October 2012 Archives

Obituary Analysis

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I took a look at Paul Kurtz's obituary in the L.A. Times.


In these kinds of obituaries, reporters talk to a lot of different people that knew the dead person or was impact by his or her accomplishments. For this particular individual, the obituary was very biographical. I imagine this is typical of most obituaries. This particular lead is alternative and is a lot more creative. Its more like a feature about Kurtz's life. His death in itself is news value. This guy was a notable philosopher and that's why the L.A. Times did this kind of biographical obituary. Resume's are more about business-type accomplishments. Obituaries are about how a person's accomplishments impacted and changed lives.

Hurricane Sandy is projected to hit Atlantic City N.J., and the vicious storm, its powerful winds and heavy rainfall could debilitate the city and several others.

The storm could hit a large area of the east coast, ranging from North Carolina to New England, ABC News reported Sunday.

Millions of people are living in the areas that could see flooding and evacuating has already started out East, CNN reported.

States of emergency were declared in North Carolina and Connecticut as well. Communities in Delaware were forced to evacuate by 8 p.m.

Earlier today, Sandy was moving to the Northeast at around 15 mph. It is going to head north, and then northwest by early-Monday night.

Meteorologists are saying Sandy could be more powerful than the famed "Perfect Storm" of 1991.

Road rage prompts shooting in Eagan

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A non-fatal freeway shooting early Sunday in Eagan was triggered by road rage, Eagan police said, and police are asking the public for assistance in finding the shooter.

A 26-year-old Rosemount woman was shot in the shoulder around 2:30 a.m. Sunday while traveling north on Interstate 35E near Pilot Knob Road, the Star Tribune reported.

According to the Pioneer Press, a Volkswagen Jetta carrying the woman and seven other people was tailgated by a Dark SUV.

The Volkswagen driver slowed down and flashed the middle finger at the SUV driver. Both vehicles continued on the interstate, the SUV pulled up alongside the Jetta and the driver fired twice at the Volkswagen.

One bullet hit the victim in her shoulder and the other hit a passenger-side door. The woman was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, but her injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.

Police arrested a 28-year-old West St. Paul man in connection with the shooting. Police suspect he was under the influence at the time of arrest.

New Ulm Kraft plant to lose jobs

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The Kraft plant in New Ulm, Minn. will lose roughly 90 jobs, the Mankato Free Press reported Friday. (by way of the Pionner Press)

The plant is restructuring through 2013 and, as a result a number of positions will changed and cut the FOX affiliate in Mankato reported.

"Right now, we don't know how many people will be impacted, and we won't know for another few months," company spokesperson Joyce Hodel told the Free Press.

Kraft, which has been in New Ulm since 1955, employes 555 people at that particular facility -- making it one of the largest employers in the town.

The New Ulm plant's Velveeta production will move down to a plant in Illinois, and New Ulm will take on a bulk of the food-service cheese production as part of the restructure.

Two US troops killed in Afghanistan

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Two American service members were shot and killed in Afghanistan Thursday, in what the Associated Press is calling the "latest in a rash of attacks on international forces this year by their Afghan partners."

The victims were killed by a man in an Afghan police uniform. On Wednesday, Taliban leader Mullah Omar called for more Afghan violence towards Americans, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Maj. Lori Hodge, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said authorities haven't determined whether the shooter was an Afghan police officer or an imposter wearing a cop uniform to target Americans.

As of Thursday, 55 U.S. coalition troops have been killed by Afghan partners. On Wednesday, two British service members and an Afghan police officer were killed, too.

"Increase your efforts to expand the area of infiltration in the ranks of the enemy," Omar said in a statement. "Jihadist activities inside the circle of the state militias are the most effective stratagem."

The AP also reported an Italian soldier was killed Thursday as well.

97-year old woman killed in auto accident

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A woman was killed in a five-vehicle accident in St. Louis Park, and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office identified her as a 97-year old woman from Victoria, the Star Tribune reported Sunday.

The five-car pileup happened near Hwy. 7 and Texas Avenue in St. Louis Park and authorities said Margaret Bauer, a passenger in one of the vehicles, was killed.

The medical examiner said Bauer died of multiple blunt force trauma at the scene of the crash.

According to KSTP.com , a four-door sedan rear ended an SUV around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, causing the pileup that led to Bauer's death.

No other passengers required medical attention.

Sandusky attorneys seek new trial

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Jerry Sandusky's lawyers are seeking a new trial for their client, who was recently sentenced to no less than 30 years in prison, CNN reported Friday.

In June, Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 15 boys during a 15-year period.

Lawyers filed a motion to have the sentence reconsidered, arguing there wasn't sufficient enough evidence to convict the 68-year old Sandusky.

Defense attorney Joe Amendola recently said if the defense team had more time to prepare, Sandusky would have been convicted.

News came out that Aaron Fisher, a Sandusky victim, contemplated suicide because it took so long for Sandusky to be prosecuted, the Daily Record reported.

Fisher reported the sexual abuse in 2008. Sandusky was arrested last November.

373 prep athletes concussed this season

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Through seven weeks of Minnesota State High School league action, 373 athletes have sustained concussions, the Star Tribune reported Thursday.

The Minnesota Department of Health begun tracking concussions this season at 42 different high schools to measure how the injury affects the athletes.

