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April 27, 2007

Minneapolis Tourist Dies In Florida

A Minnesota tourist visiting the Florida Keys died after a watercraft accident Sunday, reports the Associated Press.
Rickey McMurrin of Minneapolis was killed when his personal watercraft hit a low-lying tree branch, according to AP.
McMurrin suffered injuries to his head and torso, reports the AP.
A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission indicated McMurrin's passenger was unharmed in the accident, according to the AP.
McMurrin had been traveling with a tourist group when the accident occurred, reports the AP.

April 26, 2007

Minneapolis=Clean Says Forbes!

Forbes magazine has listed Minneapolis as one of the five cleanest cities in the world, reports WCCO News.
Minneapolis came in fifth, behind Calgary, Honolulu, Helsinki and Ottawa, according to WCCO.
The magazine attributes the city's cleanliness to "heavy use of bike lanes" and "a well functioning light rail and bus system."
"In the next five years, city operations will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12 percent," reports WCCO.
The city also plans to retain its position by expanding its light rail system to include a corridor between Minneapolis and St. Paul, according to WCCO.

April 20, 2007

Viking Pleads Not Guilty

Minneapolis Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct Friday, reports the Associated Press.
Griffin, 24, was arrested Sunday at Spin Nightclub in Minneapolis after arguing with police and bouncers.
He was thrown out of the club after refusing to pull his pants up to his waist, a violation of the club's dress code, reports the AP.
Griffin was arrested then released from jail a few hours later after posting $50 bail.
Griffin is a second-year cornerback from Texas, according to the University Chronicle.

Teen Pleads Guilty For Involvement in 2006 Murder

A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty Thursday for being involved in the 2006 murder of a South Carolina graduate student, reports the Associated Press.
Donte Jacobs, 18, admitted to aiding the 2nd degree intentional murder, according to the AP.
The victim, 25-year-old Michael Zebuhr, was a grad student at Clemson University studying bioengineering.
The murder took place March 16, 2006 when Zebuhr and family were leaving an Uptown Minneapolis restaurant. Jacobs said another man, Billy Rae Deshawn Johnson, actually killed Zebuhr, while he attempted to steal Zebuhr's mother's purse, according to the AP.
Zebuhr was in the Twin Cities visiting his family when he was killed, reports the AP.

April 13, 2007

Akita Is Destroyed After Child Attack

An 8-year-old Minneapolis boy suffered serious injuries after being attacked by a dog that escaped from its yard Friday.
DeVonta Prince was walking to school before 8 a.m. when an Akita broke off its chain and attacked the boy, the Star Tribune reports.
Police say the attack was unprovoked, according to the Star Tribune.
The child spent more than three hours in surgery after the dog bit his head, torso and hands.
The dog was collected by Animal Control and destroyed upon consent of its owner, reports the Star Tribune.

Teenage Mother Responsible For Killing Her Newborn Baby

A 17-year-old Oakdale girl was charged with 1st degree murder Thursday after being accused of stabbing her newborn baby 135 times, the Star Tribune reports.
Nicole Beecroft hid her pregnancy from friends and family, and it is unclear how long she had known she was pregnant, according to the Star Tribune.
The criminal complaint states that early Monday morning Beecroft went to the bathroom, but "something didn't feel right," iafrica.com reports. The girl then gave birth on a laundry room floor.
Initially, Beecroft claimed the baby had been stillborn. Though a clear motive has not been established, she changed her story after the body was found, claiming she stabbed the infant after seeing its finger move, reports the Star Tribune.
Police found the body, a knife and bloody towels in a garbage can outside her house after receiving an anonymous tip, according to iafrica.com.

