October 2011 Archives

A Miami Beach comedian is using his skills in comedy in attempt to be elected as Miami Beach Mayor.

Steve Berke, 30, is not running as a Democrat or a Republican. His political party is known as the "After Party," NBC reported.

Berke's popularity has been increased by his pro-marijuana motives. If elected, Berke plans on decriminalizing marijuana so that people caught with small amounts are only fined, and not arrested.

Berke's main opponent is the current mayor, Matti Herrera Bower.

"I am the anti-politician," said Berke. "Maybe I can be the first person ever to use comedy to win an election," the New York Times reported.

Berke's candidacy videos include him smoking marijuana, drinking vodka shots, and partying with models.

Berke has cameras recording his every move in order to pitch his story as a reality show.

Flash mob attacks Minneapolis Pedal Pub

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A mob of 25 to 30 youths invaded a Pedal Pub, a bicycle bar powered by about 12 people, Saturday night on Nicollet Mall.

The kids jumped the Pub at about 9:15 p.m. They shook it and grabbed at belongings, the Minnesota Daily reported.

None of the 12 passengers were injured, but they were startled. A BlackBerry was the only thing the flash mob stole, the Star Tribune reported.

The police responded to the attack, but no arrests have been reported.

Slain St. Paul man ID'd; was killed at group home

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A St. Paul man was killed at his group home in St. Paul on Thursday.

Thomas Gover Stein, 61, was killed during an altercaiton with Anthony Jay Haukos, 44.

Police were called to a disturbance at a residence on the corner of Winter Street and North Capitol Heights at about 9:30 p.m. They saw two men struggling through a window and forcefully entered the house, the Pioneer Press reported.

After entering, the police found Stein dead and Haukos who resisted arrest and needed to be forcefully subdued, the Star Tribune reported.

No information on what triggered the altercation is currently available.

Haukos is currently being held in the Ramsey County Jail. No charges have been filed.

Search for Lost Girl Puts Spotlight on Mother's Past

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Ms. Hunter, mother of missing 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley, has criticized the media for not giving the case the same national attention that white children who disappear are given.

Cable News executives have repeatedly said that race does not determine which missing persons cases to publicize.

Jhessye has been missing since October 11 and the search continues with fliers being posted on storefronts, detectives going door to door, and an Amber alert being issued.

Relatives of Jhessye complain that the media is focusing too much attention on Ms. Hunter's past, and not enough on Jhessye's disappearance.

Before Jhessye's birth, Ms. Hunter served about four years in prison for child abuse, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Police said they consider Jhessye's disappearance a high priority and her skin color, nor Ms. Hunter's past, has any affect on their investigation, the New York Times reported.


Two police officers were sentenced by an Egyptian court Wednesday to seven years in prison for killing a 28-year-old man.

Awad Suleiman and Mahmoud Salah Mahmoud were found guilty of manslaughter for beating Khaled Said to death, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mahmoud and Suleiman supposedly dragged Said out of an Internet cafe and beat him in the streets.

The initial autopsy report concluded that Said died of suffocation after he attempted to swallow a bag of hash. A later autopsy reported that the bag was forced down Said's throat after he had been beaten to death, the New York Times reported.

Said was supposedly targeted by police after he posted a video showing corrupt police officers distributing money and drugs that had been confiscated from criminals.

Said's death has been credited for sparking Egypt's Revolution. His names was woven into antigovernment chants and his face was the profile picture of the Facebook page, with over 1.5 million follwers, titled "We Are All Kahlid Said."

Analysis: In Dairyland, butter law is a sticking point

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This article from the Star Tribune is pretty much a recap of what happened at the public meeting regarding the butter law.

The butter law, in general terms, requires all restaurants, schools, and prisons to serve butter unless margarine is requested by the customer/student/inmate.

The story's main focus is on impact the repeal of the butter law would have on Wisconsinites. For example, 160,000 jobs at the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin are supported by the butter law. Restaurants would have the option of only serving margarine. The state could save money by serving less expensive margarine to prisoners.

