February 2011 Archives

Multimedia Analysis

Most of the multimedia options that were associated with the articles I reported on were videos that were related to the story.

In the case of Rep. Wu's situation, The Oregonian included a video clip of an interview that Wu had conducted with a local television station. Upon clicking on the video, a playlist of other Wu-related stories appears on the side. While most deal with the current situation, there are some that focus on other matters that Wu has been involved, including an event at a hospital where he spoke on healthcare.

What is interesting is that the writing will sometimes quote directly from the video that is already included in the article. To an extent, the video may provide validity or proof of what Wu said, making it more tangible and providing more context rather than just a mere quotation.

The CNNMoney article that focuses on the Providence teachers situation embedded a video regarding the Madison protests in it.

In a sense, it was connecting these two similar stories and leading the reader along to related news. The video did not directly address what was happening in Providence, but the connection is understood. The multimedia feature depends on the reader's awareness of what is happening to bring the two together.

On an issue such as teachers' unions, it also elevate the matter by highlighting that what is happening in either Providence or Madison is not an isolated incident.

Rep. Wu Refuses to Step Down

Rep. David Wu has said that he will not resign despite calls from the GOP and newspapers to do so following questions about his mental health.

The Oregon Democrat said he is currently undergoing treatment and taking medication following a series of actions that raised concern amongst his staff.

The seven-term congressman lost seven staff members following his 2010 campaign following Wu's bizarre behavior reports the Associated Press. One incident involved Wu sending a picture of himself dressed as a tiger to his staff in October.

Wu also said that he took two tablet of a pain killer during this time that were given to him by a campaign donor that he did not name.

State Republican Party Chairman Allen Alley and the Eugene Register Guard, Oregon's second-largest newspaper, have both called for Wu to step down.

Wu's own staff had asked him to seek psychiatric help following these episodes just before the November election, according to The Oregonian.

Wu appeared on "Good Morning America" last week to discuss the situation and said that he has no plans of stepping down and will seek reelection in 2012.

"The people of Oregon have selected me to do a job and I'm going to do it," said Wu to KATU-TV.

North Minneapolis Gang Leaders Busted

Hennepin County charged two members of a North Minneapolis gang with 14 felonies on Thursday.

Members of the "Beat-Down Posse", Joseph Duane Gustafson, 36, and Troy Michael Neuberger, 38, have been charged with kidnapping, assault, drug trafficking and running a mortgage fraud ring, among others.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that these two had been "terrorizing" north Minneapolis for a years, according to MPR. Cops had been after Gustafson and Neuberger for years.

Both men were to make their appearance in court on Friday. Gustafson appeared for his scheduled appearance, while Neuberger refused to leave his cell.

Law enforcement officials, including the FBI, credited Minneapolis police Sgt. Kerry O'Rourke as the driving force behind this investigation, according to the Pioneer Press.

The Star Tribune reports that Freeman said that other arrests and charges could follow in this investigation.

Metrodome Repair Firm Selected, To Be Completed by August

The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission awarded the job to repair the Metrodome's roof to Birdair Inc. on Friday.

Birdair, who originally installed the stadium's roof 30 years ago, was the only bidder that could meet the proposed deadline of August 1 - the week before the start of the NFL preseason.

The bill for the project itself is expected to amount to $17.9 million, according to KMSP-TV. Additional fees will bring the entire project to about $25 million.

It will be the Metrodome's insurance provider, FM Global, will pay the money for the repairs, not taxpayers.

The Pioneer Press reports that Birdair will receive a $500,000 bonus if it meets the deadline. If not, penalties such as $20,000 a day and $700,000 for every missed Vikings home game will be in order.

Despite the commission, the Wall Street Journal says that there are still business investors looking to bring a new stadium to Arden Hills - the proposed location for a new Vikings stadium.

The Vikings lease at the Metrodome expires after this season and officials have made it known that they are interested in a new stadium.

Providence Sends Pink Slips to All Teachers

The school board of Providence, R.I. voted to send all of its 1,926 teachers termination notices on Thursday as a measure to improve the city's budget.

State law requires that teachers be informed of potential dismissals by March 1, so the vote faced an upcoming deadline that Supt. Tom Brady and the school board had to meet.

