This news blog is an educational exercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

February 2013 Archives

Bill for same-sex marriage introduced in Minnesota

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Minnesota Lawmakers proposed a bill Wednesday that would legalize same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reports.
If passed this bill would be in effect Aug. 1 and repeal a 1997 law prohibiting same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reports.
Minnesota voters rejected an amendment banning same-sex marriage in November 2012, MPR reports.
Gov. Mark Dayton said he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk, the Assocaited Press reports.

Alabama offers eighth grader scholarship

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The University of Alabama football program offered eighth-grader Dylan Moses a scholarship Saturday during their Junior Day, Matt Scalici of AL.com reports.
"It was shocking because we were going in thinking we were just going to get a tour of what Alabama has to offer, said Moses's father Edward Moses Jr., ESPN reports.
Moses had been offered a scholarship from LSU this summer after participating in a youth camp, Scalici said.
Moses, measured at 6-foot-1 215 pounds, caught the attention of Alabama after they saw a highlight film of his eighth-grade season in which he played running back and linebacker.

Spot and Follow analysis

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I am writing about two stories on the bombing of a Pakistani market
First, Second
The leads of the stories discuss two different happenings. The first discusses the bombing itself as well as the number of casualties while the second discusses possible protest if the bombers responsible are not found.
The second stories main news describes similar events that occurred in the past and how the survivors coped with the blast while the first story broke down the details of the current bombing.
The second story advanced the news by showing how the bombing led to protests and told what kind of building was blown up. It also showed the families issues with burying the dead. It provided more of a feature look at the event rather than the hard-hitting description.

16-year-old girl stabbed to death

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A teen was found stabbed to death in a Maplewood city park Saturday morning, sources report.
Anna Hurd, 16, was found dead in a park near McKnight Road and Ripley Avenue. The autopsy revealed she had died from multiple stab wounds, the Star Tribune reports.
The police are no longer looking for a white male with spiked blonde hair, who was sighted leaving the scene. The police are not deeming that he is a suspect, Maplewood Police Chief David Kvam said.
The police would not elaborate on whether the victim was wearing clothes, but said they do have a possible motive, the Star Tribune reports.

Fans injured after last lap crash at Daytona

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Debris, including a tire flew up into the crowd injuring at least 28 fans during a last lap crash in the Nascar Nationwide Series opener Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, the Associated Press reports.
The crash sent rookie driver Kyle Larson airborne and into the protective fence. The cars front end was sheared off sending shrapnel into the stands injuring fans, and his engine wedged into the fence, the Associated Press said.
14 fans were treated at an on-site medical facility while 14 others were transported to area hospitals, speedway President Joie Chitwood said.
Kyle Larson walked away and was treated and released at the track along with nine other drivers involved, CNN reports.

Legislature introduces bill to promote solar energy

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The state legislature proposed a bill Wednesday that would require 10 percent of the state's energy to be produced by solar power in 2030, MPR reports.
This proposal would be on top of the mandate requiring 25 percent of the state's energy to come from renewable sources by 2025, the Star Tribune reports.
Advocates say the proposal could create 2,000 new jobs in the solar power industry due to the expansion, the Star Tribune reports.
The state's two largest electric companies, Xcel Energy Inc. and Great River Energy oppose the proposal because of the effect it will have on customer rates, which the bill stated could increase 1.3 percent, the Star Tribune reports.

Diamond Heist at Brussels Airport

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Eight armed men dressed in what authorities said resembled police uniforms robbed $50 million worth in diamonds from a Swiss plane Monday night at Brussels Airport, CNN reports.
At around 8 p.m. Monday night the men with two vehicles cut a hole into the airport security fence, drove onto the tarmac, stole the diamonds from the plane and drove right back through the hole they made, the Associated Press reports.
During the theft the men held the pilot, co-pilot and transport security guard at gunpoint, Ine Van Wymersch of the Public Prosecutor's Office said.
Airport Spokesman Jan Van Der Crujsse said, she could not explain why the area was so vulnerable to theft, the Associated Press reports.
It is not known how they new valuables were on the plane, according to CNN.
The police have found a vehicle later Monday, but said they still need more clues, the Associated Press said.

