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Morning Edition
March 28 - April 1, 2005
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Monday, March 28, 2005
Funerals and Easter services on Red Lake
Funeral services continue today for four of those killed in last week's shooting spree in Red Lake. A Red Lake High School Security guard, a Red Lake teacher, a 14-year-old student and the alleged gunman, Jeff Weiss, will be buried. Over the weekend, funeral services for four of the victims were held on the reservation. Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck was at some of the funerals and also attended some Easter services over the weekend and filed this report.

Red Lake's children look to adults for answers
Funeral services continue today for the victims of the school shooting on the Red Lake Indian reservation. The Ojibwa people of Red Lake are struggling to cope with a violent act that left ten people dead. Counselors and tribal elders are urging people to speak out and do the things necessary to begin healing the wounded. Mainstreet Radio's Bob Reha reports.

Twins stadium announcer Bob Casey dies
Minnesota Twins games at the Metrodome just will not sound the same this year. Bob Casey, the only public address announcer the Twins had in their 44 year history, died on Sunday from complications from liver cancer. He was 79-years-old. Casey was known for his flair behind the microphone, especially for his pronouncements before games that no smoking is permitted in the Metrodome. MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Twins President Dave St. Peter.

Lawmakers still have much to do after Easter
Minnesota lawmakers will be back at the capitol tomorrow after the Easter-Passover break, trying to bridge differences on several big issues. Lawmakers are trying to balance the budget in the face of a projected $466 million shortfall. They are also still wrangling over a bonding bill and gambling projects. Joining us now for a look at the week ahead is Laura McCallum, Minnesota Public Radio's Capitol Bureau Chief.

Up and down ride for 33 year in Duluth
If you are looking for a Duluth icon you do not have to look any further than the aerial lift bridge. It's a mechanical marvel of steel in motion, and a favorite for the city's tourists. Steve Douville has had a close up and personal view of the bridge for decades. He retires this week as the bridge's chief operator, after 33 years - and thousands of lifts - on the job. Mainstreet Radio's Bob Kelleher reports.

Windom builds telecommunications system
A few years ago the city of Windom reached a virtual crossroads. Residents felt they were missing out on the internet revolution. Rather than complain about their local provider, the city decided to build its own telecommunications system. After five years of work, it is ready to go. Mainstreet Radio's Mark Steil reports.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Funerals come amid new charges
Federal officials say they have made an arrest in connection with the fatal shootings on the Red Lake Indian Reservation last week. A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told the Associated Press the person arrested is the juvenile son of Red Lake Tribal Chairman Buck Jourdain. The announcement was made Monday, a day when there were funerals for three victims and for the teenage gunman who killed nine people before taking his own life. Mainstreet Radio's Tom Robertson reports.

Schiavo case brings up bad memories for Butchers
The attorney for Terri Schiavo's parents has visited the brain-damaged woman at her hospice in Florida. David Gibbs says Schiavo "looks thin" and is "obviously losing weight." She was in her eleventh day without food and water. The Schiavo case has rekindled many memories for Pattie Butcher. Butcher's son Jamie was a student in White Bear Lake in 1977, when he was driving with some friends to a movie. The car skidded and crashed, leaving him severely brain damaged. The Butchers kept their son alive for 17 years, until he was 34-years-old. At that point, they decided to remove his feeding tube, and had to go to court to do it. Patti Butcher says she has not been watching much coverage of the Schiavo case mostly because she is still angry at the conservative activists who got involved in her son Jamie's situation.

New infection discovered at U of M
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered a new, deadly infection that strikes people when they are recovering from flu-like illnesses. The researchers say it is a severe variation of toxic shock syndrome. MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with professor Patrick Schlievert, a microbiologist at the U of M and one of the scientists who made the discovery.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Indian gambling opponents emerge
After a one-week delay following the school shooting on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, a plan for a state-tribal partnership to operate a metro-area casino is moving forward again. Red Lake is one of three tribes seeking the partnership. The plan cleared its second House committee last night. But it is also attracting new opponents -- some from within the three tribes pushing the idea. Minnesota Public Radio's Michael Khoo reports.

New health bill at Capitol covers all Minnesotans
The Minnesota Medical Association has come up with a new plan that provides health care for every Minnesotan, and lawmakers in both the State House and Senate have introduced it as a bill. MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with State Sen. Sheila Kiscaden, IP-Rochester, who is sponsoring the bill.

Is there a future for U of M General College?
University of Minnesota officials today are expected to recommend sweeping changes to the university's academic structure. The Star Tribune reports this morning, that a task force report will call for the General College to be absorbed by other colleges within the university. The General College helps students gain the academic skills needed to complete college. And as Minnesota Public Radio's Marisa Helms reports, tensions are running high right now.

Saving the only Frank Lloyd Wright hotel left
Mason City, Iowa is home to the world's last surviving Frank Lloyd Wright hotel. The Park Inn Hotel was the pride of the city when it was built in the early 1900s. Now it is falling apart and the city has decided to take drastic action to save the building. Mainstreet Radio's Erin Galbally reports.