This article advances the meeting with quotes and predictions of what kind of impact the repeal of the butter law would have. The quotes are from people who attended the meeting and also restaurant owners. It appears that the reporter interviewed restaurant owners in the nearby area and also got quotes from higher ranking officials that were said at the meeting. The reporter also used some "general" knowledge of Wisconsin's history with butter to add some color to the story.

The federal government has decided to allow a man living as an "adult baby" to continue collecting Social Security disability checks after Sen. Tom Coburn requested an investigation from the Social Security Administration.

Stanley Thornton, 25, has been receiving about $860 per month in disability payments. He claims that the payments are not based on his lifestyle as an adult baby, but on his conditions which range from post-traumatic disorder to ADHD, Fox News reported.

Thornton underwent a three-hour interview with Social Security investigators and an FBI agent over his disability status. He later said he was exonerated by all of the agencies, the Washington Times reported.

Thornton is convinced that his appearance on the National Geographic Channel's "Taboo" sparked this investigation.

On the show, Thornton wore baby clothes, was spoon fed, slept in a crib, and was read bedtime stories.

Thornton said that he will continue living his adult baby lifestyle.

A man of Hayfield was arrested Tuesday for stealing several hundred feeder pigs in northern Iowa's Mitchell County.

John Arnold Arndt, 44, faces several felony counts for the thefts, Radio Iowa reported.

The amount of pigs ranges between 200 and 700 and they were stolen over several months, the Star Tribune reported.

Arndt supposedly turned the animals into cash quickly by selling them a sale barns.

The situation is currently under investigation and more people are suspected to be involved.

Two Rochester women were convicted by a federal jury Thursday for conspiring to help an Al-Qaida affiliate in their native Somalia.

Amina Farah Ali, 35, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 64, were both charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, a charge that carries a maximum of 15 years in prison.

In addition to the conspiracy charge, Hassan faced two counts of lying to the FBI. Each count carries a maximum of 8 years in prison.

Ali also faced 12 counts of providing support for allegedly sending over $8,000 to Al-Shabab, which carries a maximum of a 15 year prison sentence per charge, the Star Tribune reported.

Prosecutors said the two women went door-to-door under a "charity" and also used religious teleconferences to solicit donations. The money obtained was then sent to al-Shabab, the Associated Press reported.

Ali and Hassan were among 20 people charged in federal investigations of recruiting and financing for al-Shabab in Minnesota.

Preserve Owner Was Bitten by Big Cat, Authorities Say

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Terry Thompson, owner of the wildlife preserve in Zanesville, Ohio, was found dead Thursday on his driveway with a large bite mark on his head.

It appears that Thompson, 62, fatally shot himself after releasing 56 exotic creatures of his from their cages. One of the large cats tried to eat Thompson's dead body, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Forty-eight of the 56 creatures that fled were killed by police officers, six were tranquilized and are being treated at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and last two have not been found.

The killings erupted a global outrage due to the fact that 18 of the animals were endangered species, the New York Times reported.

What is to be done with the animals that were not killed is still in question.

Qaddafi Is Dead, Libyan Officials Say

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Muammar el-Qaddafi, former leader of Libya, was killed Thursday after rebels over ran his loyalist forces in his hometown of Surt.

After his regime crumbled over two months ago, Qaddafi retreated to his hometown for protection.

Qaddafi ruled Libya for over 42 years. He preached a revolutionary utopia, promoting people power, but actually ran a one-man dictatorship, the Huffington Post reported.

Al Jazeera television aired footage of what is believed to be Qaddafi's bloody, battered dead body being displayed in the center of Surt.

Car horns blared and residents filled the streets of Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi in celebration of the downfall of the leader, the New York Times reported.

The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both offer a great diversity of multimedia. Both of the organizations offer photos, videos, audio clips, and slideshows.

These media complement news stories by providing another aspect to the news. In the case of photos, videos, and slideshows, that aspect is visual. In the case of audio clips, that aspect is audio. By having these multimedia, news organizations can deliver a bigger impact with their stories. A reader can see the wreckage of a car crash or hear the president's voice when he's giving a speech for example.

