October 2012 Archives

SPCO musicians reject offer

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Members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra uniamiously voted to reject an offer from management Wednesday, said Graydon Royce of the Star Tribune.

The rejection means that players and management must get back to the bargaining table to try to resolve the months-long dispute, Royce said.

In a statement released this afternoon, musicians said they rejected the offer on the grounds that it would allow SPCO management "to terminate musicians at any time with no recourse, drastically reduce their salary and benefits, and even more drastically lower the guaranteed salary of musicians yet to join the Orchestra," said Marianne Combs of MPR News.


Combs added management calculated the proposal would cut wages by 14 percent, but musicians argued the cuts actually amounted to 33 percent. The four year contract proposal would have also reduced the number of SPCO players from 34 to 28, and offered buy-outs to musicians aged 55 or older. That's about half the current players.

In a public letter, SPCO president Dobson West expressed disappointment in the decision, said Ross Raihala of the Pioneer Press.

"We are not close to an agreement. Unfortunately, this means we will be forced to cancel additional concerts," West said.

Two British soldiers were shot Tuesday by a man wearing an Afghan police uniform, said a CNN.com article.

More than 50 people have been killed by these so-called "green-on-blue" attacks, the article said.

The British Ministry of Defense said the attack happened at a checkpoint in Helmand Province's Nahri Sarraj district, according to a FoxNews.com article.

"The loss of these soldiers is a huge blow," Maj. Laurence Roche, a spokesman for British troops in Helmand, said in a statement in the Fox News article.

The increase of these attacks in the last year has a lot of people on edge about the future security of Afghanistan, said Heidi Vogt in an ABCNews.com article.

In addition to the 50 coalition troops killed this year by this insider violence, 50 Afghans have also been killed by their colleagues, Vogt said.


Hurricane Sandy, a superstorm that threatens nearly 50 million people in the most populated area in the United States, gained strength Monday as it approaches the East Coast, said a CBSNews.com article.

The storm has already boasted sustained winds of 90 mph, with even higher gusts, and has gained 10 mph as it moves closer to land, the article said.

Forecasters say the storm should make landfall in Southern New Jersey sometime Monday night, and is expected to collide with a winter storm that's moving south from the Arctic, the article said.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie has urged his citizens to evacuate, said a Los Angeles Times article. Already they have seen some flooding, and more than 35,000 people are without power.

Schools across several states shut down Monday, as well as many non-essential government offices, and even Wall Street, the article said.

Sophia Hollander of the Wall Street Journal says the storm has reduced New York City to a ghost town, as all of the city's public transit system was shut down Sunday morning, prompting many businesses to do the same.

The incoming storm has reduced the cab ride between Manhattan and the financial district to less than 10 minutes, adding that a local wine store is seeing their business boom.

While residents on the East Coast are gearing up for Hurricane Sandy, residents in Hawaii are breathing a sigh of relief after a tsunami warning was downgraded to an advisory Saturday, said Alan Duke and Holly Yang of CNN.

The tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake in Canada, was forecasted to create waves 3-6 feet high, but only reached a maximum height of 2.5 feet, Duke and Yang said.

Residents were evacuated from their homes Saturday night, but have since been told it is safe to return, said Leezel Tanglao of ABC News.

The 7.7 quake that triggered the tsunami warnings was centered around an island north of Vancouver in Canada, and a 5.8 aftershock was reported just after the first earthquake, Tanglao said.

On Oahu, Hawaii's most populated island, traffic became an issue almost immediately after the tsunami warning was given, and officials urged people to leave their cars and get to higher ground, according to a NBCNews.com article.

Part of the hysteria could be blamed on the disaster in Japan in 2011, which is the last time Hawaii had a tsunami warning, the article said.

Several deadly bombings and shootings around Iraq have left 14 dead, according to an AlJazeera.com article.

The article said that at least five passengers on a bus carrying civilians in Taji, a city near Baghdad, were killed by a bomb planted on the vehicle on Saturday, and 12 others were wounded.

Another blast in Baghdad, near a playground, killed eight and wounded 24 more, a CBSNews.com article said.

"Nobody expected this explosion because our neighborhood has been living in peace, away from the violence hitting the rest of the capital," said Bassem Mohammed, a 35-year-old father of three in the neighborhood who was startled by the blast.