Mayor Angel Taveras hoped to ease the concerns of teachers and citizens on Friday. According to The New York Times, Taveras said that an "overwhelming majority" would not actually lose their jobs.

Providence is expected to close some of its schools by September and only teachers at those schools would be terminated.

The Providence Journal reports that Brady clarified in an email that "this action gives the School Board the right to dismiss teachers as necessary, but not all teachers will actually be dismissed at the end of the school year."

This flexibility is expected to help city officials prepare for the coming year's budget.

The school district itself is dealing with a $40 million deficit, while Providence anticipates facing more that the $57 million shortfall that it did a year ago, according to CNNMoney.

The city's contracts with the teachers' union expire June 30, and both parties look to begin negotiations soon.

Turkey, Sarkozy Differ on EU Membership

Turkish leaders are at odds with French President Nicolas Sarkozy about the nation's membership in the European Union following his most recent visit to Ankara on Friday.

Sarkozy visited the Turkish capital as the current president of the G-20, technically not on a state visit as a European leader. Nevertheless, President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan are disappointed with Sarkozy's treatment of their country.

"We would have liked to welcome the President of the French Republic, but on Friday he is not coming as president of the French Republic, but as chairman of the G20," Erdogan told the Agence France-Presse news agency, according to Reuters.

Reuters reports that Turkey would like support from France to improve its candidacy as a member of the EU. French officials told reporters that this was not the point of Sarkozy's visit.

Sarkozy spent six hours in Ankara, meeting separately with Gul and Erdogan.

France, Germany and Austria are all opponents to Turkey's EU membership since its entry talks in 2005, according to Bloomberg. A conflict with Cyprus has hindered the nation's progress.

"I believe it is necessary to have as close relations as possible, without going for full membership of the European Union, which would not actually be beneficial for either Turkey or the European Union," Sarkozy said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Sarkozy cited French public opinion as another motivating factor for his stance.

Spot and Follows Analysis

The story about the Delano priest being charged with sexual abuse had two first day reports from the Associated Press and Star Tribune with a follow story the next day from KSTP-TV.

In both the AP and Star Tribune story, the lead is what the lead should be - outlining the important facts about what had just happened. They provide the basic information. The KSTP-TV story starts with the priest's court appearance the following day and what his lawyer said.

The KSTP-TV story focuses less on the prior day's events, but more so on what unfolded on the following day in front of the judge. It provides some background details, but it is not the main point of the article. The details are there to set the scene for the most recent news rather than fully inform the reader of what had transpired the day prior.

KSTP-TV does not seem to be responding to a competing outlet's report, but just reporting it for itself. It doesn't make reference to previous reports or other sources.

This could be attributed to the fact that it is not focusing on the day before's stories, but breaking the most recent news. It helps shape the story because it's not fully depending on past events, but the most recent one for its report.

Auburn Community Commemorates Beloved Trees

Fans of Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. gathered around their two favorite oak trees on Saturday after they had been poisoned earlier in the week.

Toomer's Corner, where the trees are located, has been a central point of the community for 130-years. Football fans often gathered there following their football team's victories.

Harvey A. Updyke Jr., 62, was arrested on Thursday morning on a charge of first-degree criminal mischief after police caught him poisoning the oak trees. Updyke is an Alabama fan, Auburn's rival, and apparently poisoned the trees after Alabama lost to Auburn in November, said the Washington Post.

Updyke is suspected of using a powerful herbicide, Spike 80DF, to poison the trees, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Students, alums, fans and residents paid their respect to the trees by taking pictures, leaving gifts and flowers and throwing toilet paper over it.

Toomer's Corner had recently been the site of the Auburn Tigers' national football championship on January 10.

University scientists do not believe that the trees will survive, according to CNN.

Delano Priest Charged with Sexual Abuse

A Delano priest has been charged on Thursday with sexually abusing a woman he used to counsel from 2003 to 2005.

The Rev. Christopher Wenthe, 46, serves as pastor of St. Peter's and St. Joseph's parishes in Delano.

The woman, 29, reported the abuse to St. Paul police in April 2010, although she personally told an unnamed high-ranking archdiocese official in a 2006 letter, according to the Associated Press.

