April 26, 2009


In this story about dirty police, the reporter uses a lot of public records for sources. These records range from police arrest blotters to transcripts of official police reports. The reporter needed to know how to dig up information on the internet in order to be this comprehensive. They also had to have access to information that not very many people had available to them.

Poll Shows Minnesotans Think Coleman Should Concede

In a new Minnesota Poll released today, nearly two-thirds of Minnesotans think Norm Coleman should withdraw from the U.S. Senate race.

The Poll, released in the Star Tribune, showed that 64 percent of responders believed that Coleman should accept the recount trial verdicts.

Conversely, 28 percent of people thought that Coleman's appeal to the trial was "acceptable".

QB Stafford is First Pick in NFL Draft

Matthew Stafford was named the number one overall pick in the NFL draft on Saturday, after being selected by the Detroit Lions.

Stafford, a quarterback for the University of Georgia, led the Bulldogs to a 27-7 record while throwing 51 touchdown passes versus 33 interceptions, Reuters reports.

The Lions signed Stafford to the biggest contract ever for a draft pick, with a $72 million contract with over $41 million guaranteed.

Fans in the Radio City Music Hall venue booed when commissioner Rodger Goodell announced Stafford’s name.

Driver Will Not Be Jailed for Accident

A driver who struck and killed a road-construction worker last year on what was U.S. 212 will not receive any jail time, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

LuAllen Kettner spoke at his trial Friday, where he told the judge that he would trade his life for 47-year-old Leo Kuisle from Stewartville.

Kettner struck Kuisle with his SUV while Kuisle was working on a stretch of road in Carver County that has now been renamed Highway 61.

Prosecutors were seeking a 15-day jail sentence for Kettner, but the judge disagreed and sentenced Kettner to 40 hours of community service and a $685 fine.

Swine Flu Spreads

Over 80 people have died in Mexico and it is estimated that over 1400 people have been infected with a new strain of swine flu.

The Mexican government cancelled all mass services as well as sporting events and prison visitations to try and halt the spread of the virus, the Pioneer Press reports.

Cases have been found as far away as New Zealand and over 20 cases have been found in New York, California, Kansas and Ohio.

The U.S. declared a public health emergency in order to ship around 12 million doses of anti-flu medication from a federal stockpile to the infected states, however the Star Tribune reports that the 20 infected people are recovering rapidly.

Riot Erupts iNear Dinkytown

Six people were arrested Saturday night after a riot broke out during a block party near Dinkytown.

Police were called several times and forced to employ crowd control tactics such as tear gas, smoke grenades and rubber bullets.

The crowd, estimated to be in the several hundreds, were gathered to celebrate the annual Spring Jam hosted at the University of Minnesota.(Associated Press)

Along with smashed beer bottles, the crowd tore down street signs and started several fires and threw beer bottles and other debris at police officers.

The names of those being arrested have not been released yet. (Minnesota Daily)

April 19, 2009

New Campaign Pledges a Dollar for Every Day Norm Coleman Remains in Senate Race

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a new group working to get certain candidates elected, has started a new protest campaign against Norm Coleman.

According to the New York Times, the movement, titled “Dollar A Day””, the campaign urges democrats to donate one dollar for every day that Norm Coleman refuses to withdraw from the Minnesota Senate Race.

The email, sent to the mailing lists of the Change Campaign and Howard Dean’s Democracy for America, urges voters to donate for every day Coleman “refuses to concede.”

“Think about how this Dollar A Day will change the game,” the e-mail message continues. “If thousands of people sign up, and Republicans up for re-election in 2010 see the progressives who are out to defeat them get an infusion of donations each day that Coleman is obstinate, what do you think will happen?”

In a response to the new campaign, Tom Erickson, a spokesman for Coleman, repeated the accusation that Al Franken owes money in back taxes and suggested that the campaign should pay for them.

North Dakota Journalist Convicted of Spying in Iran

Roxana Saberi, the American journalist who was imprisoned in Iran, has been convicted of spying and sentenced to eight years in prison, the Star Tribune reports .

The verdict marks the first time Iran has found an American journalist guilty of spying, according to the Pioneer Press.

Saberi, 31, appeared before a closed Iranian court Monday, and was sentenced Tuesday in a quick one-day trial. Her parents, who had flown to Iran in an effort to help their daughter, were not allowed to be present during the trial.

President Obama said that he is “deeply disappointed” about the conviction, and the United States has called the accusation baseless and demanded her release.

Saberi, a Fargo, North Dakota native, had lived in Iran for six years and was planning on returning home this year. She had been working on a book about Iranian culture. She had been arrested in January for working without press credentials, but Monday the government leveled much more serious charges on her.