A roadside bomb exploded in an outdoor market north of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 13 more, according to a CNN.com article.

Baghdad's Shiite-dominated government has blamed the recent attacks on Sunni insurgents with ties to militant network al Qaeda, the article said.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did what only one other team has been able to do all year: win on the road on Thursday night.

Doug Martin, the Bucs rookie running back, ran all over the field in a game that was never really close, according to a YahooSports.com article.

Martin ran for 135 yards, and racked up a total of 214 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-14 thrashing of the Vikings, the article said.

Adrian Peterson had a 64-yard touchdown run, the longest of this season, in the third quarter, but fumbled on the next possession, an ESPN.com article said.

The Bucs capitalized, scoring a touchdown and squashing any hopes for a Minnesota comeback, the article said.

"It can get frustrating sometimes, but you can't show that during the game. You've got to stay focused, stay resilient," Peterson said in a SportsIllustrated.com article. "I feel like we did that, but we just weren't able to continue with it and stay on a roll with it."

Josh Freeman looked sharp, going 19 for 36 for 262 yards and, most importantly, no turnovers, the article said.

The 5-3 Vikings will travel to Seattle next week, while the Bucs go to Oakland to play the Raiders, according to NFL.com.

Prairie Seeds Academy, one of Minnesota's newest and most successful soccer programs, was disqualified from the state tournament Wednesday after an investigation of a post game fight led to the findings that the team was playing with an ineligible player, according to a StarTribune.com article.

The Minnesota High School League disqualified the team after an investigation of a fight that broke out after last week's Section 5A championship match between Prairie Seeds and Totino-Grace determined that a Prairie Seeds player involved in the fight had been ineligible to play all season, the article said.

The article said records showed that the student attended a different school during the 2011-12 school year and transferred to Prairie Seeds, a charter school based in Brooklyn Park, this fall.

It's the first time since 1961 that a team has been disqualified from a Minnesota State Tournament, according to a PioneerPress.com article.

Totino-Grace will not replace Prairie Seeds Academy, because of uncertainty about who would have advanced had the school not played, said a WCCO.com article.

After a frame-by-frame review of the video, the MSHSL said that five players will be ineligible for a minimum period of four weeks; five other players will be ineligible for one game, and two will have no penalty, the article said.

Man shot at Georgia Megachurch

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A volunteer staff member at an Atlanta area church was shot and killed Wednesday, according to a CNN.com article.

The victim, who's name has not been released, was leading a prayer group of 20 people when he was shot, the article said.

The suspect fled the scene after the shooting, and is still at large, according to a CBSNews.com article.

The shooting happened at World Changers Church International around 10:30 this morning, the article said.

Police identified the suspect as 52-year-old Floyd Palmer, a former church facilities maintenance employee, said a NBCNews.com article.

The article said 20 to 25 people were in the building at the time of the shooting, but no one else was harmed.

Lance Armstrong, despite stepping down at chairman of the Livestrong Foundation, gave a speech at their gala event Friday. In an article on ABCNews.com, they cover the speech.

However, the article covered very little of the speech, and instead focused on the scandal that Armstrong has been involved in. The first paragraph of the story sets up the story, talking about him giving a speech at an event, even though he is no longer the chairman. The second paragraph gives a direct quote from him, but the quote only talks about how tough the last couple of weeks have been on him. The article also says he offered no apologies or explanations during the speech.

The rest of the article focuses on the doping scandal that has been made public recently, using a chronological order to tell the story of what happened, and ultimately why he had to step down as chairman.

The end of the article finally gets back to the event, but not the speech. Instead, they quote people at the event who are still confident in the Livestrong mission, despite the scandal that has befallen it.

Pope Benedict XVI named the 17th century Mohawk Kateri Tekakwitha the first Native American saint Sunday, said Laura Smith-Spark of CNN.

His canonization was celebrated along with six other newly named saints during Mass Sunday morning at the Vatican, she said.

Thousands of pilgrims from around the world, including many North American Native Americans converged on St. Peter's Square for the special event, said Naomi O'Leary in a Christian Science Monitor article.

The other new saints include a nun who tended a Hawaiian leper colony and a French missionary killed in Madagascar, according to a BBC.co article.

