CAR analysis

In an article in the Star Tribune the reporter, Steve Brandt used computer-assisted reported as he figured out the property tax increase that is being proposed the Minneapolis in 2011.

In the article, Brandt most likely had to know how to use a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel to do calculations of property taxes. He had to figure out the percentage of the proposed increase and the percentage of the market value of homes in the Minneapolis area. By using formulas in Excel, or any mathematical program, gave Brandt the ability to put new tax proposes in an understandable perspective.

Records from years past property taxes were mostly likely used in comparison to the new proposal, and analyze to understand how much more residents will have to pay if the proposal passes.

Snow and wind causes closures

Airport flights, mail delivery, bus services and other events were cancelled Saturday in the wake of a blizzard that swept across the metro area.

Most of the metro area got 14 inches to 18 inches of snow with Shakopee recording the highest amount at 21.5 inches, while wind gusted reached up to 60 mph.

According to the Pioneer Press the snowfall was not as bad as the record-breaking Halloween blizzard in 1991, in which 28.4 inches covered the ground.

Many retail stores decided to close early as some opted not to open at all. Metro Transit stopped running their 220 buses after about 158 were immobilized by the snow. Around 300 flights were cancelled at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and about halfway through the day it was too dangerous to deliver mail.

Most roadways will be plowed by Monday, but icy roads are forecasted for Monday and Tuesday as snow melted from a sunny Sunday turns to ice, the Star Tribune reported.

Metrodome roof collapses, Vikings head to Detroit

Heavy snow poured into the Metrodome early Sunday after three panels in the inflated roof tore.

Around 5 a.m. stress from Saturday's winter storm was too much for the 28-year-old Metrodome, causing the roof to collapse and leaving the Viking's without a home.

According to the Pioneer Press, the NFL announced Sunday morning that the game against the New York Giants will be played in Detroit Monday night.

It is unclear if the roof can be repaired for the Vikings last home game on Dec. 20 against the Chicago Bears, the Star Tribune reported.

This is the fourth time the roof has deflated since the Dome's completion in 1981.

Man arrested in graffiti incident

A man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of spray-painting hate messages on houses, a car, and a garage last week.

Alex R. Nowlan, 19, was taken into custody after receiving tips from citizens and surveillance cameras from where the spray paint was purchased.

According to the Pioneer Press the motive is unclear, but the messages included derogatory terms and racial slurs.

Nowlan confessed to the crime and is expected to be charged with a felony with the property damage over $1,000, the Star Tribune reported.

Wal-Mart discrimination appeal to be heard in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of a major discrimination case filed against Wal-Mart Monday where women were underpaid and passed up for promotion.

In the largest workplace class action in the nation's history, the court will decide if Wal-Mart can be sued for sex bias.

According the the LA Times the lawsuit was brought up because women were regularly paid less than men and were passed up for promotion.

The retail giant said the plaintiffs worked in over 3,400 different stores in 170 job classifications undermining the possibility for a class-action suit, the New York Times reported.

Shark attacks in Egypt continue

A German woman, who was snorkeling in waters near Sharm el-Sheikh, died Sunday after being attacked by a shark.

She is the fifth shark attack victim since Nov. 30 in the Red Sea resort area. Three Russians and a Ukrainian were also severly injured.

According to CNN, tourists, who are attracted to the area for the warm weather and clear waters, are being warned to stay alert.

There are a few explanations for the series of attacks being offered by shark experts and local observers, the BBC reported.

Some say overfishing in the Red Sea caused sharks to move closer to shore, while others believe sacrificial sheep and cattle carcasses dumped into the water may be the culprit.

The University of Minnesota hires new football coach

Jerry Kill, formerly of Northern Illinois, was hired to be the University of Minnesota's new football coach Sunday night.

Kill, 49, who has never had a loosing record with his four previous coaching positions at smaller schools, has agreed to a five-year contract.

According to the Star Tribune, his salary was not released, but is a significant upgrade from his earnings at Northern Illinois.

Kill went 10-3 this season with Northern Illinois before loosing the Mid-American Conferance game to Miami of Ohio on Friday, the Pioneer Press reported.

Three people dead after man flees police

A woman and her two sons were killed Sunday after being hit by a suspect fleeing police.

Amanda Jean Thomas, 29, of Fridley, and her two sons Andre, 12, and Averon, 3 months, were the victims according to State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske.

According to the Star Tribune the suspect, Rufus Onel Victor, 29, appeared to be chemiclly impaired at the time of the crash, Roeske said.

Around 12:30 a.m., Victor drove a stolen car through a red light while a police car was chasing him, the Pioneer Press reported.

Police arrested Victor after he tried to flee the crash sence on foot.

Twenty-four people held hostage at school by student

Twenty-three students and one teacher were held hostage at gunpoint by a student Monday at a high school in Marinette, Wisc., a town that borders Michigan's upper peninsula.

Zach campbell, one of the student hostages, said they class was watching a film before the gunman shot at the projector a little after 3 p.m.

According to the New York Times there were no demands made by the armed student, and there was no indication for why he took hostages.

Around 8 p.m. officers heard three gunshots before breaking down the classroom door. The 15-year-old gunman then shot himself, the LA Times reported.

All of the hostages made it out with no injures. The gunman was sent to a hospital and his condition was not immediately known.

New Hasting Bridge underway

The new arch bridge in Hastings that will cross the Mississippi River is planned to start construction next summer, but a few preliminary safety precautions started last week.

The bridge, which will be Minnesota's first free-standing, above-deck arch bridge, will ease traffic congestion and will do so artfully.

According to the Star Tribune the arch bridge will light up at night and have the longest arches inNorth America at 545 feet, transportation officials said.

The bedrock was tested last week to ensure could handle the 11,500-ton load expected from the bridge.

Other tests started Monday to assess pile strength capacity for some of the piers of the new bridge. Small explosions are expected to last for the next to weeks and are constricted to daylight hours, the Pioneer Press reported.