April 2011 Archives

177 bodies found in massive graves in Mexico

In the past few days, police have discovered dozens of mass graves filled with victims of drug cartels in San Fernando, Mexico.

Police have discovered a total of 177 victims in the graves, most of which were likely killed at the hands of the Zetas cartel, a major and vicious Mexican gang, authorities told the Financial Times.

Most of the victims had blunt force trauma to the head, while a sledgehammer that was found at the crime scene this month was likely used in the executions, Mexican investigators and state officials told the Washington Post.

Over 35,000 people have been killed in the past four years since the government's began it's battle with Mexico's organized crime, which America has supported with $1.6 billion.

Authorities have arrested 76 suspects, including the possible local Zeta boss Martin "El Kilo" Estrada, who authorities have attributed as the mastermind behind the killings.

Reporters found that the White House visitor logs have a lot of missing data in an iWatch News story.

The reporters would have had to do some extensive research on the online White House visitor log and found the missing information.

Looking over hundreds of thousands of log entries must have been extremely time consuming and aggravating.

The reporters did not use many other documents for the purpose of this article, but the amount of information found in the White House visitor log, and the lack of information found in the visitor log, provided most of the information needed to write the story.

The computer-assisted reporting was necessary for this story because the records were found online and the reporters would have had to be extremely careful in the examining and interpreting of the records they found.

The reporters would have had to find the gaps in the visitor logs themselves and found the oddly high numbers of junior aid visits and what the underlying cause of this is and why it is important.

Semitruck strikes and kills University student on bike

A semitruck hit and a University of Minnesota student on a bike just in front of the Dinkytown McDonalds on Thursday morning.

Kimberly Yeong Sil Hull, 25, was going to graduate from the university in May with majors in communication and Japanese and had just won first place in a university film contest, according to the Star Tribune.

Hull was biking south towards campus besides the truck when it took a right onto Fourth Street, knocking her onto the crosswalk and crushing her chest where she died at the scene.

The driver of the truck cooperated with police and was not arrested, though police are still determining who had the right of way traffic accident investigators are determining the speed of the semitruck, in a Minnesota Daily story.

Memorial services will be held at the Rarig Center on Tuesday, the day she would have turned 26.

St. Louis tornado leaves none killed or injured

The most powerful tornado to hit the St. Louis area in 44 years rampaged through an airport and destroys up to 100 homes on Friday, yet didn't kill or injure anyone.

The tornado peaked at a level EF-4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, damaged 750 St. Louis homes, damaged the Lambert-St. Louis Airport and yet no one was killed thanks to citizens taking precaution after the 34-minute warning, said the Star Tribune.

On Easter Sunday, many civilians were left to pick up the pieces of the aftermath that will cost millions in dollars to repair.

Flights at the airport resumed on Sunday and reached about 70% of operations a mere two days after the tornado struck, said CNN.

The tornado had winds of about 170 mph, left 65 houses uninhabitable, and 35 houses with sustainable damage, according to Police Chief Donald Hood.

New Yorkers take $5,000 taxi ride across the country

Two New Yorkers paid a cab driver $5,000 to drive from New York to Los Angeles in one trip.

Mohammed Alam told CNN he left his crying family behind to take investment banker John Belitsky, 31, and English professor Dan Wuebben, 32, 3,000 miles across the country in six days.

One of the stops included along the way included Las Vegas, where the pair won $2,000, according to The Telegraph.

Belitsky wanted to take a taxi across the country after his father, a former New York taxi driver, told him no cab driver would take him across America.

It has been estimated that it would have cost $17,000 if the meter had been running the entire time.

Arrest made for hit-and-run connection

Police arrested a 29-year-old Roseville man on Thursday who may have been connected to the hit-and-run that killed a 23-year-old University of Minnesota student.

The Minneapolis police told KARE-11 News that they found the man after connecting tips and information from witnesses to the suspect.

The suspect was admitted to the Hennepin County Jail Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and is being held on probable cause for attempted murder without bail, according to the Minnesota Daily.

The suspect's name has not yet been released by the media because he has not yet been formally charged.

