Sara Jane Olson was the 1970’s member of the leftist Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a terrorist organization. She committed terrorism with this group that included attempting to blow up a Los Angeles police car and helping rob a Sacramento-area bank that led to an SLA cohort murdering a customer. Today, March 17, 2009 she is scheduled to be released from prison from her seven year prison term to parole in Minnesota.
According to the Star Tribune, California doesn’t want her to serve her parole there and neither does Minnesota. Sara Jane eluded police for over 25 years by living a quiet life in St. Paul, Minnesota as a wife, mother, actress and a DFL activist until she was arrested a decade ago.
The Minnesota Senate and House members are preparing a resolution that urges California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to require Sara Jane Olson to serve her parole in California and not return to Minnesota. Governor Pawlenty is in total agreement with this resolution.
However, it doesn’t appear that Minnesota has the authority under the applicable compact and laws to turn her back to California. This means that she may have to server her three-year parole in Minnesota.
If you get a crisp looking $5 bill in a letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation – don’t throw it out! The five dollars is a legal tender and it is legit. The U.S. Department of Transportation is sending out 31,000 $5 bills randomly across America with a request for you to take a survey.
The letter asks you to take a call from an operator and to fill out a questionnaire for personal information about your driving habits. If you agree to participate, you’ll receive the questionnaire in the mail with an additional $4 enclosed.
This $20 million dollar survey is done every four years and helps to determine a $40 billion budget. Some people think that this is a waste of taxpayers’ money , but the U.S. Department of Transportation has found that this type of incentive to participate in the survey has increased the chances of getting the data needed to make decisions for America’s transportation future.
So if you receive one of these letters, please participate and enjoy a little extra pocket cash!
On July 26, 2008, the FBI celebrated its 100th anniversary. Charles Bonaparte established the FBI with a small group of 34 investigators. Since then the FBI now employs more then 30,000 people who are evolving with the changing threats facing our nation. Their mission is to help protect you, your communities, and your businesses from the most dangerous threats facing our nation. From international and domestic terrorists to spies on U.S. soil along with cyber villains to corrupt government officials as well as from mobsters to violent gangs and child predators and serial killers.
The most famous director of the FBI was J. Edgar Hoover who was the director for the FBI from 1935 through 1972. As the director, his leadership spanned eight Presidential Administations and encompassed several eras such as Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II, The Korean War, the Cold War and the Vietnam War. Through the years the U S moved from being a rural nation with strong isolationist tendencies to an urbanized superpower.
Over the past century, the FBI has been part of American history and our countryâ€™s most high-profile national security and criminal issues. Some of the myths and misunderstandings about the FBI have evolved over time. Many of these myths are untrue. For example, many people believe that the FBI knows about the X-Files; the FBI prosecutes cases; there were no minority agents during J. Edgar Hoover years; the FBI spies on all Americans; and that the FBI doesnâ€™t cooperate with other agencies.
The men and women of the FBI have always worked to protect us and defend our nation. They work hand-in-hand with law enforcement and intelligence partners across the country and around the globe.
Back on June 2, 2008, I posted a blog on â€œCrime knows no boundaries.â€ The blog reported about the killings of 32 bison in Fairplay, Colorado. Good news, today the Texas businessman and ranch owner who allowed this killing spree to happen is being prosecuted in the deaths of the 32 bison.
According to the latest news report , Jeffrey Scott Hawn of Austin has been charged with 32 counts of animal cruelty, one count of theft of more than $20,000 and one count of criminal mischief. The indictment says that he â€œtortured, needlessly mutilated or needlessly killedâ€ the bison that belonged to another rancher.
Even though these charges are misdemeanors, animal cruelty can get you 2-4 years of jail time and theft and criminal mischief can add a couple of more years in jail. My best advice for Mr. Hawn would be to plead guilty, pay the fines and admit that he was stupid in doing what he did. Maybe the judge will waive jail time. If not, that should teach him not to kill one of Godâ€™s creatures and take away a livelihood from a hardworking rancher.
Iâ€™ll continue to follow the progress on this crime and let you know the outcome.
Quick, what is the number you call for an emergency?
911 - of course!
But in the latest article in the Twin Cities say that the emergency center for Ramsey County may need help.
Call volumes during the month of July in Minnesota tend to be 25 percent higher than in December. Lately, the county’s Emergency Communications Center is ailing and some people are questioning if the dispatchers can keep up. You see, in the first six months after the merger of the St. Paul, Maplewood and Ramsey County sheriff’s 911 operations last year, the ECC exceeded national standards for speed in answering 911 calls. The standard of answering at least 90 percent of 911 calls is 10 seconds. Scott Williams, who is director of Ramsey County emergency communications and oversees the combined center, said that the center will continue trying to keep up the same service.
