October 2010 Archives

Former State Trooper Killed in Crash

A Longville former state trooper was killed Friday while not wearing a seatbelt after he lost control of his truck.
Timothy J. Murphy, 52, was killed around 8 p.m. on Hwy. 84 near Longville after he lost control of his truck and hit a tree while not wearing his seatbelt, the Star Tribune said.
Murphy retired from being a state trooper in 2008 and spent 26 years with the patrol. He also worked as an accident reconstructionist for a time, the Brainerd Dispatch said.
State Patrol Lt. Erik Roeske said this accident demonstrated that everyone faces the possibility of death as a result of not wearing a seatbelt, the Brainerd Dispatch said.

Rwanda Hotel Manager Faces Scrutiny

A Rwanda hotel manager, which the film "Hotel Rwanda" was based off of, was accused Tuesday of funding a rebel extremist group.
Paul Rusesabagina was accused Tuesday of financing terrorist activities. Authorities said he sent money to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the New York Times said.
Rusesabagina said the government was trying to slander him for not supporting President Paul Kagame, BBC News said.

McDonald's Employees Told To Vote Republican

The owner of several McDonald's chains in Ohio inserted a pamphlet into employees' last paychecks that said if they did not vote Republican in the upcoming Midterm elections, their pay and benefits would be affected.
Paul Siegfried, owner of several McDonald's chains in Ohio, attempted to persuade his employees on how to vote by inserting a pamphlet into their paychecks this month, the New York Times said.
The pamphlet mentioned three specific Republican candidates that employees were supposed to vote for. The pamphlet said that if the employees did not, their pay and benefits would be threatened, the New York Daily News said.
One employee forwarded the pamphlet to an attorney out of anger, the New York Daily News said.
McDonald's headquarters said that Siegfried's actions were not a representation of company beliefs. Siegfried issued an apology via a statement made by a spokesman, the New York Times said.

Girl Hit by Deer while Running Cross Country Race

A Hortonville cross country runner was hit by a deer Oct. 22 while running a cross country race.
Sarah Glidden, Hortonville's number one cross country runner, was running in a state-qualifying cross country meet Oct. 22 when a deer ran across her path and collided with her, the Pioneer Press said.
Glidden was stunned and spun around when the deer ran into her but managed to maintain her balance and kept running, the Appleton Post Crescent said.
Glidden said she felt fur brush her leg and felt a hoof kick her in the shin. She said she had a bruise from the incident, the Appleton Post Crescent said.
Glidden did not qualify for state because she finished the race in 18th place. Glidden said her time was 17 seconds behind her previous finishing time two weeks earlier, the Pioneer Press said.

Fire that Killed Teen Started on Purpose

A 17-year-old Henderson girl died from smoke inhalation in August from a fire that investigators said Friday was started intentionally by her.
Amee Lee Thiel was pronounced dead at Le Sueur Hospital after she inhaled smoke from a fire on Aug. 29 in her father's home that police said was started by her, according to the Pioneer Press.
The girl moved in to her father's house recently which had damage in the basement and on the main level, the Star Tribune said.
The fire had multiple origin points and police said it was not yet clear whether the fire was a result of the girl committing suicide, the Pioneer Press said.

Analysis: Coverage of Speech in Story about Alaska Governor

A news article about a public safety initiative proposed by Alaskan Governor Sean Parnell was written simultaneously with a press release released by the office of the governor.
The news report includes quotes by the governor during a speech and also addresses Parnell's opponent, Ethan Berkowitz's, reaction to the initiative.
The news report also includes background information about Parnell and his upcoming re-election race.
The news release focuses only on the initiative itself instead of on the governor.
The news release uses bullet points to summarize the initiative proposal and discusses it in the most positive light possible.

