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

Analysis: Follow Story

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In the Star Tribune's article, "Mound Westonka Hockey Players Suspended After Cafeteria Dance," the author leads with the information that some players on the Mound Westonka boys hockey team were suspended and not allowed to play in their section game Friday because they danced to the "Harlem Shake" in the cafeteria.

This lead summarizes what happened, to whom, and why. The article then says six hockey players and other students filmed the "Harlem Shake," a current Internet phenomenon, and had the video camera taken away by the school's activities director. The hockey team ended up losing their game and parents reportedly confronted the activities director.

In the Star Tribune's follow up article, "Mound Westonka Reduces Suspensions of Hockey Players," the author leads with information that school officials were reducing the punishment, but the involved students' parents' want dismissal of the administrators who authorized the discipline.

This lead has a lot of new information to the story. The follow up article describes how parents and students were notified of the reduced suspension and quotes from the school's principal. The follow up article also has more quotes and opinions of affected parties. The article also mentions a $75 ticket that the students were fined by police, and that the school is asking police to reconsider the tickets.

The main news is summarized by putting the main details of who, what, why, when, and where in the beginning, then adding quotes and more detailed information and description of what the "Harlem Shake" video is.

The second story advances the news, by reporting the reduction of the punishment and including the school's principal's voice as well as more student voices and parent voices.

Students Upset Over Harlem Shake Suspensions

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Several Mound Westonka students, including Varsity hockey players, were suspended Friday after filming a "Harlem Shake" video in the cafeteria, according to the Star Tribune.

Six hockey players sat out a section game which the team lost after a seven-game winning streak, CBS reported.

CBS reported the team's captain Charlie Curti, who was banned from the game, said, "Yesterday was a horrible experience, I think. Just feeling like we let people down even though we didn't do much wrong."

Students said they had the school's permission to film the video and even used the school's video equipment, CBS reported.

Senior Jack Brandstetter said no food was thrown and no damage occurred, but the school's police officer and activities director, Dion Koltes, confiscated the video camera, the Star Tribune reported.

The Star Tribune reported Mound Westonka High School Principal Keith Randklev said students involved went beyond just dancing.

CBS reported the incident is currently under investigation, according to Randklev.

Brandstetter said he was suspended for two days, according to the Star Tribune.

Watch the students' "Harlem Shake" video here.

New Vikings' Stadium Will Include Baseball Field

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The Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority signed an agreement Friday for the football stadium to accommodate a baseball field, according to the Associated Press.

The agreement followed a month-long impasse that could have delayed construction for the $975 million stadium, the Star Tribune reported.

The Minnesota Gophers and other college teams want to play games in the new stadium, the Associated Press reported.

The Star Tribune reported the new stadium will replace the Metrodome for college, high school and amateur baseball games.

The Metrodome will be torn down in early 2014, according to the Associated Press.

The Star Tribune reported the state and city of Minneapolis will pay for $498 million of the stadium's construction costs and the Vikings will pay for the remaining amount.

The Associated Press reported the facility is scheduled to open July 1, 2016.

Suspected Drunk Driver Hits Blaine Cop Car

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A Blaine Police Officer was not injured after a suspected drunk driver hit his or her squad car Thursday night, WCCO reported.

The incident happened near the 125th Avenue Bridge on Highway 65 when the officer was conducting a traffic stop around 9 p.m., Kare11 reported.

Kare11 reported the officer was standing outside a stopped car in front of the squad car when a pickup truck struck it. The squad car had its emergency lights activated.

Police said the pickup truck continued past the cop car and came to a stop on the shoulder of Highway 65, according to WCCO.

According to Kare11 no injuries were reported for the officer, the driver of the stopped car or the suspected drunk driver of the pickup truck.

Minnesota State Troopers took the pickup truck driver into custody on suspicion of driving while impaired, WCCO reported.

WCCO reported Blaine Police and the Minnesota State Patrol are investigating the incident and the suspect has not been charged.

Body Found In Hotel Water Tank

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Missing Canadian tourist Elisa Lam's body was found Tuesday in a water tank on the roof of a Los Angeles hotel, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Law enforcement officers said Lam, 21, was the victim of a homicide, and officials will perform an autopsy Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Los Angeles Times reported Lam arrived in California on Jan. 26, and was last seen Jan. 31 in an elevator in the hotel's security footage.

Lam was reported missing three weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The remains of Lam were found by a maintenance worker after guests complained of low water pressure, The Associated Press reported.

The Associated Press reports the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a do-not-drink order Tuesday, and expects results from water safety testing Thursday.

The tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel provided water for the hotel and provided guests with water for drinking and washing, The Associated Press reported.

