September 2010 Archives

New technology helps police find suspects

by Shannon Lee
The new technology Shot Spotter helped Minneapolis police locate two suspects in a Minneapolis shooting that left one man dead.
Shot Spotter is a recently developed technology installed four years ago in certain parts of Minneapolis that uses a network of microphones to locate gunshots. It activates surveillance cameras to record footage from the direction of the shots.
Christopher Roy de Rhonde was shot Sept. 17 in North Minneapolis. Investigators did not find any evidence, but they were able to gather clues from an activated surveillance video.
Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief of Investigations Robert Allen told WCCO that the video gave police officers a clear indication of the vehicles physical characteristics, which helped them identify the owner and locate suspects.
The Shot Spotter system has 150 safety cameras installed in Minneapolis, Allen told the Star Tribune. Those cameras have helped investigators solve hundreds of cases, but this is the first time a case would have been unsolvable without it.

Rutgers student dies after privacy invasion

by Shannon Lee
New Jersey authorities have recovered the body of a Rutgers University student who jumped off a bridge Sept. 22, three days after two other students secretly video taped him during a sexual encounter with another man.
The victim's friends and family describes Tyler Clementi, 18, as friendly, shy and a talented musician, reported the New York Times.
Shortly before Clementi jumped, he posted to his facebook account, "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry," according to the Chicago Tribune. A facebook tribute page was set up Wednesday for friends to honor his memory.
Clementi's roommate, Dharun Rowi, 18, and his friend Molly Wei, 18, have been charged with invasion of privacy. Prosecuting spokesperson James O'Neill told the New York Times the investigation is still ongoing. If convicted, the students could face up to five years in jail.

Western intelligence uncovers al-Qaida plot

by Shannon Lee
Western security agencies are tracking an early-stage al-Qaida terror plot based in Pakistan believed to target the U.K., France and Germany.
U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that investigators are trying to determine if the terror plot could involve the U.S.
France and Germany are in a heightened state of security alert, reported the BBC. France has expanded the number of police officers outside its national landmarks.
The U.S. has increased its number of unmanned target airstrikes in Pakistan in an attempt to hinder the terrorist plan, which brought criticism from some media outlets in Europe, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The al-Qaida plan is considered one of the most serious attack plots in recent years, the BBC reported.

Obama supports and extended school year

by Shannon Lee
Obama advocated Monday on the "Today Show" for lengthening the school year and increasing teacher accountability.
He told "Today Show" reporter Matt Lauer that American students have fallen well below other countries in math and science, and these nations keep their children in school for one month longer on average, according to Newsweek.
Obama said he wanted to work with teachers unions, and underperforming teachers should be fired, reported the Star Tribune.
One of the biggest challenges is funding, though Obama said that extending the school year would be "money well spent."
Obama also stated parents need to be involved in their childs education to help them stay focused on their studies, reported Newsweek.

Attributions analysis in story about FBI raids

The attributions in a Minnesota Daily story about FBI raids in six Minneapolis homes were carefully done.
The authors only used the word "said" when they attributed quotes or paraphrased, and they always placed the name of the speaker before the word "said."
The writers were also careful to use quotes only from the witnesses directly involved in the incident, and from an official- the FBI spokesperson.
All paragraphs that began with direct quotes had paragraphs preceding them which introduced the speaker, and complete, direct quotes almost always began new paragraphs, with one exception in paragraph 16.
I think that paragraph 16 could have possibly been summarized instead of quoted because the quote doesn't give life to the story, it is just background information. The authors may have chosen to use the quote, though, to break up several paragraphs in a row containing only background information and summaries.

FBI raids six Twin Cities homes

by Shannon Lee
The FBI invaded six Minneapolis homes Friday morning as part of an ongoing terrorism investigation.
The homes belonged to political activists, and included one University of Minnesota student and two University employees, reported the Minnesota Daily.
"There is no imminent threat to the community and we're not planning any arrests at this time," FBI spokesman Steve Warfield told the Pioneer Press. Warfield also said that two concurrent raids took place in Chicago.
One of the targets, anti-war organizer Jessica Sundin, said the experience was "hilarious and ridiculous," while a lawyer representing another activist called the raid "kind of unconstitutional and hideous," according to the Pioneer Press.

UN says Israeli raid was unlawful

by Shannon Lee
The U.N. Human Rights Council accused Israeli military forces of breaking international law when they raided a relief ship convoy in May.
Three UN lawyers released a report accusing the Israeli force of acting with "an unacceptable level of brutality" when they boarded a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killed nine Turkish activists and injured others as the convoy tried to reach the Gaza strip, reported the BBC.
Israel insists that the raid was lawful because the convoy had been attempting to break through a barricade to the Gaza strip, according to Al Jazeera.
The UN council has said that the barrier was unlawful because Gaza was experiencing a humanitarian crisis on the day of the attack, and Israels defense can not be upheld, according to Al Jazeera.
The panel has interviewed over 100 sources and the report will be debated by the Human Rights Council on Monday.

