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September 30, 2008

Cadbury pulls melamine-laced chocolate made in China

British candy maker Cadbury said Monday it is recalling 11 types of Chinese-made chocolates found to contain melamine, as police in northern China raided a network accused of adding the banned chemical to milk.

A Cadbury spokesman said it is too early to say how much of the chemical was in the chocolates made at its Beijing plant (USA Today).

The company said its dairy suppliers are generally cleared by government milk testing.

Melamine-laced baby formula and other dairy products in China have been blamed for sickening nearly 54,000 children and leading to four infant deaths. The industrial chemical, which is high in nitrogen, is believed to have been added to watered-down milk to mask the resulting protein deficiency and fool quality tests, according to The New York Times.

Police raided dairy farms and milk purchasing stations in northern China, detaining 22 people accused of being involved in a network that manufactured, sold and added melamine to milk, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday. Police also seized more than 485 pounds of the chemical, according to an article from the New York Times.

*It is interesting to note the differences between these two stories; the information varies. It makes me wonder who is the more credible source since the information does not match up.*

Md. police discover human remains in home freezer

Maryland police say they have found human remains that could be those of two children in a home freezer in Lusby, Maryland, about 50 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.

Calvert County authorities say they discovered the remains Saturday while they were investigating a report of a runaway, according to an article in USA TODAY.

Police say a 43-year-old woman who says the girls were her adopted daughters has been arrested. Renee Bowman told deputies that the remains had been frozen for at least seven months.

The sheriff's office says investigators also found the 7-year-old girl runaway. Police say she escaped the home by jumping out the window. Investigators say Bowman told them she beat the girl. She is charged with child abuse and is being held without bond.

According to a portion from the AP found in the Chicago Tribune, it stated that the girl had open sores and lesions on her buttocks and lower thighs, marks on her neck made by a cord, rope or other item and bruises on her hands and lips. She told investigators her mother caused the injuries and that she jumped out the window to "free herself from her mother's relentless beatings," according to the documents. She is being cared for by child protective services (Chicago Tribune).

Bicyclist fatally hit by SUV on St. Paul's Summit Avenue

A 51-year-old St. Paul woman died Saturday, about seven hours after her bicycle and a sport-utility vehicle collided near Summit and Snelling Avenues. This is an area that is popular with bicyclists, according to the article in the StarTribune.

Virginia Heuerbowar was wearing a helmet when she was hit at 8:10 a.m., said Pete Panos, a spokesman for St. Paul police.

Heuerbowar was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with severe head injuries and died there about 3 p.m.

Panos said Heuerbowar had been riding east on Summit Avenue from Snelling.

A 39-year-old Minneapolis man told police he was eastbound and had stopped at a stop sign where the road merges onto Summit.

"He stopped and accelerated, and all of a sudden, she was in front of him," Panos said the man had told police.

There were no independent witnesses, Panos said. No tickets were issued to the driver. The accident remains under investigation.

According to an article by the Pioneer Press marked 9/22, another bicyclist died after being struck by a vehicle in Blaine.

A driver westbound on Clover Leaf Parkway struck the bicyclist, who was traveling north on Central Avenue Northeast.

The 63-year-old bicyclist from Blaine died at the scene.

The driver, a 40-year-old East Bethel man, cooperated with authorities, Blaine Police Chief Chris Olson said.

*It is interesing to note that the Pionner Press did not cover the death of the 51-year-old woman; this was a story that has potential and interest to readers. A follow-up story on bike safety also could have been issued.*

Juvenile held in death of Augsburg student

Minneapolis police have made an arrest in the shooting death of an Augsburg College student outside a community center in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood (Pioneer Press).

Police say a 16-year-old male is being held while the case is reviewed by the Hennepin County attorney's office.

Twenty-year-old Ahmed Nur Ali, a Somali-American and political science major, was gunned down last Monday outside the Brian Coyle Community Center, where he had just started as a volunteer tutor to young children.

According to an article in the StarTribune, it stated that Ali was involved in an "interpersonal dispute," words were exchanged and the juvenile shot Ali, police said.

Investigators said the arrest came after witnesses came forward with information.

The neighborhood is home to many Somali immigrants, and the center and nearby Currie Park are popular gathering places for many community residents.

September 27, 2008

Driver allegedly rapes mentally impaired woman

A man driving a medical transport van in Minneapolis picked up a woman, stripped her and raped her, knowing she was mentally impaired, according to a criminal complaint.

