November 30, 2008

New Brighton council member pleads guilty to hiring prostitute

New Brighton City Council Member David A. Phillips entered Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court to a misdemeanor charge of engaging in prostitution said the Star Tribune.

According to the Star Tribune, the council member was one of nine men arrested Feb. 25 by St. Paul police in a prostitution sting.

The Pioneer Press reported that Phillips submitted an Alford plea, which means he agrees that a jury would have enough evidence to convict him.

Phillips will be placed on probation for one year, pay $828 in costs and fines, and attend "john school," which educates men on prostitution's effect on the women involved the Pioneer Press said.

November 23, 2008

Retired Ramsey County Judge Dickinson dies

The Star Tribune reported that A. James Dickinson died at his home in St. Paul after a battle with pancreatic cancer on Saturday.

The Star Tribune said he was 67, the Pioneer Press said he was 68.

District Judge Peg Marrinan called him "a gentleman of the old school - courtly, gentle, kind and a fine judge," the Star Tribune reported.

The Pioneer Press said Dickinson earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1965 and worked at the law firm Stringer & Rohleder until 1997.

Gov. Arne Carlson appointed Dickinson to the Ramsey County bench in 1997 said the Pioneer Press.

November 16, 2008

Why the Bridge Fell

The Star Tribune reported on Friday the results of the NTSB's bridge report.

According the the Star Tribune, the bridge was heavily loaded with construction equipment, equivalent to the weight of a 747 airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board officially decided at the end of a two-day hearing that the 35W bridge collapsed because of faulty gusset plates the Pioneer Press said.

According to the Pioneer Press, the gusset plates were too thin by half, a fault of the engineering firm that designed the bridge.

November 10, 2008

Absentee ballots causing problems

According to the Pioneer Press, Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign asked a Ramsey County judge to stop the counting of absentee ballots Saturday that were in a city election official's car Friday night, , according to the Coleman campaign.

There were 32 absentee ballots in the car.

Only 221 votes separate Coleman from DFLer Al Franken in unofficial tallies, said the Star Tribune.

The Coleman campaign believes that the integrity of the ballots "is in serious doubt."

The argument was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds by Kathleen Gearin, chief district court judge in Ramsey County.

November 3, 2008

Senate candidates have one last word

Minnesota's Senate U.S. Senate candidates Norm Coleman, Al Franken and Dean Barkley held their last debate in a theater Sunday according to the Star Tribune.

The Senate candidates discussed allegations and countercharges that threaten to consume the contest in the closing week.

The Pioneer Press reported that Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley was silent for the first ten minutes of the debate as Coleman and Franken debated.

When asked what he thought of the situation facing Coleman and Franken, Barkley said, "Well, I think you know one of the reasons why I'm running."

October 19, 2008

Man who is mentally ill is assulted

A 24-year-old mentally disabled Lakeville named Justin Hamilton was tortured and beaten on two separate days said the Pioneer Press.

Hamilton may need plastic surgery to repair cuts, burns and abrasions across his body and cover initials gouged into his arm.

The Star Tribune said that a 16-year-old girl named Natasha Dahn had lied to her boyfriend and told him that Hamilton had hit her.

Dahn and four men charged in the beating lured Hamilton secluded spot in Dakota County, where he was beaten and tortured.

The group was charged with kidnapping, robbery and other crimes as well.

October 13, 2008

McCain stops at Lakeville

McCain stopped spoke at a Lakeville town hall meeting on Friday according to an AP article in the Pioneer Press.

McCain supporters booed after Sen. McCain said Obama was a "decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."

According to the Star Tribune, one woman at the town hall meeting called Obama an "Arab" and McCain responded, "No, ma'am. He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues."

October 6, 2008

Fernando Cabada wins Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

The Pioneer Press reported that Fernando Cabada won the 2008 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday, October 5, 2008 with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 32 seconds.

Cabada said he has had poor running performances for the past 14 months.

He told the Pioneer Press that he gave up drinking for two months and said it was well worth it

According to the Star Tribune, Cabada's winning earned him $25,000 and the U.S. men's marathon title and a spot in next summer's world championships.

"I haven't had any glory for the past 22 months, and I missed it. I don't want to ever go back," Cabada told the Star Tribune.

September 28, 2008

RNC protester files lawsuit

Attorneys for Mick Kelly, one of the leaders of the war protests during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, is filing a federal suit alleging that he was shot by a projectile fired by police during an RNC demonstration, according to the Star Tribune.

The suit will also allege that he was falsely arrested in the corner of 12th Street and Cedar Avenue shortly after being shot.

Kelly sustained a large bruise on his stomach but no permanent injury.

According to an AP article in the Pioneer Press, Kelly will seek $250,000 in damages from the city of St. Paul and the surrounding areas.

"We are confident that all the facts will support our belief that the police acted appropriately in this case," St. Paul City Attorney John Choi the Pioneer Press said.

September 20, 2008

McCain-Palin come to Blaine Airport

John McCain and Sarah Palin spoke at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport on Friday, Sept. 19 according to the Pioneer Press.

McCain announced that he intends to be the first Republican presidential candidate to win Minnesota since 1972.

"It's going to be a hard-fought contest here, but with your help, we're going to win," Palin said.

According to the Pi Press, people started to leave the hangar during the speech because they could not hear.

The Star Tribune reported that Obama held a rally at the same time at Peavy Plaza in downtown Minneapolis where 3,500 people attended.

More than 10,000 people showed up to hear McCain and Palin speak.

According to the Pi Press, McCain spent half of his speech criticizing Obama for contributions received.

The Star Tribune also reported that when Palin talked about the need to diversify the nation's energy supply, the crowd started chanting, "Drill, Baby, Drill!"

September 14, 2008

I-35W to reopen this week

With the opening of the new I-35W bridge this week, congestion spots created by the detours should ease, reported the Star Tribune.

They reported that some people might be wary of how fast it was built.

"If I could be the first to cross it, I would," Todd Kramascz, a traffic supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, told the Star Tribune. "There's been plenty of traffic on it already with the construction crews. ... It's probably the safest bridge in the country right now."

The Pioneer Press said the cost of the bridge was around $234 million and is equip with sensors that give engineers feedback on its performance. The new technology will help MnDOT keep a close eye on the bridge.

"It's safe to say this is one of the more- or most-instrumented bridges in the nation," said Jon Chiglo, project manager for MnDOT told the Pioneer Press.

The original projected completion date by Flatiron-Manson was Dec. 24.