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May 6, 2007

Cinco de Mayo

The Star Tribune reported that twenty five years ago, a group of business leaders from St. Paul's West Side decided to sponsor a neighborhood festival to, "stir up community pride and customers for local businesses," and today that tradition is still going strong. Owners borrowed two street barricades from the Police Department, they got a flatbed truck with a trailer for a "stage" and rented a couple of portable toilets. According to the Star Tribune, neighbors marched in that first Cinco de Mayo parade, and sold homemade tacos and tamales along the parade route. The event includes three stages of entertainment and shuttle buses. Also, a 5k run, a lowrider car show, a sports zone and two blocks of vendors. This area is overwhelmingly Mexican, the Hispanic community is increasingly from Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador and other nations.

The Pioneer Press reported that the festival drew thousands of people over six blocks and two days. The Pioneer Press reported that, while the festival's Friday night car show was a magnet for the young, Saturday's parade was a family affair and a symbol of the deep infusion of Hispanics into the Twin Cities mainstream. Klondike Kate, from St. Paul's Winter Carnival made an appearance along with a "booty-shaking" sorority that danced just a few paces ahead of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Ponchos, beaded necklaces, black light posters, "Dora the Explorer" balloons and otehr kitsch were sold by Vendors. Also, dozens lined up for an autograph from Mexican screen star Hector Suarez.

Girl Slashed at the Mall of America

The Star Tribune reported that a 14-year-old girl from Bloomington was slashed in the stomach by another girl at the Mall of America. She is in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. A commander in charge of investigations for the Bloomington Police Department, Jim Ryan, said the girl was expected to survive. Ryan said the assailant suffered minor injuries, but did not requre hospitalization. The identities of the girls was not released because they are juveniles. Ryan said that the suspect will probably be charged with felony assault.

The Pioneer Press reported that the two teenage girs knew each other. Police are still investigating what caused the attack, Ryan said. Several shoppers witnessed the attack. Ryan said, a registered nurse also witnessed the attack and, "was very helpful at rendering first aid to the victim." The mall remained open for business throughout Saturday, except for a small area near a third-floor stairway that was cordoned off by police. The Mall of America gets 40 million visitors a year.

April 15, 2007

Driver Dies in Rollover

The Star Tribune reported Saturday that a 44-year-old Minneapolis man died. He was the driver of a car that was involved in a crash early in the morning in Minneapolis, according to the State Patrol. The two passengers in his car were in critical condition after being thrown from the car. The crash happened shortly after 2 a.m., on Hiawatha Avenue near Third Street. The driver died at the scene. A Champlin woman and a man whose residence is currently unkown were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. It was not known if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

The Pioneer Press reported that all three were ejected from a sedan in a rollover crash early Saturday morning. It reported that the car was on northbound Hiawatha Avenue at the Fourth Street ramp. The Champlin woman is 41 years old. Both of the passengers are in critical condition. The crash remains under investigation.

Toddler Hoax

The Star Tribune reported Saturday that St. Paul police said Chue Xiong, 44, who reported finding a toddler abandoned on a Frogtown street corner was supposed to be caring for the boy, whose mother is in jail. Police spokesman Tom Walsh and Xiong admitted the hoax after relatives, who had seen some of the media coverage, pressured him to tell the truth. However, Saturday afternoon, Xiong denied that he was supposed to care for the 2-year-old boy, said his stepdaughter Judy Vue, who was translating. The boy remains in the custody of Ramsey County child protection services. The boy's 33-year-old mother has been in the Ramsey County jail on warrants for forgery and theft since Wednesday. Xiong reported that he had just come home from taking his four children to school when he spotted the shoeless boy about 10 a.m. and said he waited outside with the boy for about three hours, hoping someone would come and pick him up, before he called police.

The Pioneer Press reported that Xiong is the stepfather. "I don't know her [Zia Yang]. I am not the stepfather," said Xiong, smoking and angrily pacing around the same corner the child allegedly wandered. He told police that he and his wife, See Lee, waited with the boy and that he refused to talk to them. He said he was a restaurant cook who recently lost his job and has four other children, including a 10-year-old boy and three daughters, ages 15, 14 and 4. Police now are conducting an investigation into possible charges against Chue Xiong.

April 1, 2007

Imams Sue Airlines

The New York Times reported that six Muslim men removed from a plane last fall after being accused of suspicious behavior are suing the airline and the passengers who complained. The Associated Press reported that some fear this move could discourage others from speaking up if they see something unusual. The civil rights lawsuit that has been filed this month has alarmed some lawyers so much that they are offering to defend the passengers without charge. They said it is vital that the public is able to report any suspicious behavior without the fear of being taken to court. The six men were all imams and were taken off a Phoenix-bound US Airways flight on Nov. 20. They were returning home froma conference of Islamic clerics in Minneapolis. Passengers said they became nervous when the men were seen praying and chanting in Arabic. Some passengers also said the men mentioned Saddam Hussein and cursed the United States. Also, that they requested seat belt extenders and than stowed them under their seats. New York lawyer, Omar Mohammedi, said the intent is not to go after passengers who raise valid concerns, but that these passengers may have acted out of prejudice.