But with insufficient staffing, inadequate training and equipment glitches all seem to have compromised service. Some of the problems included emergency responders were sent to wrong addresses, tornado sirens did not sound or were delayed and key details about emergency calls were not passed on to first responders.
Everyday there are at least 105 call takers and dispatchers at the center but 114 people are needed to fully staff the center. The center plans to hire nine more call takers sometime in September.
Was merging the call centers a wise decision? Critics say that St. Paul has benefited more than the suburbs. However, plans to analyze how the center performs begin today for the next month.
Until then, donâ€™t forget what they say in an emergency situation â€“ keep calm and call 911 and hope they get it right.
Havenâ€™t we heard this one before from our kids on summer vacation?
â€œIâ€™m bored, thereâ€™s nothing to do.â€
Now the kids of Minnesota canâ€™t say that because summertime is filled with lots of fun and safe stuff for them to do.
The Twin Cities park and Recreation Departments are providing tons of activities to keep kids safe and entertained all summer long. From tennis lessons in Edina, kiddie soccer in Plymouth, day camp in Bloomington, fishing clinics throughout Minnesota, and playground activities in Hopkins and Minnetonka, summer activities and classes are offered for some 800,000 kids.
Jan Ficken, recreation manager fro Brooklyn Park recently said, “We have to have safe places for our kids to go, we have to have them connected to quality adults, and we also have to provide them with a variety of activities so they can explore interests and talents.â€
Summer activities in local parks and recreation districts for kids is important for their emotional and mental health as well as promoting health and fitness. These activities give kids a way to make social connections and provide a form of day-care for working parents. There is even a mobile-fun wagon that drives around to communities and offers free puppet shows, climbing wall and inflated rigs for jumping and bouncing.
In todayâ€™s world where our kids need to be aware of the â€œstranger danger,” recreation programs are part of proactive policing that helps keep kids safe and out of trouble.
The DEA cites that street gang activity in Minnesota has increased dramatically over the past few years. Currently, the Minnesota Gang Strike Force Intelligence System confirms that there are over 5,000 confirmed gang members and 160 organized gangs.
In October 2007, gang activity was spotted at Longfellow Park. The Sureneo 13 gang members were meeting at the park after closing. Officers noted that the garbage can nearby appeared to have been moved. When the garbage can was a loaded revolver was found.
According to a report in the Duluth News Tribune a 17-year-old from the Twin Cities area was charged with aiding and abetting a drive-by shooting on the Fond du Lac Reservation. Police spokesperson said that this could be gang-related.
Back in September 2007 a Star Tribune article reported that immigration officials rounded up 34 gang members in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and three rural communities that weekend.
The Minnesota legislator is working on controlling gang activity. In May 2007, a bill sponsored by Rep. Joh Lesch (DFL-St. Paul) and Senator Mee Moua (DFL-Minneapolis) proposed that certain gang activity and habitual use of particular places used for gang activities should include fines and jail time. This bill is waiting approval from the governor.
On March 13, 2008, the Minnesota Department of Transportation received more than $2 million in grants to improve safety conditions and the quality of bicycling and walking to school for Minnesotaâ€™s communities statewide. The â€œSafe Routes to Schoolâ€ is a federal program created in 2005 by a federal transportation-funding bill.
This means that school districts and local communities can build both infrastructures and non-infrastructures to help students safely walking or biking to school. Robert J. McFarlin, acting transportation commissioner, said, â€œThe benefits of the Safe Routes to School program are potentially far-reaching, not only by reducing traffic and improving safety near schools, but by encouraging an active lifestyle for kids.â€
There are twenty-seven projects with nine projects to provide crosswalk improvements and trail or sidewalk connections. Eleven projects focus on promoting walking and biking to school through community planning, walk-to-school days, bike rodeos and educational materials. Nineteen of the grant recipients are in greater Minnesota and eight are in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Statistics show that fewer than 15 percent of kids in kindergarten through eighth grade walk or bike to school. Nearly half of school-aged children are regularly driven to school by their parents. This project helps the kids of our communities to enjoy the benefits of exercise before and after school as well as feeling safe during their commutes.
According to a recent article from the Minnesota Public Radio, Rochester, Minnesota is still listed as a great place to live in magazines like Money and Forbes due to its low crime rate. Even though in the last twenty years more than 40,000 people have moved into the city, the crime rate in 2004 was under 8%. However, the bad news is that violent crime has increased in Rochester, but the good news is that property crimes have decreased.