Hotel guest Michael Baugh, 27, said, "The moment [he and his wife] found out, we felt a bit sick to the stomach, quite literally, especially having drank the water, we're not well mentally," The Associated Press reported.

Oscar Pistorius Case Prosecution Error

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During Oscar Pistorius' bail hearing Wednesday, the investigating officer made an error in his court testimony when he said he found testosterone in the athlete's bedroom, CBS News reported.

Detective Warrant Officer Hilton Botha admitted he was not certain what the substance was, according to The Guardian.

Medupe Simasiku, the spokesman for South Africa's National Prosecution Agency, said it was too early to identify substance because it was still undergoing tests, The Associated Press reported.

Barry Roux, for the defence, said the substance a "herbal remedy," that is not a steroid and is not a banned substance, adding many athletes use it, The Guardian reported.

CBS News reported Pistorius was charged with the Valentine's Day premeditated murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

Pistorius denied the murder and said Tuesday that the shooting was accidental because he thought she was an intruder, The Associated Press reported.

Analysis: Structures

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In the Star Tribune's article, "Jackie Cherryhomes Enters Race For Minneapolis Mayor," the author starts off with the lead, informing readers that Jackie Cherryhomes launched a bid for mayor.

The author then adds relevant facts in several blocks. Cherryhomes had been Minneapolis City Council Presdient and that she had left politics to pursue other areas of her life, including owning a consulting and lobbying business. The author uses a chronology of events to describe events that took place in the 1990s when Cherryhomes was on the city council. The author also mentions other candidates who want to replace Mayor R.T. Rybak. The author includes some paraphrased thoughts from Cherryhomes about what she wants to accomplish as mayor. The author ends the article with a kicker quote from Cherryhomes supporter, former Mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton.

This martini-glass style of writing is effective because it informs readers of what is important at the beginning of the article, and if readers care to read on, they can learn more about Cherryhomes history with Minneapolis, what her history is and why she thinks she is a good mayoral candidate. The story could have been done in an inverted pyramid style, but the amount of information in this article is better suited to the martini-glass style, because the author uses information from events in the more distant past (going back approx. 20 years).

An 18-year-old woman was fatally shot hours after her 14-year old sister attended President Barack Obama's speech against gun violence Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Tribune reports Janay McFarlane was killed in North Chicago where she was on her way to a store.

The Star Tribune reports McFarlane, mother of a 3-month-old boy, was shot once in the head around 11:30 p.m., according to Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd.

McFarlane's sister Destini Warren is a freshman at Hyde Park Academy where the President was speaking because of the recent shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton a mile from the Obama's home, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Warren said she was sitting two rows behind the President on stage when he gave his speech, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Star Tribune reports McFarlane would have graduated from an alternative school this spring, Angela Blakely, McFarlane's mother, said, and wanted to pursue culinary arts.

The Chicago Tribune reports two people have been killed and six people have been injured by guns in Chicago since President Obama's speech on Friday.

A 22-year-old died on Saturday after he and his snowmobile went through ice on the St. Croix river in Bayport, according to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune reports the man reportedly went through the ice around noon.

The man was unconscious when he was pulled from the water and was pronounced dead at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press reports.

The man's identity will not be released until his family is notified, according to the Star Tribune.

"It's always open water there, and there are signs all over," Chief Deputy Dan Starry of the Washington County sheriff's office said to the Pioneer Press.

The Pioneer Press reports three other metro residents have been killed when their vehicles went through ice this year.

South High School Leaders Meet After Brawl

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Somali and black activists met with staff and students Friday at South High School in Minneapolis after Thursday's brawl involving 200 to 300 students, according to the Star Tribune.

Somali and African-American community activists met with the principal of South High School Friday to discuss plans of action to address, "what they described as simmering tensions between students of different ethnic groups," the Star Tribune reported.

MinnPost reports Thursday's brawl started out as a food fight, but escalated to a brawl involving 200 to 300 students.

The brawl was stopped after additional police officers were called in, according to the Star Tribune.

According to the Star Tribune, students were not surprised that Thursday's brawl occurred. They said that smaller fights have occurred all year.

The Star Tribune reports South High School's student newspaper wrote an article two days prior to the brawl that addressed Somali students's frustration about conflicts between them and students other ethnicities.

Sadie Pelini, a senior who wrote the article, said that racial tension had "definitely increased this year," according to the Star Tribune.

The incident may serve as the main talking point at the Capitol Monday for Safe Schools Youth Summit, where student lobbyists will meet with state representatives, according to MinnPost.

Watch a video featuring response to the brawl from students, community activists and a parent on the Star Tribune.

Oscar Pistorius Disputing Murder Charge

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Oscar Pistorius denied in court Friday that he murdered his girlfriend after he was charged with the murder, according to ABC News.

