November 2011 Archives

Minn. teacher pleads guilty to attempted pimping

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A substitute teacher at a special-education school in North St. Paul pleaded guilty last Wednesday to attempting to convince a student to give sexual favors to men in exchange for money.

Tameshia Allen-Hodges, 23, faces a felony charge of inducing an individual to engage in prostitution, KTTC reported.

The student was 21 years old at the time but had the intelligence of a second-grader, police said.

The criminal complaint states that Hodges told the student she could make some money giving messages. Hodges brought the student to her apartment and suggested making money by offering the men sex.

Hodges took photos of the student in lingerie and posted them on personal ads.

Hodges admitted to being involved in the incident, and police found the images on her cell phone, the Star Tribune reported.

A northern Minnesota man died on Thanksgiving in a helicopter crash in Cass County.

John Zacher, 56, died when he lost control of his helicopter and crashed into Ten Mile Lake, the Minnesota/St. Paul Journal reported.

His wife Vicki Zacher, 55, was the only passenger in the helicopter and she survived the crash. She was treated for hypothermia at a local hospital, the Star Tribune reported.

J. Zacher's body was found Friday near the wrecked helicopter.


Four people were arrested in Los Angeles Monday during a confrontation with hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters.

The four protesters who were arrested were charged with failure to disperse.

The protesters were blocking downtown streets around City Hall. Their encampments on City Hall grounds were set to be cleared by police on Monday, but police withdrew without breaking up the camps, the New York Times reported.

Violence was avoided even though protesters taunted officers and threw water bottles as well, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The police did not comment on when they will move in on the encampment of hundreds of people, but a spokesman of the police said the goal of the Monday breakup was to allow traffic through the blocked streets.

Suicide car bomber kills 19 outside prison in Iraq

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A taxi loaded with explosives blew up right next to the crowded front gates of a prison just north of Baghdad on Monday.

The explosion killed at least 19 people and another 22 were injured. Ten of the casualties were policemen, the Associated Press reported.

This is the third attack in less than a week and it has increased the Iraqis fears of an increase in insurgent attacks as the United States continues to withdraw its military, the New York Times reported.

No terrorist group has claimed the attack, but the tactics used suggests the work of the Qaeda affiliate in Iraq.

The article I will be analyzing is from the New York Times.

Kayvan thinks that Iranians are not stereotyped as dangerous terrorists in general, but the American media has been trying to push this believe on its people ever since the Iranian Hostage Crisis. After that, the media has continually portrayed Iran as a country that is a threat to world peace.

Kayvan pointed out that this article is a prime example of American media portraying Iran as a dangerous nation with quotes discussing potential nuclear bomb construction. Kayvan noted that this is the same agency, the UN, and the same country, the United States, that were convinced there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq during the reign of Saddam Hussein and used this as a basis for the invasion of Iraq.

Kayvan, like the vast majority of Persians in the United States, identifies himself as a Persian because his culture and heritage is more closely associated with Persia than with present day Iran in the sense that present day Iran is much more religious whereas Persia was a much more secular society. He is also a senior studying Economics at the University of Minnesota.

Man arrested in White House shooting probe

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An Idaho resident was arrested Wednesday in Pennsylvania in connection with the White House shooting incident last Friday.

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 21, was arrested after an anonymous tip alerted the Secret Service of his involvement in the shooting, BBC reported.

One bullet broke through the external pane of glass on the south side of the White House but was stopped by the protective inner layer of bulletproof glass. Another bullet hit the building.

It is not clear if the shooting was an assassination attempt, CNN reported.

Hernandez will appear in federal court in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

The last time a shooting took place at the White House was in 1994 when Francisco Martin Duran shot the mansion 27 times in an attempt to assassinate Bill Clinton.

Man charged with murder in Proctor bar fight

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A 32-year-old man was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for the death of Dale Anderson during a bar fight on Nov. 6.

Paul Welle and Anderson allegedly got into a fight at the Powerhouse Bar after Anderson told Welle to stop pursuing a woman.

Welle and Anderson proceeded outside where Welle knocked Anderson out with one punch, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Anderson died three days after he was found on the ground outside the bar, the Associated Press reported.

The St. Louis County Medical Examiner's Office said Anderson died from an extensive subdural brain hemorrhage.

Welle's bail was set at $400,000 due to his criminal history.

A northern Minnesota man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter for the death of his sister in 2009.

Kyle Mitchell Lee Hardy, 21, was 18 when he drunkenly crashed his pickup truck while racing after a party. His teenage sister and another teenager were riding in the open bed. His sister was killed, Fox News reported.

Hardy testified that a car pulled up while he was driving home and they began to race. When the cars approached a curve, Hardy veered off the road to avoid a collision. Hardy's sister and other passenger were thrown from the bed, the Star Tribune reported.

Hardy faces up to eight years in prison.

