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Occupy Protesters Defy Order, Set up Tents in Minneapolis

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The Occupy Minnesota protesters have defied the order of a county judge by setting up tents on the plaza outside of Hennepin County Government Center Wednesday.

The Anti-Wall Street protesters, who are fighting against large banks and the U.S. investments in wars, stormed in to set up tents at a rally at which they chanted, "We are the 99 percent!" They plan to set up 99 tents to signify the 99 percent they represent.

According to KSTP, protesters will not be stifled by police or judges' orders saying that it is their right to set up tents, which they are aware are not permitted.

"Today we are trying to push the envelope on it and see what happens and set it up," Charles Geller, a protester said.

Hennepin County security guards were there in large numbers but they just watched on. In addition the guards there were a number of Hennepin County deputy officers who can make arrests, but they didn't even ask anyone to take down their tents.

"We understand what might happen but to keep this movement going we're going to have to make a stand," protester Bill Habedank told KTSP. " That's what this is right here."

The Minneapolis School District will be reopening schools that were once closed due to an expected increase in enrollment.

Over the next five years there will be about 2,000 new students in the K-8 schools, and Tuesday night the school board approved the reopening of two schools to make room for the expanding number of students.

The Howe school building will be reopened after being vacant for years and in the 2013 school year it will serve as a school from preschool to fifth grade. Additionally the Webster building, which is currently being used for administration will reopen as an early childhood center.

Michael Thomas, Associate Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, told KARE 11, "We have worked very closely with the community through numerous community engagement sessions to get their input." He also said the school district worked with building, administration, and central administration staff to come up with a comprehensive plan that will benefit students.

The developments will occur over the next few years with some schools reopening as early as 2012, and the district has already begun contacting parents.

The new schools will mean new jobs for licensed teachers, paraprofessionals, councilors, and special education staff. The district says it will have a better idea of staff requirements in spring.

Woman killed on I-94 identified

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It was 6:30, and it was still dark as Steve Feldman headed to work on Interstate I-94 Thursday morning.

The freeway near Seventh Street in Minneapolis was busy with morning commuters driving at least 60 mph. Suddenly Feldman noticed cars were swerving, he figured to get out of the way of an animal, and he prepared himself to veer right. It wasn't until he got closer that he saw it was a person standing on the dashed line between the first and second lanes on the right shoulder, City Pages reported.

According to KEYC Mankato, The Minnesota State Patrol reported that the woman walked into traffic and laid down before being struck by multiple vehicles.

No identification was found on the woman, but the Hennepin County medical examiner has identified her as Melissa Lewis, a 38-year-old woman from Minneapolis.

Authorities still don't know why Lewis chose to lay down on the highway, but the investigation is still ongoing.

8-year-old math phenomenon in St. Paul

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Mani Chadaga slumped low in his front-row seat on the first day of algebra, and pretended to read his new textbook, but he could only make himself so unnoticeable. He was a second grader in a junior high math class at the St. Paul's Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet School.

A third grader who is taking Algebra II and Geometry, Mani quickly got over his shyness and soon was coming up with solutions to the teachers problems and helping classmates solve answers.

Mani's parents, Vivek and Juila Chadaga wonder how they will keep things interesting for Mani in the future, not only in classroom but outside of it as well. Mani has done well at the St. Paul Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet School, showing how schools have responded to advanced learners like Mani, but he is constantly challenging himself.

I am not the best at anything, so I want to improve at everything," said the 8-year-old to the Pioneer Press.

His curiousity for numbers started around 2 or 3, when his parents say he invented a mythology around numbers and even was a number 4 as a Halloween costume. As Mani has grown up he asked questions about the practically of math, and he has devised ways to use math in the real world with his father by measuring shadows or swing sets.

Heidi Geimer hopes the school system will find ways to continue to push Mani academically, but she doesn't doubt he will keep pushing himself. She said, "with Mani, you know in your heart of hearts he's going to grow up and do good for the world."

Julian Koslowski and two other members of the search party reached the waste water treatment plant as storm clouds formed over the Mille Lacs Indian reservation in Minnesota.

Near the facility, the search party noticed two pathways of flattened grass. One was thin and the other was thick about the size a body would be if it were dragged through the grass. They also noticed tire tracks as the rain poured down from the black sky.

The body of 19-year-old William Nickaboine was so badly maimed, burned, and beaten it was hardly recognizable as a corpse. The word of his death spread quickly across the 60,000-acre Ojibwe reservation along Lake Mille Lacs. There are about 4,000 close neighbors and families who are still quieted by Nickaboine's death a year later, City Pages reported.

Nickaboine's death was the latest of many on the reservation, which has seen increased shootings, muggings, and drugs, much of which the Ojibwe attribute to a new gang called the Native Mob.shootings, muggings, and drugs, much of which the Ojibwe attribute to a new gang called the Native Mob.

According to gang experts, most gangs on reservations appear to be poorly organized. Mahnomen County gang and drug officer Jason Wambach says so far it seems like internal fighting is what's keeping the gang problem from exploding on the reservations, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

The Mille Lacs reservation has revived an ancient form of punishment- banishment. According to City Pages, it is legally called "exclusion" and forbids the offender from entering the land of the reservation for at least five years.

The exclusion punishment has its problems, according to City Pages. "It's impossible to just sit around and patrol for people who have been excluded," says Matthew Fletcher, a tribal law professor from Michigan State University who studies banishment.

The enforcement of banishment is one of the reasons that it is controversial amongst the community. It has also been debated that it is a form of cruel and unusual punishment, as it robs those banished of their identity and their place on the reservation.

