February 2011 Archives

Multimedia Analysis

In comparing two new organizations' multimedia options, I choose to analyze two local papers, the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press, respectively.

The Star Tribune has a slideshow on their home page of the top stories of the day. This portion is updated throughout the day. Also, each slide contains a photo with a caption about the story. Furthermore, it is easy accessible to read about the story because all you have to do is clink on the picture for a more elaborate story. It complement news stories because it keeps them updated. All the writing being used is considered a lead. It is generally a sentence or two related to the image being shown.

The Pioneer Press does have a multimedia option as well. However, you have to follow the multimedia link to access it. It is not on the home page like the Star Tribune. They do offer photo galaries with several sections, as well as videos by them and videos sent in by users. Their photo section does offer a couple hundred pages to select certain stories. Each story has an image next to it with a sentence or two about the image. When clicked on, a slideshow appears with text captions on each slide. This gives the reader a visual to the story. It appears that all of the news and writing are leads. Each slide is brief and advances the story.

A Two Harbors man pleaded guilty on Friday to animal neglect and maltreatment for hoarding over 100 cats, the Star Tribune said.

Edward Todd Stoehr, 70, will be fined $1,500 with all but $250 being stayed, and will also be sentenced for 180 days in jail, stayed for two years as part of his plea deal, according to the Star Tribune.

Stoehr, initially charged with a felony that was reduced to a misdemeanor, will be able to keep his dog pending an evaluation by a veterinarian. After six months probation he will be allowed two other pets if cleared be a psychologist, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

A former director of the Lake Superior Humane Society, Stoehr will be officially sentenced March 17, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

A Georgia politician with conservative beliefs said on Friday that he was stunned by a question about assassinating President Barack Obama, therefore he didn't immediately criticize the constituent who asked the question, Yahoo! News reported.

Paul Broun, a Republican, said he didn't want to dignify the question with a response. Broun has openly criticized the president in the past, Yahoo! News said.

An elderly audience member at a town hall meeting in Oglethorpe County, Georgia on Tuesday asked, "Who is going to shoot Obama?" Broun moved on to the next question without answering the initial question, the Huffington Post said.

"I deeply regret that this incident happened. I condemn all statements -- made in sincerity or jest -- that threaten or suggest the use of violence against the president of the United States or any other public official," Broun said. "Such rhetoric cannot and will not be tolerated," Yahoo! News reported.

Broun allegedly laughed after the question was asked, according to two witnesses, the Huffington Post said.

Broun later acknowledged disappointment with Obama at the meeting. "The thing is, I know there's a lot of frustration with this president. We're going to have an election next year," Broun said. "Hopefully, we'll elect somebody that's going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare," according to the Huffington Post.

After the meeting the Secret Service was alerted by Broun, Broun's office said, according to Yahoo! News.

The Secret Service said the man who made the comment is not considered a threat, a spokesman for the Secret Service said, Yahoo! News reported.

New premier named in Tunisia following weekend protests

A new premier in Tunisia has been named by Tunisia's interim president Foued Mebazza on Sunday, according to Yahoo! News.

"I proposed Beji Caid Essebsi for the position of prime minister, and he has accepted the responsbility," Mebazza said through a statement, Yahoo! News said.

Essebsi will replace longtime premier Mohammed Ghannouchi. Ghannouchi resigned on Sunday in hopes to bring stability back to the North African nation, according to the USA Today.

At least five people were killed over the weekend as a demonstraton turned violent. The protestors demanded resignation in the transitional government from some ministers, Yahoo! News reported.

Ghannouchi was believed to be to close to Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had been under a month of protests and was overthrown in January, the USA Today said.

Elementary school teacher settles for $100,000 with Edina district

An elementary school teacher reached a settlement of $100,000 with the Edina district on Tuesday, according to the Star Tribune.

Deborah York, 59, who was removed from her classroom in November 2009 following an incident in which she ended up with a sprained neck and back, voluntarily resigned for health reasons. York had dismissed a class, with the exception of a boy who shoved another student into a desk. The boy allegedly went after York as she used a chair to defend herself, the Star Tribune said.

A third party was hired by the district to see if York had violated state privacy laws since she allegedly communicated directly with the student's parents about the incident. She was put on administrative leave and the investigation ended up finding no reason for any disciplinary action, according to the Edina Patch.

The former Countryside Elmentary School first-grade teacher had taught their for 13 years prior to her 2009 administrative leave. Last summer York was transferred to Concord Elementary, but never taught in the classroom, according to the Edina Patch.

The district also agreed to give York a severance and retiree health insurance benefits up until she is 65 and York has agreed to release all parties involved from any sort of liabilities or damages related to the incident, the Edina Patch said.

