March 2010 Archives

St. Paul Fire Kills 2-Year Old; Uncle Arrested

The uncle of a 2-year old boy that was killed in a St. Paul house fire has been arrested for allegedly staring it, Kare 11 said. The man has been booked in jail for possible homicide and arson charges.
The fire was discovered by a neighbor looking out of his window. The neighbor said he first saw flames "peeking" put of the porch, and by the time he ran across the street, the flames had jumped 2 feet higher and the windows were blown out the porch, the Star Tribune said.
The neighbor said that a women, her three sons, one son's wife, and a young child lived at the home.
The man arrested in connection with the fire, who is not being named because he has not been charged yet has a criminal record that shows evidence of a pattern of domestic abuse charges and violations of restraining orders, Kare 11 said.

Senator Blocks Jobs Bill and Benefits Are To Expire

Congress has adjoined for a two- week break without finding a way to extend jobless benefit programs, set to expire soon, with 14.9 million Americans face hard times as they look for work, Reuters said.
Senate Republican Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is blocking the passage of a stopgap bill that would extend jobless benefits, on the grounds that it's price tag of $9 billion dollars should not be added to the national debt, the Associated Press said.
There was another stopgap law enacted earlier in March that extends unemployment insurance for people who have been unemployed for more than six months, however, the Associated Press says that another short-term extension of these benefits are needed to hold people over while house and senate members negotiate a long-term measure that would extend benefits through the end of the year.
These types of benefits usually expire after six months, but Congress has had to extend these limits several times during the recession, due to high levels of joblessness extending longer than six months. Currently, the unemployment rate stands at 9.7 percent. Congress is to return to work on April 12.

Gopher Basketball Advances to Semi-Finals

The Gopher Mens' basketball team is still in the running for a NCAA tournament bid after the team beat No. 11 Michigan State Friday night in the Big Ten tournament, the Star Tribune said.
The Associated Press reported sophomore Devoe Joseph scored six points for the Gophers in overtime to lead Minnesota past the Spartans for a 72-67 victory in the quarterfinals.
The Gophers will have an even greater challenge Saturday when they will play Purdue, who beat the defending Big Ten champions, Northwestern 69-61 on Friday.
While the Gophers controlled most of the play, Michigan State charged back to take the lead late in the second half. With eight minutes left, the Gophers led by 10 points, until the Spartan's Raymar Morgan scored a layup with 1 minute, 29 seconds left in play to tie the game at 55-55. He then started the overtime session by scoring a three-pointer and taking their first lead since the beginning of the game at 58-55. Joseph's two three-pointers in overtime were too much for Michigan to overcome, and the Gophers locked down the victory with free-throws at the end. The Gophers are 20-12 this season. This is the second time the team has reached the semi-finals under head coach Tubby Smith.

Leann Chin Dies

Leann Chin, president and founder of the popular fast-casual Chinese restaurant chain, has died at the age of 77, the Pioneer Press said.
Chin died Wednesday in Seattle. Chin suffered from cancer, and was a south-metro resident who opened her first restaurant in Minnetonka in 1980, the Star Tribune said.
Chin came to Minnesota from China in 1956 and began to work as a seamstress to earn a living. She began to throw dinner parties to thank customers for for their services, and her food was so well-liked that she began to teach cooking class.
The original concept for Leann Chin was a sit-down restaurant with large menus written in calligraphy.
Chin was "proud of offering quality food and being able to offer it at a good price," her daughter said.
General Mills bought her company and the rights to the her name in 1985, until 1988 when Chin regained the company and worked with it until she retired in 1999. During that time, it became a fast-food/takeout operation. Today there are more than 40 Leeann Chin locations, most of them are in the Twin Cities.
Chin "touched the lives of her employees and guests with her charm and hospitality," said Mike Loney, chief operating officer of Leeann Chin Inc. "She was incredibly elegant, generous and had a contagious entrepreneurial spirit."
She was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Minnesota Entrepreneurs' Club, the Pioneer Press said.

Gibbs Wears a "Team Canada"

USA Today called White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs a "good sport," as he wore a Canadian Hockey Jersey during his briefing Friday morning, honoring the terms of a bet he lost over the Olympic Hockey Game between Canada and the U.S. last month.
Gibbs said he would wear a Canadian jersey to a news briefing if the Canadians won, and Dmitri Soudas, spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, would wear the U.S. jersey if the Americans won. Obviously Team Canada won.
The jersey featured the name "Gibbs" on the back, but bore the number 39, the number of Team USA goalie Ryan Miller, who was named the tournaments Most Valuable Player, Google News said. Although he wore the Canadian jersey to the brief, Gibbs pulled off the jersey shortly after the brief started to reveal a classic blue and white Team USA jersey.
President Barack Obama also made a bet over the game with Harper, in which the losing leader would have to give the other a case of beer, Google News said.
"We have instructed our embassy and our ambassador to take one case of Molson Canadian and one case of Yuengling lager (from Pennsylvania) to the prime minister's office today," Gibbs said.