The type of writing that accompanies multimedia is simplistic and too the point. The first section usually describes what's in the photo or video, and the second section describes its importance. The writing is an important aspect of the media because if clarifies exactly what the media is disclosing.

Three people were arrested Saturday after a landlord found four mentally handicapped adults shackled to a water heater in a basement storage closet of a Northeast Philadelphia apartment building.

Turgut Gozleveli, landlord, thought one of his tenants was attempting to conceal a dog after he found a dog dish in the basement. He found much more than he bargained for.

The victims were a female, 29, and three men, 32, 35, and 41. Each of the victims have the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The victims had been locked in a 10 feet by 15 feet room for up to a week. The room contained a metal bucket for feces and a jug of orange juice.

The victims suffered from bed sores and malnourishment.

The suspects are Linda Ann Weston, 51; Thomas Gregory, 47; and Eddie Wright, 49.

They are facing charges of criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, criminal trespass, unlawful restraint, and false imprisonment, CNN reported.

The motive behind the crime appears to be the victims' Social Security checks.

A man's body was found Saturday along Shingle Creek in Brooklyn Center.

The body is believed to be that of a 40-year-old caucasian male, the Star Tribune reported.

A young woman who had been taking pictures of the park discovered the man just off of a wood-chip path.

There were no apparent signs of foul play or anything suspicious at the scene. The cause of death and whether or not it was natural is currently unknown.

Judging by the clothing the man was wearing and the contents of his backpack, the man appeared to be homeless, CBS reported.

The Hennepin County Crime Lab is currently investigating the situation.

Man's body found in Renville County cornfield

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A farmer discovered a man's body Saturday in a cornfield in Renville County.

The farmer found the body around 5 p.m. while he was harvesting corn, KTTC reported.

The body has not be identified but it appears to be an adult male.

The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Ramsey is planned to perform an autopsy on the body, the Star Tribune reported.

The death is currently being investigated by Renville and Meeker County sheriff's officials.

Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn was indicted Friday on allegations of sheltering an abusive clergyman.

The Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese, who is supervised by Finn, had been allegedly taking pornographic photographs of underage girls, reported the New York Times.

The Diocese is facing multiple counts of child pornography.

Finn acknowledged that he and other diocese officials knew about the photographs for about five months before they reported it to the police.

The amount of photographs is estimated in the hundreds and were found on the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese's computer.

Finn is the first U.S. bishop to be charged for sheltering an abusive clergyman, the Associated Press reported.

Strauss-Kahn Escapes Charges of Attempted Rape

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The investigation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former IMF chief, on the suspicion of rape was dropped Thursday by the Paris prosecutor's office.

Tristane Banon, a French writer, claims Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2003, the Associated Press reported.

Evidence was provided by Strauss-Kahn's testimony of the sexual assault, but because there is a three-year statute of limitations on that charge, no case was filed.

Strauss-Kahn was once a valid candidate for the French presidency, but the alleged rape charges completely ruined his political career, the New York Times reported.

This is the second time Strauss-Kahn escaped a criminal trial on sexual charges. The first trial was dropped in August due to doubts about the credibility of his accuser.


Analysis: Toddler found alone in Mpls. identified

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Here are the first day and follow-up stories.

The leads in these two stories are completely different. The first story's lead places guilt on the mother by stating, "the mother of the toddler discovered wandering around by himself...has come forward." The second lead does not pin point the focus/blame on the mother, but spreads it out to other family members by stating, "Police say a miscommunication amongst family members led to..."

The main news in the first story gives broad facts about the incident, and it never really describes the miscommunication that took place. All that is stated is that the toddler was found around 4 p.m., he was fully dressed, and that social services were investigating the incident.

The follow-up story provides more details about the incident and pretty much completes the story. For example, the miscommunication was between the boy's grandmother and aunt. One thought the other was watching him and vice versa. The boy ended up outside because he followed his older cousins down the street and got lost. It also reveals that the mother will be in court Monday to potentially regain custody of the toddler.

