November 2011 Archives

Along with first snow; hundreds of crashes

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With the first significant snow fall of the year flooding Minnesota Saturday, the snow is to blame for hundreds of accidents across the state.

Kare11 reports that MnDot cameras captured numerous crashes and spinouts in the metro area shortly after the snow began falling Saturday afternoon.

"There have been close to 450 crashes statewide between noon and 8:30 p.m. including over 100 spinouts," Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol said.

Twenty-five of the crashes resulted in injuries. Two of the crashes involved squad cars, and one accident was fatal.

Roeske advises motorists to allow extra time to get around, reduce speeds, increase following distances and anticipate heavy congestion.

Drug creators, one step ahead.

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Chemist Arthur Berrier has the same routine day after day. Secluded inside a heavily guarded federal lab in Virginia, he searches for the new mix of substances to alert the investigators before it's too late.

In this constant game of catch up, the drug creators are always remaining one step ahead. Manufacturers of these illegal drugs have an endless choice of chemicals to create a new addiction.

The names and bizarre mixes of substances contained in drugs are in constant change. This makes state or federal bans against them weak and hard to come by.

Police departments in places swamped with the drugs problems say they lack the resources or the expertise to respond to problems.

"For us, this is just getting bigger and bigger," Thomas Duncan, Berrier's boss at the Virginia research lab said. "We had no idea."

Sadly, many researchers believe the war on synthetic drugs is something that can't be arrested or legislated away, the Star Tribune Reports.

Experts believe that it will require a multi-pronged effort that relies heavily on education, prevention and public awareness.

Cairo- Violence breaks out between protestors and military.

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The protesters in Cairo and Egypt's military council butt heads again on Saturday, as the troops clears out thousands of demonstrators from Tharir Square, the New York Times reports.

Tear gas and rubber bullets were shot as the battles heated up Saturday evening. With at least three demonstrators reported dead because of the fights.

There were about 5,000 demonstrators in the square Sunday afternoon before the fighting broke out with the military. The number of demonstrators only grew as the day went on.

"I saw the revolution being slain so I had to come," Ahmed Hamza, 41, a lawyer, said watching the fray. Hamza told The Times that like many others, he was set to stay until the ruling military council forcefully carried out an exit plan. "Today there will be violence," he added.

Reports indicated that more than 700 people had been injured. Demonstrators created and maintained a makeshift hospital in a mosque near the square to treat injured protestors. Nearly 400 people were treated there from serious injuries and a couple hundred more were treated from the tear gas.

Late season duck hunting

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The cool, dry Minnesota air fills up around the hunters as the sun shows its rays for the first time. An ice layer on the water and a drizzle of willow leaves lets them leave in their boat, off to find the game.

They rode off into the lake and as a result of the sun's first morning sun rays, ducks in the water and in the air.

"It's not quite the perfect duck camp, but, well, yeah, it's a dream," Mark Voerding, whose duck camp that was, confessed to the Pioneer Press.

Duck camps, and what was left of old ones, were perched throughout the rolling farmland and body of water, near the shore.

As duck hunters grow old, retire or simply die, there are less hunters out and less camps in use.

Minnesota reported about 90,000 registered hunters this year, which is well below the 130,000 reported a decade ago. The result being duck camps go empty this time of the year.

Perhaps because of the increased duck numbers or the change of season the numbers went up from previous years. Only time will tell how the waterflow of hunters will continue.

Occupy Protesters, Evicted.

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For the past two months Zuccotti Park in Manhattan has been thriving with drummers, protesters, passer-byers, journalists, and other groups of people.

Wednesday morning, a lone man sat on a marble ledge frantically scribbling in his journal. Two officers chatted and told stories, passing time during their shift. Crossing guards ushered people across the street. Everything seemed "Back to normal."

Back to normal- the protesters had been evicted from the park and for the first time since September, things seemed to return to the usual.

Many of the residents in the area say the eviction was a breath of fresh air. "It was nice to have my neighborhood back," Karen Greenspan, 52, who lives less than a block from the park told the New York Times. "I could actually see the ground."

Officials estimate that the protesters have caused the city nearly $3 million a month with the increase of police presence.

The protesters are not about to back down just yet though. According to their website there will be another gathering and protest planned for late in the week.

Death toll from Turkey earthquake rises

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After Wednesday's 5.6 magnitude earthquake his eastern Turkey, the death toll has risen to 40 people the government reported on Sunday.

There have been twenty-six people rescued thus far in the search efforts.

Wednesday's earthquake was relatively mild compared to the 7.3 magnitude earthquake last month that left 604 people dead in Van.

The quakes have left hundreds of thousands of survivors living outside, or out of poorly constructed huts.

Temperatures below freezing are expected to continue, making the living conditions even worse.

"It's not possible for us to survive winter here" Cezmi Fazla a quake survivor told CNN, "The Van winter is very cold and there's a lot of snow. Living in these shelters is impossible."

Fazla lives in a small hut constructed by Styrofoam and plywood with ten to 15 family members.

"We haven't gotten any aid," he said. "We got a lot of support from the people of Turkey, packages with everything from clothes to toothpaste. But the elected officials, the nongovernmental organizations are not making good use of it and were not good at coordinating those efforts. So people feel very panicked."

According to a poll done by Fox News, 60 percent of American voters disapprove of the way President Obama is handling job creation.

Additionally, 35 percent approve of his handling and five percent had no opinion on the subject.

