« February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »

March 24, 2007

Discovering the Declaration Helps "Pursuit of Happiness"

A rare 1823 copy of the Declaration of Independence was bought for $2.48 at a Nashville thrift store and later sold at auction for $477,650.

Michael Sparks, a music equipment technician, found the copy in March while browsing through the Music City Thrift Shop, the Associated Press said.

The lucky find is one of 200 "official copies" commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820.

House Votes to Set Date for Iraq Pullout

The House of Representatives voted Friday to bring American troops home from Iraq starting next year.

The legislation passed with a vote of 215 to 212 and was opposed by all but two Republicans in the House, the New York Times said.

March 23, 2007

Senate Passes Bill, Tuition on the Rise

A bill passed by the Senate on Thursday could force the University of Minnesota to raise undergraduate tuition by $1,100 in the next two years.

The bill was passed 64-2 and is the first part of a new state budget the Senate plans to pass over the next eight days, the Pioneer Press said.

A previous goal set by the University of Minnesota would have tuition increases of, at the maximum, 4.5 percent. WIth the new bill, tuition will increase by 5.5 percent and 7.5 percent over two school years, university President Robert Bruininks said.

Numbers! Easily read and understood in this story.

Recalled Pet Food Contained Rat Poison

Scientists blame rat poison for the deaths of at least 15 cats and two dogs that were linked to contaminated pet food.

The substance causing kidney failure in many pets was identified as aminopterin, which is still used in some other countries to kill rats, the Star Tribune said. Aminopterin used to also be a cancer drug in the United States that could be used to induce abortions.

The wheat gluten scientists have possibly linked to the poison was purchased from China, Chief Executive of Menu Foods Paul Henderson said.

The quotes from Menu Foods and the Cornell University's Diagnostic Center director were good choices. These people provided great insight into the story and added a lot of credibility.

3 Shot in St. Paul Robbery

Two adults and one teenager were shot to death in their St. Paul home Friday.

Maria McLay, 32, her daughter Brittany Kekadakis, 15, and a man identified to be McLay's boyfriend, 31, were shot by masked intruders who broke into their home, the Star Tribune said.

The men entered the home and had the family line up in the bedrooms. They then demanded cash, but when McLay's boyfriend could not meet the robbers' demands, they shot him, McLay, and Kekadakis.

McLay's surviving son and daughter escaped out the front door and ran to an uncle's house nearby.

The lead and quotes in this story were fairly...cheesy? It seemed as if they were there to evoke emotion in the reader, but the lead just seems a bit too desperate. I also think that the authors went a bit overboard when quoting friends and relatives toward the end of the article. Having one person say Kekadakis will be missed is enough.

Also, the story focused a lot on Kekadakis. What about McLay and her boyfriend? I thought it was interesting, as well, that the author only identified McLay's boyfriend as a 31-year-old man at first.

March 10, 2007

Man Chainsaws House in Two in Divorce Settlement

A man decided to settle his divorce claim by chainsawing his house in two in Germany.

A 43-year-old German man measured, then cut the family home in Sonneburg in two, Reuters said.

After he was done, the man picked his half up with a pitch fork and took it to his newer residence.

EU Sets Limits Regarding Greenhouse Gases

The European Union agreed on a compromise Friday that would make Europe the world's leader in the fight against climate changes, the New York Times said.

The EU also issued a challenge to other countries, including the United States, China and India, to match the European limits.

The new plan also goes beyond the limits set by the Kyoto Protocol, which was signed by 35 nations in 1997.

Libel Suit Against Blogger Thrown Out

A libel suit against a local political blogger has been thrown out by a Dakota County judge Thursday.

Michael Brodkorb and his blog have helped to pave the way in libel suits regarding bloggers, the Star Tribune said.

Dakota County District Judge Timothy Blakely ruled that blogs should be held to the same standards of accountability as traditional media.

