« November 2008 | Main

December 7, 2008

Suicide Watch Records and Computer Assisted Reporting

In “The Suicide Bed: A Cover-Up At Western State Mental Hospital? Chris Halsne of KIRO 7 Eyewitness News examined medical records to reveal a “series of embarrassing mistakes that led? to a mentally ill man’s death.

Halsne used video footage along with documentation to reveal the neglect which led to the suicide.

Halsne determined that safety checks, mandatory every fifteen minutes to those patients in solitary confinement and on suicide watch, were not filled out.

He also found out that the psychologist assigned to monitor his case, was on vacation.

An internal memo revealed that the hospital recognized these short-comings, and indicated that they should first assign an available counselor, and second, bolt down the beds that were constructed to be immobile, but were never bolted down.

For computer assisted reporting, this reporter had to examine medical documentation and records of safety checks. He found that “An internal hospital monitoring sheet indicates nobody did that suicide check at 1:30 or 1 or 12:30 or noon."

He also examined the videotape of the floor that showed the staff sitting in the commons room.

“There are 12 employees in the day room just outside Gordon’s room 26. The tape shows several employees laughing and horsing around for nearly an hour while Gordon hanged in his room a few feet away,? the KIROTV.com article reported.

Klingon Theater -- A Christmas Carol and Hamlet

A small St. Paul theater working on a Klingon style "Christmas Carol" production has been commissioned by Hollywood to produce "Hamlet" for Hollywood’s release of “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered County? Blu-ray Disc, according to the Pioneer Press.

Commedia Beauregard artistic director Christopher Kidder received an email from Paramount about three weeks ago, and hesitated in opening it, fearing that it would tell the company to cease production, the Pioneer Press reported.

Rather than being told to stop, Paramount was requesting their help in producing excerpts from “Hamlet? to accompany the disc’s release, which will include the “to be, or not to be? and “alas, poor Yorick? scenes complete with a Klingon skull, the Pioneer Press reported.

Missing Somali Men Cause for Concern

Two Somali students from the University of Minnesota and a senior from Roosevelt High School are missing since Nov. 4 and their families fear they fighting in the war in Somalia, according to the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

Three families made a public plea on Saturday requesting more information regarding the missing people, Burhan Hassan, 17; Abdisalam Ali, 19 and Mohamoud Hassan, 18, according to the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

Somali families gathered and some have “suggested the men may have been recruited and sent to Somalia – the land their relatives fled because of civil war – to fight,? the Star Tribune reported.

“Nearly a dozen local boys and young men have gone missing in the past two years,? said Somali community leader Abdirizak Bihi, according to the Pioneer Press.

December 6, 2008

Craiglist Babysitter Pleads Guilty to Manufacturing Child Porn

A St. Paul family hired a Craiglist babysitter, who pled guilty Wednesday to using their two-year-old daughter to film pornographic material, the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune reported.

The 23-year-old man from Little Canada, Aaron Jay Lemon, remains free on bond, the Star Tribune reported.

The abuse occurred in August 2007, and charges were brought against Lemon in August 2008, the Star Tribune reported.

Lemon faces up to 30 years in prison, following his sentencing date, which has not yet been set, according to the Star Tribune.

“A search of Lemon’s laptop computer and pocket-sized digital camera revealed more than 100 pictures of children, ranging from 6 months to 5 years old,? the Pioneer Press reported.

December 5, 2008

Parisian Jewels Stolen in Heist

Four armed robbers, two disguised as women, stole diamonds and other valuables listed between 102 million and 108 million from a Parisian jewelry store Thursday according to the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.net.

The robbers who brandished guns knew the names of some of the employees, were familiar with the hidden storage, and were described as “major pros? according to police as reported in Al Jazeera.net.

Some of the employees were struck by the robbers but no shots were fired, according to Al Jazeera.net and the Associated Press.

“The brazen theft was among the world’s costliest jewel heists,? according to the Associated Press.

533,000 Jobs Cut Across Nation in November

The recession deepened in November as U.S. employers cut 533,000 more jobs across several sectors of the economy, according to the Washington Post and Reuters.

Dipping to the worst rate in 34 years, job losses were far worse than anticipated, according to Reuters.

“’You can’t get much uglier than this. The economy has just collapsed, and has gone into a free fall,’? Richard Yamarone, Argus Research chief economist in New York, told Reuters.

Job losses were reported in industries ranging from construction, computers, auto dealers, clothing stores, banks and insurance companies the Washington Post reported.

“Each of those lost jobs represents a personal crisis for a family somewhere in America,? President-elect Barack Obama said in a statement reported on by the Washington Post.

Obama’s team is devising a plan to create 2.5 million jobs over two years, according to the Washington Post.

The current unemployment rate which rose from 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent does not fully reflect the 422,000 who left the job market and are not actively seeking work. It also does not take into account the 7.3 million reported employees who are working part-time in lieu of full time work, according to the Washington Post.