March 2011 Archives

Debate Over Funding For Vikings Continues

A Vikings official debated with others Wednesday at the University of Minnesota about whether public funding should be used to pay for the new Viking's stadium.

Jeff Anderson, the Vikings' assistant director of public affairs, argued that the team gives revenue, jobs and public services back to the community, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Art Rolnick, former Minneapolis Federal Reserve research director, disagreed and said that the Vikings should be treated just like other businesses in Minneapolis. If they do not have the revenue to fund their business, they will fail, the Pioneer Press reported.

There was no doubt among debaters that the Metrodome needs to be replaced. However, with the state in a $5 billion budget deficit, even 75 percent of Minnesota residents did not support using taxpayer money.

Minneapolis Homicide Victim Identified

Family members identified a woman who was shot and killed on Monday in south Minneapolis.

The woman was identified Tuesday as 21-year-old Stephanie Smith, a psychology student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, KARE 11 reported Wednesday.

Smith and another man were shot Monday night while they were in their car. The man suffered non-life threatening injuries, Fox 9 reported.

Smith was already the fourth victim of homicide in Minneapolis in 2011.

Obama Delivers Speech on War in Libya

President Barack Obama defended his decision to intervene in Libya in an address at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday.

Getting involved in another war was necessary to prevent the killing of many innocent citizens, Obama declared in his speech.

Obama said NATO would take over the operation in Libya on Wednesday, the Mercury News reported.

Republican Tim Pawlenty called Obama's speech "belated and timid", CBS News reported.

Explosion in Yemen Factory Leaves Many Dead

At least 78 people died Monday in an explosion that destroyed a southern Yemen weapon factory.

The factory was taken over Sunday by Islamic militants. Residents looted cars, trucks and ammunition, the Associated Press reported.

After looting the ammunition, the residents left piles of gunpowder on the floor. The next day, kids rummaging around set off the explosions, the National Yemen reported.

Officials believe a cigarette triggered the explosions.

Analysis: Obituary

The New York Times wrote an obituary about the famous actress, Elizabeth Taylor. The lead follows the usual pattern. It states her name, an identifier, when and where she died and how old she was.

This obituary ran four (web) pages long and used various sources. A spokesperson at the hospital Taylor was at provided the cause of her death. It used a lot of quotes from people she worked with in the industry, like movie directors.

This obituary did not follow the usual obituary format. It ran four pages long and pretty thoroughly described the successful movie career of Taylor. It was split into different parts, her beginning, her love life and her battle with drugs, alcohol and food.

Elizabeth Taylor's Private Funeral Started 15 Minutes Late

Elizabeth Taylor was laid to rest Thursday at a private funeral service at Forest Lawn in Glendale, Calif.

The service started 15 minutes late, per Taylor's request, the International Business Times reported.

The movie star was buried in the Great Mausoleum near her friend, Michael Jackson, USA Today reported.

Taylor died Wednesday after being hospitalized last month for congestive heart failure. She was 79.

Adults in Hennepin County Smoke Less, Weigh More

Obesity rates of adults in Hennepin County have risen, while the number of smokers has declined, the 2010 Survey of the Health of All the Population and the Environment (SHAPE) said.

SHAPE found that 12 percent of adults living in Hennepin County smoke, which is less than the state and national averages. It is also down 21 percent since 1998, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Although that is good to hear, the survey also brought some bad news. Twenty percent of adults were found to be obese and 33 percent were overweight, the Twin Cities Fox station reported.

Spring Snowstorm Hits Northeast and Midwest

Just as northerners thought spring was here to stay, mother nature dumped an average of a foot of snow Tuesday night from the Dakotas to upstate New York.

Up to 6 inches of snow fell in New York and is not expected to stop until Thursday, MSNBC reported.

The northern Midwest region was hit hard. South Dakota saw up to 10 inches of snow along with Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Nebraska and Iowa were hit with golf-ball-sized hail.

Wisconsin is expected to see up to four more inches of snow through Wednesday, the Wausau Daily Herald reported.

Pawlenty Takes a Step Towards the White House

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty hinted towards a White House run Monday by announcing the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.

Pawlenty pitched his idea in a video that he posted on his Facebook page, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Pawlenty was one of the first Republican candidates to announce a White House campaign for the 2012 election, the Austin Daily Herald reported.

The former governor has been criticized for his lack of spark and charisma.

Libyan Rebels Continue Fighting with U.S. Backing

Fighting continues in Libya as rebels attacked Monday, in an attempt to regain control of Ajdabiya.

The United States backed the Libyan rebels with airstrikes that helped them siege Benghazi, the Washington Post reported.

The supporters of Moammar Gaddafi retreated from Benghazi into Ajdabiya, but do not plan to give up, the New York Post reported.

Rebels regained control of an important oil terminal, Zuwaytinah, which had been captured by the government last week.

Earthquake, Tsunami Devastate Japan

A devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan Friday that killed hundreds of people and set off an enormous tsunami with 30-foot waves.

