This news blog is an educational exercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

February 2013 Archives

University community shows support for same-sex marriage bill

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Same-sex marriage has been a hot-button issue for many Minnesotans after the constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage was defeated in November.

A bi-partisan bill was introduced Wednesday to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota by this summer. The bill will be formally introduced to the House and Senate on Thursday.

Students and faculty from the University of Minnesota expressed their full support for the bill.

"People are entitled to love who they want," said organic horticulture and local food junior Rosalyn Murphy.

Astan Koerner, communication studies associate professor, agreed.
"It's a human rights issue," Koerner said. "People should have the right to be with who they want."

Brandon Miller, freshman, said he doesn't see a reason why anyone would be against same-sex marriage.
"I don't see an argument against it that's valid," he said.

An uphill challenge
vote no pic.jpg

Although Minnesota voted "no" to the proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage, some expressed concern with the amount of time it may take for the bill to pass.

Koerner said he thinks the House and Senate will approve the bill, but there will be people opposed to it who will try to stop it.

"I assume it's going to pass, but there's a good chance someone is going to challenge it," he said.

Miller also predicated the legalization of same-sex marriage could be a slow process, especially because Minnesota voted about half and half for the amendment last fall.

"I would hope that it would move quickly, but the amendment vote was a little too narrow," Miller said.

Although many in the University of Minnesota community said they supported the bill, groups, such as National Organization for Marriage and Minnesota for Marriage are fighting the legislation.

NOM said it will pledge $500,000 to defeat any Republican who supports same-sex marriage in its blog on Feb. 25.

Analysis: Follow-up stories

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The two respective stories are from Pioneer Press. The first story can be found here. The follow-up story can be found here.

In the first story's lead, the author wrote that the Maplewood police were looking for a man possibly connected with the death of an unidentified woman. The second story's lead identifies the stabbing victim as 16-year-old Anna Lynn Hurd of North St. Paul. The two stories were written by separate reporters, which I thought was strange.

The first story was quite short and it stuck to the facts of what the reporter was told by the police at the time. The second story, however, described the attack in more detail, stating that Hurd was stabbed several times by the unknown suspect.

The first story noted that the police were looking for a male who might have been involved with the death, but the follow-up story notifies readers that the police said the person of interest described earlier is no longer in question and they do not call him a suspect.

The Pioneer Press did a good job of following up on this story with more details and facts, but I think it would have been stronger if the first author wrote the follow-up story because he probably knew the background information and he was already in contact with the police officer cited in the two articles.

Twin Cities security guards prepare to strike

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A union of 2,000 security guards are preparing for a one-day strike Sunday, news sources reported.

Over 100 security workers in the Service Employees International Union Local 26 and supporters gathered on Sunday to prepare for a possible strike on Monday, the Pioneer Press reported.

Some of the area's largest corporations like Target, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, along with other corporate buildings could be without security guards this week if the strike moves ahead, according to the Star Tribune.

Talks with the SEIU local 26 and contractors broke down on Friday.The union said it would continue with a strike if a deal was not reached by Sunday, the Star Tribune reported.

"We said if our deadline was not met, we would strike, so this week we will strike," said President of SEIU Local 26 Javier Morillo at a rally for the workers Sunday.

Authorities have identified the body found stabbed to death this weekend in a Maplewood park as Anna Lynn Hurd of North Saint Paul, news sources reported.

Hurd, 16, was found wounded early Saturday in Hillside Park. Authorities said her body was found at about 4:30 a.m., when someone called 911 to provide her with medical attention, according to the Pioneer Press.

Police said on Sunday that the preliminary autopsy results from the Ramsey County medical examiner's office showed Hurd died from several stab wounds, the Star Tribune reported.

The police said no arrests have been made in this case, according to the Star Tribune.

"All I will say about whether she knew her attacker or not is that we do not believe there is a general danger to the public," said Maplewood Police Chief Dave Kvam, the Pioneer Press reported.

Hurd's father, Patrick Hurd, said his daughter was expelled from North High School after fighting with another student and accidentally hitting a teacher, according to the Star Tribune.

Patrick Hurd said he thinks the person who killed his daughter knew her. He last saw her late last week when a friend picked her up at their home in North St. Paul, the Star Tribune reported.

"They stole something from me that was my most prized possession," Patrick Hurd said of his daughter's killer, as reported in the Star Tribune.

Raul Castro to retire in five years

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Raul Castro announced on Sunday that he will retire as Cuba's president after he completes his 5-year-term , news sources report.

