Archive for March 27th, 2012 | Daily archive page

Cowbell ringer’s wife pleads no contest to recall demonstration charges

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

We Need More Cowbell!

8:59 PM, Mar. 26, 2012  |

An Appleton woman has pleaded no contest to charges of disorderly conduct and resisting or obstructing an officer that stemmed from a Jan. 12 Recall Walker demonstration during which she struck a police officer as he arrested her husband for ignoring his request to stop ringing a cowbell.

Ashley Montour, 25, entered the plea during her final pre-trial hearing before Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge Scott Woldt;Monday and requested Woldt;place her in the Volunteers In Probation (VIP) program. Woldt;agreed and Montour will have the charges expunged from her record if she successfully completes the VIP program and abides by court-imposed conditions.

Montour was arrested after she struck an officer who was arresting her husband, Christopher, with her Recall Walker sign.

According to the criminal complaint, Oshkosh Police officers had asked a group of demonstrators outside Robbin’s Restaurant, 1810 Omro Road, not to block driveways and to keep noise to a minimum when Montour’s husband, Christopher, repeatedly rang a cowbell at one of the officers. When the officer tried to take the cowbell, Montour pushed the officer away.

Christopher Montour was charged with the same misdemeanors and has a pre-trial conference scheduled April 16.

Mankato TV anchor pleads guilty to DWI (w/ video)

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012


Staff report

Posted:   03/27/2012 12:01:00 AM CDT

March 27, 2012 4:16 PM GMT Updated:   03/27/2012 11:16:58 AM CDT

A news anchor for KEYC-TV in Mankato pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, WCCO-TV reported.

Annie Stensrud, 28, was arrested in North Mankato on Dec. 21. She pleaded guilty to third-degree DWI in Nicollet County Court on Tuesday, March 27, and is to be sentenced May 29.

A video showing her slurring through a newscast went viral.

On the date of her DWI, a witness called 911 to report a possible drunk driver. Nicollet County then sent an officer to pull Stensrud over. The complaint states as she tried to get out of her car for field sobriety tests, she struggled to stand on her own and had to hold her open car door to stay upright.

Stensrud refused to perform those sobriety tests, as well as a preliminary breath test, the complaint said.

She was arrested and booked into the Nicollet County Jail. Toxicology tests put Stensrud’s blood alcohol at 0.31, nearly four times the legal limit, WCCO reported.

Mary Franson introduces bill blocking employers from asking for social media passwords

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Mary Franson.JPG
Franson is the unlikely impetus behind a piece of common-sense legislation.

​Mary Franson has caused us to shake our heads a couple times already this month — first when she compared food stamp recipients to wild animals, then again when she outed herself as a careless driver to “scoop” the Strib’s Jon Tevlin.
But today, instead of shaking our heads at her, we’re nodding along with her.
According to Minnesota politics blog Bluestem Prairie, Rep. Franson, R-Alexandria, has introduced a bill prohibiting employers from asking employees for social media passwords as a condition of employment. All of the bill’s other House co-authors are Democrats.
Franson’s bill is a response to a slew of media reports detailing how employers are more and more often asking prospective employees for their Facebook and Twitter passwords as conditions of employment.
From CNN:

city pages facebook.jpg
Employers are increasingly curious about your social media social life.

Robert Collins of the Baltimore area has said that he was looking to be reinstated to his job as a correctional officer in 2010 when he was asked for his Facebook password.
“I did not want to do it, but because I really needed my job and he implied that this was a condition of recertification, I reluctantly gave him the password,” Collins said in February in testimony before the Maryland House of Representatives, which is considering ACLU-backed legislation to block such practices.
“He then proceeded to log in to my account using my private credentials. I asked him, ‘Why are you logging on?’ He said, ‘I am looking through your messages, on your wall and in your photos to make sure you are not a gang member or have any gang affiliation.'”
An Associated Press report this week highlighted Justin Bassett, a New York statistician who said that, during a job interview, the interviewer pulled up his Facebook page and asked for his password. He said he refused.
The ACLU said it’s found an increasing number of companies with such policies on Facebook. They say it’s more common with public agencies, such as law enforcement.

