March 2010 Archives

Man accused of beating his girlfriend, a quadruple amputee

A St.Paul man is being accused of beating up his girlfriend, a quadruple amputee, and says he only hit her after she hit him first.

According to WCCO, the complaint filed said that Jacoby Smith, 37, hit his girlfriend Tiesha Bell, 28, because she was blocking his view of the television.

All four of Bell's arms and legs were amputated years ago because of a childhood illness and neighbors said Smith was usually very caring by pushing her in her wheelchair and looking out for her well-being.

According to charges, Smith threw Bell to the ground and punched her in the face at least 10 times.

The Pioneer Press reported that Smith has since claimed that the dispute started over whether or not Bell was seeing another man.

"I had been dealing with her cheating on me," Smith said.

Smith said during the argument, he turned the television on and Bell proceeded to get really angry with him.

He said this was when she started to become violent with him.

Along with claiming she hits him with her wheelchair, Smith said, "she'll swing, push me down and choke me with her nubs."

Bell admitted that there was hitting on both sides and said she plans on marrying Smith.

Smith has been charged with fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and interfering with a 911 call.

He said he plans to turn himself in to St. Paul police this week.

Denny Hecker now in jail

According to a judge's orders, former auto mogul Denny Hecker was handcuffed and taken to jail Tuesday.

Hecker was taken into custody after he appeared in court Tuesday morning.

According to Fox 9, Hecker was given a 90 day stayed sentence, in which he had to act upon certain conditions.

On Tuesday morning, Judge Jay Quam determined Hecker did not meet those conditions, which included payment of spousal maintenance to Sandra Hecker.

Kare 11 reported that Quam said he wanted to "motivate Hecker to fulfill his obligations."

Hecker was taken to Hennepin County Jail.

Hecker will be going on trial for federal fraud charges on Oct. 18th, for which he has plead not guilty.

If convicted of those charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's office, Hecker will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 20 years on each count of wire fraud.

If convicted of money laundering, Hecker also faces an additional sentence of 10 years in prison.

Analysis: Obituary

The obituary I looked at was that of poet Ai.

The reporter used a number of sources. They contacted the head of the English department at the college where Ai taught, they used reviews people had written about her work in the past, past interviews with her, and even a poem she wrote.

It did have a standard obituary lead. It worked because it explained who she was and why her death was something that would have an affect on people.

It differs from a resume because there was emotion in it and more feeling behind the words. It did not simply say what she did, but how, why, when, etc. It was much more personable and emotional than a resume.

Overall, it was a very beautiful obituary about Ai.


Utah police nab theif who stops and asks for directions

Utah police caught a man suspected of stealing two cell phones from a convenience store when he stopped to ask a police officer for directions, police said.

Yahoo News reported that the officer noticed that the man, John White, matched the description of the theft report he had just received.

According to KWTX, White also left a piece of paper at the gas station with an address on it and proceeded to ask the officer for directions to that same address.

White was arrested on suspicion of the theft and had two cell phones and a small amount of marijuana in his possession.

Police say charges are pending.

At least 321 killed, more kidnapped in Congo area

At least 321 people were killed and around 250 others were abducted by rebel forces in the Congo in December, a United Nations official said Sunday.

The event is just now being released to the public.

CNN reported that the Lord's Resistance Army was behind the four day attack in northeastern Congo, according to Human Rights Watch.

The Makombo and its surrounding areas is the size of Spain, making this attack huge.

According to Alan Doss, a United Nations Special Representative for Congo, the area the attack took place in is very remote and there are no intelligence or communications so cross-checking information was important.

Times Online reported that one of the victims was a three-year-old girl who was burned to death.

Officials said the majority of the people killed were men.

Officials said the Makombo attack is the deadliest documented since the attacks around Christmas of 2008.


Barbara Bush hospitalized

Former first lady Barbara Bush was admitted to the hospital Saturday after she said she was not feeling well, a spokesperson said.

CNN reported that she is having routine tests and it is not an emergency.

After not feeling well for about a week, she was taken to Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.

According to The Hill, she is expected to be released in a few days.

Former president George H.W. Bush went with the former first lady to the hospital.

Woman killed in Mankato; Man in custody

A woman was shot and killed in the parking lot of a nature center in Mankato and one man is in custody in connection with it.

Neither the victim or the man in custody's identities are being released.

According to the Star Tribune, the man is the only person being sought in connection with the murder.

Police arrested the man after chasing him in a Cadillac Escalade near Rasmussen Woods Nature Area south of Hwy. 169.

Kare 11 reported that a witness, Max Griensewic, said he heard gunshots and saw smoke coming from the nature center.

Officials have closed the park and the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting authorities with the investigation.

Man dies at Mall of America after jumping from fourth floor

A man died Wednesday after jumping from the fourth floor into the rotunda at the Mall of America.