The hit-and-run the suspect is possibly connected to resulted in the injury of two female students and the death of Benjamin Van Handel, a University of Minnesota student from Appleton.

Mexican town faces sewage flood

A sewage water canal breach flooded about 200 Mexican homes with raw sewage on Sunday.

The colony of San Isrido and La Providencia's wall of the Canal De La Compania had a 30-meter long crack in it, CNN reported.

The crack allowed about 1.5 million gallons of wastewater to flow out of the canal and into the residential areas, in a UPI story.

There have been no reported fatalities, but three minors were injured. One was injured when he tried fleeing his flooding house while two others were sent to the hospital with hypothermia, said the local fire department.

Heavy overnight rains likely caused the crack, and authorities claimed the situation could be controlled by Sunday night, with the highway remaining closed until sometime on Monday.

Numi, the latest luxury toilet by Kohler, is looking to make a splash when it launches in the U.S. next month with its high end technology.

The Numi "Smart Toilet" gives its users adjustable seat positions, ambient lighting, a built-in audio system and an integrated stainless steel, self-cleaning bidet wand with adjustable water temperature and pressure and a dryer.

According to the Huffington Post, the Numi will cost consumers $6,300 to partake in the luxurious loo.

"This product is targeted at those consumers who want the best--they want the latest in design and technology (and) want a fashion statement in their home," Kohler's President and Chief Operating Officer David Kohler said to USA Today.

The Numi has been in production for five years, Kohler said. Kohler added that video capabilities may be next on the horizon for the Numi.

Inner Grove Heights soldier, 25, killed in Afghanistan

U.S. Army Specialist Joseph A. Kennedy was killed by small-arms fire on Friday in Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his Helmand Province unit. He was 25.

Kennedy, known to friends and family as a free-spirited daredevil, was a 2004 Simley High School graduate and a St. Paul resident who had been deployed overseas since January, in a Star Tribune story.

Kennedy was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry out of Fort Knox, Ky.

Many of Kennedy's old high school teachers told the Pioneer Press he was a disciplined, respectful and hard working and had the makings of a good soldier.

"He is our hero," Kennedy's mother, Valerie, said in a Statement released Saturday by the Department of Defense. "We are extremely proud of him and his service to our country. He will be missed by many that loved him dearly."

Devastating storm kills at lest 43 across 6 states

An enormous storm system created dozens of tornadoes from Oklahoma to North Carolina, Killing 43 people in six states before reaching the sea.

A total of 62 tornadoes swept through North Carolina, making for the worst storm to hit the state since March 1984, where 57 people were killed and hundreds were injured by a storm that spawned 22 tornadoes, the North Carolina governor declared in an Associated Press article.

The storm severely injured 130 people, leveled or damaged hundreds of homes and left over 84,000 people without power.

The National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Sharp told the New York Times that a "family of tornadoes" that were part of the same thunderstorm system was the reason for the devastation.

At one point, North Carolina had over 250,000 people without power before emergency crews began repairing the lines. Sporadic outages are still expected until Monday.

Three U students injured in a Dinkytown hit and run

An unidentified driver hit three University students walking on a Dinkytown sidewalk and immediately fled the scene at nearly 2 a.m.

Katelynn Hanson, 21; Sarah Bagley, 21; and Benjamin Van Handel, 23, were all sent to the Hennepin County Medical Center after the hit and run, with Van Handel still in critical condition, said the Star Tribune.

Hanson, her boyfriend Joe Bailin, and their friend Bagley were walking from the Kitty Cat Klub celebrating their acceptance into graduate school when they saw the headlights of the car going the wrong way on Fifth Street Southeast before they all hit the ground, according to the Minnesota Daily.

The car drove further down the block and hit Van Handel into a telephone pole, causing him a severe brain injury and multiple broken bones. Hanson was released from the hospital with bruised legs and soreness, while Bagley was in satisfactory condition with a concussion, knee and elbow injuries, and a chipped tooth.

Police searched on Friday for an early 2000s, white, Toyota Camry or Solera with front end damage.

Ohio man charged for barking at police dog

An Ohio man was charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog.

