August 2, 2007

Mystery Death in Toddler

Calla Christopherson was adopted from China to a family in Edina when she was only a year old.

During a procedure to open a clogged tear duct on Aug. 22, 2006, Calla died. Her breating became difficult and her oxygen levels started falling. A doctor injected muscle relxant in the girl but her heart started failing.

The reason for her death is still a mystery but the state investigation did fault the Fairview Southdale Hospital stating that they did not keep Calla’s vial signs on record well enough. Calla’s mother also said that the reports she received had some gaps and investigation shows that there are some differences from report to report.

The nurse who was recording the information stated that she was in distress while the child was dying and was unable to record the info.

The story was reported by the Pioneer Press which included an interview with the nurse who was in the surgery, Calla’s mother, and Fairview’s vice president for patient safety.

This was an interesting story because the case has no specific reason of death and has created a position in surgical procedures to have a designated person to always record vital signs.

The StarTribune search did not show any results about the same story.

Liberians Getting Nervous

Liberians have lived in the U.S. since the early 1990’s under a temporary protected status. Now that the Liberian government is showing some signs of stabilization, the U.S. government is trying to lift the temporary protected status and deport many of the 20,000 Liberians who are now living in the U.S.

Some have come with their families to take refuge and others have come and created families. Now, they may be forced to return to Liberia at the show of slight improvements in the nation and leave their homes here.

The StarTribune wrote an article about the U.S. House voting to expend the temporary protected status for another year. But like the interviewee in the article says, a year goes by quickly.

The StarTribune spoke to Liberians and sought out their concerns, relief, thoughts on the issue. The article went in depth to cover the actual Senate bill and other government involvement.

The Pioneer Press article is much shorter with less content and also have no persons interviewed to show the direct issues of deportation after a temporary protection status is lifted.


International, national, and local coverage. The I-35W bridge collapsed and it news coverage hasn’t stopped since Wednesday around 6 p.m.

I’ve followed Fox 9, KSTP, KARE 11, WCCO, CNN, StarTribune, Pioneer Press, LA Times, and New York Times.

The collapse and updates of the rescue and recovery missions are the headlines.

When the event first occurred, KSTP was one of the first stations to offer video footage and an online image. StarTribune had a paragraph that said the bridge has collapsed and more updates are to follow. The Pioneer Press had a few sentences.

Around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Fox 9 focused much of its video footage on the night coverage of the bridge wreck.

KSTP, KARE 11, and WCCO spoke to a lot of different people and interviewed people who were watching, involved, or avoided the event.

CNN, national news seemed to be blind-sighted for a good majority of the time as it didn’t have any footage for the first 25 minutes and then requested those who live near the area, saw the event, or were involved to call in.

StarTribune and Pioneer Press has been updating multiple stories relating to the event and numbers of injuries, death, and missing have been different several times a day.

Every channel, every website is offering different information but focused on the bridge structure and its investigation, rescue and recovery missions and dangers, people who have been helping, medical emergencies, government response, public officials information release, and people who are involved.

The following links are to some articles, footages, and images.

Pioneer Press


New York Times

LA Times





Overall, I believe there’s a lot of witness stories as well as details about those who are still missing their loved ones. A news station stated that they spoke to some families who have a family member injured or missing and that they have decided not to ask them to speak on camera to respect their need in a time of tragedy.

This is an example of local news reporting being more in-depth and richer with detail compared to national news reporting.

July 25, 2007

Social links may spread obesity.

A study found, after 32 years of close observation of more than 12,000 people, people may be more likely to become obese when their friends are obese.

The New York Times had very detailed information about the sociological information about the obesity epidemic in America and the social influences of close friends or mutual friends of those who are overweight.

The LA Times had more numbers and statistics about the study compared to the explanation of how the study was conducted or what the results meant.

Harry Potter Spoilers

Compared to all other articles that I’ve read by both the New York Times and the LA Times, I think this may be the only occasion where the LA Times has an article that is longer than the NY Times.

As the opening sales of the last Harry Potter book of the seven book series is approaching, there are rumors of the possible endings and self-proclaiming spoilers for the book.

It turns out, 20 books were shipped a few days early from an online shopping company.

The NY Times focuses mainly on the issue of early shipments and other actions that J.K. Rowling’s publishers are taking.

The LA Times focuses more on Rowling’s comments and elaborates on the issue of early shipment.

Explosion in NY

One person died and more than 30 others were injured in a steam pipe explosion near the Grand Central Terminal in New York.