Bell Ringers Go Digital This Season

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The Salvation Army will begin accepting digital donations this year thanks to the application Square.

Square is an application for mobile devices that allows anyone to accept credit card payments, the New York Times reported.

George Hood, the Salvation Army's spokesman said that they are incorporating the new application because "a lot of people don't carry cash any more."

The bell ringers will carry Android smartphones that are equipped with Square's card reader and application.

Hood also said that this is the Salvation Army's way of keeping up with our donors as they embrace new technologies.

Square charges a 2.75 percent fee on every transaction, the majority of which goes to the credit card companies, the Huffington Post reported.

Bus Accident Kills 18 Preschoolers in China

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At least 18 kindergarten children died Wednesday after a minibus and a truck crashed head-on in China.

The bus driver and a teacher were killed in addition to the children, making the death toll 20. An additional 44 children were hospitalized with two in critical condition, the New York Times reported.

The bus had only nine seats, but it was jammed packed with 62 children and two adults. Authorities blamed the overloading for the accident, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The bus was driving on the wrong side of the street and both vehicles were traveling at high speeds when they collided.

The crash unleashed public anger across China, which focused on the underfunded education system.

"The kindergarten van was carrying seven times as many passengers as it should have," said Liu Shanying, an expert in public administration. "Which meant the kindergarten should have bought seven times as many vans."

Here is the story from the New York Times.

In this story about chain stores occupying New York, the reporter uses numbers to how many chains added stores and how many chains took away stores. He also used percentages to show what areas were receiving the most growth.

The numbers in this story are not overwhelming at all. The reporter does break the two numeral rule in a couple of paragraphs, but that is because he using the numerals as comparisons.

The reporter did do some math to tell the story more effectively because he includes fractions as well as ratios in the story.

The source for this story is an annual census of chain stores released by the Center for an Urban Future.

Major League Catcher Kidnapped In Venezuela

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The catcher for the Washington Nationals baseball team was kidnapped Wednesday in his home country, Venezuela.

Wilson Ramos, 24, was in Venezuela to play for local team Tigres de Aragua during the Major League Baseball's off-season, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Ramos was kidnapped from his family's home near Valencia by four gunmen.

Venezuelan authorities said they have located the vehicle used to kidnap Ramos, but have not had any communication with the victim or the abductees.

The targeting of baseball players by criminal organizations is not rare in Venezuela, CNN reported.

The kidnapping showcases Venezuela's soaring crime rate.

Pastor accused of fleecing one of his flock

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Rev. Gregory Oats was charged with four felony counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult after stealing over $10,000 from a 77-year-old congregant.

Oats, 31, was given power of attorney over the congregant's finances and spent thousands of dollars at Wal-Mart, Burger King, and other retail outlets, the Star Tribune reported.

The victim suffers from Alzheimer's disease, Parkingson's, diabetes, and mental illness.

Oats also put the victim at risk of eviction from the Golden Living Center-Chateau in Minneapolis by not paying the bill for about nine months, the Pioneer Press reported.

An alleged 1,678 victims experienced financial exploitation in 2010 alone, state records show.

Opening weekend of Minnesota's firearms deer season has left four dead and several others injured in hunting accidents.

A juvenile fatally shot himself Monday in Kanabec County. The accident took place around 3:30 p.m., the Star Tribune reported.

A 51-year-old man from Sartell was shot by his own gun Sunday after falling from his deer stand in north-central Minnesota. He was found around 10 a.m. near his stand in Beulah Township.

Arthur Joseph Kanafla, 84, died after his clothing caught fire while he attempted to light his propane heater in his stand. He fell from the stand as his clothing was engulfed by flames.

The death of Gene A. Berthiaume, 72, on Monday was determined to be a result of natural causes, the Associated Press reported.

Several injuries have resulted from hunters falling from their tree stands. One was serious enough to require an evacuation by helicopter. Others were injured by firearms including a man who had his thumb accidently shot off by another hunter and a man who was injured when his shotgun exploded because his muzzle was plugged.

In addition to the deaths and injuries, numerous people were cited for illegal baiting.

Doctor Is Guilty in Michael Jackson's Death

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Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's physician, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Monday for Jackson's death nearly two and a half years ago.

The jury reached the verdict after 22 days of testimony, 50 witnesses, and two days of deliberation, the New York Times reported.

The main focus of the trial was whether Dr. Murray failed to fulfill his duty as Jackson's physician, or if he was recklessly performing criminal negligence.

Prosecutors aimed to portray Dr. Murray as an incompetent doctor while Dr. Murray's lawyers painted him as a medical angel full of mercy.

Dr. Murray faces up to four years in prison and the potential of losing his medical license, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Jackson's parents and siblings' only reactions to the verdict was that they were "very happy" and a thumbs-up.

Over 3,500 Syrians have been killed during President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on an uprising that has been going on for over eight months.