The Post Chronicle reported that the imans are suing US Airways and "John Doe" passengers for allegedly making false reports "with the intent to discriminate against them." The Muslim clerics had reportedly been making a scene in the terminal and on the plane. Their attorney says that they had only been performing prayers and were singled out because of their religion. The Times said that critics of the lawsuit contend that the freedom to practice one's religion at any time or any place is not absolute when it comes to government interests, such as preventing terrorism.

Herb Carneal Dies

The Star Tribune reported that Twins radio broadcaster, Herb Carneal, died Sunday morning of congestive heart failure at his home in Minnetonka, Minn., he was 83. Carneal received the Ford C. Frick award in 1996. This last winter he spend six weeks in the hospital battling a variety of ailments. He was scheduled to work 36 home games this season, including the Twins opener on Monday against Baltimore. Twins President Dave St. Peter said in a statement that plans for how the ballclub intends to honor Carneal at Monday's game were being discussed Sunday.

The Pioneer Press reported that Carneal was part of the ballclub's radio play-by-play team for all but the first year of the Twin's existence in Minnesota. Originally from Richmond, Va., his first radio job was right out of high school. Before coming to Minnesota in 1962, Carneal called Athletics and Phillies games in Philadelphia and Orioles games in Baltimore.

Carneal was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Metrodome's baseball press box was renamed in his honor in 2005.

Funeral arrangement are pending.


March 25, 2007

Minnesota Guardsman Killed in Iraq

The Star Tribune reported that Minnesota National Guard Sgt. Greg Riewer, 28, was killed in Iraq while on patrol Friday near Fallujah. Riewer died at about 5:30 p.m., Iraq time, when a roadside explosive device struck his vehicle. The blast also injured three other Minnesota members of his unit. Their names and medical conditions have not been released. Riewer graduated from Frazee High School in 1997 and enlisted shortly after.

The Pioneer Press reported that Riewer was among the 2, 600 Minnesota National Guard soldiers whose service in Iraq was extended until August. Riewer was one of 13 children. Andrew Riewer, his brother, is deployed in Iraq in the same unit of the same company. The Guard is working to get him home, but there are no guarantees.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

University of Minnesota Hires Tubby Smith

The Star Tribune reported that the University of Minnesota’s athletic department hired Tubby Smith as the new head gopher basketball coach. Smith is coming to Minnesota from his previous job at the University of Kentucky. Smith held a news conference at Williams arena to officially declare his position. DeLaSalle coach Dave Thorson was there and said, "It's a slam dunk." He said, "This is a win, win, win situation for everybody in the state."

The Pioneer Press reported that Smith ended his career at Kentucky with a 263-83 record in 10 seasons. Smith will replace Dan Monson, who resigned Nov. 30 and coached the gophers through their 9-22 record this season. Smith told the Herald-Leader, "I just think it's a great opportunity for me and my family. Minnesota is a familiar name in basketball." Smith’s claims to fame before coaching at Kentucky include leading Tulsa to the Sweet 16 twice and Georgia to the Sweet 16 once.

University of Minnesota Hires Tubby Smith

The Star Tribune reported that the University of Minnesota’s athletic department hired Tubby Smith as the new head gopher basketball coach. Smith is coming to Minnesota from his previous job at the University of Kentucky. Smith held a news conference at Williams arena to officially declare his position. DeLaSalle coach Dave Thorson was there and said, "It's a slam dunk." He said, "This is a win, win, win situation for everybody in the state."

The Pioneer Press reported that Smith ended his career at Kentucky with a 263-83 record in 10 seasons. Smith will replace Dan Monson, who resigned Nov. 30 and coached the gophers through their 9-22 record this season. Smith told the Herald-Leader, "I just think it's a great opportunity for me and my family. Minnesota is a familiar name in basketball." Smith’s claims to fame before coaching at Kentucky include leading Tulsa to the Sweet 16 twice and Georgia to the Sweet 16 once.

March 3, 2007

St. Paul Approves Ban on Realistic Replica Guns

According to the Star Tribune, on Wednesday, the city council unanimously approved a ban on public display of real-looking replica guns and made it a misdemeanor to do so as well. The ban was proposed by Council Member Lee Helgen in response to the recent surge of juveniles carrying airsoft guns. It was reported that no one spoke against the ordinance at the public hearing.