Burger King Twitter account gets hacked

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Unidentified hackers took over Burger King's twitter account Monday morning, sources report.
The perpetrators turned the profile picture into a McDonald's logo and the first of many tweets said, "We just got sold to McDonald's! Look for a McDonald's in a hood near you," which was posted at noon ET on Monday, CNN reports.
The hackers claimed to be a part of the LulzSec, which since 2011 has a reputation of attacking high profile targets like government agencies and Sony, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The account was suspended by Twitter at around 1 p.m. ET Monday, CNN reported.

Structure Analysis

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In the Star Tribune's article on sales tax the reporters summarize the important event by stating what the bottom line of the proposed bill is: tax on clothing over $100.
The reporters start the article in somewhat of a feature style by trying to grab readers interested in dresses. The reporters then get the reaction of a store owner. then break down the fact of the bill. Thomas Lee and Adam Belz then show why the bill is being proposed and how it will affect the state. They then get the reaction of someone it will effect. I really like the order except for the fact that I would bring London's attributions behind the main facts of the bill. In the first attribution the reader is still wondering what London is mad at and then I think London's second attribution would group nicely with Bausch.

Patrick gets first pole for a woman in Sprint Cup

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Danica Patrick became the first woman to qualify in the first starting position at Nascar's highest level Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, CNN reports.
There had been two poles won by woman in the Nationwide Series which is a step below Sprint. Last year Patrick won a pole at Daytona and Shawna Robinson qualified first in 1994 at Atlanta, CNN reports.
The first place qualification surpassed Janet Guthrie's ninth starting positions at Talladaga and Bristol in 1977, Nascar reports.

Clothing tax in the making for Minnesota

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Governor Mark Dayton has proposed a bill that would issue a tax on clothing purchases over $100, the Star Tribune reports.
Currently there are 10 states in the U.S. that do not tax clothing with Minnesota being one of them. Without clothing tax the state estimates that they lose out on $300 million in revenue every year, according to the Star Tribune.
This is not the first proposal about such a tax as State Senator Ann Rest proposed such a bill on purchases over $200 and another bill was proposed to tax all clothing, last month, CBS Minnesota reports.
The Mall of America could see major changes because of possible taxes. Mall officials say that the mall gets 17 million out-of-state shoppers a year and according to a 2010 survey no sales tax affected one-third of those shoppers decisions to shop there, Star Tribune reports.

Bomb explodes in Pakistani market

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A bomb hidden in a water tank exploded in a vegetable market in Quetta, Pakistan killing at least 63 and injuring 180 sources report.
The market was in a Shiite neighborhood and this was just one of several attacks against Shiite Pakistanis. On Jan. 10 there were two separate bombing that combined to produce 119 deaths and 121 injured, NPR reports.
Shiites quickly took to the streets blocking road and burning tires in angry protest, Associated Press reports.

Vikings to move to TCF

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The Minnesota Vikings are planning to move to TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus in 2014, sources report
The Vikings are going to play their final season at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome next year and then move to TCF Bank Stadium for the 2014 and 2015 seasons while the team has a new stadium built on the current spot of the Metrodome, the Associated Press reports.
Brian Allen of KFSY said Mortenson Construction is in charge of building the new stadium. The plans are for construction to start February 2014 and open July 1, 2016, the Associated Press reports.

The Pope resigns due to health

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Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world Monday when he announced that he would step down from his post as spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, sources report.
Benedict, 85, sited mental and physical deterioration being the major cause in his decision to step down. The decision made him the first pope since Pope Gregory XII in 1415 to step down before death, according to CNN.
He will officially step down Feb. 28 at 8:00 p.m., Reuters reports.
Then 115 cardinals, 67 of which Benedict appointed, will choose a new person for the position, CNN reports.