Judge Allows 17-Year-Olds to Marry without Parental Consent

An Ohio judge allowed two 17-year-olds to marry Tuesday without the pregnant bride's parental consent.
Gabrielle Squeglia, 17, and Dustin Mitchell Goldman, 17, were married by a judge Tuesday who waived the parental consent requirement because Squeglia said she was pregnant and scared her parents would force her into getting an abortion, MSNBC said.
Squeglia's mother said she is outraged about the judge waiving the requirement and said she has not pushed her daughter into an abortion, the Columbus Dispatch said.
Squeglia said she felt that her unborn child was in danger and said that Children Services had been called in the past by Squeglia, her principal, and the school social worker, the Columbus Dispatch said.
The groom's father said he is supportive of the couple and allowed them to move in with him and his wife, the Columbus Dispatch said.

Seven Dead in Kenyan Stampede

Seven football fans died Saturday trying to enter a stadium to watch a football match between Kenya's two most popular teams.
CBS News said that six people died while trying to enter the Nyayo National Stadium and got run over by the crowd and one more died at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Access to the football match at the stadium was limited which got the crowd anxious and they tried to force their way in, BBC said.
The football match was between Gor Mahia and the AFC Leopards, which continued as planned despite the stampede and deaths, BBC said.

Mummified Body Found in Woman's Car

A mummified body of a homeless woman was found Thursday inside a California woman's car that had been there anywhere from three to 10 months.
The Costa Mesa owner of the car had been driving around with a decomposing homeless woman's body in her passenger seat for anywhere from three to 10 months, CBS News said.
The body was discovered after police responded to a complaint about a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis blocking a driveway and smelled a strong odor. The body was covered in jackets and clothing and had a box of baking soda sitting nearby, the Daily Pilot said.
The owner of the car had been letting the homeless 50 or 60-year-old woman sleep in her car and had last seen her alive in December of 2009, the Daily Pilot said.
No arrests have been made but police are considering charging the car owner with not reporting a death and moving a body, the Daily Pilot said.
The car owner said she was scared to report the death to police, CBS News said.

Woman Accused of Killing Son Must Take Mental Exam

A judge ordered a woman accused of killing her infant son to complete a mental competency exam Friday.
A Stearns County judge ordered Nyachual Lungdicok Poch, 31, to complete a mental competency evaluation after she was accused of beating her 1-year-old son to death with a shoe in April, Kare 11 said.
Poch was ordered by Judge Kris Davick-Halfen to complete the evaluation and was being held on a $1 million bail, the St. Cloud Times said.
Police said that Poch began beating her son because he was crying. Police also said that this was not the first occurrence of physical violence for the boy according to the autopsy report, Kare 11 said.
Stearns County filed a petition that would order Poch to surrender her parental rights to her other children, the St. Cloud Times said.

Woman Dies in Hit-and-Run

An 85-year-old woman was hit by a pickup truck Thursday in Bloomington while she was trying to cross a street.
Dorothy Ann Hanson was hit on Old Shakopee Road at 10th Avenue around 7:30 p.m. after visiting her husband in a care center, the Star Tribune said.
The pickup truck did not stop after hitting Hanson. Hanson was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where she died Thursday night, the Pioneer Press said.
Police have not found the pickup or the driver, the Star Tribune said.

Analysis: Use of Multimedia in News Stories

The New York Times uses many good examples of multimedia features.
The Times seems to focus a lot on slideshows as it has many different stories with accompanying slideshows right on the front page of the multimedia site.
The Times also has a "Picture of the Day" feature where a new photo is featured daily and interactive features with video and audio as well.
One slideshow featured on the Times multimedia site uses about two sentences per slide and manages to sum up what the photo is as well.
The captions on the slides are condensed and to the point and the slideshow tells a pretty good story in a small amount of space.
USA Today offers similar multimedia features, although I could not locate an actual "Multimedia" page like on the New York Times' website.
USA Today offers similar slideshows, photo galleries, videos, podcasts, audio clips, and interactive features.
One interactive feature about leaves changing colors was interesting and the accompanying news story was written a lot like a feature story about why exactly leaves change colors.
The story was relevant to the interactive feature and was a very informative piece.

St. Cloud Woman Falls out of Second Story Window

A 20-year-old drunk St. Cloud State University student fell out of a second story apartment window early Thursday trying to catch her cat.
Alycia Kroll was smoking near an open window and fell out of it while trying to get her cat that was out on the ledge, the Star Tribune said.
Kroll was brought to St. Cloud Hospital without life-threatening injuries, the Pioneer Press said.