Asking someone for their password is actually a violation of Facebook’s terms of service, but a company spokesperson recently said Facebook has no plans to take legal action to stop the practice.
Franson’s bill would nip the privacy-violating password-sharing trend in the bud here in Minnesota. And, as strange as it is to say this about a bill introduced by a Republican who believes the poor just need to lace up their boots a little tighter to lift themselves out of poverty, that’s legislation we can get behind

Report: Houston family friend says he cleaned up hotel room after singer’s death

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Redferns via Getty Images

Whitney Houston in 1996.


By Courtney Garcia, contributor

The case surrounding Whitney Houston’s death has taken another bizarre turn. Now a celebrity entertainment consultant, Raffles van Exel, says he was at the Beverly Hilton Hotel when Houston died there Feb. 11, and that he removed things from the room.

His name has also been mentioned in connection with the photo of Houston in her casket that was published by the National Enquirer in February.

The website Celebuzz has translated an interview van Exel gave to Dutch publication The Telegraph. “The room had to be emptied,” the translation quotes van Exel as saying. “Someone had to do it.”

He provided few other details, and would not reveal what he specifically removed from the room. reached out to van Exel through his production company and will report on any comment provided.

While no illegal substances were found in the singer’s room at the time of her death, the L.A. County Coroner’s office announced on March 22 that Houston’s autopsy report indicated cocaine use had contributed to her death, and that not only did she take the drug “immediately prior to her collapse,” but the amount traced in her system suggested “chronic usage.”

This isn’t the first time van Exel’s name has been mentioned in connection with Houston’s passing. On March 14, Forbes published a report that an employee at the Whigham Funeral Home saw van Exel take the photo of Houston in her casket that later appeared in the National Enquirer.

Houston’s funeral was held at the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, N.J., on Feb. 18.

Forbes contacted van Exel for comment, and while he responded asking what they wanted, he then didn’t respond to questions.

In an earlier article, Forbes reported that van Exel may have also been responsible for earlier photos published on, including shots taken inside the bathroom where Houston died, and a photograph of a figure under a white sheet on a gurney that was later reported to be Houston’s teenage daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown. Brown, now 19, briefly was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital after her mother’s death where she reportedly was treated for anxiety.


Forbes’ article also says that van Exel traveled with Houston’s family on the private plane they took from Los Angeles to the New Jersey funeral services.

On van Exel’s LinkedIn page, he describes himself as “a highly respected entertainment consultant/producer having guided some of the world’s most acclaimed executives and celebrities.” He lists Houston, Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle and Ray Charles as clients.

This isn’t the first time van Exel’s name has been connected with celebrity mysteries. In 2007, ABC News reported he collaborated with O.J. Simpson’s daughter, Arnelle, on the idea for Simpson’s book, “If I Did It,” an unpublished hypothetical account of how the former football player may have killed his ex-wife.

And in 2011, van Exel joined La Toya Jackson in an attempt to halt NBC from airing a documentary about Michael Jackson’s relationship with his former doctor, Conrad Murray, who has since been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his role in Michael’s death.

The L.A. Times reports that the Los Angeles coroner’s office has listed the singer’s cause of death as an accident, and plans to close their report once the full autopsy report has been released in two weeks.

Fake Will Smith tweet about Trayvon Martin, Kim Kardashian goes viral

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012


By Andy Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter

A fake tweet attributed to Will Smith that connected the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin to the flour bombing of Kim Kardashian has gone viral on Twitter.

PHOTOS: Hollywood’s Twitter feuds

The alleged tweet says “WE live in America where a girl that threw flour on Kim Kardashian was arrested on site. But the man who KILLED Trayvon Martin is still free.”

