February 2011 Archives

Barack Obama Will Compromise with Unhappy Governors

President Barack Obama compromised with unhappy governors Monday by offering states the ability to design their own health care plans under specific guidelines.

Almost half of the states want to overturn Obama's health care bill, the Affordable Care Act. The president said he will listen to governors' plans and, if satisfactory, he will compromise and use their ideas.

Obama moved the deadline of the new plan submissions up three years to 2014. Plans must be at least as comprehensive, as affordable, and provide coverage for as many people as Obama's original bill would have, CNN reported.

Obama criticized Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by saying he disapproved of balancing budgets by stripping unions of their rights and curbing employee's budgets, ABC News reported.

Analysis: Multimedia

The multimedia sections of the Star Tribune and the Washington post do not differ so much in the types of multimedia they have as they do in the quantity and quality of the multimedia.

The Washington Post multimedia site has many photo galleries, videos, documentaries, podcasts, and an interesting link called emerging voices that gives pictures, sounds, cutlines, and statistics from different countries.

The photo galleries are always accompanied with a cutline, usually one to two sentences long. The first sentence always describes the action of the picture, while the second elaborates on the story if needed. The writing is tight and precise, but gives enough information to tell the readers a story.

Picture galleries that focus on a specific topic have a link to a story about that topic which complements the pictures and basically summarizes the cutlines in the form of a story.

The Star Tribune multimedia site has more local information. This site also has videos, audio, pictures, and graphics, but they mostly cover local information. The graphics it has show maps and graphs about local information.

The videos have a related contact link that sends you to an article about the video. The article contains many quotes from the video and basically summarizes the video.

Like the Washington Post, the photo galleries in the Star Tribune multimedia site have cutlines with one or two sentences that explain the pictures and give only extra needed information.

Virginia's General Assembly agreed Thursday that abortion clinics in the state should be regulated as hospitals rather than doctors' offices.

First-trimester abortions, which are now considered medical procedures that can be performed in a setting such as a physicians office, will be performed in hospital-like settings under the new bill, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

These rules could shut down 17 of Virginia's 21 abortion clinics, the Washington Post reported.

Supporters said this bill will improve the quality of care provided to women, but opposers believe it denies women the rights they earned in Roe v. Wade.

Federal Judge Rejected Rowan Plea Deal

Christi Rowan may face a longer prison sentence than she expected after a federal judge rejected her plea agreement Thursday.

Rowan was arrested Wednesday on a federal warrant while visiting her boyfriend, Denny Hecker, in the Sherburne County Jail, KSTP reported.

Hecker owned a large auto dealership network until he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for defrauding lenders and bank fraud, the Pioneer Press reported.

Rowan turned in over $11,000 in American Express gift cards to the FBI in October, but wrote down the numbers on the cards and continued to use them.

Rowan pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud and bank fraud last year and expected to be sentenced to probation in a court hearing Friday, but Judge Joan Ericksen cancelled the hearing Thursday.

Rahm Emanuel Elected Mayor of Chicago

Chicago elected Rahm Emanuel, former Obama White House chief of staff, as mayor on Tuesday.

Emanuel won even after a court challenged that he did not meet Chicago's one-year residency requirement.

Emanuel won by 55 percent, so he will avoid the runoff in April, the Washington Post reported.

Chicago will have it's first Jewish mayor in Emanuel, who will replace Richard M. Daley, New York Magazine reported.

Earthquake Devastates New Zealand's Second-Largest City

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand Tuesday, killing 65 people and injuring many more.

This earthquake was reported to be part of an aftershock from a 7.1 magnitude quake that hit the same area in September, the New York Times said.

Two aftershocks, magnitudes 5.5 and 5.6 respectively, shook the city following the initial quake, destroying roads, houses, and buildings, ABC News reported.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker estimated that 100 people are still trapped underneath the rubble.

Over a Foot of Snow Fell on Southern Minnesota

Up to 17 inches of snow fell in southern Minnesota on Sunday, closing campuses and canceling over 100 flights.

The University of Minnesota closed its Twin Cities campus until noon Monday, while other colleges including Hamline canceled school all day, the Star Tribune reported.

A total of 12 inches fell at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, canceling 160 arrivals and departures, the Star Tribune said.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported almost 50 crashes statewide, 32 of them occurred in the metro area between 10 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday, the Pioneer Press said.

Monday will see up to two more inches of snow mixed with freezing drizzle.

Analysis: Follow Up

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on Feb. 1 that a woman attempted to mail a living puppy to Atlanta, and was charged with animal cruelty.

The Tribune briefly summarized the details of how the postal clerks discovered the dog and what happened to the woman and the dog in three short paragraphs following the lead. The lead of this story focused on the fact that the woman was charged for what she did.

