March 2011 Archives

A member of an expert Japanese panel announced that a tsunami could put its reactors in dangers, but a Japanese government agency that had been evaluating the plant for years said it was safe, The Washington Post reports.

The nuclear plant was Fukushima Daiichi, and seismologist Yukinobu Okamura warned of tsunami in 2009 at a series of meetings to discuss the readiness of the Japanese nuclear plants.

An executive from Tokyo Electric Power Co. disagreed with Okamura, saying an earthquake would be a bigger threat.

When the 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck, Daiichi held its ground. It was the tsunami, with its 20-foot waves that hit the plants backup power supply, which resulted in large releases of radiation.

Analysis: Obituary

I found an obituary from the Star Tribune written about Dottie Titus.

Dottie Titus is an activist for the community.

The lead is four sentences long, but it is a standard lead because it indicates notable things that she has done in her life, says when and she died, and her age in a separate sentence.

The lead works very well because you get a sense of what she was remembered for in her life.

There were lots of sources used including her neighbor, daughter, community councils Titus was part of, and a crime prevention specialist who worked with Titus.

It differs from a resume because it states the important things she did for the community and how it influenced people around her rather than just listing her accomplishments.

Radio Shack Giving Out Free Gun With Purchase

The Hamilton, Montana Radio Shack is giving out a free gun with a purchase of Dish Network, the Huffington Post reports.

Since the promotion started business has tripled, says proprietor Steve Strand.

Customers must go through a background check before they receive their gun. If customers don't qualify or choose to opt-out, they receive a $50 coupon to Pizza Hut instead.

A promotional sign outside the store reads "Protect yourself with the Dish Network. Sign up now, get a free gun."

Despite Court Order; Wis. Union Law Takes Effect

Wisconsin Republicans claim that union law should take effect Saturday because a state office posted it online despite court orders, NPR reports.

The court order was posted by the head of the office, which temporarily blocks the laws implementation.

Confusion came to many public workers when the Legislative Reference Bureau posted the law online Friday, ignoring the court order.

Before the law to take effect, Secretary of State Doug La Follette must have it published, but the court orders restricts him from doing so.

Hiawatha Public Works Building Wins For Being Green

The new Hiawatha public works building in Minneapolis has won a platinum rating for its green construction, The Star Tribune reported.

The building uses the sun for light and it made out of almost all recycled materials. It also uses the earth for its heating and cooling system.

The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the highest possible rating, platinum, through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

Because of its green construction, the building will be spending much less on energy.

Experts Say Measles Vaccine Is Safe

Health experts spent their time at a Somali community forum Saturday night trying to convince the weary that the measles vaccine is necessary, The Star Tribune said.

A vaccine clinic was set up behind the Brian Coyle Center in Minneapolis, no one were waiting in line.

There were fears that the measles vaccine causes autism, but the experts said it is something other than the vaccine.

A current measles outbreak in Hennepin County prompted the meeting, which more than 50 people showed up for. Eleven people, including five Somali children, suffered from the outbreak.

Bill Gates Gives Away Billions; No Longer Worlds Richest Man

Experts say Bill Gates put billions of his money into his charitable foundation last year, causing him to lose his status as the richest man in the world, the Huffington Post reported.

Focusing on global health and development and U.S. education, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation now owns more than a third of Gates wealth.

Gates, now ranked third richest in the world, is worth $58 billion, Forbes reported.

At Least 36 Killed By Suicide Bomber At Pakistani Funeral

A funeral being held by anti-Taliban militia was hit by a suicide bomber Wednesday, killing at least 36 people, The Washington Post reported.

According to Pakistani media, the bomber was a teenager pretending to be attending the funeral.

The boy moved into the crowd just as prayer started and blew himself up, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The funeral, which around 500 people attended, was for the wife of one of the militia members.

Two South Minneapolis Clinics Shut Down By Fire

Two south Minneapolis clinics were shut down from a fire Wednesday morning, one of them treating patients since the Great Depression, reported the Star Tribune.

The fire lasted for several hours, starting around 2:40 a.m. at Southgate Physical Therapy clinic. Southgate is part of a one-story building that also includes Bloomington Lake Clinic.

Bloomington Lake clinic was badly damaged and had to be torn down, KSTP reported.