According to the StarTribune, and article stated that Vladimir A. Yulchinchuk, 40, of Rogers, was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Yulchinchuk denied the allegations and said he did not know the woman.

The woman was described by the director of her treatment center as having "mental disorders, including paranoia, mild retardation, an IQ of 80 and a brain injury."

According to the complaint: on June 18, Yulchinchuk picked up the woman after her appointment at Hennepin County Medical Center and drove into an alley behind her Minneapolis treatment facility about nine blocks away.

Yulchinchuk began touching her sexually and pulling at her clothing. He ordered her into the back of the van, where he stripped her and engaged in a sex act with her.

The complaint says DNA semen samples taken from the woman match the DNA profile taken from Yulchinchuk.

Analysis entry on structures

Article from The Oshkosh Northwestern:

Child run over, killed at home
LAKE HALLIE — A 15-month-old girl died after being run over as her mother backed a vehicle out of the family’s garage in the Chippewa County Village of Lake Hallie.

It happened Wednesday at about 8 a.m.

Police Chief Gale Haas said Erin Scholtes wandered out of the house, but the parent didn’t know it. The girl ran behind the vehicle and was run over by one of the wheels.

She died after being taken to a hospital.

Although this article is relatively short, it is nothing but a straight, hard-hitting fact story.

The reporter summarized the important events in a peculiar way. I feel that the reporter should have used the “Inverted Pyramid? style of writing. This reporter needed to rearrange the story a little bit better. The reporter could have started the story with the most important information in the lead and then weaned towards the less important facts at the end.

Why did the reporter choose to end the article by disclosing the fact that she died? The reporter should have put this important information towards the beginning of the article.
The reporter ordered this information in a strange way; he or she focused more on the time of the event than getting right to the fact that she died; this is an interesting way of ordering information. The reader kept the story brief and to the point, but could have rearranged the story by using the inverted pyramid a little more effectively.

September 25, 2008

8 dead, 38 missing after Sichuan landslides

Landslides triggered by heavy rain have killed eight people and left 38 others missing in one of the areas hardest hit by the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province, state media said Wednesday (USA TODAY).

According to an article printed in the New York Times, it stated that the Chinese government assembled 1,550 rescuers equipped with 160 bulldozers, excavators and other machines to comb through the sludge for survivors.

Local authorities from Beichuan county said that torrential rain since Monday has also triggered flash floods and cave-ins, injuring more than 300 people, the official Xinhua News Agency reported (New York Times). Another 6,500 people were stranded and in dire need of help, rescue officials said.

Beichuan was one of the areas almost completely flattened during the massive earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people and left another 18,000 missing.

Heavy downpours have been battering the area since Monday, causing more than 2,200 homes to collapse and damaging another 8,500, the report said. Direct economic losses were estimated at nearly $5.87 million, Xinhua said (USA TODAY).

Fla. teen convicted of killing classmate

A teenager who mental health experts say wanted to become a serial killer was convicted Wednesday of luring his 14-year-old friend to a middle school bathroom and stabbing him to death in 2004.

According to an article written by the StarTribune, it stated that the jury deliberated for about 3 1/2 hours before convicting Michael Hernandez, now 18, of first-degree murder in the slaying and of the attempted murder of another classmate (StarTribune).

The defense argued Hernandez was insane and not criminally responsible for luring Jaime Gough into the bathroom at Miami's Southwood Middle School, then slitting his throat and stabbing him at least 42 times.

According to an article done in the USA TODAY, the article stated that prosecutors said he was a smart student who wore a windbreaker and latex gloves for the attack in an effort to keep blood off his clothes.

When the verdict was read, Hernandez showed no reaction but was nervously moving his foot under the defense table. He left the courtroom flanked by deputies and never looked back at his parents, who sat two rows behind him.

Hernandez faces life in prison. The trial was moved to Orlando because of the wide publicity of the case, but his sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 7 in Miami (USA TODAY).

Two defense mental health experts said Hernandez was a paranoid schizophrenic. And a third defense expert said he was delusional. All three said he was obsessed with becoming a serial killer and met the legal definition of insanity (USA TODAY).

Hernandez then began visiting psychology websites to investigate his own behavior, and decided he was schizophrenic and had obsessive compulsive disorder. Rosenbaum said his client then made a "disturbing, irrational, crazy leap" that he "must be a serial killer" (StarTribune).

