In the Star Tribune article, "Man Gets Prison For Armed Holdups Of Three McDonald's In Minnesota", the author describes the violent background of the armed robber in an effort to give the story depth and the reader a better understanding of this certain criminal.

The author also describes the method and details of the three robberies, which gives the reader insight into the case.

The background information that the author provides gives another layer to the story that turns the article into an above average one.

Bodies Found Believed To Be Iowa Girls

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The two bodies discovered by hunters on Wednesday appear to be those of two missing Iowa girls, NBC News Staff reported.

Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook, 10, went missing on July 13 after leaving their grandmother's house in Evansdale, Iowa. The girls' bikes and purse were found around the area of Lake Meyer, which led authorities to scanning the lake with sonar. After nothing was found, the case was classified as an abduction.

Police haven't said whether they have a suspect, but added that another press conference is scheduled for Thursday.

"It's definitely not the outcome that we wanted, obviously," Capt. Rick Abben of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's office said. "This is a difficult thing for us to go through. It's a difficult thing for the community."


MSNBC by NBC News Staff

A Rochester man was sentenced to 14 years on Monday after pleading guilty to three robberies at gunpoint of McDonald's, Paul Walsh reported.

Christian Alexander, 25, was sentenced in federal court in St. Paul for robbing a McDonald's in Byron, Rochester, and Winona. In total, Alexander and his accomplices nabbed less than $6,500.

The first robbery occurred September 19, 2010 in Winona. The Rochester and Byron robberies occurred within 11 days of each other in June 2011.

Following the Rochester robbery, police traced Alexander back to his home where they found him sitting in his car, which had money on the floor, guns and ammunition, and several McDonald's bags.

His accomplices have not been identified.


Star Tribune by Paul Walsh

Man Shoots Ex-Wife, Self In Standoff With Deputies

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A Pine County man shot and wounded his ex-wife and then turned the gun on himself Wednesday night, Paul Walsh reported.

Police received a call around 9:15 p.m. and arrived at the home at the 29200 block of Sunny Hill Road between Pine City and Hinckley, where the ex-husband was standing on the front deck. Retreating inside, he held a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself. Following two hours of police attempting to diffuse the situation, the man fatally shot himself.

The events occurred near the 29200 block of Sunny Hill Road between Pine City and Hinckley. Names of the man and woman have not yet been released because the relatives have not been notified. The cause of the shooting is also not released.


Star Tribune by Paul Walsh

NY Man Confesses To Three Killings

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A New York man was arraigned Wednesday after admitting to police three killings of women, two of which occurring nearly 20 years ago, Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley reported.

Mount Vernon, NY resident Lucius Crawford, 60, told the NYPD to alert Long Island officials of his confession as they were searching for a suspect in the murders of 10 women whose bodies have been discovered in recent years. Crawford was taken into custody after police discovered the body of Tanya Simmons, 41, in his apartment.

Crawford was not home at the time of their discovery.

"We're glad to have this man off the streets," a Mount Vernon police officer said. "He's harmed so many people over the years, and now it's finally over."


CNN by Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley

In the ESPN article "Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher Kills Girlfriend, Himself", the author, Elizabeth Merrill, does a great job of including the most important facts at the beginning of the article. Her first couple of paragraphs are able to grab the reader's attention immediately.

Merrill does nice work by getting the player's background information, but it is lacking the reaction of someone that was close with Belcher. Many of the quotes are from people that hadn't spoken to him in a while or didn't get a lot of individual time with him.

Overall, the article had a good flow to it. It helped readers first understand the basis of the article and then it provided further information that gave the story more depth.

NFL Player Murders Girlfriend, Commits Suicide

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A Kansas City Chief's player fatally shot his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself on Saturday, Elizabeth Merrill reported.

Javon Belcher, 25, murdered his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, 22, and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his head coach and general manager. Friends of the couple reported that they had been arguing recently.

According to witnesses, Belcher thanked his coaching staff "for everything they had done for him". He then walked away and shot himself in the head in the facility's parking lot.

The Kansas City Chiefs will play their game on Sunday as scheduled against the Carolina Panthers.


ESPN by Elizabeth Merrill

Air Pollution Alert Issued for Rochester, Minn.

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Officials issued a health alert Saturday regarding air pollution in the southern part of Minnesota, Associated Press reported.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the alert will last from Saturday afternoon until Sunday at noon.

Monitoring stations have begun noticing high levels of fine-particle pollution in the area. When the levels get too high, people that are sensitive to air pollution will being to feel chest pain and have difficulty breathing.

Air quality should improve by Monday due to an expected cold front, officials said.



Post Bulletin
by Associated Press

Suicide Call Sends Officer Into Ambush

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A Cold Spring police officer was fatally shot Thursday evening when responding to a report of a suicidal person, Larry Oakes reported.

Officer Tom Decker, 31, was shot and killed behind Winners Sports Bar after responding to a call about a suicidal person at a Main Street apartment around 11 p.m. Decker died on the scene because, according to witnesses, he had been shot in the face.

Police have arrested Ryan Michael Larson, 34, on suspicion of murdering a police officer. He was a resident in the apartment above the sports bar and is also a co-owner with his parents, Oakes wrote.

Decker leaves behind a wife and four children.


Star Tribune by Larry Oakes

Nanny Pleads Not Guilty In Death of Children

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The nanny being charged in the murders of two children pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in a Manhattan, Kristina Sgueglia reported.

Yoselyn Ortega, 50, is accused of allegedly stabbing a six- and two-year-old to death while they were under her care. According to police, the mother came home to find her two children stabbed to death and the nanny laying nearby.

Ortega did not speak and had her lawyer deliver the plea for her. She is currently expected to undergo psychological evaluation.

Her next court date is January 16.


CNN by Kristina Sgueglia