Authorities are looking for the individuals that set 17 fires in the Longfellow neighborhood in south Minneapolis, KARE reported.

According to the Star Tribune, 17 fires were set between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. in a 13-block area near West River Parkway.

Police said the fires were intentionally set, and were randomly set throughout the neighborhood. Ten fires started in leaf piles or in garage bags and three vehicles were also hit, as were two garages and a garbage dumpster, the Star Tribune reported.

Approximately 20 Minneapolis police squads from all five precincts, 40 officers in all, and the Special Operations Division were searching in the area overnight, according to KARE.

The police have questioned several people in the area but no arrests have been made in connection with the fires.

Ramsey County reaches deal on Arden Hill Site

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Commissioners in Ramsey County made a tentative deal to buy the proposed site for the Vikings stadium in Arden Hills Thursday.

Zygi Wilf, owner of the Minnesota Vikings, said that they would pay significantly less than the pledged $400 million for a stadium not in the preferred suburban St. Paul location.

"We're committed to the Arden Hills site for what it brings to the fans, but we're also committed to investing over $400 million in specific to the Arden Hills site for the experiences that everyone can get from Arden Hills," Wilf told The Associated Press. "Any other location besides Arden Hills wouldn't justify near that level of commitment."

Tony Bennett and Rafael Ortega, county commissioners, wrote letters to Gov. Mark Dayton and other legislators saying the price of the 430-acre property won't exceed the budgeted $30 million, the Star Tribune reported. Ortega said that the county has until Aug 1, 2012 to make a decision about 28.5 million dollar property without paying a penalty.

The Vikings have been pitching a new stadium to replace the outdated Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis for almost a decade. According to The Associated Press, the lease on the Metrodome ends after this season and fans are worried that the team will end up in Los Angeles.

This year the Vikings partnered with Ramsey County for the 1.1 billion dollar proposal. The local government had offered $350 million from a sales-tax increase to pay its share of the bill; however, last week Dayton ruled out a county wide tax-hike to cover stadium costs.

Funding still remains a mystery, but government officials are working on it. According to the Star Tribune the county is left with a $650 million share, with the Vikings paying around $400 million.

"Avoiding the issue, as seems to have been taking place in the last couple of weeks, does not work," Wilf told the Star Tribune. "It only gets more difficult and more expensive. We're very encouraged by leadership of both houses and the governor in trying to bring a stadium solution front and center."

Gophers Hockey No. 1 in polls

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For the first time in three years, the Gopher Hockey team can call themselves No. 1.

According to 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, the Gophers jumped from No. 5 to No. 1 in both national hockey polls on Monday. They received 32 of a possible 50 votes in the United States College Hockey Online poll and 27 out of 34 votes in the USA Today/ USA Hockey Magazine poll.

Coach Don Lucia told the Star Tribune, "We are 10 games into the season. I look at it as a reward to the players for the work they put in and their accomplishments so far. But there is a good 65 to 70 percent of the season to play."

The only loss on the Gophers 9-1-0 record is a 5-4 nonconference loss to Vermont. Since the loss on Oct. 23 the Gophers have swept Alaska-Anchorage and North Dakota

The last time the Gophers were No. 1 was late in November 2008, the Star Tribune reports, but lost the spot after only 2 weeks. The Gophers take the No. 1 spot, which previously belonged to Boston College before they lost to Massachusetts on Saturday.

1500 ESPN reports, The Gophers travel to Madison Friday night for a two-game series.


Former Minnesota Public Radio host and Prairie Home Companion sound effects master, died on November 1, when he suddenly collapsed in his Woodbury home. He was 64.

According to the Pioneer Press,Garrison Keillor said in an email statement that the cause of death was a heart attack.

Keith worked at MPR for 25 years. Keith attended the University of Minnesota where he was a standout baseball player and after college joined the Marines, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

He applied to MPR as a board operator, then a small operations and ended up working with Garrison Keillor who praised Keith's creativity in his sound effects, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

"He was a master at creating effects with physical items, in addition to his acting and vocal skills," colleague Tim Russell told the Pioneer Press. "It's a rare commodity. It's hard to replace something like that."

Minnesota boy genius could have a doctorate by 18

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Most students enter college hoping to find a career, study hard but party harder and graduate in three or four years, but 11-year-old Lucas Kramer could have a doctorate by the time he is 18.

Most kids his age are studying in sixth grade but Lucas is almost finished with high school and spends most of his time on the University of Minnesota campus. He hangs out at Coffman to eat lunch, nap or read a book from the library for "fun"- a book on the chemical property called Aromaticity, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Lucas is a part of the PSEO program at the university and has been involved in the Minnesota Virtual Academy as well, which he was involved in since he was 8 until he "exhausted all those courses".

Angela, Lucas' mom, attends his classes with him and told CBS Minnesota that her son hit many developmental milestones early. He was identifying letters by 7 or 8 months, read three-letter words before age 2 and read college-level books before age 5, she said.

In terms of his future, Lucas doesn't have many plans, but he does want to earn his doctorate. "We just take one day at a time," Angela told the Minnesota Daily. "We always say wherever God opens the door, we don't know how it'll work or how things will happen, but He just does."

God is a big influence in Lucas' life and wants to attend the St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas once he is old enough to become a priest. In the meantime Lucas will major in either chemical engineering or material science after he is finished with PSEO, which will most likely be in spring of 2013.

"No point in sitting on the couch eating Cheetos," Angela said. "You might as well do something good with your time."

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