Lawmakers discuss new ways to crack down on distracted driving

by Shannon Lee
Lawmakers met Tuesday to review new regulations regarding distracted driving.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood addressed the summit, urging automakers to reconsider adding technology to cars could promote inattentive driving, reported the Detroit News.
"I'm going to meet with and work with the auto companies to develop new safety guidelines for technology in vehicles," LaHood told the Detroit News.
CNN reported that 5,474 lives were lost to distracted driving in 2009 --16 percent of all traffic fatalities that year.
The Department of Transportation has already implemented laws to ban commercial truck and bus drivers from texting on the job, and restricts train operators from using cell phones, reported CNN.

St. Paul neighborhood to receive federal grant

by Shannon Lee
A St. Paul neighborhood was announced Tuesday as one of 21 cities nationwide to receive a $500,000 federal grant.
The money will help provide communities in the Frogtown and Summit-University areas with social, educational and medical services, reported the Star Tribune.
Several local politicians and leaders expressed enthusiasm for the grant.
"This grant is an investment in young people who often face barriers that can derail their efforts to get a quality education," Sen. Al Franken told Kare 11.
St. Paul was the only Minnesota city chosen out of 340 groups that applied, noted the Star Tribune.

Minnesota bishops launch campaign against same-sex marriage

by Shannon Lee
Minnesota bishops are asking fellow Catholics to support an anti-gay marriage campaign.
The campaign comes during political season, and encourages Catholics to contact their legislators regarding the issue.
The Winona Daily News reports that their legislation doesn't believe same-sex marriage is the biggest concern for voters right now, and mentions the state budget deficit as a more important issue.
The Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul has not yet commented on the matter, according to the Minnesota Independent.

Lead analysis in story about terrorism suspects

The lead was very clear and concise in a story by the New York Daily News about suspects arrested in a terrorist plot. From the lead, the reader knows who (six terrorism suspects), what (arrested over an alleged terror plot against the pope), where (London) and when (Friday) the news took place. It summarizes the action by providing the most important features of the story in one sentence.
The lead doesn't give specific information about the suspects, but names the pope because he is a newsworthy individual.
The writer is careful not to make unintentional accusations in the lead by using the word "alleged" to refer to the terror plot.
She doesn't put extra detail in the lead, and includes the specifics about how the suspects were caught and why the pope was in London in the following paragraphs.

Man sentenced to seven years in prison for road rage

by Shannon Lee
A Centerville man received seven years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to running down a woman in a parking lot last May.
According to police, John Thomas Babcook, 21, cut off Amanda Rose Ferell, 23, on Century Avenue. He proceeded to ram the back of her car after Ferell and her passenger threw a shifting knob and lip balm at his car.
When Ferell got out of her car in a parking lot to confront him, witnesses said that Babcook chased her "at full speed," according to the Star Tribune.
Babcook expressed guilt for the attack in court, while County Attorney Susan Gaertner called his actions "incomprehensible," reports the Pioneer Press.

New Mexico couple indicted on nuclear charge

| 1 Comment

by Shannon Lee
A former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist and his wife were arrested Friday and charged with conspiring to pass nuclear arms secrets to the Venezuelan government.
Physicist P. Leonardo Mascheroni had a series of meetings with an undercover FBI agent in 2008, in which he said he could help Venezuela create a nuclear bomb within ten years, according to CNN.
The New York Times reports that an FBI raid on the Mascheronis' house last October uncovered cameras, computers and files, and that Dr. Mascheroni has long criticized the U.S. government's nuclear policies.
Both sources say that the Venezuelan government knew nothing of the Macheronis' plan, and U.S. officials have not accused the Venezuelan government of seeking nuclear information

Six arrested on suspicion of terrorism again the pope

by Shannon Lee
London police arrested six people under suspicion of a terror plot against Pope Benedict XVI early Friday morning.
According to the New York Daily News, the men are suspected Islamist terrorists who were planning to assassinate the pope, though police have not uncovered any hazardous items at the arrest site.
Police arrested the men under Britain's Terrorism Act after receiving information about a potential threat, reported the Seattle Times.
None of the suspects had been formally charged by late Friday.

BP's oil well on the verge of being permanently sealed

by Shannon Lee
Five months after a BP oil well explosion caused 206 million gallons of oil to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, BP's Macondo oil well will be plugged for good.
A relief well that was drilled nearly 18,000 feet beneath the ocean floor broke through the Macondo well's shaft on Thursday afternoon, according to the Washington Post. Mud and cement will be pumped through the relief well to ensure that the damaged well shaft is completely sealed.
A temporary cap was placed on the well in mid-July to prevent further oil contamination, but the well is not considered dead until it is sealed off from the bottom, reports the Star Tribune.
BP issued a statement saying that they expect the well to be completely sealed by Saturday.

Man is jailed after battery acid assault charges

by Shannon Lee
A 28-year-old St. Louis Park man is charged with assault after purportedly throwing battery acid onto a woman's face.
Jarso Yohannes Adem said that he splashed battery acid on his ex-girlfriend's face when he approached her in the street and she refused to talk to him, reported the Star Tribune.
A jogger told the Pioneer Press that he heard the woman scream and chased Adem into a parking lot, where he was arrested.
The victim, whose name and age were not released, suffered blistering and redness on her face, neck, and left hand, according to police.
Adem is jailed on a $50,000 bail, reports the Star Tribune.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.