December 14, 2007

Taliban militants kill 7 policeman

Taliban militants beheaded seven policemen Friday after ambushing their checkpoints in Afghanistan, authorities said.
During a separate attack, an Australian soldier and three civilians were killed.
The attackes occured 15 miles North of Kandahar city in Arghandab.
On Saturday, a suicide bomber killed six afghans, including three children, officials said.

2 LSU students killed

Two students were found shot to death at their Luisiana State University apartment after an alleged home invasion Thursday.
Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam were both international Ph.D. students in the chemistry program.
They were found inside their apartment at the Edward Gay complex late Thursday.
Both victims had been shot one time in the head, according to an LSU spokesperson.
The campus remained open on Friday while local police searched for three suspects seen leaving the apartment complex around the time of the shooting.

Bankrobber caught on Metro Transit bus

A man who robbed a St. Paul bank on Tuesday who apparently got on a Metro Transit bus after leaving the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash was arrested and charged Friday.
Shane Nathaniel Townsend, 35, of St. Paul, has been arrested and charged with bank robbery according to FBI Agent Paul McCabe.
He is accused of robbing the TCF Bank at 459 N Lexington Pkwy.
According to a criminal complaint, Townsend approaced a teller at the TCF Bank at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. He presented a threatening note demanding money.
The teller believed Townsend had boarded the route 16 Metro Transit bus.
St. Paul Police stopped the bus and Townsend ran out the back door.
Police then caught him on foot and arrested him.
Townsend's previous criminal record includes convictions for felony theft, burglary, drugs, aggravated robbery and domestic assault.

Local teen "adopts" families for christmas

David Gholar spent his 16th birthday selling coffee at Urban Venture's City Kid Java at a local Kowalski's supermarket to raise money for needy families.
After his family was "adopted" last holiday season, Gholar wanted to sell coffee at City Kid Java, his place of employment, so he could adopt other families.
A previous story about his efforts appeared in the online edition of the Star Tribune on Monday.
Since then, many calls have been received to support not only Gholar's efforts, but his family as well.
Approximately 30 people have contacted Urban Ventures to offer gifts to Gholar's family.
The goal was to raise $1,000 and adopt a few families, but since Monday over $3,500 has been raised. Gholar is now planning to adopt at least four families in the metro area.
Gholar is a sophomore at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis.

December 9, 2007

Iraqi police chief killed

A roadside bomb in Iraq killed the provincial police chief and two guards, Sunday.
The roadside bomb struck a convoy that was carrying the police chief and two guards of a province south of Baghdad.
This is the most recent of a series of assassinations against provincial in areas south of the capital.
It may be due to the militias trying obtain control of the area, authorities said.
Police are enforcing an indefinite curfew in many provinces near the scene of the bombing and security is increased.

Possible tropical storm threatens Atlantic coast

Forcasters are predicting that a weather system off Puerto Rico could potentially become a tropical storm even though hurricane season has been over for nearly a week.
At about 5p.m. Saturday, the system was approximately 550 miles east-northeast of Puerto Rico.
It is expected to continue in that general direction at about 15-20 mph over the next two days according to the National Hurricane Center.
Within the next 24 hours, forcasters are predicting that it might become a tropical or subtropical storm.

Chanhassen hockey player remembered

Andrew Jackson, 18, died December 1 on his way to play in a club hockey tournament for Purdue University.
He was killed when the club hockey team's van rolled over near Wingate, IN.
Jackson's memorabilia was displayed at the Chaska Community Center rink Friday, during a hockey game that was played in his honor.
More than 100 of Jackson's family and friends payed tribute to him after the game as well.

Chisholm woman killed in shooting

Tiffany Johnson, 26, was killed around 12:30 a.m. Sunday after a gunman walked into Youth with a Mission in Arvada, Colo. and opened fire. Philip Crouse, 24, of Alaska also died. Two others were injured.
The gunman then fled the scene on foot. He remains missing, according to police.
A few hours later there was another shooting at a church in Colorado Springs. It is not known whether the two shootings are related.
Police said that the suspect is described as a white male approximately 20 years of age wearing a dark-colored jacket and a beanie hat. He possibly had a beard and glasses, police said.

November 26, 2007

Body found near Dayton, Minn.

An unidentified body was found Saturday night in a wooded area near Dayton, Minn.
Police had responded to a 911 call at the Sundance Golf Course in Dayton and the unidentified body was found close by.
Kare11 reports that the body may be that of a hunter who fell from his tree stand near the golf course.
The body was apparently found by friends of the hunter that went looking for him after he did not return home Saturday night.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and the Dayton Police Department are investigating.