In court Friday, Pistorius repeatedly sobbed and remained inconsolable throughout the hour-long hearing, according to The Guardian.

The prosecution said they will file a more serious charge of premeditated murder, according to The Guardian.

The Wall Street Journal reports Pistorius will stay in police custody until his bail hearing Tuesday.

Pistorius, 26, allegedly shot his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 30, four times, early Thursday morning at his home in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa according to ABC News.

The New York Times reports that South African news reported the Paralympic champion and Olympic competitor accidentally shot his girlfriend because he thought she was an intruder.

Pope Celebrates His Last Public Mass

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Pope Benedict XVI holds his last Mass as pope in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, according to BBC News.

The pope's last Mass was an Ash Wednesday service, according to the Associated Press.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent in the Roman Catholic Church, according to BBC News.

BBC News reports the pope, 85, announced Monday he was going to retire later this month.

At the Mass, the pope said, "Thank you for the love and prayer with which you have accompanied me... Keep praying for me, for the Church and for the future pope," according to BBC News.

The pope received a standing ovation of applause and Italian schoolchildren sang him one of his favorite hymns, the Associated Press reports.

The Associated Press reports the Church will most likely have a new pope by March 31st, Easter Sunday.

Watch video of the pope's farewell here.

Analysis: Attribution

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In the Pioneer Press' article, "German Immersion School Will Move to St. Paul's Como Park Area," the author uses four named sources.

The school board chair, a parent, the school's director and a parent who chairs the school's facilities committee were named as sources for the article. The sources were scattered pretty evenly throughout the article. A new source was named every 3-5 paragraphs. A couple facts in the article, including, "Minnesota charter schools cannot directly own buildings," are not attributed to a source. I infer from the sentence that the fact is a public record and that the audience of the article (parents) might already know that charter schools cannot directly own buildings.

Two of the sources are names in between quotes or information that they provided for the reporter. The other two sources are named at the start of their paragraphs. In this story, these methods are effective because they tell you why you should believe or care about what each source said. An employee of the school gives the information credibility and a parent's perspective offers something for readers to relate to.

St. Paul Tap Water Safe Again

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After a water main break Friday, officials have announced drinking water is safe again, according to the Pioneer Press.

The break caused 1.75 million gallons of water to flood onto Lowertown streets, according to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune reports residents in the downtown, West 7th and lower West Side neighborhoods were told by authorities to boil tap water before drinking it.

The Star Tribune reports the 61-year-old water main broke before midnight Friday on Wall Street between 5th and 6th Streets, according to Jim Graupmann, production division manager of St. Paul Regional Water Services.

The Star Tribune reports the cause of the break is unclear, but it was not caused by a vehicle, Graupmann said.

The main break was a disturbance to businesses as well as residents, according to the Pioneer Press.

Bars and restaurants in the area delayed their openings and the Excel Energy Center offered discounted prices for bottled water at the Minnesota Wild game Saturday, according to the Pioneer Press.

Nursing Home Resident's Death Ruled Neglect

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A Waconia nursing home employee did not take necessary emergency actions on December 21, 2012 for a resident who became unresponsive and died, according to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune reports the employee at the Good Samaritan Society failed to perform CPR or call 911 for Luvern Z. Kraft, 85.

A state investigation states the employee blamed the neglect on being "tired and not thinking clearly," according to the Star Tribune.

Kare 11 reports the resident's medical record stated that CPR and other life-saving measures should be taken if the resident stopped breathing.

Since there was no autopsy, Kraft's family does not know how she dies, according to the Star Tribune.

Kare 11 reports that the employee has resigned from the Good Samaritan Society and the incident of neglect will be reported to the nurse aide registry and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Dress Code for Grammy's

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Buttocks, breasts, and genitals are asked to be covered up for the 55th annual Grammy Awards on CBS, according to Deadline Hollywood.

The Associated Press reports CBS sent out a memo Wednesday asking celebrities to refrain from wearing clothing considered too revealing.

The wardrobe advisory states, "Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic," according to Deadline Hollywood.

Past outfits that CBS may be trying to avoid include Lady Gaga's performance ensemble at the 2010 Grammy Awards, according to the Washington Post, as well as Fergie's orange see-through gown at the 2012 Grammy Awards.

According to the Washington Post, CBS issued the same memo for last year's Grammy Awards.

The 2013 Grammy Awards will take place Sunday at 8 p.m. EST at Los Angeles' Staples Center, according to the Associated Press.

A tsunami killed four people and damaged homes Wednesday in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, according to the New York Times.

The New York Times reports a magnitude 8 earthquake caused the tsunami.

Australia, New Zealand and island chains issued tsunami warnings and watches that were later cancelled, according to the New York Times.

