April 2012 Archives

Booby Traps Set in Provo Canyon

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Two men were arrested facing charges for setting booby traps along a Provo Canyon trail in Utah, according to CNN Newswire. Utah county sheriff Spencer Cannon was doing routine patrols on April 16th when he came across the traps, according to KSL News. "There was potential for some very serious injury to someone," Cannon said. "If someone fell the wrong way it could have been disastrous or even fatal."

"That could've been us, you know, we could've gotten hurt, for no reason," one hiker told reporters.

The devices were designed to trip when a person entered the fort. One released a spiked ball, and another caused a person to fall onto sharpened sticks in the ground. Another hiker described the booby traps as "sickening," as reported to CNN Newswire.

The suspects are 21-year-old Kai Christensen and 19-year-old Benjamin Rutkowski according to CNN Newswire and KSL News. The men, both of whom confessed to placing the traps, face charged with reckless endangerment, as reported by CNN Newswire. Authorities identified the suspects through Facebook.

Pitbull Bites for a Second Time in St. Paul

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A pit bull bit a 5-year-old girl in St. Paul on Easter Sunday, according to CBS Minnesota. The pit bull had bitten another person in the past, but the city had decided that it did not need to be muzzled, CBS Minnesota reports.

The girl, Lola, was bitten to the point that "there was flesh and muscle hanging out," as told by her father, Peter Barry.

Barry said he wanted neighborhood notification about dogs after a bite incident like the one that occurred with his daughter. He believed that the attack could have been prevented if he had been aware of the potentially dangerous animal, he told CBS Minnesota.

"It's very upsetting to think that my daughter could be attacked by a pit bull in our neighborhood that we knew nothing about that had previously attacked another neighbor," said Barry, as reported by CBS Minnesota.

The penalty facing the dog could be muzzling or getting put down. The verdict will be decided Monday. The dog has been quarantined at animal control since Easter, CBS Minnesota reports.

Minneapolis Woman Stabbed in Parking Lot

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A man attacked and stabbed a 28-year-old female in a parking lot Thursday around 4 p.m. near 800 Marquette Ave, according to CBS Minnesota and Channel 5 News. The man attacked the woman as she was getting into her car, Channel 5 reports.

The police said they believe that the attacker was described as a white male, 30-40 years old with a thin build and glasses, wearing a suit, and carrying a black bag, according to surveillance cameras. Minneapolis police did not find the man, but they have good visual footage of him via security camera and photos, CBS Minnesota reports.

The event appeared to be random, according to CBS Minnesota. The woman had a stab wound to her stomach, but is listed in satisfactory condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. She and her family did not want to speak with CBS Minnesota reporters.

Authorities are investigating whether or not the attacker and victim knew each other, according to CBS Minnesota.

Six-year-old Missing In Arizona

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Arizona six-year-old Isabel Mercedes Celis was discovered missing this morning around 8 a.m. Saturday, April 21, according to
http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=us_c2#/video/us/2012/04/22/dnt-az-girl-mising.kgun">CNN and NPR. Her parents last saw her in bed around 11 p.m. Friday, and her father discovered her bed empty when he came to wake her up, reports CNN.

Police have been "scouring the neighborhood" for Isabel by air and by ground, and bloodhounds, reports CNN. "Additional detective and investigative resources" are part of the search, said Sgt. Maria Hawke of Tuscon Police Dept.

In addition to examining the house for any signs of a break-in, investigators posit that Isabel could have wandered out of the house, NPR reports. "We are treating it as a suspicious disappearance and possible abduction," Hawke said.

Police did not have evidence that a child custody dispute was involved, as both parents live in the home with their daughter, reports NPR.

"You don't think anything like that would actually happen to you," Mercedes Celis uncle Justin Mastromarino said to CNN reporters. "[Mercedes Celis's] mother is beside herself." Police are keeping family members away from the house while conducting the search, Mastromarino said.

Mercedes Cellis is about 4 feet tall and weighs 44 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes, according to NPR.

Minnesota Woman Accused of Killing Puppies

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Prosecutors filed charges for animal cruetly against Dayna Bell for the death of 16 dogs at her Dakota County mill in Northfield. Jessica Miles and Leah MCLean report from Chanel 5 News.

Bell's family said that "none of this is true," and that "they are accusations levied by a disgruntled former employee out for revenge," as stated by Channel 5 reporter Nick Winkler. In court documents, Bell is accused being a "cruel puppy killer." "She's my wife," Bell's husband David Johnson said. "She loves animals." Johnson said his wife is a federally licensed dog breeder, having been in business for 40 years, and not capable of drowning puppies in buckets or pools. "She's not strong enough to [drown puppies by tying cinderblocks to them and drowning them]."

