March 2010 Archives

Analysis: Obituary

In Ai's obitutary, the standard New York Times format was used.

The lead introduces the deceased by her well-known name, what she was most well-known for, and details of the circumstances surrounding her death. It is easy to digest, quick, and gives a good picture of who she was.

The sources the author used are mainly research documents, book reviews, letters and poems written by or about the poet. The author used quotes to capture the poet's professional life and talent.

An obituary general differs from a resume, in that it focus on one particular aspect of the person. A resume would report a general sense of the person's accomplishments and provide minor details. In an obituary, one aspect of the person's main achievements is focused on, and flowered with examples and details. It also differs from a resume in that it tries to illuminate the person through their personal qualities and characteristics.

US, Russia agrees to nuclear-weapons treaty

The United States and Russia signed a nuclear arms treaty Friday planning to decrease the number of deployed nuclear arsenals by 30 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The countries agreed to reduce the number of missiles, bombers and submarines on patrol, and pursue broader reduction talks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The agreement is a critical victory for the United States as they begin to embark on a period of meetings aimed at reducing the number of weapons rogue states and terrorists possess, according to the Washington Post.

Additionally the agreement will strengthen the nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty and increase global pressure on Iran and North Korea to reduce their nuclear programs, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sen. John Kerry said the ratification of the treaty could be a renewal for the Senate's bipartisan tradition on arms control, according to the Washington Post.

Obama chooses director for Medicare and Medicaid

President Barack Obama will nominate Dr. Donald M. Berwick as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the Associated Press.

Berwick is the president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass., and if elected by the Senate, will help carry out the responsibilities associated with the new health care reforms, according to the New York Times.

Berwick is known for his challenges to doctors and hospitals to provide better medical care and at lower costs, according to the New York Times.

Dr. Elliott S. Fisher, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at Dartmouth Medical School, said Dr. Berwick was "a visionary leader who can motivate people to change," according to the New York Times.

Ramsey County jury deliberates cause of baby girl's death

Ramsey Country District Court will decide the verdict Friday of a second degree murder case involving the death of a 9-week-old baby, according to the Pioneer Press.

Louis D. Jones, 26, was the father figure of the infant and though she was not his biological daughter, Jones had promised to raise the baby as his own, according to the Star Tribune.

Prosecutors say the baby's brain swelling and bleeding that cause her death was due to abusive head trauma, according to the Star Tribune.

Defense attorneys for Jones say the baby was not a victim of child abuse, and instead may have had chronic subdural hematoma cause by birth trauma. The defense also noted that there were no external injuries associated with abuse.

"Louis Jones loved and still loves Rhania Jones. He lost a daughter and he lost a family," defense attorney Carole Finneran said.

St. Paul man accused of beating a quadruple amputee

At St. Paul man has been charged with fifth-degree assault for beating a quadruple amputee because she was blocking his view of the television in the apartment they shared, according to the Star Tribune.

Jacoby Laquan Smith, 33, allegedly threw her to the floor, punched her in the face more than 10 times, and interfered in her attempts to call 911, the complaint said.

Eventually the victim persuaded Smith to take her to the SuperAmerica to get ice for her face, where the victim asked the gas station attendant to call the police, according to the Pioneer Press.

Smith fled and as of Friday afternoon, is still being sought by the police, according to the Pioneer Press.

The woman, who had a split upper lip and swelling on the left side of her face, said she was very frightened of Smith because he had keys to her apartment, according to the Pioneer Press.


Standstill on Central Corridor remains

Negotiations between the Metropolitan Council and University of Minnesota over the Central Corridor light-rail line remain at a standstill, the Pioneer Press reported.

University officials rejected the Met Council's request Friday to begin early construction on the rail, citing that an remedy over noise and vibration on lab equipment must be agreed upon first, the Star Tribune reported.

Met Council chairman Peter Bell accused the University Friday of acting irrationally, blocking progress, and costing taxpayers $1 million in delays, the Pioneer Press Reported

University President Robert Bruininks said the University will continue to support a strong metrowide transportation system and noted that Bell had rejected requests for mediation five times in recent months, the Pioneer Press reported.

The issue of early construction is predicted to be resolved in court-ordered mediation, the Pioneer Press reported.

Obama proposes amendment to No Child Left Behind law

President Barack Obama announced Saturday plans to amend the No Child Left Behind law by implementing a new school accountability system, the Washington Post reported.

Instead of judging schools by their overall class performance, the proposal aims to focus more on the growth of individual students, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"We don't think we should micromanage the schools from Washington," Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the Wall Street Journal Friday, "We want to hold educators accountable but let them be creative."