The New York Times presents the news to concentrate on the explosion, explains the scene of the event and how people reacted to the shock. Many were afraid that the event might have been terror related. Explosions of pipes have occurred previously. The worry about this event is that the when the pipes were laid in the 20’s, asbestos may have been used.

The LA Times article about the same event is much shorter, delivers less detailed information about the scene, and focuses more on the people’s perspectives on the possibility of terrorism compared to the asbestos contamination issues.

July 12, 2007

Cancer report about Asian-Americans

The New York Times reported that the American Cancer Society released a report that show distinct patterns of cancer occurrences in Asian-Americans. They have found that some cultures of the Asian population in the U.S., Specifically California, are more likely to develop cancer when they are more integrated into the American lifestyle. It was also reported that some populations are more likely to develop certain types of cancer more than other groups due to their dietary habits and beliefs about the health examinations.

I was unable to find an article in the LA Times.

Prostitution Services in Burnsville

An Eagan teen is suspected of running a prostitute service and is under investigation by the federal authorities.

Justine Alex Reisdorf was charged last month for recruiting minors for prostitution after the teenage girls told investigators about Reisdorf’s operations.

Reisdorf posted the prostitution services on and when became a target of investigation, moved her services to telephone chat line ‘Lava Links’.

According to officials, Reisdorf used code words such as roses instead of dollars, and operated the prostitution services at a Burnsville motel where she worked.

The article about Reisdorf was found on the StarTribune website. I searched for another article relating to this event but non were found.

July 5, 2007

Fatal Crash in Princeton

Both the StarTribune and the Pioneer Press cover the story of an accident involving a semi-truck on Highway 95 in Princeton that kills four and injures another.

The StarTribune focuses greatly on how the family and friends are saying farewell to their friends. They wrote about how there are those who visit the site of the accident as their last goodbye before leaving for the war, etc. The article also talks about how accidents involving teenage drivers seem to be rising and what people are saying about it. The details of the accident are still under investigation, however the article by the StarTribune gives detailed information about what the officials are saying. The article ends by talking about how fatal crashes involving teenagers affect others.

The Pioneer Press focuses on the individual stories of the victims of the crash. They give little to no detail about the accident in one article while giving short and brief details about the accident in others. It would have been nice to see a mix of both so that readers don’t need to click around to see all sides of the story.

Tuberculosis Scare

An Atlanta lawyer caused scares internationally due to his tuberculosis condition. Andrew Speaker, learned of the severity of his illness when he was on his honeymoon in Europe. U.S. Health officials’ advised Speaker to receive medical treatment in Greece. Speaker disregarded the officials and flew to Canada and drove to the U.S. border. Speaker then convinced the border guards to let him cross the border, even though the Department of Homeland Security was asked by the CDC to bar him from entering the U.S. When Speaker re-entered, he voluntarily checked into a hospital for treatment. After laboratory tests returned, Speaker’s condition was downgraded from the original diagnosis.

This story was covered in both the New York Times and the LA Times.

The New York Times wrote the article based on what events occurred and focused on the facts that the CDC’s tests gave false results.

The LA Times wrote the article based on the fact that Speaker disregarded public safety measures and now could have infected others while flying back to the U.S.

June 28, 2007

Road Rage

On Saturday, a 15-year-old girl was killed in an automobile accident on Interstate I-35E.

Samantha Kelly was a passenger in a Jeep along with her boyfriend, a driver, and several other friends.

The accident is believed to be caused by a possible road-rage incident. The driver of another vehicle tailgated the vehicle carrying the teens and then cut them off quickly when the driver of the Jeep tapped on the breaks.

The Jeep lost control when the driver of the car, described by witnesses as an Audi or Nissan, slammed on the breaks after cutting off the SUV carrying the teenagers.

According to officials, the Jeep rolled about five times and the 15-year-old girl was partially thrown from the car and her boyfriend is now in critical condition at the Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul.

The officials are now saying that some of the Jeep passengers were not wearing seatbelts.

The police are asking people with any additional information about the accident or the driver to contact them.

This story has been covered multiple times since the accident. The first several articles about the story included details about the accident and the cause of it.

The story covered on June 26th by StarTribune is still focusing on the details of the accident. The story added more information about the passengers of the Jeep and interviewed more people connected to the event.

The story covered by Pioneer Press has changed its angle from the details of the accident to seatbelts usage and safe driving practices for teens. Pioneer Press includes more interviews from people connected to the event and also includes information about seatbelt safety, dangers of rollovers in SUVs, and tips on avoiding road rage.

The StarTribune does not include additional information outside of the accident and seems to be repeating a lot of the information from its previous articles. Pioneer Press seems to have done a greater amount of research on related topics to the accident. However, Pioneer Press misspells names of some of the interviewees and other words.