Chilean Miners Rescued

The 33 Chilean miners, trapped in a mine for 69 days, were rescued late Wednesday night.
It took around 22 hours to get all 33 miners out of the mine successfully through an engineered rescue shaft, MSNBC said.
The scene of the rescue was extremely emotional and it took each man 15 minutes to reach the surface from 2,000 feet below ground, the Los Angeles Times said.
Almost all of Chile was captivated by the rescue and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera was at the scene to welcome each miner back above ground, MSNBC said.

North Carolina Girl Missing

A North Carolina girl was reported missing Saturday by her father and stepmother but law enforcement believes she may be dead.
Zahra Baker, 10, was reported missing by her father, Adam Baker, over 12 hours after he said she had last been seen by her stepmother Elisa Baker sleeping in her bed, CBS News said.
The house the family recently moved into, the nearby woods, and Adam Baker's employer's property were searched in efforts to find Zahra Baker's body, ABC News said.
Elisa Baker was charged Monday with obstruction of justice for faking a ransom note. She is being held on a $40,000 bail for various charges in a North Carolina jail and is a person of special interest in the investigation, CBS News said.
Adam Baker also remains an unofficial suspect in the case, ABC News said.

Man Kills Wife and Two Children

A Vadnais Heights man was charged Friday for three counts of second degree murder after he killed his wife and two of his children.
Justus Ogendi Kebabe, 43, killed his wife Bilha Omare, 32, and his two children, Kinley Ogendi, 12, and Ivyn Ogendi, 9. The three bodies were found Wednesday, the Star Tribune said.
Omare had been hit over the head with a golf club and then strangled with an electrical wire. The two children were given a cranberry juice and Tylenol PM mixture before Kinley was drowned in the bathtub and Ivyn was smothered with a pillow and strangled, the Pioneer Press said.
Kebabe tried to kill himself in jail Thursday by trying to choke on toilet paper, the Pioneer Press said.
Kebabe was arrested by authorities after running out of gas on Interstate 35. Kebabe and Omare's 3-year-old was in the car, the Star Tribune said.
Omare and Kebabe had a very turbulent history and Kebabe often beat Omare, the Star Tribune said.

Teen Murder-Suicide

The bodies of two ninth grade students from Lake Elmo discovered Tuesday was ruled a murder-suicide.
Jacob Campbell, 14, and Lisa Grijalva, 15, died Tuesday after what is now ruled a murder-suicide, according to the Star Tribune.
Campbell and Grijalva's bodies were found in a wooded area near Humphries Park around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday by a hiker, CBS News said.
Both had gunshot wounds and a shotgun was found at the scene. Grijalva's death was ruled a homicide and Campbell's death a suicide, the Star Tribune said.
Friends said the two had recently ended their relationship, CBS News said.

A story and a follow-up story, both found in the Los Angeles Times, about an elementary school shooting in Carlsbad, California is a good example of the reporter using the spot and follow technique.
The first story said that the shooter had been identified and gave a fair amount of detail about the event. It gave the chronological events of the shooting and described the shooter as mumbling to himself and carrying a suspected gas tank.
It also talks about the two girls' injuries and how the construction workers managed to tackle and restrain the man from causing any further injury.
The second story adds much more detail to the events surrounding the shooting. It gives a physical description of the shooter instead of just his name and also lists what charges he is being held on.
It gives much more description of the scene of the crime (i.e.: "upper-middle-class neighborhood with tall trees and a large park nearby") and also discusses the possible causes of the girls' injuries.
The biggest difference between the two stories is that the second one discusses similar school shooting events that have occurred around the San Diego region to provide the reader with some connections to past events.
The second story also points out the connections between construction workers in California and children recently by mentioning the construction worker in Fresno who saved a girl from being kidnapped by blocking the suspected kidnapper's path with his truck.
The leads in the two stories are fairly different because the first story is about the suspect being identified and the second story is a more general and detailed report of the event itself.

