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March 30, 2009

Governing Party Wins in Turkey Elections

The Governing Party led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has reportedly won Sunday in the nation-wide municipal elections.

According to The Star Tribune, the CNN-Turk news channel was reporting that Mr. Erdogan’s party, Justice and Development, led with 39.13 percent of the vote, while the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party, had 22.83 percent, and the nationalist People’s Action Party had 16.22 percent.

Violence did occur at the polls. Fights between rival political groups left five people dead and dozens wounded, Anatolia news agency reported.

The elections were seen as a referendum on the performance of Turkey’s politicians, in particular that of Mr. Erdogan, a former Islamist who has pressed for Turkey’s membership in the European Union.

8 killed in nursing home shooting

A lone gunman entered a nursing home in North Carolina Sunday opening fire killing 7 residents and 1 nurse.

The shooting was reported around 10 a.m. at Pinelake Health and Rehab.

The patients were identified by The Associated Press as Louise Decker, 98; Lillian Dunn, 89; Tessie Garner, 88; John Goldston, 78; Bessie Hendrick, 78; Margaret Johnson, 89; and Jessie Musser, 88. All were residents. The nurse was identified as Jerry Avant Jr., 39.

According to Yahoo News, the suspected gunman Robert Stewart is not a resident of the home.

“He did have some violent tendencies from time to time,” Ex-wife Susan Griffin said in an interview with The New York Times. “I wouldn’t put it past him. I hate to say it, but it is true.”

Six others were injured during the shooting.


The obituary of Archie Green uses a standard lead. It opens with the name of the person, a few identifying facts and characteristics as well as when and where he died. It also included that he was 91-years-old in the simple "he was 91" format.

The reporter used sources such as the Library of Congress, his son Derek, Pennsylvania State University as well as several other collegiate institutions. These sources were used to correctly to describe him as the ambitious union activist and folklore loving man he was.

This obit differs from a resume because it does not list every one of Green's accomplishments throughout his life. Instead, the reporter picked two specific topics and used them as his angle in the obituary.

Red River Flood Level Slowly Drops

The Red River has dropped below 40 feet Sunday for the first time this week.

Many schools, roads and businesses remain closed while the water level is still no where near normal.

According to The Star Tribune, following a record crest of 40.82 feet early Saturday, the Red had fallen to 39.80 feet by Sunday evening with projections of a steady decline all week.

In an interview with Inforumn, the National Weather Service is predicting the river will continue to drop through the week. However, there is a storm system moving into the area that's expected to drop some snow on the Red River Valley.

"Amen. It's a great feeling," said Kyle Norman, a Moorhead resident to The New York Times. "We have said we're going to fight this thing and win, and we did."

March 29, 2009

Brooklyn Park man accused of raping a minor

A Brooklyn Park man has been jailed Thursday for allegedly raping a 16-year-old Milwaukee girl he met online.

Tony Xiong, 35 had been chatting with the 16-year-old online and decided to drive to Milwaukee where he picked her up from her home, returned to his residence in Minneapolis and allegedly raped her three times while holding her against her will.

According to 5 Eyewitness News, the young girl was able to contact her family through the use of Xiong's computer after two days in his custody.

Xiong reported that he knew the child was a minor but he denied both raping and holding the girl against her will.

In a report by The Star Tribune, Xiong has been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment. If convicted, he faces up to 18 years in prison, a $35,000 fine, or both.

March 27, 2009

Obama plans to increase pressure in Middle East

Obama declared Friday that he plans to send 4,000 more military troops to Afghanistan and increase aid to Pakistan in order to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" the terrorist al-Qaida network in both countries.

In his announcement, Obama warned that iintelligence estimates that al Qaeda “is actively planning attacks on the U.S. homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan.”

According to The Chicago Tribune, Obama called the situation "increasingly perilous."

Obama's approach replicates that of one taken over two years ago. The 4,000 military troops will be added to the 17,000 he had already sent shortly after taking office.

In a report by The New York Times, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said the president’s plan “is wisely centered on dismantling al-Qaeda and denying safe havens in both Afghanistan and Pakistan to those who would attack the United States.”

There are currently around 65,000 international troops stationed in Afghanista. Reports led that over half of those may be American.

March 16, 2009

The wait on Mauer continues

With Mauer still out of the lineup with an inflamed lower back, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been asked to comment on his list of options.

According to The New York Times, Gardenhire has said to been looking an minor leaguers such as Jose Morales, Drew Butera and Wilson Ramos, but he really wasn't ready to discuss contingency plans.

"We have to see where Joe's at,'' Gardenhire said to the paper. "We are still waiting."

In an interview with MLB.com, Minnesota general manager Bill Smith said Sunday that he's received no update from the doctors on Mauer.

Mauer was diagnosed with inflammation in the right sacroiliac joint -- where the base of the spine meets the top of the pelvis -- by team doctors following a magnetic resonance arthrogram this week. He's been unable to take part in any team workouts this spring in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Coyote attacks spur Denver man to take action

A recent surge in coyote attacks new Greenwood Village has led to the city hiring a local contractor to eliminate the problem.

