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Vikings Running Back Arrested

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Caleb King, a rookie Vikings running back, has been arrested on suspicion of assault, according to the Associated Press.

King has not yet been formally charged, but was arrested under suspicion of third degree assault after an altercation outside of a party in Oak Grove left a 22-year-old man with skull and facial fracture as well as a potentially serious brain injury.

a release from the Anoka County Sheriff's Office obtained by the Star Tribune described an incident in which the alleged victim was pulled out of his car by King and beaten after teasing him earlier at the party.

King was arrested at the scene and denied that he had assaulted the man, saying that he fell when they were talking in the parking lot. The Anoka County attorney's office will decide whether or not to charge King next week.

King is a rookie running back for the Vikings practice squad. He joined the team last year as a free agent and has not yet played in a game.

Stadium plan limps forward in senate

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Fox News reports that the Minnesota Vikings stadium deal was brought back from the brink on Friday following a visit from the NFL commissioner.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell visited the capitol on Friday to voice his support for the stadium plan and keeping the Vikings in Minneapolis. After his visit a senate committee approved the deal in an 8-6 vote.

"We think it was a very productive session today," Goodell told Fox. "Obviously, I think our presence here is a signal how important it is to the National Football League that the Minnesota Vikings continue to be here in this community and be successful. We believe that after many, many years the time has come to pass legislation, to move forward."

KARE 11 reports that although the stadium plan was initially approved by a House committee, the plan died in front of a Government Operations panel last week. This makes the senate all the more crucial in the coming week.

"I still think the odds are against it at this point, but again, in the last week strange things can happen in terms of momentum, in terms of how things shift," Hamline University Political Science Professor David Schultz told KARE 11.

Bakdash Sentenced to 40 Years

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Timothy Bakdash, who was found guilty last month of a fatal hit-and-run in Dinkytown, was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a Hennepin County judge on Tuesday, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Bakdash, 30, was convicted of second degree murder and two counts of attempted murder last month. After he drove on a sidewalk in a drunken rage after leaving the Library Bar in Dinkytown. He struck three people including University senior Ben Van Handel, who died six days later.

According to the Star Tribune, Hennepin County District Judge Daniel Mabley said that he was touched by the case, and leveled a harsher sentence than expected. The prosecution asked for 38 years in prison, while Bakdash's defense sought 19.

"When I graduate in May and walk across the stage, I'm going to be walking for my brother," said Van Handel's sister, Rachel, though tears after the sentencing.

Minneapolis Teachers Approve New Contract

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MPR reports that Minneapolis teachers approved a new two-year contract with the school district on Saturday.

83 percent of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers voted to approve the new contract. The two-year agreement adds four more days to the school year and fifteen more minutes to each official school day, which increases annual salaries by just over $3,000.

"We're excited," union president Lynn Nordgren told the Star Tribune. "We have a lot of good things that will be good for students, for teachers, for schools and for the district overall."

The school board is scheduled to vote on the new contract, which is projected to increase district costs by $17.1 million, on Tuesday.

The Brick announces renovations

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The Star Tribune reports that the new downtown music venue The Brick has announced numerous renovations and relocated four sold-out shows.

The changes were announced in a statement by general manager Jeff Kehr on Tuesday. Among the changes are a reduction of sellable tickets, a new riser system to improve sightlines in the venue's upper level and a renovation of the entry area to reduce long lines.

To accommodate the renovations, which will be rolled out gradually over the next two months, the Brick also announced that sold out shows by Incubus, Marilyn Manson and Shinedown will be moved to St Paul venue The Myth and the June performance by the Shins has been relocated to the nearby Orpheum Theater.

The Brick has been licking its wounds after a disastrous sold-out opening show by Jane's Addiction. Fans took to Facebook and Twitter in a fury over long lines, overbearing security, poor sightlines, over crowding, and beer selection. The Pioneer Press reports that some fans even created a website, thebrickmnsucks.com, after the show. The public outcry caused the venue, which is owned by promotions giant AEG, to offer full refunds for the show.

Tony Wagner of the Minnesota Daily visited the venue in advance of its opening and late last week. In his initial assessment of the Brick, Wagner noted many of the problems that would end up infuriating Minneapolis concertgoers.

Gophers linebacker found dead

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Senior Gopher linebacker Gary Tinsley was found dead in Roy Wilkins Hall Friday morning, the Minnesota Daily reports.

Tinsley, 22, was found by his roommate Friday morning and appeared unresponsive. First responders performed CPR for 30 minutes before declaring Tinsely dead. The death is being treated as suspicious by police, but there were no signs of foul play or substance abuse.