Drill Reaches Trapped Chilean Miners

A drill finally reached the trapped Chilean miners Saturday and rescue attempts will be made beginning as early as Wednesday.
However, there are some logistical problems with the shaft that the miners would have to travel up because the rescue capsule could cause even more collapse to the mine if it catches on the rock walls of the shaft, the New York Times said.
Efforts to reinforce the rock walls of the rescue shaft are underway by engineer teams from around the world. The engineers have begun welding together sixteen metal tubes to line the rescue shaft, BBC said.
The rescue shaft is approximately two feet wide and rescue teams are anticipating complications, the New York Times said.
The miners have been trapped in the San Jose mine for 65 days, according to BBC.

School Shooting in California

Two young girls were injured in a school shooting Friday by a man who fired several shots at a Carlsbad, California elementary school.
The gunman stood on the sidewalk next to the playground and fired several shots into a group of elementary school kids, the Los Angeles Times said.
The man was quickly tackled by nearby construction workers who restrained him until authorities arrived, USA Today said.
The two girls' injuries were not life-threatening and the Los Angeles Times said the gunman's shots grazed the two girls' arms.
Witnesses said the man seemed to be carrying a gas tank, USA Today said.

10/10/10 Attracts Thousands of Weddings

The date 10/10/10 has led many wedding venues and chapels to prepare for an expected tenfold increase in marriages than typical Sundays.
Many couples have been waiting for up to two years to get married on 10/10/10, the Reno Gazette-Journal said.
The Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel has 150 wedding chapels planned and had to employ extra Elvis impersonators for the day, the New York Times said.
More than 39,000 couples are going to be wed between early Sunday morning and late Sunday night, the New York Times said.

Three University of Wisconsin-Madison Students Fined $86,000

Three University of Wisconsin at Madison students were fined $86,000 from over 130 citations for throwing a house party Sept. 11.
The three students, Travis Ludy, 21, Mitchell Klatt, 20, and Kevin Tracy, 20, were issued over 130 citations by Wisconsin police for violations including distributing alcohol to minors, dispensing alcohol without a permit, and encouraging underage party-goers to drink, according to WCCO.
The party was thrown because it was the Badger home opening football game and got out of control, the Star Tribune said.
Tracy, who is from St. Paul, and his family said that the citations are ridiculous because neither he nor his family can afford his approximate $30,000 share of the fines, WCCO said.
Police said that the owners of the home shut off lights, locked doors, and quieted party-goers in an effort to avoid talking to the police. Police said that if the owners would have cooperated, they probably would have gotten a smaller fine, according to the Star Tribune.
However, the fines will most likely be lowered in amount, according to WCCO.

Car Accident Kills Three

A drunk driver rear-ended a car whose occupants were trying to fix a flat tire on the side of Interstate 39/90 near Madison.
Marcus Johnson, 19, Elysia Rapp, 20, and Wilfredo Ugarte, 23, were killed by Bradley Erickson, 31, who was driving under the influence, the Pioneer Press said.
Two other occupants of the vehicle, Carlos Rios, 20, and an unidentified female, managed to survive the crash, according to the Pioneer Press.
Rios, Johnson, and Ugarte pulled their vehicle over to the side of the road at around 2:39 a.m. to fix a flat tire while Rapp and the unidentified female waited in the car. Just as the men were pulling the spare tire out, an Acura driven by Erickson rear-ended them, the Pioneer Press said.
Both Johnson and Ugarte were members of the University of Minnesota's Spirit Squad, the Wisconsin State Journal said.
Rios was also about to enroll in the University of Minnesota and join the Spirit Squad, according to the Pioneer Press.
Erickson was arrested for operating under the influence after the fatal crash, the Wisconsin State Journal said.

The structure in a story about a man beating and locking his ex-girlfriend in a dog kennel seen in the Star Tribune is a decent example of a martini glass style structure setup.
Because this story is hardnews style, it follows the standard martini glass setup with the inverted pyramid starting with the general lead and descending into more and more specifics.
The inverted pyramid is then followed by a chronological sequence of events throughout the night of the beatings and the story finishes with a description of the woman's injuries and what the man is being charged with.
The reporter uses some colorful verbs throughout the story, but sticks to reporting only the facts that were presumably in the police report.
This story is set up effectively in that it lays out the series of events and the hard facts for the reader.
However, I think the fact that the bulk of the story is a chronological sequence of events is a little too dull for a story this unique. I think the reporter definitely could've summed up the story more interestingly by skipping the chronology.
The reporter also could have finished off the martini glass style better by ending with a kicker quote or some other interesting fact about the night.