Ryan James Stephens, 25, was charged with teasing a police dog in Mason, according to the Associated Press.

Officer Bradley Walker saw Stephens barking and hissing at Walker's K-9 officer, Timber, about 2 inches away from the back window of the police car after Walker was responding to a crash at the Mason Pub, in a MSNBC story.

Walker suspected Stephens to be intoxicated because he smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.

When Walker asked Stephens why he was barking at the dog, Stephens replied, "He started it. He was harassing me."

Stephens is set to appear in municipal court on April 21 for misdemeanor of willfully teasing a police K-9 officer.

President Obama will release his plans this week to reduce the federal deficit by making cuts to government programs for seniors and the poor and possible tax hikes for the wealthy.

This comes after a last-minute budget agreement between Republicans and Democrats on Friday that will cut the year's spending by $38.5 billion.

The budget has not come near the $14 trillion deficit Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas wrote on his Facebook page, according to the Associated Press.

Obama will likely once again try to end tax cuts to those who make $250,000 a year and will take "a scalpel, not a machete," to programs like Medicare and education services, in a New York Times story.

Republicans told the Associated Press on Friday that although they compromised for this year's budget plan, they are not ready to make compromises on next year's spending plan yet.

Northern Ireland police diffuse large bomb

Northern Ireland police diffused a wheelie bin filled with 500 pounds of explosives on Saturday.

The bomb was in an underpass outside Newry in a blue Ford transit van.

Politicians said that the bomb could have had a similar impact as the Omagh bombing in August 1998, where 29 people were killed and 220 were injured, in a Herald Scotland story.

Police said that the attempted attack was likely by the dissident republicans, who are ones who wanted Northern Ireland to be Irish rather than British, and who do not accept the 1998 peace deal that ended decades of violence, according to CNN.

The dissident republicans were also blamed for the April 2 killing of a police officer with a booby-trap bomb in Omagh.

A suspect in a Brooklyn Park grocery store shooting fled the scene in a vehicle and shot and killed himself near the Washington Avenue Bridge Friday night.

Two people were shot in the break room of a Brooklyn Park Festival Foods, with one, 20-year-old Abigail M. Fedeli, dead and one injured and sent to a nearby hospital. The second victim died later at the North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, in a Star Tribune story.

All three were long-term employees of the grocery store, with the two victims working at the time and the shooter was not.

The shooter fled the scene in a vehicle and shot himself on the West River Parkway underneath the Washington Bridge as officers were closing in.

Police said they are not searching for any other suspects, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The grocery store was temporarily closed on Saturday as local church members prayed in the parking lot and bouquets of roses and carnations were left by the door.

Brewers look to sell own beer

A Brooklyn Center-based specialty beer producer is looking to sell beer directly from their brewery.

The Surly Brewing Co. wants to build a $20 million brewery and restaurant complex in the Twin Cities.

The company is looking to tweak Minnesota's current three-tier system that separates the manufacturing, distribution and retail sale of liquor so it can sell glasses of its own brands on site, according to the Pioneer Press.

The "Surly Bill," unanimously passed in a key Senate committee on Wednesday, in a Minnesota Daily story.

Construction of the brewery would add 85 construction jobs and 150 full-time jobs and would result in a 60,000-square-foot restaurant brewery complex with a beer garden, a 250-seat restaurant and a 30-foot bar.

Analysis: Numbers

In the CNN article, "'Widespread cracking' found where hole opened on Southwest jet" features a lot of number throughout the article.

The article is about an aircraft that was found with a large hole in the cabin. Numbers were used to describe altitudes that the plane descended to, the amount of aircrafts being grounded, measurements, time, ages, and passengers.

A lot of numbers were used throughout the article, but they were spread out enough that it did not overload the reader with too much information.

When a reporter is faced with so many facts and figures, it can be easy to just put number after number on the page, but the wire staff of CNN knew that too many numbers would challenge the reader.

The wire staff was also sure to repeat some of the important numbers in the article, such as the altitude descent and the number of flights that were cancelled as a reminder to the readers.

