Recently in Local News Category

Eden Prairie Set to Redraw School Boundaries

In an attempt to enhance the diversity of the student body in its elementary schools, the Eden Prairie school board is expected to redraw its school district boundaries in a meeting on Tuesday.

As the Eden Prairie News reported, the school board originally discussed changing the boundaries in September, and now that proposals have been examined, the school is expected to approve a new plan.

According to the Star Tribune, the new boundaries are designed to balance the school size and diversity of Eden Prairie's five elementary schools.

Numerous other school districts in the metro area, facing similar problems with balancing size and demographics of student bodies, are expected to follow Eden Prairie's example if the redistricting plan is accepted, according to the Star Tribune.

"The opportunity for Eden Prairie is to show how to be a leader in a whole new world," said state Rep. Carlos Mariani of St. Paul.

African Immigrants Brawl in Moorhead

A fight broke out early Sunday in a Moorhead parking lot between immigrants from Sudan and Liberia, drawing an estimated of crowd of 100 people.

According to KARE, Moorhead police had to break up the fight that involved a knife, a shovel, a firearm, and a taser shortly after midnight on Sunday.

Police reported that three men sustained injuries in the fight, although none are life-threatening.

The Star Tribune confirmed that the fight was between young men from the war-torn African nations of Sudan and Liberia, marking the most recent event in a history of racial tensions in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Community leaders expressed worry that the actions of these young men might lead to injuries among the older population.

"Our concern is what is happening is not in the interest of both communities," said Gibson Jerue, a Liberian community leader from Fargo.

Gray Wolf Close to Removal from Endangered List

The federal government is close to removing gray wolves from the endangered species list.

According to KSTP, the wolves, which live in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, have bounced back from near extinction to population levels nearly twice what is required by the endangered species list.

The Department of the Interior plans to propose a plan for the wolves in early 2011, with a final vote on the plan coming by the end of that year, according to Assistant Secretary Thomas Strickland.

WCCO reported that Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced last week that she hoped the wolves would be removed from the list because they have become a threat to various Minnesota industries.

In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Klobuchar said that the wolves are "hurting our farms, families and businesses, and our hunting industry."

Winter Storm Forces NFL to Move Vikings Game

The winter storm that roared through Minnesota on Saturday deflated the Metrodome in Minneapolis and will force the Vikings to play a home football game in Detroit.

According to the Star Tribune, the roof of the Metrodome tore in three places due to the weight of the fifth-largest snowfall in Twin Cities history.

The news of the location change disappointed fans who were hoping to see the Vikings keep their slim playoff hopes alive against the New York Giants.

According to KSTP, an effort was made by the NFL to play the game at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota, but enormous amounts of snowfall on the field made that option logistically impossible.

"Unfortunately, TCF Bank Stadium was shut down for winter and would take several days to prepare for an NFL game," Vikings officials released in a written statement.

The team will now kickoff from Detroit at 6:20 PM on Monday.

Favre Injured as Vikings Demolish Bills

With quarterback Brett Favre leaving with a shoulder injury early in the game, running back Adrian Peterson stepped up, scoring three touchdowns to lead the Vikings to a 38-14 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

According to KSTP, Favre left the game after taking a big hit on his shoulder from Bills linebacker Arthur Moats on the third play of the game.

Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson played the rest of the game for Favre, throwing two touchdowns to wide receiver Sidney Rice and three interceptions.

According to ESPN, Favre admitted that there was no way he could have reentered the game and been an effective quarterback.

"I couldn't throw," Favre said in his post-game press conference. "I tried to on the sidelines."

Favre's injury makes his status for next week's game questionable, and it jeopardizes his streak of 297 consecutive starts, according to ESPN.

Funeral Held for Wisconsin Hostage Taker

Hundreds of people attended the memorial Sunday for the boy who held his social studies class hostage in Marinette, Wisconsin last week before shooting himself.

Attendees were still trying to wrap their minds around why 15-year-old Sam Hengel held his class at gunpoint for six hours before taking his own life, according to WCCO-TV.

"We don't know for sure what went on in Sam's mind," said Keith Schroeder, Hengel's scoutmaster, "but we know he chose a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

KARE reports that countless people left written messages for Hengel, including his brother, Ben, who simply wrote, "I will always miss you, brother."

Police are still uncertain as to why Sam Hengel, whom his father described as a quiet leader, tried to hold his class hostage.

Vikings' Tumultous Season Grinds Onward with Blowout Loss

With chants of "Fire Childress" echoing through the Metrodome in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Vikings reached perhaps the lowest point in a season full of them.

With a 31-3 loss to the rival Green Bay Packers, the Vikings dropped their season record to 3-7 and essentially removed any remaining chance of making the playoffs.

ESPN reports that several verbal disputes broke out in the Vikings' locker room following the game as some players questioned the effort of others.

Sports Illustrated questions whether either quarterback Brett Favre or head coach Brad Childress will keep their jobs for the rest of the season.

Regardless of how the remainder of the season plays out, the result will be vastly different than last season, when the Vikings went 12-4 and lost the NFC Championship in overtime to the New Orleans Saints, who went on to win the Super Bowl.

Icy Roads Proving to Be Dangerous for Minnesotans

Cars stalled on roadsides and in ditches were a common sight on Minnesota roadways Saturday night after freezing rain coated roads with an icy glaze.

The Star Tribune reports that 438 crashes were documented in Minnesota since early Saturday evening, including approximately 75 involving injuries.

"Overnight was one for the ages as far as road conditions and number of calls for service," said State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske, who went on to state that the Twin Cities metro area dispatch received 900 calls for service over a four hour period.

One of the iciest stretches of road in Minnesota was at Highway 7 and County Road 44 in the west metro, where at least 40 cars went off the road at a large curve, according to the Star Tribune.

Over the course of the evening of accidents, the State Patrol reported one fatality near Litchfield, where a passenger was ejected from a car after being struck by another car.

2010 Minnesota Recount Shaping Up Differently from 2008

The state of Minnesota learned lessons in the prolonged senatorial recount of 2008 that it is using to make the 2010 governor's recount go more smoothly.

According to KSTP, election officials overseeing the 2010 recount, many of whom also handled matters in 2008, will have a much easier time now due to new election laws and the larger lead currently held by Democrat Mark Dayton over Republican Tom Emmer.

Dayton holds an 8,755-vote lead before the recount, which is scheduled to begin in earnest November 23.

Emmer, according to the Star Tribune, claims that the recount is not meant to delay a Democrat taking the highest office in Minnesota, a position that grants veto power to slow the agenda of new Republican majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate.

"Anybody who would talk now about just using the process for delay or some other, I think that's entirely improper, and I wouldn't be part of it," Emmer said.

Snowy Weather Causing Havoc Across Twin Cities Area

The first significant snowfall event of the season in Minnesota has begun, and the snowy weather is causing major headaches on roadways and in houses across the state.

KSTP reports that many parts of the Twin Cities metro area have already seen nearly a foot of snow, and the precipitation is expected to continue throughout Saturday evening.

The State Patrol announced that there have been 401 crashes and 471 vehicle spinouts since midnight Saturday, although no injuries or fatalities have been reported.

In addition, 52,000 Xcel Energy customers in the metro area are without power due to the storm, according to KSTP.

The Star Tribune points out that the storm has dropped the biggest pre-Thanksgiving snowfall in the Twin Cities since the Halloween blizzard of 1991.

Officials have declared snow emergencies in Minneapolis, St. Paul and many surrounding cities.

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