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

February 2013 Archives

Sunday liquor sale raises controversy

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Senate Commerce Committee had a hearing Monday allowing another debate over liquor sales on Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas, Star Tribune reported.

The Sunday liquor sales bill has been a recurring issue in Minnesota over the years, but it did not gain enough support to be passed, Pioneer Press reported.

South Lyndale Liquors store owners Maryann Campo sees no "economic advantage" in Sunday liquor sales allowance and argued the bill would add more labor cost than the profits gain, Pioneer Press reported.

Jason Alvey, owner of the Four Firkins liquor store, said he would love to open his store on Sunday instead of paying rent 52 days in a year unable to generate sales revenue.

Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, proposed a bill Monday allowing Super Bowl Sunday liquor sales in 2014.

He hopes the Legislature could permanently legalize the one day sale if it could generate significant sales, Pioneer Press reported.

Analysis: Spot/Follow up

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Analysis: A Nation Reels as a Star Runner Is Charged in Girlfriend's Death
By Anna Lin
My first impression comparing article "A Nation Reels as a Star Runner Is Charged in Girlfriend's Death" to the follow story "Tearful in Court, Pistorius Later Disputes Murder Charge" was that the the follow-up was much shorter.

The first-day story introduced both Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp followed by a descriptive lead of how Pistorius was charged murder compare to the one sentence lead in the follow story.

Then the first story took a large portion describing in a chronological order who Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp were, and their relationship. Also, it included evidences and interviews that linked toward his rationale of mistaken his girlfriend as intruder. The first-day story ended with Reeva Steenkamp's Valentine's Day tweet, "What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???"

As for the follow story, it focused more on the investigative process, and topic around violent crime rate in South Africa. It did repeat the lead from the first-day story toward the end of the article and a ex-girlfriend's tweet defending Oscar Pistorius.

The second story advanced the news by providing a strong concise lead since the readers no longer requires introduction of both people.

The accusations made against Oscar Pistorius, and his possible charges were added in after his court appearance in the follow-up with great details.

The reporter attributed to more credible sources toward Pistorius' motive, potential connections and readers' opinion in the follow story.

Reporter Lydia Polgreen spent most of the article writing about Pistorius' life story, and how his arrest relate to the high violence frequency in South Africa in the first-day story.

She focused mostly on the court rule in the follow story which advance the story with more certainly and relevancy.

North Korea threatens U.S. for its joint military drill

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North Korea warned South Korea's top American military commander Saturday to deliver "a miserable destruction" if they perform joint military exercise with the United State army, the New York Times reported.

North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency delivered the message in English Saturday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

North Korea tested nuclear weapon two weeks ago, and their missile was confirmed capable of traveling warheads long-distance, CNN reported.

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, visited many military units and promised to "blow away the bastion of aggression without a trace" if the war is declared, K.C.N.A. reported Saturday, according to the New York Times.

Foal Eagle joint military exercise is expected to involve approximately 10,000 U.S. forces from March to the end of April, CNN reported.

2 found dead at home in Little Falls Township

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Two people found dead in Little Falls Township Saturday in a house, according to the Morrison County Sheriff's Office, KARE 11 reported.

The Sheriff's office received a call 6:06 p.m. on Saturday, and deputies found two residents dead in their home, KARE 11 reported.

The identities of two were not released, and authorities were not investigating suspects yet, Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said Sunday, Pioneer Press reported.

Bodies were taken to Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for cause of death and identifications, KARE 11 reported.

Yahoo updated its homepage for better user experience

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Yahoo has launched its new "intuitive and personal" homepage Wednesday that customize news feed based on individual preferences for better user experience, CNN reported.

Yahoo's new homepage features "infinite scroll" newsfeed, personalized categories that allows users to search information tailored to their interests, and the users could also log into Yahoo! or Facebook to gain recommendation from friends, Fox Business reported.

Yahoo's homepage is the first major redesign under its new leadership, CNN reported.

The company prioritized its new homepage to be compatible for mobile devices, CEO Marissa Mayer said in a blog post.

The company has been struggling to stay competitive against Google's simple search engine, and decided to took a new approach, offering users "new, more modern experience" all on one colorful, interactive page, Fox Business reported.

It is going to take a few days for U.S. users to experience the new Yahoo!, and the company will continue to update and improve its new homepage within the next month, the CEO said in a news post.