Wenthe said the archdiocese confronted him regarding the "inappropriate relationship with her" and sent him to treatment when police questioned him in August 2010, reports the Star Tribune.

The victim had worked closely with Wenthe as she converted to Catholicism. She had also suffered from sexual abuse as a child as well as bulimia.

Their first sexual interaction took place when he invited her to his apartment following a session with a separate counselor.

Wenthe appeared before a judge on Friday. His lawyer said the relationship between Wenthe and the victim was as friends, not priest and parishioner, according to KSTP-TV.

KSTP also reports that Wenthe has been asked to step down from his position of pastor of the church until the case is over.

Two Injured in Super America Robbery

Two Super America customers were injured on Wednesday night after an armed robbery in White Bear Lake, Minn.

The two injured bystanders received cuts from broken glass as a result of a shot being fired within the store.

The Pioneer Press reports police said that the cuts were "very, very minor" and refused treatment.

The suspect fled the scene on foot after firing the shot. A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter and the Ramsey County Sheriff canine team were used to find the suspect but was unsuccessful, according to KARE 11.

The White Bear Press said this is the fourth robbery in the city this winter.

Police Captain Randy Johnson said the department will investigate whether Wednesday's robbery is connected to any other robberies in the city.

Obama Dines with Zuckerberg, Jobs, Others

President Barack Obama had dinner in San Francisco with several prominent members of the technology community on Thursday night.

In attendance were Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Apple Inc's chief executive Steve Jobs, Google Inc Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, among others from the Silicon Valley area.

CNN reports that there was some speculation as to whether or not Jobs would be in attendance, given his recent leave of absence due to medical reasons.

Nevertheless, Obama's meeting was to discuss matters such as investments in technology, his recent budget proposal and improving the economy. Reuters reports that these are in interest for the upcoming 2012 presidential elections.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that Obama will also address elements such as development, research and education with the executives, according to CBS News.

CBS News also reported that Obama will go to Hillsboro, Oregon on Friday to visit an Intel facility to continue his tour of technologically important areas.

Japanese Suspend Whaling

Anti-whaling activists have forced Japanese officials to call back a fleet that annually visits the Antarctic to hunt the sea mammal.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has repeatedly taken actions to prevent Japanese ships for this yearly hunt. Government officials were concerned about the safety of their crew and recalled the expedition.

The attacks have not caused any injuries or major damage to the vessels, said Tatsuya Nakaoku, a fisheries agency official, according to the AP. The protesters did get a rope entangled in the propeller on a harpoon vessel, causing it to slow down, he said.

Japan has been permitted to hunt whales by the International Whaling Commission since 1986, under the stipulations that it is for scientific research.

Activists, such as Sea Shepherd, feel it is a cover since all unused meat is allowed to be sold commercially in Japan.

The four vessel fleet of 180 people was aiming to catch close to 850 minke whales this season, reported Reuters.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that the fleet had caught between 30 and 100 whales thus far before suspending the hunt.

Structure Analysis

The article from CNN.com about Jon Kyl's decision to not seek reelection for his senatorial seat in 2012 had a structure that was not just informative, but insightful beyond just the initial report of his decision.

The reporter, Dana Bash, opened with the hard news of Kyl's announcement and then provided two quotations from the Arizona senator that brought life and color that further informed the reader.

Bash then went on to explain the impact this could have within the GOP Senate leadership as well as in the upcoming election. She provided names of potential replacements for Kyl's as the assistant Republican leader and to fill his seat in the next election cycle.

She emphasized elements of Kyl's character when discussing potential replacements.

All in all, the article covered all the questions that would arise were I to read the headline, or just the lede. I learned why he was stepping down, heard from the source himself, what that means for the future, and what to look for next.

UNICEF Dropped from Barcelona Soccer Kit

FC Barcelona will replace the UNICEF logo on the front of its jerseys with the Qatar Foundation's.

After nearly five years of featuring the non-profit organization, the Qatar Foundation will pay €30 million ($40 million) per season to be on the front of one of the world's best soccer clubs.