The earthquake was the strongest to ever hit Japan, and the world's fifth-strongest on record, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Los Angeles Times reported.

About 400 people have been confirmed dead so far, and the number is only expected to rise.

The quake destroyed buildings and caused fires in oil refineries around Japan, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Gov. Walker's Bill is Passed Through the Senate

Protesters rallied in Wisconsin's Capitol Wednesday against the bill passed that takes away the collective bargaining rights of many state workers' unions.

The Republicans removed all fiscal aspects from the budget bill so they could legally pass it without the presence of the Democrats, who left the state in protest, the New York Daily News reported.

The bill is expected to pass through the state Assembly Thursday and go to Gov. Scott Walker for signing. Democrats, however, will be working furiously to find a way to slow down or stop the final passage, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The bill passed through the Senate with a 18-1 vote.

Illinois Bans Death Penalty

Illinois banned capital punishment Wednesday to avoid any irreversible wrongful convictions or discriminatory treatment.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed the abolition bill that the state legislature passed in January, making Illinois the 16th state to ban the death penalty, the New York Times reported.

Quinn supported the death penalty in the past, but worried about flaws in the system that could lead to the execution of an innocent victim, ABC News reported.

Sentences for prisoners currently on death row will be changed to life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Hutchinson Technology Cuts Work Force

Hutchinson Technology plans to cut its work force by a considerable percentage, and will move its component manufacturing operations from Hutchinson, Minn. to Eau Claire, Wis., the company said Tuesday.

The computer equipment maker said headquarters and research and development will stay in Hutchinson, but it wants to cut annual costs by $45 million to $60 million, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Hutchinson planned to reduce its work force by up to 40 percent, cutting about 600 jobs in Minnesota, the Star Tribune reported.

President Barack Obama warned the Libyan government Monday that he and NATO allies are considering military options to stop the ongoing violence in Libya.

Obama said supporters of Moammar Gadhafi will be held responsible for their choices and violent actions, KSTP reported.

The president also considered issuing a no-fly zone and added $15 million in humanitarian aid to the people of Libya, Voice of America reported.

Analysis: Agendas

The Minneapolis Star Tribune covered the issue of the Hiawatha Line trains that was discussed in a Minneapolis City Council Meeting on Tuesday.

There were several things listed on the agenda from the meeting including: accepting funds from the Transit for Livable Communities for the Hiawatha Trail Extension Project, receiving, adjusting, and accepting the final costs of various capitol projects, increasing the appropriation and revenue for the extension project, and accepting over a $1 million for construction.

The Star Tribune focused on the closing of a gap along the Hiawatha Line trains that angered bicyclists, and briefly mentioned that the City Council approved the fix.

The article outlined the problem and the fix and briefly explained who would pay for the construction.

The Hiawatha Line issue was one of many on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting.

Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.9 Percent

The unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent in February after employers added 192,000 jobs.

The new unemployment rate also resulted from a large amount of workers returning to their jobs after January snow storms forced them to stay home, the Washington Post reported.

Private employers, manufacturers, business services, and healthcare all added significant amounts of jobs, while government cut jobs, the Los Angeles Times reported. times

Although the number of jobs increased, the average workweek remained 34.2 hours, and average pay was still $22.87.

Senate Rejects Dayton's Tax Increase Proposal

The Republican-controlled Senate in Minnesota rejected Gov. Mark Dayton's proposal Thursday to raise taxes on the wealthy, voting 63-1 against the proposal.

The Republicans brought up the bill before its normal committee process, which forced a vote to make the governor look bad, the Grand Forks Herald reported.

Dayton asked Democrats to vote against the bill because he had not yet finalized his budget. He called the Republican's tactic "juvenile political theater".

Democrats argued that the tax increase was only a part of Dayton's budget plan, and it should not be judged alone.

Republican's agreed that this tax increase would hurt Minnesota businesses, the Star Tribune reported.

Rebels Fight Off Qaddafi

Libyan rebels successfully fought off an attack of government loyalist's artillery and war planes on Wednesday after the rebels gained control of a coastal oil facility.

The attack happened on the port of Brega and was the first major attack on the eastern half of Libya.

Six people were confirmed dead and 16 were injured. The death toll is expected to rise, the New York Times reported.

Muammar Qaddafi said that the government still has control over the oil fields although the rebels drove them away, Bloomberg reported.

Qaddafi referred to the rebels as terrorists and said loyalists would not back down in their fight.

Uptown Bank Robbery Results in Wreckage of Cars

An Uptown bank robber left behind a wreckage of cars Monday in his attempt to escape police.

The middle-aged Hispanic suspect entered a TCF Bank on Lake Street in Uptown and gave a demanding note to an available teller. The man took an unknown amount of money from the teller and threatened to spray the bank employee with Mace, the Pioneer Press reported.

The suspect left the bank with an accomplice in an Acura that was reported stolen. He struck a moving car, injuring two people, and continued to crash the Acura into several parked cars, Kare 11 reported.

The man then carjacked a woman in her Ford Taurus after threatening to shoot her.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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