Attributions Analysis

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In the article written by Tracy Conner and Andrew Mach of NBC News about the manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer there were nine sources used and all of those sources were named.
The sources are well scattered as almost every paragraph of information was attributed to a source and there was not much switching back and forth between sources which made it easy to read.
All of the sources are people and the writers like to attribute the sources before the information is given when paraphrasing. But, with a quote the writers enjoy sandwiching the attribution in between what is said. It is effective, but I would like to see more diversity in the placement of paraphrased attribution. Instead of attributing everything at the front put some behind so things do not get repetitive.
I also believe they did not have to add McMahon's quote of "It's extremely dangerous," that seemed unnecessary.

Chavez will not return to presidency

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The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, will not be able to return to his position as president due to cancer, sources said.
Chavez had went through his fourth surgery to try and cure his cancer, but according to doctors they were not able to remove the cancer and Chavez has completely lost his voice and some mobility prompting his inability to return to presidency, Costa Rica News reports.
Inauguration day would have been Sunday Feb. 10, but since Chavez is unable to attend a new election must be held according to the Venezuelan constitution, Robinson O'brien-Bours reports.


Hunt for ex-LAPD officer continues

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The hunt for Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer and navy reservist, who is wanted for the murder of three people, has reached its third day, according to sources.
Dorner is currently wanted in the killing of a police captain's daughter, her fiancé, and a former police officer. Police believe the attacks to be revenge against the LAPD workers and their families because of what he believes to have been a wrongful termination four years to this Saturday Feb. 9. Dorner has also released a Facebook status threatening more than 40 people who are currently under protection of the police, the Associated Press reports.
50 officers from several departments including the Federal Bureau of Investigation are currently looking for Dorner in the San Bernadino Mountains in California, after finding his burned-up Nissan near a ski resort in Big Bear Lake, Calif. Thursday, NBC News reports.

Water main bursts in downtown St. Paul

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1.75 million gallons of water rushed through downtown St. Paul late Friday night after a water line ruptured, the Pioneer Press reports.
The water flooded Wall Street between fifth and sixth street causing much of the area to lose water pressure and forcing the city to put out a "do not drink" notice on all tap water in the area until water testing was complete, sources said.
A few hours after the break officials were able to close all valves heading to the break, stopping waterflow, the Star Tribune reports.
At round 3 p.m. Saturday officials deemed that the water was drinkable as long as it is boiled first, the Pioneer Press reports.
Rick Larkin, city director of emergency management said it is unknown what caused the rupture and that the flood caused significant street damage.
He also said, a large chunk of the road will have to be dug up to fix the main..

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler stated, in his State of the University address Friday that he wants to move to a year-round academic calendar.
According to Kaler the schedule would entail trimesters each 14 to 15 weeks long and would allow bachelor's degrees to be completed in three years instead of four, MPR reports.
Students participating in two tracks within the college of design on the Twin Cities campus will have the option to participate in this three year plan next fall, the Star Tribune reports.
To encourage greater summer attendance marks the university plans on standardizing course dates so as to have a set start for the term instead of having mass differences in start and end dates of classes. Last summer 69 courses had different start dates and 59 had different end dates, according to the Star Tribune.

Two Los Angeles students lose fingers during tug-of-war

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South El Monte High School's spirit week led to an unexpected and unfortunate situation when students got their fingers severed during a game of tug-of-war Monday, according to San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The students, a senior varsity girl's soccer player and a boy on the football team had their hands wrapped around the rope when it snapped and their fingers were amputated, the Associated Press reports.
The girl lost five digits, though it is unclear which ones, while the boy lost four, all from the same hand, sources report.
The students were transported to Los Angeles-USC medical center where they underwent hours of surgery. They are now stable, but it is unclear whether their fingers were repaired, the Associated Press reported.

