April 2011 Archives

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.

Massive Boulder Falls On Bakery

St. Paul Bakery Bread, Coffee, & Cake was destroyed Friday morning when a fallen boulder rock smashed into the roof, the Pioneer Press reported.

The boulder was 20 feet long, and fell from a bluff near the Wabasha caves.

The owner Robert Dubuc came to the bakery around 2:30 a.m. to bake and found his bakery demolished.

Although his bakery was demolished, Dubuc still managed to save his sourdough starter.

Oldest Federal Judge Still Hearing Cases

Wesley Brown is 103-years-old and he is still hearing cases and is the oldest federal judge in the nation, the Huffington Post reported.

Brown has been a judge for 49 years and is now in a wheelchair, and is one of the four federal judges appointed by President Kennedy still working.

According to a federal court database, at least eight other judges are in their nineties, but Brown is six years older than the next oldest sitting federal judge.

"I do it to be a public service," Brown said. "You got to have a reason to live. As long as you perform a public service, you have a reason to live." (Huffington Post)

Rice Latest Nuclear Concern In Japan

As the planting season begins in Japan, there are fears that the radiation has come to rice, causing a huge damper in the national diet, the Star Tribune reported.

The radiation in the rice is believed to be cause from contaminated soil that the rice was harvested in.

Milk and vegetables were the first foods to raise concerns about radiation and Japan's agriculture.

A ban has been placed on any soil found to contain high levels of radioactive cesium. Farmers will be compensated if they cannot grow rice.

A federal judge in Idaho blocked a proposal lifting the endangered species protection of wolves in Montana and Idaho, the Star Tribune reported.

If the plan had passed, it would have resulted in around 1,300 wolves being hunted in the two states.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said he couldn't approve the propposed settlement because not everyone approved associated agreed with it, reported the Associated Press

U.S wildlife officials and conservation groups have been protesting against the proposal.

St. Paul Mom And Five Kids Escape House Fire

A fire started late Wednesday night from sparks that flew from an electric heater in St. Paul, the Star Tribune reported.

A mother and her five kids ages 3 to 14 got out in time, the dad arriving home from work and trying to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher to no avail.

Firefighters managed to keep the fire from spreading to the neighbors home.

The family's house and all their belongings were destroyed.

Title X Subsidy For Planned Parenthood Not Used On Abortion

Title X is a program that spends around $3.5 million each year to Minnesota to fund family planning clinics all over the state, said the Star Tribune.

The program is restricted by law to use the money for abortions, although in many abortion arguments in politics it says it does.

Around 52,000 Minnesotans get care from Planned Parenthood, who shares the money with 25 clinics throughout the state.

Sarah Stoesz, president of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota said that most of the money spent in Planned Parenthood is on birth control and cancer screenings, not abortions.

Minneapolis' Pothole Problem Gets More Spending

Due to Minneapolis' pothole problem, up to $1 million will be available to speed up the pothole repairs, the Star Tribune reports.

Crews should begin repairing the potholes by Tuesday because of the City Council's vote to approve extra spending Friday.

The large amount of potholes are due to Minneapolis' very harsh winter.

Almost half of the money used for the pothole repairs is coming out of the city's 2010 left-over budget.

Brewery Plans To Open Near Target Field In Minneapolis

Downtown Minneapolis is planning to open its only brewery near Target Field, the Star Tribune reports.

What started as a garage-based hobby with four friends will now be a 6,000-square-foot space of business called Fulton Brewery.

Fulton Brewery hopes to establish a name for themselves being in close proximity to Target Field in downtown Minneapolis.

"We didn't want to build something that was out and away from it all," he said. "We wanted to be in the heart of the city where Fulton drinkers work, live and play," said Fulton co-founder Ryan Petz. (Star Tribune)

Eighth Grader Makes Anti-Bullying Video; Goes Viral

Alye Pollack, and eighth grader from Connecticut posted an anti-bullying video that has made an impact on her fellow students, the Huffington Post reported.

The video went viral, getting the attention of news stations like CBS and viewers. The video has been watched over 280,000 times since Friday.

Pollack is surprised the video has been seen by so many people. She had considered cutting herself before the deal with bullying before she made this video.

Florida Pastor Burns Koran

Florida pastor Terry Jones burned a Koran and broadcasted it to the Muslim world after he promised to never burn Islamic holy books again in September of 2010, The Daily Beast reported.

This broadcast caused uproar in the muslim world, Afghans rioting in the street, leaving people injured and five dead.

Jones does not take an responsibility for the deaths. He feels vindicated.

Five civilians have been left dead and 46 have been injured during the second day of protests over the burning of the Koran in Florida, the Star Tribune reports.

Riots broke out burning cars and damaging shops Saturday morning in the city of Kandahar.

Even though the Koran was burned on March 20, Afghans didn't find out until four days later when their President Hamid Karzai informed them, condemning it.

A pastor at the church, Wayne Sapp, says he doesn't feel his church is responsible for what happened.

Analysis: Numbers

I chose a story in the Star Tribune about budget cuts.

There are a lot of numbers in this story, but mostly the reporter is stating the size of multiple budget cuts.

The numbers are pretty big, but the reported makes it easy to grasp, stating how much the unemployment rate has dropped and how many jobs were added last month.

Most of the sources for these numbers are either from Obama or Republicans in the Senate.

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

March 2011 is the previous archive.

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