December 10, 2007

Police Chief Tom Dolan Sued

Minneapolis Police Chief Tom Dolan is being sued by five black officers, who are saying Dolan and the city have a longtime pattern of racial descrimination. Dolan recently removed three black officers from his command staff for reasons he says are not racial. Both sides have strong arguments, and they can be found here at the Star Tribune.

2 men arrested for suspicion of mortgage fraud

Donald L. Walthall, 40, of Anoka, and Rahmeen D. Underwood, 30, of Minnetonka, the owner and loan officer of Universal Mortgage Inc. of Brooklyn Park, were arrested Friday on suspicion of being involved in a larger mortgage fraud scheme. The men are accused of using false documents to steal large amounts of money from lenders. The Star Tribune has a more complete article.

2 men arrested for suspicion of mortgage fraud

Donald L. Walthall, 40, of Anoka, and Rahmeen D. Underwood, 30, of Minnetonka, the owner and loan officer of Universal Mortgage Inc. of Brooklyn Park, were arrested Friday on suspicion of being involved in a larger mortgage fraud scheme. The men are accused of using false documents to steal large amounts of money from lenders. The Star Tribune has a more complete article.

December 3, 2007

Employee missing after fire in St. Paul Refinery

The fire began at 8:30 Saturday morning at the Marathon Petroleum Refinery. The fire was contained t one tank, and was out by 9:30. An unidentified employee is missing since the fire. Company records show him clocking in that morning, but not leaving that night. The Pioneer Press has more information here.

Minneapolis police department taking heat over allegedly racist demotions

Minneapolis police announced Friday that they were transfering two balck officers into the homicide unit. This has done little to alleviate the criticism Police Chief Tim Dolon has been facing recently after transfering Chris Adams, a respected black detective from the homicide unit into a less prestigious one. Dolon had demoted three other high ranking black officers earlier in this, his first year as chief. The Star Tribune has the story here.

November 19, 2007

Law enforcement losing ground in New Jersey

According to a New York Times article, police in New Jersey are being urged by everyone from their governor to their police chiefs to make their gang related cases with as few witnesses as possible. Because of violence against witnesses, the attitude has changed from getting as many witnesses as possible to present the strongest case one of building the best case with the fewest witnesses in order to protect them.

Hennepin Techinical College Student diagnosed with Tuberculosis

School officials say that a student on the Brooklyn Park campus was diagnosed with an active and infectous form of the disease. Friends, family, and those who worked closely with the student have been screened, and noone has tested positive. More information can be found with the Pioneer Press.

Two St. Olaf Students Named Rhodes Scholars

Ishanna Rambachan and Nicole L. Novak, both of St. Olaf college, were selected as 2 of the United States's 32 Rhodes scholars for this year. Both had gone above and beyond, serving the global community admirably in addition to having stellar academic performances. Gary DeKray, the Rhodes Scholarship advisor at St. Olaf said "There are few liberal arts colleges that got any, and two is phenomenal." The Star Tribune has more information.

November 12, 2007

MNdot's emergency management director fired

Sonia Pitt, the MNdot's emergency management director was fired on Friday at noon for a series of innapropriate actions. She remained in Washington, D.C. to pursue a personal relationship during and after the collapse of the I-35W bridge. She is also under investigation for abusing her position by taking trips using state money, and using her business cell phone for personal use and taking pay for vaction days. The Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press both picked up the story.

November 11, 2007

Minneapolis Wi-Fi network should be completed by the end of the year

Minneapolis's municipal Wi-Fi project is having much more success than its counterparts in other major cities such as San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago. The project is six weeks behind schedule, due to early difficulties, but is now progressing at a much greater rate. Also, service has improved on the existing parts of the network. The rest of the story is on the Star Tribune's website.

November 5, 2007

Homeless man found dead in St. Paul

Homeless-outreach workers found the body of a homeless man who fell off the river bluffs at 10:30 Saturday morning. The man's name has not been released, and police say the death appears to be accidental. The short article is here on

New options for CO2 disposal

Scientists are studying a new option for keeping CO2 out of the atmosphere. They are considering pumping around 1 million tons of CO2 each year into a remnant of an ancient sea below North Dakota. Unfortunately, this solution is both temporary and takes care of only a very small amount of CO2. Another option is to store the CO2 in vegetation. The article is here on the Star Tribune website.

October 29, 2007

University of Minnesota Studies Livestock Emissions Levels

On a dairy farm in Wisconsin, University of Minnesota professor Larry Jacobson is studying the exact output levels of a typical dairy farm, in order to help determine whether the EPA needs to regulate factory farms. Output is being measured in sealed barn, specially ventilated so that all air coming out is monitered for quality. Further details can be found at

October 15, 2007

Soldier continues to hunt and fish despite loss of arm

Adam Standfuss, 25, of Kerhoven, Minnesota is able to continue hunting and fishing thanks to a prosthetic limb providided by the military. Standfuss lost his left arm when he was hit by a rocket propelled grenade while serving in Iraq as a member of the Minnesota National Guard. The rest of the story can be found in the Pioneer Press

Saving Minnetonka's Trees

Minnetonka's City Council is working on a new city ordinance which will protect the city's trees. It will offer more protection to the city's older trees, making it harder to get clearance to cut them down. It will also change the rules in place for trees whose removal has been approved. They will be replaced on an inch-for-inch basis instead of a one for one basis. For details about the events leading up to the change, see the Star Tribune.

October 1, 2007

Truck Driver Mistakenly Shot by Squirrel Hunters

The unnamed 56-year-old driver of a semi was shot in the forearm Saturday after a couple of juveniles fired toward the highway in an attempt to shoot a squirrel. The truck driver continued driving after being shot, and was treated and released from the Interhational Falls, MN hospital. The Associated Press article can be found at either The Star Tribune's website, or The Pioneer Press's website.

Minnesota Smoking Ban Starts Monday

Minnesota's "Freedom to Breathe Act" starts Monday all across Minnestoa. The act will ban smoking in nearly all public places of business within Minnesota. The only places where smoking is still allowed are private homes and cars, hotel and motel rooms, buildings on family farms, cabs of heavy commercial trucks and farm vehicles, a disabled veterans camp in Washington County and tobacco shops if you're a customer trying out the products. You are also still allowed to smoke in buildings on American Indian lands, or if you are an actor on stage. The full article can be found at The Star Tribune's website.

September 24, 2007

Remer man survives 5 nights in the woods without food or water

Lary Mackey, 62, fell out of his bear stand Sept. 10, breaking his hip and pelvis. He survived five nights in the woods, without food, water, or assistance of any kind before being found by his grandson. The Star Tribune picked up the AP feed.

Minnesota National Guardsman wins Silver Star

Staff Sgt. Chad Malmberg was awarded a Silver Star Saturday,for valor in combat. Malmberg was leading a convoy, south of Baghdad, on Jan. 27, when it was ambushed by more than 30 insurgents. Due to Malmberg's skill and valor, the convoy was defended successfully with no U.S. casualties. For more information, the Star Tribune, and the Pioneer Press both ran articles, but the Pioneer Press article has more detail.

September 15, 2007

Minneapolis man killed while biking Wednesday night

According to a Star Tribune article posted Saturday morning, Mark Loesche, 41, a Minneapolis-resident and father of four was found barely breathing at about 7 a.m. Thursday on a front lawn on the 3700 block of Elliot Avenue S. No reason had yet been determined for the killing. This article is an update to an earlier Star Tribune Article, still posted on, which states that a man had been found who might been the man who disappeared Wednesday evening. Surprisingly, the Pioneer Press offers no coverage of the story.