up part of the front of the school bus, Madeleine Baran of Minnesota Public Radio said.

The bus carried no passengers, nor was the bus driver injured, she said.

Tad Vezner of the Pioneer Press added the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Minnesotans give back to the max

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Minnesotans gave a record $15 million on Thursday during Give Back to the Max, said Jean Hopfensperger of the Star Tribune.

In addition, 50,000 Minnesotans logged onto their computers to give to their favorite charities, she said.

This year, K-12 schools have been added to the mix of organizations who can benefit from this drive, said Molly Guthrey of the Pioneer Press.

This was the fourth annual event, she added.

GiveMN began in 2009 by the Minnesota Community Foundation and 14 other funders. Since its launch, it has facilitated more than $48 million in donations to 6,100 Minnesota nonprofits, according to the organization's website, said Sarah Stultz of the Albert Lea Tribune.

Same sex marriage ban defeated

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The presidential race was fairly easy to call this year. The two constitutional amendments in Minnesota, though, were not.

The proposed marriage amendment to the Minnesota constitution fell short early Wednesday, said Baird Helgeson of the Star Tribune.

With 99% of precincts reporting, the amendment had only 48% of the vote, falling short by more than 100,000 no votes and blank ballots, Helgeson said.

Minnesota's defeat of the amendment was one of many victories for gay rights activists, said Debbi Wilgoren of the Washington Post.

Voters in Maryland and Maine voted to legalize gay marriage in their states, she said.

Minnesotans also rejected the other proposed constitutional amendment, a measure that would have required voters to show a photo ID and would have changed the state's voting system, Joe Kimball of MinnPost.com said. "No" votes totaled 52.3 percent, with 47.8 percent in favor and 1 percent not voting.

October is now the deadliest month in 2012 for unbelted Minnesota drivers, Paul Walsh of the Star Tribune said.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the number of unbelted drivers killed in October was 15, compared to the next highest month, which was August with 14.

To date, 87 unbuckled drivers have been killed in Minnesota this year, according to a HometownSource.com article.

The news comes following a statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign, Oct. 12-26, during which 8,569 motorists were cited for not wearing seat belts, the article said.

A NorthlandNewsCenter.com article reported all 15 deaths in October were outside the metro area.

The article also reported that state-wide seat belt usage is at an all time high of 93.6%.

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra announced Thursday it's pulling the plug on all 2012 concerts, said Graydon Royce of the Star Tribune.

The announcement comes just two days after the players unanimously rejected an offer from the management, Royce said.

The players were locked out by management Oct. 21, but the two sides are set to meet for negotiations on Nov. 8, according to a ValleyNewsLive.com article.

The SPCO isn't the only Twin Cities organization facing this issue: management has also locked out the Minnesota Orchestra, said Michael Moore of WorkdayMinnesota.org.

Moore added many of the players have taken part-time work playing for other groups around the country.

SPCO musicians reject offer

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Members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra uniamiously voted to reject an offer from management Wednesday, said Graydon Royce of the Star Tribune.

The rejection means that players and management must get back to the bargaining table to try to resolve the months-long dispute, Royce said.

In a statement released this afternoon, musicians said they rejected the offer on the grounds that it would allow SPCO management "to terminate musicians at any time with no recourse, drastically reduce their salary and benefits, and even more drastically lower the guaranteed salary of musicians yet to join the Orchestra," said Marianne Combs of MPR News.


Combs added management calculated the proposal would cut wages by 14 percent, but musicians argued the cuts actually amounted to 33 percent. The four year contract proposal would have also reduced the number of SPCO players from 34 to 28, and offered buy-outs to musicians aged 55 or older. That's about half the current players.

In a public letter, SPCO president Dobson West expressed disappointment in the decision, said Ross Raihala of the Pioneer Press.

"We are not close to an agreement. Unfortunately, this means we will be forced to cancel additional concerts," West said.

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