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November 23, 2008

Five Arrested in Connection to Dinkytown Robberies

Five men were arrested in relation to several armed robberies that occured in the University Avenue corridor over the past week, the Star Tribune reports.

The five men were arrested near 15th and Brook avenues Tuesday night after attempting to rob a woman. Despite having abandoned the vehicle they were seen using last weekend, the men were busted with purses and other belongings of the woman that had been robbed. The items were found both on the men and in their new vehicle.

Police have also released surveillance footage of a separate man believed to be involved in four downtown robberies. The man is armed and dangerous.

Five Arrested in Connection to Dinkytown Robberies

Five men were arrested in relation to several armed robberies that occured in the University Avenue corridor over the past week, the Star Tribune reports.

The five men were arrested near 15th and Brook avenues Tuesday night after attempting to rob a woman. Despite having abandoned the vehicle they were seen using last weekend, the men were busted with purses and other belongings of the woman that had been robbed. The items were found both on the men and in their new vehicle.

Police have also released surveillance footage of a separate man believed to be involved in four downtown robberies. The man is armed and dangerous.

November 15, 2008

Minneapolis Included in Nationwide Protests to Gay Marriage Ban in California

More than 700 people gathered in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday to protest the passing of Proposition 8 in California, the Star Tribune reports. Prop. 8, as its come to be called, was on the ballot Nov. 4 in California and called for the definition of marriage to be between a man and a woman.

The demonstrators gathered on the plaza of the Hennepin County Government Center and waved flags and signs in dismay at the passing of Prop. 8.

The demonstrators were joined by brethen in many other major U.S. cities such as St. Paul, Duluth, Boston, and more.

October 26, 2008

18-year-old Shot and Killed in St. Paul DoubleShooting

An 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were shot near at Sixth Street East and Forest Street Saturday night in St. Paul, leaving the woman dead and the man hospitalized.

The Star Tribune reported that St. Paul police responded to a call around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night and discovered the two victims at a gas station near Minnehaha Avenue and Arcade Street. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene while the man was taken to Regions Hospital.

The man's condition is unknown, and it is also unknown whether the two were in the vehicle they were discovered in at the time they were shot, reports the Pioneer Press. A police spokesman noted that one of the windows of the victims' vehicle was "shot out pretty good."

No one is in custody at this point, though the Gang Unit and homicide detectives are investigating.

October 19, 2008

Schools and Housing Hit Hard in St. Paul

The city of St. Paul has been hit hard recently with questions abounding about both education and meeting the needs of the increasing amount of homeless students affected by the housing market slump.

The Star Tribune reports that recent board meetings have declared St. Paul's junior high education system "doomed" and in need of drastic change. According to recent statistics, the St. Paul school district looses over 200 out of its 5,000 students between seventh and eighth grade, a number that remains higher than enrollment loses in any other district.

In other related news, the Pioneer Press added that on top of enrollment loses, the St. Paul school district is also witnessing a jump in the number of students who are homeless. That number is attributed to both the economy and the slumping housing market.

Administrators are expecting the number of homeless students to top 2,000 by the end of year, a statistic that has never been seen before by officials or family help agencies in the area. The East Side Family Center has reported receiving 30 to 35 calls per day from families with problems paying their bills.

The problem is leaving the already taxed school district with even less money, as funding spent on transportation and aid to help their homeless students is not replaced by federal assistance.

St. Paul is not alone, however, as Minneapolis is seeing a rise in its student homelessness as well.

For now, it remains a problem linked to a struggling economy and families in distress.

October 12, 2008

Former State Senator Allen Spear Dies

Former Minn. senator Allen Spear died Sunday from complications that followed a recent heart surgery. he was 71-years-old.

Allen, who was in the Minnesota senate for 38 years (1972-2000) was known for being one of the first openly gay legislators in the country when he announced he was gay in a 1974 interview, the Star Tribune reports.

