MPR News Update

A devastating blast and fire; a search for those missing

Thursday, January 2, 2014

We have complete coverage of the New Year's Day building explosion and aftermath in Minneapolis. Trains are rolling again through Casselton after that derailment and fire. And community health clinics are gearing up for more patients under the health care overhaul.

  • The blast and fire that rocked Cedar Riverside
    Mohamed Jama raced to the building after hearing an explosion. What he found shocked him: Two men lying on the ground after having jumped from their apartment windows to escape the fire.
  • Photos: Frefighters worked in brutal conditions
    "When they arrived there were flames shooting 20 feet out of the second and third floor windows," said Fire Chief John Fruetel. Soon, in sub-zero temperatures, they were spraying water that turned to ice.
  • Community leader: 4 people unaccounted for
    "Today our task is to find people who are missing and unaccounted for," Hussein Ahmed, director of the West Bank Community Coalition said Thursday morning. But it's not an easy task.
  • Broken axle found at scene of ND derailment
    Investigators will be determining whether the axle caused Monday's derailment or whether it broke during the crash. Casselton's mayor joined us on the air to talk about a tragedy narrowly averted.
  • Alleged sex abuse victim speaks out after settlement
    A Thief River Falls woman said Tuesday she was speaking out after winning a settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Crookston for abuse by a priest in 2004.
  • Justice delays birth control mandate for Catholic groups
    Justice Sonia Sotomayor acted on a request from an organization of Catholic nuns in Denver, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged.
  • Minnesota's 'weather whiplash' of 2013
    Will our Jekyll and Hyde weather pattern continue, flipping from one extreme to the next? A milder spring than the one we missed in 2013? More tornadoes than the 15 we last year -- the lowest tally in 23 years? Updraft's Paul Huttner weighs in.
  • New Minneapolis Mayor Hodges sworn in
    Today's swearing-in will kick off a 10-day tour of the city in which Betsy Hodges will highlight her agenda in areas such as transportation, public safety and "winter tourism."
  • At Spirit on Lake, gay seniors find safe haven
    Spirit on Lake, a 46-unit affordable housing complex marketed to older members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community opened in September. It's only the second building of its kind in the United States.
  • A different kind of health care overhaul rush
    'Obamacare' expanded Medicaid and provided some people with premium discounts. As a result, community health centers expect to see a 12 to 15 percent rise in the number of patients this year.
  • North Branch schools ponder ditching shorter school weeks
    North Branch adopted a four-day week in 2009 as a way to save money on energy, transportation, and substitute teacher costs. Superintendent Deb Henton is recommending the district use the funds to return to a five-day week.
  • Court rejects protection for fired security guard
    A divided Minnesota Supreme Court today rejected protection for a former security guard who says she was fired in retaliation for filing for unemployment benefits after her hours were cut.
  • When teen drivers multitask, they're even worse than adults
    Teen drivers start off being careful, but they tend to start multitasking after just a few months behind the wheel, according to research published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
  • In Colorado, pot smoking is now legal for all
    Business owners who threw their doors open for shoppers at 8 a.m. are looking for the fledgling industry to generate as much revenue as state officials hope it will. At least 24 pot shops in eight towns opened, after increasing staff and inventory and hiring security.
  • Dying lawyer convicted of aiding terrorism leaves prison
    Former defense lawyer Lynne Stewart, 74, is suffering from breast cancer. She was convicted in 2005 of helping blind Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman communicate with followers while he was serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up landmarks in New York City.
  • Federal flood insurance program is drowning in debt. Who will pay?
    Before a disaster, FEMA helps with flood insurance -- cheap flood insurance. But now FEMA has a problem. "We are $24 billion in debt," its director says.

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Simply, it is Minnesota news on your schedule. The MPR News Update brings you up to speed with the state's top news, the best of our blogs and smart talk radio in the format that fits you best.

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