Groundbreaking news in regard to new media and libel. :)

Man Shot on Bus Was Trying to Quiet "Jerks"

A Twin Cities man was shot in the chest when he tried to quiet some unruly passengers on a Metro Transit bus Thursday night.

Cleveland Montgomery, 34, is in critical condition at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn., the Star Tribune reported.

The crime has caused local police, Metro Transit, and local activists to focus more effort on keeping buses, especially Route 5, safe.

An Early Spring Forward

Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, a few weeks early this year.

A new law in Congress has moved the annual spring forward ahead from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March, the Associated Press reported. It also lasts longer into November.

I found it interesting how the AP article for the Star Tribune and the AP article for the Pioneer Press differed.

March 4, 2007

Cherokee Nation Expels Slave Descendants

Members of the Cherokee Nation voted Saturday to revoke tribal citizenship of around 2,800 descendants of Cherokee slaves.

Opponents to the vote believe that the removal of freedmen from the tribe was motivated by racism, the Seattle Times said.

Advocates argue that the decision was based on the protection of tribal resources that come from a federal budget as well as the Cherokee Nation's share in the gambling industry, the Seattle Times said.

Stationary Bike Race to Raise Money for Cerebral Palsy

The 2007 Great Minnesota Stationary Bike Race is set to occur on March 10 at the St. Paul River Centre.

Serving as a fundraiser for United Cerebral Palsy of Minn., organizers of the race hope to raise $50,000, the Pioneer Press said.

This event detail wasn't written like an actual story. It was more a huge paragraph brimming with details about where, when, and what was going on. I found it a little bit hard to read, as all the facts kind of hit you in the face one after another. It would have been nicer if the article was written in the usual style and perhaps with quotes or more history on the race itself to break up details about the event.

DNA Test Backlog Allowed Rape Suspect to Run Free

A 16-year-old boy might have not been able to rape another victim if the Minnesota crime lab's DNA testing hadn't been backlogged.

Joshua Lamar Smith already had a sample of DNA waiting to be processed when he raped a 57-year-old woman in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood on Jan. 1, the Pioneer Press said.

Smith was charged Friday with the rape of the 57-year-old woman as well as another rape case that occurred in September, the Pioneer Press said.

If the DNA samples had been processed earlier, the police would have been able to build a case against Smith and arrested him before the second rape occurred.

16 Killed in Attack in Afghanistan

U.S. Marines fled to escape a suicide bombing Sunday and opened fire on civilians traveling on a highway in eastern Afghanistan, the Star Tribune reported.

U.S. officials report that civilians were injured due to militant gunfire, however Afghanistan's Interior Ministry and those wounded in the attack said otherwise, the Pioneer Press said. The incident caused a protest against the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

The New York Times describes the incident as a setback for American troops who have been working to win local support through reconstruction and development.

The most interesting part of comparing these stories was the difference in the number of casualties and those who were wounded. The New York Times reported 16 dead and 24 wounded, Pioneer Press said 10 dead and 34 wounded, and the Star Tribune said 16 dead, 25 wounded.
Otherwise, the stories were mostly the same and once they got past describing the attack and what happened they delved deeper into the disagreements between U.S. and Afghani officials.

Senators Join March Honoring Civil Rights Movement

Senator Hilary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama gave speeches Sunday after joining hundreds in Selma, Ala. to honor the 42nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the New York Times said.

Both senators urged the black population to vote in the upcoming election, and also used the time to establish their own links to the civil rights movement.

Obama declared that the protesters of Selma helped to pave the way for him to become the first black president of the United States, the Star Tribune said. It also reports that Clinton was received well by the crowds partly due to the popularity of her husband Bill Clinton.

The New York Times article makes a statement and then uses a quote to back it up, just like we learned to do in class. :)
I also thought that the more in-depth history of Selma and the Bloody Sunday march at the end of the Times article was very interesting and helpful. It was a nice addition to the story.