Apollo 11 moon rocks find safe home at the Minnesota Historical Society

Categories: Military
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota's moon rocks, which are encased in a lucite globe.
Moon rocks from the Apollo 11 moon landing found a safe home yesterday at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul.

The Minnesota National Guard recently found the moon rocks tucked away and forgotten among military artifacts in a storage unit in the Veteran's Service Building in St. Paul.

When Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins returned to Earth on July 21,1969 after the first moon landing, they brought home several pounds of moon rocks. President Nixon then gave out many of the rocks, from both Apollo 11 and from later mission Apollo 17, as gifts to 135 nations and the 50 states.
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Camp Ripley drones: New $3.9 million facility sparks protest

Categories: Military
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Camp Ripley will train military personnel in the use of unweaponized Raven drones like the one seen in this photo from Iraq.
Antiwar activists gathered last Friday to protest a new $3.9 million drone facility under construction at Camp Ripley in Little Falls.

-- Grand Forks police to begin regularly using drones this spring
-- Attorney may challenge use of Predator drone during NoDak arrest

Though drones are increasingly used by law enforcement -- including in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where they have sparked legal controversy -- the Camp Ripley facility will initially be used only be used by military personnel.

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Downtown Minneapolis invaded by Black Hawk helicopters [PHOTOS]

Categories: Military
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Dan Janal on Twitter
"Why are military helicopters flying over Target Field and Minneapolis?"
-- 21-year-old newlywed Minnesotan is 2,000th American to die in Operation Enduring Freedom
-- Chip Craavack objects to proposed mission reduction for Duluth Air National Guard

At the Twins game last night, Black Hawk helicopters created quite the buzz, both literally and figuratively.

The Twins' 1-0 loss wasn't exactly thrilling, but fans were able to distract themselves by watching choppers maneuver in between skyscrapers and hover over rooftops as if they were dropping off troops trying to repel an invasion from St. Paul or something. Meanwhile, some folks who hadn't paid attention to the news yesterday speculated about worst-case scenarios, including terrorism or a hostage situation.

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VFW flag controversy: MnDOT compromises, will allow flag to fly above overpasses after all

Categories: Military
MnDOT is willing to compromise in hopes of satisfying veterans.
SEE ALSO: VFW upset with MnDOT after being ordered to remove American flags from overpasses

Members of the Palmer Lake VFW were none too happy when MnDOT told them five American flags they'd flown for years over Brooklyn Park-area overpasses had to come down.

But just two days before a let-us-fly-the-flag-once-again rally was set to occur, MnDOT has backtracked and announced that it will allow the stars and stripes to fly above 11 bridges on Highways 610, 10, and 252.

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VFW upset with MnDOT after being ordered to remove American flags from overpasses

Categories: Military
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Palmer Lake veterans feel like MnDOT is treading on them.
For eight years, the Palmer Lake VFW flew the stars and stripes on the Highway 610 overpass in Brooklyn Park. But in April, MnDOT ordered that the flag, along with four others, come down.

The reason? MnDOT cited a state statute that makes it illegal to "paint, print, place or affix any advertisement or object within the limits of a highway." Palmer Lake veterans complied with the order, but they're not happy and are planning a let-us-fly-the-flag-once-again rally this Sunday.

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Tim Poe booted from America's Got Talent [VIDEO]

Tim Poe during his debut performance on America's Got Talent.
Tim Poe, the America's Got Talent singer whose battle injury claims were disputed by the Minnesota National Guard, was cut from the show last night.

Poe sang George Strait's "The Chair" at the Las Vegas finals before he was booted rather anticlimactically from the competition.

"I don't know that he holds up to other singers on this show at all," said judge Howie Mandel.

Howard Stern, another judge, waited to make his decision. "We have a lot of great singers that we saw," Stern said.

"Let's look at more and we'll make a decision," Mandel conceded.

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21-year-old newlywed Minnesotan is 2,000th American to die in Operation Enduring Freedom

Categories: Military
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Baune becomes the 29th Minnesotan to die during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Three months after marrying his high school sweetheart, 21-year-old Taylor Baune is dead.

Baune, a Marine corporal, was killed in combat yesterday in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was a 2009 graduate of Andover High School.

In March, shortly before shipping off to Afghanistan, Baune married his high school sweetheart, Colleen Crooker. Randy Crooker, Baune's father-in-law, told KARE 11 that Taylor was a "happy-go-lucky guy" who was always smiling and "always lit up the room when he came in."

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Tim Poe tells Dallas TV station he's sorry and doesn't know what's real

Tim Poe on America's Got Talent last week.
America's Got Talent singer Tim Poe is now claiming to be divorced from reality as an explanation for why he told a false story about being wounded in combat.

Last week, Poe told the TV show's judges that he was injured in a grenade blast while serving in Afghanistan, causing him to stutter. The next day, the Minnesota Army National Guard said that although Poe indeed served in the army, its records don't support his claim about his injury.

Poe was criticized by former fans on Facebook, his ex-wife, and a staff sergeant whose photo Poe used on America's Got Talent in place of his own.

On Friday, Poe, now a resident of Texas, sobbed through an interview with WFAA-TV in Dallas and apologized for embellishing -- but not lying about -- his story.

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Tim Poe defends against fake war injury charges as evidence mounts

Categories: Military
Tim Poe is still singing the blues.
Tim Poe has been through hell this week ever since the Minnesota National Guard issued a statement Tuesday that the singer was not injured in a grenade blast in Afghanistan as Poe had claimed the day before on America's Got Talent.

Poe's Facebook fan page was hit with negative comments. His ex-wife, Kelly Ballard, said Poe may have developed a 'feel sorry for me stutter' and then later told the New York Post her former husband was abusive and that she once had him arrested.

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Tim Poe, America's Got Talent singer, lied about being injured in Afghanistan, says Minnesota National Guard

Tim Poe on America's Got Talent.
It looks like America's Got Talent favorite Tim Poe is a bit of a con artist.

According to a statement issued by the Minnesota National Guard yesterday, Poe was not injured by a grenade while serving in Afghanistan in 2009 as the singer claimed on the popular TV show Monday night.

Poe indeed served as a supply specialist in the Minnesota Army National Guard from December 2002 until May 2011. His military records also indicate that he served with the Minnesota National Guard in Kosovo from October 2007 until July 2008, and that he was deployed to Afghanistan from July to August 2009. But he wasn't wounded in combat.

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