The Pioneer Press reported that Mayor Chris Coleman supports the ban. According to the paper the ban does not cover obvious toys such as water pistols. Real-looking guns that shoot pellets, known generally as Airsoft guns, have been cited in several officer-involved shootings where police mistook them for the real thing. They have also been used to commit crimes. Now, to make it easier for the police and others to identify the toy guns, they must be painted a bright color.

March 1, 2007

Ex-Teacher Charged as Drug Runner

According to the Pioneer Press, Kimberly Sue Bourn, 42, an Oak Park Heights prison instructor, has been charged with smuggling drugs to inmates. Authorities found two drug packages about the size of tennis balls that each weighed about a quarter-pound, according to the criminal complaint that was filed. Each package included a bag of cigarettes, rolling papers, and hard drugs all wrapped in marijuana and then wrapped again in plastic wrap. According to the complaint, one ball even contained four ecstasy pills and the other had 7.6 grams of cocaine. Bourn said she brought the drugs into the prison because an inmate threatened her if she refused to do so. Oak Park Heights investigator Brian Derosier said authorities "haven't found anything to prove or disprove" her claim.

According to the Star Tribune, on Oct. 20, Bourn was fired from her job as a postsecondary and GED teacher after an investigation. Bourn is charged with three counts of possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, three counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one count of introduction of contraband.

February 25, 2007

Chaska Man Found Frozen Dies

The http://www.startribune.com/467/story/1025046.html">Star Tribune reported that Sean Patrick Humphrey was found early Saturday partly frozen to the pavement on the side of a road in Chaska. Humphrey appeared to have fallen as he was walking and hit his head on a curb, he was spotted by a city snowplow driver along Geske Road at Millpond Court, according to Sgt. Mike Duzan. Humphrey died Sunday on his 19th birthday at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Police said that he had been on the street for hours with no coat, hat or gloves and by the time he was taken to a hospital his core body temperature was 77 degrees. Duzan said there are no indications of foul play.

According to the Pioneer Press, Humphrey's parents called the polise after a report of a missing man was aired on the 5 p.m. Saturday news. TV reports showed pictures of Humphrey's gold watch and a ring he was wearing that had "diamond-like stones," Duzan said. A snowplow driver found him about 4:45 a.m. Saturday.

Nisswa Man Found Safe After a Weeklong Search

According to the Star Tribune, Ryan Hamre, 24, from Nisswa, was found on a Tomahawk Trail Friday. A week earlier, Hamre had gone for a walk and became lost, the dispatcher said. He had to build at least one fire to keep warm. Hamre, an associae editor fo an outdoors magazine in Brainerd, was checked over at an Ely hospital and was found to be fine.

According to the Pioneer Press, Hamre was found in a fish house in the Arrowhead of Northeastern Minnesota. Hamre's family reported him missing on Tuesday and authorities used a bloodhound to search for him, while his friends and family fanned out across the state. Posters with his photograph were circulated. The search ended at a cabin he was known to frequent in Lake County, his truck was also found to be in working condition. What he was doing there and why he did not tell his family is still unclear.

February 18, 2007

Farmington Man Shot 4 Times

The Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/467/story/1007273.html reported that a 22-year-old Farmington man was shot four times in his home on Thursday and hospitalized in critical but stable condition. No arrests have been made and the victim's name is being withheld with concerns for his safety. The man was shot twice in his leg and twice in the chest and was found in his basement. The chief would not say whether or not the man knew who shot him.

The Pioneer Press http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/local/states/minnesota/counties/dakota/16719518.htm reported that the victim had been taken to Regions Hospital, where he was being kept sedated. James A. Jurisch, who owns the property said the victim faces the possibility of losing a lung. Police Chief Brian Lindquist said his officers had "detained two people of interest" for questioning, but he did not disclose their identities.

Teenage Parents Lie about Baby's Injuries

The Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/467/story/1008313.html reported that 15-month-old, Destiny Jackson's death was due to injuries her teenage parents lied about. Maeve Clifford, the 18-year-old mother, and Beauford Jackson, also 18, said Destiny had fractured her skull by falling off a bed. After a polygraph test Jackson's story changed. A medical examiner's staff concluded that Destiny bled to death after blows to her chest and abdomen lacerated her liver. In the wake of the baby's death, St. Paul police said investigators are taking a new look into the girl's skull fracture that she received two months earlier.

According to the Pioneer Press http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/local/16719124.htm , after an application for a search warrant was filed in Ramsey County District Court, prosecutors charged Destiny's father with second-degree unintentional murder. An autopsy concluded that Destiny died of internal injuries after being struck in the torso.

February 8, 2007

Two Men Charged in Cab Driver's Death

The Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/467/story/990067.html reported that Brandon D. Cox, 21, and Willen T. McIntyre, 19, used a stolen cell phone to call a Green and White taxi Sunday. The two men had the intention of robbing the driver, Jim Moody, but according to the suspects as Moody was giving them the money he grabbed for one of the guns. Cox fired his gun twice and McIntyre once, killing Moody. The two suspects each were charged in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree intentional murder.

