This news blog is an educational exercise involving students at the University of Minnesota. It is not intended to be a source of news.

New Zealand releases list of banned baby names

| No Comments

New Zealand officials released a list of baby names that were rejected on Wednesday, Times Live reported.

The New Zealand Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages released the list of names banned because they were considered bizarre or offensive, which included children named "Anal", "." or full stop, "4Real", "V8", and "Queen Victoria" among the 77 names listed, Times Live reported.

Six sets of parents tried to legally name their child "Lucifer" in the past 12 years, CNN reported.

"Justice" was the most popular names, having been rejected 62 times, Times Live reported.

As a rule, the agency does not allow names resembling an official title or rank, so children can not be legally named "King" or "Princess", The New York Daily News reported.

In 2008, New Zealand's family court ordered a 9-year-old girl named "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii" to change her name, The New York Daily News reported.

66-year-old St. Paul woman shot

| No Comments

A 66-year-old St. Paul woman was sent to the hospital Wednesday after being shot in her home and police arrested her son, The Pioneer Press reported.

Police came to the 400 block of Robie Street E. shortly before 5 a.m. responding to reports of a woman being shot, The Star Tribune reported.

Ester Richards was sent to Regions Hospital with a gun shot wound, and her condition is unknown at this time, Sgt. Paul Paulos, St. Paul Police spokesman, said as reported by The Star Tribune.

Ryan James Richards, 32, called 911 at 4:53 a.m. to report that his mother had been shot, Paulos said as reported by The Pioneer Press.

Officers arrested Ryan Richards on suspicion of aggravated assault. He was booked into the Ramsey County jail and has not been charged, The Pioneer Press reported.

"We are confident that the person we currently have under arrest is the person that was involved in the shooting, and we hope his mother is doing well," Paulos said as reported by The Pionner Press.

There were no weapons in the house, Paulos said as reported by The Star Tribune.

NBA player Jason Collins comes out

| No Comments

Jason Collins, 12-year professional NBA player, became the first active male athlete in a major American team sport to come out as gay Monday, USA Today reported.

Collins, 34, made the announcement in an online first-person essay for Sports Illustrated, USA Today reported.

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," Collins wrote in the essay, which will run May 6. Franz Lidz is a co-writer on the article, USA Today reported.

Collins said he has gotten "incredible" support in an interview for ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday, ESPN reported.

"I think, I know, in my personal life, I'm ready, and I think the country is ready for supporting an openly gay basketball player," Collins said on the program as reported by ESPN.

Collins said he went through a kind of 12-step program while deciding to come out, going through anger and denial, ESPN reported.

"When I was younger I dated women," Collins wrote as reported by USA Today. "I even got engaged. i thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue."

Train derailment spills grain in Blue Earth

| No Comments

17 cars derailed and 10 tipped on their sides on a train carrying corn across Blue Earth, Minn. Monday, The Star Tribune reported.

A cleanup is underway in Blue Earth, The Star Tribune reported.

The Union Pacific train derailed at 5:30 p.m. between Third and Fifth Streets when ten cars missed the tracks and tipped over, Kare reported.

No injuries were reported and there is no danger to the public, Blue Earth Police Officer and spokesman Matt Hotzler said as reported by Kare.

A number of streets closed because of the derailment, but many have reopened since then, Kare reported.

1,400 feet of track and two road crossings will need to be replaced, Davis said as reported by The Star Tribune.

Crews hope to reopen the track late Monday or early Tuesday, Davis said as reported by The Star Tribune.

Analysis: records/CAR

| No Comments

The New York Times article "Netflix Looks Back on Its Near-Death Spiral" uses large data sets in order to depict the company's 2011 misstep, in which Netflix both raised prices and spun off its DVD-by-mail business.

The reporter had to find a way to organize the profit data, the amount of users who left, the amount of new users who have signed up since the debacle, and the stock data.

The New York Times included a slick high-definition video above the article, complete with a columnist summarizing the story supported by pictures/videos of Netflix's services.

The New York Times also included a chart of Netflix stock changes from 2009 through the present, isolating the high of $298.73 in 2011, the recent low of $53.80 in 2012, and the most recent price of $215.55 in 2013.

