Analysis: Computer-Assisted Reporting

I found a story at the Investigative Reporters and Editors Website.

Most of the information comes from state records. It is also found from a Star tribune Investigation as well as an Education Department report.

The reporter needed computer skills in terms of searching for the exact information and resources he or she needed to complete his research.

A University of Minnesota senior was killed while riding her bike when a truck hit her turning right on 4th and 15th Avenue SE, the Star Tribune reported.

The woman was a senior in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, and was dead at the scene.

The truck driver was given a preliminary breath test which showed no signs of alcohol consumption after he quickly pulled over after the accident.

Police are determined to step up bicycle safety and the rules of the road.

No Deaths in St. Louis Tornado

The St. Louis area tornado destroyed nearly 100 homes and was te strongest in 44 years, but no one was killed or seriously hurt, the Star Tribune reported.

The tornado hit an airport and shattered most of its windows at the main terminal, yet the airport was able to open again less than 24 hours later.

No deaths and the airport reopening so quickly after the tonado was said to be because of the early warnings, common sense, and good timing.

There was a 34 minute warning before the tornado struck, which many say that that warning saved lives.

Chinese Tea Farmer Finds Twin Bears in Forest

A farmer in Beijing found twin black bear cubs in the forest where he was gathering tea leaves, the Star Tribune reported.

The tea farmers name was Tian Shougui, and found the animals after he heard them crying in the forest.

The tea farmer took them into his home to save their lives without knowing they were bears.

The twins Asiatic black bears, a boy and girl, confirmed by a local animal welfare experts.

Texting While Driving Hard To Enforce

State Troopers in Minneapolis are finding it hard to enforce texting while driving, the Star Tribune reported.

Troopers were trying out an exercise of monitoring texting drivers on 394 west of downtown Minneapolis.

Only one was given a warning for texting messaging, when 50 drivers were stopped.

The law was made a petty misdemeanor in 2008, and since then almost 1,600 Minnesota drivers have been cited for texting.

Southern Theater Struggling To Stay Open

The Southern Theater in Minneapolis must raise $400,000 by April 30 to stay open, the Star Tribune reported.

The Southern Theater is home to eventful music, dance and theater in the Twin Cities and is in a financial crisis to keeps its doors open.

The Southern sent out an urgent message on its Website pleading for contributions to save the theater.

It recently lost its major backer, the McKnight Foundation when grants were used for theater operating expenses instead of for individual artists.

Town Tricked By Woman's Story of Service

A 2009 graduate of Cass Lake High School told her town that she was hurt in Afghanistan, but she wasn't even in the military, the Star Tribune reported.

Elizabeth McKenzie was welcomed home last month when she came to her high school in her Army uniform.

McKenzie told the town that she had many close calls and an injury which was why she was brought home, none of which was true.

The 20-year-old had never been in the military, to Afghanistan or injured in war, and she has been cited for impersonating an officer.

Internet Freedom Lessoned in Russia

Due to recent attacks on popular Russian Websites, a top official proposed a ban on Skype, Gmail and Hotmail Friday, the Washington Post reported.

The proposal was due to the fact that the use of the Websites were "uncontrolled."

Bloggers believed that the cyber attacks were because of shadowy government agencies.

Attacks have targeted LiveJournal and Novaya Gazeta.

Is Hemp Good For The Environment?

Health advocates say that hemp is beneficial for the environment, and that U.S. farmers should be allowed be grow it, the Washington Post reported.

The legal issue would be that hemp is very similar to marijuana, the only difference being the concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC.

Hemp can be used to grown for seed or fiber. The seed contains milk, oil, and other food products, whereas fiber can be used for paper and clothing.

Grain Belt Sign Target For Graffiti

The opposite side of the Grain Belt bottle cap sign in downtown Minneapolis has had the problem of being constantly defaced by graffiti, the Star Tribune reported.

The sign has been a classic symbol of the city, being up for more than 70 years.

However, the sign's owner is deciding whether or not he should keep paying for the sign due to its regular defacement.

The Daphne R. Eastman Family Trust said that money spent on removing graffiti could be spent on repairing the iconic sign.