The cause of the fire is unknown, and also harder to predict because the building has been torn down.

Millions Of Dead Fish Wash Up On Redondo Beach

In a Southern California marina, around one million anchovies washed up dead on the shore Tuesday, reported the Huffington Post.

The most plausible explanation is that the fish got lost and suffocated because they depleted the water of oxygen.

These depleted oxygen levels could point to a "red tide" of algae or plankton infestation, reported The Daily News.

City officials calculated the clean up at around $100,000.

Vaccinations Rates For Children Dropping In Minnesota

Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota released national figures Tuesday saying Minnesota is lagging in getting children vaccinated, reported the Star Tribune.

Minnesota has dropped 13 spots within two years according to the 2009 National Immunization Survey.

Minnesota's childhood immunization rate dropped to 77 percent in 2009, down from from 80 percent in 2007, according to the survey. (KAALtv)

The survey didn't turn up any better results for adolescent vaccinations in Minnesota.

Analysis: Press Conference

I am writing about a press conference given by Scott Walker on February 17th in the Capitol. The video is here.

The article that covered it was from PolitiFact Wisconsin.

The writer used direct quotes from the press conference, as well as describing the aspects of the bill and who it would affect.

The writer gave a detailed descriptions on what has been going on with the Wisconsin protests and changes made in the bill, giving links to many other sources.

Accidental 911 Calls Cost Police Time and Money

When you accidentally call 911 and hang up before a dispatcher can answer, they will send a squad car to you home to check for an emergency, which results in thousands of dollars lost throughout the year, reported the Star Tribune.

Ramsey County had 5,731 calls that hung up before the dispatcher could answer last year.

3,745 hangup calls were responded to by St. Paul police, most of them accidental.

It is best to stay on the line and explain your mistake, authorities said.

"It's almost impossible to hang up fast enough to prevent that call from being routed to the dispatcher," said Scott Williams, director of the county's Emergency Communications Center. "It makes our job easier if you stay on the line. We won't yell at you." (Star Tribune)

Obama: "Gadhafi Must Go"

President Obama said Thursday that "Gadhafi must step down from power and leave," reported the Star Tribune.

Obama mentioned an option of a no-fly zone over Libya, in order to keep Gadhafi air forces from bombing protesters.

Obama has also approved the usage of U.S. military aircraft to help evacuate refugees from the violence in Libya.

"I have, therefore, approved the military aircraft to help move Egyptians who have fled to the Tunisian border to get back home to Egypt. I've authorized USAID to charter additional civilian aircraft to help people from other countries to find their way home. And we're supporting the efforts of international organizations," Obama said. (NationalJournal)

Long Wait For Wisconsin Senate Standoff

The Wisconsin union rights bill that has caused major prostests shows no signs of resolving anytime soon, reported the Pioneer Press.

The 14 Senate Democrats left so there would be one member short needed to vote for the union rights bill, and they have yet to come back or compromise a deal with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

The Senate passed a resolution Wednesday to charge a $100 fine each day the Democrats are not at work in Wisconsin.

The bill will eliminate collective bargaining for union workers as well as increase in pay for pensions and healthcare, reported the CSMonitor.

Two Men Arrested After Bank Robbery And Getaway

A man that held up a Minneapolis TCF bank and his accomplice, were arrested Tuesday after their getaway left people injured as well as cars stolen and beaten up, reported the Star Tribune.

The two men are Orlando Ray Vasquez, 40, of Nevada and Gregory Scott Tyler, 49, of Minnesota.

Vasquez stole $215 worth of cash from the TCF bank on West Lake St according to the FBI. Soon after, he had crashed a stolen car near West 24th Street and Bryant Avenue South.

A car was then hijacked shortly after the crash. The victim said a white and hispanic male stole her car.

The two men were charged in federal court in Minneapolis.

Dayton's proposed budget plan will increase the amount of children enrolled in all-day kindergarten, MPR reports.

The new spending is geared towards closing the learning gap between students of color and white students, said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.

Minnesota is one of around 12 schools that does not have extra funding for full-day programs, reported the Star Tribune.

Funding full-day kindergarten is the largest piece in Dayton's education plan, and the largest funding to kindergarten in a decade.

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