October 2012 Archives

Minneapolis teacher, 40, dies in classroom

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A teacher at an alternative Minneapolis high school collapsed in front of her students and died, Tuesday.

Lori Blomme, 40, had taught at Menlo Park Academy since 2003.

Students were taken out of the classroom and moved to they gymnasium while paramedics attended to Blomme, said the Pioneer Press.

Family and friends are baffled by Blomme's sudden death.

"Lori led a very busy life," the Star Tribune said. "The family has no immediate clue about why she died and are awaiting autopsy results."

Analysis: Multimedia Outlets in News Organizations

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Most news organizations have stepped up their game and have gone digital in order to amass more readers.

Both the New York Times and the Huffington Post now offer more on-the-go options for the public. Free mobile news apps and online access are the most popular way that readers can access the news in addition to the traditional print publications.

These multimedia options compliment the news because it allows faster distribution of the information and more access to "breaking news".

In addition to more access to breaking news, the style in which these stories are written in has changed. Many of these stories that are online are now much shorter and often only include ledes and quick descriptions of the situation.

Bring It On and R&B Star, Natina Reed, Dead At 32.

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Actress and singer, Natina Reed, died Friday, Oct. 26, after being struck by a car while crossing a street in Georgia.

According to the Huffington Post, police determined the driver of the vehicle was not at fault and there are no charges pending.

"It is unclear why Reed was in the road," the Associated Press said.

Reed rose to fame as part of a 1990s girl R&B group, Blaque, and also starred in 2000's film Bring It On. She is survived by her 10-year-old son, Tren.

A trial is set to begin Monday for a 10-year-old California boy who is charged with killing his father, a known Neo-Nazi.

It was reported by the New York Times that, "just before dawn on May 1, 2011, Joseph Hall went into his family's living room armed with a snub-nosed revolver, pointed it at his father's head as he lay sleeping on the couch, and shot and killed him."

The boy's motives for killing his father remain a mystery.

"Prosecutors say the boy deliberately gunned down his father Jeff Hall at the family's home in Riverside," said Southern California Public Radio. "His public defender has argued the boy is mentally unfit to stand trial."

If convicted, Hall will remain in custody until he is 25.

In just one hour a Hennepin County jury convicted a man of playing a major role in an interstate methamphetamine ring, Friday.

Pedro Ayala-Leyva, 37, also known as Peli, was found guilty of first-degree drug-trafficking conspiracy for the ring which ran from the Twin Cities to California.

"He is the last of 11 major defendants to be convicted following the eight-month investigation by St. Paul police, the FBI and other agencies," the Star Tribune said.

Ayala-Leyva was not immediately arrested when the ring was busted 10 months ago, but after a search through the home he shared with two other suspected drug dealers revealed papers investigators believed to be "drug notes", he was charged with drug-trafficking conspiracy according to a March Pioneer Press report.

Ayala-Leyva's hearing is scheduled for Nov. 29.

Vigil Held For Woman Killed By Her Husband

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A candlelight vigil was held for Tensia Martinez Richard by friends and family, Saturday.

The 22-year-old, mother of two was shot to death by her estranged husband, Thursday.

"He lured her out of an Anytime Fitness at a Cottage Grove strip mall and killed her in a nearby Jimmy John's sandwich shop," the Star Tribune said. "He then fatally shot himself."

According to KSTP reporter Todd Wilson, police say there was a history of domestic abuse between Richard and her husband.

The small gathering of Richard's loved ones was held in a field adjacent to the Jimmy John's where she was gunned down.

Legendary English rocker, Gary Glitter, has been arrested by police investigating child sex abuse allegations against late BBC television host, Jimmy Savile, on Sunday.

The arrest brings new speculation that Savile, a popular children's television host and disc jockey, was at the center of a pedophile ring. The arrest has also raised questions about whether or not the BBC had ignored child sex abuse allegations against Savile for decades.

"Its executives have apologized and vowed to uncover the true scale of the alleged abuse," the Associated Press said.

The 68-year-old Glitter has already had run-ins with the law. In 1999, Glitter was jailed in Britain for child pornography possession and in 2006, he was convicted in Vietnam for "committing obscene acts with children". He was later deported back to Britain in 2008.

"Glitter is the first person arrested in connection with the Savile abuse inquiry," said the BBC.

In this news story, the reporter has summarized the information in the martini glass style. In the lede they have given us the who, the what, the why and the where in a concise and compact way.

The nut graf goes into a bit more detail as to why this story is important, where it took place, and what happened as a result of the action. It is followed by a money quote given out by the mayor which pulls the reader in more.

The language of the piece is not overly complicated and sounds exactly how it would if the reporter was having a conversation about it with you. This is effective because it allows the reader to receive information without realizing they are.

I do not think if this was done differently it would be as effective. The kicker at the end of the piece really ties the story up neatly while still outlining that there will be more information provided as more insight is gained.

First Native American Canonized By Pope Benedict XVI

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Seven more saints including the first Native American, were canonized Sunday morning by Pope Benedict XVI.

Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th century Mohawk Indian, was born in what is now New York in 1656.

Orphaned at age 4 by Smallpox that left her scarred and partially blind, Tekakwitha was one of the most devout Native American converts.

