April 27, 2007

Torii Hunter Takes One...or Two for the Team

By Diane White

Twins center fielder, Torri Hunter, was in his first at-bat of Thursday’s game when he took a 2-2 pitch from Royals' right-hander, Zack Greinke, square in the mouth.
Hunter was seen at Abbott Northwestern Hospital as a precaution and ended up with a swollen upper lip and three stitches as a result of a laceration that occurred when a tooth penetrated through his lip, according to the MLB.
This is the second hit Hunter has taken to the head, the other incident occurred early in spring training this year. Many fans have compared this incident to other frightening moments at the Metrodome, specifically when Kirby Puckett got hit in what turned out to be his final at bat in September of '95, according to WCCO.
The Twins broke their four-game losing streak, beating the Royals 1-0. Hunter plans on playing Friday night in Detroit, according to the AP.

Same-Sex Civil Unions in New Hampshire

By Diane White

The New Hampshire Senate passed a bill Thursday, by a margin of 14-10, approving same-sex civil unions.
A spokesperson for state Gov., John Lynch, said he would sign the bill within days, according to the BBC. The bill was passed without difficulty, unlike the situation in other U.S. states where the change in law had faced legal challenges.
The three states that already offer civil unions for gay couples are: New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont. Massachusetts became the only state to allow gay marriage in 2004, according to the AP.
Democrats won control of the Legislature last fall for the first time in more than a century and are the likely reason that this bill went through, according to the New York Times.

Putin Threatens to Pullout From Arms Pact

By Diane White

Pres. Vladimir V. Putin threatened Russia would suspend its compliance with a treaty on conventional arms in Europe, Thursday.
Putin accused the U.S. and NATO of undermining regional stability with its plan to extend an American missile shield to central Europe, according to the AP.
NATO Secretary, General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, said the agreement had been one of the cornerstones of European security and Russia's threat to suspend participation is a grave concern, according to the BBC.
The treaty was forged at the end of the cold war, according to the New York Times. The announcement made in Putin's annual address to Parliament has sparked an intense dispute between NATO and the Kremlin.

April 26, 2007

17-year-old charged with Murder

By Diane White

A local 17-year-old was charged Wednesday as a juvenile, with second degree murder, in the shooting death of another teenager on a Metro Transit bus in downtown early Sunday.
Ramsey County Prosecutors believe there's enough evidence to convict Jerome Pablo Cross of the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Earl Freeman. Evidence includes: eye witnesses, video surveillance, and weapons, according to the AP.
Prosecutors are also asking the judge to move the case to adult court, according to Kare 11. The decision won't be made for a few weeks and in the meantime, Cross will remain in custody, partly for his own safety.
About 40 family members and supporters stood outside the courthouse today as Cross was charged, yelling for his freedom and claiming his innocence, according to the Star Tribune.

Willmar Remembers a Lost Soldier

By Diane White

Family and friends of Army Sgt. Joshua Schmit said goodbye to him at funeral service Wednesday in Willmar. He was 26.
The funeral was held at the civic center where Schmit once played hockey. Much of community remembered him as their hometown hero and the 58th Minnesotan to die at war in Iraq, according to Kare 11.
Schmit was killed in Fallujah, Iraq April 14 when a roadside bomb exploded. He was due to come home ten days after his death, according to WCCO.
In recent emails to family members, Schmit said he was looking forward to coming home and traveling the world with his wife Andrea, according to the AP.

April 21, 2007

Professor in Virginia Tragedy is buried in Israel

By Diane White

A Virginia Tech Engineering Professor was buried Friday, in Israel, where he was given the highest medal for his scientific accomplishments and heroism by the Romanian Government. He was 76.
Liviu Librescu saved the lives of many students during the Virginia Tech Tragedy, by using his body to barricade a classroom door, while they escaped out windows. He was shot as his students jumped, according to the AP.
Librescu was a Romanian-born Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Israel in 1978 after refusing to give allegiance to the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, according to the BBC. He began teaching at Virginia Tech in 1985.
Librescu's son Joe said, "I really felt a sense of pride, even thought I wasn't surprised at how he acted at this moment...His was definitely a fulfilled life," according to CBS.

Pioneer Press searches Star Tribune Computers

By Diane White

A Ramsey County District Court judge ruled Friday that the Pioneer Press will get access to several computers and servers from the rival Star Tribune newspaper of Minneapolis.
The 13-page decision, by Judge David Higgs, said the Star Tribune has 48 hours to hand over Par Ridder's three work computers and his home computer to the Pioneer Press, according to the Pioneer Press. The order also called for a turn over of paper documents belonging to the Pioneer Press within two days.
The Pioneer Press has alleged that Ridder took a folder containing noncompete agreements signed by him and other executives after his departure from his position as publisher of the Pioneer Press to become the publisher of the Star Tribune, according to the AP.
The judge also granted a request from the St. Paul paper that the Star Tribune's director of niche publications, Jennifer Parratt, be temporarily suspended. Parratt was hired away from the Pioneer Press, and started at the Star Tribune on Tuesday, according to the Star Tribune.

