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March 29, 2009

Obituary Analysis

This obituary on Natasha Richardson, done by the New York Times, uses a standard obituary lead.
The first source used is a spokesman for Liam Neeson, her husband, and also uses Richardson's most recent spokeswoman.
They also use quotes Richardson gave the New York Times in previous interviews.
The lead does work as a standard approach and gives a clear view of what happened.
The article is different from a resume because it deals with more personal information than just her job history and descibes her family and interests, as well as details about her life and accomplishments.

Mexico Faces Paradox

A New York Times article on Sunday outlined a crucial paradox for Mexico in their wars against drug cartels. Mainly, the people they need to rely on to stop the cartels, such as police and other law officers, have often been the very people that have allowed the drug cartels to flourish.
The cartels, which according to the reports bring in billions more dollars than the Mexican government, uses thier profits to buy off countless officers in customs, courtrooms, and most notably, police officers.
The corruption in police forces have caused entire cities to disband police and start completely from scratch, according to the report.
Notable corrupt officers according to the report are the country's top prosecutor, the director of Interpol, and even a person inside the U.S. Embassy.
In related news, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday the United States is warning truckers and businesses operating near or on the U.S./Mexico border to heighten security standards in light of the recent violence over the drug cartels.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned truckers they could be exposed to the violence.
According to the Journal, the barron's wars over turf have extended across the border into states such as Arizona.

City Grapples with Pull-Over Problem

After a publicized New Year's Eve incident where a man's car was rammed for not pulling over for police quickly enough, Minneapolis police are questioning how long a driver can delay the stop without getting in trouble.
Sunday's report by the Star Tribune said that after an incident where a man who was attempting to exit a busy freeway before pulling over was rammed, police are admitting the officer did break protocol.
Police also say the man could have pulled over sooner, despite worries of a snow-covered shouler and his children in the backseat.
While state laws state a driver must pull over "immediately", that doesn't mean slamming on the breaks. Police feel there is room for common sense, and it should be used before pulling over in a potentially dangerous area.

Social Network Site Breaks-Up Celebrity Couple

According to the Pioneer Press, the newly-popular social networking site Twitter, where users can post 140 character mini-messages,was responsible for the breakup of celebrity couple Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer.
According to the report, the perpetually single celeb couldn't handle her boyfriend's constant attention to the site and his 400,000 followers.
In other celebrity news, David Letterman announced his marriage last week and Matt Lauer was forced to take time off of the Today Show after he seperated his shoulder in a biking accident with a deer.

Delta Officially Replaces Northwest

Today Delta Airlines, which purchased Minneapolis-based airline Northwest last year, officially rebranded terminals and baggage claims according to the Star Tribune.
Everything Northwest will be changed to Delta, and the effort will take the remainder of the week, the report said.
Delta has already rebranded airplanes, and will continue to work at other airports throughout the world.
The report was missing from coverage on the Pioneer Press website, the only other major news outlet in the Twin Cities.

March 27, 2009

Red River Causes Evacuations

The Red River has surpassed its highest level in history on Friday, and is expected to continue to rise, according to a New York Times report.
The flooding has now caused emergency evacuations in both neighboring cities of Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead, Minn.
Forecasters believe the Red River will rise to over 2 feet of the record set more than 100 years ago, according to the Times.
The mayor of Fargo urged the dikes of sandbags to be built one foot higher on Friday night. Sandbagging efforts have been taking place all week in attempt to stop the water from devastating neighborhoods.
According to the Times, once the river crests on Saturday it is expected to remain at the high levels for a few days, causing an even greater challenge for dikes that may not be able to withstand that length of time.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the river was at 40.4 at 7:15 a.m. Friday morning, passing the previous record of 40.1 feet in 1897.
The Tribune also reports that as many fled their homes, volunteers from the Fargo/Moorhead area stayed and worked through the night filling sandbags in the Fargodome.
Moorhead has also announced an evacuation for all residents living in the core of the city, according to the Tribune.

March 16, 2009

Roadside Bomb Kills 4

According to the Associated Press, a roadside bomb killed four U.S. troops Sunday in Afganistan. The Taliban has claimed responsibility, and has been threatening to increase attacks on forces as the U.S. seeks to increase its presence in the region, according to the News Service. In other bomb and suicide attacks, other troops and civilians were killed or injured in other areas of the country.

Complaining Teacher Fired

A teacher who complained the state about her school was then fired, according to the Star Tribune. Lauren Strom, who worked for a downtown day-care center called the Cradle Club, complained to the Minnesota Department of Human Services that she felt a student-teacher ratio rule was being violated. After the violation was confirmed by a state inspector, Strom was blamed for the rule breakage by the Club owner and subsequently fired, the Star Tribune said. Strom told the Tribune she sees it as direct retaliation against her. However, the club owner told the Star Tribune she was not even aware Strom had called the state, and that it would have had no effect on her decision. The club owner blames Strom for not calling more teachers for help on the inspection day, according to the Star Tribune.