A South Orange County man killed 3 of his carjacking victims Tuesday, and then took his own life, police said, CNN reported.

Ali Syed, 20, fatally shooting a young woman at his Ladera Ranch home, fled in his parents' vehicle, they said, the New York Times reported.

After Ali Syed left his parents' house, he was driving on Costa Mesa Freeway when he killed two other people and committed 3 carjackings, police said.

Ali Syed killed some victims with his shotgun, however, he spared some out of complete randomness, the New York Times reported.

Ali Syed killed himself before the car came to a complete stop on a road north of Tustin when police approached him, authorities say.

Police are currently investigating the motive of the shooting, CNN reported.

Man accused of slapping a boy on flight has lost his job

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A Idaho man charged with slapping a 19-month-old boy on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta on Feb. 8 lost his job Sunday, his former employee said, Pioneer Press reported.

Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, who slapped a toddler on a Feb. 8 flight to Atlanta because altitude change caused the 19-month-old boy to cry, had lost his job Sunday, Pioneer Press reported.

Al Haase, president and CEO of AGC, without mentioning Hundley's name, said an executive's behavior were "offensive and disturbing" and was no longer employed, Star Tribune reported.

Jessica Bennett, 33, the boy's mother, said Hundley swore at her to keep her son quiet using the "N-word", and slapped the boy in the face leaving a scratch on his face, Pioneer Press reported.

Boy's mother, Jessica Bennett, pushed Joe Rickey Hundley away when he assaulted on the flight, and she said the man appeared intoxicated, Pioneer Press reported.

His attorney said Saturday that Hundley will plead not guilty, and he could face up to 1 year in jail, Pioneer Press reported.


Analysis: Rep. Cohen: Twitter Exchange Was With His Daughter
By Anna Lin
In the ABC News' article, "Rep. Cohen: Twitter Exchange Was With His Daughter," the reporter first introduced U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen acknowledging Friday that he was tweeting his daughter during the State of Union address on Tuesday.

The author summarized the important elements by breaking it down to different paragraphs.

Such as elaboration of the actual tweeter conversation between Rep. Cohen and his daughter, Victoria Brink in the second paragraph after the lead.

The reporter transitioned the article from the lead to using a quote of Steve Cohen to raise awareness for "not to jump to conclusions."

Then the writer went a little more in-depth with the incident in a short chronological summary.

The writer touched on the Tennessee Republican Party's executive director's opinion, comparing Cohen to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, once the key elements were presented.

Ended with how Rep. Cohen discovered his daughter's existence, and a brief profile of both Victoria Brink and her mother, Cynthia White Sinatra.

This order and structure is most effective because this breaking news fulfilled the inverted pyramid style of writing.

It presented a clear, concise news to the readers, followed by a short chronological story.

Rep. Cohen was tweeting his daugher

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Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen revealed Thursday the girl he tweeted with during the State of Union address was his daughter, ABC News reported.

Victoria Brink, 24, who tweeted Rep. Steve Cohen that she saw him speak on Television during the State of Union address, was Rep. Steve Cohen's daughter he knew three years ago, ABC News reported.

Rep. Steve Cohen replied the woman, Victoria Brink, "Happy Valentines beautiful girl. ilu," without knowing it was a public message, on his official tweeter account, CNN reported.

The tweets were later deleted, however, it raised many conclusion of his relationship with the woman, CNN reported.

Rep. Steve Cohen said he learned about his daughter three years ago when he Googled her mother, Texas criminal defense attorney Cynthia White Sinatra, CNN reported.

"I have a beautiful daughter and a sweet daughter," Cohen said.

He hope this misunderstanding would be a lesson for people not to jump to conclusion, ABC News reported.

New Viking stadium project manager is finalizaed

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The Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chose Mortenson Construction, a Minnesota based company, to manage the new Viking stadium project Friday in the Twin Cities area, Pioneer Press reported.

The new Viking stadium is estimated to be a $975 million project, Pioneer Press reported.

Mortenson Construction was chosen for this project based on their national experiences, local connections and will have 100 percent Minnesota based workforce, officials said, KARE 11 reported.

Mortenson company built the Xcel Energy Center, Target Field and TCF Stadium in the Twin Cities area, and the company was what the Vikings were looking for in the construction of new facility, KARE 11 reported.

