November 2009 Archives

The Answer retires

NBA All-Star, Allen Iverson retired on Wednesday after waiting for a team to sign him from free agency, said.


Iverson, 34, thought he was close to signing with the New York Knicks but when they changed their minds notified ESPN colleague Stephen A. Smith, said.


"I still have tremendous love for the game, the desire to play, and a whole lot left in my tank. I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level."


Iverson's skill is not being questioned despite his announcement to retire. So the question is will Iverson remain retired.


"I expect him to stay retired if a great, mutual situation doesn't come about," said Iverson's friend and former teammate Eric Snow. "His legacy has been established


Iverson family was an important factor in his decision making, while he waited for his phone to ring with an offer.


"Wonderful career. Right thing to do for his family," Iverson's manager, Gary Moore said. "It's no secret that Allen has been unfairly treated through all this. The fact is his family needs him more."

U student held in Iowa

DAVENPORT, Iowa--Two Twin Cities activists are being held in Iowa on conspiracy charges from 2004, said.


Scott DeMuth, 22 and Carrie Feldman, 20, are were subpoenaed to a grand jury believed to be connected to an incident at the University of Iowa in 2004, which caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, said.


DeMuth, a University of Minnesota sociology graduate student, and Feldman, a former St. Catherine University student, have declined to testify and have been held in civil contempt.


The two were apart of Animal Liberation Front, a group that claimed responsibility for an incident that happened in Nov. 2004. ALF broke into research laboratories and released test animals while destroying computers and research data at the University of Iowa, the group's Web site said.


"It would not be a far stretch to assume that these subpoenas are being used as a fishing expedition for information and as a punitive action against the beliefs we hold and the legal work that we do," DeMuth has said.

Semi overturns spilling hazardous material on highway

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn.--A semitrailer overturned at the intersection of U.S. Highway 52 and Interstate  Highway 494 on Wednesday, closing the road for more than seven hours, said.

The truck spilled sodium hydroxide solution a little before noon driving through the rain and Thanksgiving Day traffic, said.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation spent the day cleaning up the spill, said Capt. Matt Langer of the State Patrol.

The spill is "just a contact concern" and poses no risk to the public, Langer said. "Quite a lot of liquid spilled.

The driver was not seriously injured in the accident.

Redhead beating inspired by Facebook

LOS ANGELAS-The beating of a 12-year-old boy Friday in southern California may have been motivated by a Facebook posting, said.


The A.E. Wright Middle School student was attacked by as many as 14 students because of a Facebook posting that encouraged violence against redheads, said.


Authorities believe the posting was inspired by a South Park episode.


The boy was not seriously injured in the incident, and no one has been arrested.

Two men executed for tainted milk

CHINA-Two men were executed for selling tainted milk on Tuesday, said.


Zhang Yujun and Geng Jiniping were executed for selling tainted milk with melamine, which killed at least six babies and 300,000 others, said.


Yujun, a dairy farmer, was executed for endangering public safety and Greg Jinping, the milk salesman, for producing and selling toxic food, the Xinhua News Agency said.


Melamine is used in coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants. It caused kidney stones and urinary tract problems with hundreds ot thousands of children, said.


A total of 21 people were tried in the scandal. Most received 15 years in prison

Analysis on Diversity

I read an article from CNN that talked about marijuana use and gave statistics on arrests from the year 2008. The issue is the statistics show the disproportionate ratio between arrests of nonwhites and the diverse based on their representation with in their area of residence. 

I talked to Luis Perez, a 23-year-old Latino restaurant manager. He will be attending the Universityof Minnesota in the spring of 2010.

Luis didn't think the story itself was stereotypical but addressed stereotypes in the nation. He thought the stereotypes were confronted with substantive quotes and data.

A quote from the story featured New York Gov. David Paterson and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, who suggested legalizing marijuana would cripple MEXICAN and U.S. gangs.

Perez didn't think specifying Mexican was necessary. He also couldn't believe that blacks and Latinos made up about 50% of New York's population, yet represented 86% of those arrested for possession in 2008, said.

"The data makes no sense. But if police see a handful of black people on the corner, they look suspicious. If they see white people, they'll keep driving." 

African Americans are three times as likely as whites to be arrested for a pot crime, according to the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice. Yet the New York Cicil Liberties Union report says, federal studies show young whites use marijuana at higher rates than blacks and Latinos.


