May 4, 2007

Teacher saves student from burning car

Aaron Hunter, a social studies teacher at Champlin Park High School pulled his student Darren Callender out of a turned-over, burning car Wednesday evening, Star Tribune reported.

Callender's car burned up after he was pulled out of it. Callender said he was grateful to be buckled up because he only used it about half the time and most who don't wear a seatbelt in this rollover reck are ejected from the car.

The story was interesting; a story of a hero. With all the bad news out there, it's good to hear a story like this every now and then.

May 3, 2007

Protesters gather to call for Olmert's resignation

Thousands of protestors gathered in the Tel Aviv to call for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign due to his handling of the war against Hezbollah guerrillas, NY Times reported.

Leaders, including the foreign prime minister, also called for Olmert's resignation but for right now he refuses to step down. Although the protests are developing, protestors could turn violent if Olmert doesn't step down. But Olmert said he wants to be the one to fix the mistakes, CNN reported. The protests began because a report came out putting most of the failures of the war on Olmert.

LAPD under investigation for immigration march violence

Ten people, including seven reporters, were injured during a immigration march turned violent when LAPD officers tried to break it up late Tuesday, LA Times reported.

Eight officers were treated for injuries as well, but only after the officers began shooting rubber bullets and hitting participants and bystanders with batons. Organizers had a permit to stay in the area until 9 p.m., but police ordered to clear the area out. Officers formed a line and cleared the area, pushing over reporters and people in their way. But the biggest concern of Police Chief Bratton is that 240 rounds were fired, with no arrests. Others are concerned because they feel the LAPD officers targetted immigrants with rubber bullets.

Police Chief has requested that the FBI launch its own investigation of the incident.

CNN reported that Bratton said that part of the confusion or violence may have been caused because the order to disperse came from a helicopter in English, and most of the attendees were Spanish-speakers.

April 30, 2007

Google it: public records

The company that is a noun and used as a verb is working to make public records with certain states more available through the internet, AP reported.

The company is providing state government with free consulting and software to break the barrier the seach engine has had with searching public records dealing with real estate, education, etc. They are working with Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia, but the info will not be exclusive to Google alone, but all search engines.

This will sure help journalists' jobs easier. Soon you will be able to Google anything and find it. Google has really outdone themselves on this one.

24 yr-old truck driver not guilty on all counts

24-year-old truck driver Michael Kozlowski was found not guilty of all charges in a crash with a Chippewa Falls High School bus that killed five people and injured others in October 2005, Star Tribune reported.

Kozlowski was driving a semitrailer truck for Whole Foods company and fell asleep on a delivery. The truck overturned and blocked the lanes of Hwy. 94. A bus driven by Paul Rasmus, 78, collided with the truck that blocked both lanes.

The defense cited that Rasmus and the school district of the bus is to blame, not Kozlowski. Rasmus wasn't wearing his glasses, they said and should have had time to stop before hitting the truck. But the prosecutor argued that Kozlowski was negligent because he was tired and if his truck was not there the bus would have never collided. The defense won.

The story was very well covered and showed both sides of the story well. When I read it, it made me want to take sides with each viewpoint, the defense and prosecutor.

April 29, 2007

Firefighters supress 70 percent of Georgia wildfire

A fire that began April 16, burning more than 100 square miles of forest and swampland in Georgia, was mostly contained by firefighters Sunday, Associated Press reported.

At least nine families were evacuated from their homes. Although officials say that 70 percent of the fire has been contained, the fire should continue to rage because of high winds and no rain in the forecast.

Apparently, the smoke got so bad that it was blowing over to Florida Sunday and several residents called authorities worried about brush fires, WFTV reported.

The fire has destroyed about $65 million in timber, and farmers are going to have a hard road to recovery, Florida Times-Union reported.But farmer can salvage some of the trees after they are burned and before they rot.

April 26, 2007

Two women stop traffic in scuffle; father of accused murder suspect says his son didn't do it

Two women stopped their car and got out to fight in the middle of a 694 center lane, Star Tribune reported. The two got out and were throwing punches at one another. They were accompanied by a man.

The fight took place during rush hour and slowed lanes. Police came and arrested the two, taking them to jail. The man was not arrested and police did not say why the fight happened, but the two were riding in a vehicle together.

Police said the event was unusual because road rage altercations usually occur on the shoulder.

In other news, the father of accused shooter Jerome Pablo Cross, 17, says his son was at home and questions police evidence that his son was involved, Pioneer Press reported. Cross was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder of 16-year-old Earl Freeman, who was shot and killed on a Metro Transit bus Sunday. James Cross said the surveillance footage didn't catch the actual footage. Police say that they have solid evidence against Cross that there were several eye witnesses who saw Cross.

