April 2012 Archives

Minneapolis lake monster is social media savvy

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The lake monster, named Minne, that resembles the Loch Ness Monster is a social media guru, the Huffington Post reported.

Cameron Gainer created Minne three years ago, and in the past year partnered with the Minneapolis Parks Foundation to boost park attendance, CBS Minnesota reported.

Minne's location is always a mystery, but she tweets and Facebooks clues for her followers to find her.

"There is nothing better than walking around the lake and for the first time spotting Minne," Mary DeLaittre of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation said. "And it's not just once, they keep coming back and coming back and weaving stories around Minne."

Minne will start lake-hopping again this May.

Jack Jablonski leaves the hospital

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After spending the last three months in the hospital, Jack Jablonski was finally recovered enough to leave, 5 Eyewitness News reported.

Checked from behind during a hockey game on Dec. 30, Jablonski partially tore his spinal cord.

The Jablonski family grew close with the nurses and staff at the Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Kare 11 reported.

"It's exciting," Jablonski said. "It's obviously bittersweet, but, it's the next step, so it's good to move on."

The Minn. House and Senate passed separate anti-abortion legislation on Wednesday, although Gov. Dayton will likely veto them, Fox 9 reported.

The House bill would require doctors to remain in the room with patients when the women took abortion drugs and require abortion clinics to pay a licensing fee, CBS Minnesota reported.

Proponents of the bill, including Rep. Joyce Peppin, argued that the abortion drugs are too dangerous for women to take without a doctor present.

Opponents of the bill sarcastically said that there are more dangerous drugs than abortion ones.

"There are fewer deaths from this drug than Viagra or even Tylenol. Certainly having a medical abortion is less dangerous than having a live birth," Rep. Tina Liebling said.

UN wives make video plea to Syrian first lady

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The wives of Germany and England's U.N. ambassadors made a video plea to Syrian First Lady Asma Assad asking her to stop the violence in her country, CNN reported.

"Some women care for style, and some women care for their people," the video said.

Huberta Voss Wittig, wife of the German ambassador, explained their motives behind making the video.

"We want to urge Asma Assad to speak out openly for peace and to send a signal, because only if and when she does it other women can follow," told CNN.

The U.N. Security Council will meet on Thursday to assess the success of the peace plan in Syria, according to Sky News.

Zimmerman judge recused herself

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Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler recused herself from the George Zimmerman trial due to a conflict of interest, MSNBC reported.

The attorney for Zimmerman, Mark O'Mara, asked that Recksiedler be removed from the case, according to ABC News, because her husband is in the same law firm as a legal analyst for CNN who has commented on the case.

"The goal is to have a new judge in place in order to make that hearing," court spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy said of Zimmerman's impending hearing this Friday.

Considering these setbacks, the state and attorneys estimate that the trial will not be settled until 2013, according to ABC News.

Drive-ins: the end of an era

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Night has just fallen, and the projector at the drive-in shone on the rows of parked cars filled with eager movie-goers. The opening music played into each cars' speakers, and the show began.

For the metro area, there will be only one drive-in left after the Cottage View Drive-In closes this month to make room for a Wal-Mart, the Pioneer Press reported.

"This is going to be the closing of an era," owner Gerry Herringer, 77, told the Pioneer Press.

The city of Cottage Grove has a different opinion. "It's a good thing for the city," said Mayor Myron Bailey.

The new Wal-Mart store will create 300 jobs as well as act as a "catalyst" for more new businesses, according to the Star Tribune.

"It's sad to see it leave," local woman Carolyn Muhvich, 18, said.

In the middle of the night, a loud knock on the door is followed by foreign forces barging into your home and searching for insurgents.

Until now, this was common practice in Afghanistan, with U.S. troops often performing the "night raid," Time reported.

The Afghan minister of defense Abdul Rahim Wardak and the American commander General John R. Allen signed an agreement Sunday that will gradually stop U.S. forces from performing night raids and give more power to Afghan forces to perform them, The New York Times reported.

"This is an important step in strengthening the sovereignty of Afghanistan," Wardak said in a press conference.

The U.S. is also optimistic that this agreement will lead to Afghan sovereignty.

Allen said Afghans are now "in the lead on two of the most important issues: capturing the terrorists and ensuring they remain behind bars."

When Jerry Pope launched his message in a bottle into the Atlantic Ocean near Niantic, Conn. in October 2010, he did not think that anyone would actually find it, NBC Connecticut reported.

Last Saturday, however, Pope received a postcard from seven people of the Isles of Scilly in the United Kingdon, Huffington Post reported.

"When I received my postcard back, it jarred my memory because I forgot I did it," Pope told NBC Connecticut, "and I said isn't that something."

Pope has sent the people of the Isles of Scilly a message back, but has not heard back yet. He said he wants to try another bottle and see where that one goes.

"One day I'm going to do it either this summer or in the fall again, and just see," Pope told NBC Connecticut. "I'm going to mark bottle number two and just see if it gets there again."

Cupcake cafe got okay to open a St. Paul location

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Within the display case of Cupcake bakery and wine bar on University Avenue, sit rows and rows of cupcakes piled high with delectable frosting, waiting for a worthy customer to choose them.

Cupcake owner Kevin VanDeraa has been trying to open a secondary location on Grand Avenue for months, but the city of St. Paul denied their license because of a parking issue, the Star Tribune reported.

Mayor Chris Coleman proposed a parking plan that saved the day for Cupcake and prompted the St. Paul City Council to approve the license on Wednesday, the Pioneer Press reported.

According to VanDeraa, the new St. Paul location will be open sometime this summer.

Flames erupted from 40 apartment units in Virginia Beach, Va. after a navy jet crashed into the complex on Friday, CBS News reported.

The student pilot and his instructor ejected before the crash, and Navy Capt. Mark Weisgerber said in a press conference that the plane had experienced a "catastrophic mechanical malfunction," according to The Wall Street Journal.

The pilots had also dumped most of the F/A-18D Hornet's jet fuel before ejecting.

"By doing so, he mitigated what could have been an absolute massive, massive fireball and fire," Virginia Beach EMS division chief Bruce Nedelka told The Wall Street Journal. "With all of that jet fuel dumped, it was much less than what it could have been."

Thankfully, only seven people were injured and there were no deaths.

"It just looked basically like he dropped out of the sky, pretty much," witness Daniel Kavanaugh told CBS News. "The front end of the plane started going down and then, boom - a huge black cloud of smoke."

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