Man shot and killed at Brooklyn Park bar

Romel Jones Jr. was killed and two other men were wounded during a dispute between two groups shortly after midnight Wednesday at Blondie's Sports Bar and Grill.

Another man suffered a gunshot wound and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. A third man was assaulted and suffered blunt-force injuries (Pioneer Press).

According to an article in the StarTribune, relatives and friends of a 19-year-old man shot and killed on the patio of a Brooklyn Park bar showed up at a police news conference Wednesday afternoon, some asking why the bar can't be shut down.

Mayor Steve Lampi said later that the City Council needs to get the facts about the shooting to "see what kind of action might be warranted." He said he thought the bar had improved by hiring off-duty police officers on weekends. "I know the bar had a lot of calls for service," he said (StarTribune).

City records show Blondie's, at 7459 Brooklyn Blvd., had 221 calls for service in 2006, 215 in 2007 and 156 so far this year (StarTribune). Assaults and serious threats accounted for 40, 25 and 28 calls, respectively.

Police are looking for three or four men seen leaving the bar but that two men were arrested for the assault. The shooting escalated from a dispute between two groups at the bar, but he didn't think the killing was gang-related.
It was unclear if Jones was targeted.

(*It is interesting to note that the Pioneer Press did not have as much information as the StarTribune did; this is noteworthy considering the StarTribune went in-depth with this story, whereas the Pioneer Press had little information to contribute).

Kitten abuser gets 7 months in jail

A St. Paul man convicted of throwing a kitten against a wall during an argument with his girlfriend, was sentenced to seven months in jail (Pioneer Press).

Scott Michael Turner threw the kitten, Nilla, who was severely injured and had to be euthanized. Turner hurled the kitten against the wall. He stated during trial that the cat had fallen off his shoulder and he accidentally stepped on it. He is not allowed to have pets.

Turner, 29, also must complete inpatient drug treatment. Convicted of felony cruelty to an animal, he must stay completely away from drugs and alcohol and make restitution to the kitten's owner, with whom he is allowed no contact.

Turner was arguing with his pregnant girlfriend on May 12 in their apartment at 1034 Suburban Ave. in St. Paul because she wanted to keep on playing with the cat and Turner wanted to return it to its owner, Lisa Lewis. Lewis lived across the hall (Pioneer Press).

Ramsey County District Judge Margaret Marrinan also ordered Turner to pay $292.50 in restitution to the kitten's owner, but noted that the owner had written that she wanted the money to go to a veterinary hospital to help another sick animal (StarTribune).

September 18, 2008

Wall Street plunges; gold spiked to $90.40 an ounce

The stock market plunged Wednesday in New York as Dow drops 450. However, as the stock market staggered, the price of gold, which rises in times of panic, spiked as much as $90.40 an ounce (USA Today).

According to an article in USA Today, the weak state of financial markets increased dramatically after the Federal Reserve's decision late Tuesday to give troubled insurer AIG a two-year loan of up to $85 billion in exchange for a nearly 80% stake in the company, which lost billions in the risky business of insuring against bond defaults.

The Dow Jones industrial average, which only two days earlier had suffered its steepest drop since the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, lost another 450 points. About $700 billion in investments vanished (New York Post).

"The economy is not short of money. It is short of confidence," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University (New York Post).

According to an article in the New York Post, it stated that markets around the globe also tumbled, with stocks plummeting from Hong Kong to London. Brazil's benchmark index saw the most dramatic drop, losing almost 7 percent in a day.

September 17, 2008

RNC delegate's jewelry stolen

A delegate to the Republican National Convention was robbed of up to $150,000 in jewelry and accessories at a downtown Minneapolis hotel during the convention (StarTribune).

"It's very, very, very rare," Minneapolis Police Sgt. William Palmer said. "I can think of a couple of burglaries where we had that much stolen, but it's the first time I've heard of this kind of deal," (Pioneer Press).

According to the StarTribune, the man, a member of the Colorado delegation, had been at a party earlier in the evening, After the night's events, the man went to the Hotel Ivy, where he met a woman and invited her up to his room. Police believe he was drugged at some point.

The woman took off with a cell phone, cash, jewelry and expensive clothing valued at between $50,000 and $150,000, Palmer said (Pioneer Press).

Palmer said the case remains under investigation, but there is no indication that the incident was related to prostitution (StarTribune).

World's smallest man meets woman with world's longest legs

On Tuesday, the shortest man who can walk met the woman with the longest legs.