Also included in the settlement was a non-disparagement agreement that says neither sides can negatively characterize the other in any form. The district is required to tell any future third party that York resigned for health reasons, the Edina Patch said.

A St. Cloud man is in jail Saturday after police arrested him for breaking into a Pizza Hut he was employed at to make some chicken wings, KSTP.com said.

Cory Mogen, 21, broke into the restaurant located in the 100 block of 7th Avenue S. in an attempt to make chicken wings at 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 18. Mogen tripped the alarm and left the back door open leading police to find him cooking wings and marinara sauce on the wall, according to KSTP.com

Police say Mogen was given a breath test for alcohol and results showed a .22, which is almost triple the legal driving limit in Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune.

Mogen, who was studying Criminal Justice at St. Cloud State University up until this semester, is being held for suspicion of third-degree burglary. Since he is an employee the charges may be reduced to theft, authorities said, the Star Tribune reported.

Breaking News Analysis

There was a suicide car bomb in Afganistan on Friday. The first article that I will be discussing was released by the BBC on Friday. The second article was released by the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.

The story by the BBC ays the attack killed at least 11 and left many wounded. A quote saying that a lot have been injured and the number may increase. They also take a quote from a local police chief.

This story also says police blamed the Taliban for the attacks and that violence has increased in Afghanistan.

The Los Angeles Times story was a lot more in depth. It also gave the police chief's name and a more specific description of the bombing. This story also elaborates that police recieved a tip about a possible planned bombing.

The Los Angeles Times story also includes another incident in northern Afghanistan with this one.

These two stories came from seperate newspapers. The second story released elaborates more on the story, as well as releases more names and details. The first one basically explains that a bombing happens and suspects the Taliban. The newer story gives more background about bombings in Afghanistan, as well as another incident on the same day.

Suicide bomb in Afghanistan leaves 38 dead

Seven suicide bombers disguised as border police leave 38 dead from an attack on a Afghanistan bank on Sunday, according to Sky News.

Thirteen police officers and seven Afghan national army soldiers were among those killed. Seventeen civilians were also killed in the third attack in the last seven days aimed at Afghan police, Sky News reported.

The bank attacked handles the Afghan police and armed forces salaries and is a branch of the Kabulbank, Sky News reported.

The Taliban has taken credit for the attack on the bank, which isn't the first time they have targeted the Kabul Bank. They previously have claimed that the bank is corrupt since the Afghan government is backed by the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported.

Back to the brig for a Marine accused of an Iraqi Murder

A Marine charged for murdering an Iraqi man returned to the brig in Camp Pendelton, Calif. Friday after being released eight months ago, according to the Boston Globe.

Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III, who led a squad of eight men accused of kidnapping and killing Hashim Ibrahim Awad in Iraq in 2006, has already served six years of a 11-year sentence. The other members of the squad all served less than 18 months in custody, the Boston Globe reported.

Hutchins, of Plymouth, Mass., was released after a military court overturned his conviction, ruling his trial in 2007 was unfair due to the abrupt resignation of his original lead defense lawyer, according to the Boston Globe.

The commander of Camp Pendleton's I Marine Expeditionary Force ordered Hutchins to return to the brig since the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces reinstated his murder conviction in January, the North County Times reported,

"I never thought that this day would come, but in the end it did," a statement written by Hutchins said, according to the North Couny Times.

Hutchins' attorney, Babu Kaza, will argue for an early release at the March 16 parole hearing in Washington, the Boston Globe reported.

If Hutchins had a trail in 2007 that Kaza considered fair, Kaza believes he would not have been convicted of murder or punished any further, Kaza said. "I will not reiterate now all of the reasons this case is a travesty," Kaza said in a statement, according to the Boston Globe.

"I can't really put into words how difficult these last few days have been in knowing that this was a possibility, but I fail completely in describing ... just how devastating today has been for my family," Hutchins' said through his statement, the North County Times reported.



Local Catholic priest charged with felony criminal sexual conduct

A local Catholic priest was arrested Thursday and is being charged with felony criminal sexual conduct, according to the Pioneer Press.

Christopher Thomas Wenthe, 46, was jailed in Ramsey County District Court with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and could face five years, the Star Tribune reported.

Wenthe has served at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in St. Paul, was the parochial vicar of the St. Michael/St. Mary parish in Stillwater in October 2006, and was once a pastor of the Delano Catholic Community, the Pioneer Press reported.