Man Shot By Police

A man shot by a Litchfield police officer was airlifted to HCMC, the Star Tribune said. The incident, which occurred around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, left the man in critical condition. Litchfield police refused to release details on the incident, the Star Tribune said. The man is currently in ICU, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who is investigating the incident, also denied requests for details. Neither the injured man nor the police officer have been identified, said the Tribune.

Shuttle Launch

The Shuttle Discovery took off on Sunday, headed with its crew of seven for the International Space Station, the Star Tribune reported. The launch had been delayed for more than a month, but finally took place on Sunday evening. The Star Tribune reported the launch was the prettiest NASA had ever seen. NASA said the sunset launch was beautiful. Hydrogen tanks and launch pad repairs were part of what had delayed the launch earlier this week. Two former schoolteachers were among the crew, said the Star Tribune.

Gopher Basketball

The Minnesota Gophers Mens Basketball team will play the University of Texas next Thursday, the Star Tribune reports. The Gophers will play in the first round of the NCAA tournament in the Eastern Division in Greensboro, North Carolina. Minnesota is the 10th seed while Texas is No. 7. The winner will take on either Duke or Binghamton in the second round, according to the Star Tribune. North Dakota State University, No. 14 in the Midwest division, was able to secure a bid to the National Tournament during its first year of Division 1 eligibility, the Star Tribune said.

March 8, 2009

Advance Analysis

This advance, published in the Minnesota Daily, previewed a debate on marajuana held on the University of Minnesota campus.
No sources were used in the story, and unfortunately the story feels very much like a listing. In using no sources, there was no other information available besides a bit of background on the event and who would be participating in the debate.
While somewhat of a listing, the author does provide a bit of an angle in placing the event of the background of a Minnesota Judiciary Committee decision protecting medicinal marajuana patients. This is really the only way the article stands out from a listing that could be found on an advertisment or event invitation.

Oprah Gives Advice

Oprah Winfrey felt the need to give Rihanna a bit of advice this week, the New York Daily News reported.
"He will hit you again," Oprah advised Rihanna from her show, referencing the alleged beating Rihanna received from her boyfriend Chris Brown last month.
A former Manhattan prosecutor who was a guest on the show had a worse warning, and said Chris Brown may kill Rihanna, comparing him to O.J. Simpson.
The advice comes after Rihanna's reconciliation with Brown, a choice that has sparked much debate and discussion.
Orpah announced she will do a show this coming week on domestic violence, dedicating it to the "Rihanna's of the world."

North Korea Puts Troops on Combat Alert

Bloomberg reported Sunday that before a U.S.-South Korean drills, North Korea put their troops on combat alert.
North Korea threatened retaliation if their territory was entered, Bloomberg said. North Korea will also cut off military communications with South Korea.
Tensions have risen in the region over the past few weeks as North Korea is believed to be preparing to test a ballistic missle, Bloomberg said. North Korea, however, says they are only planning to launch a peaceful satelite.
Reuters also reported the story, citing the drills as annual.
Reuters also added North Korea has said any shooting down of its missiles, such as the ballistic missiles they make be testing, an act of war.

Pastor Shot and Killed in Church

A pastor who was known for theatrics at first did not surpirse his congregation when a man approached the altar and shot a bible to peices, the Chicago Tribune reported.
However, parishoners quickly realzied the scene was much more than a dramatization, and instead a terrible tragedy.
After making a fatal shot to the preacher's chest, the shooter's gun jammed. He then pulled a knife, which he used to injure himself and three church-goers who restrained him, the Tribune reported.
The shooter was able to take four shots in the church, the first which was deflected by the pastor's bible.
The shooter had a conversation with the pastor before the service, the Tribune said. The Tribune also reported the pastor was speaking on happiness in the workplace during his sermon. Police would be reviewing audio tapes, the Tribune reported.
The Associated Press reported
that hundreds of people joined together, crying and clutching to Bibles, on Sunday night to remember the slain pastor.

Kidnapped Girl Safe

The Star Tribune reported Sunday on an amber alert that was called shortly after midnight.
A 17-year-old girl from Elbow Lake, Minn. was kidnapped by gunpoint by her stepfather, the Tribune reported.
The girl, who had a restraining order against her stepfather, was kidnapped in a parking lot while she was about to attend a movie with her step-brother (not her stepfather's biological son). The stepbrother was bound and left in the car for 30 minutes before he freed himself and called the police.
Later Saturday evening, the stepfather released the girl and allowed her to drive away in his car, the Tribune said.
The Pioneer Press also reported on the story, and talked with a gas station attendant who was working at the gas station the girl called the police from after being released.
The Press reported the girl looked visibly shaken and looked around to see if her stepfather was in the area, according to the attendant.

