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Today's News: Friday, March 30, 2012


Study finds Minnesota's geothermal energy potential is greater than previously thought
Deep below Minnesota’s often-frozen surface lies a boiling-hot, pollution-free energy source just waiting to be tapped. That’s the finding of a report released this week by the Natural Resources Research Institute of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Duluth News Tribune

Flu Redux
A U.S. government advisory panel today opens a 2-day reexamination of two controversial flu studies that will include presentations from the scientists who led the studies and a classified briefing from U.S. intelligence analysts… Yesterday, two NSABB members—Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and David Relman of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California—reiterated their view that the studies should not be fully published in an article published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Science Now

Northern vintners work to improve wines' quality
South Dakota winemaker Dave Greenlee exudes pride as he pours a sample of a 2011 Marquette nearly ready for bottling… A grandson of pinot noir released in 2006, Marquette is the newest of four grape varieties developed by the University of Minnesota to resist temperatures that can dip into the negative-30s.
Bloomberg Businessweek

Can you predict an outcome from Supreme Court justices' questions?
Supreme Court justices can hide their intentions in plain sight, even with something as complicated as health care… Sarah A. Treul, a University of North Carolina political scientist, joined three other scholars in studying the transcripts of nearly 3,000 Supreme Court cases argued between 1979 and 2008… "We can predict just over 70 percent of votes and cases" based on oral argument questions, said Timothy Johnson, one of the researchers on the paper and a University of Minnesota political scientist.
Belleville News Democrat

Business and Politics

Santorum and Romney play to Wisconsin conservatives at their peril
The top GOP presidential hopefuls are emphasizing traditional social positions in a state that has come to symbolize the danger of lurching too far to the right… "Wisconsin is the kind of state where Santorum may well surprise people," said Lawrence Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political scientist.
Los Angeles Times

Squawk over hungry cormorants heard in Washington
To hear the fishermen around Lake Waconia tell it, the ancient black cormorants that congregate on the lake's Coney Island in the summer are the scourge of the fishes and trees… "There isn't any problem with the fish population," said University of Minnesota fish and wildlife researcher Linda Wires.
Star Tribune

Republicans Tampered With Court Audio in Obama Attack Ad
A Republican Party Internet advertisement altered the audio of U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in an attack on President Barack Obama’s health-care law… The Verrilli ad will make the justices more reluctant to allow such devices in the future, said Timothy R. Johnson, a University of Minnesota political science professor who researches and writes about Supreme Court arguments and decision-making.

Best Buy Trimming Stores And Corporate Staff, Hoping To Cut Prices
Outside Best Buy’s corporate headquarters store in Richfield, you can already see the signs of change: a banner hanging on the wall tells customers to expect something new in the months ahead… George John, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Marketing, said he’s not surprised by the moves Best Buy is making.
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Greenway brings 'Chad's Locker' to Amplatz Children's Hospital
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway was doing his part to help sick kids at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital Thursday afternoon.
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People and Lifestyle

5,500 dressed to protest the killing of Trayvon Martin
The dress may have been casual, but the message was serious. Thousands of people, many of them wearing hooded sweat shirts, rallied Thursday evening at the University of Minnesota to protest the killing of an unarmed black teenager last month in Florida.
Star Tribune
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Pioneer Press

Minnesota Public Radio

Robots Have Hoop Dreams At High School Competition
There is another big basketball tournament this weekend, and the players are all robots. The robots will appear at the University of Minnesota, where they will compete in the FIRST high school robotics competition.
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Pioneer Press

Twin Cities: Top 10 Places To Live For College Graduates
A lot of Minnesota college graduates are looking to flee the nest, but they may want to stay close to home. A new ranking from Forbes says the Twin Cities is one of the best cities to live for new college graduates. “I think Minneapolis/St. Paul is a great market for young professionals,” said Katherine Pasker, a University of Minnesota law student who moved to the Twin Cities from Salt Lake City, Utah.

What has early spring meant around the state?
We asked sources in our Public Insight Network to tell us what changes they've noticed due to this year's early Minnesota spring… Lee Relich, Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology.
Minnesota Public Radio

Bike thefts in Minneapolis increase with nice weather
A real sign of spring is taking to the road on two wheels. But opportunity also brings crime. In late March of 2011, authorities in Minneapolis had just eight reports of bicycles stolen. This year, there are 56. "I had my bike locked outside my apartment and someone got it overnight," Euibin, a University of Minnesota student said.
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Trayvon Martin effect: School lifts ban on hoodies
A Delaware high school will allow students to wear hoodies Friday as part of a demonstration for Trayvon Martin. Who wears hoodies today and why?… A young man wears a hoodie and a scarf with the likeness of Trayvon Martin during a "One Thousand Hoodies March for Trayvon Martin" event Thursday, March 29, 2012 at the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.
Christian Science Monitor

Minnesota's mild winter, early spring, bring good news to anglers, hunters and campers
The unusually early start to spring following a weirdly mild winter is good news for fans of the Great Outdoors across Minnesota… Black-legged ticks started becoming active when the temperatures hit the 30s, said Jeff Hahn, an entomologist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
Star Tribune

What’s in your water? State tries to find out what chemicals aren’t safe
The Minnesota Department of Health is taking a closer look at a variety of chemicals that make their way into the water supply… Scientists know many of them are a problem, but determining when they become a public health threat is the next step, said Deb Swackhamer, an environmental chemist at the University of Minnesota.
Winona Daily News

Commentary and Opinion

Celltex controversy still keeping folks atwitter
You know who tweets a lot? Bioethicists. I don’t know whether this is because they are so-called early adopters, prone to replying “yes but” to each others’ every utterance or more constitutionally wired to offer 140-character arguments than the average bear, but it’s true… Three weeks ago, Celltex wrote to U of M President Eric Kaler demanding he “disclaim any sponsorship” by the university of Turner’s letter, retract it, remove it from the Internet and take steps to “prevent recurrence of this type of activity” by Turner or any other member of the faculty.

Updates and Events

Buddhist Monk to create sand mandala
The creation and destruction of a sand mandala will bring an ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition to the University of Minnesota-Crookston in April. Wongdue Sangbo Gurung, a Buddhist monk from Nepal, will spend several days creating the mandala leading up to the final dinner April 11 in the International Dinner Series at UMC.
Grand Forks Herald

News Releases and Multimedia

Three University of Minnesota students named 2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars