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May 4, 2008

Tuition rates will increase at the University of Minnesota

The tuition rates at the University of Minnesota would go up 9.5 percent next year if the state budget cuts are adopted, MPR said.

The 9.5 percent increase is one of three scenarios for budget proposals released by President Robert Bruininks, while the other two would increase tuition by 7.5 percent, according to the Star Tribune

The university had already planned to raise tuition, but the university warned of the additional 2 percentage point increase if Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposed cut of $27.3 million is enacted, Star Tribune

The 2008-09 school year will be the first time the university has seen tuition rates of over $10,000 if the budget cuts are enacted.

Coed dorm rooms now allowed

Major colleges in the United States are allowing for dormitory rooms to be coed, the Associated Press said.

Schools including Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Oberlin College, Clark University and the California Institute of Technology are allowing students of the opposite sex to share a dorm room, The Washington Times said. Other schools such as Stanford University will also allow the policy in the fall semester of 2008.

Students and schools say that the policy comes primarily from those who want to live with close friends who are of the opposite sex, although couples living together are not unheard of.

"It ultimately comes down to finding someone that you feel is compatible with you," said Jeffrey Chang, a junior at Clark in Worcester, Mass., who co-founded the National Student Genderblind Campaign, a group that is pushing for gender-neutral housing. "Students aren't doing this to make a point. They're not doing this to upset their parents. It's really for practical reasons."

Virus outbreak in China

The Ministry of Health in China strengthened efforts to stop a deadly child virus that has infected over 3,000 children and has killed 22 since Saturday, according to the Xinhua News Agency. CNN

Numbers of children infected rose from 3,321 deaths on Friday to 3,736 early Saturday in the hardest-hit city of Fuyang in the Anhui province, the news agency said. Overall the virus has hit 4,529 children in 15 cities. The Washington Post

The virus, called Enterovirus 71 , causes fever, mouth sores and a rash with blisters, the Associated Press said.

"Authorities in Anhui ... are doing the utmost to treat the children and strengthen disease control," Wang Yan, an official of the Anhui provice, said.

May 2, 2008

Analysis on records/CAR

Find a story where the reporter used computer-assisted reporting. If this isn't obvious, or you can't find one, pick a story from www.nicar.org's Extra! Extra! link. Write about the records and analysis used to produce the story. What computer skills did the reporter need to do this reporting?

I found a story about con-artist Cindy McKay at The Baltimore Sun's Web site. The 52-year-old woman was recently indicted on charges of first-degree murder. Throughout her life she committed many more crimes, including stealing thousands of dollars all over the Northeast region of the United States. The story uses CAR in detailing the places that McKay took advantage of. The site has an interactive map of McKay's trail of crimes. In order to create this map, the reporter would need to have map detailing experience, as well as knowledge of a spreadsheet program to create a layout of McKay's crimes. There is also a type of slideshow to go along with the map, which you can get to by clicking on certain locations of crimes committed. This would call for some type of slideshow program, such as SoundSlides.