Allen's work in the senate included an effort on eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation that culminated in an amendment to the Minnesota Human Rights act. Though Allen's battle to amend that act began in the 1970s, it was not passed until 1993.

Allen also spent his time focusing on child care improvements and crime prevention issues, the Pioneer Press reports. He was formerly a professor of history at the University of Minnesota.

October 6, 2008

3 Killed From Fumes in Minneapolis

A gas generator was determined to be the cause in the deaths of three Minneapolis men.

Harold Barnett, 44, his 14-year-old son, and a family friend were found unconscious in their home after spending the evening with a gasoline powered generator running through the night, reports the Star Tribune.

Both Barnett and his friend were pronounced dead at the scene while his son later died at the hospital.

A spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy later said that running a gas-powered generator in ones home would be equivalent to running a car inside ones house.

The story comes as a solemn warning to others and a reminder of the lengths some have to go to heat their homes as the cold season arrives. Barnett was on the verge of being evicted, reports the Pioneer Press, and had resorted to the gas generator due to financial hardship.

September 29, 2008

SUV Kills Bicyclist in St. Paul

A 51-year-old bicyclist has died after being hit by a bicycle in St. Paul on Saturday, reports the Star Tribune.

Virginia Heuerbowar was riding with a helmet when she was accidentally struck by a Minneapolis man at the intersection of Snelling and Summit avenues.

The Pioneer Press reported that the intersection is an area popular with bicyclists. Heuerbowar, who was taken to Regions Hospital, died seven hours after the accident.

September 22, 2008

Andover Woman's Death Being Investigated

An Anoka woman's death, previously ruled as the result of a motorcycle accident, has now been turned into a homicide investigation.

Authorites arrested Ryan P. Boland, 33, of Anoka as a suspect in the death of his former girlfriend Natasha L. Waalen, the Pioneer Press reported.. Waalen, 28, was found dead in the middle of a street in Andover lying next to a crashed motorcycle.

Upon further investigation, however, authorities deemed that her wounds did not match up with those of someone who would have died in such a crash. The Star Tribune reported that Waalen's friends and family were shocked at the arrest, as Boland was not only the boyfriend of Waalen, but also the father of her 4-year-old daughter.

At this point it is still uncertain what exactly killed Waalen, though the investigation is still ongoing. Boland, meanwhile, is being held in custody at the Anoka County Jail.

September 14, 2008

I-35W Bridge Easy To Keep Tabs On

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be keeping a close eye on the new I-35W bridge after the collapse of the old one, a disaster that struck due to year of negligence in terms of repairs and structural inspection.

The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that the new bridge, scheduled to be finished months in advance of its December deadline, will not only be incredibly structurally sound, but also contain hundreds of sensors to allow inspectors a glance at how the bridge is holding up on a moment-by-moment basis.

Engineers will no longer have to rely on information taken from yearly inspections, but can instead check how the bridge is holding up under stress from traffic, weather elements, and the various chemicals that come into contact with the bridge in regard to anti-icing agents and beyond.

The $235 million bridge will be one of the most complex bridges in the country because of these sensors and, with the ability to keep a constant eye on it, certainly one of the safest.

Baby Boomers Conflict Over Housing in Bloomington

Bloominton, MN has become the site of recent conflict over senior housing. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on Sunday that the suburb, home to over 80,000, has more citizens over 60 than it does under 20. That figure has prompted some to action in seeking to expand the Martin Luther Manor, an assisted living home for the elderly.

The plan to expand the manor comes despite the expansions of four other assisted living homes in the city. While those in the nursing home business see a need to expand, many citizens, both fair- and silver-haired alike, are in opposition to the idea.

They view the project as an interference in their daily lives and unnecessary, even with population forecasts indicating that Bloomington, and its citizens, are only getting older.

For now, the opposition is mostly made up of yard signs and a few disgruntled Bloomingtonians that live near the nursing home. An attorney has been hired to represent their case, however, and time will only tell where this issue will go.