October 2011 Archives

Man broke into an Oregon house to watch TV

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by Sarah Harper

A man broke into a home in Oregon Sunday to watch TV and was punched in the head by a resident when he refused to leave, police said.

The Associated Press reported that Jason Leon Bastrom, 32, was charged with criminal trespass.

Bastrom let himself into the house through an unlocked front door, according to the Portland Tribune. Then he sat on the couch to watch TV.

A resident of the house called the police and a family member who lived nearby.

Police said the family member confronted Bastrom and then punched him in the head, according to the AP.

The punch knocked Bastrom unconscious. Authorities brought him to the hospital before taking him to the Multnomah County Jail.

Suicide bombing in southeast Turkey

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by Sarah Harper

Authorities said a suicide bomber killed two people and injured 12 others in the Kurdish region of Turkey, reported The Associated Press.

It happened on one of the busiest streets in Bingol, Turkey, a mainly Kurdish city.

According to the New York Times, the suicide bomber was a female. It was unclear what her target was, but the attack occurred near local headquarters for the governing Justice and Development Party, officials said.

Although no claim has been made on the attack, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, aka P.K.K., has been targeted by the Turkish government ever since they killed 24 soldiers on Oct. 19.

The P.K.K. has been fighting for autonomy since 1984, according to the New York Times.

University of Minnesota invests in wind energy

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by Sarah Harper

The University of Minnesota turned on its new wind turbine Tuesday in Rosemount, Minnesota.

The 2.5 megawatt wind turbine is located at the university's new Wind Energy Research Station at UMore Park, according to KARE.

The Minnesota Daily reported that the station comprises a meteorological tower, which collects data on the wind velocity, turbulence and weather conditions.

This project is the result of a $7.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of energy. Partnering companies and the University contributed $3.4 million.

Jeff Marr, a lead researcher for the wind energy station, said the new technologies will increase wind energy's efficiency, reported the Minnesota Daily.

Plymouth artist wins federal duck stamp honors again

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by Sarah Harper

A Minnesota artist's painting will be turned into a federal duck stamp, the U.S. Fish and Wildfre Service said Saturday.

Joseph Hautman of Plymouth has won the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest three times, according to the Star Tribune.

The Fish and Wildlife Service pours the money raised by the federal duck stamp into conserving the wetlands for wildlife and people.

Hautman's wood duck painting will go on sale in late June 2012, reported the Star Tribune.

The Republic reported that Hautman painted a green-headed wood duck. The second place went to a South Dakota man, Adam Grimm.

More than 2 million lose power in Northeast

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by Sarah Harper

At least three people died and more than 2.3 million people lost power Sunday across the Northeast after an unusual fall snow storm.

The deaths occurred in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut, according to the New York Times.

The Associated Press reported that the unseasonable nor'easter hit areas from Maine to Maryland with high winds and heavy snowdrifts.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut said at a briefing Sunday morning that more than 750,000 Connecticut homes were without power, the New York Times reported.

It is unclear when people will regain power.

Analysis: Multimedia

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Note: I accidentally did the speech analysis last week. Here is that entry.

by Sarah Harper

The multimedia options offered by the Minnesota Daily are much more user friendly than those offered by the New York Times. While the New York Times' multimedia section is buried in a monotonous toolbar, the Daily's multimedia section is featured with a large, noticeable tab on the top of the front page.

The Daily features photos, slide shows and videos. The Times features those, in addition to interactive maps and graphics. The type of writing done by the Daily's multimedia department is sparse and strictly descriptive. Especially under photographs and videos, the Daily's multimedia writing is as brief as possible. It offers little detail. In the slide show story, "Atmosphere at TCF Bank Stadium," no slide is accompanied by more than one sentence. Some have no caption. The overall style is clean and simple, with no unnecessary information at all.

The Times' multimedia section is different in that slide shows alone function as comprehensive news stories. Their cutlines include "the whole story" of any issue. Not only do writers describe what is going on in the pictures, they contextualize it for the reader. The slide show, "Old School in Silicon Valley," could function as a new stories if you took their pictures out. The characteristics of this kind of writing are thoroughness, detail and factual information.

by Sarah Harper

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has committed to spend nearly $1 million to fund the University of Minnesota's research on hazelnut growth in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Daily reported that the Ag. Department gave 19 schools grants to research "specialized crops," according to the USDA. The University was given a total of $903,909.

Hazelnuts are important because they can be refined into biodiesel fuel, said Jeff Jensen of the Minnesota Hazelnut Foundation in the Minnesota Daily story.

Scientists at a research site in Rosemount have been trying to cross the state's native hazelnuts with European varieties, according to the Pioneer Press.