He Pingping, of China, was born with a type of dwarfism. He, 20, stands precisely 2 feet 5.37 inches tall.
It is rumoured he is now so protective of his image, he refuses to have his photo taken unless he is paid a substantial fee (Telegraph).

Pankratova, 36, who is Russian but lives in Spain, has legs that are more than 4 feet long (Yahoo! News).

According to Yahoo! News, the pair met in London to publicize the release of “Guinness World Records 2009,? which the popular book will be out Wednesday.

He called Svetlana Pankratova's legs "very beautiful? (Yahoo! News).

Pankratova said she liked her legs, though they can complicate things. "It's hard to find clothes, especially pants," she said (Yahoo! News).

At 6-foot-4, Pankratova isn't the tallest woman on record. Sandy Allen, of Shelbyville, Indiana, who died recently, held that title at 7 feet, 7 inches, according to the book (Yahoo! News).

September 15, 2008

Witchcraft rumors start deadly riot in Congo

Allegations that a soccer player was using witchcraft during a local match in eastern Congo sparked a riot that killed 13 people, a U.N.-funded radio station reported Monday (USA TODAY).

Most of the victims were between the ages of 11 and 16 (Chicago Sun-Times). According to an article found in the Chicago Sun-Times, most of the victims suffocated during the mayhem Sunday in Butembo in eastern Congo’s North Kivu province.

Dozens of teenagers marched through Butembo’s dirt streets Monday in protest, and the regional governor, Julien Mpaluku, paid a visit to the hospital (Chicago Sun-Times). Mpaluku said the government was investigating the riot.

Radio Okapi said police tried to control the violence at Matokeo stadium by firing guns into the air to protect their commander, who was hit in the head and wounded by fans (USA TODAY).

The governor never mentioned witchcraft as a motive to the deadly riot, but confirmed that soldiers had fired into the air to calm the angry crowds at the soccer game. Instead, the shooting provoked panic. Most of the dead were children, only two or three were adults, said sources (USA TODAY).

Lead analysis

"David Foster Wallace, whose darkly ironic novels, essays and short stories garnered him a large following and made him one of the most influential writers of his generation, was found dead in his California home on Friday, after apparently committing suicide, the authorities said" (New York Times).

This New York Times news lead is a straightforward news lead, shown without bias, just straight facts. Within this lead, the who, what, where, when, why, and how are all covered within one sentence. The who is identified as David Foster Wallace, a distinguished novelist and writer. The what refers to what actually happened: the author died, noting suicide as the cause of death. The where describes the location of where the event took place. In this story, the where refers to David Foster Wallace’s home in California. The when also refers to, in the literal sense, when the event took place. This event occurred on Friday.

However, within the lead, the why is not necessarily identified. After reading the entire article, the why was never an issue that was necessarily mentioned, because quite frankly, we as the readers, do not know why someone would commit suicide. The how is also a missing element in the lead. The how is not an essential part of the story; gruesome details of how investigators found the body or vivid descriptions should be excluded from news stories.

In this given lead, the reporter of this story is not stating an opinion, which is not appropriate in a news lead. Instead, the reporter focuses on the facts.

The reporter delves into detail about who type of stories David Foster Wallace wrote, a description that makes up at least half of the lead.

Teacher crashes into bear

A middle school teacher suffered some bruising and a big scratch on his back after he struck a bear while riding his bicycle to school.

"I've come close to them this time of year,? Jim Litz said, clutching his side and grimacing. “I know bears. The entire creek bottom is just hammered by bears. That's the beauty of living here. But typically, they're crossing the road and I have plenty of time to avoid them" (Missoulian).

According to Yahoo! News, Litz said he was traveling about 25 mph Monday morning when he came upon a rise and spotted a black bear about 10 feet in front of him. He didn't have time to stop and T-boned the bruin. He tumbled over the handlebars, his helmet hit the bear's back and the two went cartwheeling down the road.

The bear rolled over Litz's head, cracking his helmet, and scratched his back before scampering up a hill above the road (Yahoo! News).

“I didn't have time to respond. I never even hit my brakes,? Litz said (Missoulian).
Litz's wife drove by shortly after the crash and took her husband to the hospital.

He hoped to be able to return to teaching science at Target Range Middle School on Friday.

Former Hopkins basketball star appears in court

Anthony DiLoreto, the former Hopkins basketball star accused in a Wisconsin bank robbery, has put his college plans on hold, his attorney said Friday.