Investigators say Dakota Kohler-Lander, 21, jumped after Mall of America police officers approached him.

According to Kare 11, officers were responding to a report about a man with a knife before approaching Kohler-Lander.

Investigators are still trying to figure out whether the Kohler-Lander intended to fall or whether he was pushed.

Officer Mike Stehlik said there were surprisingly few witnesses at the scene.

The Star Tribune reported that Kohler-Lander was currently awaiting trial for a rape charge.

Earlier this month, there were two other deaths at the Mall of America.

According to police, in one incident, a man jumped from the seventh floor of the parking ramp trying to elude police after a traffic stop.

In the other incident, police found a man dead near the ramp and they believe it was a suicide.

Bloomington police said the Mall of America may be looking into taking greater safety measures after these three incidents.

Analysis: press releases

For this analysis, I found a press release in which President Obama proclaimed March Women's History Month. The news report I found that accompanied it did not have a lot of actual reporting but simply repeated what the press release said.

The beginning of the article talked about the fact that President Obama discussed it, when he did, and why.

The rest of the article simply stated, word for word, what the press release said.

A Kentucky woman arrested on charges of public intoxication has been slapped with an additional assault charge for squirting a jailer with her breast milk.

According to the New York Daily News, Toni Tramel, 31, was changing into her prison uniform Thursday when she squirted breast milk into the face of a female officer.

Tramel now faces felony charge of third degree assault on a police officer.

Yahoo news reported that her bail is set at $10,000.

Longtime WCCO-TV reporter Darcy Pohland dies

Beloved local WCCO-TV news reporter Darcy Pohland died in her sleep Friday at the age of 48.

According to Kare 11, Pohland had been feeling ill all week but still made it into work before taking a sick day on Thursday.

She briefly fainted at the station on Monday.

"She was just a force of nature," said Scott Libin, the station's news director. "She had no tolerance for excuses. She had no tolerance for pity or complaints. She was just all about going out and getting it done."

Pohland broke her neck in 1983 when she dove into the shallow end of a pool, leaving her paralyzed below the waist.

She did not let the fact that she was in a wheelchair hinder her reporting abilities.

"We covered the Saint Peter tornado together in 1998, and there was debris everywhere," said Brad Earley, a photojournalist who worked with her frequently. "And she made her way around just fine. The only thing that could stop Darcy and her wheelchair was six inches of snow."

WCCO reported that Pohland was an avid Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers fan.

She will be remembered for her love and passion for sports, figure skating, musical theater, and her cats.

"So full of energy. She was positive, argumentative, opinionated, smart, but probably most of all you could count on Darcy to always put her friends first," said Mim Davey, a good friend of Pohland.

Pohland was once asked what she hoped God would say to her once she reached the pearly gates.

She responded with a smile by saying, "It's you? What are you doing here?"

One dead, two wounded in bar shooting in Chisholm

One man was killed and two men were injured after a shooting took place Saturday at a bar in Chisholm, Minnesota.

The victim who died was 40-year-old Edward John Walberg.

According to the Star Tribune, police said the suspect, a 47-year-old man, went to Jim's Sports Club Bar and Grill and confronted his ex-wife.

Police said that another customer intervened and the suspect left, returning with a gun.

WCCO reported that the other two victims were Larry Vernon Elj, 38, and Cale Steve Nelson, 29.

Police said the suspect shot the three men before being subdued by another bar patron.

The suspect was injured in the incident but the injuries are not life-threatening.

American spokesman for al-Qaeda arrested, official says

An American spokesman for terrorist group al-Qaeda was arrested Sunday in Pakistan, a senior Pakistani government official said.

Adam Gadahn, who renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2008, has appeared in a number of al-Qaeda videos including one that praised the November shooting at a Fort Hood, Texas army base.

CNN reported that several U.S. officials said however that they heard no indication that Gadahn was captured.

Gadahn was raised on a farm in California but his family has not heard from him since 2002.

He began appearing in videos in a disguise in 2004 and continued appearing without a disguise in 2006.

In a recent video, he said he believed Muslims should emulate what happened at the Fort Hood, Texas shooting.

According to BBC news, Gadahn was charged with treason in 2006 and is the first American in 50 years to be charged with that crime.

Two Pentagon police officers, one suspect shot

Two Pentagon police officers were shot and one suspect was shot Thursday near the Metro station next to the Pentagon, officials said.

CNN reported that the officer's injuries were not life threatening but the suspect's injuries were much more life threatening.

Pentagon entrances were briefly closed but opened soon after with the exception of the entrance to the Metro station.

According to The New York Times, the shooting took place around 6:40 p.m. and witnesses told local news stations that they heard screaming and saw people running from the station.

According to Pentagon officials, the suspect began shooting at the officers and was injured when they returned shots.

Police said they do not have a motive and but the suspect is in custody.

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