"The question is, 'Can you develop the native plant found here in Minnesota into a viable food and energy crop?'" said University professor Don Wyse, reported the Pioneer Press.

Tunisia takes historic steps toward democracy

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by Sarah Harper

Millions of Tunisians voted Sunday for an assembly to draft a new constitution.

This historic event occurred ten months after the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi spurred the Arab Spring movement, according to Reuters.

The New York Times reported that Tunisians waited in orderly lines to cast their votes.

Many Tunisians said that the most important choice in the election was whether to vote for the country's moderate Islamist party, Ennahda, or against it, reported the New York Times.

Reuters reported that the leader of the Ennahda party, Rachid Ghannouchi, cast his vote in the El Menzah 6 district of the capital, Tunis.

"Tunisia was born today. The Arab Spring was born today," Ghannouchi said.

by Sarah Harper

Two Rochester women were convicted Thursday of conspiring to funnel money to a terrorist group in Somalia.

Amina Farah Ali, 35, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 64, were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Shabab, according to The Associated Press. Shabab is a Somali terrorist group that the United States considers to have ties with Al Qaeda.

The Rochester women were sentenced in a courtroom in Minneapolis and immediately taken into custody, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the New York Times, Ali and Hassan were two of 20 people charged in Minnesota's ongoing federal investigations into support for the Shabab.

"These two defendants made a conscious choice to violate U.S. laws by sending money to an organization that they knew was a terrorist organization. And today, they were held accountable for that choice," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Paulsen said, according to the Star Tribune.

All troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year

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by Sarah Harper

President Obama announced that he will withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by Dec. 31.

Obama spoke with Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki Friday to make the decision public, according to CNN.

According to CNN, 150 of the 39,000 troops in Iraq will stay to help with arms sales, a U.S. official said.

"Across America, our servicemen and women will be reunited with their families," President Obama said, according to NPR.

Obama, who criticized the war from its start nine years ago, will fulfill a promise he made to citizens four years ago, reports NPR.

Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough said the U.S. will still provide Iraq with military trainers, according to NPR.

Analysis: Press conference reporting

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by Sarah Harper

On Oct. 6, President Obama spoke at a press conference for an hour and 14 minutes in the East Room of the White House.

The same day, Matthew Daly wrote an article for the Associated Press called "Obama defends Solyndra loan, says solar viable."

The writer made several significant choices concerning the news report.

First, when the AP reporter attributed quotes to President Obama, he made it clear that what was said was said at a news conference - but not until the fourth paragraph. This is significant because the reporter is telling us that the news was not that there was a press conference. The news value comes from what President Obama said. The fact that there was a news conference was not as important or newsworthy.

Second, the AP reporter in no way tried to summarize everything that was discussed at the news conference. President Obama touched on a wide range of topics at the news conference, but the writer zeroed in on the Solyndra loan and the topic of solar power.

Third, the AP article's focus was different from the focus of the news conference. On Oct. 6, President Obama did speak about many things, but the topic he devoted most focus to was the American Jobs Act. The cutline of one of the story's photographs mentions the jobs bill, but other than that, the writer did not mention it. This is significant because it shows that reports of news conferences do not always represent the news conference itself, rather, articles represent what reporters found newsworthy during the press conference.

by Sarah Harper

Thousands of people came together Sunday to dedicate and celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

The memorial is the first on the Mall to honor an African American, according to the Washington Post.

"Nearly 50 years after the March on Washington, our work, King's work, is not complete" said President Obama, reported NPR.

The Washington Post reported that King's 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech was telecast to the crowd.

Singe Aretha Franklin sang the gospel hymn she said was one of King's favorites - "Precious Lord."

According to the Washington Post, the dedication had originally been scheduled for Aug. 28 but was delayed seven weeks because of Hurricane Irene and the Aug. 23 earthquake.

Grand jury indicts bishop for failing to report abuse

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by Sarah Harper

A grand jury has indicted a Kansas City, Mo., bishop and his diocese on a child endangerment charge, prosecutors said Friday.

Roman Catholic Bishop Robert W. Finn, 58, pleaded not guilty on the charge of failing to report suspected child abuse by a priest from Independence, Mo., reported CNN News.

According to the New York Times, the case marks the first time that the leader of an American bishop has been held criminally reprimanded for the behavior of a priest in his diocese.

Finn admitted he knew about Rev. Shawn Ratigan taking pornographic photographs of girls in December, but he did not turn them into the police until May, reported the New York Times.

CNN reported that if found guilty, Finn will potentially serve up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for the class A misdemeanor.

No tents for Occupy MN protesters

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by Sarah Harper

Authorities refused to let demonstrators set up tents in the plaza between Minneapolis City Hall and the Hennepin County Government Center.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek has met with the Occupy MN protesters every morning as part of a policy of engagement between demonstrators and authorities, according to The Associated Press.