A lot of information came from a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, who was a primary source for this article. Passengers also provided the wire staff with numbers, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration.

Every time numbers were used throughout the story, the wire staff cites where they got the information from.

Overall, numbers were used very effectively for the story and were necessary for the context of the story.

Jennie-O Turkey store in Minnesota is recalling nearly 55,000 pounds of raw, frozen turkey burgers sold at Sam's Club Stores nationwide.

The meat may be contaminated with salmonella. Twelve people have been diagnosed in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin, the West Central Tribune reported.

USDA officials found that three of these patients reported eating Jennie-O turkey burgers before showing symptoms and being hospitalized, according to the Star Tribune.

Common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. So far, nobody in Minnesota has been diagnosed recently from the same outbreak.

The products being recalled are 4-pound boxes of "All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat," with each box containing 12 individually wrapped burgers. The use by date is "DEC 23 2011."

Bombing in Pakistan kills 42

Two Taliban suicide bombers killed 42 in a central Pakistan shrine on Sunday, adding to a series of attacks on places of worship by those opposed to sects.

Over a thousand people people gathered at Sakhi Sarwar, a Sufi shrine in a village outside Dera Ghazi Khan for the 942nd anniversary of the death of Sarwar when the bombers detonated their explosive-filled suicide vests.

Sufi shrines have been known for being attacked by militant groups because they view that version of islam equivalent to heresy, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Another bomber, who was wounded when his vest only partially exploded, was arrested along with a fourth militant who was preeminently seized, the Associated Press reported.

At least 80 people were injured in the attack, with 30 of them being in critical condition.

The last three years have seen hundreds of attacks in Pakistan by foreign Islamist militants, who have attacked government buildings, hotels, embassies, religious minorities, and sects similar to Sufi.

Cancer-stricken, 66-year-old woman tackles bank robber

A 66-year-old woman dying with cancer tackled a bank robber to the ground in an Oakland Park, Fla. bank on Friday.

Helen Dunsford tackled Renee Breen to the ground as Breen reached in her purse, said she had a gun and told everyone to get on the ground, in an MSNBC story.

Breen demanded $10,000 from the bank, though she later claimed that the robbery attempt was an April Fool's joke.

A man who entered the Bank of America with Breen exited the building, but entered again while shouting that Breen was mentally ill as he tried to retrieve her. The man was taken into custody and shouted to reporters from the back of the police car that Breen was mentally ill, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Although officials typically discourage people from taking the law into their own hands, authorities commended Dunsford for her "Selfless and Brave," actions. Dunsford is currently living with stage 4 cancer and claimed she had nothing to lose in tackling Breen.

A Burnsville man is awaiting charges after a car chase ended in the man crashing into a local private daycare.

Willie Alfonso Brown, 33, is being held in the Dakota County Jail with pending charges of second-degree assault, terroristic threats and second-degree burglary, in a Pioneer Press story.

Brown was allegedly committed a burglary in Burnsville and pointed a gun at the homeowner who interrupted the burglary. Brown fled in a vehicle, with the homeowner chasing after him until Brown allegedly lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a home that is also a private daycare, according to KSAX News.

Brown fled on foot and was arrested shortly after.

No one was hurt and the children being cared for were sent to a nearby school. Two nearby schools, Nicollet Junior High and Sky Oaks Elementary, were put on lockdown, though the buildings were mostly empty due to spring break, said the Star Tribune.

Inspectors discovered "widespread cracking" on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 after it made an emergency landing in Arizona after a hole was discovered in the cabin on Friday.

Many passengers panicked after flight attendants saw blue sky through the five-foot-long, one-foor-wide, making the cabin depressurized and prompting the captain to make an emergency landing at a military base in Yuma, Arizona.

The airline has grounded part of its fleet as a result, after grounding 300 flights on Saturday and another 300 expected on Sunday, Reuters reports.

Mechanics for Southwest will cut a 9-foot section of the plane out on Sunday and ship it to the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington to be studied.

Southwest told CNN that it provided a full refund, an apology and two complimentary round-trip passes to passengers of the grounded Boeing 737.

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