Leslie Seymour, an epidemiologist with the Health Department said "the whole issue was that we have no idea how big the problem is in Minnesota.

"We would like to be able to quantify it, so that we can address what we can do to address the problem," Seymour said.

The Pioneer Press reported that as the season continues, officials with asses the information.

Two men die in Mille Lacs

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Two men died Sunday morning after rolling their car into Mille Lacs Lake, the Pioneer Press reported.

The mishap took place just after midnight on U.S. 169 and Timber Trail road, according to the Minnesota patrol.

Driver, 37-year old Andrew Nickaboine, and passenger, 42-year old Ronald Dorr, were both pronounced dead, the Star Tribune reported.

Keegan Morrison, 32, was a back seat passenger and was taken to the hospital with non-serious injuries.

Alcohol was found in all three men, the patrol said.

Skydiver sets record

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Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumped 24 miles from space and broke the sound barrier before landing on his feet Sunday, CNN reported.

The record-breaking feat made national headlines and blew Twitter's roof off. Baumgartner free-falled for more than minutes before landing successfully in New Mexico.

His top-speed was 833.9 mph, the New York Times reported. The jump was watched by millions as part of a project called the Red Bull Stratos.

A team of more than 70 scientists and engineers worked on developing for five years. During the jump, he was enclosed in a custom suit and capsule to ensure maximum safety.

He landed via parachute.

Analysis: This is big news because it is record-setting and it broke the sound barrier. A lot of people also watched this world wide and made it big deal out of it, so it was clearly relevant to the general public. People tend to like feats of strength and or courage and this was definitely one of those feats. It will be interesting to see what type of stunts are done in a future. I think this sets a new precedent for daredevils worldwide. Just incredible.

Fourth meningitis outbreak in Minnesota

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There is a fourth meningitis outbreak in Minnesota, state officials confirmed Saturday.

The patient, a woman, is in her 70s -- the oldest known patient in the state, the Star Tribune reported.

The Pioneer Press
reported the woman is in the hospital and is receiving treatment.

Doug Schultz, spokesman for the state Health Department, told the Star Tribune "All of these cases are fairly complex, in part because they were being treated for pain and other conditions [beforehand]."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported 197 cases of meningitis outbreak in 13 different states. There are 15 deaths thus far.

The meningitis has been linked to some chronic pain-treating injections from the New England area.

Squirrel tests positive for plague

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A California ground squirrel tested positive for a bacteria found in fleas that could cause bubonic plague, authorities said.

CNN reported Wednesday that its the United States' first positive test in more than a decade.

The squirrel was found at a campground in early September near the San Jancito mountains in southern California.

The L.A. Times reported other animals in the area would be tested in the near future. There's a minimal chance the bacteria can be transferred to humans, a news release said.

Campus officer kills naked freshman

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A University of South Alabama police officer shot an killed an 18-year old freshman, who was reportedly running around naked, CNN reported.

The student, later identified as Gilbert Thomas Collar, chased and threatened a police offer, a spokesperson said.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Collar was hit once in the chest before dying at the scene.

According to spokesperson Greg Ayres, the officer heard a loud banging on a window at the campus police station.

Ayres said the officer tried to calm Collar several times before eventually shooting the former wrestler. The officer is on paid leave, Ayres said.


This is national news because its something that doesn't happen very often. Also, it involves a young college student and violence by a police officer, both of which are very uncommon. Also, this happened very recently. It is especially relevant for us college students because we undoubtedly have seen people behaving in this manner. It is just really sad that the man was shot and killed. Bad police work in my opinion.

Woman hit by car, dies

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A 47-year old woman died Friday night after being struck by a car in Mahtomedi, the Star Tribune reported.

The woman was wearing dark clothing and walking in the traffic when she was drilled by a car driven by a 20-year old man from Pine Springs. Sgt. Tim Tuthill of Washington County told the Star Tribune she was walking an poorly lit area.

After being hit, she was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul and died.

Tuthill said the man tried to swerve and avoid her. He stopped immediately and is cooperating with police.

KSTP reported Minnesota State Patrol is reconstructing the crash.

2 diagnosed with Meningitis in Minnesota

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Two Minnesota women in their 40s have been officially diagnosed with meningitis, the Star Tribune reported Saturday.

The women had received injectable steroids from a pharmacy in Massachusetts that has been linked to more than 60 cases of meningitis.

The women experienced various meningitis symptoms including fever and headache before doctors confirmed there was meningitis in their spinal fluid.

Roughly 950 Minnesotans are believed to have been treated with the steroids. Health officials have contacted about 350 of those people.

The Pioneer Press reported that Minnesota public officials are insisting all children be vaccinated for meningitis before they enter the seventh grade.

Hong Kong boat sinks, 8 dead

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A packed boat crashed into a ferry and sank Monday night near Hong Kong, killed at least eight people and injured dozens more, authorities said.

The Star Tribune, by way of the Associated Press, reported the boat was carrying roughly 120 people when the accident happened.

The ship was carrying staff members of a utility company and their guests to Victoria Harbor, a well-known Hong Kong harbor, to watch fireworks that celebrated China's national day.

More than 40 people were hospitalized and several are suffering from hypothermia, BBC News reported. 123 in all were pulled from the water.

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