A woman, whose name was not released, told police that Wenthe was a counselor to her when she converted to Catholicism in 2003. In her early 20s at the time, she had confession with Wenthe at least four times. Sometimes he took her to a private room in the church rectory, according to the Pioneer Press.

The woman filed a report in April 2010 to St. Paul police claiming the abuse, including sodomy and oral sex, occured between Nov. 1, 2003, and Feb. 28, 2005. The report said Wenth had sexual contact with the woman about every two weeks, according to the Star Tribune.

"I remember pleading with him that we should stop," the letter said The first sexual contact occured when Wente invited the woman to her apartment and embraced her, evenutally asking her to perform oral sex. "He made me feel like I had done this to him and that I was obligated to finish the job. After I complied, he turned from me, trembling and crying, repeating over and over that we were going to hell and his priesthood was over; that God could never forgive this, then he apologized," the Star Tribune reported.

The woman, who has a history of sexual abuse and suffered from bulimia, wrote to a high-ranking person in the archdiocese in the fall of 2006. The archdiocese found out about the incidents in September 2005 and offered the woman counseling and therapy. They gave her the option to go to the police, which she intially didn't take, according to the Star Tribune.

Wenthe was "allowed to return to active ministry with certain conditions and restrictions" after a psychological evaluation and treatment in August 2006, the archdicoese said in a released statement, the Star Tribune reported.

"No complaints or incidents have been made over the past five years of his ministry," the statement said, according to the Star Tribune.

Members of the clergy and those they are counseling are forbidden by state law from sexual contact with each other, the Pioneer Press reported.

The NFL and the players union will meet on Friday in Washington for the first of seven straight days after an agreement was reached for mediation on Thursday, according to ESPN.com.

The last time there were scheduled negotiations the owners walked out and it is still speculated that a deal will not be reached by the March 3 deadline. However, this is still seen as a positive step, according to CBSSports.com.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, an independent U.S. government agency, will send director George H. Cohen to listen in on negotiations. Cohen will not have authority to force an agreement, but can make recommendations and suggestions, ESPN.com reported.

The FMCS was involved during the NHL lockout in 2004-05, as well as the U.S. Soccer Federation and their players in 2005. According to their website, the FMCS "provides free mediation services in contract negotiation disputes between employers and their unionzied employees," ESPN.com reported.

Both sides accepted the agencies invitation to help after seperate discussions with the union and league representatives were held, Cohen said, according to ESPN.com

"Due to the extreme sensitivity of these negotiations and consistent with the FMCS's long-standing practice, the agency will refrain from any public comment concerning the future schedule and/or the status of those negotiations until further notice," Cohen said, ESPN.com reported.

The main issues that need to be resolved before the March 3, 11:59 p.m. ET deadline are the division of the $9 billion in annual revenues, the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18, benefits for retired players, and a rookie wage scale. If the league expands to 18 games the preseason will be reduced to two games, according to ESPN.com.


The Minnesota Zoo's 44-year-old beloved dolphin, April, dies

A 44-year-old dolphin at the Minnesota Zoo died Tuesday, according to the Pioneer Press.

April was undergoing treatment at the time of her death for several physical ailments but the cause of death has not yet been determined. A necropsy will be performed, the Pioneer Press reported.

The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin was on loan from a zoo in Chicago. The Minnesota Zoo currently has three other dolphins: Semo, 45, April's daughter and granddaughter, Allie, 23, and Taijah, 7 months, respectively, according to the Star Tribune.

April had fun working with trainers and "was one of our most beloved animals," the zoo's director of biological programs Kevin Willis said. "Since she arrived her a few years ago, she quickly became a guest favorite," the Star Tribune reported.

Occassionally dolphins can live to be around 50, but on average they have a lifespan around 20 years, the Pioneer Press reported.

"She will be terribly missed by staff, volunteers and all the zoo guests who met her," Willis said, according to the Pioneer Press.

Structure Analysis

In the "Suicide bomber strikes Shiite pilgrims in Iraq" article in the USA Today, the article was structured in a very successful manner.

There is a lot of information and background given in the article. The reporter uses the lead to explain the actual event. The second paragraph gives background as to why the bombing occured. Then quotes are given as well as more background information about the shrine. Also, the writer includes the history behind the shrine and a prior bombing. So, by giving the backgound of the shrine and the feud between the Sunnis and the Shiites, the writer shows the history, importance, and foreshadowing this bombing may have.

This order is very effective because it explains the latest development of many. It could have been ordered differently, but by starting with the actual bombing, the writer can then lead into what the bombing means and why it happened. If the reporter started with all the background the reader would consider it old news.

A Salvadoran man was sentenced to 60 years in prison in Washington D.C. on Friday for the murder of Washington intern Chandra Levy nearly a decade ago, according to the USA Today.