Double Suicide Blasts Kill 43 in Pakistan

At least 43 people were killed and 100 wounded after two suicide bombs went off Friday in the city of Lahore, Pakistan in the 5th terrorist attack this week, the Miami Herald said.
The attackers detonated themselves in a bustling market, appearing to target passing military vehicles, but mostly striking civilians. About ten soldiers were killed in the blasts.
The Associated Press said that the bombings are a clear sign that insurgents have the power to kill despite the continued efforts of army offensives and U.S. missile strikes.
A series of small explosions created panic in another Lahore neighborhood late Friday. There were five low-intensity blasts that resulted from loose explosives scattered throughout a residential area. The damage from those blasts has been reported a minor, the Associated Press said.
During the insurgency last year, 3000 people were killed, with the last major attack taking place in December, the Miami Herald said.

Chief Justice Roberts Finds Obama's Remarks "Troubling"

Chief Justice John Roberts has fired back at the administration,calling President Obama's criticism the Court's recent decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission during the State of the Union address troubling and out of place, the Washington Post said.
"The image of having the members of [congress] surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling," Chief Justice Roberts said, according to the Huffington Post.
The Supreme Court decided that corporations and unions have a First Amendment right to use their profits to spend freely on political ads for and against specific candidates. The ruling was decided in a 5 to 4 vote in January.
It did not take long for the administration to fire back.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, in a statement sent to reporters, said the only troubling thing was the 5 to 4 ruling by the court, saying the decision would, "open the floodgates for corporations and special interests to pour money into elections- drowning out the voices of Average Americans," The Huffington Post reported.

Multimedia Analysis

For my first news organization I looked at Kare My favorite part of this site is that they have video on the website, like most news organizations, but you can also read the stories underneath most of the videos. I don't know if anyone actually ever watches the video and reads the story but it is probably the most intense way to engage with the news. It is nice because while the writing is pretty straightforward, the video adds some images and voice to the story you have just read, or are going to read. They also also have lots of places where you can comment. This is almost always informal writing, and I do not think they complement stories because they are usually biased, angry, and take away from the story.
The second site I picked was the Star Tribune, which has almost exactly the same options as Kare 11. There are a lot more advertisements that are interactive, I am not sure if that even matters for this analysis, but I think it does take away from the stories a little bit, because there is so much crowding. Also, the Star Tribune uses a lot more pictures than Kare 11, which can be good or bad. Good in a sense that they provide images for a story, and bad that they may not provide a voice.

Remains of Missing Teen Found

The skeletal remains of teenager Amber Dubois, who went missing over a year ago, have been found in Northern San Diego County, CNN said. Dubois, 14, was last seen walking to school on Feburary 13, 2009 in Escondido, a suburb of San Diego.
Police say that the investigation is ongoing, but would give no further details, saying that it would be inappropriate.
The Los Angeles Times said that Dubois' remains were discovered Saturday afternoon after a registered sex-offender was arrested for the murder of Chelsea King, a high school senior from a nearby town. Investigators will not confirm that the deaths were linked.
Dubois was described by family and friends as a sheltered girl who loved animals.

Deadly Attacks Hit Iraq During Election

At least 35 people have been killed in Iraq's first parliamentary elections since the 2003 invasion, BBC said. Even so, many people turned out to vote at polling stations, in which President Barack Obama called, "an important milestone in Iraqi history," and congratulated Iraqis for their courage.
The Los Angeles Times said that the first explosions occured before 7 a.m. and continued until noon. There were as many as 100 mortar round and 35 bombs in Baghdad during the election.
Some of the worst attacks occured in the Ur neighborhood of eastern Baghdad, where two apartmenet buildings were brought down by explosions before 8 a.m. the Los Angeles Times said.
While there were attacks in other cities, including Mosul, Falluja, Baquba and Samarra, Baghdad was the hardest hit, BBC said.

Minneapolis Lifts Winter Parking Ban

Minneapolis lifted it's winter parking restrictions Friday morning, the Star Tribune said. The restriction, which banned parking on even-numbered sides of the streets, was enacted on February 11 and expected to last until April 1st, or until weather conditions changed, 5 Eyewitness News said.
The purpose of the ban was to ensure that emergency vehicles could get through streets that had been narrowed by the large amounts of snow that fell this winter. While it was warmer than usually this week, city officials monitored the melt daily to be sure they could lift the ban, the Star Tribune said.
5 Eyewitness News reported that over the span of the 22-day ban, more that 6,000 tickets were written, and 687 vehicles were towed.

6-Year-Old Girl Killed After Wandering Into Traffic

Kallie m. Palmer, 6, climbed a chain-linked fence Friday night into to traffic, and was killed by an SUV in Burnsville, the Star Tribune said.
Police say that Palmer was at a friends house before the incident occurred. They are not sure what led to her climbing the fence, which is about waist-high on an adult, the Associated Press said.
The girl wandered into the south-bound lanes of 35w near McAndrews road, and was struck in the very first set of lanes. The Star Tribune said that the incident occurred at about Neither the driver of the SUV or it's passenger were injured.

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