Sugar Beat

The Star Tribune and Pioneer Press newsrooms received an unexpected box of junk food booty in recent days. Courtesy of The Roanoke Times, the spoils include spicy pork rinds, moon pies, Virginia peanuts, Hostess cupcakes and Dove bars. "There's also one very out-of-place looking can of lima beans," reports Pi Press metro reporter Frederick Melo via email.

This sweet tradition was apparently started by The Oklahoman newspaper, which learned the stresses of covering a major breaking news story after the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995. Last April, after Seng Hui-Cho killed 32 people at Virginia Tech, the Roanoke Times received a large box of artery clogging edibles from their counterparts in Oklahoma. "It was just like a big hug," recalls Carole Tarrant, editor of the Roanoke daily.

The loot is apparently equally appreciated by newsroom staffers in the Twin Cities, many of whom have been logging ridiculous hours since the 35W bridge collapsed Wednesday evening. "I'm in fat boy heaven," reports Melo.

Tarrant says she only asks that the Pi Press and Strib reporters reciprocate the gesture down the road. "Tell 'em to pass it on," says Tarrant. "That's my only request."

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