Levy's disappearance and rumors of a romantic involvement of then-California Rep. Gary Condit led authorites to focus on Condit as the prime suspect until Levy's body was found in May of 2002. Condit swore he was innocent but his career still ended, according to Yahoo! News.

Ingmar Guandique, 29, who is in the United States illegally, will not be eligible for parole until he is 80 after being convicted in November for two counts of first-degree murder from the May 2001 strangulation in Washington's Rock Creek Park, the USA Today reported.

Guandique was not the original suspect until a dozen witnesses, two of which claimed Guandique admitted to killing Levy, came forward and led police to him. He was formally charged in April 2009 while already serving a ten-year sentence for attacking female joggers in the park, Yahoo! News reported.

"I am sorry, I am very sorry for what happened to her," Guandique said through an interpreter. "But I had nothing to do with it. I am innocent," the USA Today reported.

Iraq suffers 36 casualties from a suicide bomber

A suicide bomber killed 36 people on a bus full of Shiite pilgrims that was heading back from the al-Askari mosque in Iraq on Saturday, the USA Today reported.

This attack was the second in three days on visitors to the al-Askari mosque, which has commemorations of the death of a religious figure from the ninth century. The golden dome in Samarra, which is located 60 miles north of Baghdad, was destroyed by a bombing blamed on al-Qaeda on Feb. 22, 2006. It is still being rebuilt from the bombing but was not damaged in Saturday's attack, according to the USA Today.

Officials reported that 64 people were wounded in the bombing of a place that almost sparked a civil war between the Sunni and the Shiites when bombed a few years back., the Star Tribune reported.

Although the bombing resembles acts of al-Qaida or a Sunni-dominated militant organization, no one has claimed responsibility for the incident, according to the Star Tribune.

Roger Clemens issues a subpoena of his own

Facing perjury, false statement and obstruction of Congress charges in federal court, Roger Clemens issued a subpoena to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Sportsrageous.com reported on Sunday.

A steriod hearing that was conducted three years ago contains interview summaries, notes and memoranda that Clemens wants as he is accused of lying about his usage of performance-enchancing drugs while playing Major League Baseball, according to Sportsrageuos.com.

Clemens, who played professionally for 23 years, denied to the committee that he ever used human growth hormones or any form of steroids, ESPN.com reported.

The committee refused to turn over evidence for the criminal case arguing that it would violate the seperation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches in the speech or debate clause to the Constitution, Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin said. In December U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton gave authorization for Clemens to issue the subpoena, according to ESPN.com.

Walton also permitted a subpoena of George Mitchell's investigation records, which led to the original committee hearing, ESPN.com reported.

The trial is scheduled for July, but will have a hearing on March 14 to review the subpoenas that might be fought by the Mitchell panel and the committee. The committee said they will consult with House attorney's, but it is uncertain if they will turn over the material or continue to use the speech or debate clause, according to ESPN.com.

Elderly couple found dead in their home after a fire

A fire killed an elderly couple in their Ham Lake home on Friday, according to the Star Tribune.

Although official identification is still pending, authorities say they have no reason to believe the bodies found in the charred remains were not Walter and Helen Ehrnreiter, both 93. The fire was believed to be caused by a wood-burning steel insert in a brick fireplace but still hasn't been officially determined, the Star Tribune reported.

The couple could no longer drive but were still active in life and in the neighborhood, friends and neighbors said, according to the Pioneer Press.

"I'd see Mr. Ehrneiter on his bicycle, doing his exercises on the corner," said Ida Greener, whose late husband was once a co-worker of Walter Ehrneiter, the Pioneer Press reported.

Helen, a former schoolteacher, was cared for by Walter as she became housebound the last few years, having trouble remembering her own name, the Pioneer Press reported.

"They died the way they lived -- together," said fellow church member of the Ehrneiters Dave Egan, the Star Tribune reported.

The official identification of the bodies as well as the official cause and manner of death will be released after autopsies are complete, spokesman for the Anoka County sheriff's office Lt. Paul Sommer said, according to the Pioneer Press.

10 years for Denny Hecker

Denny Hecker was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday in a packed Minneapolis courtoom for scamming millions of dollars from auto lenders and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the Star Tribune reported.

Hecker, 58, who filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2009, admitted that to support his lifestyle and auto dealership empire he defrauded lenders like Chrysler Financial and U.S. Bank out of millions. The former auto mogul pleaded guilty last September and had been in federal custody since October, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen said she would ask the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to keep Hecker in or around Minnesota, but denied Hecker's request to serve his time in Duluth at a federal work camp for only eight years and to have three weeks to spend time with his family before turning himself in, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported.