April 5, 2007

U of M Student Dies In Accidental Fall

A University of Minnesota freshman died Sunday after falling off of the Oak Street Ramp, reports the Minnesota Daily.
Kyle Sharbonno, a 19-year-old, accidentally fell off of the ramp, hitting his head early Sunday morning. He was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died that afternoon, reports the Associated Press.
The police report indicates that Sharbonno appeared intoxicated at the time of the accident, according to the Daily.
Sharbonno is the second U of M student to die accidentally in the past week, reports the AP.
"20-year-old freshman Elomo Lenya, drowned last Thursday in a swimming pool at a New Brighton apartment complex," according to the AP.

Minneapolis Man Guilty of Producing Child Pornography

A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to five counts of producing child pornography Thursday, reports the Associated Press.
Lyle Paton allegedly took photographs of five boys under 16 over many years.
Investigators confiscated around 90 photographs. The 59-year-old claimed many of the pictures were taken in the context of "mutual delight," reports the AP.
"Under the plea agreement, Lyle Paton may withdraw the plea and go to trial if the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals approves his motion to suppress the photographic evidence," according to the AP.
Paton could receive 35 years to life in prison, reports the AP.

March 30, 2007

Woman In Critical Condition After Dog Attack

A Minneapolis woman lies in critical condition after being attacked by two dogs earlier this week, prompting their destruction, according to the Associated Press.
Single mother Paula Ybarra was outside her neighbor's house socializing when her 4-year-old daughter asked to go inside to use the bathroom, reports the AP.
Shortly thereafter, Ybarra rushed out of the house, her neck gushing blood. The dogs' owner, Tom Mohrbacker, ensured her daughter was OK and locked up his dogs before he and other neighbor, Desiree Miller, called paramedics, according to the AP.
Ybarra had stopped breathing when rescue workers arrived. On Wednesday morning she was in critical condition, reports the AP.
Bobo and Merlin, the pit bull and American bulldog responsible for the attack had been declared dangerous after attacking and injuring a 7-year-old last December reports MyFoxTwinCities.com.
The dogs were to be euthanized Thursday, according to MyFox.

There's Blood in Our Sewage System

A Minneapolis worker was reportedly showered with blood two weeks ago while cleaning the pipes of a nearby medical facility, causing the Metropolitan Council to re-evaluate its communication with its employees, reports WCCO News.
Ron Huebner was operating a jet machine on a sewer near R & D Systems in Northeast Minneapolis when blood sprayed out of the hole.
"Blood just all over my face, in my mouth, I could taste it. It was terrible. I had it in my mouth and I kept spitting and I couldn't get rid of it," Huebner said, according to USA Today.
The Metropolitan Council has decided to change procedure in lieu of the incident, requiring workers to wear goggles or a facemask when above a manhole, reports WCCO News.
It is legal to dump blood into the sewer system with a permit, according to WCCO. Blood isn't any more harmful than other biological wastes, reports WCCO.

March 23, 2007

Northwest Minneapolis Suburbs Reject Proposed Busway

Northwest suburbs Friday pulled the plug on a prosed busway from Minneapolis to Rogers, reports the Star Tribune.
A partnership consisting of Hennepin County, Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal, Osseo and Brooklyn Park rejected the plan, instead looking to alternatives such as light rail or a trolley system in the corridor, according to Star Tribune.
The rejection has left $20 million in limbo for state appropriations for the busway.
The consideration of light rail comes on the heels of the continued success of the Hiawatha Line light rail line, which runs from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America in Bloomington, reports the Star Tribune.
The proposed bus line has become a "B" alternative, according to the Star Tribune.

Toddler Implicated In Minneapolis Shooting

A Minneapolis man claimed that his 2-year-old son is responsible for a gunshot wound in his arm.
Detrick Jiles, 24, claimed his son had taken a gun from his mother's purse and shot him, the Star Tribune reported Thursday.
No witnesses were present for the incident, leaving the situation over for speculation, according to Earthtimes.org.
Experts call the incident "unlikely," stating that a typical gun requires five pounds of pressure, which is too much for a toddler, reports the Star Tribune.
Police are investigating whether or not child endangerment is an issue in the case, according to the Star Tribune.

March 16, 2007

Girl Gets Gift of Valentines Day Candy, Severed Dog's Head

A 17-year-old St. Paul girl was subject to intense depravity in the form of an unassuming present two weeks ago, according to the Star Tribune.
When Crystal Brown's 4-year-old Australian shepherd mix Chevy wandered off nearly four months ago, she was devastated. Chevy was her "therapy dog," and she confided in him with her most private secrets.
Her search included posting up flyers in her neighborhood and going door to door, asking if anyone had seen Chevy.
Then, two weeks ago, Brown received a gift-wrapped package on her front doorstep marked, "Congratulations Crystal. This side up. Batteries included," according to the Associated Press. She thought it was a gift from her cousin, reports the Star Tribune.
When she opened the box she found Valentines Day candy and a black garbage bag. Then she saw the dog's head.
"Is this my dog, Grandma? No! That's not my dog? Is it my dog?" Brown hysterically screamed to her grandmother, according to the Star Tribune.
Police say the attack was an isolated incident, likely done by someone who knows the family, reports the AP. No motive has been identified.
The Humane Society has raised its reward for information about the beheading from $2,500 to $10,000, according to the Star Tribune.
Brown recently got a new puppy that she named Diesel, reports the AP.

Fist Fight On Bus Leaves One Dead

A Minneapolis man was charged with second-degree murder Wednesday after a fatal fist fight on a public bus.
Cedric Gibbs, 47, unintentionally killed 60-year-old Randy Korn by repeatedly punching him in the face, causing him to fall out of the number 10 bus and hit his head on the pavement, reports the Associated Press.
The fight started when Gibbs intervened on Korn swearing at the bus driver. Korn pushed Gibbs, causing him to retaliate by punching Korn in the face several times, according to the AP.
The bus surveillance tape indicates that Korn was knocked out by one of the final punches, reports WKBT News.
The incident is indicative of a current wave of violent crimes on the Minneapolis Metro Transit System, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

March 2, 2007

Minneapolis officer reportedly implied U.S. Rep. Ellison is a terrorist

An internal investigation has been launched in order to determine if reports by fellow officers are true that a lieutenant made comments implying U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison is a terrorist, reports the Associated Press.
Lt. Bob Kroll allegedly made the remarks during a police ethics class and was reported by his colleagues. Kroll denies that any such statements were made, according to the AP.
Police Chief Tim Dolan has come down hard on the issue.
"If these statements were made in the way they relayed to me, I am disappointed and concerned," Dolan said, according to WCCO News.
Mayor R.T. Rybak also villified the statements, saying that, if true, they are "shockingly ignorant and incredibly reprehensible," reports WCCO.
Ellison said that he was grateful to Rybak and Dolan for "setting the right tone," according to the AP.

Three die at Minneapolis veterans home due to neglect

Governer Tim Pawlenty is cracking down after three senior citizens died due to neglect and error at the Minneapolis Veterans Home in the past month.
"My exact words were, 'That's it, I've had enough'" Pawlenty said at a press conference, according to Kare 11 News.
The deaths were caused by neglect and complications due to medication error reports Kare 11. One patient was given morphine and another was given Penicillin, but died as a result of allergic reactions. The third verteran, a diebetic, died after nurses failed to monitor his blood sugar, according to Kare 11.
These errors have caused Pawlenty to order that the home find an outside consultant to take over the day-to-day activities within two weeks, reports the Star Tribune.
The home, which is federally funded, may be shut down if rapid improvements aren't made. The veterans home has been cited for 61 care and safety violations in the past two annual inspections, according to the Star Tribune.

