This news blog is an educational exercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

February 2013 Archives

Missing military medals returned to family after nearly 70 years

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A woman accepted a Purple Heart, a Silver Star and six other war medals on Saturday on behalf of her father after the medals were found in an old apartment, news sources reported.

Hyla Merin, a Thousand Oaks resident, never met her father, who died in combat in 1945 before she was born, CBS news said. Merin said she was excited to receive the medals because they felt like a verification of all her father did.

The medals were found in a box hidden in a locker in an apartment building Merin's parents lived in during the 60s, according to ABC news. The apartment manager who found the medals turned them over to the Purple Hearts Reunited foundation, which is how they reached Merin.

Analysis: Pipeline protest

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In the Washington Post's article, "Pipeline protesters rally in Washington", the author structures the information in a way that provides the basic facts, but not in a traditional inverted pyramid format.

The author begins by stating the who, what, when and where elements of the story in the lead to get the most basic, important information to the reader immediately. The nut graph follows with details on the specific chants of the protesters, however, rather than detailing the specific qualms of the protesters or the purpose of the pipeline.

The story does include the reason the protesters were so passionate about the pipeline plans (they wanted the president to act on his promises from his inaugural speech), but this information does not come until the fifth paragraph. I would have moved that information up farther, along with a statement about what the specific purpose of the pipeline is. The story does finish with a strong kicker, however, in the form of a quote from a protester. The quote ties the goals of the protesters back in with the lead nicely by summarizing the reasons for their protest. Overall, the story has a strong beginning and ending for a news story format, but lacks a traditional organization pattern in the middle.

Thousands protest Keystone pipeline

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Environmental activists marched in a crowd numbering around 35,000 on Sunday to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, news sources reported.

The crowd marched past the White House to ask President Barak Obama to reject the creation of this pipeline, which would run from Texas to Canada, in order to slow the climate change, according to the Washington Post.

If approved, the pipeline would carry oil, but protesters ask Obama reject the plan in order to comply with his inaugural agreement to actively prevent climate change, CBS News said.

Thousands turn out for Pope Benedict blessing

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Pope Benedict addressed over 50,000 people on Sunday in St. Peter's Square in his first such appearance since announcing his resignation last week, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Benedict recited the Angulus prayer as well and thanking and blessing his supporters, news sources reported. He also asked for prayer for the future pope who will take his place.

BBC News said the Vatican is now considering holding the papal conclave earlier than originally planned in order to have a pontiff in place prior to Holy Week.

USDA secretary announces CRP general signup

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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Signup to begin May 20, news sources reported.

The announcement was made at the National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic held in Minneapolis, and is a result of the CRP's success during last summer's drought, the Associated Press said. The land provided emergency grazing areas for livestock as well as preventing erosion.

The signup will allow farmers to enroll environmentally sensitive land for periods of 10 years in hopes of benefiting wildlife, soils and water quality, the Pioneer Press said.

Snowmobile falls through ice, leaves one dead

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A snowmobiler died on Saturday after his vehicle fell through the ice on the St. Croix River, news sources reported.

The 22-year-old man, whose name has not been released at this time, was estimated to have been under water for at least 20 minutes before rescue crews pulled him out, Kane 11 said.

Deputies said the man appeared to have snowmobiled past the 'thin ice' signs near the area he fell in, according to the Northfield News. He broke the ice near the Xcel Energy Allen S. King generating station, which expels warm-water into the river.

So far this winter, at least three deaths are a result of vehicle crashes into ice, the Northfield News said.

Analysis: Sourcing coffee enema couple

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ABC New's article "Couple addicted to coffee enemas, up to four times a day" combines the primary sources of the story with additional outside sources to cover the concept on a deeper level.

The author introduces and quotes the primary sources, the Florida couple Mike and Trina, from the second paragraph on in order to use their specific reasons behind their strange habit. All of their opinions and reasoning is attributed back to them (i.e. all paraphrased statements are still attributed to one of the two) so the audience knows the author is not embellishing an already abnormal ritual.The couple does, however, decline to give the author their last name and the author chose not to state why that is.