A screenshot of the tweet has also circulated attributing it to the account of @RealWillSmith and including a picture of the actor.  The account @RealWillSmith actually belongs to a white man from Nashville, TN.

The real Will Smith does not have a publicly known Twitter and there is no record of him saying the quote.  Among the people who have retweeted the fake Smith quote are Spike Lee, Rosie O’Donnell and Omarosa.

This is not the first fake tweet associated with the killing of Trayvon Martin. The @RealFerrelWill twitter account tweeted “R.I.P. Trayvon Martin,” they wrote. “For every R-T this tweet gets, $1 will be donated to the #TrayvonMartin Foundation, which helps counteract racism.” Hundreds of people retweeted the offer, including Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari, before they realized it was a fake.

Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida, on February 26. Zimmerman reported to police that Martin looked suspicious. Police advised him to stay back but he approached Martin. A confrontation ensued and Zimmerman shot Martin. The teen was unarmed and simply returning from a quick trip to a nearby convenience store.

STORY: Spike Lee uses Twitter to spread awareness for Trayvon Martin case

Zimmerman claimed he shot Martin in self-defense and though he contradicted police orders to stay back was not charged for murder or even manslaughter under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows a threatened person to use force to defend themselves.

After civil rights leaders called attention to the case, it became a national controversy, with President Obama saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

In the wake of the national attention, Florida officials reopened the investigation into Zimmerman and appointed a new prosecutor. The FBI and federal Justice Department also announced investigations.

VIDEO: Kim Kardashian ‘flour bombed’ at True Reflection perfume launch

Separately, Kim Kardashian was “flour bombed” at an event at the London West Hollywood Hotel where she was promoting her new fragrance, True Reflection.

A woman dumped a bag of flour on Kardashian in the hotel lobby. The woman’s motivation was unclear though it appeared to be a prank.  The woman was detained at the scene by West Hollywood police and released. Kardashian has said she is considering pressing charges against her.

Green Mill & FINNEGANS Team Up to Help Feed the Hungry

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Help Green Mill Help Feed Our Communities

All you have to do is buy any large Green Mill pizza on Mondays and Tuesdays. Your Green Mill will then donate a dollar for every large pizza* we sell on Mondays and Tuesdays to local food banks and food shelves through the Finnegans Community Fund.

Here’s how one Green Mill pizza can add up to 3 meals!

Purchase any large pizza on Monday or Tuesday at regular price and enjoy it with your friends or family and Green Mill will donate a dollar per pizza to Finnegans Community Fund to purchase a $1 worth of fresh produce (about one pound) from a local farm. The farm matches the $1 with another $1 worth of fresh produce. $2 worth of fresh produce is delivered to your local foodshelf to help feed families in your community. One Green Mill pizza does all that! You enjoy the best pizza in town and local families get fresh, healthy produce.

Why Fresh Produce?

At Green Mill, we’re all about fresh! The USDA recommends that half of a meal be made up of fruits and vegetables. Growing research shows that these important food groups are critical to promoting good health. Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help protect from chronic disease. A good mix is the best way to get your body Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and dietary minerals. Read more about local and fresh produce.

Our Partners:

We are excited to be partners with Finnegans Beer and Finnegans Community Fund.

The Finnegans mission is to create sustainable change for those affected by hunger through profits from Finnegans Irish Amber and Finnegans Blonde Ale, and other innovative partnerships like the one with Green Mill.

Learn More About Finnegans and The Finnegans Community Fund

Community Fund Partners

Learn more about our Food Network Partners.

*Not valid on discounted or special-offer pizzas. Where Green Mill locations don’t have local farm/foodshelf affiliations, Green Mill will donate $1.00 per regular priced large pizza sold directly to the area foodshelf

Download FINNEGANS’ Beer New Iphone App – Help the Hungry & Turn Beer into Food!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

FINNEGANS iPhone Application

Worker fights off burglar with sword, beer bottle

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

5:32 PM, Mar 26, 2012   |  9 comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (WKMG) – A Daytona Beach restaurant worker fought off a burglar early Monday morning with a sword and a beer bottle, authorities say.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports Anthony Brisbane was working at Captain Steamer’s Oyster Bar at 5:20 a.m. when he found a masked man in the kitchen area of the eatery at 1500 S. Atlantic Avenue.