February 23, 2007

Religious school's bomb scare

At about 2:50 a.m. Friday, a small bomb exploded in a parking lot at North Central University near downtown Minneapolis, reports the Star Tribune.
A fast food cup, explosive powder and a fuse were used to create two explosives. The second was intact when police and the bomb squad arrived. The explosive did not detonate, reports Kare 11 News.
There are no suspects or motives for the bombs. Police believe there was no intended harm of the bombs, reports Kare 11.
Nobody was hurt by the explosion.
Police plan to review the parking lot surveillance tapes and hand out flyers around campus in attempt to locate a suspect, according to the Star Tribune and Kare 11.

James Clack confirmed as Minneapolis Fire Chief

The Minneapolis City Council voted James Clack as the fire chief Friday in a unamimous decision.
Clack, 42, has been acting chief since last April when former chief Bonnie Bleskachek went on voluntary leave after a term wrought with scandal, reports the Star Tibune.
"Her tenure was marked by intimate relationships with other female firefighters, allegations of favoritism and retaliation, and a sex-tinged culture in city firehouses," according to the Associated Press.
Clack describes himself as "boring," but boring appears to be a welcome change in the department after Bleskachek's tenure, according to the Star Tribune.
Clack has been with the department for 21 years and is currently pursuing a master's degree from St. Mary's University, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
His term is set to expire next January 2nd, reports the AP.

February 16, 2007

J. Keith Moyer Retires: May Hit Close To Home For Certain Professors

J. Keith Moyer, publisher of the Star Tribune, announced his retirement Friday with plans to spend more time with his family, reports the Star Tribune.
Moyer had been publisher and president of the paper, the 12th largest in the nation, since 2001, according to WCCO.
This annoucement followed bombshell annoucement dropped December 26: the "$530 million sale of the newspaper to Avista Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm with no other newspaper holdings," reports the Star Tribune.
Moyer assured the press that he is not leaving because of the change in ownership.
"I have decided this is a perfect time in my life for me to take a late mid-career break -- to stop and smell those cliched roses, to devote more quality time to myself, my family, friends and many loved ones," Moyer said, accoriding to WCCO.
Moyer was reportedly popular in the newsroom, and will be missed. He will stay on as publisher until the sale is final in early March.
"He has a heart of gold," said Nancy Barnes, recently-named editor of the newspaper, according to the Star Tribune.

Farmington Man Shot Four Times

A 22-year-old Farmington man was shot four times, twice in the chest, twice in a leg, and survived Thursday, reports the Star Tribune.
The man, whose name has not yet been released, was shot and still managed to call police. The call was made at 12:02 a.m., according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
"He was hospitalized in critical but stable condition," reports the Star Tribune.
Police Chief Brian Lindquist is leading the investigation, and has reported that they are interviewing the roommates, who have not been ruled out as suspects, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
It is uncertain whether the victim knew his shooter or not, said the Star Tribune.

Teens Dancing: A National Pandemic?

The Star Tribune reported Thursday of a trend that seems to be reflexive on a national level: high school students dancing sexually and the hazards that result from such actions.
High school officials and parents have apparently been taking offense to the "freak dancing" that goes on at the school dances. These dances include "grinding" and "twerking," both are reported as simulating sex, according to the Star Tribune.
The Sparta Independent said Thurday that current trends in dancing are far cries from the old, more refined, dances involving girls and boys on opposite ends of the dance floor timidly awaiting a request.
Students seem to feel that they should be allowed to wear and dance the way they want.
"We're not hurting anyone," said Sophomore Ryan Grant in the Star Tribune article.
Included with these dances nowadays is the ever-present police authority. Students are required to take a breathalyzer test at Fridley High School and police patrol the hallways and the dance floor, reports the Star Tribune.
The rise in regulation has led to a decline in dance attendance. Many students opt not to go to dances anymore because edited songs, strict dress codes and signed consent forms (if a student wishes to attend a dance at a different high school).
This drop in interest has caused turmoil for numerous DJ companies who rely on high school dances as main sources of work. The percentage of high school dances as a DJ gig has gone from 80 to 50, according to the Star Tribune.