One day later, the Star Tribune wrote a follow-up story about the dog, named Guess.

This longer story contained more quotes from police and employees from the post office. It also had more chronological details about the events of finding Guess.

The story also provided more detail about the woman's charges.

The lead in the follow-up story was not a typical hard news lead, and was worded strangely. However, the second paragraph contained more information that the lead lacked.

Wisconsin Democrats Boycott Bill

Police searched for missing Wisconsin Democratic state lawmakers who claim to have left the state on Thursday.

The Democrats boycotted an anti-union bill that one senator said is tearing Wisconsin apart, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

The Democrats left to slow down the bill and push Republicans to talk about changes. The Senate cannot vote on the bill without any Democrats present, USA Today reported.

The bill would change workers pay and healthcare benefits, and decrease the power of workers unions.

Many Wisconsin schools closed because hundreds of teachers called in sick to go to the Capitol and protest.

St. Paul Business Owners Protest Light Rail Construction

Business owners protested the Metropolitan Council Thursday and expressed their concerns about the effects of the upcoming light rail construction on University Avenue.

Demonstrators argued that the construction for the light rail would hurt their businesses if it cuts out customer parking, KARE 11 reported.

Officials have cooperated and given loans between $25,000 to $250,000 to business owners to create parking lots, the Star Tribune reported.

Business owners feel as though the Metropolitan Council has not completely taken their frustrations into consideration.

Major construction will begin in March.

Protests in Bahrain Continue for Third Straight Day

Pro-democracy protests in Bahrain have carried over to a third day in the nation's Pearl Square on Wednesday, following the lead of recent successful Egyptian protests.

Two protesters have been killed in the previous two days and Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa promised to investigate the deaths, Voice of America News reported.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of the king along with Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa.

The demonstrators want the political prisoners released, a more empowered Parliament and a new constitution written by the people, among other things, the New York Times reported.

Shi'ite Muslims represent the vast majority in Bahrain, and do not feel they are treated equally by their Sunni Muslim king and ruling elite.

Gov. Dayton Introduces New State Budget Plan

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton proposed his new two-year, $35 billion state budget plan Tuesday in attempts to level out the state's $6.2 million deficit.

The budget gives $3.4 billion in funding to property owners and local governments, which will maintain current levels, the Star Tribune reported.

Dayton said he wants to make Minnesota taxes fairer. To accomplish this, he plans to create $3.35 billion in new income taxes for the richest five percent of the state's population, WDIO, an ABC affiliate reported.

The budget also detailed plans to increase funding for elementary and secondary education, including a call for more all-day kindergarten in low income schools.

Clothing Prices to Rise 10 Percent in 2011

As the price of cotton continues to increase, shoppers will see clothing prices rise as much as 10 percent in 2011.

The price of cotton has doubled in the past year which explains the different fabric blends in clothing to cut costs, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The high demand for synthetic fabrics, though, caused prices to rise 50 percent, the Star Tribune said.

Shoppers can expect to see more synthetic fabrics and less embellishment and color choices in clothes, Newsroom America reported.

Brands such as Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Steve Madden and North Face, along with almost all others, expect to see inflated prices.

Cotton prices began to escalate in August 2010 when bad weather stunted cotton harvests internationally.

Analysis: Structure

Using the martini glass structure, an article in The New York Times reported the capture of a New York man who had murdered several people.

The author began with a lead that summarized the capture of the fugitive. He then went on to summarize how the police caught the man and described the other murders the man committed in six different fact blocks.

After the summary, the author switched and finished the story in chronological order.

He began the chronological story on Friday morning and continued to recap the events of the next 24 hours.

The martini glass style worked well for this story, as it usually does for crime stories. It first summarizes the important facts of the event, then delves deeper into the specifics of what occurred.

Egyptian President Mubarak Resigns

The newly freed Egyptian people broke into cheers in Cairo's Tahrir Square after President Hosni Mubarak suddenly resigned Friday.

Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announced the president's resignation on state television, CBS News reported.

The Egyptian military planned to run the country temporarily until they decide on a new plan of action, ABC News reported.

Mubarak's historic resignation came 18 days after protests began in Egypt and at the cost of 300 lives.

Metrodome To Construct New Roof

The Metrodome, home to the Minnesota Vikings, will replace its entire roof in time for the 2011 football season, said the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

The commission argued between patching damaged areas and totally replacing the roof after it collapsed in December. The commission decided to construct a new roof after engineers concluded 60 percent of the panels were destroyed, Bloomberg News reported.

Insurance money will cover some of the $18.3 million replacement cost.

The 2011 season will be the end of the Viking's lease of the 30-year-old Metrodome, and the team plans to build a new $800 million stadium in Ramsey County, the Pioneer Press reported.