Thursday, March 31, 2005
Bonding bill agreement reached
Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders have reached a deal on a package of public works projects. If the agreement holds up, it would mark the most significant breakthrough at the Capitol in more than a year. The Legislature failed to pass a bonding bill last session, in the midst of partisan gridlock. Minnesota Public Radio's Laura McCallum reports.

Smoking bans: different enforcement mechanisms
Many metro-area smokers are waking up today to new restrictions on where they can light up in public. Smoking bans in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, Minneapolis, Bloomington and Golden Valley started either overnight or are set to start this morning. Enforcement of the bans is up to each of the cities or counties. And, as Minnesota Public Radio's Art Hughes reports, how the ban is enforced differs depending on where you are.

Using computer evidence in a case like Red Lake
The arrest this week of 16-year-old Louis Jourdain, in connection with the Red Lake shootings, appears to be based in large part on evidence gathered from computers. The Star Tribune reports that according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation, that evidence shows that Jourdain and Jeff Weise had been exchanging electronic messages for over a year about a plan to kill Weise's grandfather, steal his weapons and kill people at Red Lake High School. MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Paul Luehr, a former federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota.

Proving conspiracy in a case like Red Lake
16-year-old son Louis Jourdain, the son of Red Lake Tribal Chairman Buck Jourdain, remains in custody this morning. He is being held in connection with the shootings on the Red Lake Indian Reservation last week in which ten people were killed including the alleged gunman Jeffery Weise. Jourdain appeared in federal court this week, but because he is a juvenile, federal officials are not releasing information about the case. Barry Feld is a professor of law at the University of Minnesota who specializes in juvenile justice. He says one of the crimes that Jourdain could be charged with is conspiracy.

U of M plan may close General College, Human Ecology
University of Minnesota officials have unveiled a significant redesign of several academic programs. The blueprint, released yesterday, is part of the university's strategic planning process. The goal is for the U to become one of the top public research universities in the world within ten years. Minnesota Public Radio's Marisa Helms reports.

Friday, April 1, 2005
House approves marriage definition bill
The Minnesota House has agreed to put a ban on same-sex marriages to voters next year. If the Senate concurs, Minnesotans would face a ballot question to restrict marriage to relationships between one man and one woman. Supporters of the measure argue such a constitutional change would preserve the traditional notion of marriage. Opponents say it's discriminatory and unnecessary. Minnesota Public Radio's Michael Khoo reports.

Louis Jourdain's grandmother talks about Red Lake shootings
An emotional chapter will close this weekend on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. The last of 10 funerals from the March 21st shootings will be held Saturday. Fifteen-year-old Dewayne Lewis will be laid to rest in a private, traditional service in Ponemah. This was also the week when Red Lake band members learned that the son of their tribal chairman, Buck Jourdain, was implicated in the attack. Federal authorities have still not revealed what role 16-year-old Louis Jourdain may have played in the shootings, or what charges he may face. Buck Jourdain has publicly proclaimed his son's innocence. Now, other family members are defending the young man's character. Mainstreet Radio's Tom Robertson spoke with Louis Jourdain's grandmother.

Smoking bans take effect
Last night it was non-smokers' turn to make a showing in Twin Cities restaurants and bars. In Minneapolis, the first night of the new smoking ban got a boost from a promotional campaign. Officials are encouraging potential patrons to take advantage of the new smoke-free air. Meanwhile, many smokers are feeling put out. Minnesota Public Radio's Art Hughes reports.

Hunters and environmentalists rally for ducks and their habitat
Something has happened to ducks. At least that's the prevailing belief among Minnesota hunters, who say last fall's duck season was the worst anyone can remember. No one knows for sure why hunters are not seeing ducks, but many believe habitat loss is to blame. Ordinarily, the grumbling might end there. But since December, a tenacious Twin Cities newspaper columnist has been prodding his fellow duck hunters to do something about the problem. Hundreds have responded to his call including environmentalists, who don't traditionally favor hunting. This unlikely group of allies will join forces at the capitol this weekend to rally for ducks, wetlands and clean water. Minnesota Public Radio's Lorna Benson reports.

Artist Chris Mann to vocalize his new work in St. Cloud
Chris Mann is an artist in New York City who uses poetry, music, bits of sound and complex text to explore the meaning of language. He's coming to St. Cloud to present the U.S. premier of his latest work. Mainstreet Radio's Tim Post has this report.

Company privacy and public information conflict in Brooklyn Park
A conflict over company privacy and public information is playing out in Brooklyn Park. Protein Design Labs is working on a major expansion of the $200 million biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant it opened in the Minneapolis suburb less than a year ago. But the company wants the law changed so it can keep some of its construction plans for the expansion secret. Sam Black covered the story for this week's edition of The Business Journal. He talked with Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer.

Weather with Mark Seeley
University of Minnesota Climatologist Mark Seeley talked with Cathy Wurzer about the coming spring weather.

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