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January 27, 2007

Hanson Heads Home

Joshua Hanson, 29, of Wisconsin fell out of a window in a Minneapolis hotel last week. His fall was 16 stories and he is expected to make a full recovery. He was released from the hospital today and will be returning back to Wisconsin to recover. The Star Tribune reports that after a night of drinking he ran down the hotel hallway and broke through a window.

The Pioneer Press reports that Hanson suffered no spinal or brain injuries. He broke his right leg and has a punctured lung. I notice the Pioneer Press had a very simple lead, stating "Hanner is going home." Hanner is apparently Hanson's nickname.

The Star Tribune's lead was more informative, stating that Hanson fell 16 stories out of a Minneapolis hotel, and is expected to be leaving the hospital today.

Towel Found in Woman's Lung

The family of Bonnie Valle in Ohio settled on a lawsuit after she died seven years after a surgery from complications caused by a towel left inside her chest. The Star Tribune reports that Valle underwent surgery for emphysema in 1995, and donated her body for studies. The Northeastern Ohio University's College of Medicine discovered a cloth the size of a hand towel in her left lung.

The New York Times reports the same story including much of the same information. Both online papers introduce the story with the appropriate leads including the Bonnie Valle's family suing for discovering a towel in her body after a surgery.

The clinics are denying that her death was caused by the towel in her lung because she lived for seven years with it there. The Star Tribune and the New York Times both briefly report this story, however, there is no information provided about the lawsuit itself.

A $9 Million Apology

Canadian-Arab Maher Arar was tortured in Syria for being falsely identified as a terrorist. According to the Star Tribune, Arar, 36, was detained five years ago in the New York airport and imprisoned for 10 months.

Arar is quoted saying: "The struggle to clear my name has been long and hard. My kids have suffered silently and I think I owe them a lot. I feel now I can ... rebuild my life."

Because nobody can undo what happened to Arar, Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, agreed to give him $9 million to "lessen the liklihood that something like this will ever happen again," (Harper, qtd. by Star Tribune).

The Star Tribune's small article briefed the audience about Harpers compensation for the torture he underwent in the Syrian dungeon. The lead introduces the story by stating where this happened, who was involved, and why he was given money.

The New York Times article is longer than the Star Tribune's. It quotes Arar saying "I wish that money could buy my life back. That's my biggest wish." The lead is more descriptive, and the article goes into more detail about the effect this situation had on Arar.

The New York Times reports Arar saying "The government of Canada and the prime minister have acknowledged my innocence. This means the world to me.?

January 24, 2007

Minnesota Smoking Ban

The state of Minnesota is proposing a statewide smoking ban that will eliminate smoking from all bars and restaurants. The Pioneer Press reports that the bill will be introduced on Thursday, February 1st, and says that the non-smoking advocates are hopeful that the smoking ban will pass this year.

Currently the smoking ban differs from county to county throughout the state. People are allowed to smoke in some bars, and in others they are turned down.

The Star Tribune says that Jerry Bayers, the owner of the Polar Lounge in North St. Paul, estimates that nearly 85 percent of his patrons smoke while at the bar. Bayers said he envisions the smoking ban will send his regulars elsewhere.

The Pioneer Press reports that, if the ban passes, all restaurants and bars will required to post signs forbidding smoking, and anyone who disregards those signs will have to be asked to leave.

I notice that the Star Tribune investigated the way people would be affected by this proposed statewide ban. By understanding the viewpoint of a bar owner, it is easier to see how this ban could affect everybody differently. The Star Tribune's lead to this story was extremely entertaining and informative, as it explains that any of the regulars at the Polar Lounge would respond to the statewide ban relocating where they are allowed to smoke.

The Pioneer Press has a different perspective in its article, as it focuses more on the health aspect of the smoking ban rather than the views of the bar and restaurant owners.

Puppy Murderer

A St. Paul man pleaded guilty for breaking 10 puppies necks last summer, reports the Star Tribune. Kimanie Carter, 20, faces one year in jail and, as reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, is prohibited from owning a pet for the rest of his life.

Carter is required to undergo behavioral counceling, and is currently residing at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Lino Lakes.

The Star Tribune reports that lifetime pet bans have been issued in New York, Virginia and Maine, but Carter would be the first Minnesotan to be issued this ban.

The Star Tribune article about Carter uses a lead that explains who this story is about, what happened, and where it took place. The Pioneer Press begins this news story by simply explaining what happened. Both leads were under 30 words, but the Star Tribune began the story by answering more questions.

Both articles provided enough information to explain this news story. The Pioneer Press has all the essential information included, and the Star Tribune includes information about the history of pet bans, and more about Carter's personality; both of which are efficient at explaining this news story.