In conclusion, the follow-up story used the primary story as an outline and filled in the gaps. Without the follow-up, this news story would be a cliff hanger.

ESPN Permanently Drops Football Pregame Song

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Three days after Hank Williams Jr., country musician, compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler, ESPN permanently cut his opening song to Monday Night Football on Thursday.

The controversy began Monday when Williams appeared on the television show "Fox & Friends." On the show, he inadvertently compared Obama's actions to those of Hitler, the New York Times reported.

A spokesperson for ESPN said, "We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open," the International Business Times reported.

In a statement issued by Williams since the incident, he admitted that the Obama-Hitler analogy was outlandish.

Williams' song had been the opening for Monday Night Football since 1991. A spokesperson for ESPN reported that the song was tired and it was time for a change.

A Woodbury man and his two children were found dead Monday after their RV burst into flames in a parking lot near the Grand Canyon.

Firefighters in Arizona responded to a motor home fire near the entrance of the Grand Canyon and found the vehicle engulfed in flames.

Only the charred remains of the victims were found inside.

The victims have been identified as Tony DeHaven, 35, his son, Jace DeHaven, 11, and his daughter, Jersey DeHaven, 5.

The investigation of the fire suggests the possibility of a murder-suicide, the Pioneer Press reported.

Zach Cade, a neighbor of the DeHavens, found it suspicious that T. DeHaven, a carpenter and construction worker, could not get out of the RV with the kids during an accidental fire, the Star Tribune reported.

A Hennepin County judge dismissed the felony charge Thursday against Aaron Boogaard for supplying a painkiller that contributed to an overdose death.

Derek Boogaard, former Minnesota Wild hockey player and brother of Aaron, was found dead by his brother on May 13 in the Minneapolis apartment they shared, the Star Tribune reported.

D. Boogaard's cause of death has been determined to be a drug overdose produced by alcohol and the painkiller Oxycodone.

When A. Boogaard found his brother, he proceeded to flush the rest of the Oxycodone down the toilet. He currently faces a gross misdemeanor charge of interfering with a death scene for such actions, the Associated Press reported.

A. Boogaard, a Wild draftee, is out on bail and plans on heading back to training camp with the Wild's farm team, the Houston Aeros.

A diversity of labor unions joined Occupy Wall Street's effort Wednesday to rise up against corporate greed.

Occupy Wall Street has one main demand; that banks and major corporations should be held responsible for the country's economic crisis, the Los Angeles Times reported.

People of all ages and professions gathered to protest many topics including racism, hunger, and wars in Iraq and Pakistan. They also supported topics such as workers' rights, higher taxes for millionaires, and an overhaul of the country's financial system.

Melanie Hamlett, 33, was among the protestors and when asked what her main goal is, she reponded, "It's hard because there are so many issues, but it all comes down to money."

The Occupy Wall Street protests began on Sept. 17, with only a few dozen protestors. Since then, the numbers have grown astronomically to hundreds and even thousands of protestors, the Washington Post reported.

These protests are not limited to Manhattan. Many schools, including the University of Minnesota, have started their own protests under the name Occupy Colleges.

Plot to Kill Afghan President Karzai Is Foiled

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A plot to assassinate Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, was disrupted Wednesday by Afghan security officials.

Six suspects have been arrested, including a guard who worked at the presidential palace, a microbiology professor at Kabul University, and a fourth-year medical student, the Washington Post reported.

The suspects are suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda and to the Pakistan-based Haqqani militant group.

The leader or head of the planning of this attack has been identified as Emal Habib, the chairman of the microbiology department at Kabul University's medical school.

In a videotaped confession, the suspects said they traveled to Pakistan to learn how to fire guns and construct bombs, the New York Times reported.

The president was one of many targets included in this plan. Some other targets were international guesthouses, aid organizations, and high-ranking Afghan officials.

The presidential security force includes more than 1,000 people, but no preparation or security measure could prevent one of his guards from turning on him.

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