Administration officials said the plan would ensure college and career readiness for students by 2020, and would steer the lowest performing school in the right direction, the Washington Post reported.

The core elements of the No Child Left Behind program remain in tact, the Washington Post reported. States will still test every year in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school, and detailed reports of scores will ensure achievement gaps are disclosed.

Suicide attacks in Kandahar, Afghanistan kills 30 and wounds 40 more

Four suicide attacks in Kandahar, Afghanistan killed 30 civilians and wounded 40 more.

The attacks struck near a prison, hotel, mosque and a city centre road junction, the BBC reported.

The southern city of Kandahar is a former Taliban stronghold, and is one of Afghanistan's largest cities.

According to Ahmad Wali Karzi the largest attack was aimed at Kandahar's prison, though no prisoners escaped, the Associated Press reported.

Top U.S. commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal foresaw the event. For the past several weeks he had warned of the Kandahar area being a next target for operations against the Taliban.

St. Paul man killed, bother arrested

A 38-year-old, St. Paul man could be charged with the death of his bother, the St. Paul Police Department reported Sunday.

Brain Orloske, 40 of Houlton, Wis., was shot in the head with a shotgun Saturday night, and his brother, Eric Orloske, is the only suspect in the case, the Star Tribune reported

Police found the Wisconsin man dead when they arrived at 11:30 p.m. at the home in the 1300 block of Reaney Avenue, the Star Tribune reported.

The two brothers were the only ones in the home, the Star Tribune reported.

Police spokesman Paul Schnell said there is no clear motive yet but the brothers both had been drinking and had earlier in the evening fought, the Pioneer Press reported.

Orloske made his first court appearance Monday on the charge of second-degree murder without intent while committing or attempting to commit a felony, the Pioneer Press reported.

St. Paul man accused of unintentionally killing an infant

A North St. Paul man is on trail for unintentionally killing his girlfriend's 2-month-old infant.

Louis D. Jones, 26, plead innocent to the second-degree unintentional murder saying the baby girl died of illness not abuse, the Pioneer Press reported.

Jones whom is not the biological father, but whose name appears on Rhania's birth certificate, said he loved the baby as his own, the Star Tribune reported.

Jones was watching the Rhania on Feb. 27, 2009 while his girlfriend Rebecca Shaw, 25, was a work. When Shaw returned she noticed the baby was having difficulty breathing and rushed her to the hospital, the Star Tribune reported.

Dr. Patrick Graupman, a pediatric neurosurgeon at the St. Paul Children's Hospital testified Friday that Rhania had a head injury that is almost always caused by trauma that leads to rapid swelling. Graupman said that unless proven otherwise, the injury can be assumed to be from abuse.

After five days of being in the hospital, Rhania was taken off life support and died March 4, 2009, the Pioneer Press reported.

Graupman said the saw no evidence of brain disease and estimated that the trauma occurred within 48 hours before Rhania came to the hospital, the Pioneer Press reported.


RNC protester pleads guilty to running into police officers on bike

A man accused of running his bicycle into two police officers during the Republican National Convention plead guilty Monday to obstructing the legal process.

Elliot Hughes, 20, from St. Paul was sentenced immediately to three days in jail, one year of probation, 50 hours of community service and a $150 fine, the Star Tribune reported.

The Ramsey County District Judge Margaret Marrinan dismissed two counts of fourth-degree assault as well in a plea agreement, the Star Tribune reported.

According to the criminal complaint during the Sept. 1 2008 protest at Sibley Street near downtown St. Paul, two police officers on bicycle patrol tried to pass Hughes who was also cycling.

The officer's yelled "get back," when Hughes allegedly ran is bicycle into one officer and pushed his shoulder into the other, causing both to fall.

At the Ramsey County Jail, Hughes said he was tortured after his arrest. He said he was knocked unconscious and awoke in a pool of his own blood, the Pioneer Press reported.

Hughes attorney Ted Dooley said he does not know whether Hughes will be pursuing a complaint or lawsuit, the Pioneer Press reported.

Armed group pulls heist at German Poker Tournament

A group of masked men stormed a German poker tournament Saturday armed with automatic weapons, machetes and hand grenades, the Telegraph reported.

The four men struck Berlin's Grand Hyatt hotel, forced employees to hand over money and fled, police spokesman Carsten Mueller told the Associated Press.

Several participants at the tournament organized by the European Poker Tour were injured in the panic, the Associated Press reported.

The jackpot for the tournament was $1.35 million but it is unclear how much money was stolen.