The article also sources TLC's TV show "My Strange Addiction" because they found the couple originally and the couple will be appearing on the season's premier.

Towards the second half of the article, the author brings in an additional professional outside source to comment on the health benefits, or lack thereof, of the coffee enemas. Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa provides a medical insight to the story that answers the reader's questions about whether or not the couple is right in believing their ritual has health benefits. By adding this source, the article becomes not just a report on a strange event, but a deeper look at the background and potential problems this habit could cause; it answers more of the readers' questions.

The author rounds out the story towards the end with more quotes from the couple on how their life is functioning now and what their future may look like, still constantly attributing their opinions to the people themselves so the author doesn't appear to be exaggerating.

Florida couple injects coffee enemas

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TLC's "My Strange Addiction" recently discovered and will highlight a Florida couple that admits to injecting a coffee enema up to ten times a day, news sources reported.

Trina and Mike, who told ABC News they did not want to reveal their names, began their addiction to coffee enemas two years ago and now require the treatment to function on a daily basis.

Trina initially began the daily process because she was having digestive problems, but now continues it because of the sense of "euphoria" she feels and because she ended up in the hospital when she tried to stop, the Science Recorder reported.

While Mike told ABC News he had recently cut down his number of enemas to avoid giving himself one every day, Trina still prepares up to four coffee enemas per day, according to ABC news.

Boil water advisory lifted after St. Paul water main break

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St. Paul officials lifted the boil water advisory early on Sunday after determining the water contained no harmful bacteria, Kane 11 said.

The Minnesota Department of Health issued the advisory on Saturday as a precaution following the breaking of a water main that flooded several streets, according to Fox 9 news. Officials told Kane 11 that they estimated 1.75 million gallons of water spilled on to the streets.

Officials believe the break occurred as a result of fatigue, and water main has since been repaired, news sources reported.

Minneapolis Okee Dokee brothers win Grammy for children's recording

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The Minneapolis bluegrass duo the Okee Dokee brothers won a Grammy in the children's recording category on Sunday for their song "Can You Canoe?", news sources reported.

Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing, band members, wrote the song during a 30 day canoe trip they took down the Mississippi River, ABC news reported. This trip inspired all the songs on their album.

The duo thanked the Recording Academy for "recognizing indie-made children's music", and said the award fulfilled a dream the two had since they were children, according to the Star Tribune.

Michelle Obama attends Chicago shooting victim's funeral

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The funeral for 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton drew hundreds of people on Saturday, among whom was the first lady, news sources reported.

Pendleton, whose high school majorette squad performed in President Barak Obama's inaugural celebration last month, was shot in a street violence incident about a mile from Obama's family home, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Despite the presence of Michelle Obama and several other dignitaties, Pendleton's mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, worked to make the focus of the funeral about the celebration of Hadiya's life rather than politics and gun violence, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Pendleton family told news sources they appreciated all the support they were receiving following Hadiya's death.

Plagiarism case leads to resignation of German education minister

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Annette Schavan resigned on Saturday from her position as Germany's education minister after Duesseldorf's Heinrich Heine University voted to remove her doctorate on ground of plagiarism, news sources reported.

The allegations of plagiarism in Schavan's 1980 thesis originally came from an anonymous blogger whose claims sparked a review of the thesis by an academic panel, Time World said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told news sources she accepted Schavan's resignation with a "heavy heart," and analysts said this resignation will not bode well for Merkel's reelection campaign, BBC News reported.

Schavan said she plans to take legal action against the university's allegations, and resigned because she did not want the legal strains to affect her political office or party, news sources said.

Analysis: Gun control and the Super Bowl

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In the National Public Radio's article, "Gun control battle spills over to Super Bowl ads," the author uses a traditional hard-news lead to focus on the news-worthy elements of the story.