April 20, 2007

So Long Sanjaya

By Diane White

The 17-year-old American Idol contestant, Sanjaya Malakar, who drew so much attention, was ousted from the competition Wednesday.
Not everyone was mourning his departure according to the AP, where headlines in India read, "Finally, Sanjaya sings his way out of 'Idol," and "Sanjaya is voted off American Idol — he's the only one weeping." The lapse of connection between Indian viewers and Malakar was attributed to many factors including: a language barrier, unfamiliarity of the songs on "Idol," and the broadcast schedule in India.
Malakar may be best remembered for his endless parade of hairstyles: flat ironed, permed, and the now-infamous, never-to-be-bettered pony hawk, according to MSNBC contributor, Marc Hirsh.
He went out with a bang however and altered the words of Bonnie Raitt's song "Let's give them something to talk about, how about love?" to "Let's give them something to talk about, other than hair," according to Fox News.

St. Paul Fire Chief Takes a Job in Milwaukee

By Diane White

The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission unanimously selected Doug Holton for a four-year term as chief Thursday night.
Holton will be returning to his hometown where he spent roughly 25 years as a Milwaukee firefighter before coming to St. Paul in 2003, according to the Pioneer Press. He accepted his new position hours after the offer.
This new opportunity for Holton comes halfway through his first term as St. Paul's fire chief and weeks after a stunning no-confidence vote from his firefighters according to the StarTribune.
Bobbie Webber, president of the Milwaukee firefighters' union, said, "We have concerns about his history with the union up there, but we're prepared to work through the issues and move forward."

Mourning for Virgina Tech Victims

By Diane White

Church bells tolled at noon, across the country Friday remembering the 32 victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy.
A memorial for the victims and their families was held on Drillfield, in front of Norris Hall, the sight of most of the killings, according to the StarTribune. An official day of mourning was declared by the governor in Virginia.
Thousands of people have come together in vigils across the state today, according to the New York Times. Along with the bouquets and candles, the color's maroon and orange, swept over the country and reflected in President Bush's tie.
The day of mourning coincides with the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, in which 13 people died along with the two killers, according to the BBC.

April 13, 2007

New Home for the Twins is Underway

By Diane White

Architects unveiled the design of the new ballpark stadium for the Minn. Twins Thursday, which will be located in Downtown Minneapolis.
Adding to its Minn. feel are features such as a limestone exterior, pine trees beyond the centerfield fence and views of the IDS Center, according to the Pioneer Press.
Another huge consideration in the plans were Twins fans who contributed more than 5,000 e-mails, phone calls and comment cards to the planning process, according to Kare 11. Some ideas were: a homerun porch, naming gate locations with retired numbers and using trees and water to include Minnesota's great outdoors.
Twins fans can expect: a larger concourse, wider seats, more leg room and fewer seats per row, in the new 40,000-seat ballpark according to the StarTribune.

St. Paul Pioneer Press Sues it's Former Publisher

By Diane White

The St. Paul Pioneer Press sued its former publisher Thursday, accusing Par Ridder and two others of stealing sensitive information when they left for new jobs at the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis.
The 46-paged lawsuit is aimed at the StarTribune's new owner, Avista Capital Partners, as well as Ridder and two other former Pioneer Press employees, according to the Pioneer Press.
The suit alleges that Ridder plotted his move to the Star Tribune nearly six months before his departure in March and took computer files loaded with confidential data about Pioneer Press advertisers, company budgets and business plans with him, according to the AP.
The lawsuit, filed in Ramsey County District Court in St. Paul asks that: Ridder and the two other employees not be allowed to work at the StarTribune for one year, claims all three are violating non-compete clauses they had at the Pioneer Press, asks that the computer information is not used and that an expert be allowed to inspect the defendant's computers and destroy files containing Pioneer Press data.

Earthquake Hits Mexico

By Diane White

An intense earthquake hit Mexico early Friday, knocking out power in parts of Mexico City and Acapulco, sending frightened residents and tourists into the streets according to the AP.
The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6 and was centered 40 miles northwest of Acapulco, the U.S. Geological Survey said, according to CBS.
No serious damage or casualties resulted from the earthquake and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the earthquake was too weak and struck too far inland to produce a tsunami, according to the BBC.

Rutgers Basketball Teams Accepts an Apology

By Diane White

Rutgers' University Scarlet Knight basketball team and coach accepted an apology Friday from radio host Don Imus after he made an inappropriate remark about their team.
The team had just played for the NCAA national championship and lost when Imus, on his nationally syndicated radio show, called the players "nappy-headed hos," according to the AP. The comments lead to his firing from CBS Thursday.
C. Vivian Stringer, the team's coach, said that Imus deserves a chance to move on but hopes the furor his racist and sexist insult caused will be a catalyst for change, according to CBS.
Friday, Deirdre, Imus's wife, took over his talk show and discussed the meeting the two had with the players and coach, according to the New York Times

Teen Mother Accused of stabbing her newborn over 100 Times

By Diane White

A 17-year-old Minn. teenager was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the death of her baby, which prosecutors allegedly said, she dumped in a garbage can outside her home in Oakdale after stabbing the baby over 100 times.
Nicole M. Beecroft was charged in Washington County District Court, if convicted, she could spend the rest of her life in prison according to the Pioneer Press, bail is expected to be set Fri.
Authorities were allegedly tipped off by an anonymous caller Tuesday, who told police that a cashier at a Cub Foods grocery store in St. Paul had given birth to a stillborn baby and threw it in the garbage at her home. Police talked to a store-manager who confirmed Beecroft had called in sick the last two days, according to the AP.
Police contacted Beecroft who admitted to giving birth Mon., to a stillborn baby. When police found the baby, bloody towels, and a knife in the garbage however they confronted her again and she allegedly admitted to stabbing the baby after seeing her finger move, according to the StarTribune.
No one knew of the girl's pregnancy.