Puerto Rican gay teen found decapitated dismembered and burned

Murder charges were filed against a Puerto Rican suspect on Wednesday for killing a gay teen, said.


The body of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, 19, was found on Puerto Rico Road 184 on Friday, decapitated and partially burned, said.


The suspect, Juan Martinez Matos, 26, was arrested on Monday. He allegedly confessed to Lopez's murder, said.


Matos met Lopez last Thursday while looking for women an area known for prostitution. Matos then killed Lopez after discovering he was a male, Prosecutor Jose Bermudez Santos said.


Lopez's murder has created a buzz among the gay community who believe the homicide was carried out of due to hatred.


''All the information we have is very clear that this is indeed a hate crime,'' National Gay and Lesbian Task Force spokesman, Pedro Julio Serrano said.

Body of missing 5-year-old girl found in N.C.

A week-long search for the body of a missing N.C. 5-year-old girl ended on Monday but raised other questions of child prostitution, New York said.


The body is believed to be Shaniya Davis who had been missing since last Tuesday. Police believe she went missing after being offered for prostitution by her mother, Antoinette Davis, said.


Davis, 25, was charged with human trafficking and felony child abuse, said Fayettville police.  


Davis' sister, Brenda Davis, 20, spoke at her sister trial in her defense.


''I don't believe she could hurt her children,'' Brenda Davis said.


Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, was also charged with Davis' kidnapping. McNeill was seen on surveillance footage with her at a hotel.


About 200 people were apart of the 8-day search party. Many were saddened by the outcome of the search.


''We were hoping that someone could carry her home,'' Syd Severe, who came from Raleigh to help with the search, said. ''It's just sick.''

Browns welcoming the idea of James suiting up

BEREA, Ohio --The Cleveland Browns openly agreed to accepting the help of, Ohio native, Lebron James's with their season on Wednesday, Yahoo Sports said.


On Tuesday, James, the 2008-2009 NBA MVP, said if he put the time and commitment in, he could be a good NFL athlete, said.


Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini welcomed the idea of James playing for Cleveland.


"I think he should come on down," Mangini said, smiling. "I know he's pretty busy right now, but if he wants to give it a shot, the guy is gifted.

James, an All-State receiver in high school, would be an asset to the struggling 1-8 Cleveland Browns and second-year quarterback, Brady Quinn.

That'd be great," Quinn said. "Tell him to suit up and let us know, we'll get him working. Obviously he's an incredibly talented athlete. If he wants to try to play a little bit now, we'd be more than willing to pick him up."


This isn't the first time the possibility of James changing sports has come up. Last year, the 24-year-old filmed a football commercial for State Farm Insurance that debuted during the Super Bowl.


 Not everyone believes James can make the transition like Cleveland defensive tackle, Shaun Rodgers.


"I heard that comment," Rogers said. "I have mixed emotions about that. A great athlete? Yes. A football player? No."

Eagan woman dies after being stuck by car in St. Paul

ST. PAUL--A 20-year-old Eagan woman died after being struck by a car last Monday in St. Paul, said.


Alexandria Jane Mardell, a St. Catherine University student, stopped to wave goodbye to friends on West 7th Street before she was struck. Mardell was taken to Regions Hospital where she died overnight, said.


Mardell had turned to wave goodbye to friends when she stepped in front of a car, Charlotte Mardell, the victim's mother said.


The driver of the vehicle was a 33-year-old Eagan woman. No alcohol or drugs has been connected to the incident, police said.


Mardell was majoring in communications and business with aspirations of becoming a business woman in New York or California, Charlotte Mardell said.


The accident is still under investigation.

Man arrested on suspicion of NE Minneapolis stabbing

 MINNEAPOLIS--A Minneapolis man was arrested on Sunday suspicion of killing another Minneapolis man on Saturday,

The 31-year-old man was connected to the stabbing of Brandon Keeler on Lowry Avenue NE in Minneapolis, said.


"He was the kind of guy that if he had the means to help you, he would," Carl Bartel, a longtime friend, said. "And if he needed help, he wouldn't ask for it."


Friends of Keeler said there was nothing that appeared out of order with Keeler.


"He was always very happy," Jason Clifford, a friend, said. "I don't know who would dislike him."

Analysis on number use has a news blog that uses an array of numbers to describe different facets of the Chicago Bears. The blog is written by Chicago Bears beat man, Larry Mayor.