According to a German news website Spiegel Online, witness Claudia Sommerey said panic spread in the room as the "disguised men with rifles" burst into the players.


Analysis: Mrs. Obama address NGA

In the Washington Post's news release about Mrs. Obama's address to the NGA about child obesity, I was interested to find what the writer included and added in the article.

As we also wrote about the speech in class, I was familiar with the address and Mrs. Obama's agenda. In the Post's article, little was said of her agenda and an overall practical briefing occurred instead.

The author starts with Mrs. Obama talking about her initiative to reduce childhood obesity, and goes into politics and money right away, straying away from Mrs. Obama's message.

He cites Mrs. Obama's comments about bipartisanship but then goes into off topic subjects such as budget gaps, quotes about financial standpoints and stimulus money.

The point of Mrs. Obama's speech was about governors needing to recognize that while there are many economical issues going on, health should still be a priority. I don't think this was captured in the speech. The writer cites her emotionally charged quotes such as "Our kids didn't do this to themselves," and "our kids can't afford for us to get this wrong," but leaves about the information about one in three kids is obese, or one in three kids will develop diabetes. This is important information and makes the issue more relevant.

Additionally the author left out Mrs. Obama's strong stance on the fact that childhood obesity stems from the fact that government actions have allowed lax federal school meals that could be healthier, less money for parks and community centers because of budget cuts, and cuts on physical education programs because of a lack of school funding. None of this was mentioned, instead the author focused on money, general health care worries, and a superficial level of analysis on the need for bipartisanship.

I think the author could have captured Mrs. Obama's point more eloquently, and sticked to the subject matter more. There is a lot to discuss outside of what was said, but the information outside of Mrs. Obama's speech that the author used seems irrelevant.

Congressman Delahunt announces retirement

Representative William D. Delahunt announced Friday that he will not seek re-elction for his eighth term in office.

Delahunt, 68 said the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy in August has made him realize that he wanted to spend more time with his family, the New York Times reported.

According to the Boston Globe, Delahunt had considered resigning before, but Sen. Kennedy encouraged him to stay two years ago.

The Christian Science Monitor said the retirement of the Democrat will open another opportunity for the Republican party to take another step closer in taking control of the House.

"Life is about change," Delahunt said. "I think it's healthy. It's time."

St. Paul to start patching potholes early

St. Paul's asphalt plant plans to open several weeks early Monday to begin patching potholes around the city.

The plant uses a "hot mix" that relies on higher spring temperatures to bond tighter than the winter cold mix that ran out earlier this winter than expected.

According to the Star Tribune, St. Paul used one-third more "cold mix" this season than it would in a normal winter.

For many drivers this has been the worst pothole season in memory, the Star Tribune reported.

The snowstorm, rain and deep freeze that occurred late December is thought to be the reason why this year seems particularly worse, the Pioneer Press reported.

"As soon as they tell us the mix will be coming out of the hopper, we'll be over there," Mike Kennedy, director of transportation maintenance and repair, said.

Man who sued jail over frozen feet dies

A man who was suing Ramsey County and New Brighton Police Department for their failure to provide medical care while incarcerated in January, died Wednesday.

Patrick Uzalac, 43, appears to have died from natural causes but an autopsy will be performed to determine if the injuries Uzalac suffered in January contributed to his death, the Pioneer Press reported.

According to the Star Tribune, on Jan. 9, Uzalac locked himself out of his apartment wearing only a T-shirt, shorts and socks. When he tossed snow at his neighbors windows to be let in, the neighbors called the police.

Police discovered Uzalac had an outstanding warrant and took him to jail without letting Uzalac back in his apartment to get shoes.

The jail staff allegedly ignored Uzalac pleas for medical attention for his blistered and discolored feet for more than a day. After his family bailed him out, he went to the emergency room.

If the autopsy determines that his death was caused by his injuries in January, the lawsuit will become a wrongful-death case, the Pioneer Press reported.


Trial date set for former Cretin-Derham worker

The trial date is set for former Cretin-Derham Hall weight-room supervisor, Gail Gagne, who has been accused of having sex with a male students under her supervision one summer.

Gagne, 27, is the granddaughter of former pro wrestling legend Verne Gagne, the Pioneer Press reported.

According to the charges, the male student said Gagne had oral sex with him in her Bloomington home, and later had sex with him at a Bloomington hotel, the Star Tribune reported.

The trial date is set for July 12, and Judge Richard Scherer will hear the case.

Gagne has pleaded not guilty to the crime that allegedly occurred when she was 25 and the student was 16.

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