According to the poll, voters' expectations for the administration's new jobs plan are mixed. 45 percent think that the Obama administration has a 'pretty good' idea what it's doing on job creation. While, 42 percent think it has 'no idea'.

Obama's overall approval for Democrats is 76 percent. Contradictory, 80 percent of Republicans disapprove of him.

The Fox News poll is based on 911 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide. It was conducted under joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) during the time frame of August 29 and August 31. Maring of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

For additional statistics and results see

Small New York town creates it's own department store

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When the only local department store in the town of Saranac Lake closed it doors in 2002, residents had to trek nearly 50 miles just to buy simple items like bed linens and underwear.

As a way to take control of their future and help the community, residents decied to raise capital to open up their own department store. Priced at $100 a share, stocks were sold to residents.

It took the community five years but the $500,000 goal was finally reached last spring. Nearly 600 people contributed to the store, averaging $800 a piece.

The store will have it's grand opening on November 19th. During a preview of the store, shoppers seemed pleased with the variety of items that will be offered.

"It's been a long process for all of us," Pat Brown, a local resident, told the New York Times, "We're proud to have it finally become a reality. This is a small town trying to help itself."

More than half, 56 percent, of Minnesotans say that the state is heading in the wrong direction, according to the 2011 survey from St. Cloud State University.

This years results were similar to those of last years. With 25 percent of respondents saying they think the state is actually headed in the right direction.

According to the results, respondents said they could see Republicans doing a better job handling the budget and taxes. Democrats on the other hand were seen to be able to improve Minnesota's economy, education issues, and unemployment rate.

One of the questions on the 2011 state survey was "Who was to blame for the government shutdown?" Over half of the respondents, 57 percent, blamed the Legislature controlled by the Republicans. Another 19 percent blamed Gov. Mark Dayton, DFL. Additionally, 19 percent blamed both.

When asked about the budget stalemate, 51 percent said spending cuts were the answer. On the other hand, 18 percent wanted a tax increase. Meanwhile, 28 percent said that a combination of both would do the job.

Arsonists hit Minneapolis neighborhood with 17 fires

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Friday night the 13-block area near West River Parkway was the victim of 17 fires set during a four-hour span.

Garages, vehicles and bags of leaves were all set to burn.

The Minneapolis police had 20 squad cars, 40 officers, from all five precincts in the area. Searches for suspects continued throughout the night.

The Star Tribune reported that most of the fires appeared to have been sparked with leaves. There were 10 fires started with leaf piles or in garage bags. Three fires hit vehicles, two garages and one in a garbage dumpster.

Residents of the neighborhood insist the area is generally safe, but they have seen an increase of crime since summer.

"We've always enjoyed our neighborhood," Shelly Junjak, three year resident of the Longfellow neighborhood, said, "We're hoping it's just a couple of kids who are just misguided."

GWAR guitarist dies after First Ave show

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Cory Smoot, the guitarist for the band GWAR was found dead on their tour bus Wednesday night after a show at First Ave.

The cause of death has not been determined. Smoot's body was found by band mates on their tour bus after waking him to cross the border into Canada.

"They're actually not the kind of guys known as partiers; they're really sold guys," Conrad Sverkerson, First Avenue stage manager, said.

Fans of the band were both shocked and saddened by the loss.

"The members of GWAR are completely shocked and devastated," Dave Brockie, GWAR band leader, said in a statement.

UK Man's body found 12 years after "burial"

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The body of Christopher Alder was found in Hull Mortuary 12 years after his burial.

Alder, a former soldier, choked to death while handcuffed and lying on the floor of a police station in Hull in April 1998.

The Huffington Post reported that Friday, Alder's body was discovered where a different woman was believe to have been stored.

City Council chief executive Nicola Yates made a statement to the press, "I am appalled and distraught at what I have learned and in conjunction with Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust we will be undertaking a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding the events."

No further events or explanations of the mix up have been reported.

Andy Rooney Dies

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Andy Rooney, the man who brought us the wrap up after every "60 Minutes" segment, died Friday night at the age of 92.

Before landing his infamous role on "60 Minutes" in 1978, Rooney was a reporter, writer, and producer for television for decades.

With his career on "60 Minutes" he created over 1,000 mini-essays. Usually these invited viewers to see the world, and random objects, in a new light.

The Wall Street Journal reported that he once proposed National Wastebasket Day in honor of the inventor.

Aside from his "60-Minutes" job, which he held for 33 years, Rooney wrote a syndicated newspaper column and wrote best-selling books based on his columns and scripts.


Gopher Goaltender, Patterson, named Player of the Month.

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Kent Patterson, the Goaltender at the University of Minnesota was named the Hockey Commissioners' Association National Division 1 Play of the Month for the month of October.

The Minnesota Daily reported that Patterson was also named WCHA Co-Defensive Player of the Week twice in October.

Patterson had a 1.74 goals-against average and a .939 saves percentage.

He was also a nation leader in shutouts in October by having four.


Women who will bring you out of this world.

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"Listen if a woman can bring you into this world, they can certainly take you out," Doris V. Amen said.

No, she is not talking about killing or murdering. The Brooklyn born and raised woman is talking about her job as a funeral director at Jurek-Park Slope Funeral Home.

The Brooklyn based funeral home has become quite popular because of its $1,999 starting price for a wake. The package includes a coffin for viewing and afterward the body is put into a cardboard box for cremation or burial.

"Sometimes you just have to do it all yourself," Amen said.

She runs her funeral home solo, including prepping the bodies, picking them up, and dressing them for their wake.

"Don't let the blond hair fool you," she said to the New York Times.


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