March 2011 Archives

Obituary analysis

I looked at a news obutary for Michael Gough in the New York Times.

This reporter used the BBC, Michael Gough's grandson, a review from a play Gough acted on years ago, and quotes from Gough in the past for sources. The reporter also noted several popular performances Gough gave in his 70 years of acting.

This obituary uses a standard obituary lead. This lead works because it explains what Gough was known for and says how old he was when he died in the second sentence. However, it does not say how Gough died. Granted, he was 94, a cause of death was not given.

This obituary is different than a resume because it gives some personal insights and information about Gough. It doesn't just lists his work; it mentions his family and trademarks he had. It also highlighted several aspects of his career.

Two unrelated shootings in South Minneapolis that left two men with leg wounds happened within an hour of each other on Sunday, according to the Pioneer Press.

The first shooting occured at the intersection of Franklin and Chicago avenues around noon. A man, who was shot once in the leg, did not cooperate with the police investigation about the shooting. The man was transported to a hospital and police do not know the location of the shooter, the Pioneer Press reported.

The second incident, which occured between two people that knew each other and was caught on surveillance tape, happened outside a south Minneapolis gas station and convenience store just after 1 p.m. at 34th Avenue S. and E. 57th st., the Star Tribune reported.

The two men were arguing in the store before one shot the other one in the leg and then ran off. The victim's injuries were not life-threatening, according to the Star Tribune.

The Taliban claims they kidnapped 50 police officers in northeastern Afghanistan on Sunday, the USA Today reported.

Four vehicles carrying a group of unarmed people traveling the Chapa Dara district were captured. A spokesperson for the Taliban says that no civilians were among those kidnapped, according to

"We will take a decision about the captured policemen according to the situation and enemies' actions," a Taliban spokesman said, according to

Minnesota man accidentally killed his son with snow plow

A father accidentally killed his 4-year-old boy while plowing snow on Thursday in Hubbard County, according to the Pioneer Press.

Ron Vredenburg backed over his son Kyle Vredenburg while plowing with a skid steer loader. His son was playing with his sister before he jumped on his bike and road towards his father's loader. The incident was described as tragic by Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes and ruled an accident, Detroit Lakes Online reported.

While riding an airplane to a Fargo hospital Vredenburg died, the Pioneer Press reported.

"The family wants to stress that this was an accident...a very sad and tragic accident," Marv Vredenburg, a spokesman for the family said, according to Detroit Lakes Online.

A paraplegic woman was tentatively granted the right to see her 4-year-old triplets by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Abbie Dorn, 34, who communicates by blinking, will be allowed a five-day visit and a monthly online Skype visit every year up until a trial in a custody case with her ex-husband, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Dan Dorn divorced her a year after an error in childbirth left her brain damaged to the point where she cannot walk, talk, or eat. Dorn, who is raising the three triplets in Los Angeles, believes his ex-wife will never recover, according to the Star Tribune.

Abbie Dorn is being cared for by her parents in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Her parents are suing for permanent visitation rights while Dan Dorn's attorney argues she is not capable of being a parent, the Star Tribune reported.

Two teenagers dead in a murder-suicide in Western Minnesota

An shooting in a home near Armor that left a male and female teenager dead on Monday was ruled a murder-suicide, according to

Dylan Cox, 17, was pronounced dead on Tuesday at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, N.D. from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. The female, Tabitha Belmonte, 16, was pronounced dead at the scene Monday, reported.

"This incident is isolated to this residence, and there is no threat to the community at large," Otter Tail County sheriff's officials said. Authorities haven't made any arrests, according to the Star Tribune.

Cox and Belmonte had a 8-month old daughter named Emma, according to

A no-fly zone over Libya was requested by the Arab League to the Western powers on Saturday as they seek help against the fledgling rebel movement against Moammar Gaddafi, the Washington Post reported.

The United Nations Security Council was asked to impose the no-flight zone over Libya by the Arab league. The Arab League hopes to stop Col. Myammar el-Qaddafi's attacks against his own people which is giving hopes to the rebels, the New York Times reported.

This allows the United States and Europe to act against the objections of China and Russia and to push for a stronger Security Council resolution, according to the New York Times.