Sheriff's officers took several tents down early Sunday, reported MPR News.

A temporary, 20-by-30-foot roofed structure has been allowed by the county, but nothing else, reported the AP.

"This is a public place, but it is not a campground," County Administrator Richard Johnson said, according to the AP.

MPR News reported that the demonstrators, who want economic equality, were sleeping in the tents at around 1:30 a.m. when authorities took them down.

Charges against Strauss-Kahn dropped

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by Sarah Harper

Legal officials chose not to prosecute Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of attempted rape, according to the New York Times.

Reuters reported that French public prosecutors dropped the investigation against the former chief of the International Monetary Fund due to lack of evidence.

Tristane Banon, a writer, accused Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape after an interview in a Paris flat eight years ago.

The New York Times reported that this is the second time French officials have chosen to not prosecute Strauss-Kahn.

Officials did not have much choice in the matter due to lack of physical evidence and the age of the case, according to the New York Times.

East Ridge student dead after Monday car crash

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by Sarah Harper

A Woodbury teenager died Friday after a two-vehicle accident on Monday.

Braedon Hyland, 18, was in critical condition after the crash in Afton, according to the Star Tribune.

Fox Twin Cities reported that students at East Ridge High School, where Hyland was a senior, are mourning their classmate's death.

Blake Sowle, 17, was driving the car. A hospital spokeswoman said he remained in critical condition Friday, reported the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune reported that Hyland and Sowle were driving their car at Neal Avenue South and 15th Street South in Afton when a pickup truck collided into their car, the Sheriff's Office said.

The driver of the pickup truck, Benjamin Lower, and his passengers -- a 6-year-old girl and two 3-year-old girls -- were treated for injuries at a Stillwater hospital, according to the Star Tribune.

Analysis: Spot and Follow in Amanda Knox story

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by Sarah Harper

The Los Angeles Times followed up on their Tuesday article, "ITALY: Amanda Knox released from prison" with a story on Wednesday, "ITALY: Amanda Knox leaves Italy for U.S."

The lead in the first-day story accurately summarizes the whole story - or at least, the story up to that point. The writer reported that Knox's murder conviction was overturned and that she was released from Italian prison. The writer of the follow story used updated information: the second-day lead focuses on Knox departing Italy for the U.S.

In the follow story, the information about the murder conviction being overturned is not introduced until the fourth paragraph. This second-day story advances the story by assuming that readers already know about the result of Knox's trial.

This is significant - the Los Angeles Times does not need to summarize the entire story for readers. Instead, the writer picked up with the most recent information and backtracked to a general summary later in the article.

The competition for coverage of the Amanda Knox trial was fierce, due to the news value of conflict. Not to mention that Americans have been invested in the development of the Amanda Knox saga since 2007. After the third paragraph in both stories, readers are linked to photos of the appeal.

Three women's rights activists win Nobel Peace Prize

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by Sarah Harper

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to two women from Liberia and one woman from Yemen in London.

All three women are leaders of their nations' nonviolent women's rights struggles, according to the Los Angeles Times.

CNN reported that the award went to Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni rights activist Twakkul Karman.

Johnson-Sirleaf is Africa's first female head of state to be elected democratically, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Gbowee is known as a peace "warrior" for her work challenging warlords.

According to CNN, Karman was demonstrating in the Yemeni capital when she heard the news - Karman is the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

At least nine protesters killed in Syria

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by Sarah Harper

Syrian security forces opened fire and killed at least nine protesters demonstrating against the regime of President Bashar Assad on Saturday, according to anti-government activists.

According to the Washington Post, forces killed protesters in several parts of the country.

The Los Angeles Times reported that at least five demonstraters were killed in the heavily Kurdish city of Qamishli.

Those people were mourning the slaying of Mashaal Tammo, a Kurdish opposition leader.

Qamishli protesters shouted the Kurdish word for freedom, "Azadi," as they swarmed the hospital where Tammo was taken, reported the Washington Post.

Three people from Woodbury die at the Grand Canyon

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by Sarah Harper

A Woodbury, Minn. man and his two children were found dead Monday in a burning motor home near the Grand Canyon in what may have been a double-murder suicide, according to authorities.

The Star Tribune reported that Tony DeHaven, 35, his son, Jace DeHaven, 11, and daughter, Jersey DeHaven, 5, were discovered when park visitors and a ranger noticed smoke inside the RV after 7 a.m. Monday, said Debbie Brenchley, district ranger for the National Park Service.

The National Park Service announced Wednesday that the deaths were not accidental, reported the Pierce County Herald.

