Maine man admits to threatening NPR hosts

A man from Cape Elizabeth, Maine pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland to sending threatening communications to two National Public Radio hosts and possession of a firearm by a felon.

John Crosby, 38, threatened Melissa Block and Guy Raz, hosts of Washington, D.C.'s "All Things Considered" in January, Reuters reported. Crosby could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced, but he now remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service, according to Reuters.

Crosby contacted the hosts via the internet from Portland, according to the indictment. In messages to the hosts, Crosby threatened to rape, beat, torture and kill Block, and he called Raz an ethnic slur and also threatened his life, Assistant Attorney Julia Lipez told Reuters. USA Today reported that he used the name "I Kill MellissaBlock" in his correspondences.

"I am going to kill Melissa Block," Crosby wrote in an email dated January 17, reported USA Today. "She is a commissar who is helping to destroy me to use me as a human sacrifice. She will be raped, beaten, tortured, and murdered very soon."

According to USA Today, that e-mail and 29 other threatening and anti-Semitic e-mails, sent between January 23 and January 26, were traced to computer addresses at the University of Southern Maine. The university traced the address to Crosby, who graduated from the University in 2009.

FBI agents arrested Crosby on January 26 at a café on the fifth floor of the university's Glickman Library, where he had been sending e-mails. Crosby was previously convicted of state robbery and heroin possession felonies, barring him from possessing firearms, but authorities discovered a shotgun in his car, Lipez said.

According to Lipez, authorities notified NPR of all legal proceedings against Crosby as required by the Victim's Rights Act.

73-year-old St. Paul woman critically injured in car crash

A 73-year-old St. Paul woman is in critical condition after a car collision about 11 a.m. Saturday.

Wanda Lou Mathison, 73, was turning left from Lexington to St. Anthony Avenue in St. Paul. She pulled out in front of a vehicle headed south on Lexington and the oncoming vehicle collided with hers, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Pioneer Press, Mathison was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. The Star Tribune reported that she suffered serious injuries.

Neither the other driver, John Watzl, 55, of Shakopee, nor his 59-year-old passenger were seriously injured.

After St. Paul police reconstructed the collision, there was no indication of any involvement of drugs or alcohol, reported the Pioneer Press.

Police told the Star Tribune that no citations were made and the crash remains under investigation.

3 students hospitalized after Dinkytown hit-and-run

Three University of Minnesota students were hospitalized early Friday when they were hit by a driver going the wrong way down Fifth Street Southeast and fled the Dinkytown scene.

The incident happened around 2:00 a.m. at 12th Avenue Southeast and Fifth Street Southeast, said Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. Stephen McCarty.

The students were walking back from the Kitty Cat Klub, a bar in Dinkytown, where they had been celebrating their acceptance to graduate school in architecture, reported the Pioneer Press.

According to the Minnesota Daily, Joe Bailin, his girlfriend Katelynn Hanson and their friend Sarah Bagley were going west toward Bailin's apartment, when someone yelled. The group saw bright lights coming toward them on the sidewalk.

Seconds later, a car slammed into them, knocking all three to the ground. The driver hit another pedestrian into a telephone pole, Benjamin Van Handel, also a University of Minnesota student, further down the block. Van Handel was walking alone, the Pioneer Press reported.

Bailin checked on his girlfriend, but she couldn't get up, Bailin told the Minnesota Daily.

Van Handel is in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center, McCarty said. Bagley and Hanson were also brought in by ambulance.

Bagley and Hanson suffered non-life-threatening injuries, though Bagley remained hospitalized Friday, the Pioneer Press reported. Bailin was uninjured.

"It's surreal," Bailin said. "Until this happened it was an ordinary night."

While Hanson left the hospital with bruised legs and soreness, her mother said Bagley chipped her tooth, cut her face on her glasses and may need knee surgery.

Japan's power plant set timeline for nine-month plan

The operator of Japan's earthquake related nuclear power disaster said Sunday that it had developed a nine-month plan for resolving the crisis, during which the three damaged reactor buildings at the facility will be covered.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the Tokyo Sunday, becoming the most senior American official to visit since the disaster, reported the New York Times. Clinton was to meet with senior Japanese officials, including the prime minister, emperor and empress.

Clinton told USA Today that she was visiting "to demonstrate our very strong bonds of friendship that go very deep into the hearts of our people."

Prime Minister Naoto Kan called resolving the nuclear crisis his "top priority" in response to criticism over his administration's handling of the disaster.

"I take very seriously, and deeply regret, the nuclear accidents we have had at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant," Kan said.