This move has put pressure on the Obama administration to intervene in the three-week war, according to the New York Times.

The United States has not announced their decision about pursuing a resolution yet, the New York Times reported.

The Central Minnesota chapter of the National Federation of the Blind leader was killed by a car in Waite Park on Friday, according to the Pioneer Press.

Andrew Virden, 83, was crossing the street using his white cane when a driver hit him. No charges were pressed against the driver, the Pioneer Press reported.

Blind since childhood, Virden was very active in the Central Minnesota chapter for the National Federation for the blind, the St. Cloud Times reported.

Virden was also active in DFL party politics. He recieved a lifetime service award in St. Cloud in 2009 at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Dinner, according to the St. Cloud Times.

Involuntary manslaughter was the verdict Friday for two former Blackwater contractors charged for the death of an Afghan civilian two years ago, USA Today reported.

However, Christopher Drotleff of Virginia Beach and Justin Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, were aquitted of murder, assault, and weapons charges by the federal jury in Norfolk, Va., according to the USA Today.

If they were convicted of murder and weapons charges a life sentence could have been given to the two men. The death of a second unarmed civilian was also acquitted by the jury, the New York Times reported.

The defense claimed the men were acting out of self defense and the prosecutors claimed the men shot at a car out of anger and frustration when a unarmed passenger was killed, the USA Today reported.

Eight years is the maximum sentence for the two men, according to the New York Times.

A skid loader killed an 85-year-old Hastings man at a St. Paul metal recycling company on Friday, according to the Pioneer Press.

Jack Patrick McCoy, who recycled cans as a hobby, was accidentally backed into by an Alter Metal Recycling employee. McCoy was at the back of his pick-up truck unloading cans at 801 Barch Channel Rd, the Pioneer Press reported.

Alcohol and drugs are not suspected to be involved in the death at the facility, police said after being called to the scene Friday afternoon, the Star Tribune reported.

"At this point, investigators believe this was an accident," St. Paul police officer John Keating said, according to the Star Tribune.

A central California county prosecutor, who has been working almost a full year since a warrant for his arrest was issued, resigned after his superiors were informed of his legal issues, the Star Tribune reported Friday.

Merced County Deputy District Attorney Matthew Shelton, 43, failed to appear in court for driving on a supspended license and speeding. A bench warrant was issued last April while Shelton still handled misdemeanors and felony cases at work, the Star Tribune said.

Shelton's superiors learned of his arrest warrant after his car was towed in front of their office in Merced County on Feb. 25. A police officer told Shelton's superiors on March 2 about his outstanding warrant, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

Shelton also practiced law illegaly in 2008 while being suspended by the State Bar of California for a month. Practicing law without being an active member of the state bar is a mmisdemeanor in California, according to the Merced Sun-Star.

Representatives from the Merced County district attorney's said they were unaware of Shelton's suspension from the state bar until they were notiied of his warrant, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

Public meeting agenda and news story analysis

Barack Obama was in South Florida at a Miami high school on Friday to start off his month focusing on education.

The White House Blog summarized why Obama was there and gave the majority of the transcript of what he said. Their release about his public meeting was factual with no agenda other than saying what happened. Everytime there was an applause for what he said, the report said "applause." It did mention that he was there with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The release did mention a portion of his State of the Union address, but did not mention any issues between Republicans and Democrats.

The article from the Denver Post also covered his trip to the high school. The headling starts with "With a Bush at his side." It also mentions that Obama is "joining forces" with a Bush in the Denver Post. The article mention that Bush was a popular governor and brother of the president Obama suceeded, George W. Bush. Unlike the release from the White House Blog, this article talked about other issues than the one the president was focusing on. Such as the issues of budget cuts Republicans and Democrats are battling over right now. It also only mentioned portions with some quotes about his speech. Furthermore, this article also talked about Jeb Bush. This article crafted the story to give it more drama with a lot more background. The White House Blog basically reported what happened.

Rebel forces from the eastern part of Libya were pushed back by air strikes and ground fighting from forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday, according to

Both sides have been claiming successes as the fighting in Libya has continued on for the third week, reported.

Libya's state televison claimed the government forces retook disputed parts of Libya as fighting intensified. However a spokesman for the opposition claimed that the television report is wrong and the rebel forces are still in control of the territiories, reported.

