A Cold Spring police officer ambushed and killedby John Wanamaker, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
A small town southeast of St. Cloud reels after a police officer is shot. Minnesota's congressional delegation tackles the fiscal cliff. And those zany British television ads are back for viewing at the Walker Art Center. Those stories and more in the MPR News Update.
OFFICER DOWN: Police officer Tom Decker went to an apartment above a Main Street bar in Cold Spring last night to check on a man thought to be suicidal, but the situation took a deadly turn when Decker was shot and killed in what police are now describing as an ambush.
CLIFF NOTES: Negotiations continue to move slowly between the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans as they try to avert a series of automatic tax hikes and budget cuts that take place at the beginning of next year. While none of Minnesota's congressional members sits at the negotiating table, they will have to vote on whatever agreement is made, if a deal happens.
HOUSE OF LOVE: Flying lawnmowers, dancing royalty and dockland thugs demonstrating CPR are just some of the gems from the British Arrows Awards opening this weekend in Minneapolis. The showcase of top British TV ads has become a Twin Cities holiday tradition going on for something like 26 years now. The screenings run through Dec. 30.
MOTHER OF MASKS: If you walk into a jazz club in downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul you probably won't see many black faces in the audience, even though the music is largely an African-American creation and stellar black musicians call the Twin Cities home. That could give some the impression that jazz has ceased to be relevant to black people. But for jazz drummer Davu Seru, signals a need for artists to take action it.
WAITING IN THE WINGS: Minneapolis City Council member Betsy Hodges says she's ready to run for mayor next year if current mayor RT Rybak doesn't run for a fourth term. She recently filed the necessary paperwork in Hennepin County to raise money if she does make her move.
CRUDE DIVERSTMENT: Are you old enough to remember the movement to get colleges and universities to divest from South Africa? Bill McKibben's group, 350.org, launched a similar effort to get schools to dump their investments in fossil fuels companies.
DRAINING LAWSUIT: A lawsuit has been filed against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources over the shrinking water levels of White Bear Lake. This battle could be an important test case of how we balance environmental concerns with commerce. The co-director of the University of Minnesota's Water Resources Center, Deborah Swackhamer joined MPR's Cathy Wurzer to discuss the matter.
NO BRUTALITY: The Olmsted County Attorney's Office decided not to bring felony charges against two St. Paul police officers for alleged police brutality in the arrest of Eric Hightower in August. The incident attracted public attention because a bystander posted a video of the arrest on YouTube.
NO REVIEW: A petition to conduct an environmental review on mineral lease sales has been rejected by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The petition was filed by landowners in northeastern Minnesota, where exploration for copper and nickel is picking up. Mining companies pay the DNR for the right to explore for valuable minerals.
HOMELESS IN MOORHEAD: Fargo-Moorhead churches are taking the initiative to help shelter a growing number of homeless people in the community. Five shelters for homeless people operate in the area. Coalition for Homeless Persons Director Laurie Baker said there are 330 emergency shelter beds available.
FEELING MINNESOTAN? Chris Niskanen is a man who knows his way around Minnesota. For years he was the outdoors reporter for The Pioneer Press, and more recently has been working for the Department of Natural Resources. Niskanen especially knows what Minnesotans need to know in all sorts of situations. In his new book, "The Minnesota Book of Skills," he shares some of his wisdom on everything from smoking whitefish to extracting ticks.
John Wanamaker is a newscaster for MPR News.