Homs, the city where the uprising has been the strongest, experienced six days of near-continuous bombing that ended Tuesday. Over 100 people were killed in the first five days of bombing.

The goal of the bombing was to tighten the army's grip on Homs and to terminate army defectors who were hiding out in Baba Amr and other neighborhoods, the New York Times reported.

The bloodshed continues despite the Syrian government consenting to a peace plan on Nov. 2. At least 60 people have been killed since this agreement, Fox News reported.

In an attempt to "suffocate" the protesters out of Baba Amr, the government cut electricity, water, and phone lines to the area.

The Syrian National Council declared Homs a "disaster area" on Monday.

A group known as the Syrian Free army has been reported to be the protectors of the protesters in Baba Amr.

"We are hear to protect the peaceful, unarmed protesters," a Syrian Free solider said. "We will teach (the military offensive) a hard lesson."

Here is the obituary form the Star Tribune about David Olson.

This obituary's lead does not follow the standard template. It starts with a little claim to fame blurb about his long career in broadcast journalism and his love for conversation. In my opinion, the lead works for the obituary because it made me feel like this guy mattered to me even though I had never heard of him before.

The story has the standard lead in it, but it does not appear until the third paragraph.

Many sources are used in this obituary. The first is Stuart Sanders who was a longtime friend and the development director at the radio Station Olson worked for. The second is Steve Senyk, Senate Media Services director at the same radio station. The final source is his wife, Nancy Fushan.

This obituary differs from a resume in several ways. First, it does not include all of this academic and work related accomplishments. It only highlights the most noteworthy ones. Second, the obituary mentions a lot of other activities that Olson enjoyed in addition to his work. Finally, the obituary talks about how he was a good, providing father and husband, something that would not be included in a resume.

Seven confirmed dead in M5 accident in Somerset

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Seven people were killed and 51 were injured in a 34-vehicle pile-up on the M5 in Somerset, Eng. on Sunday.

Nine of the injured victims were treated at the scene, 25 are being treated at the Yeovil District Hospital, and 17 of the most seriously injured are being treated at Musgrove Park Hospital, BBC reported.

Witnesses reported seeing a dense fog or smoke over the road before the accident took place. A firework display that was held at the Taunton rugby club is believed to be the source of this smoke, the Guardian reported.

Anthony Bangham, the incident commander, said, "There was significant smoke across the carriage-way, which was very distracting and very difficult to drive through."

Attendees of the fireworks reported it being a huge display that generated a lot of smoke.

North Minneapolis shooting victim was Eden Prairie man

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An Eden Prairie man was shot and killed in his car in north Minneapolis on Saturday.

Steven E. Meyer, 36, was found dead by authorities in his car around 3:40 p.m. near 43rd and Girard Avenue, KARE reported.

Witnesses called police after hearing gunshots and seeing Meyer's car crashed on the road.

Meyer's cause of death was a gunshot wound to the abdomen, the Star Tribune reported. He was pronounced dead at the North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

No arrests have been made at this point.

Man crossing busy Maple Grove street run over, killed

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A man was hit and killed by a car in Maple Grove Friday morning, authorities said.

The man was walking across the intersection of County Road 30 and Ranchview Lane at about 6:35 a.m. when a car ran him over, the Maple Grove Patch reported.

The identity of the man has not been released, but authorities reported that the man was elderly.

The motorist stopped immediately and cooperated with police, the Star Tribune reported.

The incident is still under investigation, but the police have been reported as treating it as an accident.


The Obama administration is being pressured by members of Congress to end the federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries in California, the Huffington Post reported.

Medical marijuana dispensary owners in California were targeted by federal prosecutors on Oct. 7. The prosecutors vowed to shut down the dispensaries and also threatened to seize property from landlords who were "violating federal drug laws."

Four United States attorneys in California said they would crackdown on dozens of dispensaries, which sell marijuana to anyone with a recommendation from a doctor. "It is just a large-scale drug-selling operation," the New York Times reported.

California is not the only state that is being affected by federal raids on dispensaries. In the past couple of months, over seven other states that permit medical cannabis have had federal raids shut down dispensaries.

"By pursuing the same harsh policies that have been in place for years, we fear that the federal government will push legitimate patients back into the uncertainty and danger of the illicit market," a letter to the White House stated.

Pro-American Militia Members Die in Blast in Iraq

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Six members of the Sunni Awakening, a pro-American militia, were killed Thursday during a suicide bomb attack in Baquba, Iraq.

The Sunni Awakening members were waiting in line for their salaries in front of an Iraqi army base when a suicide bomber, who was standing among the members, blew himself up using an explosive vest, the English News reported.

A booby-trapped car parked outside the base exploded minutes after Iraqi security forces arrived at the suicide bombing scene.

A total of 10 people died during the incident, and another 25 were wounded.

Around 50,000 Iraqis serve in Awakening units, a number that is down from about 180,000 at the peak of the movement in 2007, the New York Times reported.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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