Faribault crash site investigated

National Transportation Safety Board Officials along with the Federal Aviation Administration willl arrive in Faribault, Minn. later today to begin investigation on the crash site of a plane that killed four people Sunday at the Faribault municipal airport.
Faribault Interim Police Chief Daniel Collins said that no one on the plane survived the crash that happened around 3 p.m. Sunday on one of the runways at the airport.
The names of the four victims have not yet been released.
As officials begin to investigate the crash site, the cause of the crash is still unclear.
On Monday, FAA spokesperson Elizabeth Isham Cory reported that the plane was making a second attempt to land before flipping over and bursting into flames.
Collins said that maybe wind gusts reaching 20 miles per hour contributed to the crash.

November 25, 2007

California wildfire destroys 30 homes

Santa Ana winds raced through Malibu, forcing 14,000 residents to evacuate their homes Saturday.
The fire expanded early in the morning on Saturday when the Santa Ana winds finally returned. The fire quickly grew before the winds subsided.
Forty-nine homes were destroyed and 27 were damaged according the Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman.
As soon as midafternoon, the fire had grown to nearly 7 square miles with only 25 percent contained.
By Saturday evening approximately half of those who had evacuated were allowed to return to their homes.
Nearly 1,700 firefighters, 15 helicopters and 15 airplanes battled the fire.

Passengers on ship flown home to Chile

After 154 abandoned their sinking cruise ship near Antarctica, the passengers were flown to Chile Saturday to begin their travels back home.
As they waited for their flights in Punta Arenas, a southern Chilean city, some of the crew and passengers from the ship were able to call home using satellite telephones.
A family member of one of the passengers aboard the Explorer reported that her husband, Bob Flood, was exhaused and cold because the rescue boats had taken a long time to reach the passengers.
The Explorer began to take on water around 11:30 p.m. on the 12th day or a 19-day cruise. Around 3 a.m. crew members informed passengers to board life-boats and rafts.
The passengers reacted without panic and some apparently cracked jokes about the Titanic.
It was only after spending hours in life-rafts and boats that passengers began to complain of the cold.
Officials said six passengers were treated for hypothemia.
A spokesperson for the company that owns the Explorer, G.A.P. Adventures said that passengers were able to choose whether they wanted to join another cruise or fly home on Saturday.

November 17, 2007

Hybrid buses on Nicollet Mall

Metro Transit introduced 17 new hybrid buses Thursday on Nicollet Mall. Along with these, 150 more have been ordered and will be delivered over the next five years.
Each hybrid costs $557,000 and average 4.71 miles to the gallon. This is nearly a mile per gallon more than the standard Metro Transit buses.
Because of this improvement in fuel economy, Metro Transit is expecting to save 1,965 gallons of fuel per bus every year. This will be combined with less pollutants dispersed into the air and up to 90 percent fewer soot emissions.
The buses are a quieter ride inside and out and will be handicapped accessible.

Iran honors weapons ban

Iran is apparently honoring an informal pledge to stop smuggling explosives and other weapons into Iraq.
This has contributed to more than a 50 percent decrease in bombings since March, according to a U.S. senior general.
Bomb attacks have decreased from 3,239 in March to 1,560 in October. This is the lowest it has been since September of 2005.
Since the creation of the Baghdad security plan there has been an overall decrease in violence in Iraq.
The U.S. is hoping to recreate this drop in violence in Anbar Province, where the U.S. has signed more than $5.2 million in contracts in attempt to protect roads and other infrastructure in the area.

Recent hurricanes cause largest tree die-off in U.S.

New satellite images have shown that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused the largest single forestry disaster ever recorded in the United States.
The hurricanes killed or severely damaged approximately 320 million trees located in Mississippi and Louisiana.
This tree die-off was caused by wind initially and then by flooding around the bases of the trees.
Researchers are saying that the die-off will significantly contribute to the green-house gas buildup. It will put as much carbon into the air as the rest of the U.S. forests will take out in a year of photosynthesis.
Efforts to control the damage have been stalled by a $504 million federal program for Gulf Coast land owners to replant and fight invasive species. Officials in the emergency conservation program say they have only seen about $70 million be processed or dispensed thus far.
The assessment of trees that were damage or killed will be released in a study in the journal Science Friday.