DiLoreto, 18, made his first appearance Friday in Burnett County Circuit Court.

Charges stem from Diloreto's alleged plan to have driven the getaway car for a 16-year-old boy, who was carrying a shotgun believed to belong to Diloreto when he robbed a Bremer Bank in Danbury Aug. 16, authorities said. The plan was for the 16-year-old to rob the bank while Diloreto waited outside to drive the getaway vehicle (Star Tribune).
Police arrested the 16-year-old suspect about 45 minutes after the robbery as he walked in a field near Danbury, which is across the St. Croix River and about 100 miles northeast of the Twin Cities (Pioneer Press).
Diloreto was arrested at his family's Minnetonka home several hours after the incident. He was later extradited to Wisconsin, where he was released from jail Aug. 26 on $5,000 cash and $12,000 bond. According to the StarTribune, DiLoreto, who was a 7-foot center for Hopkins High School last year, had earned a scholarship this year to play at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

DiLoreto is taking community college classes online, continuing his volunteer work and looking for a job, Nelson said. His preliminary hearing has been set for Oct. 16 (Pioneer Press).

3 stabbed Saturday in knife attack

Minneapolis police are investigating a knife attack that left three people hospitalized early Saturday morning, two of them with stab wounds to the chest. Police say the motives are unclear and that robbery does not appear to be a motive (Pioneer Press).

Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer said the incident occurred at 2:48 a.m. in front of the Taco Bell at 215 E. Lake Street, near the intersection of 3rd Avenue S. and E. Lake Street (StarTribune).

Emergency responders arrived to find three victims lying in the street. A 26-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman were stabbed in the chest, and a 24-year-old woman was stabbed in the arm. According to an article in the StarTribune, all three were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where their conditions were unknown. The two stabbed in the chest were seriously injured, Palmer said.

He said witnesses described the suspects only as a man and a woman, who fled the scene.

Searching for answers

On Sunday, Los Angeles’ federal investigators combed railroad tracks and crushed wreckage looking for evidence to explain the nation's deadliest rail disaster in 15 years and made plans to interview dispatchers, Yahoo! News reports.

According to Yahoo! News, an engineer who ran a red signal and crashed head-on into a freight train caused the nation’s deadliest commuter train wreck in nearly four decades. Men wearing green and orange safety vests walked up and down the tracks in an early morning fog, while others snapped pictures and climbed inside the wrecked shell of the front passenger car (Yahoo).

The death toll rose to at least 25 from the collision on Friday of the northbound Metrolink train carrying about 225 passengers and the freight train in Chatsworth, a mostly residential district in the northwest San Fernando Valley, officials said. The number of dead may rise, they said, because of the 135 people injured, 40 were in critical condition (New York Times).

At a news conference, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles said the last of the dead had just been pulled from the wreckage of the freight train’s 11 boxcars and the three Metrolink cars. The train had been traveling from downtown to the city’s northern suburbs. The mayor quoted a firefighter who he said had told him: “It was very, very difficult. It was like peeling an onion, to find all the victims" (New York Times).

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California arrived at the scene in the afternoon, said, “The investigation, of course, continues on" (New York Times).

September 14, 2008

Engine failure cited in deadly Russian jet crash

Sunday’s crash of a passenger jet in Perm, Russia was likely caused by engine failure, a Russian investigator said.

Flight 821 operated by an Aeroflot subsidiary carried 82 passengers and six crew members. Among those killed were citizens from the United States, France, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Latvia (MSNBC).

According to MSNBC, Pavel Shevchenko, a 36-year-old Perm resident who lives just 330 yards from the site of the crash, said he was awoken by an explosion and ran outside. He said debris was scattered around the area, along a section of tracks destroyed by the impact of the plane, but the heat from the flames kept him from getting closer.

The plane was attempting to land amid low cloud cover when it crashed into an unpopulated area of the city, just a few hundred yards from small homes and apartment buildings. The plane was at about 3,600 feet when it lost contact with ground dispatchers.

Russia and the other former Soviet republics have some the world's worst air traffic safety records, according to the International Air Transport Association(International Air Transport Association). Experts have blamed weak government controls, poor pilot training and a cost-cutting mentality among many carriers that affects safety (MSNBC).

Sunday's crash was the second involving a Boeing 737 in the former Soviet Union in the past month. A Boeing flying from the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan to Iran crashed shortly after takeoff Aug. 24, killing 64 of the 90 people on board (Yahoo! News).