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April 26, 2009

No More Pontiac

In a rebranding and restructuring plan in order to avoid bankruptcy, GM will dissolve the Pontiac brand as well as close more factories and cut more jobs, according to the Star Tribune.
The automaker made the announcement before a planned offer to its bondholders to exchange bonds for stock in the company, in order to comply with SEC rules.
Two people associated with GM told the Star Tribune that more than the 5 already announced factory closings would take place, but did not announce which ones.
Both people also said the plan would included killing the Pontiac brand, famous for the Grand Am and GTO.
The Wall Street Journal also reported an announcement would be made Monday regarding the restructuring plan, and that the company must meet a June 1st deadline set by President Obama to either restructure or file for bankruptcy.

April 19, 2009

Obama Doesn't Want Interrogator Charges

Obama does not intend to prosecute Bush officials that created policies which led to the harsh treatment of prisoners, according to the Star Tribune.
Last week, accompanying the release of memos, Obama gave a statement that said he did not intend to prosecute those that had acted in good faith in accordance with the policies.
White House Chief of Staff Rhan Emmanuel echoed that statement again on Meet the Press Sunday.
Senators have agreed, citing any prosecution as "bad precedent".
However, the decision not to prosecute has come under fire from the ACLU and the UN.

April 12, 2009

2nd Crest in Fargo

The Red River is expected to crest for the second time later this week, according to a report by the Star Tribune.
The crest is expected later in the week, and hopes are the crest will be lower than the first. However, a storm system could bring significant amounts of rain to the area.
On Sunday, most residents were celebrating Easter instead of preparing for disaster, the Tribune said.
Another river, the Sheyenne, a tributary of the Red, is also expected to crest later this week.

April 5, 2009

Media to view first casket in 18 years

The media will witness the return of a airman killed overseas on Sunday night, the first time since the Obama administration lifted an 18 year ban on media coverage of veteran's caskets, according to the Star Tribune.
The Air Force will open Dover Air Force Base tonight to media who wish to cover the return of the casket, after receiving permission from family members. The casket will carry 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers of Hopewell, Va., who was killed on April 4.
The new policy allows families to give permission either way if media can attend. Critics of the old policy has said the government was trying to hide the cost of war, according to the Tribune.
CNN, who also reported the story, said the policy was not supposed to take effect Monday, April 6, and no reason was given for the early allowance.

March 27, 2009

Red River Causes Evacuations

The Red River has surpassed its highest level in history on Friday, and is expected to continue to rise, according to a New York Times report.
The flooding has now caused emergency evacuations in both neighboring cities of Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead, Minn.
Forecasters believe the Red River will rise to over 2 feet of the record set more than 100 years ago, according to the Times.
The mayor of Fargo urged the dikes of sandbags to be built one foot higher on Friday night. Sandbagging efforts have been taking place all week in attempt to stop the water from devastating neighborhoods.
According to the Times, once the river crests on Saturday it is expected to remain at the high levels for a few days, causing an even greater challenge for dikes that may not be able to withstand that length of time.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the river was at 40.4 at 7:15 a.m. Friday morning, passing the previous record of 40.1 feet in 1897.
The Tribune also reports that as many fled their homes, volunteers from the Fargo/Moorhead area stayed and worked through the night filling sandbags in the Fargodome.
Moorhead has also announced an evacuation for all residents living in the core of the city, according to the Tribune.

March 16, 2009

Shuttle Launch

The Shuttle Discovery took off on Sunday, headed with its crew of seven for the International Space Station, the Star Tribune reported. The launch had been delayed for more than a month, but finally took place on Sunday evening. The Star Tribune reported the launch was the prettiest NASA had ever seen. NASA said the sunset launch was beautiful. Hydrogen tanks and launch pad repairs were part of what had delayed the launch earlier this week. Two former schoolteachers were among the crew, said the Star Tribune.

March 8, 2009

Pastor Shot and Killed in Church

A pastor who was known for theatrics at first did not surpirse his congregation when a man approached the altar and shot a bible to peices, the Chicago Tribune reported.
However, parishoners quickly realzied the scene was much more than a dramatization, and instead a terrible tragedy.
After making a fatal shot to the preacher's chest, the shooter's gun jammed. He then pulled a knife, which he used to injure himself and three church-goers who restrained him, the Tribune reported.
The shooter was able to take four shots in the church, the first which was deflected by the pastor's bible.
The shooter had a conversation with the pastor before the service, the Tribune said. The Tribune also reported the pastor was speaking on happiness in the workplace during his sermon. Police would be reviewing audio tapes, the Tribune reported.
The Associated Press reported
that hundreds of people joined together, crying and clutching to Bibles, on Sunday night to remember the slain pastor.

March 1, 2009

$8,000 Home-Buying Incentive

The Pioneer Press reported Sunday on a huge new incentive for those who have never owned a house before to get out and see what the market has to offer, $8,000.
The Press reported that some home listings have seen multiple offers after just a few days on the market, in part because of the $8,000 tax credit given to first time home buyers as laid out in President Obama's stimulus package.
The credit is available to those who have not owned a home in the past three years and who buy a home before Nov. 30.
The Press article said as many as 300,000 first time buyers could be inticed by the credit, but also reported that realtors are unsure what, if any, benefit this would bring to the housing market.
ABC News created a checklist for interested people to see if they will qualify for the credit here.

February 5, 2009

Ginsburg Undergoes Surgery

Supreme Court Justince Ruth Ginsburg underwent surgery Thursday for pancreatic cancer, the Star Tribune reported.
The Star Tribune reports this raises the possibility that the court's only woman may have to step down before she had planned.
While pancreatic cancer is often deadly, doctors said they caught Ginsburg's at an early state, said the Star Tribune.
The Start Tribune said that in 1999, Ginsburg had surgery for colon cancer and had radiation and chemotherapy, but never missed a day at work.
The Star Tribune reported President Barack Obama wished her a speedy recovery, but also reported if she were to step down, it would be up to him to appoint a new judge.
The Washington Post reported Ginsburg will remain in the hospital for the next week to 10 days. The Post also reports that Gisburg is a "reliabe liberal vote" on the court, but she has many friendships with her more conservative colleagues.

January 28, 2009

Digitial Transistion Un-Postponed

The House defeated the bill which would postpone the transition to digital television on Wednesday, the Star Tribune reported.
The Senate unanimously passed a bill two days ago which would delay the transition to June 14, but Republicans in the House were successful in stopping that plan.
Obama and Democrats believe that not enough Americans are ready for the switch, and today's decision was a major setback for them, the Star Tribune said.
The article, written by the Associated Press, cites Nielsen Co. reports that over 6.5 million homes rely that on analog television are not prepared for a transition next month.