January 2012 Archives

Pedestrian hit on Anoka highway

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By Alyssa Anderson

A woman was killed after being struck by a car at an Anoka intersection Monday evening.

The female victim has not been immediately identified by police, according to the Pioneer Press.

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 10 near Thurston Avenue, police have reported to CBS News, and the accident remains under investigation.

Leads Analysis: Twin Cities courtrooms ramp up security

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By Alyssa Anderson

"Security in courthouses was being examined across the Twin Cities before a gunman shot a prosecutor and a witness last month at a northern Minnesota courthouse."

"But now, local politicians are paying more attention to pleas to improve safety," as from the Pioneer Press.

In my opinion, this news lead works well as a hook for the story on courtroom security in the Twin Cities because it uses 4 news elements.

This lead is timely, because the security bump is happening following an attack in a courtroom last month.

The lead also shows conflict, because it reports a gunman shooting a prosecutor and a witness.

Consequence is shown in this lead, because the bump in security is happening following the shooting.

Finally, this lead displays proximity because the shooting was an in-state event, and courtroom across the state are raising their security levels.

The lead uses the 4Ws: who, what, where, and when, which gives it detail. However, it doesn't go into answering why, because that would be too detailed.

By Alyssa Anderson

Police officers discovered 5 bodies in an Ala. home while responding to a reported robbery in progress early Sunday morning.

The victims identities and the causes of death have no been released, but a homicide investigation has been launched by the Birmingham police, according to CNN.

Brenda Houston, a resident of the neighborhood for years, and neighbor to the home where the bodies were found, told the Associated Press that she never had a problem with her neighbors across the street.

"They would speak to us, and that's all we knew," she said. "We didn't know their names but they were always friendly."

The house had reportedly been rented to a woman in her late 40s and her son and brothers for about a year and half, according to the Washington Post.

"We don't think it's random at this point," Sgt, Johhny Williams said to CNN, citing evidence collected at the scene.

So far no arrests have been made.

Loppet skiers adapt to weather and change the course

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By Alyssa Anderson

The City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation announced on Sunday that the City of Lakes Loppet has changed venue on Feb. 4-5 to remain inside Theodore Wirth Park, due to warm weather.

Traditionally, the Loppet runs from Wirth Park to uptown Minneapolis, but because of the lack of snow and weak ice, the snow machines in Wirth Park will be a necessary component of the race, according to CBS.

The skiers will make use of Wirth's 3.5-kilometer loop and the artificial snow that will stay on the ground unless temperatures reach the mid-70s, according to the Star Tribune.

Race officials told the Star Tribune that they expect Wirth Park's wooded setting to make this a "different," but "great," event, as well as being easier to watch.

A minor change that has been made in the Loppet's scheduling is the Luminary Loppet, which features over 1,000 luminarias, the Ice Pyramid, fire dancers, beer and hot cocoa. The Luminary event has been changed into a hiking event.

Other events scheduled for the weekend include racing, snow sculptures, skijoring and studded-bike races on ice.

Thanks to Theodore Wirth Park and the snow machines, the skiing will go on.

Are the Vikings setting sail to campus?

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By Alyssa Anderson

The Minnesota Vikings have been in discussion with the University of Minnesota with potential plans of making TCF Bank Stadium their interim home while they build a new stadium of their own.

That would mean a team from the National Football League would be playing in a National Collegiate Athletica Association stadium.

If the Vikings decide TCF will be their temporary home, the deal would be for three seasons, which is the longest stint in an alternative stadium for an NFL team since 1966, according to the Pioneer Press.

The University of Minnesota has taken the stipulations of hosting an NFL team into account, because this is not the first time the University of Minnesota has opened its stadium to the Vikings.

Last year, TCF was reopened in December to host the Vikings, after the roof of the dome collapsed.

Before anyone can jump on board though, there are a few complications.

First of all, the Vikings have a schedule completely independent of the University's sports schedule.

Gary Bowman, the U's athletic communications director, told CBS that the Gopher's basketball, hockey, and volleyball teams would have to be completely rescheduled due to traffic concerns.

Another issue facing the Vikings is that TCF wasn't built to be used in the deep-winter months.

Heating coils would need to be installed in the field, water pipes would need to be insulated and concession stands would need cold weather protection for both the vendors and the food.

As well as the Vikings would lose money from the 15,000 less seats in TCF.

Finally, the change that is potentially the biggest deal breaker for NFL fans is the fact TCF Bank Stadium is a dry-stadium, meaning alcohol is not allowed inside- at least for now.

President Kaler of the University is working with the Board of Regents to come up with a plan that would alcohol to be purchased in TCF Bank Stadium for professional football games.

Kaler told the Star Tribune that alcohol would have to be part of the equation, should the Vikings use TCF.

While TCF might not be the easiest transition field, it might be the only option left after the state's budgeting arguments over the Vikings' stadium cease.

Blood found in home of missing toddler

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By Alyssa Anderson

Investigators have discovered blood in the basement of a missing Maine toddler, the Maine Department of Public Safety said to CNN Saturday.

The blood was discovered early in the investigation, but investigators have not yet identified it. Saturday marked the first report about the discovered blood to the public, according to the Associated Press.

Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said authorities felt now was an appropriate time to release information about the blood, in an attempt to acquire any information from the public.

Ayla Reynolds, a 20 month old, was reported missing by her father on December 17. The girl was staying with her father, Justin DiPietro, at a house owned by his mother, Phoebe DiPietro.

Police have reported to CNN that Phoebe DiPietro was not home the night of Ayla's disappearance, but two other adults and two other children were at the residence the night of December 16.

DiPietro, told police he put his daughter to bed at 8 p.m., and when he checked on her in the morning she was gone, according to CNN.

DiPietro had sole custody of of Ayla when she disappeared. Two days before Ayla was reported missing, Trista Reynolds, Ayla's 23-year-old mother, filed papers seeking sole custody of her daughter, according to Local 10 News.

Reynolds reportedly didn't tell DiPietro of her actions because he was "vindictive" and "verbally abusive."

Police have reported that DiPietro took a polygraph earlier in the month, but have declined to announce the results, according to the Associated Press.

No one has been announced as a suspect or arrested.

"We're not ruling anyone in or out," McCausland said to CNN.

Salvage to Begin on Capsized Cruise Liner

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By Alyssa Anderson

Salvage experts have been given the green-light to begin excavating the wrecked Costa Concordia on Monday.

A Mediterranean cruise went awry on Jan. 13, when the ship struck a reef off the coast of Tuscany and capsized. Of the 4,200 passengers, a CNN count concludes that about 17 people are still missing.

The search for missing passengers and the removal of the cruise liner's fuel is planned to begin on Monday, after Franco Gabrielli, head of the national civil protection agency, deemed the ship stable, reports The Associated Press.

Excavation of the ship was previously put on hold after fear that the liner would shift and sink further into the ocean's depths.

In an effort to prevent an environmental catastrophe, five miles of barriers have been placed around the ship to protect the surrounding marine life. At this point, the barriers have held the 2,400 tons of fuel, and only a minor oil slick has emerged past the wreckage.

No timeline has been predicted for how long it will take to clear the wreckage, due to maritime conditions, personnel, and the sheer size of the cruise liner.

"It takes about 45 minutes to search each cabin, using special cameras and divers," said Gabrielli.

The Costa Concordia had 1,500 cabins on board.

The cruise was cut short and salvage might take some time, but rest assured, the passengers of the sunken ship are being compensated. Costa Concordia's parent company, Carnival Cruise Lines, has offered all people aboard the ill-fated ship a 30 per cent discount on future cruises.

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