The combination of video, chart, and classic news story helped to flesh the story out for both the casual reader and someone who would want to look more in-depth on the issue. The New York Times understands how to incorporate multimedia to support a new story.

New York Times releases Google Glass app

| No Comments

The New York Times launched its app available to the small group of Google Glass owners Thursday, The Verge reported.

The New York Times previewed the new app at this year's South by Southwest conference. The version displayed delivered breaking news to Glass every hour, and would display photos upon the user moving his or her head up, The Verge reported.

The app is the first installable third-party app released for Google Glass, CNet reported.

New York Times stories are navigated by head tilts, and upon a tap motion the app will read news stories summaries, CNet reported.

The app requires access to basic information from users' Google accounts, The Verge reported.

Fire at Minneapolis deli closes Chicago Ave

| No Comments

A building containing a grocery store and deli in southern Minneapolis caught fire early Thursday morning and burned for several hours, The Star Tribune reported.

No one was in the building when it caught fire at about 3 a.m. in the 2500 block of Chicago Avenue, The Star Tribune reported.

When crews arrived, there was smoke but not many flames. At around 5:30 a.m., the fire reignited, CBS Minnesota reported.

The fire comes just after the front of the Chicago Avenue Deli was damaged after a car smashed into it, and repairs to the damage had been recently completed, CBS Minnesota reported.

Minneapolis Children's Hospital, across the street from the deli, had to shut off their air intake system to prevent from smoke entering he building, CBS Minnesota reported.

Chicago Avenue will remain closed a couple more hours, The Star Tribune reported.

87 die in Bangladesh building collapse

| No Comments

An eight-story building housing garment factories collapsed near Bangladesh's capital Wednesday, killing at least 87 people, ABC News reported.

The Rana Plaza building contained several clothing factories, a bank and a market, BBC News reported.

More than 600 people were injured in the event, and the death toll is expected to rise, BBC News reported.

"I gave them whistles, water, torchlights, I heard them cry," fir official Abul Khayer said about his rescue efforts. He said rescue missions to find survivors still trapped inside the collapsed building would continue through the night, ABC News reported.

Because Bangladesh's multi-story blocks are built in violation of regulations, building collapses commonly occur in the country, BBC News reported.

Workers said they hesitated going to work because of the large cracks in the building, which had been reported on local news channels, ABC News reported.

The collapse comes less than five months after a factory fire killed 112 people, eliciting greater concern for the Bangladesh garment industry's unsafe working conditions, ABC News reported.


Snow storm delays opening of St. Paul farmers' market

| No Comments

The recent unseasonably snowy weather has forced officials to postpone the opening of the St. Paul Farmers' Market for the first time ever, The Star Tribune reported.

The market, located at 5th and Wall Street in St Paul's Lowertown district, was scheduled to open Saturday, but has been postponed to Saturday, May 4, MPR News reported.

"With the unpredictable weather of the last few weeks, we just couldn't take the chance with the growers," market manager Jack Gerten said as reported by The Star Tribune.

Even though the forecast calls for warmer temperatures, the market wanted to make sure growers would be able to display their products, MPR News reported.

"Normally, we have to have the temperature above freezing, into the 40s, before we can set up. Otherwise it's just too cold and the products will freeze," Gerten said as reported by MPR News.

The winter market will still be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday inside and enar Golden's Deli, The Star Tribune reported.

5 die in Seattle shooting

| No Comments

Five people were shot to death late Sunday in gunfire at an apartment complex in a city south of Seattle, The Washington Post reported.

The five shot at the scene in Federal Way, Washington, included one suspect who was shot by arriving officers, police said as reported by The Washington Post.

When police arrived, they could still hear gunfire, and they also saw two men lying wounded in a parking lot, police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock said as reported by CNN.

As police tried to rescue the injured men, one of them reached for a gun, which caused the police to open fire, killing him. The second wounded man also died, Schrock said as reported by CNN.

In a search of the complex, police found a third man dead in the parking lot, along with two other corpses in the complex, The Washington Post reported.

"We still don't have any idea what started this disturbance tonight," Shrock said as reported by The Washington Post. Police scheduled a briefing for late monday morning.

No officers were injured, CNN reported.

The police said they did not think another shooter was on the loose or that there was an immediate threat to the public, The Washington Post reported.