Pirates Hijack Second Tanker in Two Days

Somali pirates extended their theft area wider into the Indian Ocean after seizing their second oil tanker in two days on Wednesday.

The Greek-flagged supertanker, sailing from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico, carried up to $200 million of oil and 25 crew members, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

The hijack occurred off the coast of Oman, one thousand miles from the coast of Somalia, and in the middle of the main shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf, Voice of America News reported.

The pirates spread their coverage and increased the number of attacks with the help of "motherships", large vessels that launch smaller ships to carry out attacks.

Apartment Fire Causes Residents to Drop Children from Windows

A fire that seriously damaged a Bloomington apartment complex early Tuesday morning caused some occupants to drop children to safety from third-floor windows.

The fire took place at about 4:45 a.m. on Nicollet Avenue South and lasted nearly two hours, the Star Tribune reported.

Nine people were taken to the hospital and the most serious injuries occurred from the jumps and drops from second-and third-story windows, the Pioneer Press reported.

No one sustained life-threatening injuries, although one resident was seriously hurt.

Authorities did not yet discover the cause of the blaze.

Green Bay Packers Bring Lombardi Trophy Home

The Green Bay Packers battled to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday.

After fifteen years, the Packers won the right to bring the Lombardi Trophy home to Green Bay.

Packers' quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers threw for over 300 yards and completed three touchdown passes. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson completed nine catches for 140 yards in the biggest game of his career, despite dropping several key passes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Green Bay did not prevail without adversity, though. Star starters Donald Driver and Charles Woodson both faced game-ending injuries, adding to the eight of 22 already injured starters for the Packers.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy led the Packers to their thirteenth NFL Championship, although it was their first in fourteen years,Buffalo News reported.

Analysis: Attribution

The author of a story about Gabrielle Giffords' husband effectively used many sources.

The story, provided by the Associated Press, ran in the Boston Herald.

The first three paragraphs contained attributions to Giffords' doctor, NASA and Mark Kelly, respectively. The author did not directly quote the sources, but paraphrased the quotes of the sources, which helped portray the sources' thoughts smoothly and effectively.

While the article had a few direct quotes from Kelly, his colleagues, and his brother, it generally paraphrased ideas. This helped keep the story clear and focused, with the important facts brought to the reader in a direct manner.

Husband of Congresswoman Will Lead Shuttle Mission

Gabrielle Giffords' husband will continue training for his space mission in April while his wife recovers from a shot to the head, BBC reported Friday.

Mark Kelly trained as the Endeavor's commander, but took time off after the Tucson, Ariz. shooting to care for his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Kelly said his wife's condition continues to improve and she undergoes rehabilitation therapy in Houston.

After preparing for over 18 months, Kelly felt ready to carry out the two-week space station delivery mission which will take place in April, the Boston Herald reported.

Mayo Clinic Receives $100 Million Donation

An Iowan executive donated $100 million to Mayo Clinic for a new cancer center, which served as the largest contribution to the clinic from any living philanthropist, the hospital said today.

Richard O. Jacobson, who founded a large warehouse company in Des Moines, Iowa, began visiting the Rochester hospital at the age of six and still receives care from the clinic, the Pioneer Press reported.

Jacobson said he had always dreamed of establishing a major facility for Mayo Clinic and he thought the hospital "makes a profound impact on people."

Mayo Clinic will create a Proton Beam Therapy Program, which can more precisely give radiation to patients with certain cancers and causes fewer side effects.

The program will cost a total of $400 million with centers in Phoenix, Ariz. and Rochester, Minn., which the clinic will name after Jacobson, the Des Moines Register reported.

Egyptian President Will Not Seek Re-election

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had no plans to run for re-election in September, although he said Tuesday he will not step down from his presidency and leave the country, much to the dismay of Egyptian protesters.

Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for nearly thirty years, said his decision not to seek re-election had no connection to the recent protests against him, MSNBC reported.

His announcement did not pacify the angry crowd protesting in Tahrir Square in Cairo, who called for his immediate evacuation of the country, CBS News said.

In the past Mubarak served as an air force commander. He did not intend to leave the land he once defended, saying he will die on Egyptian soil.

Philadelphia Teenagers Arrested on Charges of Assault

Police arrested seven teenagers Monday on several charges after they posted a video of themselves online assaulting a 13-year-old boy in a Philadelphia suburb.

Authorities charged the group of boys from Upper Darby High School with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, recklessly endangering another person, false imprisonment and assault, the Delaware County Daily Times reported.

The incriminating video, that the boys shot and posted to YouTube, showed them kicking and punching Nadin Khoury before dragging him through the snow and hanging him from a tree, the New York Daily News said.

The bullies did not seriously injure the victim, although the police superintendent said this case was the most heinous he had ever seen.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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March 2011 is the next archive.

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