Analysis: Computer assisted reporting

The short article, Safety practices at coal mines vary throughout U.S., posted by Extra! Extra!, seems to have used computer assisted reporting.

It summarizes a current article in the New York Times, and provides a link to the article. It gives a quote from the article and picks out two key facts.

To do think kind of reporting, the reporter would have need to know how to post a blog entry, create links, and file the blog in a category within the Web site.

Additionally the reported would need to know how to access the article from the New York Times, find the authors and pick out the key information.

For the author of the New York Times article, they would have need to understand the data by the coal mines, to write the article.

The New York Times article also has a wide rang of multimedia information to accompany the article. It has slideshows, audio of a mine forman, audio from an analyst, links to documents, an interactive feature highlighting lost miners, comparison graphics, and illustrative graphics.

This is also a large amount of computer assisted reporting. To do this, the reporters would need to know how to upload photos, host multimedia files, record audio, use flash, and design graphics.

Mexico security official's convoy under fire, 4 dead

Gunmen armed with high-caliber weapons attack Mexico's top security officer's convoy Saturday, killing a least four, according to the L.A. Times.

Minerva Bautista Gomez, the public security minister, had just left Michoacan's state fair, which was attended by other high ranking officials as well, according to the L.A. Times.

Two of Bautista's bodyguards and two bystanders died. Nine others were wounded including two girls ages 2 and 12, according to the Associated Press.

The motive and identity of the 20 attackers is still unknown, but drug violence is common in Michoacan, according to the Associated Press.

Tornadoes hit Mississippi

Tornadoes roared through four southern states Saturday killing at least 10, according to the L.A. Times.

Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas were all hit. Mississippi in particular took the brunt of the damage, according to the L.A. Times.

Mississippi's Yazoo County was hit the hardest of the 15 counties in the state that saw the tornadoes, according to the L.A. Times.

The National Weather Service said it appears the tornadoes originated in Louisiana, according to the Associated Press.

US attorney is named Ramsey County District judge

Gov. Tim Pawlenty named an assistant U.S. attorney to fill the vacancy on the Ramsey Country District court Thursday, according to the Pioneer Press.

Robyn Millenacker, 48, will replace Judge Michael Fetsch who retired in October, according to the Star Tribune.

"I'm really honored," Millenacker said Thursday. "It's going to be a job with a lot of serious work to do for the citizens of Ramsey County."

Millenacker earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Minnesota. She served as a law clerk and worked as an associate lawyer before she her position as an assistant U.S. attorney, according to the Pioneer Press.

Mayor optimistic about St. Paul future

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman sounded optimistic Thursday during his fifth state of the union address, according to the Pioneer Press.

"It is true that these are no ordinary times," Coleman said "But that phrase itself suggests a sea of troubles and challenges. We should instead understand that we are in extraordinary times ... with endless opportunities."

Coleman discussed progress on the light-rail line, a new ballpark and ice arena, and the Penfield project. Additionally he discussed partnerships with St. Paul's public schools and their effort to cut costs and better serve students, according to the Star Tribune.

About 200 people were in attendance at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Visitor Center, according to the the Star Tribune.

Alleged Seward killer to get x-ray to determine his age

A teenager charged with killing three men in a Seward convenience store in January will get dental x-rays to determine his age, according to the Star Tribune.

Mahdi Hassan Ali claims he was 15 years old at the time of the crime, and should be tried as a juvenile. Prosecutors say Ali was 17 and should be tried as an adult, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Ali has a document that he says is from a Kenyan hospital that proves his mother gave birth in August 1994. DNA testing shows the name of the mother is correct, according to MPR.

Lawyers met Thursday and agreed to the dental x-ray, to determine his age, according to MPR

If Ali is tried as a juvenile he may avoid being sentence to prison for life.

Former Blackwater officials charged in weapons case

The former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four other former senior company officials were charged Friday with illegally acquiring automatic weapons and filing false documents, according to the New York Times.

The employees converted an estimated 227 weapons into short-barrel rifles without registering them, persecutors said according to the L.A. Times.

Additionally they are being charged with trying to hide the weapons and disguising them as purchases by a North Carolina sheriff's office, according to the New York Times.

These charges are the latest in the scrutiny of the Blackwater operation since 2001.

Hu visits Tibetan quake zone

Chinese President Hu Juntao flew to a remote, mountainous Tibetan region Sunday to visit the survivors of the recent earthquake, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Hu visited a village on the outskirts of Jiegu, and the injured in a sports stadium, according to the Associated Press.

On a blackboard in a makeshift classroom he wrote "There will be new schools. There will be new homes," according to the Wall Street Journal.

More than 1,700 have been confirmed dead and 256 are missing in the region.

Supplies have begun to arrive at a faster pace according to the Associated Press.

Zou Ming, head of disaster relief at the Ministry of Civil Affairs said 25,000 tents, more than 50,000 cotton-padded quilts, and 850 tons of instant food and drinking water have been delivered, according to the Associated Press.

Northfield teacher terminated over ear-biting incident

The Minnesota Northfield school board voted to terminate Susan Mukuhi Mwarabu after she bit off part of a man's ear, according to the Pioneer Press.

Mwarabu, 30, plead guilty to the third-degree felony assault Wednesday, according to the Star Tribune.

Since the incident on March 14, Mwarabu has been on paid administration leave. She will remain on paid leave until her contract is terminated in June, according to the Pioneer Press.

Mwarabu, the night of the incident, was at the Uptowner, in St. Paul at 4:00 a.m. She was with a group a three women, according to the Pioneer Press.

A man made a comment to Mwarabu's table, which prompted an apparently drunk Mwarabu to approach the man. She lean down, licked his face, and bit off a part of his ear, the complaint said according to the Pioneer Press.

Prosecutors get extension to consider retrial in Toyota case

A Ramsey County judge approved an extended response time for prosecutors considering a retrial of a man convicted of criminal vehicular homicide involving a Toyota Camry in 2007, according to the Pioneer Press.

Judge Joanne Smith said prosecutors have until June 30 to respond to the request submitted by Koua Fong Lee, the Camry driver, according to the Pioneer Press.

After the recent Toyota mass recall, Lee filed a petition to present new evidence. He said his car experienced "sudden unintended acceleration" as reported in the other models recalled, according to the Pioneer Press.

Lee was driving his family home from church June 10, 2006 when his car accelerated down the I-94 exit off Snelling into an Oldsmobile Ciera. The driver of the Oldsmobile, his son and his niece all died, according to the Star Tribune.

Lee said the brakes failed, but St. Paul's chief mechanic said they worked fine, according to the Star Tribune

Lee is currently serving an eight-year sentence, according to the Star Tribune.

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