The government troops went 120 miles east of Tripoli, the capital, into Misrata. The rebel forces reportedly let them in and attacked them with anti-aircraft guns and mortars, pushing the government troops back out, USA Today reported.

Libya seems to be heading towards a civil war. The uprising against Gadhafi that began on Feb. 15 is becoming bloodier and both sides seem weak and poorly trained, according to the USA Today.

Protesters supporting U.S. Muslims demonstrated in Times Square about the Congressional hearing in radicalization of U.S. Muslims Sunday, Reuters reported.

A crowd of a few hundred claimed that bigotry and ignorance is behind anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States was the reason for the hearing by New York Republican Rep. Peter King on radicalization of U.S. Muslims, according to Reuters.

Feisal Abdul Raug, a co-founder for the islamic center that was planned to be near the World Trade Center cite, spoke to the crowd, the USA Today reported.

"Our real enemy is not Islam or Muslims. The enemy is extremism and radicalism and radical ideaology," Raug said, according to the USA Today.

King, who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has planned hearings starting Thursday and said that some American Muslims are being radicalized by affiliates of al-Qaeda, USA Today reported.

"To the Peter Kings of the world: We will not take your xenophobic behavior," Democratic Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana said, according to USA Today.

A few blocks from the King's hearings a smaller group gathered to support the hearings, the USA Today reported.

Russell Simmons of Hip-hop fame also addressed the crowd telling them he wants entertainers and sports figures to become involved about the issue. Simmons said he wanted "to make sure that this rally is taken to the next generation and to a new age," the USA Today reported.

A convicted sex offender with more than 90 sex offenses asked a three-judge panel on Friday for his release in a Ramsey county courtoom, according to

John Rydberg, 69, who says he was sexually abused as a child, admitted that he will always think about violent sexual assaults but would not be a threat if released. "I'm not cured, I'm managed. I can manage it. I have the skills needed to manage it," Rydberg said in his testimony, reported.

Rydberg is serving time in a secure treatment facility in St. Peter and has spent more than 30 years in prison and in treatment facilities. He would be the first person released from the facility since the sex offender program was created in 1994, the Star Tribune reported.

Civilly committed as a psychopathic personality in 1993, Rydberg must wait until the hearing resumes with the three-judge panel before his release is decided. The hearing is expected to resume March 11, according to the Star Tribune.

Rydberg gave several controversial statements during his testimony and said he is still working on his issues. "I have so many victims. I can't keep track. I don't like to face what I did but I'm trying to go forward,'' he said, the Star Tribune reported.

An 18-day-old baby girl was thrown into snow by mother

A woman was arrested for throwing her 18-day-old baby girl into the snow in Minneapolis on Saturday, according to the Star Tribune.

Ashley Renee Couch, 21, was in a domestic dispute with the babies father, Deonte Thurmond, when she threw her baby into a snowbank. A witness picked the baby out of the snowbank and called 911. Couch reportedly took the baby away from the witness, the Pioneer Press reported.

The wind-chill was close to zero and the temperature was about 12 degrees on Saturday. The baby is still in the emergency room but has responded well to treatment, the Pioneer Press reported.

The infant will be released to protective custody once her condition is stablilized at Hennepin County Medical Center. Her body's core temperature was 95 degrees when she was taken to the hospital, the Star Tribune reported.

Thurmond was arrested for domestic assault and Couch was arrested on suspicion of child abuse, according to the Pioneer Press.

A Michigan high school basketball player died seconds after making the winning shot in overtime on Thursday, according to the Huffington Post.

Wes Leonard, 16, hit the winning shot against Bridgman High to cap off a perfect regular season for Fennville High and then colllapsed in front of the fans celebrating on the court. The two teams finished exhanging handshakes and Fennville High started to celebrate when the 6-foot-2, 215-pound high school basketball star collapsed in front of an estimated 1,400 people, the Huffington Post reported.

Leonard was pronounced dead at the hospital Thursday night after paramedics performed CPR. An autopsy conducted Friday revealed Leonard suffered from cardiac arrest as the result of an enlarged heart. His family said there was no previous heart condition for Leonard, CBS News reported.

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