The church decided Kateri was ready for sainthood after a Native American boy was healed of a ravaging flesh eating bacteria, the article said.

The article also said the church thought this canonization would give the church a huge boost among Native Americans.

The Israeli Navy stopped and boarded a ship that was attempting to break the naval blockade of Gaza Saturday, according to a CNN.com article.

An Israeli Navy spokesperson said they boarded the ship after it was clear the passengers on board were unwilling to cooperate, the article said.

The Estelle left Naples, Italy October 7, with 30 passengers and supplies like cement, basketballs and musical instruments, according to an article on Newser.com.

The article also said this is just one of many ships to attempt to break the naval blockade since Hamas seized the coastal territory in 2007.

The ship was diverted to a nearby Israeli port, after it was boarded 30 nautical miles from Gaza, said Diaa Hadid of the Huffington Post.

Nobody on board resisted arrest, and all are safe in Israel, said Hadid.

Minnesota unemployment rate drops

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Minnesota's unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, a full two percentage points below the national average, according to a StarTribune.com article.

Minnesota employers added 5,900 jobs in the month of September, helping the unemployment rate drop a tenth of a percent, said Julie Forster of the Pioneer Press.

Education and health services led the charge with 5,600 new jobs last month, while leisure and hospitality, construction, financial activities, other services, professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, and logging and mining all added jobs, Forster said.

Government entities, information and manufacturing all reported losses in the month of September, according to a Businessweek.com article.

St. Paul man shot and wounded

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A St. Paul man was shot and wounded Monday night near the site of a woman's fatal shooting the day before, said Pamela Miller and Heron Marquez Estrada of the Star Tribune.

The man, whose identity has not been released, was shot around 8:45 Monday night, they said.

According to a CBSNews.com article, the man was loaded into an ambulance near the intersection of Cypress Street and Bush Avenue in St. Paul.

He was taken to Regions Hospital, where he is expected to survive, the article said.

Police are unsure if the shooting Monday and the homicide Sunday are related, said Tad Vezner of the Pioneer Press.

According to Vezner, police have made no arrests in this case, but do not think it was a random shooting.

Sprint Nextel agreed Monday to sell 70% of its company to Japanese tech giant Softbank, said Charles Riley of CNNMoney.

The deal, which is worth $20.1 billion, looks to bolster Sprint, who has been struggling to keep up with competitors AT&T and Verizon, Riley said.

Softbank's plan to pay for the share of the company is so complex that the news release explaining it contained three flow charts, among a myriad of other data, said Phred Dvorak and Kana Inagaki of the Wall Street Journal.

Sprint has been struggling since they bought Nextel in 2005, and are currently dealing with a ton of debt, said Peter Svenssonyuri Kageyama of Business Week.

Softbank is Japan's third-largest wireless carrier, and also has holdings in the game company Zynga, Yahoo and recently bought Vodafone's Japan unit, said Riley.

Riley also said Sprint's current CEO, Dan Hesse, will stay in his current job.

Multimedia Analysis

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For the multimedia sites, I chose the CNN.com multimedia site and the New York Times multimedia site. These two sites look, feel, and operate very differently.

The CNN.com site features a 3D tour of Hemingway's house, or many other sites, as well as 360 Degree images, and lots of other cool features that you don't normally see. There is very little writing that goes with these, however, other than just brief backgrounds of what you're looking at. This site seems to be aimed more at people who are looking for a time killer, for something that they can't see themselves. They also feature a lot of historical items, like the strike on Yugoslavia, and a lot of information about elections all over the world in the past decade.

The New York Times site seems to be more geared to telling the news through pictures. They have many slideshows, including one about the VP debate from last night. There is a solid paragraph that accompanies each picture, along with a unique cutline for each photo. The photos feature not only the candidates, but also the people outside the debate hall, newscasters, and other angles you might not think of. They also have a feature that breaks down the President's and Mitt Romney's most used hand gestures, showing them to you, and explaining what they mean. The writing for this site is much more newsy than that of the CNN.com site, and seems to be more focused on informing, rather than entertaining.

Danville, Ky. was the sight of the first and only Vice Presidential debate that pitted current VP Joe Biden against challenger Paul Ryan, said a CBSNews.com article.

Biden seemed aggressive, perhaps too much so, in trying to make up for a lackluster performance from Barack Obama in last week's first presidential debate, the article said.

