December 2011 Archives

Hazing scandal involving drum major

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NBC Nightly News broadcasted this story.

The anchor says there are ongoing investigations in Florida after the suspected hazing death of a drum major at a university known for its marching band. Questions remain about the death of the student on a bus and determining if there was a pattern of unchecked behavior that went on in the marching band. After the introduction, the anchor says the reporter has more on the story.

Footage of the marching band is shown, while the sound-on-tape of the reporter's voice says the marching band at A & M University in Florida is well known for their precision and has performed for President Barack Obama and sports professionals alike.

The recent alleged hazing scandal left 26-year-old Robert Champion, a drum major, dead. He was found unconscious on the bus 2 weeks ago, shortly after the band had performed at a football game in Orlando.

The viewer sees the reporter then and he says the exact cause of Champion's death remains unknown. The details are unclear, but the university has expelled 4 students for their alleged roles in the incident.

More accusations of abuse are emerging, including a police report made by an 18-year-old band member. Another former band member also sued and settled with the university, and described on camera how he was beaten with a wooden paddle.

Julian White, the band director at A & M, has been fired. "In all cases where I suspect there's hazing involved, I take immediate action," White told NBC in an interview on tape.

Champion's parents say they plan on suing the university. Their son's death also prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to have all state universities review their anti-hazing policies, which is a statement both heard and seen by the viewer from a press conference held by the governor. The president of A & M says he vows to eliminate hazing on the school's campus, says the reporter.

Japan power plant meltdown

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The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley reported this story.

Pelley says the meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant after last spring's tsunami was much worse than was first thought. Correspondent Lucy Craft details how close it came to burning into the earth.

She says reporters recently got their first look at the devastation left in the wake of the accident, and could see heavily reinforced buildings torn to shreds. The damage was even worse because Rector 1 almost had a full meltdown.

"A new report revealed that molten nuclear fuel burned through the 8-foot concrete walls of the first protective casing surrounding the reactor's core, and then ate 3/4 of the way through the second casing," according to the reporter.

If the reactors had burned through, it would have contaminated the ground water and the soil and no one knows how far it would have spread.

Craft interviewed Yukio Takayama, a veteran firefighter who was sent to Fukushima six days after the accident. "The TV was saying, there was no meltdown, no radiation leaks, nothing to worry about," Takayama said. "But when you saw the damage, you knew this was no ordinary accident."

The fuel at the power plant will have cooled enough by the end of the year to allow for a "cold shutdown" of the plant, according to the plant's operator. However, dismantling the reactor and cleaning up the plant could take 30 years.

The reporter uses sound-on-tape to report while the viewer sees images of the destruction and coiled, collapsed framework of the power plant. The broadcast uses simulation videos to show how the reactors work, aerial shots to show the location of the power plant, and scenes of her sit-down interview with the firefighter.

Wild winds cause millions of dollars in damage

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NBC Nightly News reported this story Friday evening.

The anchor, Brian Williams, says a major swing storm hit the Southwest on Thursday. He says, "Look at what this story did out West," and then the broadcast goes to a map showing the wind gusts in the Southwest, which ranged from 88- 150 mph. Then he says the report has more about the aftermath of the storm.

Using sound-on-tape, the reporter talks while the viewer sees images of uprooted trees, collapsed roofs, and miscellaneous objects strewn about in a residential neighborhood. The storm left a path of destruction and a state of emergency across California, says the reporter.

"Power poles toppled like dominoes in wind gusts just shy of 100 miles per hour," the viewer hears the reporter say while seeing aerial video footage of the destruction.

Nearly 250,000 homes and businesses are still without power and the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to 2,100 calls in 24 hours.

"This is one of the worst wind storms in a generation," said Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles. "The good news is that nobody was injured and nobody was killed."

The reporter is seen walking down a road lined with downed trees while talking about the effects of the storm in other states, including New Mexico and Arizona. He says the storm is heading east.

Cargill cuts 2,000 employees

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KARE 11 reported this local story. The male anchor introduces the lead, saying that although the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in 2 1/2 years, but Minnesota-based Cargill plans on cutting 2,000 employees right before the holiday season.

The anchor makes a transition to the reporter who has more information. She reports that Cargill confirms it has cut the positions, issuing a statement which says, "These actions are in response to the continued weak global economy."

The company has its headquarters in Minnesota and employs 138,000 people worldwide, the anchor reports. Cargill employees told KARE 11 that they were called in Thursday and let go without warning. The employees were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, which prevents them from speaking publicly about the cuts.

Then the story is put in a nationwide context. The reporter says the layoffs come just as the US unemployment rate is improving. The unemployment rate is at 8.6 percent, the lowest it's been since March 2009.

The reporter interviewed a woman who was laid off in January 2009, and again last month from her job at the Lowe's store in Rogers.

The reporter speaks live the entire time, but there are videos shown throughout the report. These videos include footage of Cargill's buildings and then the New York Department of Labor to provide a visual for unemployment nationwide.

Drunk passenger charged with causing crash

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This story was reported by WCCO. One of the anchors introduced the lead and then the other anchor provided the nut graf.

The passenger of a car that lost control faces criminal charges for getting drunk and causing the crash. The accident happened last spring when Mollie Lenzi was celebrating her birthday with friends.

Then the second anchor introduced the report and noted that he would provide more details about how Lenzi faces legal trouble even though she was not behind the wheel.

James Schugel, the reporter, reintroduced the story with more details. It was April 19 when Lenzi and her friends headed to a St. Paul bar to celebrate her birthday. They had a designated driver, but on the way home, the driver said Lenzi "grabbed the steering wheel and turned it, causing the car to veer to the left, and crash into the median wall," according to court papers.

The story then switched from footage of a bar, Interstate 34, the court documents, to Schugel reporting in front of Regions Hospital. At that hospital, a state trooper had noted Lenzi's eyes were watery and bloodshot, and her speech was slurred. A blood test reveled that her alcohol concentration was more than twice the legal limit.

The Ramsey County Attorney charged her with causing the crash and injuring her driver.
The reporter interviewed a state trooper. "The state, regarding DWI, clearly states that a person only needs to be in physical control of a vehicle," said Lt. Eric Roeske. "In this particular case, that physical control was the passenger grabbing that steering wheel, causing the crash."

Then the story goes back to the female anchor. She noted that Lenzi's lawyer said the charges are just allegations at this point and wouldn't comment on them.

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

November 2011 is the previous archive.

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