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January 31, 2007

School Bus Crash Injures 7

Seven passengers were injured Wednesday when a school bus crashed and then rolled over another car.

The Pioneer Press reports that 5 students and 2 adults were taken to Coon Rapids hospital due to injuries.

The accident occurred Wed. morning on County Road 58 and Cedar Drive, according to Anoka County emergency lead dispatcher Kyle Blum.

Capt. Dave Jenkins of the Anoka County Sheriff's Department said that preliminary results of the investigation reveal that the bus driver rounded a curve, then drifted over the center line where it over corrected and lost control. It then collided with the first vehicle and rolled over.

The Star Tribune article personalized the accident more by using quotes from Veronica Cich, who was a passenger in the bus. I personally thought that this quote: "'I thought something bad was going to happen today," she said. "It's usually warm on the bus, but today it was cold on the bus.'" was out of place and unnecessary, though.

January 30, 2007

Nudity and Grease for Lunch

A greased, naked student ran around screaming and waving his arms Monday during a lunch period at Westerville North High School.

To keep from being caught, Taylor Killian, 18, covered his body in grapeseed oil. After being shocked by stun guns, Taylor continued running toward a group of scared students huddled in a corner, Lt. Jeff Gaylor said.

According to sources
, police said that a lunch room administrator asked Killian to stop, but the prankster made a sexual gesture and continued running around the cafeteria.

Despite being described as a good student by school officials, Killian is now in jail with charges of inducing panic, public indecency, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

The Associated Press only used one direct quote from Lt. Jeff Gaylor. I think this was because all of his other quotes were too long to quote directly and served the story better by being paraphrased.

New Oldest Woman in the World

Two weeks after her 114th birthday, Yone Minagawa was congratulated as being the new holder of the Guinness World Record of the oldest woman in the world on Tuesday.

Minagawa received her new title after the death of the previous record holder, Emma Faust Tillman, died at the age of 114.

Minagawa currently lives in a nursing home in Fukuchi, Japan. When she found out that she had earned her new title, Minagawa was astonished and grateful.

Sources say Minagawa was born on Jan. 4, 1893, and has survived her four sons, daughter, and husband. Despite this, she is still described as being youthful by the nursing home staff.

I think that it would be challenging to report on this story because Minagawa is foreign. More than likely she probably knows at least some English, but she is still Japanese as well as hard-of-hearing. Getting all the facts straight probably required a lot of asking Minagawa to repeat herself.

Both the Star Tribune and Reuters (through Yahoo!) summed up Minagawa's early widowhood and life by paraphrasing and used direct quotations in order to tell readers her reactions to her newly-won title.

January 27, 2007

Troop Increase for Iraq Sparks Protest

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered on the National Mall on Saturday in what U.S. News described as an "icon of the Vietnam War protest movement."

According to the Star Tribune, the protest was peaceful as participants demanded complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq. About 300 protesters attempted to rush the Capitol but were stopped by barricades and police officers on motorcycles.

Sources say that speakers at the movement included the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio, a Democratic candidate for presidency in 2008, and Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat of California. Also present was Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.

Another speaker was Moriah Arnold, 12, of Harvard, Mass., who organized a petition drive at her school in order to protest against the Iraq war.

I found it interesting how both Associated Press and Ian Urbina of the New York Times emphasized the amount of people who showed up for the protest march. I think they did this to distinguish this protest from the many others that have taken place regarding the Iraq war but have been on a smaller scale.

January 25, 2007

Debate Lights Up Over Smoking Ban

A proposal for a statewide ban that would prohibit smoking in public places was introduced to Minnesota Legislature on Thursday.

An extension to the state's Indoor Clean Air Act, the ban would prohibit people from smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants. Some exceptions have been announced, including private places like hotel rooms.

Sources say the ban, which would take effect on Aug. 1, would also give business owners the right to ask smokers to leave if they try to light up on their property. Smokers who don't leave could face arrest, and business owners who refuse to follow the rules of the ban could find themselves facing misdemeanor charges.

Those against the ban argue that the state has no right to state how businesses should be operated or to govern smokers' right to smoke. They also worry that a ban on smoking will cause businesses to lose money. Those for the ban argue that smoking is bad for the smokers' and non-smokers' health.

A hearing on the ban will take place on Feb. 1 in the House Health and Human Services Committee.

I like how the Pioneer Press entry provided directions for curious readers to learn more about the ban by going and searching for it. Another good idea might be to link the Indoor Clean Air Act, as I did, so that people who were not familiar with it (me!) could check it out and see how the Act and the proposed ban differ.

January 24, 2007

Dating for the Visibly Disfigured

The Netherlands is planning a new dating show that will cater to the visibly disfigured.

Originally set to be called "Monster Love", the new dating show "Love at Second Sight" is set to launch on February 20.

Reuters announced that the show's broadcaster, SBS 6, said, "The program is a platform for people with such problems to share experiences and feelings in a positive way with the rest of the Netherlands and to show that they are absolutely not pitiful."

SBS 6 hopes that their new show will put an end to prejudice against visibly disfigured people as well as allow them to discover the love of their lives.

Israeli President Charged with Rape, Sexual Assault

Israeli President Moshe Katsav might become the first Israeli president ever to be indicted with rape and sexual assault charges, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz announced on Tuesday.

Katsav, 61, is accused of raping and sexually harassing female subordinates while serving as a tourism minister and in his current role as president.

He has repeatedly denied the charges and claims that they are part of a slander campaign. Katsav's lawyers are ready to defend him, including David Libai who announced at a news conference in Tel Aviv: “The president is convinced that he is a victim of false allegations and attempts to remove him from his office, and he will fight to prove his innocence.?

Many are insisting that the president step down, including Zahava Gal-On, a member of Parliament who told Israel Radio that he thinks the president should announce his resignation at once.

According to the New York Times, Israeli law prohibits a current president from going on trial. However, a trial is allowed if the president resigns, is impeached by Parliament, or after his term is up. Katsav's term will end this summer.

Sources say that the decision of the indictment rests upon the outcome a hearing that has yet to be scheduled.

I thought it was interesting how both the New York Times and the Star Tribune began their leads with the Attorney General (who made the announcement about the indictment) instead of the more prominent person, President Katsav.

January 22, 2007

Snowmobile Crashes into SUV

Desy Tiuma, 31, and her husband, James Nonweiler, 27, collided with an SUV Sunday afternoon at the intersection of County Road 7 and 210th Avenue in west central Minn.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Tiuma was killed at the scene of the accident and Nonweiler was rushed to St. Cloud Hospital in critical condition.

Reports say that the driver of the SUV, a 66-year-old-man from Renville, Minn., was not injured.

The accident is still under investigation by the Kandiyohi Sheriff's Department.

I thought it was interesting how the Pioneer Press' lead placed more emphasis on the injury and death of the people involved in the crash whereas the Star Tribune's lead placed more emphasis on the proximity of the hometowns of those involved in the accident.
I think the Star Tribune's version is better because it almost automatically establishes that the story is a local one which may entice readers to take a closer look at it to see if it was anyone they knew or if it occurred near to them.