In his 35-minute speech at a conference of legislative leaders in Havana, Castro selected Miguel Diaz-Canel as his top vice president and first in the line of succession, USA Today reported.

Diaz-Canel, 52, is a vice president of the Council of Ministers and a former minister of higher education. He is known as the second most powerful political figure in Cuba, the Associated Press reported.

Castro also announced that he wants to establish term limits and age caps for political offices, according to the New York Times. When Castro retires in 2018, it will be the first time in 59 years that a Castro has not been in charge.


Fast food calorie intake declines among Americans

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Fast food accounted for about 11 percent of American adults' daily calorie intake from 2007 to 2010, a decrease from previous years, according to news sources.

The National Center for Health Statistics released the findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on Thursday.

The survey found that the daily fast food calorie percent has decreased since 2003-2006, when it was almost 13 percent, according to Health Day.

The largest decline was in 40- to 59-year-olds, said Cynthia L. Ogden, a C.D.C. researcher who oversaw the research, according to the New York Times.

The study also found that about 20 percent of the calories consumed by non-Hispanic black adults ages 20 to 39 are from fast food, as reported in the brief on the C.D.C. website.

"Fast food is a fact of life, so we need to find ways we can live with it, not die from it," said Samantha Heller, a clinical nutritionist at the NYU Center for Musculoskeletal Care in New York City, as reported by Health Today.

"We need to encourage fast-food establishments to have a variety of healthy offerings that are marketed as cool, sexy, fun and delicious," Heller said to Health Today.

Additional findings from the survey can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Analysis: Story progression

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This story in the Chicago Tribune can be found here.

In this news story about two men being arrested for the shooting of a Chicago girl, the author begins with the newest information (the arrest) in the lead and also adds an interesting anecdote: The Chicago girl was shot the same day her younger sister went to see President Barack Obama speak on gun violence.

The author then goes into the details of the arrest and the shooting in the next three paragraphs, where he includes the "who", "what", "when", "where" and "why" of the story more thoroughly. The author is very concise in his graphs, which helps the story flow.

I thought the author did a good job of telling the story of the shooting and the individuals being questioned while also adding information about the gun control speech. The gun control angle made the story more interesting and gave it more substance. It didn't seem like the author just threw in things about the gun violence speech; he did it in a way that flowed from one angle to another.

Overall, the author positioned the facts and information in the story in an effective way. I wouldn't change how the author arraigned the information, but it would have been nice if he would have gone into more detail and made the story into more of a feature about gun violence.

Pope sets date for resignation

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The world was shocked Monday when Pope Benedict XVI stated his plans to resign on Feb. 28, news sources reported.

Pope Benedict will be the first pontiff to resign in 600 years, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Pope, who is 85-years-old, said it was his health and old age that led him to the decision, according to The New York Times.

"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," the Pope said, as reported by the New York Daily News.

Vatican officials said after the Pope resigns he will go to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer retreat south of Rome, and eventually spend the rest of his life in prayer at a cloistered monastery, according to the New York Daily News.

Analysis: Attribution

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This article can be found here.

In the Associated Press article, "3 Dead in Copter Crash on Calif. Reality TV Set," the author used nine different sources to complete the story.

The sources named include a Los Angeles County Fire dispatcher, a Discovery Channel spokeswoman, a statement from the Discovery Channel, a statement from a production company, a spokesman for FilmLA, "Records", a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, the Polsa Rosa website, and Internet Movie Database. Four of the sources are from specific people and a few are from Internet websites. There are also statements from companies used to cite information in the article.

All of the individual sources are clustered together within the story, which is OK but the author should have used quotes from certain sources, such as the Discovery Channel spokeswoman, in different areas within the article. For example, the story could have ended with a strong comment from the Discovery Channel about the helicopter crash deaths.

The author did a good job of properly citing all of his sources and providing titles with the names or companies, but he did cite one piece of information from "records" without specifying what record it was. Overall, the author used many sources, which helped complete the story, and provided clear titles for sources.


World's largest captive crocodile dies in Philippines

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Lolong, the world's largest captive crocodile, died in the Philippine town Bunawan on Sunday, news sources reported.

The over 50 -year-old, 1-ton crocodile died in a custom built eco-tourism park where he had resided since September 2011, when he was captured after killing at least one person, USA Today reported.

The crocodile was found flipped over with a bloated stomach on Sunday and was pronounced dead a few hours later, BBC News reported.

