Recently in Local News Category

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.

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.

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.

The Gophers men's basketball team lacked energy in the second half of the NIT championship game and lost to Stanford 75-51 at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night, the Minnesota Daily reported.

"Those guys, they just had it going out there tonight," Rodney Williams, Minnesota forward, told the Minnesota Daily. "We definitely had some lapses on defense but we were right there in their face and they made some tough shots."

This loss ended the Gophers' 23-15 season. They were the sixth seed for the NIT, and they came into the championship winning six of their last seven games, according to The New York Times.

The Gophers won't let this loss get them down, though.

"We would be foolish just to go into next season thinking about this one game," Andre Hollins, freshman point guard, told the Minnesota Daily. "We have come along as a team throughout this year ... I think this tournament helped us a lot."

University of Minnesota graduate student workers voted against forming a union under the Graduate Student Workers United/United Auto Workers Union for the fourth time since 1990, the Star Tribune reported.

The Bureau of Mediation Services released the results Monday, which showed 62 percent voted no, according to the Minnesota Daily.

"We were pretty confident going into the election and during the election that we'd come out on top," GSWU/UAW spokesman Scott Thaller told the Minnesota Daily. The turnout for the election was comparatively speaking a good one, with 68 percent of the graduate student workers voting.

"I hope that the people who are unhappy and perhaps feel that they are being taken advantage of can figure out a way to change internal policies of their department or graduate program," associate professor of microbiology Jeffrey Gralnick told the Star Tribune, "rather than try to change the entire graduate student body."

A local professor of social work at Bemidji State University got the recognition she deserved as the 2012 inductee into the Northwest Minnesota Women's Hall of Fame at the BSU Beaux Arts Ballroom on Saturday.

Mary Ann Reitmeir, 63, has taught at BSU for three decades where she helped develop the woman's studies program, the criminal justice degree and the social work program. She was also a leader in the feminist movement of the 70s and 80s and has served as a community organizer or consultant for countless volunteer and social work organizations, according to the Northwest Minnesota Foundation's news release.

"Her mentorship was invaluable," Rosalie Weaver, a fellow professor of Reitmeir, told The Bemidji Pioneer. "She is the spark who has lit the aspirations for countless people."

Reitmeir also inspired her students to be all that they could be. "Mary Ann has this ability to believe in her students in a way that makes them believe in themselves," Rebecca Hoffman, a former student of Reitmeir, said as The Bemidji Pioneer reported.

A humble woman, when Reitmeir took the stage to give her acceptance speech, she had little to say but thank you to others.

"There were so many people who contributed," she said, but as another professor put it, Reitmeir was always the leader.

While shootings and riots erupted at other cities' festivities, the St. Paul St. Patrick's Day parade was more of a family affair that was violence-free in the unusually warm weather.

The St. Patrick's Association hosted the event that started at noon where thousands packed the streets and vuvuzela horns filled the air along Fifth Street between Seventh and Washington, the Pioneer Press reported.

The 2012 Miss Shamrock Alissa Kurke followed the grand marshals in the parade. "From my grandfather who was once suspended from De La Salle high school for dying his hair green on St. Patrick's Day, to my parents who would enthusiastically drink green beer any day of the week if we would let them, I was born to celebrate this holiday," Kurke said in her bio on the St. Patrick's Association website.

There were also two hockey games in St. Paul in addition to the parade, but free shuttle rides from local restaurants and Metro Transit reduced congestion and provided safe transportation for those who had a little too much green beer, Fox 9 reported.

The large crowd also produced more trash than in previous years, which workers were still cleaning up Sunday morning, according to KSTP.

But the cleanup was worth it, as the large crowd was a boost for local businesses that benefitted from the extra green.

Michelle Obama held a roundtable discussion with military families and heads of local military organizations that help military families on Friday to promote her Joining Forces initiative.

Nine people took part in the discussion with Obama that lasted 45 minutes, only part of which the media attended so that they could speak freely, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

"It is so important to shine a spotlight on the work that you all are doing and that's really what Joining Forces is all about," Obama said as she opened the discussion. "We know that we live in a grateful nation and that people, when asked, will step up on behalf of our families. But I know that you guys don't always do the asking, because first of all you're just trying to get through it, you're proud, you're brave."

The organizations in attendance, according to the Star Tribune, were Defending the Blue Line, which helps military kids afford to play hockey; Serving Our Troops, which brings families together for meals during deployments; the Armed Forces Service Center, which is an oasis for military families and personnel passing through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; and GreenCare for Troops, which offers free plowing and lawn care to military families.

Alex Homme, 13 years old and a star student from Crystal, was in attendance and his father, Erik Homme, is being deployed to Afghanistan on Sunday, the Pioneer Press reported.

"It's not easy doing what you do--keeping grades up, being on sports, and changing schools every few years and having a dad that's deploying," Obama told Alex. "That is not an easy thing to go through. And you should be proud of what you do for your family and what you do just to get through."

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