November 2009 Archives

The Star Tribune reported Sunday that the state officials claimed that the cost of the Mn/DOT project Northern Lights Express from Minneapolis to Duluth has risen to $990 million, more than double last year's $360 million estimate.


"We've come up with what many might call a worst-case scenario," said Mn/DOT project manager Dave Christianson.


The state government is now competing with 40 states for getting up to 80 percent of the cost cover with federal funds.


The NLX project team will conduct public open house meetings in Hinckley, Cambridge, Coon and Superior. The first meeting will be held at Cambridge's Armed Forces Reserve Community Center at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.


The WDIO reported Nov.13 that consultant for NLX claimed $550 million budget for the project, which is much less than the one claimed by Mn/DOT consultant.


Gary Cerkvenik, a consultant for NLX, was interviewed by the WDIO report.

"They [consultants for Mn/DOT] think we need to double track 150 miles, " Cerkvenik said. "We really only need to double track 100 miles."

4 Wash. police officers killed in "execution"

The MSNBC reported Sunday that four uniformed police officers were shot and killed in a coffee shop in Parkland, Wash., Sunday morning. The Pierce County Sheriff's officials identified the attack as a "targeted ambush."


The sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said the suspect fled the scene on foot and might be hurt by a return shot from one of the victims.


Troyer said the victims were from the Lakewood Police Department. Their names will be released after all their families are notified.

The police are trying to reconstruct the crime by interviewing all the witnesses in the cafe at the time. No one else was hurt.


The gunman was a "scruffy-faced black man in his 20s or 30s, 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10 and wearing a black jacket over a gray hooded sweatshirt, and blue jeans," according to the MSNBC.


Maurice Clemmons, a man with previous criminal record with police, is identified as "person of interest" by authorities.


The Seattle Times reported Sunday that Clemmons was just released one week ago after several months' jail for "the child-rape charge."


The article pointed out that Clemmons has a long criminal history "includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington."


The MSNBC also noticed that the police haven't found it any connection with the Seattle police shooting on Halloween night. 

Obama plans to "finish the job" in Afghanistan

The New York Times reported Tuesday that President Barack Obama would announce his new strategy of the Afghanistan war Dec. 1, increasing over 30,000 troops to "finish the job" of this eight-year war.


The president said the new strategy would focus on civilian and diplomatic efforts.

"One of the things I'm going to be discussing is the obligations of our international partners," he said.


Bruce Riedel, who conducted Obama's first Afghan-Pakistan policy review in March, said that he is not expected huge change in the new plan.


The article pointed out that the president's new troop decision might increase the controversy about the financial concern of the U.S. government.


"The White House estimating it will cost $1 million per year for each additional soldier sent to Afghanistan," according the Times.


The National Post reported Monday that the government might plan to call for a war tax to support the cost of the president's new troop decision.


Reps. David Obey of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said rich Americans should be taxed to pay more for the Afghanistan war.


He told the ABC News reporter that "there ain't going to be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan." 

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