Ryan was not intimidated, however, and shot back with a number of harsh comebacks, citing the mastery of fiscal matters that helped make him the head of the House Budget Committee, said Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post.

Tumutly added it would probably be several days before there is any concrete evidence that this debate changed anything. Initial polls showed the debate was a draw, she said.

While Biden tried to make up for Obama's poor performance, some think he may have been too aggressive, said Chuck Todd of NBCNews.com.

The camera picked up many gaffes, laughs, eye rolls and interruptions, Todd said.

It was enough to elicit a response out of Ryan, as well. "Mr. Vice President, I know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other," Ryan said at one point.

Eleven of Lance Armstrong's former teammates say they witnessed in some fashion or another the cycling superstar use banned substances, according to a report released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and cited by Neal Karlinsky in an ABC news article.

The USADA banned Armstrong from professional competition for life, and stripped him of all titles, including his seven Tour de France titles, Karlinsky said.

According to the report, Armstrong ran one of the most "sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," Karlinsky said.

The 200 page report released Wednesday cited 26 sources that knew of the doping, according to a SI.com article.

In addition to doping, Armstrong "ruthlessly" required his teammates to dope as well, the article said.

The report even talks of Armstrong's wife rolling cortisone in foil and handing it out to teammates, the article said.

Armstrong has said he will not fight the doping charges filed, nor will he appeal the decision to strip him of all his titles, said a Telegraph article.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals refused to block the upcoming wolf hunts Wednesday, said Josephine Marcotty of the Star Tribune.

The court said the two wildlife groups that filed to block the Nov. 3 hunt failed to show the hunt would cause irreparable damage, Marcotty said.

Minnesota's wolf-management plan promised wolves would not be hunted for at least five years after the removal of the federal Endangered Species Act, but that was eliminated last summer as part of a must-pass bill passed by the Minnesota legislature, according to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity.

Minnesota is not the only state that will allow wolf hunts next month, said Steve Karnowski and Todd Richmond of the AP.

Wisconsin will join Minnesota as a state that allows wolf hunts, along with Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, they said.

Two students died Monday after a fire broke out in their off-campus apartment near the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus, said Paul Walsh of the Star Tribune.

Ross Livermore, 21, died early Monday morning, and his roommate Jacob Clarkson, 21, died after being treated for serious burns at Hennepin County Medical Center, Walsh said.

Garret Isakson and Casey Malan, both 21, were treated at a local hospital and released, said Mary Divine of the Pioneer Press.

All four students are from Stillwater, and have known each other since the third grade, Divine said.

Witnesses in the area report seeing flames coming from second floor apartment above a real estate office on the 600 block of Water Street, said Jay Olstad of Kare11.

"The entire top part of the building was engulfed in flames, you could see them coming out of the windows and everything," Brionna Quinehan told Olstad.

Afghan war turns 11

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United States and NATO troops continue to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, as they have been for the past 11 years, Charlie D'Agata of CBS News said.

Over the years, the mission has changed from largely NATO led missions to now Afghan led missions, he said.

Now most of the troops from the surge at the beginning of President Obama's tenure are gone, leaving just 100,000 troops in country to train and mentor Afghan forces, according to an article on RT.com.

The Taliban has taken all this to mean that they've won, the article said. "With the help of Allah, the valiant Afghans under the Jihadi leadership of Islamic Emirates defeated the military might and numerous strategies of America and NATO alliance," they said.

The Taliban still has a stronghold on the southern part of the country, said an ArmyTimes.com article, and fears are that they will try to take the country over again once NATO forces leave in 2014.

For my story, I found an article about a campus officer that shot a naked freshman at a college in Alabama.

The initial lead was a very basic, breaking news type of lead that we've been writing so far in class. It had just the basic information, and nothing else. In the update, the lead talks more about the ongoing investigation, and focuses more on the question of why, then just what happened.

The first story was very short, giving very few details throughout, because very little was known. The second story is still missing a lot of detail (because it's unknown), but instead focuses on the human element. The second paragraph talks about the victim's mother, and her reaction to the incident. Also, this article starts to tell the story of what actually happened, including naming the victim. This is a big advance from the last news story, where much of the story was unknown. This story also focuses more on the mother of the victim, and how she found out and how she reacted, whereas the first story doesn't have any of this information.