This will also mark the first time FC Barcelona will have a paid advertiser on its jerseys in its 112-year history reports the Associated Press.

Qatar is the host-country for the 2022 World Cup and will the Foundation printed on the front starting this July, according to Goal.com. Qatar hopes it will help promote their country to the soccer world.

Vice president Javier Faus said that the UNICEF logo will be moved to the back of the jerseys underneath the players' names. UNICEF and FC Barcelona had an agreement that involved the club donating €1.5 million ($2 million) to UNICEF to display its logo on their kits.

"Let's not fool ourselves, we needed the money," said team director Raul Sanllehi, according to TribalFootball.com.

Ham Lake Fire Kills Two

A house fire in Ham Lake, Minn. left an elderly couple dead on Friday night.

Walter and Helen Ehrnreiter, both 93, had been married for over 70 years until their bodies were discovered in the home after the fire had been contained. Lt. Paul Sommer, spokesman for the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, said firefighters found one in the living room and the other in the bedroom, according to the Pioneer Press.

A passerby called 911 to report the fire at 8:30 p.m. on Friday night. This was only two and a half hours after a family friend had visited Ehrnreiters, reports the Star Tribune.

Authorities are still unsure about what caused the fire.

Walter and Helen were known in the community as a couple that was constantly together, so their shared death seemed all but fitting.

"They died the way they lived -- together," said Dave Egan, a friend from church, told the Star Tribune.

Longest-Married Minn. Couple Honored

A St. Cloud couple was recognized for their near 74-years of marriage on Saturday as the longest-married couple in the state.

Tony and Rose Ament, 99 and 97 respectively, were married in April of 1937.

The two had to wait almost four years before finally getting married due to the Great Depression and Tony's financial standing. He was only making 40 cents an hour during that time, according to the Associated Press.

Nevertheless, the two were eventually married in Wadena, Minn. and moved throughout the country, including Texas and Arizona.

Tony and Rose have raised four children, 11 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren, according to the St. Cloud Times.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a faith-based marriage group, presented a certificate to Tony and Rose. The St. Cloud Times reports that Mayor Dave Kleis and Bishop John Kinney were in attendance at the Talahi Care Center for the ceremony.

Pair of Senators won't run for Reelection

Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Jim Webb, D-Va., both announced that they will not run for reelection in 2012, thus leaving their seat open.

Kyl has served as senator since 1995, for a total for three terms. Webb will be stepping down after only fulfilling one term following a 2006 election.

Both open seats will leave the incumbent party scrambling for a replacement while the opposition will look to take advantage.

CNN reports that Rep. Jeff Blake, R-Ariz., is a leading candidate to run for Kyl's seat. Kyl also serves as Senate Minority Whip, the position of assistant Republican leader - a position that will be fill by an already-elected member of the Senate.

Democratic leaders hoped that Webb would run again in a state that they were feeling insecure about, according to the Washington Post, especially following Virginia's recent gubernatorial and congressional elections that went for Republicans. Republican George Allen, Webb's opposition in 2006, is expected to contend for the seat for the GOP.

Both cited an interest to move past politics in their reasoning for not seeking reelection. Kyl said he had a pretty clear idea he would not run following his 2006 victory, reported CNN; Webb wanted to explore possibilities in the private sector, according to the Washington Post.

The 2012 Senate election will coincide with the presidential election as well.

Anti-Government Protest in Algeria Muffled

Algerian authorities have put down actions by anti-government demonstrators both on the streets and the web.

Similar to events in the region, such as Tunisia and Egypt, Algeria has also experienced rallies against a leader who has been in power for over a decade. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been in power since 1999.

According to the New York Times, witnesses saw thousands of police officers with clubs prevented protesters from marching in the May 1 Square in the capital of Algiers. Several arrests were made.

An additional measure has been taken by Bouteflika's government to control the uprising by shutting down the Internet, according to the International Business Times. Online communuication and social media were major tools in the the Tunisian and Egyptian protests.

Varying reports have come out about the number of participants in the demonstration, said the New York Times. Some sources, including rally organizers, said there were thousands while others have said as low as a few dozen.

Unrest has been a common sense of atmosphere in the country for years, yet the large amount of police suggest the government is much more cautious in light of recent events.