Numbers are used  four ways in this story. They're used to show how many wins and losses the Bears have on the season, they show what percentage of third downs the Bears defense is able to get off the field, they use numbers to display stats and lastly to show scores.

These numbers are not overwhelming. The use of the numbers for records, stats and scores are pretty straight forward. The only overwhelming stat would be the third-down percentage. This can be a bit much if one doesn't understand football. If a team gets of the field 3 third downs out of four, their third-down percentage is 75%.

Number crunching isn't necessary because the stats are out there to get all these figures. They can be found off or from those who record stats for the Bears.

HOPKINS, Minn.--A Hopkins man was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole on Thursday for arranging the death of his girlfriend's fetus, said.

Dameon Gatson, 25, paid a friend $40 to punch his pregnant girlfriend, Shyloe Linde, twice in the stomach. She was 6 months pregnant, said.

Gatson was sentenced with first- and second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Emmett Donnelly, Gatson's defense attorney, is seeking a new trial on the grounds that

Man found dead in Minneapolis

Minneapolis--Emergency responders found a Minneapolis man dead this morning in northeast Minneapolis, said.

Authorities found the man unconscious on Lowry Avenue NE and suspect "suspicious circumstances," said.

Information on how the man died or his name has not been released. The Minneapolis Police Homicide Unit is investigating the death.

Illinois prison strong candidate to hold Guantanamo detainees

WASHINGTON--An almost empty prison in northern Illinois has jumped to the fore-front of the line to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay on Saturday, said.


The Thomson Correctional Center, about 150 miles west of Chicago, is a strong location to transfer detainees from the former military prison in Cuba, said.


The correctional center is a strong possibility due to its massive size and vacant space, which would combat overcrowding.


There are about 215 men being held from the closed military prison camp. The group includes five suspects with alleged ties to 9/11.


The likelihood of this transfer near Chicago, which is home to the nation's tallest building, the Willis Tower, has sparked concern from critics of the Obama administration like U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois.


"We should not invite Al Qaeda to make Illinois its number one target," Kirk said.

One of two missing U.S. soldiers found

KABUL--Military drivers found the one body out of two Wednesday after they had gone missing last week, said.

The body was found in a Afghan river, said. The two soldiers, from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, disappeared in the province of Bagdghis.


Local police believed their bodies were swept away by the river as they were retrieving supplies from a mission last week.


The search for the other paratrooper is ongoing, NATO said.

Harris apologizes for on field scuffle


Chicago Bears defensive tackle, Tommie Harris, apologized to teammates, coaches and fans on Monday after punching another player and getting ejected from a game on Sunday.


Four plays into Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, Harris was kicked out after punching, Arizona guard, Deuce Lutui through the helmet, said.


"I just wanted to apologize to my fans first off, and the little kids out there that saw that action. I shouldn't have behaved in that manner, and I apologized to my teammates, and I'll make up for it," Harris said.

When questioned, Harris declined to give the reasoning for his actions. Harris did mention that Lutui pushed him to his limits on two previous plays, said.


"He did some unnecessary stuff during the game, but I mean I still have to be able to control myself," Harris said. "In the six years I've been here I've never done anything like that, and he kind of pushed me to my limits and I apologize for all that."

With Harris, a three time pro bowler, out of the game, the Bears ended up losing 41-21. Chicago gave up 40 points in 2 of their last three games, reports. Harris' exit also left the Bears thin on defense with 3 other starters playing injured, says.

"Tommie's a great player," linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer said. "When Tommie's at his best, he's one of the best players in the NFL. With that potential comes a responsibility for this team. When he's not out there, that hurts us."


The Bears aren't planning to do anything to discipline Harris at this time, said.


"Whenever you do something to get kicked out of a football game in a tough game like that where you need everyone, it's not a good thing," said Head Coach Lovie Smith. "Tommie realizes he screwed up.


Star had the obituary for George Robert Werness, a funeral director of choice for many Minnesotans, including Muriel Humphrey.

Sources included, Mike St. Aubin, director of the Washburn-McReavy Werness Brothers Chapel in Bloomington and his wife Shirley.

The lead was alternative, the description of his death wasn't disclosed until the fifth graf.

The lead goes more into detail about Werness' notariety. I don't like it. I prefer the standard New York Times Format.

This obituary was actually very similar to a resume. It included a number of details that make Werness notable. The obituary portion came after the lead which was resume like.

Modification lurking for Metro Gang Strike Force

Heads of three state councils me with the Department of Public Safety to discuss the approval to upgrade squad cars on Friday, said.