Nizzel George Analysis

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MPR's lead to the guilty plead of the 17-year old gang member article contains the news elements of who, what, and when.
The who is very general as the man pleading is only described as "a teenager," rather than explaining that they're a gang member or the age of the person.
The what is explained in detail as it is described that the teenager is pleading guilty in the shooting death of Nizzel George.
The when is very general as it is described with just the day of the week, "Friday", instead of saying the time of day, but I have no problem with that element being used generally.
I do though have a problem with the general use of the who element though because Shannon is this person doing the action. He is the main element keeping the timeliness of the story rather than George.
I feel that the second paragraph would actually be a better lead in to the who element and should be used rather than "a teenager" while the sentence about how George died should be moved to the body of the story otherwise it feels like the first sentence of the story is being repeated in the second story.

Spain caught in corruption scandal

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The El Pais newspaper in Spain published documents, Thursday, detailing 19 years of secretive payments made to leaders of the Popular Party, just a day after the Spanish parliament had a debate about political corruption, CNN reports.
According to El Pais, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was a beneficiary of these secret payments as well as many other top party officials.
The party quickly made a statement denying any "hidden payments," but protestors formed outside party headquarters chanting "Our taxes are your envelopes," pertaining to the hidden payments, CNN reports.
The people of Spain already thought that corruption was rampant in the government before this incident as a poll by Metroscopia found that 96 percent of Spaniards think corrupton is widespread in Spain' political system, according to Reuters.

Gun-control finds the Super Bowl

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Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is going to air a 30-second ad, during the third-quarter break of the Super Bowl, calling for universal background checks on gun sales, NPR reports.
The ad contains several pictures of children as well as a child narrator saying, "the NRA once supported background checks." The ad then cuts to NRA CEO and executive vce president, Wayne LaPierre speaking to congress in 1999 and saying, "We think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show," The narrator then goes on to say, "Can you do this for us, please," sources report
President Obama called for universal background checks after the Sandy Hook school shooting last December and is waiting for congressional approval, but LaPierre testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in vehement disapproval saying that it would be "unworkable" and a "nightmare," NPR reports.

2 in critical condition after car falls through ice

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A man in his 30s and an elderly woman were in critical condition Saturday after their car crashed through the ice of Gray's Bay Channel, sources reported.
About two dozen police officers found a submerged 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix under the Hwy. 101 bridge, after getting a call at 2:24 p.m. The officers were on the scene in five to six minutes and both people were pulled from their car, unconscious, in a little under an hour and taken to Hennepin County Medical Center the Star Tribune reports.
The victims were related, according to Maj. Darrell Huggett of the Hennepin County Sheriff's office.
This is the 14th car to go through the ice of Lake Minnetonka this year, according the Pioneer Press.


Caleb Moore, a 25-year-old snowmobiler from Texas died Thursday Jan. 31 after crashing during the X Games freestyle snowmobile event in Aspen, Colo, a week earlier.
Moore was attempting a backflip when the skis on his snowmobile caught the lip of the landing area and he fell face first into the snow. His snowmobile followed and rolled over him, according to the Associated Press.
Moore, walked away from the crash with the help of others and was transported to the hospital to treat a concussion. He later developed bleeding in his heart and had to be flown to a Grand Junction hospital for surgery.
The family later stated that there was also a problem with his brain, as reported by the Associated Press.
Moore's death was the first in X Games 18-year history and ESPN, the organizer of the event, later released a statement, "As a result of this accident we will conduct a thorough review of this discipline and adopt any appropriate changes to future X Games," CNN reported.

The office of the Hennepin County Attorney said a 17-year old gang member pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder of a 5-year-old on Friday.
The 5-year-old Nizzel George was sitting on his grandmother's couch in Minneapolis last summer when a bullet from outside the house hit and killed him, MPR reported.
17-year old Stephon Shannon expressed in his plea that he, and another shooter that he was with, did not intend to kill George, but instead thought a rival gang member was in the house, according to the chief criminal deputy of Hennepin County, David Brown. Brown also says that Shannon will be sentenced on Tuesday to what will likely be 28 years in prison.
Shannon pleaded guilty for the benefit of a gang, the Star Tribune reported.

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