1) It happened in Boston after a Celtics game last Friday night.
Police did not name the woman.
Meanwhile, authorities in St. Paul are trying to figure out how it is a 15-year-old kid -- 15 years old! -- drinks himself to death.
A Brown County detox center worker is retiring after 20 years, the New Ulm Journal reports. More people are seeking help, she says.
2) You hunters will have to guide me through the brewing "controversy." If you shoot at a buck and you think you have wounded it, do you have a responsibility to track it and --presumably -- put it out of its misery? Even if you have a speaking engagement in Iowa you've got to run off to? In fairness to the governor, members of his hunting party searched on.
Deer are one thing, but don't mess with polar bears. A kid shot one in Canada, then tried to get as far away as possible. He was stranded on an ice floe for three days.
3) New data on a long-term study says kids today are about as active as they were a couple of decades ago. So why are they so comparatively fat? Diet. They're not lazy slugs; they just eat what we give them to eat. And here's one element that isn't going to make the rest of us all that happy, either:
Rankin points out that even small changes in a person's energy balance can have a significant effect on weight. Studies have shown that eating just 10 to 20 extra calories per day -- that's one peanut M&M or one tortilla chip -- that don't get burned through activity can result in a 2-lb. gain on average over the course of a year. "But none of the methods we have now are accurate enough to pick that up," says Rankin.
4) Why does the government insist on giving the home buyer's tax credit to everyone, even people who already own a home? Harvard's Edward Glaeser rips it and the conventional wisdom of the benefits of encouraging home ownership.
It subsidizes existing owners to trade up or down, which implicitly encourages people to pull up roots and sever their connections with their existing community. If you ever thought that encouraging civic engagement through housing policy was a good thing, then the current policy will push in exactly the opposite direction.
Locally, real estate guru Teresa Boardman analyzes St. Paul real estate sales in November. Bottom line: The number of homes for sale keeps going down. And two St. Paul neighborhoods had higher bid prices than asking prices.
5) Cameras in the courtroom and live broadcasts from court have been a battle between the media and judges for decades. But now the issue is Twitter. Why can't a journalist "tweet" from a courtroom? Because it's like a broadcast, judges says. But if I write 140 characters on a piece of paper, then step outside the courtroom and "tweet" it, it's not?
A new study has ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul as first in the nation in pedestrian safety. As a pedestrian, do you feel safe in the Twin Cities?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Job seekers now face the extra challenge of competing with 10 percent of the nation who, according to the Labor Department, are also looking for work. Midmorning discusses how to get the edge in landing a job using the latest that the Internet has to offer.
Second hour: Ethics dilemmas from the everyday to the somewhat exotic. Guest: Ethics columnist Randy Cohen.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1p.m.) - In the latest National Public Radio Intelligence Squared program, six experts debate the future of media. The debaters, all top players in the media world, include Phil Bronstein, former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle; John Hockenberry, co-host of Public Radio Program "The Takeaway"; and David Carr, who writes about media for the New York Times.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - Coverage of the Fort Hood memorial service.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - The health managers behind the nation's response to H1N1 are in Minnesota today, conducting an exercise on how to respond to next pandemic. MPR's Lorna Benson will have the story.
Nick Miroff reports on shrinking socialism in Cuba. David Welna looks at the increasing public profile of John Kerry. And you'll hear an interview a Muslim chaplain in the Navy who says there was nothing in his dealings with Nidal Hasan that foretold last week's tragedy at Fort Hood.
This is the developing mystery, too. Why are so many people saying there were no clues and so many other people saying there were?(8 Comments)
Thousands of rape kits that could yield clues to the identity of the rapist are sitting in storage and have never been examined, according to CBS News. In some cases, the report says, officials don't want to spend the money to solve the rape.
Sixteen states were investigated; Minnesota was one of them:
In Minneapolis, with the help of a new federal grant, the department and the Hennepin County Attorney's office recently started looking through untested kits in storage and found there were kits from stranger rapes where the victim did not cooperate that were never tested. At the urging of Steve Redding, Hennepin County Attorney, and Lt. Nancy Dunlap, the head of the Sex Crimes Unit at the Minneapolis Police Department, the kits were put in for testing. Almost immediately it yielded results and Minneapolis law enforcement was able to put eight men behind bars. In an effort to find more cases of this kind, the prosecutor and the sex crimes unit are combing through 8,500 rape cases reported since 1991 looking for stranger rapes where the evidence was never tested.