February 9, 2007

Twins consider stadium move

The Twins are now considering moving the site of their new $522 million stadium after negotiations are beginning to become uncompromising, reports the Star Tribune and the Associated Press.
Hennepin County negotiators are starting to realize the overly-ambitious nature of their original plans to build a new ballpark near the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. The tract of land is desired by the county, but negotiations have reached a stalemate over land costs. The county and the land owners are still millions apart on a sale price, reports the AP.
Another major problem facing the county is the fact they do not, as of yet, own the land on which they planned to build the stadium.
If negotiations fail, the county will need to find a new site for the stadium. Other locations being considered are in downtown and suburban areas, according to the AP.
Some critics have judged the threat of a stadium move as simply a negotiating tactic with the intention of getting the desired land at a cheaper price, reports the Star Tribune.
These building complications are expected to postpone the projected start of construction in March. The conflict may also end up pushing the 2010 opening back, reports the AP.

Child Influenza Deaths Prompt Shot Requests

Two more child deaths have prompted Minnesotans to frantically locate influenza vaccinations, reports the Star Tribune.
The announcement came Thursday indicating that two children, one 17-months-old and the other 8-years-old, have died as a result of influenza.
These deaths have caused a major uprise in the amount of concerned parents calling Children's Hospitals and Clinics looking for sites to vaccinate their children. Estimates from the Star Tribune indicate that 250 calls came in within the first half-hour of operations Friday. In total, over 1,000 people had been signed up for vaccinations by noon.
"Vaccines remain plentiful," reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The issue that medical centers providing vaccinations are having is a lack of staff.
The most recent two deaths, coupled with the death of 8-year-old Lucio Satar of St. Paul has prompted the recent surge in demand for vaccines. Health officials have advised parentes not to overreact, reports the Pioneer Press.
For more information on influenza, the Star Tribune urges readers to visit www.mdhflu.com.

February 2, 2007

Car chase claims the life of local man

A high-speed car chase that began in Eagan ended fatally for a passenger Friday, reports the Star Tribune.
The chase is said to have begun as a routine traffic stop, but quickly escalated when the suspect sped away from police after falsifying information about his identity.
The driver has been identified as Harvey Henry, a 42-year-old St. Paul man with an active felony warrant, according to www.mnsun.com. The other passengers included Stacy Buckanaga, a 39-year-old Champlin woman and James Blakkestad, a 55-year-old Richfield man.
The chase reached speeds of 85 miles per hour and passed through Eagan and Inver Grove Heights. After driving in the wrong direction on Hwy. 55, Henry lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Blakkestad was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene. Henry and Buckanaga were both treated at Regions Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Henry was released from the hospital and arrested on possible charges of "fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle and criminal vehicular homicide," according to www.mnsun.com.

January 31, 2007

Herpes Outbreak Stalls High School Wrestling

The Associated Press is reporting today that high school wrestling programs in Minnesota have been suspended due to a herpes outbreak among the athletes.
The infection herpes gladiotorum is caused by the herpes simplex virus and typically causes a rash to occur on the face, neck, shoulders and arms for a period of 10 to 14 days, says The Star Tribune. Currently 2.6 percent of all high school wrestlers are pinned by the virus.
The virus is nicknamed "mat herpes" as it is most commonly found in wrestlers and athletes of other sports that involve high levels of skin-to-skin contact. Treatments for the virus include prescription drugs Zovirax and Valtrex.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that 7,500 wrestlers on 262 teams are affected by the suspension. 24 cases of the virus have been reported so far.
Though herpes lasts forever, the suspension ends February 6, which allows enough time for currently affected wrestlers to recover from their symptoms. Athletes still showing symptoms of the virus at the time of the state tournament, which is set to occur February 28-March 3, will not be eligible to compete.
This is the first time in history that Minnesota high school wrestling has been suspended due to a viral outbreak. Though sentiments have been mixed, some coaches feel that a suspension now is much less troublesome than a post-season interruption.