The councils represented minority members who met with Michael Campion, Public Safety Commissioner, in order to support the approval to fund cameras in Metro Gang Strike Force vehicles.


Listening hearings on these upgrades were held to restore public trust a Pioneer Press website said.


"Time and time and time again, we watch the news and it speaks for itself," Campion said. "I would tell you that videotapes don't lie.


The installation of these cameras would also help to ensure police professionalism and hopefully provide incentive against a unit that was under fire for disproportionate number of people of color stopped, a Pionee Press website said.


In May, an investigation of the Strike Force was opened up for possible misconduct, said.


"I'm not overly critical of the Gang Strike Force because I think it worked in the early years," Ilean Her, executive director of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans said, "I just think that over time, there was a lack of enforcement of procedures."


Two U.S. soldiers missing overseas

The search is on for two U.S. soldiers who went missing in Afghanastan on Wednesday, said.


The two paratroopers were doing a "routine resupply mission in western Afghanistan" before they disappeared, the NATO-led force in the country said Friday.


The soldiers were apart of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. They were working under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's International Security Assistance Force. 25 ISAF and Afghan forces have been injured while searching for the missing soldiers, said.


"All available resources are being used to find the two missing paratroopers," brigade operations officer, Lt. Col. Guy said.


The soldiers disappeared near the border of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. They appeared to have gone missing in the Mofghab River, Sayed Ahmad Sami, the provincial police chief, said.


No further details have been released.

St. Paul resident among 13 killed at Fort Hood

Kham Xiong, a St. Paul resident, was killed during an Army psychiatrist's raid in Fort Hood in Texas on Friday, said.


Xiong, 23, was preparing to be deployed to Afghanistan in January, his first deployment since joining the Army, said.


Chor Xiong, Kham's father, had spent his nights leading up to Kham's death worried about his other son. Nelson Xiong, Kham's 18-year-old brother, is serving in Afghanistan with the marines.  


"I could understand if he died in Afghanistan or Iraq, where they are under attack and going head-to-head with the enemy," Chor, 52, said in Hmong, as his son-in-law translated. "I don't know how I can explain it to his younger brother."


Mee Xiong, Kham's sister, told a CNN affiliate that Kham was waiting for a checkup and vaccination when the raid occurred.


 Xiong's wife, Shoua Her, was texting her husband while he waited in line for his vaccinations. The last text she received said Xiong was second in line, her said.


Her, had moved out to Fort Hood with Xiong and their three children. Her will be returning to St. Paul with their 4-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son and 10-month-old baby boy.


"They will never know their father," Chayee Lee, who is married to one of Kham's five sisters, said.

U.S. unemployment rate hits high

The unemployment rate has reached 10.2 percent in October, the first time it has hit double digits in 26 years the said.


According to the Chicago Sun Times, this is the second-time the unemployment rate has reached double digits since World War II.


In order to combat joblessness in the nation, President Obama signed a bill that benefits to the unemployed and temporary tax credits for home buyers.


Obama referred to the figure as, "a sobering number that underscores the economic challenges that lie ahead."


According to the Labor Department, the economy cut 190,000 jobs in October alone.


"It's not a good report," Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist for New York-based investment firm Miller Tabak & Co. said.


The unemployment rate for African-American men reached 17.1, 9.5 percent among white Americans, 13.1 percent among Hispanics and 27.6 among teenagers.

Ty Law returns to the football field

Ty Law, a 15-year NFL veteran cornerback, came out of "semiretirement" after signing with the Denver Broncos on Saturday says.


According to, Law, 35, signed a one-year contract with Broncos midway into the 2009-10 football season. This is the second consecutive year that Law signed with a team midway through the season doing so with the New York Jets last season.


"They're trying to get me ready to play this week in a limited fashion," Law said. "I did it last year."


Law will join a veteran defensive back field for the Broncos, which includes Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins, Andre' Goodman and Renaldo Hill, said. Along with Law, the five defensive backs have combined for 20 pro bowls said.


"They are a bunch of guys out there hungry to get a championship, and that is what I am looking for right now - to try and capture another championship before I shut it down for good," Law said. 


Law, a five-time Pro Bowler, will re-unite with Broncos Head Coach and former New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator, Josh McDaniels. While in New England, Law and McDaniels won 3 Super Bowls.


"I've won a few championships with him. Other than going back to New England, this would be the ideal situation for me," Law said.

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