December 7, 2008

Skater falls through ice

A man skating on Medicine Lake in Plymouth fell through while ice skating on Sunday afternoon. According to Fox 9, the man was unconscious and did not have a pulse when he was pulled out of the water. He was wearing ice skates and a camera around his neck.

According to the Star Tribune,the man was found in the water at approximately 3 pm after another skater saw a hat floating in the water and called police. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Water Patrol reported.

He was rushed to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

The victim has not been identified yet. Authorities believe he was from out of town, visiting relatives.

The man was found in the water about 3 p.m. after another skater spotted a hat floating in the water and called police at 1:50 p.m., the Hennepin County Sheriff's Water Patrol reported.

November 30, 2008

Drive by shooting leaves man dead

According to the Star Tribune, two men were shot on Saturday morning in a drive-by-attack on the 1400 block of Dowling Avenue in north Minneapolis.

One of the victims died at the scene, while the other was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale to get treatment for a non-life threatening gunshot wound. (Fox 9)

Neither of the victims' names have been released.

The Star Tribune reported that at approximately 3 a.m., an SUV carrying two men was stopped at the intersection of Fremont and Dowling Avenues when another car pulled up and someone in the second car fired several shots at the SUV.

The victims' car travelled for another 2 blocks before crashing into a house. No one from the house was injured.

This is the second shooting to occur within three days.

November 23, 2008

Denny Hecker closes 6 dealerships

The St. Louis Park based car dealership, Denny Hecker, announced Friday night that six of their Twin Cities dealerships would be closing and three others would be sold. Approximately 400 employees will lose their jobs as a result of this.

The Hecker Automotive group said the poor economy and auto industry crisis is forcing them to make this decision. The dealerships that will be affected are those kocated in Blaine, Forest lake, Monticello, Roseville, Shakopee, and Stillwater. Inver Grove Heights Hyundai, Inver Grove Heights Volkswagen and Peninsula Dodge are being sold, and will be closed until their purchases are finalized.

According to WCCO, Denny Hecker Automotive Group President Barbara Jerich said Friday, "The decision to realign our dealership came as we found ourselves in the midst of a 'perfect storm' of economic bad news: a financial crisis on Wall street, chaos in the housing market, consumer confidence at all time low, and the sight of the Big Three on their knees in Washington asking for a bailout loan."

November 16, 2008

Student lies about bomb threat

A University of Minnesota student could face criminal charges after reporting a false bomb threat. The student claimed that she overheard three Somali males plotting to bomb Anderson Hall and the Hubert H. Humphrey Center on Tuesday morning.

According to the Star Tribune, once the threat was determined to be a hoax, building inspections stopped and the building reopened at approximately 8:30 a.m.

The student, who is white and 19 years old, described the people she overheard as "three Somali males" who also had classes Tuesday morning in those buildings, said University Police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner to the Star Tribune.

Miner said there are issues surrounding why the student chose to describe the "suspects" as Somali men.

Authorities are still deciding whether the student will be disciplined.

November 9, 2008

City settles with dogbite victim

The city of Minneapolis agreed to settle a lawsuit brought forward by a woman that was attacked by a bulldog last year. On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council agreed to pay $367,000 to Paula Ybarra. The dog that had attacked her was previously declared dangerous by the city, but was never confiscated or put down.

According to the Star Tribune, she is still awaiting the results of a pending lawsuit against the dog's owner, who is also a friend of hers.

Since May, when Ybarra filed the lawsuit, she has accumulated more than $225,000 in medical expenses. She sued the city and her friend on behalf of herself and two of her daughters, who witnessed the attack. Ybarra's daughters, ages 4 and 9 at the time of the attack, have since received counseling.

According to, Ybarra was attacked at a friend's house, which she was helping paint.

When she went inside with her youngest daughter, who needed to use the bathroom, she was attacked by the 160-pound dog. It bit her in the neck, damaging her windpipe, a major artery, and her voice box.

When rescue workers arrived to assist Ybarra, she was not breathing. This was not the first time that Bobo, the bulldog, had attacked anyone. He had previously been declared dangerous by the city for attacking a young child.

November 2, 2008

Fake Anthrax package sent to Pioneer Press

The St. Paul Pioneer Press was the latest target in a string of anthrax scares across the nation when it received a package on Saturday afternoon containing a suspicious white powder along with other items in an envelope labeled "anthrax" and "biohazard".

Initial tests have determined that the powder was sugar, reported the Star Tribune.

Pete Crum, St. Paul police spokesman, told the Star Tribune that the package will be sent on to the FBI, U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for further investigation.

The envelope additionally contained a CD with a photo of Gen. Colin Powell labeled "Anthrax Shock and Awe Terror".

According to Minnesota Public Radio, the Star Tribune received a similar package on Thursday.

Last Wednesday, the FBI arrested a California man on suspicion of being responsible for sending more than 120 fake anthrax letters to various news outlets across the nation.

October 26, 2008

Bus crashes after driver is assaulted

According to the Star Tribune, a Metro Transit driver lost control of his bus after he was punched in the face by a passenger.

The driver was on the 22E route, in the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood in South Minneapolis. He asked a group of six teenagers to settle down. After they refused to quiet down, the driver attempted to call the police, and one of them punched him.

This is at least the 13th assault on a Metro Transit driver this year.

According to the Pioneer Pressthe bus sustained extensive damages to the front and passenger sides after hitting a traffic light pole.

The driver was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center and was treated for a bruise around one of his eyes after crashing the bus into a traffic light pole in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. The bus sustained extensive damage to its front a passenger side.

The six teens fled the scene, however police were able to arrest two of the teens after the incident was reported. The two teens were taken to Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center and are expected to be charged with felony assault. The other four teens have not been found yet.

October 19, 2008

U of M to enforce attendance on Election Day

The University of Minnesota has made its stance clear: there will be no skipping of classes on Election Day, even if it is to go to the local polling station.

University policies may make it harder for students with busy schedules to vote. According to the University policy on Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences,voting in local, state or national elections is not an acceptable reason to miss class. (The Minnesota Daily)

The Star Tribune reported that this may cause problems for students who do not know how long it will take them at the polling stations.

University spokesman Dan Wolter said that it would be hard to believe that students would not be able to find time to vote with polling places being open 13 hours. However, he also said toThe Minnesota Daily that the decision would ultimately be up to a student's professors.

September 21, 2008

Motorcycle accident unveiled as homicide

What seemed like a typical motorcycle accident has now unveiled itself as a homicide. It appeared that Natasha Waalen, 28, from Andover, died early Friday morning when she lost control of her bike. By that night, Waalen’s injuries raised a red flag that led to the arrest of her live-in boyfriend of 10 years.

"There are multiple factors that are not consistent with a motor vehicle accident," reported a statement from the Anoka County sheriff's office announcing Boland's arrest. (

Ryan Boland, 33, was arrested for suspicion of killing Waalen.

The news has shocked both friends and family.

Jeff Waalen, Natasha’s father, told the Star Tribune that he suspected a man who recently threatened his daughter over a potential lawsuit. After hearing that Boland was arrested, Jeff said that the investigators were “barking up the wrong tree.?

According to, neighbors are upset over the whole ordeal, especially since there was no indication of violence between the couple.

"The neighborhood is buzzing. This sort of thing just doesn't happen. It's just very hard to take in," next-door neighbor Valorie Burke said.

The exact cause of death and possible motive have not been released just yet. Boland remained in jail over the weekend, as investigators and county attorney’s office considered charges.