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August 1, 2007

Minneapolis bridge gives way

In the Startribune and the Pioneer Press (also national media outlets) covered the breaking news on there websites of a local bridge collapsing into the Mississippi. The bridge, which located on I-35W and the dinkytown neighborhood, collapsed around 6:05 Wednesday evening during heavy rush hour. There are said to be around 30-50 cars in the water, 7 people have been proclaimed dead, 35 people are injured and 20 people are missing.

Governor Tim Pawlenty released a statement to the press saying that "This is a catastrophe of historic proportions for Minnesota.". R.T. Rybak and Amy Klobuchar are returning from Washington to asses the damage of the collapse.

The roads were already busy because of rush hour but the traffic was heavier then normal because of a Twins baseball game. Tomorrows Twin game has been canceled and postponed for another day.

A lot of the coverage is based on eye-witness accounts from motorist that were on the bridge as it collapsed. St. Paul Patrol believe that 30 to 50 people were injured and taken to hospitals around the Twin Cities. They also told the press that up to 20 people are missing. Construction workers that were working on the surface of the highway, all went into the water and one of the construction workers is still missing.

The bridge was 40-years- old and the cause of the collapse is still unknown. Rescue workers will continue searching for survivers tomorrow when they have day light.

July 26, 2007

Woman leaves her baby in car

In the Startribune and the Pioneer Press had coverage on a story that acquired in Andover on Wednesday when a 25-year-old mother left her baby in the car while she did some shopping at a Andover Target. Both sources don't have the age of the child and the Startibune discloses that they weren't able to get that information. The baby had been left in the car with the windows rolled and doors locked for 30 minutes.

A Target shopper noticed the mini van and the child in the back seat. The shopper notified store officials who called the Anoke County Sheriff's office at around 2 p.m. When the sheriff's arrived the temperature was 90 degrees with a heat index of 92 degrees.

When the sheriff's approached the vehicle they saw that the child was sweating and the windows were closed and the doors were locked. They took the child out of the car and took it to the Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids for evaluation. The baby was in stable condition. Another sheriff entered the store and found the babies mother (Bamu Gul Khalil), she was taken to the Anoke County jail but was released. The Pioneer Press gives the full name of the woman but the Startribune doesn't. I believe that Trib left the name out because the woman hasn't been charged yet, I can respect that. The sheriff's viewed the store camera footage and found that the woman had been in the store for over 30 minutes.

The woman hasn't been charged but the case has been forwarded to the Anoka County attorney's office.


July 18, 2007

Gophers Get the Boot

In the Startribune and the Pioneer Press ran a story on the four Gopher football players that were kicked of the team for being involved with a sexual misconduct investigation. Dominic Jones is the only one that has been official charged by the State for engaging in a sex act with a woman that wasnt responsive or able to move. The other three players involved were arrested last April for questioning but were released.

Tim Brewster dissmissed the players because he believed that they violated team and school code of conduct rules. The players dismissed were Dominic Jones, E.J. Jones, Alex Daniels and Keith Massey. The four men still ahve there scholarship and can still attand classes at the U of M, but school officials say that there statues with the school can also change. School officials had a meeting and decided that it would be in the best interest of the school to dismess the men from the team. After the court complaint of Jones was made public it caused the school to move quickly to make a decision on the future of the four players with the University.

E.J, Jones's attorney (Jeff Degree) believes that when the three other players were labeled as suspects, by Mike Freemen of the Hennepin County Attorney Office, they were going to be dismissed from the team. Degree also thinks that the players are witnesses and not suspects.

July 12, 2007

3M Wins in Court

In the Startribune as well as the Pioneer Press I found more coverage on the 3M saga. The first entire I had on 3M, focused on the chemicals that officials found around the 3M factories. The documents that were disclosed to the media and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency were given to them by mistake.

The entry that I wrote about 3M focused on studies that were done by 3M scientists in the 1980s. The scientists found that the water and soil around the 3M factories could possible be contaminated with chemicals that were found in 3M products such as Scotchgard and Teflon. The scientists weren't sure if the chemicals would be harmful to the environment but knew that with more research they would be able to find out.

The documents that had this information were obtained by the plaintiffs attorney's that are suing 3M over being exposed to these chemicals. The documents were given to the attorneys by a judge under a confidentaility order as part of a Washington Coutny District Court lawsuit. The documents were mistakenly given to the Startribune and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The attorney's asked for the return of these documents from both parties.

The documents werent given to the Pioneer Press, but they did state in this article that the plaintifs legal team whited out the word confidentiality before the made copies and distibuted them. The court ruled that the attornies pay 3M $86,894.


July 5, 2007

Pool Accident

In the Startribune I found a strange story of a 6-year-old girl having her intestine sucked out by a swimming pool suction drain. Abigail Taylor was swimming in a pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club in St. Louis Park when she had several feet of her intestine pulled out.

Abigail's parents, Scott and Kathryn Taylor sought legal advice from their attorney Robert Bennett immediately. Bennett gave a statement to the media about Abigail's condition, she was taken to the Children's hospital in Minneapolis. Lawmakers Klobuchar and Ramstad are demanding that laws are placved that require pools to have improved drains.

The Pioneer Press stated in its article that Abigail had to have the portion of her intestinal tract that was pulled out removed. The damage to her intestians will more then likelly be life changing for the young girl, who will probably have to be feed through a tub for the rest of her life.

This isnt the first time that an accident like this has taken place, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision has listerd a number of different cases.

June 27, 2007

Dirty Water

The Startribune ran a story today on the 3M chemicals found in the water in Cottage Groove. The Minnesota Department of Health has ruled that 3M caused the contaminated water in Cottage Groove and few other neighboring suburbs.

The health department found perfluorooctanoic acid in Cottage Groove's local water well. This chemical is manufactoried by the 3M company. The chemical was also found in 2004 in Oakdale and Lake Elmo, officials thought they had contained it to that area.

Perfluorobutanoic acid have been found in human bodies, at a low level the chemicals are harmless. 3M has been int the hot seat since 2002 when officials conducted tests around the Cottage Groove site, Oakdale site, and Woodbury site. They concluded on May 11th, 2007 that 3M would pay millions of dollars to get these areas cleaned and save for the residence that live there.

Even though the chemical was detected, it has been at such a low level that it hasn't caused any server harm over the 50-years that it has been in production by 3M. But finding it at a new site gives officials concern on the well being or residence and they have decided to distribute bottled water. The acids can cause cancer to people that are exposed to it.

June 19, 2007

Pot

A major drug bust took place Tuesday in the suburb of Apple Valley, the police seized $1.8 million worth of marijuana. A neighbor called police informing them that he was suspicious about the suspect. On the DEA government website, it states that most of the minnesota marijuana supply is from Mexico and homegrown plants.

The Minnesota County Attorneys Association Policy Positions on Drug Control and Enforcement states that marijuana is one of Minnesota's major drug problems. It also shows that Americans spend close to $106 million a year on the drug.

The Dakota County Drug Task Force removed 1,264 marijuana from the suspects house and also discovered that the suspect had tapped into the electric line before it reached the metter.

As a first offense the suspect is facing a felony with a fine of up to $1 million or a prison sentence of up to 30 years.