Brisbane armed himself with a sword with a broken handle and pressed the sword into the suspect’s stomach, police said.

The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Trevor Pufall said, “Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me,” as Brisbane called authorities, police said. Pufall, armed with a tire iron, then struck Brisbane three times on the head.

Pufall then dropped his tire iron and he and Brisbane fought over the sword. Brisbane then shoved Pufall to the floor and slammed a beer bottle into his head, police said.

Brisbane then grabbed a screwdriver, pointed it at Pufall’s neck and walked him outside to the front of the restaurant. By then, police had arrived on scene, the News-Journal reports.

Both men were taken to Halifax Health Medical Center. Pufall will be taken to jail upon his release on burglary charges.

Republicans are causing a moral crisis in America

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012


By , Tuesday, March 27, 7:52 AMThe Washington Post


Katrina vanden Heuvel

Editor and publisher of the Nation magazine, vanden Heuvel writes a weekly column for The Post.


The real crisis of public morality in the United Statesdoesn’t lie in the private decisions Americans make in their lives or their bedrooms; it lies at the heart of an ideology — and a set of policies — that the right-wing has used to batter and browbeat their fellow Americans.

They dress these policies up sometimes, give them catchy titles like Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.” But they never cease to imbue them with the kind of moral decisions that ought to make anyone furious. Ryan’s latest budget really is case in point. It’s a plan that says that increases in defense spending are so essential, that massive tax cuts for the wealthy are so necessary, that we must pay for them by ripping a hole in the social safety net. The poor need Medicaid to pay for medicine and treatment for their families? We care, we really do, but the wealthy need tax cuts more. Food stamps the only thing standing between your children and starvation? Listen, we feel your pain. We get it. But we’ve got more important things to spend money on. Like a new yacht for that guy who only has one yacht.It’s hard to point to a single priority of the Republican Party these days that isn’t steeped in moral failing while being dressed up in moral righteousness. This week, for example, they are hoping the Supreme Court will be persuaded by radical (and ridiculous) constitutional arguments to throw out some or all of the Affordable Care Act. Sure, you could argue that it’s really nice to make sure 31 million people who didn’t have health care can get it. Sure you could make the case that lifetime limits are a bad thing, that women shouldn’t have to pay more for health insurance just because they’re women, that the United States shouldn’t be a country where you die because you lost your coverage when you lost your job. But then again, liberty. Let’s not forget liberty. Also, freedom.

It is a very strange thing that the people who lecture most fervently about morality are those who are most willing to fight for policies that are so immoral. They watch Wall Street turn itself into the Las Vegas strip, take the economy down and destroy people’s lives and livelihoods. To that they say, “By God we need less regulation. Get me the hose, I have things to water down!” They see a CEO of a bank or a corporation, someone who passed off all of the risk and took on all of the reward, and they say, “Get that man a bigger bonus! In fact, get him two!”

They see corporate interests flood the political system with unfathomably large sums of money, they see lobbyists defining the terms of debate, and they say, “Now this . . . this is what democracy should look like.”

They see an environmental crisis spinning out of control, the effects of climate change being felt already, the possibility of the biggest natural disaster in modern human history. To which they ask, “Anyone know if we can drill this hole any deeper?”

So yes, Rick Santorum. Yes, Mitt Romney. Yes, Paul Ryan and Republican politicians all over this nation. You are right, as right as you’ve ever been. There is a moral crisis in this country. A horrifyingly, back-breaking, bankrupt-the-core-of-this-nation style crisis. But it isn’t women or the poor or the middle class or the gay community or health-care advocates or environmentalists that are causing it.

It’s you.