Five at 8 – 8/26/09

1) I’ll be live-blogging a legislative hearing this afternoon into the workings of the Metro Gang Strike force ( 2p.m.). Heads are going to roll. Perhaps. The FBI is now investigating the unit, which an independent review said was rife with misconduct. If it happened anywhere else, someone would likely use the “C” word (corruption). If you want to follow along this afternoon, here’s the full report.

2) Now, the better side of the news. Ms. Missouri Nursing Home will be crowned today in Kansas City.


During a district pageant in Independence, a suburb of Kansas City, Wilshire’s crowned queen Marietta Kirkpatrick coasted before four judges in a wheelchair with pink pompoms on its handles. Silk pink roses were taped to the wheels.

The 89-year-old entertained the judges with stories of her late husband of 50 years, her love of “the Young and the Restless” and her 2003 Ford Mustang that she’s determined to drive this summer.

“You are just as old as you feel,” the great-great grandmother told the crowd, then smiled and added: “Sometimes I feel 16, and sometimes I feel 116.”

3) A cool snap has settled over the Upper Midwest. This weekend, says MPR’s Craig Edwards. The temperature may not get out of the ’50s in some locations.

Sit down for this: “The nation is headed for strong heat waves in coming decades that will hit cities and farmers and threaten wildlife with extinction,” . It comes from the National Wildlife Federation and Physicians for Social Responsibility. The report (available here) lists dozens of cities that will be most affected by temperature increases of 4 to 11 degrees over the next century. Minneapolis-St. Paul is not on the list. Carry on.

Not at all related: What kind of environmental impact do toilets have?

4) More science. Researchers at Cleveland Clinic suggest Britney Spears could be part of diagnosing Alzheimer’s. Says Time.com:


It turns out that when people who are at highest risk of Alzheimer’s try to recognize a famous name, their brains activate in very different ways from those of people who aren’t at risk. And scientists can actually see this difference using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI.

5) You’ve heard the goat story, right? The purple-and-gold alpine goat with the number of new Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre shaved into its sides? Right. That one. The tire shop people who discovered it in a woman’s trunk are getting tired of it, too.

Bonus: Worth watching. The Minnesota Historical

TODAY’S “SHOW ME YOUR AUGUST!” PHOTO

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“It was hard deciding which photo to send, but the watermelon beat out the zucchini and sunflower photos.,” Sara Kimm writes. That’s good. Nobody should start their day with a picture of a kid biting into a big hunk of zucchini.

Send your photo that screams “August!”.

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Chances are, many of these scheduled shows are going to be pre-empted because of Kennedy coverage, but I don’t have a list of changes at this moment.

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour – More people say they’ve been without a job for longer than a year. The deep recession may have ended back in June, but high unemployment, close to 10 percent may persist through much of 2010. A reminder: I’m looking for people who are unemployed to tell me their story for the News Cut series, The Unemployed. I buy the coffee. Contact me.

Second hour – Gardening questions and answers with Rebecca Kolls.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Dan McElroy will be in the studio to answer questions about the new Minnesota employment report.

Second hour: The new MPR documentary from Sasha Aslanian on children of divorce. I wrote about it on Monday. We’ve also set up a Web site about the issue.

Which leads us to Today’s Question:


Second and third marriages are more likely than first marriages to end in divorce. And according to the Gallup poll, more Americans than ever consider divorce morally acceptable. How has your experience with divorce affected your attitudes toward marriage?

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Kennedy coverage.

Second hour: Carlotta Walls helped change America forever, when the 14-year-old walked up the stairs of Little Rock Central High School in September, 1957. She has written the book, A Mighty Long Way, and is a guest..

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – MPR’s Lorna Benson has the latest on predictions of flu’s potential spread, available vaccines, and preparations we should take

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