The town plans to preserve the crocodile's remains to keep tourists coming to the Southern Philippine town, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The 20.24 foot saltwater crocodile held the Guinness World Record for the largest of its kind last year, USA Today reported.

Minneapolis will pay a tribute to former Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton this fall by renaming a city bridge after her, news sources reported.

Mayor R.T. Rybak announced the plan to rename the Third Avenue South Bridge over I-94 on Thursday, according to MinnPost.

Rybak said the bridge will also be renovated, which will include a display of a new piece of artwork, CBS News Minnesota reported.

Belton was the first female and the first African-American to serve as the mayor of Minneapolis, according to CBS News Minnesota.

"Rededicating this iconic Minneapolis landmark the Sharon Sayles Belton Bridge is a fitting tribute to our former mayor, who was, and continues to be, a bridge builder on so many levels," Mayor Rybak said in his announcement Thursday, as reported by MinnPost.

Winter storm "Nemo" led to the death of at least nine

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A deadly winter storm left many in the Northeast without power and caused the death of at least nine people, news sources reported.

Areas of the Northeast are currently buried in over three inches of snow after record-setting blizzard "Nemo" hit Friday. The storm caused power-outages to 650,000 homes and businesses at one point and many car-related accidents, USA Today reported.

The storm was said to be the cause of at least nine deaths in the East Coast and areas in Canada, according to Fox 31 Denver.

One of the nine deaths was an 11-year-old boy in Boston who was poisoned by carbon monoxide while his father shoveled out their car, USA Today reported.

Second photo surfaces of St. Paul cop wearing hijab

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A second photo of a St. Paul police officer dressed in a Muslim hijab has surfaced online on Friday where the officer appears to have been wearing blackface makeup, news sources reported.

After the photos surfaced, St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith opened an internal affairs investigation, the Pioneer Press reported.

The first photo that surfaced on Twitter Sunday showed k-9 officer Robert Buth dressed in a red hijab wearing a Target name tag, according to the Star Tribune.

Buth issued a public apology Tuesday and said the photo "may have been viewed to be insensitive to the Muslim community," as stated in the Pioneer Press.

The two photos were apparently taken at Halloween parties in 2010 and 2012, according to the Star Tribune.

In a New York Daily News story, reporter Victoria Cavaliere wrote about a photograph where President Barack Obama was firing a gun. This was made news because the president is currently trying to tighten the laws on gun control.

The lead read: "Gun control is more than a political issue for President Obama."

A news lead is supposed to answer the "who", "what", "when", "where", and sometimes the "why", of a story. This lead only answers "who" and a bit of "what". This lead lacks detail and is much too general and vague. I don't see how this lead fits into the story, either. The story was about President Obama's released photo of him shooting a gun in the midst of all the current news on gun control. This lead did not give any insight to that, and it really did not make much sense. In this case, the author was attempting to catch the reader's attention by keeping the lead short and sweet. However, I don't believe she succeeded because it was vague and misleading.

Several dead after a California tour bus crash

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At least eight people were killed and 38 were injured after colliding with two other vehicles on a Southern California mountain road Sunday night, news sources report.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Mario Lopez said the tour bus rear-ended a sedan and then flipped over and collided with a pickup truck at about 6:30 pm (PST) , ABC News reported.
Firefighters worked for over two hours to extricate all of the injured passengers from the bus. Officials said over two dozen people were transported to area hospitals and at least six were in critical condition, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Profant said the passengers were a tour group from Tijuana, Mexico, according to ABC News.
"It happened so fast, I don't know how it all happened," one passenger said to the San Bernardino Sun, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Australian teen arrested for impersonating a doctor

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A 17-year-old Australian boy was arrested on Friday for impersonating a doctor, news sources report.
The teenager had been prescribing drugs to patients of Royal Adelaide Hospital and other local hospitals in Adelaide, South Australia while wearing scrubs, a stethoscope and a falsified name tag, the Huffington Post reported.
The state health department warned hospitals about the impersonator in December after three different reports had been made of a fake doctor roaming around area hospitals since October, ABC News reported.
The teenager, whom the hospital staff had been referring to as "Dr. Who", was removed from his job as an ambulance volunteer last year for "inappropriate behavior," according to Time magazine.
"Dr. Who" was arrested after assisting a 12-year-old girl who been injured in a scooter accident and giving her unauthorized medication. He has since posted bail, ABC News reported.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2013 is the next archive.

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