September 22, 2008

Attribution

In an article from the Star Tribune five sources are used.
The first source is the police, the second is the victim's father, and the rest are neighbors of the victims. Each of the four individuals is named.
The sources are used scattered throughout the story, with the most credible (police and family) being used first.
The information straight from the three neighbors is clustered together towards the end of the story.
It seems that most of the information is from people, but some must come from records.
The reporter sets up attribution by giving the information and then telling readers who said it. The reporter also uses several direct quotes from individual people.
The way she set up the attribution was effective, and was not confusing. It was very straightforward.

Biker's death may not have been an accident

The Star Tribune reported that police arrested a man on the suspicion that he may have killed his girlfriend on Friday, who they originally thought had died because of a motorcycle accident.
The Andover woman was originally thought to have died from injuries she sustained in a motorcycle accident, but police found new injuries that are not consistent with that theory.
She was a 28-year old mother of a 4-year-old child.
They are not releasing the details of those injuries right now.
Now the father of her 4-year-old child is under suspicion for killing her.
The victim's father said that he thinks the culprit is someone who threatened to kill her over a potential lawsuit, not her boyfriend.
Neighbors have a different view of the relationship, which they described as tense. Though they never suspected violence.

Copper theft causes Minneapolis building to explode

The Star Tribune reported that a vacant North Minneapolis fourplex exploded Sunday morning because of a natural gas leak caused by copper theft.
No injuries were reported, but a neighbor reported that she heard people moving around the building around 2 a.m.
Rene Hatchett, a neighbor, smelled gas when she woke up in the morning.
Her downstairs neighbor, Charmaine Brown, also smelled the gas and tried to call Minneapolis 311 but did not have the 50 cents to make the call.
Brown said she smelled gas to the point that it made her nauseous, but did not call 911 because she did not think that it was an emergency.
Hatchett said she was cooking when the vacant house exploded and shattered her windows. She said she thought it was an earthquake.
Residents are supposed to make sure the gas is shut off when the leave for a long period of time, according to Minneapolis police, and this house had been put on the market two months ago.

September 21, 2008

Coon Rapids man dies after mixing drugs

The Star Tribune reported that an expecting father from of Coon Rapids died after a night of partying where he mixed alcohol with pain medications.
The party was supposed to be a celebration of his son's expected birth the next day.
Eric J. Simco, the man who dies, was engaged, and his fiancee said that they were just getting ready to buy a house for them and their son.
His son was born the next day, and his fiancee expressed her sadness the he was never able to hold his son.
His fiancee said the the pain killers came from a car accident that he suffered a few years ago, and that she knew he was taking more than he should. She also said that he was planning to stop taking the drugs and drinking after his son was born.
He was also taking an anti-anxiety medication.
Simco's sisters describe him as a "boisterous guy who sported a tattoo, and eyebrow rings and a pierced lip."
His fiancee also said that he was looking forward to being a father.

Obama voters could influence Proposition 8

The New York Times reported Saturday that many black Barack Obama supporters that come to vote for him in November may also vote for Proposition 8 to be passed, which would ban same-sex marriages.
The newspaper reported that in general black people do not tend to support same-sex marriages, so many of Obama's black and other minority voters may come to the polls to vote for him, and while they are there may cast a vote for Proposition 8.
This is despite that fact that Obama does not support the ban.
Yahoo News reported that neither John McCain or Barack Obama want to feul a gay-marriage debate, but McCain supports the proposition.
Many opponents of the ban plan to fight the proposition by fund raising to reach out to undecided voters, and to try to show the black community that it would be hurting itself to pass this law.
They plan to have gay, black spokesmen to speak to the black communities about this idea.
But the supporters of Proposition 8 are also doing their part to make sure it gets passed.
They are also fund raising and trying to reach out to the religious and conservative groups to gain increasing support for the proposition.
They also believe that the nomination of Sarah Palin for Vice President will help them because she will be able to gain the support of many religious and conservative groups.

Al Qaeda may be behind Bomb of Marriott in Pakistan

The New York Times reported that a bomb that killed 53 people at a Marriott Hotel located in Pakistan may be the work of Al Qaeda.
Pakistani and U.S. officials think that the terrorist group bombed the hotel in an attempt to disrupt the country, democracy, and the already suffering economy in Pakistan.
Over 260 others were wounded in the blast, including foreigners and Americans.
A truck, which was said to be carrying 1320 lbs. of explosives, tried to get past security and blew up, causing a 24 foot deep crater.
Yahoo News reported that the truck was burning at the hotel gate for 3 1/2 minutes as guards tried to put out the fire.
Not only was the hotel damaged, but so were nearby cars as well.
Security tried to move many people to the back of the hotel before the truck exploded, so many people were able to flee the hotel before the explosion.
President Asif Ali Zardari said the bombing was a cowardly act, and left for the United States on Sunday.
The United States said it will assist the country with their investigation.