It has not been confirmed that the deaths were the doing of Tony DeHaven. A news release from the Grand Canyon National Park stated that additional investigation is ongoing.

Jace and Jersey DeHaven were students at Skyview Elementary in Oakdale.

Eleanor Mondale remembered at Minneapolis service

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by Sarah Harper

Over 1,000 people gathered in Minneapolis Wednesday for a memorial service to honor the memory of Eleanor Mondale Poling, daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale and former broadcast journalist.

KARE reports that supporters and friends came together with Mondale Poling's family at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral to share stories about the radio and TV personality's life.

The Pioneer Press reported that government representatives peppered the cathedral -- among them were Gov. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Sam Kaplan.

William Mondale, her brother, shared the story of the siblings saving a dog from the middle of a Los Angeles Interstate.

"She saved animals like people save receipts," William Mondale said, according to the Pioneer Press.

Steve Jobs dead

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by Sarah Harper

Steve Jobs, the founder and CEO of Apple, died Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports that Apple announced Jobs' death without giving specific cause.

Jobs had pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer, which is a rare form of pancreatic cancer, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to the AP, Jobs resigned from Apple six weeks ago. He handed his company to Tim Cook.

The Los Angeles Time reported that Jobs was diagnosed in 2003.

Jobs could not have done much differently to fight the cancer, said Dr. Jack Jacoub, a medical oncologist at MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley.

by Sarah Harper

The progression of information in The Associated Press' news story "Occupy Wall Street Protesters March Against NYPD" is simple and straightforward.

The reporter's lead truly tells the whole story. The important action is recounted here.

The second paragraph refreshes the reader with what is essentially the same information. More details, including a proper name and a specific location are given.

The third paragraph provides more context and answers the "Why?" question.

The remaining paragraphs continue to give background information, context, and tangentially related information.

The reporter summarized the important elements in the first and second paragraphs. The rest were somewhat less important, but the way they were organized is logical and easy to follow. It makes sense to follow up the paragraph about criticisms of officers with a paragraph about criticisms of the media because they both describe the protesters' conflicts.

An interesting feature of the progression is the arrangement of the final three paragraphs. The reporter waited until the last paragraph to include information that Friday's march was peaceful and that there were no arrests. The paragraphs leading up to this revelation include reports of strife and dramatic conflict between police officers and protesters.

If the final paragraph preceded the paragraphs describing the conflict, it would have changed the way the conflict was interpreted. If a reader knows that Friday's march was peaceful, they might dismiss the conflict between protesters and the media and police as unimportant. By saving the peaceful news for the end, the reporter forced readers to care about the conflict.

Listeria outbreak leads to lettuce recall

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by Sarah Harper

A California lettuce farm recalled 2,498 cartons of romaine lettuce Thursday over concerns that they may be contaminated with listeria.

According to CNN, True Leaf Farms and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first recalled 90 cartons of shredded and chopped romaine lettuce on Thursday.

Eating food contaminated with listeria can cause fever, aching muscles and gastrointestinal problems. The FDA said that no illnesses have been reported.

A random sample of the cartons of shredded and chopped romaine lettuce contained listeria monocytogenes.

The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported that listeria contamination can cause miscarriages and stillbirths for pregnant women.

More than 700 arrested in Wall Street protests

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by Sarah Harper

Police have arrested more than 700 anti-Wall Street protesters Saturday on New York's Brooklyn Bridge.

The Associated Press reports that even after these arrests in Brooklyn, protesters continue to camp out in protest of corporate greed.

Members of Occupy Wall Street, the group that has been speaking out against Manhattan's Financial District, were told by police to stay on the pedestrian pathway as they marched on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Police arrested those who veered onto the roadway.

Greg Basta, an official with New York Communities for Change, said that police encouraged protesters to walk on the roadway, according to the Huffington Post.

Police said that nobody was tricked into being arrested.

Protesters who have been at Zuccotti Park since Sept. 17 said they plan to stay there until the structure of Wall Street changes.

Family of murder victim settles with alarm company

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by Sarah Harper

The family of a woman shot dead in her bed in 2006 made an agreement Friday with the alarm company whose intrusion alarm failed.

The Star Tribune reports that the financial settlement reached between the family of Teri Lee and ADT Security Services, Inc. will provide for the four children who survived the double murder for life.

Lee's ex-boyfriend, Steven Van Keuren, broke into a home and shot Teri Lee and Tim Hawkinson, according to KSTP.

Lee had bought an ADT system weeks before the shooting. Her family's attorneys believe that ADT did not install the system correctly.

According to the Star Tribune, Keuren cut Lee's phone lines and used a crowbar to shatter a glass patio door without the alarm system going off.

The exact amount of money that ADT will pay the family is sealed in federal court.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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