Jay Stewart, a primary employee of Animal Damage Control Wildlife Management Services has been tracking and evaluating coyote's aggressiveness and if they fail to pass the test, he manages the situation with one of his .22-caliber guns.

According to The New York Times, it is estimated that thousands of coyotes have moved into metropolitan areas over the last two decades, drawn to ample food sources and escaping hunters, traps and other perils of rural life.

The issue was said to have spiked interest after an attack on a 14-year-old boy near Westlands Park.

"It's important to understand, in the first place, who is encroaching on whose territory," Peter Ingram columnist for The Denver Post said. "In all honesty, the coyotes were here first, and we are the intruders, we are the ones who have fractionalized their numbers and pushed them into the few open spaces and parks remaining."

Stillwater inmate petitions to return to Russian homeland

http://www.startribune.com/local/east/41266177.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUrAn inmate from a Stillwater detention center is petitioning to serve his remaining sentence in his native Russia.

Pyotr Shmelev is using an international treaty and the fact that Minnesota will save $32,800 in incarceration costs to argue his case.

Shmelev is said to be serving a 30 year sentence for killing his wife in 2001.

According to The New York Times, Shmelev is one of nearly two dozen foreign nationals in Minnesota prisons whose requests to complete their sentences in their native countries have been denied by the commissioner of corrections.

Critics of the international treaty say that there is no assurance that these criminals will be forced to carry out their sentences once abroad.

"I support the community expectation that violent offenders or serious drug traffickers should serve their entire prison sentence in Minnesota before returning to freedom in their home country," Corrections Commissioner Joan Fabian said.

Two children shot near Fairview Park

Two youths were struck by stray bullets from a shooting near Fairview Park.

A 15-year-old girl was struck in the leg and Truvontee McElroy, 11, was shot in the stomache at Fairview Park near 29th and Lyndale Avenues N. around 5:45 p.m.

In an interview with The Star Tribune, police say McElroy and the girl were standing with a group of 30 to 50 children near a bus stop across the street from the park.

Both children were taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

"This is not fatal, which I think we're very fortunate more people were not injured tonight," says Minneapolis Police spokesman Bill Palmer in an interview with Kare11.

Police do have suspect information, but are not releasing those details at this time or what may have prompted the shooting.

Europe Unsure about Accepting Guantanamo Detainees

European officials that have previously agreed to house detainees from the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay are becoming increasingly uneasy about the security risks that could come from their decisions.

Whether or not the U.S. will share full details regarding each prisoner is at the top of several European countries concerns.

According to The Star Tribune, Obama has suspended military trials for suspected terrorists and announced he will close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as overseas sites where the CIA has held some detainees.

Countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland have been main supporters in the Obama Administration's decision to close the camp in Cuba.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently told reporters for The New York Times she was “quite encouraged at the positive, receptive responses we’ve been getting” to requests for help in accepting Guantánamo detainees.

Talks between the Obama Administration officials and several European Union delagates are scheduled to meet Monday to begin the transfer of detainees.

March 9, 2009

Weekly Analysis: Event Coverage

I chose to read an event advance in The Post Bulletin that reported on McCartney and other headliners preparing to perform at a benefit concert in New York on April 4.

Two sources used in the story include the Radio City Music Hall and David Lynch Foundation in which the benefit is being held for.

The reporter chose to focus on the fact that popular stars such as Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Moby and Bettye LaVette are performing for a benefit foundation.

The story gives details regarding the foundation's mission statement as well as their current actions. Details about the event are also included but are not the main focus of the article.

Twins Pitch Near No-Hitter Against Orioles

The Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano had a near perfect game Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles during spring training in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

Closer Joe Nathan also struck out all three batters near the end of the game helping lead the Twins to a 2-0 victory.

Many speculated as to how Nathan would perform after pulling out of the World Baseball Classic due to a sore arm.

“Everything went as good as it could,” Nathan said in an interview with The Star Tribune. “No discomfort at all. More importantly, I didn’t really think about it out there. I think we can probably put this behind us now and move forward and get into a little rhythm here.”

According to The Baltimore Sun, top prospect Matt Wieters broke up no-hitter with a ground ball single through the middle of the infield to open the ninth inning.

Carlos Gomez also hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning helping to defeat the Orioles.

Storms Rip Through Midwest

Strong winds and thunderstorms ripped through parts of the Midwest Sunday leaving houses and buildings damaged.

Northern Indiana and central Illinois were two of the regions affected by the severe winds and at least 7 houses were destroyed about about 30 others sustaining damages near Laomi, Ill.

Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig said in an interview with The Chicago Tribune that at least 19 houses had been damaged, including three that were leveled in the area.

The storms were so severe that a school bus was lifted into the air and thrown into the side of a building.

Footage taken by WTHR-TV in Indianapolis showed a school bus lying atop a flattened building in Fayetteville, about 70 miles south of Indianapolis, where the tornado was reported.

The National Weather Service said at least one person suffered minor injuries in Illinois.

Body Discovered at Anoka County Golf Course

A body was discovered Friday at Ham Lake Golf Course in Anoka County.