April 25, 2007

Yeltsin's Funeral

Today, Russians buried Boris Yeltsin, the country's first and former democratically elected president, who died Monday of heart failure at the age of 76, NY Times reported.

The funeral was attended by Russia's elite, former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush. Russia's current President Vladimir Putin also attended. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

The Los Angeles Times articles seemed to take a negative stance on Yeltsin's legacy, but one that might be more realistic of the his disapproval and flaws.

Both the articles were interesting and covered his history well.

April 24, 2007

Schools still struggle

As enrollment in Minneapolis and St. Paul schools continues to drop, schools struggle to find a way to survive.

Star Tribune reported a story about two North Side Minneapolis schools that are going to be restructuring because of their low enrollment numbers. Pioneer Press reported that St. Agnes in St. Paul is struggling to meet their budget and are in debt, suffering from a dropping enrollment.

Recently the Minneapolis school board voted to close 6 schools, one of them being nearby Tuttle Community School. The enrollment is predicted to continue to decline, and the school board will need to close more to come to a enrollment and capacity equilibrium. Most students are going to the suburbs or to charter schools, as many families are moving out of the city and into suburbs.

April 23, 2007

Buses still safe?

Although there have been three bus shootings since March, bus police officials say that these are isolated incidents and buses are still safe, Star Tribune reported.

Earl Freeman, 16, of St. Paul was shot and killed Sunday while riding a bus home, Pioneer Press reported.
The Star Tribune reported today that police have arrested a 17-year-old St. Paul youth in connection with the shooting, but have not released a name.

Although the increase of incidents, Metro Transit has increased their bus police force by almost quadrupling it within the last five years, a police official said. There are about 15 cars on the street at any given time and officers board the buses five times each shift. Buses are also being equipped with digital cameras. With all these measures, ‚ÄúTransit systems reflect the communities they serve, Metro Transit Police Chief Dave Indrehus said, "and violent acts sometimes spill over.‚Ä?

What I wonder is that Pioneer Press wrote the story, and I wonder if it helped the police track down a suspect.

April 21, 2007

U.S. invites Russia to participate in missile system

Since Russian officials have been opposed to U.S. having missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, so U.S. officials are offering Kremlin to take part in their missile defense system, sort of, anyway, NY Times reported.

U.S. military officials said they are offering to share information, and link one another's missile defense systems.

Infant death rates rise in south

The rates of death for infants are on the rise, some think a big part of it has to do with obese mothers, NY Times reported.

The data is defined by the number of deaths before the age of one, per thousand life births. In 2004, the rate was 9.7 and jumped to 11.4 in 2005 in Mississipi. The national average most recently compiled is 6.9 for 2003.

Some also think that it could be the result of a lack of resources and medical care.

The story was really interesting but it seemed like it didn't really talk about how this could be addressed. But still very interesting article.

Details from football player's search warrant released

Police released the details of the search warrant from the football players accused of rape, MN Daily reported.

Alex Daniels, E.J. Jones and Keith Massey have not been charged, but the police collected evidence at the player's apartment.

The woman said she drank until she was intoxicated and the three men picked her up and took her into a bedroom where the alleged assault took place. When she woke up, her clothing was half-off and her underwear were missing. She called herself from the men's cellphones so that she could identify them later, Star Tribune reported.

The suspects remain suspended from the team, but the investigation is still pending.

U bomb threat prompts evacuation of seven buildings

University officials evacuated seven buildings after finding a threatening note in Smith Hall on campus, Star Tribune reported.

The note specifically listed all of the buildings that were evacuated. The threat came two days after Virginia Tech shootings and days before the Columbine aniversary shootings.

The note read, "I am sick and tired of these buildings and people who operate in them, Today before 10 pm I am gonna bomb them simultaniously, I have nothing to lose."

The police received a call at 12:15 p.m. from a faculty member who was given the note that was found by a student in a bathroom. Buildings were locked and evacuated by 1:15 p.m. and the area was cordoned off shortly after. The threat is one of many during the weak and many question whether the Virginia Tech shooter's rampage has encouraged others.

Police found no bomb, Pioneer Press reported.

April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Massacre

A 23-year-old Virginia Tech student from South Korea killed 32 and died himself Monday, leaving the nation stunned and the campus mourning, AP reported.

Cho Seung-Hui, 23, has been identified as the killer. The police don't know his motive, but school spokesman said that he was a loner. There was two attacks that took place two hours apart. At first police didn't know whether the attacks were related. Cho used two pistols to kill 32 people, 31 of them were in one building. Twelve people are still in urgent care, and the doctor said each victim had at least three gun shot wounds.

The story is unbelieavable, and many people are wondering why there wasn't enough warning after the first shooting took place at 7 a.m. Police say that they thought the incidents were at first unrelated and this is why they didn't make a P.A. announcement, but sent out an e-mail.