Since Tekakwitha's death in 1680 at age 24 in Montreal, many miracles have been attributed to her, the most recent occurred in 2007 when a 7-year-old boy was inexplicably cured of a flesh eating disease that according to doctors was supposed to have killed him.

"Near death, he was given last rites. At that point, the local priest suggested praying to Kateri for an intervention. Jake recovered and the cure was deemed by the Vatican to be medically inexplicable - a miracle," said Canada's Globe and Mail.

The road to sainthood is difficult and complicated. "The Vatican's complicated saint-making procedure requires that the Vatican certify a "miracle" was performed through the intercession of the candidate - a medically inexplicable cure that can be directly linked to the prayers offered by the faithful," said the Associated Press. "One miracle is needed for beatification, a second for canonization."

Tekakwitha was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II.

Drought conditions are depleting Minnesota's water reserves and causing state officials to urge Minnesotans to conserve their resources.

The Department of Natural Resources is asking agricultural, commercial and industrial to limit their use outdoor irrigation and implement conservation measures, according to the Star Tribune.

According to DNR commissionar, Tom Landwehr, even though per-capita water consumption is decreasing nationwide, Minnesota's water use per resident is actually increasing.

"Nearly one-half of Minnesota is in severe drought or worse, rivaling the extreme drought of the late1980s," the Pioneer Press said.

"Its time to take water conservation more seriously," Landwehr said.

Appeals Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

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A Manhattan federal appeals court has become the second in the country to rule the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, Thursday.

According to the Washington Post, the decision made by the 2nd U.S. Circuit of Appeals upholds the 1996 ruling made by a lower court judge that defining marriage between one man and one woman was unconstitutional.

"The three judge panel says the law violates equal protection. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional," the Huffington Post said.

Whether or not DOMA is truly unconstitutional will be decided by the Supreme Court at a later date.

Armstrong Steps Down As Chair of Cancer-Charity

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Lance Armstrong has stepped down from his position as chairman of his well-known cancer-fighting charity, Livestrong and Nike has cut ties with Armstrong as fallout from Armstrong's doping scandal escalated Wednesday.

"Shortly after Armstrong announced his resignation as chair of the charity, Nike released a statement announcing they would no longer have any ties with the cycling legend, however, they will continue to support Livestrong," said the Huffington Post.

This news comes a week after the United States Anti-Doping Agency made its evidence of Armstrong being the linch-pin of an organized doping program on his Tour de France winning teams public.

Nike, which has stood by Armstrong for more than a decade of doping allegations, was prompted by "insurmountable evidence" to terminate their contract with Armstrong according to the New York Times.

With Armstrong stepping down as chair, vice chairman, Jeff Garvey, will step up and assume Armstrong's duties. However, Armstrong will still remain on the board.

Felix Baumgartner Shatters Sound Barrier

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On the 65th anniversary of the day Chuck Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier in a jet, Felix Baumgartner became the first sky-diver to break the sound barrier.

"The 43-year-old former Austrian paratrooper with more than 2,500 jumps behind him had taken off early Sunday in a capsule carried by a 55-story ultra-thin helium balloon." The Associated Press reported.

In a record busting time of over 833.9 miles per hour or Mach 1.24, Baumgartner shattered the previous free-fall record of speed and altitude set by Joe Kittinger half a century ago.

But it was not merely an Evel Kineval type stunt, Baumgartner's free-fall from an altitude of 128,100 feet, was financed in part by NASA.

"Mr. Baumgartner was backed by a NASA-style mission control operation at an airfield in Roswell that involved 300 people," The New York Times reported. "Including more than 70 engineers, scientists and physicians who have been working for five years on the project."

Minnesotan native is now oldest person in Minnesota

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On Sunday, Anna Stoehr celebrated her 112th birthday, making her the oldest Minnesotan and the 30th oldest person in the world.

Stoehr, who still lives at home alone, has continued to live independently despite her age. "Last spring, Stoehr's family persuaded her to hire an aide to come help clean twice a week" the Star Tribune reported. "That lasted a week, when Stoehr decided it was a waste of money to do what she could for herself."

According to the Gerontology Research group, Stoehr is on the list as the 14th oldest American Supercentenarian.

Sandusky Sentenced To 30 Years in Prison

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A judge sentenced former Penn State assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky to a minimum of 30 years in prison for child molestation on Tuesday.
After hearing testimony from 8 of Sandusky's 10 victims, Judge John Cleland delivered his sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison. According to CBS News, "This is essentially a life sentence for the 68-year-old Sandusky."
Sandusky was convicted in June of several charges of child molestation. "He had faced a maximum of 400 years for dozens of charges stemming from his sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period," said CNN
In concordance with Pennsylvania law, Sandusky will not be up for parole until the minimum 30 year sentence has been served.

Venezuelan Elections Give Chavez 6 More Years

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Long-time Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, has won another 6 more years in office. According to the Associated Press Chavez won 54% of the vote defeating his opponent, Henrique Capriles who won about 44% of the vote. "The 10-point victory margin was Chavez's tightest yet." Said the Associated Press.

Chavez's victory has come as a relief to some countries, such as Cuba and Nicaragua. According to the BBC, several countries will welcome Chavez's victory because they benefit from his Petrocaribe initiatives that provides oil from Venezuela at cheaper rates.

This will be Chavez's 4th term as Venezuelan president.

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