September 14, 2008

Analysis - Leads

The following is a lead from an article in the New York Times about a train crash in Los Angeles: "A freight train collided with a rush-hour commuter train in Los Angeles on Friday evening, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores of others, many of them critically."
This lead works for the story because it states the most important facts of the story such as what happened, where it happened, when it happened, and and the results of what happened. It summarized the most important parts of the story in one sentence.
Even though it is only a summary of the story, it still describes certain details such as the type of trains that collided and the number of people that died. In this case, those details worked for this particular lead because the fact that a freight train collided with a rush-hour commuter train shows that obviously many people were involved and the fact that it states the number of people that died also catches reader's attention.
The lead is also somewhat general because it doesn't state certain details such as where in Los Angeles, how the trains crashed, or what kinds of injuries people suffered.
The lead is a straightforward hard-news lead because it only gives the most important details of the story to catch readers' attention.

September 13, 2008

Southern California Train Crash Kills at Least 18

The New York Times reported that a train crash on Friday evening killed at least 18 people when a freight train collided with a rush-hour commuter train.
Many other people were critically injured, and this accident may be the deadliest accident involving Southern California commuter trains.
The crash occurred in the Chatsworth area, which is just north of Los Angeles.
Firefighters used cranes and ladders to try to extract passengers from thewreckage, many of whom were either dead or critically injured with twisted or snapped off limbs or severe bleeding.
So far, the cause of the crash has not yet been determined, but the investigation continues.
Many family members crowded the area, which was a scene of complete destruction, trying to find information on their loved ones.
Bystanders from a nearby elementary school rushed to help with the rescue efforts.
The BBC reported that there are fears that the death toll may rise and that Los Angeles City Fire Captain, John Virant, described the scene as "total destruction".
The previous deadliest crash in Southern California occurred in 2005, in which 11 people were killed.

China Investigates Contaminated Infant Formula

The New York Times reported on Friday that China will be investigating infant formula that was contaminated with melamine and is linked to the death of one baby and at least 50 cases of kidney problems in other babies.
The producer of this formula, Sanlu Group, recalled 700 tons of the formula after finding out it was contaminated.
However, there are many questions regarding this incident and the Sanlu would not answer phone calls from the New York Times regarding the incident.
Chinese officials say they have interviewed almost 80 dairy farmers and milk dealers and suspect that some milk may have been diluted with water and then had melamine added to mask the dilution.
Officials promise severe consequences for people who are found responsible.
This is not the first case of contamination of Chinese products. Last year, pet food with contaminated Chinese ingredients killed thousands of pets, after which China promised no people foods would be contaminated with melamine.

U.S. will Finance $18 million Cleanup of Pesticides

The Star Tribune reported on Friday that the U.S. government will use nearly $18 million to cleanup Minneapolis neighborhoods that were contaminated with arsenic.
The arsenic was left behind by a pesticide facilty, the CMC Heartland Lite Yard pesticide plant, which is no longer in operation.
It is believed that during the plant's operation between 1938 and 1968, material from a pesticide containing arsenic was blown into nearby neighborhoods,"according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Informational meetings will be held to see how much arsenic is contained in the soil of these neighborhoods.
The Environmental Protection Agency will clean up this soil and restore landscaping. They expect to have cleaned up 200 yards that have the most contamination by the end of this year, and will begin working on other yards that have potential health risks after that.
The cleanup requires that homeowners give their permission before any work is done on their yards and will not have to pay anything for it.

Suspect Charged with Murder in Shooting Outside Minneapolis Club

The Star Tribune reported on Thursday that a suspect was charged with the murder of a 19-year-old man outside of a Minneapolis strip club.
Jerrell Michael Brown, 21, was charged with the murder of Darius Ormond Miller.
The shooting occurred on August 30th around 3 a.m. outside of a Minneapolis club called Whispers Nightclub.
The victim, Miller, was being beaten by a group of men when Brown allegedly walked up and shot Miller in the head, and he died on the sidewalk.
"[The suspect] walks up like a wimp and fires a round in the guy," said Minneapolis Police spokesman, Sgt. Jesse Garcia. "This was a pretty cowardly act."
Brown was later identified by witnesses and a surveillance tape.
Police also found that the gun used to commit the murder was also used in a previous incident in which Brown was involved.

Hurricane Ike Causes Residents to Evacuate

The New York Times reported on Thursday that thousands of residents of the Texas Coast evacuated their homes in preparation for Hurricane Ike.
According to a local bulletin by the National Weather Service, anyone who does not evacuate will "face certain death."
Some people still chose to stay in their homes despite this warning.
The storm is expected to cause floods of up to 22 feet above seawater and is predicted to be a category three storm, with winds over 100 miles per hour.
Many people in Houston and Galveston boarded up their houses and evacuated their homes.
Traffic was backed-up and some gas stations ran out of fuel due to the amount of evacuees. Officials hope that this will not be as big of a problem as it was three years ago during Hurricane Rita.
The Governor of Texas said, "“I cannot overemphasize the danger that is facing us."
The Federal Government is sending aid to the area in the form of food, water, and other supplies.They also sent rescue teams.
The Star Tribune reported that storm surge from Hurricane Ike will be very large because coastal waters of Texas are very shallow, and that the storm will span a very wide distance.