Southwest comes to Minneapolis

The Star Tribune reported Sunday about the newest airline to Minneapolis. St. Paul International, Southwest Airlines.
The Star Tribune reported that before the first flight left for Chicago at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, passengers performed a small song and dance to commemerate the maiden voyage.
The new airline boasts no baggage fees, open seating, leather seats, good service, and free wireless internet, the Tribune reports.
Southwest is based in Dallas and will run eight flights a day to Chicago from MSP, the Tribune said.
The Pioneer Press also ran a small article on the airline, citing how the airline has already driven down fares across the board.

March 1, 2009

Meeting Analysis

This article was written the Marshall Independent on the Marshall City Council Meeting. This is the agenda for the meeting.
The first thing I noticed about the article is that the writer had to pick out what she thought was the most newsworthy. Much like other forms of writing, chronologically did not work. The item that she chose to lead with was the 14th item on the agenda, and much of what was said before it was completely skipped or barely mentioned. The entire article mostly is based off of that one item.
In order to reach other less important items, the author then crafted some of the story in a list much like the agenda. She provided a sentence or a mini-lead for other important items. While the agenda is very long, the author only really covered four of the over 20 agenda items.
This clearly shows the choices that must be made in reporting the news and how much power the media have in deciding what is important and what the people get to hear about. The author really needs a good idea of her audience and what they want to hear and what they care about in order to do her job well.

No More Facebook for Lent

The Pioneer Press reported Sunday on a woman who will have a hard 40 days, she gave up Facebook for Lent.
Lent, the Christian season that goes from Ash Wednesday until Easter, started last week and the woman told the Pioneer Press she has been having a hard time so far.
The article mentions many people are using Lent this year to disconnect from social networking. One college student told the Press she thought it would be interesting to step away from the site for a period of time.
People interviewed said that not only do they hope to connect with God more through their sacrifice, but also with other people...face to face again.

Iran Nuclear Power

The Guardian reported on Sunday U.S. fears Iran now has the capability to build a nuclear bomb.
The paper reports that U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staffs said Iran now has enough fissile material for one nuclear bomb, and said the possibility would be "very very bad."
The Guardian reports it was the first public assesment by the U.S. government on the subject, and comes after a report done by the International Atomic Energy Agency that said Iran has made significant strides on enriching uranium.
The Guardian reports Iran says it will not build a bomb, but is instead hoping to create nuclear power plants.
The Los Angeles Times also reported on the story .
The Times said that while military officers believe Iran can make a bomb, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates does not.
Gates said that diplomatic solutions to Iran having nuclear power remain available.

$8,000 Home-Buying Incentive

The Pioneer Press reported Sunday on a huge new incentive for those who have never owned a house before to get out and see what the market has to offer, $8,000.
The Press reported that some home listings have seen multiple offers after just a few days on the market, in part because of the $8,000 tax credit given to first time home buyers as laid out in President Obama's stimulus package.
The credit is available to those who have not owned a home in the past three years and who buy a home before Nov. 30.
The Press article said as many as 300,000 first time buyers could be inticed by the credit, but also reported that realtors are unsure what, if any, benefit this would bring to the housing market.
ABC News created a checklist for interested people to see if they will qualify for the credit here.

Southdale Shooting

Two teenage boys were shot Friday in a parking lot at Southdale Mall in Edina, the Star Tribune reported.
Police called the shooting gang-related, and the incident happened just after 6 p.m. in the JCPenny parking lot outside of the mall.
The two teens were takent to HCMC. One was shot in the leg and the other in the stomach. Their identities have not been released.
Police told the Star Tribune at least four shots were fired. They are still unsure who was firing and why the two groups were in the parking lot.
The Star Tribune reported crimes like this are very rare at Southdale.
The Pioneer Press also covered the incident, and they reported one boy as "seriously injured." They also reported the boy was still in surgery late Friday evening.

7 Robbed in South Minneapolis

Two suspects with a gun may have been responsible for five robberies in South Minneapolis Sunday morning, the Star Tribune reports.
Minneapolis police said the two suspects, bothdescribed as men in their mid-twenties, robbed seven people in five incidents between 12:30 and 2 a.m. Sunday.
No one was hurt, but police told the Star Tribune that anytime a gun is involved they are concerned.
While the Tribune reports it is too early to tell if the incidents are linked, police will inspect the possibility.
No story was reported on the incident in the Pioneer Press, the other major Twin Cities newspaper.