The goals are part of a two-part plan for controlling the reactors and improving safety conditions created by 15-meter-high tsunami waves on March 11.

The first part of the plan, is estimated to take three months and included installing a cooling system to lower the temperature in the reactors, as well as reducing radiation in the surrounding area, according to USA Today.

The second part included more pumping of water, the introduction of a heat removal system and reducing the amount of contaminated water. This was expected to take six more months, the New York Times reported.

Wreckage from the three damaged buildings would then be removed and the buildings covered. This temporary cover will be equipped with air filters to prevent radioactive materials from escaping.

Officials reported late Saturday that radioactivity levels had again risen in seawater near the plant. Authorities insisted the radioactivity will dissipate and posed no immediate threat to sea creatures or people who might eat them.

Despite the affirmation, plant workers began dumping sandbags with zeolite, a mineral that absorbs radioactive cesium, into the sea Saturday to combat the radiation leaks.

Radiation also leaked into the air, which forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

"The safety of residents is our foremost priority," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano . "I told the governor that the government will do everything it can to prevent the crisis from worsening."

A man spoke to a 911 dispatcher and told them he killed his wife and three children early Saturday before killing himself.

Alan Atwater, 31, of Oak Harbor called a emergency services shortly after midnight Saturday. "There has been a terrible accident at my house," Atwater said during the call. "My wife and three children are dead."

According to USA Today, and deputies arrived within minutes of the call at Atwater's white-sided, two-story farmhouse in Oak Harbor, about 25 miles southeast of Toledo. Authorities tried to contact people inside the home by phone and loudspeaker and did not enter the home until two hours later when communication attempts failed.

Authorities said they the family in an upstairs bedroom: Alan, 31; his wife, Dawn, 30; and their children, Ashley, Isaac, and Brady (ages 4, 2, and 1 respectively). The parents and two children were on the floor, while the youngest was in a bed. All had gunshot wounds.

When asked what happened, Atwater described to the dispatcher "gunshot wound" and said "I'm getting ready to kill myself right now," according to Reuters.

Atwater was then asked "did you kill them?" to which he said "yes." The dispatcher asked "what went on," and Atwater hung up, authorities said.

Atwater's grandmother, Joan, who lived next door, said he recently told a relative he was having marital problems.

"We'll never know what really brought this on," she said, clutching photos of her great-grandchildren.

Egyptian mummies had clogged arteries

Recent discoveries suggested that strokes and heart attacks may have been behind Egyptian deaths millenia before current heart disease trends.

Scientists led by Dr. Greg Thomas announced they had detected the first known case of clogged arteries, or atherosclerosis, in the mummy of an Egyptian princess who lived 3,500 years ago.

According to National Public Radio, these findings hinted that scientists may not understand heart disease to the extent that they think they do.

"Atherosclerosis is widespread among modern day humans and, despite differences in ancient and modern lifestyles," Thomas told The Daily Mail, "we found that it was rather common in ancient Egyptians of high socioeconomic status living more than three millenia ago."

The Daily Mail confirmed that the team performed computerized tomography (CT) scans on 52 Egyptian mummies in order to determine if they had atherosclerosis.

One of the mummies the team scanned was Lady Rai, a princess in her 40s, according to NPR. The team believes she ate fresh food and did not lead a sedentary lifestyle. "That she would have atherosclerosis," Thomas said, "I think we're missing a risk factor. Right now we know that high blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol, inactivity and other things cause atherosclerosis, but I think that we're less complete than we think."

The subjects the team studied belonged to the upper class since working people were not mummified. Thomas told NPR the inbreeding of Egypt's royal families had little to do with the incidence of heart disease.

University of Cairo's Adel Allam, the co-author of the study, warned not to discard modern research. "From what we can tell from this study, humans are predisposed to atherosclerosis," Allam said. "So it behooves us to take the proper measures necessary to delay it as long as we can."

Thomas agreed with Allam. "Our findings suggest that we may have to look beyond modern risk factors to fully understand the disease," Thomas said.

Man accused of bank robbery, mad at bank

A St. Paul bank robber was identified Tuesday by an employee of a gym in the same building as the bank.

Lifetime Fitness employees watched video taken by their cameras near the building's entry and the front desk and were able to identify the man, according to the Star Tribune. Authorities said this was the same gym where the man once worked out.