This Star Tribune article by Jim Adams was hard to follow. The structure and usuage of quotes made me read it more than once just to understand what had happened in the story.

The Pioneer Press http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/breaking_news/16654285.htm did a very general report of this story. The only information it added on the event was that it took place February 4 and that the suspects were spending the night at Shemica Thomas' house, which is where they returned after the incident. The Pioneer Press did report all the necessary information though.

Flu Kills 2 More Minnesota Children

A week after a Ramsey County boy died of influenza, state health officials announced two more Minnesota children have died because of the same flu. The victims were an 8-year-old and a 17 month old, both from the Twin Cities area. There is no connection between the two. None of the children had been vaccinated for influenza, according to the Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/462/story/989993.html. Nationwide, a total of 13 children have died of the flu this year.

According to the Pioneer Press http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/local/16654116.htm an estimated 36,000 deaths are related to influenza each year, but relatively few involve children.

Both articles quoted Minnesota Health Commissioner Dianne Mandernach, but differently.

The Star Tribune article was structured well. The lead included a very general account of the story, including the who, what, when and where. The 2nd graph was a lot more specific with the who and the where. Then the article used some quotes from health officials and medical experts. The article ended with information about where people could go to get vaccinated for the flu.

February 4, 2007

Girl Dies in Drunk Driving Accident

Logan H. McFarland, a 19-year-old Eagen resident was charged in Dakota County District Court with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and three counts of criminal vehicular operation after crashing his Ford truck into another car Sunday. McFarland struck Rebecca F. Yacob's camry. The 21-year-old from Apple Valley, died at the scene, according to the Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/467/story/970627.html.

McFarland is being held in the Dakota County jail in lieu of $150,000 bail and was also charged Tuesday with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

The Pioneer Press http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/local/states/minnesota/counties/dakota/16584991.htm reported that if McFarland is convicted he will face up to 10 years in jail. According to the Pioneer Press, District Judge Leslie Metzen ordered McFarland be held in lieu of $75,000 bail and scheduled his next court appearance for Feb. 21.

Both stories put quotes at the end of the articles. They both quoted McFarland when he told the police, "I just wanted to drive my friends home."

Father and Son Killed in Waseca Shooting

The Pioneer Press http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/local/16618691.htm reported that Tracey Kruger, 41, and his son Alec, 13, were shot and killed in their Waseca farmhouse Saturday. Kruger's wife Hilary was also shot and put into critical condition. She was being treated at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

The suspect is a Waseca County resident who was found at a residence 10 to 15 miles from the crime scene. Authorities are not saying if the shooter knew the family or if it was random.

The Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/462/story/980338.html reported that the suspect is Michael S. Zabawa, 24 and second-degree murder charges are expected to be filed Monday.

The Star Tribune used a lot of quotes toward the bottom of the article from community members and police officials. The quotes brought an emotional aspect to the story.

January 27, 2007

Sword-Wielding Teen Injures Three and Kills Mom

Police are trying to figure out why 16-year-old Josh Gilchrist killed his mother with a sword Friday morning. Gilchrist also injured his sister, a foreign exchange student and a police officer before being shot and killed by the officers. So far the Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/462/story/964054.html reports that the police have no leads on why this happened.

Keloland Television http://www.keloland.com/News/NewsDetail6371.cfm?Id=0,54197 is reporting that he suspect's sister is being treated in Sioux Falls with non-life threatening injuries. Others have also been treated and released from the Huron Hospital. It is now standard procedure, because the police fired a gun, that the Division of Criminal Investigation with put together the officers' actions.

The Star Tribune's lead really conveyed what the article was going to be about. The Keloland television website was a lot more vague about the event from the start, which prompted me to have to read farther to make sure it was the same story.

Mexican Snow Sculptor is Not Able to Compete

Sculptor Abel Ramirez Aguilar, 63, from Mexico, flew to the United States to compete in the St. Paul Winter Carnival snow and ice carving competitions. He is a world-renownded artist who has won awards in Canada, Japan, Norway and France. The Star Tribune http://www.startribune.com/462/story/963341.html reported that Aguilar is ineligible to win the snow sculpture money or the grand prize and advance to the national competition in Lake Geneva, Wis. because is not a Minnesota resident.

The Pioneer Press http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/local/16557398.htm reported that being ineligible has not stopped Aguilar from shaping his 8-foot snow cube into storms of wind and rain that produce a woman. He is eligible to compete in the individual ice-carving competition which does not have any residency rules.

Herón Márquez Estrada, from the Star Tribune, began her article with an assumption in the lead rather than saying the who, what, where and when. Estrada talked in the active voice throughout the article.

Laura Yuen, from the Pioneer Press, did a much better job with just getting the facts across.