September 22, 2008

Copper theft causes Minneapolis building to explode

The Star Tribune reported that a vacant North Minneapolis fourplex exploded Sunday morning because of a natural gas leak caused by copper theft.
No injuries were reported, but a neighbor reported that she heard people moving around the building around 2 a.m.
Rene Hatchett, a neighbor, smelled gas when she woke up in the morning.
Her downstairs neighbor, Charmaine Brown, also smelled the gas and tried to call Minneapolis 311 but did not have the 50 cents to make the call.
Brown said she smelled gas to the point that it made her nauseous, but did not call 911 because she did not think that it was an emergency.
Hatchett said she was cooking when the vacant house exploded and shattered her windows. She said she thought it was an earthquake.
Residents are supposed to make sure the gas is shut off when the leave for a long period of time, according to Minneapolis police, and this house had been put on the market two months ago.

September 21, 2008

Coon Rapids man dies after mixing drugs

The Star Tribune reported that an expecting father from of Coon Rapids died after a night of partying where he mixed alcohol with pain medications.
The party was supposed to be a celebration of his son's expected birth the next day.
Eric J. Simco, the man who dies, was engaged, and his fiancee said that they were just getting ready to buy a house for them and their son.
His son was born the next day, and his fiancee expressed her sadness the he was never able to hold his son.
His fiancee said the the pain killers came from a car accident that he suffered a few years ago, and that she knew he was taking more than he should. She also said that he was planning to stop taking the drugs and drinking after his son was born.
He was also taking an anti-anxiety medication.
Simco's sisters describe him as a "boisterous guy who sported a tattoo, and eyebrow rings and a pierced lip."
His fiancee also said that he was looking forward to being a father.

September 13, 2008

U.S. will Finance $18 million Cleanup of Pesticides

The Star Tribune reported on Friday that the U.S. government will use nearly $18 million to cleanup Minneapolis neighborhoods that were contaminated with arsenic.
The arsenic was left behind by a pesticide facilty, the CMC Heartland Lite Yard pesticide plant, which is no longer in operation.
It is believed that during the plant's operation between 1938 and 1968, material from a pesticide containing arsenic was blown into nearby neighborhoods,"according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Informational meetings will be held to see how much arsenic is contained in the soil of these neighborhoods.
The Environmental Protection Agency will clean up this soil and restore landscaping. They expect to have cleaned up 200 yards that have the most contamination by the end of this year, and will begin working on other yards that have potential health risks after that.
The cleanup requires that homeowners give their permission before any work is done on their yards and will not have to pay anything for it.

Suspect Charged with Murder in Shooting Outside Minneapolis Club

The Star Tribune reported on Thursday that a suspect was charged with the murder of a 19-year-old man outside of a Minneapolis strip club.
Jerrell Michael Brown, 21, was charged with the murder of Darius Ormond Miller.
The shooting occurred on August 30th around 3 a.m. outside of a Minneapolis club called Whispers Nightclub.
The victim, Miller, was being beaten by a group of men when Brown allegedly walked up and shot Miller in the head, and he died on the sidewalk.
"[The suspect] walks up like a wimp and fires a round in the guy," said Minneapolis Police spokesman, Sgt. Jesse Garcia. "This was a pretty cowardly act."
Brown was later identified by witnesses and a surveillance tape.
Police also found that the gun used to commit the murder was also used in a previous incident in which Brown was involved.