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Archive for August 9th, 2007

Divers recoveryThe Minneapolis Star Tribune and other news outlets in the Twin Cities are now reporting that divers are recovering bodies from the Mississippi River following last week’s collapse of the 35W bridge near downtown Minneapolis.

After nearly eight full days of searching, the known death toll caused by the bridge failure is now seven people.  Complete profiles of those known dead and still missing can be found on Minnesota Public Radio’s web site. 

Photo: Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Star Tribune and Associated Press report that:

Dave Hayhoe, the police homicide unit commander, announced the recoveries ahead of a briefing on the investigation, the Associated Press reported. He said the bodies were recovered by divers, but gave no other information.

“Right now the first priority is notifying the families,” Hayhoe said.

Five people were known dead in the Aug. 1 collapse, with at least eight more known missing and presumed dead. Crews have been searching in and around the Mississippi River since the disaster for the missing.

The victims weren’t immediately identified.

The list of confirmed missing includes Christine Sacorafas, 45, of White Bear Lake; Vera Peck, 50, and her son Richard Chit, 20, both of Bloomington; Greg Jolstad, 45, of Mora; Peter Hausmann, 47, of Rosemount; Sadiya Sahal, 23, of St. Paul, and her 2-year-old daughter, Hanah; and Scott Sathers, 29, of Maple Grove.

Navy dive teams are assisting local rescue teams with the recovery efforts, providing skills and equipment that enable them to dive lower and more effectively given the tenuous situation of the bridge damage that remains covering a large portion of the river.  The bridge is believed to collapsed upon several vehicles and rests on top of vehicles pinned in the murky river bottom.

Several vehicles have been pulled from the water in the last two days, none of them containing bodies.

The State Patrol said 88 vehicles have been located at the collapse site, including those in the Mississippi River.

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Out of the chute let me say I’m not a big professional sports fan. Sure, I follow (at arm’s length) the home town teams of the Vikings, the T-Wolves, the Twins and the Wild (although I just don’t get hockey). Pro sports are, in my view, getting closer and closer to resembling the World Wrestling Entertainment franchise and less like a place where great athletes can show off their prowess on a team or a field. Therefore, I’m much more a watcher and fan of the Olympics – where amateurs (and yes, some professionals), can legitimately compete.

A recent trade completed by the Minnesota Timberwolves however, prompted me to think back on the tradees career – at least that that has been visible to me through the media.  Power forward Kevin Garnett has moved to the Boston Celtics after 12 years as a T-Wolve. He came right out of high school – one of the only talents in the NBA to do so and become a superstar. Fans here watched as he matured and became an MVP player – one of the best – many people say.

Like many NBA greats, he is deserving of an NBA championship, but it has eluded him because of many reasons, none smaller than inept ownership and management of a team that has shown windows of greatness – only to be defeated by poor decision making by the administration.

The Celtics, on the other hand, have a history of great teams. NBA championship teams. So as Garnett moves to Boston and joins several other mature players hungry for a winning season, the Timberwolves enter a rebuilding phase.  Boston gets the better deal.

Not only is KG an athlete and a winner, he is a quiet contributor to the community he lives in.  While in Minnesota, Garnett gave millions to various causes – many involving kids who live in poverty. These kids only need a boost, a glimmer of hope, to stay on a good path – to stay in school.  Garnett provides millions of glimmers of hope to kids each year.  So the City of Boston will benefit through Garnett’s transition to Massachusetts. And the Celtics, they benefit as well with a new leader, an MVP-type player and someone who wants to win it all before his days on the court are done.

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