Oakland Police Kill Family Pet

The Oakland police force is facing public scrutiny after an officer shot and killed a family's 11-year-old Labrador Tuesday when responding to a burglar alarm that the Lab accidently tripped.
The Labrador, Gloria, reportedly growled, barked, and approached the officers in a threatening manner and the shooting was necessary, according to the Oakland Tribune.
However, Gloria's family said that she was never violent and was very gentle. She also had arthritis, USA Today said.
Gloria was shot three times and one of the bullets hit her in the head and killed her. Police spokesman Jeff Thomason defended the police officers responsible, saying they were following procedure, the Oakland Tribune said.
Gloria's owners were out running errands when she tripped the alarm and the police officers left a note on the door explaining what had happened, the Oakland Tribune said.

Rutgers University Holds Vigil

New Jersey's Rutgers University held a vigil Sunday night in remembrance of a freshmen student who recently killed himself.
Tyler Clementi committed suicide recently by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate and another student broadcasted a live-stream webcam video of him on the Internet sharing a sexual encounter with another male, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The campus held the candlelight vigil to honor Clementi and reflect on the events that led up to his death, the New York Times said.
The campus also held a moment of silence during its homecoming football game Saturday in honor of Clementi, the Los Angeles Times said.
The students responsible for the broadcast, roommate Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, face the possibility of a five year prison sentence after being charged with invasion of privacy, the Los Angeles Times said.

China Sends Rocket to Moon

China is attempting to become a larger space power by efforts to send a man to the moon by launching a second lunar probe Friday.
The rocket launched from the province Sichuan around 7 p.m. and will fly as close as 9.3 miles above the surface of the moon, MSNBC said.
China is competing with Japan and India to become the biggest power in space and has now become the third country behind the U.S. and Russia to put a man in space, MSNBC said.
The satellite is expected to reach the moon in about five days and is the second Chinese lunar probe to be launched after the first one was in 2007, according to BBC.

Chemical Spill at University

A building on the University of Minnesota campus was evacuated Wednesday after a chemical spill which interrupted traffic flow for about two hours, police said.
Two students spilled the chemical pyridine on the seventh floor of the Phillips Wangensteen building around 6 p.m. and about eight fire trucks and a HAZMAT crew were dispatched to the scene, the Minnesota Daily said.
The hallway of the lab was contaminated which made the cleanup more difficult, the Pioneer Press said.
The sixth, seventh, and eighth floors of the building were evacuated and two blocks of Harvard Street Southeast were closed, according to the Minnesota Daily.
The two students were hospitalized to check for chemical inhalation, the Pioneer Press said.

Woman Beaten and Locked in Dog Kennel

A St. Paul woman was beaten several times and locked inside a dog kennel Sunday after telling her boyfriend of 3 months that she was breaking up with him, police said.
Luke Brandon Scott, 29, has been charged with first and second degree assault, false imprisonment, and making terroristic threats after police arrived at a SuperAmerica responding to a call by a woman saying that she was held captive and repeatedly beaten by Scott, according to the Pioneer Press.
The woman reported that she was locked inside the dog kennel after Scott punched her in the face for trying to leave his house, according to the Star Tribune.
She then grabbed Scott's dog, thinking it would stop him from hitting her, but he grabbed the pooch and threw it against a wall, the Pioneer Press said.
The woman managed to escape to the backyard at one point but Scott's 6-foot tall fence kept her from leaving. She also tried to escape by smashing a front window out with a bottle which Scott then hit her in the face with, according to the Star Tribune.
When Scott let the woman go around 6 a.m. Monday, the woman walked to a nearby SuperAmerica and called authorities. She suffered major cuts to her lip and had swelling, bruising, and loose teeth, the Pioneer Press said.
Scott is being held on a $50,000 bail at the Ramsey County jail, according to the Star Tribune.

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