Studies are now showing that antidepressants are rated as low risks for birth defects.

The federal centers for Disease Control and Boston University is showing that although birth defects could be caused when pregnant women use antidepressants, they may not be in greater risk than those who are not using antidepressants.

The study has been focused on drugs that are used for depression and anxiety. Paxil is one of the brands that were studied. The drug warns that taking the drug may cause birth defects.

Although Paxil did have some possible connections with defects that are rare, officials are saying that using antidepressants may or may not increase the possibility of defects.

Still, women should be speaking to their doctors about the possible risks before pregnancy.

The story was covered in both the New York Times and LA Times.

The New York Times article focused the point that not enough cases were investigated to have solid information that can support the research regarding low risks in pregnancy due to antidepressant usage. The article included more health defects and conditions that could arise with usage of the medication.

The LA Times wrote more in favor of antidepressant usage in pregnant women and even stated that being able to the medication may benefit children from decreasing lack of care and depression in homes.

The New York Times included more information about the research and the lack of investigation about antidepressant effects on birth defects compared to the positive message from the LA Times about the low risk of defects caused by antidepressants.

June 21, 2007

The health department suppressed information about significant health issue.

The Star Tribune reported on June 19th that the Minnesota Health Department held back information from research about Mesothelioma cancers that infected 35 more miners than 17 that had already been reported on.

The article can be found at:

In March 2006, a research uncovered that a deadly asbestos-related cancers affected 35 more Iron Range miners than what the department had known about. The information was withheld for a year. Now that the department has decided to report the information, criticism and issues about the delay are arising.

The health department webpage is:

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer, “of the membranes lining the chest, abdominal cavities, or heart?, that only occurs in about 1 percent of all cancer cases. The cause of the cancer is related closely to high asbestos exposures. The cancer may not occur until years after exposure to the asbestos and usually spread through the body after beginning in the membrane lining of lungs.

The information about mesothelioma was found on the Mayo Clinic websites:


Although department officials are saying that the reason for the delay was to further research on the asbestos related cases, scientists and the United Steelworkers are criticizing the department for suppressing the information from the public.

For more information about the United Steelworkers:

*Note: This blog was edited on 11:13AM on June 22nd, 2007 to add links to websites listed in the entry.

Nine firefighters died on duty - June 19th, 2007

A New York Times article reported on the deadly fire that killed nine fire fighters on June 19th. According to the article, it was one of the deadliest fires they have seen in Charleston.

The article can be found at the following web address:

On June 19th, nine firefighters died on duty. A fire blazed in a furniture store in Charleston, S.C., and took to lives of the firefighters when a section of the store collapsed. The reason of the fire is still under investigation but arson is not suspected. The firefighters had at that point rescued people who were trapped inside the building. Across the country, 47 firefighters have died on duty this year. The Charleston fire chief said that he lost nine of his best firefighters in this fire.

More information about statistics about firefighters and fires across the country can be found at:

Note: This blog was edited 11:11AM on June 22nd, 2007 to provide links to the websites listed in the entry.

June 14, 2007

Ovarian cancer could be detected early.

Like most types of illnesses, ovarian cancer is hard to detect and symptoms go unnoticed by women until it’s too late. Yesterday, cancer experts released a list of symptoms that could possibly help early detection of ovarian cancer.

The story about ovarian cancer and the list of symptoms can be found at:

Ovarian cancer is called a ‘silent killer’ because it is difficult to detect early. It is estimated by the Mayo Clinic that about 20,000 women will develop ovarian cancer this year and 15,000 may result in death. Health experts are hoping that the list of possible symptoms will help early detection of the disease, which could improve the chance of survival for patients.

Mayo Clinic's webpage has more information about ovarian cancer:

Although the American Cancer Society and other health groups released the list of ovarian cancer symptoms, the cancer society’s director of breast and gynecologic cancer believes that the list of symptoms may be more harmful than beneficial in the long run.

Women who recognize the possible symptoms of ovarian cancer could be experiencing other health complications such as irritable bowel syndrome and not ovarian cancer. Suspecting ovarian cancer could lead to tests, biopsies, and other medical procedures that may not be necessary and sometimes dangerous to patients.

National Cancer Institute’s website has more information about ovarian cancer. It is important for women to speak to their healthcare provider if they are concerned about their health to protect themselves from illnesses.

National Cancer Institute's website shows statistics and other information about the illness:

*Note: This blog has been edited 11:15AM on June 22nd, 2007 to add links to websites in the entry.