For my story, I found an article about a campus officer that shot a naked freshman at a college in Alabama.

The initial lead was a very basic, breaking news type of lead that we've been writing so far in class. It had just the basic information, and nothing else. In the update, the lead talks more about the ongoing investigation, and focuses more on the question of why, then just what happened.

The first story was very short, giving very few details throughout, because very little was known. The second story is still missing a lot of detail (because it's unknown), but instead focuses on the human element. The second paragraph talks about the victim's mother, and her reaction to the incident. Also, this article starts to tell the story of what actually happened, including naming the victim. This is a big advance from the last news story, where much of the story was unknown. This story also focuses more on the mother of the victim, and how she found out and how she reacted, whereas the first story doesn't have any of this information.

The Philippines has reached a peace deal with Muslim rebels in the southern part of the country, according to a CNN.com article.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF, has been fighting for their own independent state in Mindanao, a southern island of the Philippines, the article said.

The agreement comes after 15 years of negotiation, and 40 years of fighting that has killed more than 120,000 people, said Lindsey Murdoch Bangkok of the Sydney Morning Herald.

The group recently dropped its request for a separate Muslim state, and has also renounced terrorism acts in the region, said Bangkok.

Hopes are high for peace for the region, but there is concern that certain Muslim groups could split off from the MILF, causing more instability in the region, according to an Egypt Independent article.

But barring any setbacks, the new entity, which will be called Bangsamoro, will be in place by 2016, the article said.

Parts of northern Minnesota experienced as much as 14 inches of snow Thursday, in a storm that left many in that region without power, said Bill McAuliffe of the Star Tribune.

The snow has eliminated the threat posed by wildfires that were raging just days ago, said McAuliffe.

The storm also caused school cancellations, slow travel and the cancellation of a homecoming parade, he said.

More than 6,500 homes were left without power, and police blame the near-blizzard conditions for a head-on collision that killed a woman in the Thief River area, according to an article in the Duluth News Tribune.

About four to six inches of snow is forecasted to fall north of Bemidji on Friday.

North Dakota was also affected by the storm, seeing between six and 12 inches of snow, and many power outages, said USA Today article.

According to the article, forecasters believe more cold weather is on the way for this region, as a cold front is behind the system that brought the snow, bringing cooler temperatures across the midwest.

St. Paul's first Somali cop will graduate from the St. Paul Police Academy Thursday, said Chao Xiong of the Star Tribune.

Garaad Sahal came to the United States more than a decade ago in order to work and send money back to his family, Xiong said.

Sahal was inspired by the lack of corruption in the police force in America compared to in his homeland of Somalia, Xiong said.

Xiong also said that Sahal's journey to be a cop was a long time in the making: St. Paul has the highest number of Somali's in the United States at nearly 32,000.

Sahal is part of a bigger trend toward greater diversity in the St. Paul Police Department, said Mara Gottfried of the Pioneer Press.

Sahal is one of eight in his training class that speaks a second language, and the he will become part of the 17 percent of St. Paul officers that are minorities, she said.

Sahal says he and his family fled the civil war in Somalia in 1994 and lived in a refugee camp in Kenya before he came to Minnesota in 2001, according to an AP story.

More than 30 people are dead after four deadly blasts rang through the streets of the Syrian city of Aleppo, said Albert Aji of the Associated Press.

The explosions occurred near the Old City, which has recently become a key battleground between rebels and state led forces, he said.

The bomb blasts happened within minutes of each other, the fourth detonating before engineers could defuse the bomb, according to a NBCNews.com article.

However, discrepancies are being reported about the number of dead and injured after the attack, according to a Reuters article.

Citing a Syrian official source, the Reuters report puts the number of dead at 27, with more than 70 injured in the attacks.

An American Airlines flight headed to Miami from Boston, diverted to New York's JFK Airport after three seats came loose shortly after take off, according to a CNN.com article.

American Airlines said Tuesday it would inspect 47 planes "out of abundance of caution", said the article.

This is the third time in the last week that seats have come loose during a flight, according to NBCNews.com.

American Airlines officials said that clamps that hold the seats down were improperly installed, but declined to say where the airplanes were worked on, said David Koenig in a Star Tribune article.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also looking into this problem, said Koenig.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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