March 2011 Archives

The oldest person in the UK dies at age 112

Brittain's oldest person died at the age of 112, just five days after her birthday.
Margaret Fish died last Saturday at Danecroft Residential Home where she spent the last five years of her life, reported News of the World.
She lived through three centuries and became the oldest person in the country after the death of Elsie Steele last year, reported the Bedfordshire News.
The International Business Times reported that the title was passed down to Violet Wood of Whistable Kent, who is 111.
"She was a lovely woman, very chatty and great company," Dawn Lack, duty officer at the Danecroft Residential Home told News of the World. "We'll all miss her dearly."

Geraldine Ferraro, who became the first female presidential nominee, died Saturday at the age of 75.
She died in Massachusetts General Hospital from a blood cancer she had been battling for 12 years. She was surrounded by family and friends, reported CNN.
Ferraro is survived by her husband of 50 years, her three children and their spouses, and her eight grandchildren, reported Fox News.
In 1984, Ferraro accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president of Walter Mondale's political party, and made American history as the first female nominated for national office by a major party, reported the New York Times.
In the end, Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan won 49 of the 50 states, the biggest landslide in almost half a century, reported Fox News.
Even though the Mondale campaign lost, Ferraro had removed the "men only" sign from the White House door 64 years after women won the right to vote, reported the New York Times.

New meditation sanctuary, a gift from Edina centenarian

Elsie Mitchell has been a volunteer and worker in the medical field for most of her life, and she has volunteered at the Fairview Southdale Hospital since she was 90 years old.
Mitchell began her volunteering at Fairview Southdale Hospital by delivering items to various departments. Then she moved on to pushing patients around in wheelchairs, but when that became too heavy for her, she maintained the lobby outside the heart center, reported the Sun Current.
Over the past decade, she has given the hospital gifts and donations that reach into six figures, but that wasn't enough for her, reported the Star Tribune. Mitchell wanted to give something that gave people "peace and comfort", so the planning and building of the new meditation sanctuary began.
The Elsie O. Mitchell Meditation Sanctuary was completed in fall 2009 and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, reported the Sun Current.
"[The sanctuary] is a beautiful, beautiful facility and it meets the needs of so many people in the hospital," Fairview Southdale President Brad Beard told the Sun Current. "We literally have hundreds of people go there every week. We feel very fortunate to have her be the driving force behind it."
Last month, Edina Mayor Jim Hovland marked Thursday, Feb. 10, "Elsie O. Mitchell Day" for her service to the community, reported the Sun Current.
"I am proud of it," she said. "I'm really happy that I did something good for people," she told the Star Tribune.

Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79

Actress Elizabeth Taylor, known for her beauty, charity, and many marriages, died Wednesday morning from congestive heart failure at the age of 79.
The Huffington Post reported that the actress had been hospitalized in February for congestive heart failure, a condition she learned she had in 2004.
Taylor died in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, reported CNN.
"My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love," Taylor's son Michael Wilding said in a statement.
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London in 1932 and is known for her iconic performances in "Cleopatra", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Butterfield 8", reported Time.
The actress appeared in more than 50 films and many TV movies and shows, reported the Washington Post. Her last major motion picture role was in 1994 when she played Pearl Slaghoople in "The Flintstones."
Time reported that Taylor became noted for her early attention to the AIDS crisis and her efforts led to the establishment of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

Former CEO of Schwan food company dies

Alfred Schwan, the former chief executive of The Schwan Food Co. died March 18 at his home in Kansas at the age of 85.
The Pioneer Press reported that Schwan played a key role in the building of the firm's frozen pizza business.
His brother, Marvin Schwan, launched the company in 1952 and Alfred joined the business after returning from the U.S. Navy in 1964, reported the Star Tribune.
At this time, the company was growing rapidly, and Alfred played important roles such as guiding the frozen-pizza operations and then all manufacturing facilities, reported the Pioneer Press.
After the death of Marvin in 1993, Alfred was appointed CEO and chairman, according to the Pioneer Press.
"Alfred was an iconic, inspirational and charismatic leader who spent more than half his life contributing to the success of the company," Schwan's Chief Executive Greg Flack told the Star Tribune.
Alfred is survived by his five sons and his wife Doris, reported the Star Tribune.

Earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, killing hundreds

A magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck the northeastern side of Japan on Friday, the largest ever recorded in Japan history.
The temblor created a devastating tsunami that unleashed waves up to 30 feet high and swept across rice fields, swallowed towns, and tossed around cars and boats as far as about six miles inland in Miyagi on Japan's east coast, CNN reported.
"This tremor was unlike any I've experienced previously, and I've lived here for eight years," Matt Alt, an American writer and translator living in Tokyo, told the New York Times. "It was a sustained rolling that made it impossible to stand, almost like vertigo."
The Japanese government said that more than 200 bodies have been found in Sendai, a city on the northeastern side of the country, and the official death toll is over 300, the New York Times reported. However, with so many people missing, the death toll is expected to increase.
Around 3,000 people living near the nation's nuclear plants were evacuated because of a reactor cooling malfunction, the Los Angeles Times reported. Authorities shut down 11 power plants and 4 million people were reported to be without electricity.
According to the New York Times, the tsunami hit Hawaii at midmorning East Coast time on Friday, with wave heights reaching four feet above sea level.

Fire shuts down clinic in south Mpls.

A three-alarm fire in South Minneapolis destroyed a medical clinic early Wednesday.
Minneapolis firefighters were called to the Bloomington Lake Clinic on the 3000 block of Bloomington Avenue at around 3 a.m. where flames already engulfed the building, Kare 11 reported.
Assistant Fire Chief Cherie Penn told the Star Tribune that firefighters tried three times to battle the fire from the inside, but were prevented because the fire's location on the roof created a danger.
Dr. Walter Hinck has worked at the clinic since 1985. "We've prided ourselves on being able to provide care for people in the area who arrive by bus," Hinck told the Star Tribune. It will be a few days before he figures out a plan for many of the patients.
Firefighters began tackling the fire from above, but the chemicals in the clinic made the fire extremely difficult to extinguish, Kare 11 reported.
According to the Star Tribune, the fire burned for several hours, disturbing traffic at a busy intersection and the lives of many neighborhood residents.
A spokesperson for the clinic told Kare 11 that all computer medical records were safe, but all paper records kept inside the building were destroyed.

The St. Paul City Council is expected to approve a $270,000 police brutality settlement for a woman who was thrown into a glass door by a police officer, requiring her to get more than 300 stitches.
Cosetta Morris, 35, claimed that an officer forcefully grabbed her in an attempt to break up a fight between her and her roommate and tossed Morris across the room, making her arm go through a glass door, reported the Pioneer Press. She needed surgery to repair tendon damage.
Morris, represented by attorney Bob Bennett, needed more than 300 stitches inside her arm and on her skin. "It's a decent deal...she was cut really bad," Bennet told the Star Tribune.
It is St. Paul's second largest settlement for a police misconduct case, second only to the $400,000 to the family of Charles Craighead, who was accidentally shot and killed by police in 2001 as he tried to protect his fiancé from a carjacker, reported the Star Tribune.
On March 15, 2009, Morris and her roommate got into a fight and her roommate had called the police for help. Officer Adam Bailey and his partner arrived at the apartment at 9 p.m.
According to the lawsuit, the police officers arrived to find Morris pinning her roommate to the couch, trying to get a ring off of her roommate's finger, reported the Pioneer Press.
Bailey told Morris to get off of her roommate twice, reported the Star Tribune, but before she could obey, Bailey grabbed her and threw her several feet across the room, causing her arm to go through a glass pane.
The Pioneer Press reported that Morris was taken to Regions hospital as her roommate was escorted from the apartment.
The settlement contains the city's denial of liability or misconduct, reported the Star Tribune.

Sheen fired from "Two and a Half Men"

Warner Brothers Television fired Charlie Sheen from its hit sitcom, "Two and a Half Men" on Monday after the actor's recent meltdown, which included drug use and threats to sue CBS.
Sheen, 45, entered a rehabilitation program in January, which caused a halt in the show's production, CNN reported. Also during this time, Sheen ranted about the show's co-creator Chuck Lorris and threatened to sue CBS for shutting down his show.
According to Variety, Warner Brothers sent a detailed letter to Sheen confirming the termination, even though the actor still has one more year left on his contract.
The New York Times explained that neither Warner Brother nor CBS commented on whether an effort would be made to continue the show, which still has another season in its contract with CBS.
Warner Brothers will decide on the fate of one of the highest-rated programs on television at a later time, a spokesman told the New York Times.

China enforces tighter control over foreign journalists

The Chinese government announced new restrictions on foreign journalists after they were harassed by security officers.
According to a report in the Associated Press, the new requirement demands journalists to get government permission before doing any reporting in Beijing, and is the country's latest sign of preventing protests similar to the Middle East.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, restrictions on the reporting policy were loosened to show a less authoritarian China to the rest of the world, the Washington Post reported. Foreign journalists were allowed to interview any Chinese citizen as long as they gave their consent.
Foreign journalists must verbally ask for permission to do any news reporting, a requirement that shows how nervous the Chinese government is about protests and how determined they are to prevent them from spreading through the internet and other forms of international media, the Associated Press reported. China already bans social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The Washington Post reported that many foreign journalists have been visited by local police and warned to follow China's reporting requirements. Police officers are monitoring the homes of five foreign journalists.

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