Last week, Sen. Al Franken filed legislation to encourage states to examine the rape kits.(6 Comments)
The White House is disputing reports today that President Obama has agreed to send more troops to Afghanistan.
His top commander in the field, General Stanley McChrystal, wants to send 40,000 more troops. Unlike the buildup in Iraq, however, the "surge" in Afghanistan would take almost a full year, rather than five months.
"I have gained confidence that there's not an important question out there that has not been asked, and that we haven't asked -- that we haven't answered to the best of our abilities," President Obama said.
Presumably, that includes "why not just bring everybody home?"
But the answer has yet to reach Clifford Taylor of Two Harbors, Minn., whose son, Aaron, was killed in Afghanistan last month. He wrote to MPR's Tim Nelson today:
"It's been 4 weeks now since our son, Marine Ssgt Aaron Taylor died in Afghanistan. The nightmare begins again every morning when we wake up and realize it's not a dream.
We went to Camp Pendleton for a memorial service for Aaron on Oct. 28th.
After the service, they took us out to lunch. The C.O. invited us to his house for dinner the following evening. Nice guy, nice family. He has a wife, 2 young daughters and a dog. I told stories about Aaron and all the good times we shared. The whole thing lasted precisely 2 hours and then we were outta there. 'Thanks for coming. We're so glad to have met you. Here's some cookies and a bottle of water.' All very precise. Of course, that's how the Marine Corps is. Very rigid and precise. It was a nice 2 hours. I bragged about my son and they all listened intently.
But it seemed like it was something they'd done many times before. A young man's life. Gone in the blink of an eye. A promising future of prosperity, a wife, children and lots of good times ahead. Gone. Poof. I can imagine them saying after we left, 'Geez, nice family. What a shame. Ah well...'
Shortly after, we heard about the 16 more lives lost in Afghanistan because of the helicopters that went down and I thought of the ripple effect it would have on all the families involved. I never realized how many lives are effected by the loss of one single individual until my son was gone.
The other day, Senator Amy Klobuchar called to convey her condolences, and after a short chat about Aaron, she gave me the phone number of her "go to guy" in case we have any issues. I told her I have an issue right now.
She asked what it was and I said, 'Get our guys out of there! Now! Please!
Before more families have to go through this Hell.' She said, 'I wish it were that simple.'
One young man's life touched so many people. Every day we hear about dozens of civilians being killed by suicide bombers and our military personnel being killed by roadside bombs. Each victim touched so many lives.
Such a huge ripple effect. The solution seems pretty simple to me."
(h/t: Tim Nelson)
Minnesota's deer hunt is big business for the state, but promoting it doesn't come all that cheap.
It creates 5,300 jobs and $260 million in retails sales according to the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
Last weekend, Gov. Tim Pawlenty held his 7th Governor's Deer Opener. He took the state airplane to Thief River Falls, where he attended the Friday luncheon, went out and shot -- maybe -- a buck on Saturday, then left on another plane (paid for by Iowa Republicans) to make a speech to Republicans in Iowa, home of the first-in-the nation test for would-be presidents.
The $3,144 tab for the state plane to ferry the Pawlenty party to the hunt wasn't charged to Pawlenty's budget, but to the Minnesota Department of Tourism and the Department of Natural Resources. The flight took only an hour but the plane and pilots had to stay for a day in case an emergency required the governor to fly back to St. Paul. The cost of their time, hotel, and meals isn't known.
But the plane didn't fly back empty after the governor left. Deputy Chief of Staff Paul Anderson, Greater Minnesota Press Secretary Alex Carey, the governor's security personnel, a representative from the Office of Tourism, and one from the DNR hitched a ride back.
The cost is likely a wash over commercial air service to Thief River Falls from the Twin Cities, which costs $500 round trip. But you have a 15-minute layover in Chisholm/Hibbing.
I'm working on a short piece on veterans returning from active duty. Few come back to civilian life unchanged.
It becomes a clash of cultures.
For you veterans -- or families of veterans -- what was it like readjusting to civilian life? What were the challenges and surprises? Who was closer to you upon your return - families or fellow vets? What do non-vets not know about returning vets that they should know?