Man Charged With Four Counts of Manslaughter In Driving Accident

The man suspected of being intoxicated when he drove his vehicle into a rain-filled ditch that drowned five children riding with him was charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A Houston police spokesperson told the Times that Chanton Jenkins, 32, was charged Sunday. Police are still looking for the body of one of the five children.

Police said Jenkins failed a field sobriety test after the crash and that he apparently lost control of his car while on a cell phone. It is not known yet whether Jenkins has an attorney.

Police told CNN that the bodies of the children found were identified as a girl, 1, and three boys, ages 4, 6, and 7

Hopkins Man Killed In Fast-Food Parking Lot

A 24-year-old Hopkins man was shot and killed Sunday following an argument between two groups of people in a fast food parking lot, The Pioneer Press reported.

Police have two suspects in custody but have not yet released more information.

The police station told the Star Tribune that witnesses saw two groups of people begin arguing in a White Castle parking lot in Hopkins at about 2 a.m. when shots were fired.

April 12, 2009


In this story about Easter celebrations around the world, the writer does not really dwell on any particular stereotype, choosing instead to show how different groups of Christians spent their Easter holiday. The story tells me about the different routines that Christian groups go through for Easter and what they decided to do different this time. Overall this story is very good and does not get caught up in racial stereotypes at all.

Barge Captain Freed

Cargo ship captain Richard Phillips was rescued Sunday from Somali pirates, five days after he was taken hostage, Reuters reports.

U.S. Navy snipers shot and killed three Somali pirates who were holding Phillips captive in a lifeboat.

Navy officers judged that Phillips’ life was in danger when snipers aboard a destroyer shot his captors, freeing him and killing three of the four men holding him. The fourth man was taken into custody.

The U.S. Navy commander who gave the order to shoot listed deteriorating weather conditions and negotiation breakdowns as reasons to believe Phillips was endangered, saying that they were “pointing AK-47’s at the captain.”

According to CNN, this is the first time in modern history that the United States has a pirate who carried out an attack on an American citizen in custody. Figuring out what to do with the pirate is a sensitive issue.

Adm. Rick Gurnon, head of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where Phillips trained, said he wasn’t really worried for him.

"I actually was more concerned for his family," Gurnon said. "As a captain in sea, in a lifeboat, he was comfortable -- even if he was sharing it with Somali pirates."

Body Found in Mississippi River

A body found Saturday morning is not that of missing St. Thomas freshman Dan Zamlen, the Star Tribune Reports.

According to the Pioneer Press, the body, discovered near Warner Road in downtown St. Paul, is a woman’s. Police believe it may be the woman who reportedly jumped from the Roberts Street Bridge a few weeks ago.

Police are waiting for the body to be identified, although it appears to have been in the water for some time. The body was discovered by employees of a local barge company near the intersection of Childs and Shepard Roads.

April 9, 2009

Simpsons Get Own Stamps

Famed TV family “The Simpsons” can add another item of merchandise to its ever-expanding list. Come May 7, the prime-time family will be featured on the newest series of stamps released by the U.S. Postal Service, Reuters reports.

Series creator Matt Groening said that being on a stamp was “the biggest and most adhesive honor ‘The Simpsons’ has ever received.”

The set of five stamps will feature each member of the Simpsons’ family, and fans are encouraged to go online and vote for their favorite family member.

Producer James L. Brooks commended the postal service on their choice.

“We are emotionally moved by the Postal Service selecting us rather than making the lazy choice of someone who has benefited society," Brooks told CNN.

UK Anti-Terrorism Officer Resigns

A leading member of Britain's anti-terrorism team resigned Thursday, a day after he was photographed with a document that disclosed sensitive information regarding an extensive counter-terror investigation, Reuters reports.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick resigned Thursday, a day after he was photographed with a document listing the names of a dozen suspected terrorists who were about to be arrested.

The gaff prompted British police to stage a highly unusual daytime raid on several locations, arresting 12 people. Reuters reports that 10 of the suspects were Pakistani nationals in Britain on student visas and one was a British citizen.

The document was titled “Briefing Note: Operation Pathway”, and was marked “secret.” The document described the operation and listed several of the suspects by name.
In a statement Thursday, Quick announced his resignation.

"I have today offered my resignation in the knowledge that my action could have compromised a major counterterrorism operation," Quick said in a statement, according to CNN. "I deeply regret the disruption caused to colleagues undertaking the operation and remain grateful for the way in which they adapted quickly and professionally to a revised time scale."