The body was found frozen around 1 p.m. in a pond about two feet deep by a Majestic Oaks Golf Course groundskeeper.

According to The Pioneer Press, authorities worked for several hours throughout the night to free the body from the ice.

"The body appeared to have been in the water for several months, at least since before the first November freeze,"
Lt. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office said in an interview with The Star Tribune.

Foul play has also been suspected by Anoka County officials.

A wallet was found on the victim but authorities have refused to release that information until a proper autopsy has been conducted.

The victim appears to be male based on it's clothing.

March 8, 2009

World Bank Predicts '09 Economic Crisis

The World Bank has released a report that predicts the international economy will shrink for the first time since WWII.

Global trade has been predicted to shrink to it's lowest point in 80 years due to junk morgages that began in the United States.

The bank did not provide a specific estimate but in an interview with The New York Times, the World Bank. said its economists would be publishing one in the next several weeks.

The report also announced a meeting Sunday for 20 of the world's most industrialized nations.

According to The Star Tribune, a group of 129 countries face a shortfall of $270 to $700 billion this year, the World Bank says.

The economic crisis has affected many different countries in varying levels of severity.

Deaf Woman Injured in Hit and Run

An Apple Valley woman was involved in a hit and run Friday leaving her in critical condition.

Joan LeVassuer, 26, was crossing Cedar Avenue and 153rd Street in Apple Valley when she was struck around 9:15 p.m.

LeVassuer is hard of hearing and was waiting for a ride from her fiance when the accident occurred.

Police describe the suspected vehicle to be large in size with beige coloring. The vehicle made no attempt to stop after LeVassuer was hit.

"There's absolutely no excuse for somebody to be so heartless," said Lori LeVasseur in an interview with The Pioneer Press. "We really hope and pray they will do the right thing and come forward. Joan deserves that — she's a wonderful, wonderful woman."

According to The Star Tribune, LeVasseur suffered severe head trauma, brain injuries and fractures in both her legs and pelvis.

Police are asking that anyone with additional information regarding the incident to please contact local authorities.

March 1, 2009

Meeting/Press Conference

I chose to look into a public meeting concerning drilling operations in Bradford county, PA.

Turning a public meeting agenda into a news story requires putting the pieces of dry information together to make it as smooth and coherent as possible.

The author of "CHK Chesapeake to Hold Public Meeting" chose to put the "when," "where," "what," and "why" concepts into the lead.

The author also did further research in order to obtain quotes from the meeting. As well as combining the raw information with details from the meeting, the author of this news story put a few sentences of background information into the news story.

I feel that by adding the additional information the author was able to turn a public meeting agenda into a compelling news story for a public audience.

Death and Starvation Strike Kenya

Following the bloodshed that errupted in Kenya over one year ago, troubles have began brewing again.

One major issue affecting residents of Kenya is the massive number of starving families. According to The New York Times, over 10 million Kenyans currently suffer from hunger issues.

The discovery of police death squads also have many United Nations officials on edge.

United Nations investigation revealed that more than 500 people had been killed by police death squads.

"There’s a lot of anger,” said Maina Kiai, the former director of Kenya’s national human rights commission in an interview with The New York TImes. “If we don’t start resolving these issues soon, things could be worse than before. There could be complete collapse.”

The Kenyan Government has rejected the findings of United Nations investigations.

“The government finds it inconceivable that someone who has been in the country for less than 10 days can purport to have conducted comprehensive and accurate research on such a serious matter, as to arrive at the recommendations he made,” government spokesman Alfred Mutua said on Bloomberg.com.

Nathan Bows Out of WBC

Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan pulls out of the World Baseball Classic Sunday due to a sore arm.

As reported by WSBTV.com, Nathan began experiencing discomfort in the AC joint in his right shoulder.

Nathan has decided to stay in training camp where he will be under close supervision of the trainers. He has also been given three days off in order to rest his arm.

"It’s unclear how sore he is. I know better than to speculate on anything right now," said La Velle E. Neil in a story written for The New York Times. "So we’ll let you know as soon as more details are available.

Team USA is scheduled to begin games on March at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, the home of the Blue Jays.

Local Economy Struggles in Rhode Island

As the smallest state in the U.S., Rhode Island is currently facing their own economic meltdown.

According to the latest federal figures, Rhode Island faces a 10 percent unemployment rate, second to that of Michigan at 10.6 percent. As well as unemployment, Rhode Island facesthe highest foreclosure rates, widest budget gaps and most-vulnerable pension systems.

Some feel the problems facing Rhode Island can be attributed to the state's small size. Others feel it could be used as an asset. Either way, the state is working non-stop to find some economic relief.

“The whole political system is based on back scratching and getting things for your friends,” said Robert Whitcomb, editorial page editor of The Providence Journal. “That’s true for every place, but more so here because of the intimacy — you keep bumping into people you know.”

According to The New York Times, Rhode Island is less educated than the rest of the country which may be attributing to their poor economy. Many residents still focus on blue-collar industries such as lumber, service work and the automobile industry.

“In that way, we look more like a rust belt state than Connecticut or Massachusetts,” said Laura Hart, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Labor and Training in an interview with The New York Times.