Two of Bell's kennel workers said they witnessed the cruelty and reported it six months ago, Winkler reports. One worker said Bell was angry at a dog who had bitten her. The other worker said Bell put a sick dog out of its misery. "[The accusations are] a vendetta. It's someone who's trying to get even with her," Johnson said. Johnson also said the accuser is a teenager who was fired.

Channel 5 reporters asked Dakota County attorney James Baxter whether he's concerned about the credibility of the accuser. "I'm not going to discuss any of the credibility of any statements that i've given," he said.

During the search, deputies said they found 10 dogs in a freezer, but they said Bell denied knowing anything about them and did not know how they got there. The dogs' fur appears to have been frozen while wet, the Northfield Patch reports. Deputies said Bell did admit to [them] drowning four dogs, but court documents do not say why she allegedly did that. "It looks bad, but scientific proof will prove that it's a case based on lies," Johnson said.

Bell just posted a $50,000 bond, the higher of two options, which means she's allowed back on the farm and can continue her breeding business, pending this case, Winkler reports.

At this time, Minnesota has no state laws to license and inspect or regulate dog and cat breeding, McLean reports. Minnesota is one of the top producers of puppies in the nation--some kennels house more than 1000 dogs--but there is a bill in the legislature that would change the law by requiring commercial cat and dog breeders to be licensed, but also impose penalties on those who violate the law. However, the bill has not made it to any committee hearings yet.

Marni for H&M Shopping Experience

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According to New York Magazine, the Marni for H&M collection did not receive as big a storm of shoppers as did the Versace for H&M collaboration, but as early as 8 a.m. the day before, a line had formed outside the Fifth Avenue store in New York. According to ny.racked.com, about 60 people had stayed the night outside the store before its opening.

The racks were already picked over from the night before the March 8 opening: the press had been invited to a preview shopping experience. The article said that almost all the size 4 pieces were already purchased.

According to ny.racked.com, the H&M store had a DJ stationed inside while shoppers looked through the collection. Shoppers were given time slots according to their arrival at the store. The shoppers were instructed not to push or shove.

Both articles report that the Marni for M&M collection's opening day was "tamer" than the Versace collection debut, albeit met with success.

Broadway Liquor Outlet to be Demolished

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According to the Star Tribune, the Broadway Liquor Outlet faces demolition and restructure in response to a tornado that struck north Minneapolis a year ago, taking the door, roof and windows off the structure. The building is described as having broken, boarded windows.

The article reports that a temporary building will allow the liquor store to continue business over the next two years of construction, but the original building's landlord, Keith Reitman, said he felt that the temporary store would "worsen the neighborhood's atmosphere."

According to the article, the Broadway liquor store was established in the 1940s at 9th Street and Cedar Avenue S. After the city condemned the property, the shop moved to north Minneapolis.

That store relocated when the city used the store's lot space to widen a road. The article reports that in 1989 Broadway Liquor Outlet opened at the corner of Broadway and Penn Avenue.

The article states that the temporary liquor store will open next month, "if all goes as planned."

Occupy Movement Reinvigorated in Minneapolis

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On Saturday, April 7, protesters of the Occupy movement set up tents at Peavey Plaza and Loring Park in an attempt to pick up where the movement left off last fall, according to the Star Tribune.

The protests began as anti-Wall Street demonstrations. People were stationed near Orchestra Hall, holding signs and sitting in tents. One protester described the event's importance as ensuring that the protest "remain in the public eye."

Police said that protesters would not be allowed to keep tents pitched overnight at Loring Park, as it is against public park policy; however, protesters responded that the movement would be held "indefinitely." Police removal of tents this past December was a big factor in the end of the protests.

According to the Star Tribune, a national Occupy protest is scheduled May 1. The Minneapolis group said it plans to take part.

Passover with Bruce Springsteen

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The New York Times reports that a Passover celebration was held at Madison Square Garden this past Friday night. Bruce Springsteen provided the live soundtrack to the event. Springsteen replaced "Wrecking Ball" with "Matzah Ball" to commemorate the holiday.

Warron Rosen, a 46-year-old insurance company owner, decided that he didn't want to miss a Springsteen concert because of Passover, so he booked a room at a restaurant called the Ainsworth Prime and invited friends via facebook.

"You're respecting the holiday as long as you're having a [Passover]," Rosen said in regards to the appropriateness of hosting a concert on the holiday. According to the article, Rosen has attended roughly 200 Springsteen concerts.

Rosen's wife said she felt that the concert was in keeping with the holiday, describing this year's celebration--including both concert and Passover--as being a spiritual experience.

Chilean Student Protests Continue

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The setting of this New York Times article was Chile, where students congregated to protest college tuition. The story began in a bar, where students met to protest. According to the article, the bartenders gave the students bags full of lemons to bite into, should they be sprayed with tear gas.