Police commissioner John Lansley said that there may be more than four deaths, but reports are unverified at this time, according to the Associated Press in Sydney.

The Associated Press in Sydney reports 70 to 80 properties were damaged during the tsunami, according to George Herming, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.

Kidnapped Ethan Returned Home

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The 5-year-old was rescued from an underground bunker in Alabama, where he was held for one week after his captor kidnapped him from his school bus and killed the bus driver, according to ABC.

ABC reports the FBI raided the underground bunker on Tuesday near Midland, Ala., where Ethan was held hostage by Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, who was killed in the raid.

Ethan's great uncle, Berlin Enfinger, appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday and said that Ethan was "happy to be home."

Ethan turned 6 today, according to ABC.

The Associated Press reports, that bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, was driving his school bus on Tuesday Jan. 29 when Dykes boarded the bus and handed Poland a note demanding that he give him two young children.

The New York Times reports Poland blocked Dykes and opened to emergency exit door in the back of the bus for the children to escape.

Dykes shot Poland four times and kidnapped Ethan, according to the New York Times.

The New York Times reports that twenty children got away.

The Ala. community held a service for Poland on Saturday and his funeral was on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Hundreds of people attended the service on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

Speakers hailed called veteran Poland a national hero, reports the New York Times, and the local high school's ROTC and the Patriot Guard Riders were in attendance.

"You didn't deserve to die, though you died knowing that you kept everyone safe," writes student Courtney H., whose letter was read by the school's superintendent. "Being on your bus has been the best times of my life," according to the New York Times.

Poland leaves behind his wife of 43 years and two children, according to the New York Times.

Poland's son, Aaron Poland told NBC that his father considered the children on his school bus his children, according to the New York Times. Poland said, choking back tears, "And I know that's the reason why my dad took those shots, for his children, just like he would do for me and my sister."

Analysis: News Lead

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In the Star Tribune's article, "2 die after car goes through ice on Lake Minnetonka channel," the author wrote a hard news lead containing the 4 Ws:

"A man in his 30s and an elderly woman whose vehicle plunged through the ice of a channel on the east side of Lake Minnetonka have died, authorities said Sunday."

This news lead contains the What: 2 people die after their car goes through the ice, Who: a man in his 30s and an elderly woman, Where: channel on the east side Lake Minnetonka, and When: Sunday. This news lead specifies the location and what happened. This news lead gives a general description of the people involved and the time it happened. After the lead, this news story elaborates more on where the two people were from, how their car went through the ice, more specific information about where the car went through the ice and more information on a recent, similar incident.

Free Weddings on Valentine's Day in Hennepin County

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Free wedding ceremonies will be performed from noon to 1 p.m. on the public service level of the Hennepin County Government Center, according to KSTP.

Pre-registration and a $115 marriage license fee are required, according to MPR. Instructions for registering can be found here.

The Hennepin County Board approved the event last week to honor members of the military as well as first responders, according to the Start Tribune.

The Star Tribune reports that priority will be given to members of the military and first-responders, and civilian couples may be able to be wed if time permits.

The Star Tribune reports that divorces will not be discounted.

Minneapolis Couple Rescued From Burning Home

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A couple and their dogs were rescued from their burning Minneapolis home Friday morning, according to CBS.

Kare 11 reports Andrea Stearns and Adam Hausten were awoken by smoke detectors at 2 a.m. in their home in the 3800 block of Elliot Avenue South.

The couple grabbed their dogs and escaped onto their roof, according to CBS.

After calling 911, neighbors threw blankets up to the couple who were wearing only pajamas in the bitterly cold temperature, to keep them warm until help arrived according to Kare 11.

Kare 11 reports fire crews arrived soon after and rescued the couple and their dogs from the roof.

Officials believe the fire started on the first floor, but they do not yet know the cause. An investigation is underway, according to CBS.

Soldier Receives Double-Arm Transplant

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After losing all four limbs in the Iraq War, 26-year-old veteran Brendan Marrocco attended a news conference Tuesday after his double-arm transplant surgery last month, according to NBCNews.

Al Jazeera reports Marrocco said at the news conference, "I feel like I'm getting a second chance to start over."

Marrocco lost all four limbs after a roadside bomb attack in Iraq on Easter Sunday 2009, according to The Telegraph.

Marrocco's operation lasted 13 hours, according to NBCNews and involved 16 doctors at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Marrocco is one of only seven people in the United States who have received successful double-arm transplant surgeries, according to NBCNews.

Head surgeon of Marrocco's team, Dr. WP Andrew Lee said that it will take a few years before Marrocco will regain significant use of his arms, according to Al Jazeera.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2013 is the previous archive.

March 2013 is the next archive.

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