Hecker then asked to have 24 hours before turning himself in, which Ericksen denied. "You don't get a break," Ericksen said. "You're going to get the full 10 years," the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported.

Analysis on attribution

When looking at the Star Tribune article on Kevin Love making the NBA All-Star Game, the attributions add to the story. Especially since it is an accomplishment being recognized in a local paper by a local member of society. The attributions give it a sense of hometown pride. They are used throughout the article, but are not cluttered.

The article used three seperate people for quotes to give the accomplishment credibility. Furthermore, all three names are given. Kevin Love, whom the article is about, is quoted five times in the article. These quotes are effective because they show his sense of pride and accomplishment. The story is about him and the reporter does of a good job of getting Love's opinion on the matter.

Kurt Rambis, Love's coach, is also quoted by the reporter. This was also effective because the quote used by the reporter shows that Love's accomplishment is deserving as recognized by his coach.

However, the third person quoted is not effective. This quote was one sentence long and really did not add to the point of the story. The reporter had the right idea to get one from a teammate, it just was not an effective one to choose.

A fourth consecutive high school regional championship opportunity ended for a North Dakota high school wrestling team on Saturday because of a raccoon, the Star Tribune reported.

The Carrington High School team had picked up a raccoon on their bus ride to the tournament and stowed it in a storage compartment. Thought to be dead, the raccoon walked away when the compartment was opened later, the Star Tribune said.

Although no one was scratched or bitten by the animal, Carrington High School officials pulled their students out of the tournament for fear of rabies, FoxSports.com reported.

"Once we found that out, we didn't know if there was the potential of spreading anything, if the raccoon had rabies or not," school superintendent Brian Duchscherer said. "So we decided to bring our kids home." The decision to pull the students from the competition cost them their opportunity to retain their title, FoxSports.com said.

Central Minnesota registered sex offender back in jail

A central Minnesota man was charged with criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, burglary, assault and terroristic threats in Todd County on Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

Rober John Wilder, 42, allegedly brutally and sexually assaulted an 82-year-old Grey Eagle woman last fall, the Star Tribune said.

Wilder, a Level 3 sex offender, is also accused of similar assaults on a 39-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man in Brainerd, which is in Crow Wing County, according to the Star Tribune.

Currently in Crow Wing County Jail, Wilder was connected to the Grey Eagle incident after authorities used DNA samples and a local gas station spotted his truck on their video surveillance, the St. Cloud Times reported on Saturday.

If convicted on the sex charge in Todd County Wilder could face a prison sentence of at least 30 years. He has previously been convicted in Minnesota on 10 felonies, according to the Star Tribune.

Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves was named to the 2011 NBA West All-Star team by NBA Commissioner David Stern on Friday, according to NBA.com.

Love will replace the injured Yao Ming in his first All-Star Game selection, but it is up to San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich whether or not he will start the Feb. 6 game, NBA.com reported.

"Everybody was happy for Kevin, Kevin was very happy," Coach Kurt Rambis said when they heard the news before Friday's game. Love is the first Timberwolves player in the All-Star Game since 2007, according to the Star Tribune.

Love was left off of the seven reserves spots voted by the Western Conference coaches, but is still grateful to be nominated, the Star Tribune reported.

"I was totally shocked, I had absolutely no idea," Love said after he found out on Friday, according to the Star Tribune. "I'm truly humbled. I'm truly blessed. It's a goal of mine my whole life, and I've reached it. I was very happy."

At least 50 people have been killed in a Sudanese Army mutiny that started Thursday fuled by tension of the south breaking off from the north in Sudan, according to the New York Times on Sunday.

Southern Sudan is expected to declare independence on July 9 as early results of January's secession referendum shows the majority of voters in the south want to branch off from the north, the New York Times reported.

Southern members turned on members of a northern army as they refused to redeploy to the north, causing a battle containing tanks and machineguns to erupt in Makala on Thursday, according to Yahoo! News.

Makala is the capital of Upper Nile state and has been patrolled by both the south's Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and the north's Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). The combined military units are in the process of breaking apart, Yahoo! News reported.

A student was shot and killed and 11 were injured early Sunday at a fraternity house near Youngstown State Univeristy in Ohio, the Star Tribune reported.

Jamail E. Johnson, 25, the student killed in the incident, was shot in the head and legs. All other injuries and identies have not yet been released, according to the Detroit Free Press.

No arrests have been made, but local police say they have at least one suspect, the Detroit Free Press reported.

About this Archive

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

January 2011 is the previous archive.

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