Posts Tagged ‘mississippi river’

Boom! Goes the Neighborhood: Spring means unexplained explosions return to South Minneapolis

For at least four Spring/Summers a series of unexplained explosions have rocked the Longfellow/Seward neighborhoods of Minneapolis.  911 Operators have been inundated with phone calls from concerned residents whose homes are shaken from these loud earth-shaking sonic booms.

These explosion noises began four years ago during  very hot summer and I shrugged them off as transformer explosions as they seemed to correspond to power failures as well.  But they have continued every season since.  A discussion with the Minneapolis Police Department reveals that there has been an ongoing investigation into the source of the explosion noises and while they have been able to rule out certain causes such as a natural source (river/sewer, etc) they have been unable to find a reason, person, cause responsible for them.

The explosions got much more attention when St. Paul was host to the Republican National Convention with Homeland Security very much involved in the investigation, setting up nighttime surveillance by the river.  Obviously neither they, nor the Minneapolis Police Department are willing to divulge specific details regarding the ongoing investigation but the explosions continue so they have been unable to “solve” the case.

While this is disturbing for someone like me, who lives two blocks from the Mississippi River which is the location from which these explosions are originating, between Lake Street & Ford Bridges, I am reassured by who is working on the case. The attention the Bomb Squad and MPD Third Precinct investigators are giving to this matter is the best for which Minneapolis and St. Paul residents (they are just across the river after all) can hope.  They have been thorough and Inspector Lucy Gerold & Sergeant Wally Krueger have been extremely responsive to my inquiries, living in one of the neighborhoods most affected.

Frustrating investigators is that the explosions can only be heard and they have been unable to discover much evidence, which is why they have asked for cooperation from anyone who may be able to help. If you see anything suspicious by the West River or East River Parkways at night you are asked to call police and if you hear the explosions you are also asked to first check  if you can see anything (a light flash, smoke, etc) then call 911 to report from where you think the explosions originated. Pinpointing the location will help investigators and responders.

Saturday, May 15th, the response to the explosions (there were two, one at 10:15pm and another at 11:30) was swift and this time the State Patrol helicopter was sent to the riverfront to circle to determine whether they could see any activity or evidence.

As Twitter expands you will see greater buzz there in response to these noises.  If you search my historical stream (@quick13) you will see a history of how often they have occurred with tweets like “another explosion tonight” dating back over two years.  Last night someone even created a hashtag for them: #bignoisempls.

The explosions follow a pattern, usually beginning at a specific time, like 10pm and if there is a second one, following at a specific time after, like 11pm or midnight. If the first explosion is at midnight then the second explosion is at 1am or 2am. There is always a regular interval pattern, and there are almost always two or three explosions. One explosion is usually louder than the other.  Rarely there are three explosions in one evening.

There is concern there is something dastardly behind these explosions, but after four summers of enduring them, I am beginning to believe there is a more innocuous explanation.  But then again, in today’s world we have too many reasons for doubt, especially when it comes to things being blown up.  Whatever happens, after four years of having disturbed sleep makes me hope that the investigation can be resolved, if not for my own personal health, but that of the foundation of my home, and perhaps the foundation of the fine City of Minneapolis.

TC10 Lottery Losers: Another Race Option for the Ladies

Women Run the Cities logo

Women Run the Cities

The TC10 is a pretty sweet event, but unfortunately it’s so popular that not everyone makes it into the lottery. So if you already started your training only to find you didn’t get in but you would still like to complete the distance, try Women Run the Cities™ at Minnehaha Park.

Women Run the Cities™ is a running/walking event for women and girls featuring a 10-mile run, 5K run/walk, and 1-mile girls run. It is open to all women, from experienced runners and walkers to beginners.

The Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Women (MNCREW) organization created this event to encourage women of all ages to engage in a healthy and active lifestyle while promoting networking among professional women in the real estate industry.

[A] portion of the proceeds from Women Run the Cities™ will benefit the Ann Bancroft Foundation’s Dare to Dream mini-grants, which have helped nearly 600 girls and women in Minnesota.

The race course is a loop up one side of the Mississippi River, over the river, down the other side, and back to Minnehaha Park. This mirrors a portion of the TC10 and Twin Cities Marathon course.

It takes place the weekend before the TC10/TC Marathon. Late September is a good time of year for a road race. The weather should be good (last year’s record heat notwithstanding), the leaves will have started to change a little, and that part of town is just beautiful.

Three New-to-Me Local Sites: Biking, Boogie, and the Mississippi River

I stumbled across all of these in the last couple days and thought I’d share.

Ride Boldly! is a blog focusing on “bikes, bicycling, and road safety.” It’s good info in general but I what I really like about it is it specifically addresses MN bike statutes, general biking issues with a local spin (e.g., Bicycle Facilities Issues, Plan Now for Winter Cycling), and infrastructure issues as they apply to biking.

West Bank Boogie is a book by Cyn Collins that “celebrates 40 years of Minneapolis Minnesota’s West Bank music scene with profiles of more than 20 legendary musicians who influenced the soul of American music.” It’s a really cool website for a book (“for a book” is meant to be descriptive, not a qualifier). Great info about the book (it started as a series of articles in the Seward Profile), where to get it, and the profiled artists. Don’t let the fact that the foreword and also the first listed endorsement come from Garrison Keillor put you off.

Friends of the Riverfront is “a group of concerned citizens and park users… working to conserve, protect, and enhance the resources of the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park.” It sounds like a noble and worthy mission, though they currently appear to be entirely focused on fighting against the proposed De La Salle football stadium on Nicollet Island and I kind of wonder if that’s why they came into being in the first place. So if you want to know more about that hot topic (without the crazy Phyllis Kahn stories), check it out.

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