Tinsley had problems both with grades and the law during his four seasons playing for the University, but he successfully turned his life around in recent years, and was set to receive his BS in business and marketing in May. He will be awarded the degree posthumously.

Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi flew back from the Frozen Four tournament after hearing the news of Tinsley's death, and joined the grieving Gopher football team, coach Jerry Kill, and University president Eric Kaler for an emotional news conference Friday afternoon.

The Gary that I knew always made me feel good," he told the Star Tribune. "I think he made others feel good as well."

U Football Player Dismissed

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A player was dismissed from the University of Minnesota Football team Thursday amid charges that he had stolen and used a credit card, the Pioneer Press reports.

Ge'Shun Harris, a Gophers wide receiver, was dismissed from the team after being accused of making over $800 dollars worth of purchases with an American Express card taken from a bag at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in January.

"We had no idea about this situation until today," Gophers head coach Jerry Kill said in a statement. "Based on our team policies and the way we run our program, Ge'Shun Harris was immediately dismissed from our football program. Every member of our team is well-aware of our expectations of them and how we enforce our team policies."

According to the Star Tribune, Harris told police that he had taken the wrong bag from a carousel at upon returning to Minneapolis, but did not bring it back right away for fear of being accused of stealing. He claimed to have gone through the bag in order to return it himself.

Harris later admitted that he had made the purchases with the card, and has been charged with felony financial transaction card fraud. He is set to appear in court on April 4.

Stadium Deal Announced

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State and Vikings officials have announced a plan for a new stadium at the Metrodome site in Minneapolis, according to the Star Tribune.

The proposed plan would build a new stadium on the footprint of the 30-year-old stadium, expanding into property owned by the Star Tribune for a large plaza and tailgate area, and land already owned by Vikings owner Zygi Wilf for additional parking.

Bloomberg reports that the Vikings organization would pay $427 million under the proposed agreement. The state would chip in $398 million from pull-tabs and the city of Minneapolis would divert the remaining $150 million from existing convention center and hospitality taxes. The Vikings and the city will split the cost of yearly upkeep, paying $13 million and $7.5 million respectively.

Governor Mark Dayton said that the construction of a new stadium would add 8,000 construction jobs and employ about 5,000 suppliers with out taking any additional money from the state.

According to the Star Tribune breakdown the agreement, the stadium complex would be completed in 2016 and cost roughly $975 million. No design has been decided on but the proposed stadium would have 65,000 seats and have a fixed roof, unless the Vikings decided to kick in additional money for a retractable one.

The stadium is still a long way from becoming a reality: the plans still have to be approved by the Minneapolis city council and the state legislature. However, an agreement between public officials and the Vikings organization represents an important step in the year long battle for a new stadium.

New Light Rail Lines Named

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metro.jpgThe Metropolitan Council announced Wednesday that Metro Transit rapid bus and light rail lines would be receiving new names and a new logo, according the Minnesota Public Radio.

The existing Hiawatha light rail line will be renamed the Blue Line, the Central Corridor line will be named the Green Line, and new rapid transit bus lines along Cedar Avenue and 35W will be named the red and orange lines, respectively.

The Metropolitan Council also announced that the lines will be known as "Metro" and will use a new logo. A capital "T" in a red circle will replace the originally proposed "M" logo. The latter was much derided by city officials and focus groups alike, prompting the change back.

"Everybody had an idea of what the "M" should look like," Bruce Howard, marketing director for Metro Transit, told the Star Tribune. "We were trying to please everybody and really pleased nobody with the "M."

The new logo will appear on rapid transit buses when the lines open in November, on the Green Line when it opens in 2014, and on existing Blue/Hiawatha Line stops as they receive regular maintenance.

The Minneapolis synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted in opposition of Minnesota's controversial marriage amendment and to elect the first female Bishop over the weekend, according to the Minn Post.

At the ELCA Minneapolis Synod's annual assembly some 700 Lutherans voted to officially oppose Minnesota's proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage. The synod's vote comes on the heels of Minnesota's catholic bishops (representing 1.1 million minnesotans) declaring their support of the controversial amendment.

The assembly heard from at least a dozen speakers before holding an informal vote in which members of the assembly raised red or green cards. The Star Tribune reported that green overwhelmed red.

But not all Lutherans are in favor of the vote.

"This is a really complex political issue, and I think it's important Christians are involved in the political realm on the individual level," said Clifton Hanson, an area pastor. "I think for us to come together as a group and say the church thinks [that the marriage amendment is wrong] is inappropriate."

The synod said they do not plan to give any money to organizations opposing the amendment.

The weekend's assembly saw another groundbreaking move by the synod, which voted to install the Reverend Ann Svennungsen as Minneapolis' first female Lutheran bishop, the Star Tribune reported.

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