"I am sorry to say the government has deployed a huge force to prevent a peaceful march. This is not good for Algeria's image," said Mostafa Boshashi, head of the Algerian League for Human Rights.

Attribution Analysis

This article in the Wall Street Journal about the Youngstown State University shooting only cites two specific sources, both of whom are authority figures related to the story.

The first is Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes, who seems to be the primary source in the story. The second is Youngstown State University President Cynthia Anderson who provided a statement to the victims. Hughes' comments are scattered throughout the article while Anderson only has one. The article doesn't cite any documents, studies, or reports.

The reporter does a good job of making it clear who is speaking through the article and what exactly is being said in order to avoid confusion. The quotations are appropriately used to not provide any superfluous information, but necessary to explain the course of events following the shooting and what needs and should be known by the reader.

18th-century Wine Sold for $77,000

A wine dating back to 1774 was auctioned off for 57,000 euros ($77,270) in Arbois, France on Sunday.

The highest bidder was Pierre Chevrier of Switzerland who bought the Jura wine for a group of French, Swiss and Belgian wine connoisseurs., according to UPI.

Experts tasted the wine in 1994 and described it as "excellent" according to RFI English.

The wine is described as a "yellow wine" distinct to the eastern region in France and the grapes produced there. AFP reports that the yellow wine gets its color from maturing inside a barrel with a layer of yeast.

One Killed, 11 Injured in Frat Shooting

Two suspects were arrested with connections to a fraternity house shooting at Youngstown State University early Sunday morning that left one dead and 11 hurt.

Jamail E. Johnson, 25, was killed in the shooting and a student at the university. Five of the other victims were students as well.

The shooting took place following an argument between house members and one of the suspects reports the Wall Street Journal. Residents of the house escorted the suspect out and he returned with the other suspect and opened fire.

The fraternity was not on university property.

Ten of the 11 injured victims are expected to make a full recovery, while one is in critical condition according to the Examiner.

Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes viewed the shooting as an isolated incident. "We seldom have any problems at the university," he said in a statement, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Anoka County Accident Leaves One Dead

A Blaine man was killed in an accident in East Bethel on Saturday.

Arlin Landmark, 57, was in the passenger's seat when driver Arnold Iliff's, 60, of Ramsey, car was struck by a pickup truck at the intersection of Highway 65 and 221st Street at 5:15 a.m.

KSTP reports that the truck ran through a stop sign at the intersection due to heavy fog.

Landmark died at the scene while Iliff suffered minor injuries, reports the Star Tribune.

Robert Foster, 29, the driver of the pickup truck that hit Illiff's, was uninjured in the accident, according to the Pioneer Press.

Circle Pines Victim Feared Ex

Developments regarding Nicole Meier and details regarding her relationship with her ex reveal more about the murder-suicide that took place on Thursday.

Meier and Jesse Oakley's, her former boyfriend, were found dead at his Circle Pines home with a single bullet through each of their heads.

Meier had gone to Oakley's home to pick up rent he had owed her, according to the Star Tribune. She had expressed fears of being alone with him.

PressPubs reports that the the couple had two prior domestic disputes that required police escorts.

Meier's coworkers called police after she did not show up for work on Friday and reported her as missing.

She had confided in her coworkers that she was scared to meet with Oakley the day before, according to the Star Tribune.

Serbia Latest Country to Face Protests

Over 50,000 protesters rallied outside of the Serbian parliament building in Belgrade on Saturday in support of early elections.

Leaders of the Serbian Progressive Party organized the protests to oust the current party in power, the Democratic Party. The next set of elections is set to be in mid-2012.

In a Bloomberg report, Tomislav Nikolic, head of the Serbian Progressive Party, blamed the Democratic Party for "ruining the country."

Demontrators from across the country participated in the protests, riding in on buses to take part, according to BBC News.

Serbia has become the last country to see large examples of opposition towards the current government, following several Arab and Middle Eastern nations, such as Tunisia and Egypt.

Part of the reasoning behind the urgency of the demands comes from the fact that Serbia hopes to become a candidate to join the European Union, Bloomberg reports. An estimated $3 billion of foreign investment is expected next year.

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