The 23-year-old president of the University of Chile student federation, Camila Vallejo, has been part of organized student protests since last June, the article reports. College students across Chile participated in protests that are described in the article as the "Chilean Winter."

This article described the author's experience during a protest that began at Plaza Italia, through Bustamante Park. The author describes it as being relatively small: "official estimates were 7,000 people; unofficial 15,000."

The protestors included students as well as older adults. The writer described the protest as having a somewhat relaxed atmosphere -- once the police administered tear gas, however, the crowd dispersed, trying to hide from the gas. The gas not only burned the eyes, but the skin of the body, as well.

The presence of encapuchados was a factor in the disturbance of the protest. Encapuchados were people who created violence by throwing molotov cocktails, among other forms of disruption, in order to get a reaction from police. These people were often stationed in the protest to stop it from being successful.

On a positive note, the protests, although interrupted by policemen and tear gas, have been effective: by December, protests "had forced the resignation of two education ministers and succeeded in placing educational reform at the top of the parliamentary agenda." The article credits Vallejo for this success, describing her "charisma and talent for capturing the public imagination."

Michael Kors Soon to be a Billionaire

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According to fashionista.com and Women's Wear Daily, fashion designer Michael Kors' namesake company is valued at $8.97 billion.

The article reports that Forbes Magazine has predicted Kors' billionaire status will occur when the KORS stock price reaches $63.25.

Kors' first shares were priced at $25 per share, and a secondary offering currently has the stock priced at $47 per share, closed on Wednesday, March 28. The Wednesday offering was expected to raise $1.18 billion for the company, the article reports.

The article states that a factor in Kors' success is his company's production of accessories (watches, bags, sunglasses, and more), as these are items at a relatively low price-point and are very accessible to the average consumer.

According to the Star Tribune, a Mankato couple is $70,000 in debt. The couple said that their credit was ruined after paying Legal Helpers Debt Resolution $12,253 to negotiate with creditors to lower their credit debt. However, the only the debt reduction they received was $2,600 from one debt.

After hearing nothing from the company since last November, the couple reported to the Star Tribune that they found out Legal Helpers Debt Resolution was being sued for consumer fraud.

The article reports that "the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation also filed a cease-and-desist order last August against Legal Helpers, asking for restitution for 314 clients."

"These companies shouldn't be allowed to operate," said one member of the couple, Steve Valenta. "They're preying on people who are desperate to get their lives back together."

Thanks to the unseasonably warm winter of 2011-2012, the Star Tribune reports, Minnesotans' heating expenses are 30 percent lower than last year's records indicate. Heating expenses are 50 percent lower than they were four years ago, according to the article.

The Star Tribune reports that in 2007-08, the average household paid $674 for gas between November and February; this year, that number decreased by 47 percent: the average CenterPoint Energy household paid $358 for gas between November and February. Xcel Energy saw similar numbers during the same time period.

March heating expenses for the average household will reportedly be $150-$200 less than last year.

The low numbers are not only due to warmer weather: according to the article, this winter occurred in tandem with an expanded supply of domestic natural gas, thanks to new drilling.

Gas Prices Factor in U.S. Politics

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According to the New York Times, gas prices are a central topic in the upcoming presidential election.

The Times reports that several presidential candidates have claimed that they will lower gas prices, but according to a survey of economists conducted by University of Chicago Booth School of Business, gas prices are not under the control of any politician. Although the Obama administration influenced increased oil production in the U.S., we only hold 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. The U.S. consumes 20 percent of the world's oil supply per year.

The article reports that "in February 2001, just after Mr. Bush took office, the average price of regular gasoline was $1.45 a gallon. By June 2008, that price had risen to $4.05." Newt Gingrich said his goal is to lower gas prices to $2.50 per gallon; however, the article's author, who is one of the surveyed economists, asks if it is possible to "suspend the law of supply and demand."

The article states that the U.S. has less control over oil prices as it has the power to decrease consumption and raise taxes on oil to instigate use of alternative energy sources. For example, the article states, in Europe, energy-efficient cars are common. It is more probable, the article reports, for presidents to make policy changes to conserve fuel than lower the price of oil.

According to Forbes Magazine, the U.S. economy will grow faster than the European economy in 2012.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a report stating that "the U.S. economy will expand at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter and then a 2.8 percent rate in the second quarter."

The article reports a positive outlook for the Canadian economy, as well as the Japanese economy, whose growth rate is projected at 3.4 percent in the first quarter.

Europe's economy will experience only 1.9 percent over growth rates, due to slowed consumer activity, unemployment and limited credit availability, as reported in the Forbes article. France and Italy are both projected to decrease in growth rates within the first quarter.

The article reports that although the outlook for the U.S., Canada and Japan are bright, rising oil prices, decreased world trade, and slow market growth in China could adversely affect the projected rates.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2012 is the previous archive.

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