Michael Lewis Johnson, 54, is accused of robbing the Wells Fargo Bank in St. Paul on Tuesday afternoon. The Pioneer Press reported that, according to the FBI, he walked into the bank at 2145 Ford Parkway, handed a teller a note stating, "You're being robbed. Don't say or do anything. Just put the cash on the counter," and walked out with money totaling approximately $4,255.

The Pioneer Press reported that Johnson told authorities that he was "angry at Wells Fargo because of overdraft fees he had incurred there" and was "broke and had a lot of bills," according to a criminal complaint made public Friday.

Both the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune confirm that St. Paul and Minneapolis police and FBI agents searched Johnson's home Wednesday.

A federal complaint stated that Johnson told authorities he hid the stolen cash in a cutout ceiling tile in the corner of his basement. Authorities found $3,936 and clothes matching those worn by the robber.

The Star Tribune reported that Johnson was arrested and taken to the Ramsey County jail.

Johnson was charged in federal court Friday with bank robbery, according to the Pioneer Press.

Hosni Mubarak summoned for questioning over deaths

Egyptian state prosecutor summoned former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for questioning over alleged corruption and killings of protesters.

Ahmed Nazif, Egypt's former premier, and Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa, were also detained for questioning over corruption charges.

BBC reported that this announcement came soon after Mubarak denied accusations of corruption in his first statement since he was ousted two months ago. He said said he had the right to defend his reputation and denied having any assets in foreign countries, according to BBC.

This summon is a result of tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square demanded the prosecution of former regime officials, namely Mubarak and his family, according to Press TV.

At least one person was killed and dozens were injured, suffering from gunshot wounds, when troops moved in to clear the square, but the army denied using live rounds, reported BBC.

Mubarak said in an al-Arabiya TV broadcast that he was willing to cooperate in investigations to prove that he did not own any property or bank accounts abroad.

"I reserve my legal rights toward whoever tried to ruin my and my family's reputation," Mubarak said as he warned legal action could be taken if he finds himself defamed.

Smartphones could improve public transit

Smartphone applications could be an important tool to get more people to use public transit.

A study of Boston and San Francisco commuters found they are more willing to ride public transit when they have access to tools to manage their commutes effectively. The study required 18 people to give up their cars for one week, reported ABC News.

Participants found that any anxiety over losing their keys could be resolved with applications providing real-time information about transit schedules.

With a small sample size, the researchers interpreted participants' reactions thoroughly. The results of this study has encouraged development of applications that make commuting easier. In turn, transit companies can dramatically improve the experience for commuters and appeal to a wider population, at little cost.

The goal, according to Daily News and Analysis, is for public transit services to provide information, putting riders in control of their experience with greater choice as to when and where to ride.

"Especially if you're used to the automobile, that real time transit info is something that's going to make you feel more in control," said Tom Radulovich, CEO of Livable city, a sustainable transit advocacy group.

In larger cities, Google Maps offers directions using both bike and transit, as well as driving and walking. Combining all of these modes of transportation into what Neela Sakaria, a senior vice president at Latitude Research, the consulting firm that designed the deprivation study, calls a "service ecosystem" increases the number of choices open to a commuter.

Two victims were shot and killed in a Brooklyn Park grocery store around 8:30 Friday evening and have been identified.

A woman victim died at the scene of a gunshot wound to the neck and was identified as Abby Fedeli, 20, of Brooklyn Park, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

CBS Minnesota reported that police brought an adult male with a gunshot wound to North Memorial Medical Center where he died Friday night. The victim's family identified him as Fedeli's boyfriend, Michael Habte, 21, but his name has yet to be officially released by the medical examiner.

According to the Star Tribune, a potential suspect, Fedeli's acquaintance who CBS Minnesota identifies as a possible ex-boyfriend, fled from the Festival Foods grocery story in a vehicle to Minneapolis.

He was able to be "tracked via cell phone to Minneapolis," said Sgt. Steve Palmquist of Brooklyn Park Police.

Officers located the man on the Washington Avenue foot bridge of the University of Minnesota campus. As authorities covering several jurisdictions neared him, he shot himself. His identity will also be released by the medical examiner at a later time.

"Everyone involved last evening did know one another, through their employment and potentially through a relationship," said Chief Deputy Craig Enevoldsen of the Brooklyn Park Police Department.

Police had closed West River Parkway, the road directly beneath the Washington Avenue bridge, as well as the bridge's pedestrian crossing, according to University of Minnesota freshman David Baker.

A statement issued by Festival Foods president Lori Youngquist early Saturday said that crisis support and counseling was to be provided by the employee union's staff assistance team.

"Our highest priority at this time is the well being of our employees, whom we consider to be our family," the statement said.