The lead includes the who, what and where of the story while the when, during the Super Bowl, is implied by the article's headline, then specified in the second paragraph. The most detailed items are the who, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the what, an ad aired proposing background checks for all gun sales.

These two items are stated with such detail in the lead because they are the most news-worthy aspects of the story. They tell the reader what is most important and significant about this commercial when so many others are aired during the Super Bowl. This particular commercial is a response to the recent Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, an event very much still on the public's mind. By leading with a prominent public group known for being against illegal guns, then stating the content of the commercial, the author allows readers to get a taste of what the story will be focused on without getting into too much detail about why the ad was aired nor how the commercial was portrayed.

Both the how and why logistics of the ad are discussed later in the article when the author describes the ad, links to the video, and brings up the Sandy Hook shootings and President Barak Obama's political opinions of gun control. The traditional news lead gives the reader a sense of what is important about this Super Bowl ad and what is to come in the story without getting into too much detail about the contents and reasons for the ad.

Minnesota elk hunt yields low success rate

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Even with the addition of a January hunt, only eight of 23 elk hunters were successful during Minnesota's 2012-13 season, news sources said.

The Department of Natural Resources added another hunt after a fruitless December season in an attempt to come closer to the annual goal and keep the elk population in check, the Grand Forks Herald said.

"The success is lower than what we've seen in the past and certainly a little disappointing, too," John Williams, acting regional wildlife supervisor for the DNR in Bemidji, told the Grand Forks Herald.

Williams also said the low success rate will be a topic at the upcoming DNR meeting with the local shareholders, news sources reported. Northern Minnesota is home to two small elk herds that live near Grygla in Marshall County and Kittson County, with a total population ranging from 80 to 100 elk, according to the Pioneer Press.

Body of missing NYC woman found in Turkey

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Istanbul police found the body of a New York City woman on Saturday who went missing while vacationing in Turkey, news sources reported.

Sarai Sierra, a 33-year-old vacationing alone in Istanbul, was discovered near the city walls, leading police to detain at least nine men for questioning in their investigation, according to ABC News.

Senior officers of the police force and the private NTV television said the victim may have been stabbed to death, though the autopsy has not confirmed that fact yet, news soures reported.

Sierra was last heard from Jan. 21, the day she was supposed to fly home, when she contacted her husband and two children, HĊĞrriyet Daily News said. Her disappearance caused a stir in the city of Istanbul because tourists disappearing is rare, and the police had set up a special unit to find her, ABC News said.

Car submerged in Lake Minnetonka injures two passengers

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Two people were pulled from a car that had been submerged in Lake Minnetonka for almost an hour on Saturday, according to Kare 11.

Emergency crews found the car and victims under approximately 10 feet of water when they rescued them and took them to the hospital, news sources reported.

The vehicle broke the ice on the lake while one of the passengers, a man in his 30s, was driving under the County Highway 101 bridge in Grays Bay with an elderly woman, Kare 11 said.

First responders, including Minnetonka Fire, Wayzata Fire, Hennepin County Water Patrol and divers, closed the bridge indefinitely while they worked on getting the victims out, and the Hennepin County Sheriff advised everyone to avoid the bridges and causeways on Lake Minnetonka as much as possible over the weekend, according to the Minnetonka Patch.

Four arrested for nudity ban violation in San Francisco

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San Francisco police arrested four citizens on Friday who were protesting the city's public nudity ban by stripping down, news sources reported.

The three men and one woman were taken into custody entirely naked after they disrobed on the steps of San Francisco City Hall along with other protesters "in various states of undress," the Huffington Post said.

The protesters argued that the recent ban goes against their rights to freedom of expression, and police gave the four protesters a 15-minute warning before giving them a citation for breaking the ban, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The ordinance prohibits most public nudity with the exception of certain permitted public events and went into effect on Friday, the day of the protest, according to the Huffington Post.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2013 is the previous archive.

March 2013 is the next archive.

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