The Metrodome is planed to be torn down in February, 2014 and the new stadium will be ready to open by July 1, 2016, Pioneer Press reported.

Oscar Pistorius charged with murder

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Oscar Pistorius, South African Olympic athlete, was charged with murder Thursday after the police found a woman shot dead in his home in Pretoria, according to South African police officials, the New York Times reported.

Oscar Pistorius, 26, Paraolympic champion and Olympic competent, was charged with the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot at his home in South Africa on Thursday, and he was taken into custody, Police Spokeswoman Col. katlego Mogale said, USA Today reported.

The charge against Oscar Pistorius was confirmed, and his application for bail was opposed for court hearing Friday, South Afria police officials said.

It was confirmed that the Victim Reeva Steenkamp, 26, a model and recent contestant on a reality show, was shot in the arm and head at the athelete's house, Captiain Sarah Mcirca, police spokesperson, said, USA Today reported.

South African media identified Reeva Steenkamp as Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend, the New York Times reported.

"A case of murder has been opened," Colonel Mogale, a police spokeswoman, said before Mr. Pistorius' charge was formalized.

A 9-year-old boy dead in "random" shooting

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An Oakdale man shot a forth-grader dead and injured two others whoin passing vehicle Monday near Rainbow Foods grocery store in the neighborhood, authorities said, Fox 9 reported.

Nhan Lap Tran, 34, stood in the street and fired a handgun "randomly" Monday night near Hadley Avenue N. and 7th Street N., police said, Star Tribune reported.

Charges was expected to be filed by Wednesday, County Attorney Pete Orput said.

There were no specific motives considering the suspect, Nhan Lap Tran, had no criminal records and live with his parents, Oakdale Police Chief Bill Sullivan said, Fox 9 reported.

Devin Aryal, 9, was killed when the bullet pierced through the vehicle, and his mother, Melissa Aryal, was wounded, a St. Paul Regions Hospital spokeswoman said.

Tran was "nonchalant," said Cheryl Russell, who witnessed part of the shooting, Star Tribune reported.

"It's a horrible situation and certainly lends itself to the concern we have about gun control and all the other kinds of issues being addressed right now throughout the country," Oakdale Police Chief Mike Sullivan said, Fox 9 reported.

Pope Benedict XVI resigned, first in 600 years

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Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation Monday in Vatican City, Vienna and said it will take effect on Feb. 28, Rome time, due to his poor health condition, CNN reported.

Benedict XVI, 85, is the first pope resigned in 600 years after Pope Gregory XII in the 15th century, USA Today reported.

Pope Benedict XVI mentioned he was incapable for the job because his strengths of both mind and body were "no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," said in his resignation statement.

Normally, a pope would hold office until his death, but it is the pope's choice to resign if he is not forced out of fear or fraud under canon law, USA Today reported.

The election for the next pope would be expected in March, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said, CNN reported.

Attribution anaysis

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Analysis: Charges: Minneapolis cop told underage girls to 'deny everything'
by Anna Lin

In the Fox9 article, "Charges: Minneapolis cop told underage girls to 'deny everything'," the reporter had many sources assure the reliability of the news spread out between sentences.

First of all, writer Tom Lyden have left his own bio and email link at the beginning and referenced at least six sources throughout the article.

The four young victims who provided testimonies were not named in order to protect those minors' privacy.

Also, Brooklyn Center police identified Brad Schnickel as "Brady Schmidt" and Anoka County prosecutors were unnamed could be because the information was a team effort and there were no direct quotes from them, therefore, not critical to mention those names in this article.

The author properly quoted the Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo and Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau in the end of the article and used the record on charges made against Minneapolis Police Officer Bradley Schnickel.

The reporter set up the attribution with interchangeable words like "according to," "police learned," and the invisible "said" which not only properly attribute to sources but also made it flow in the article.

The attributions throughout the article are all very critical, effective and provided readers deep understanding to this case with solid sources which could be confirmed.

Minneapolis cop facing charges in underage sex case

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Minneapolis police office Bradley Schnickel of Andover, 32, married, was arrested on charged of persuading four underage girls for sexual conduct through Facebook and Skype conversation Wednesday, Star Tribune reported.

Bradley Schnickel used the online name "Brady Schmidt", claiming to be 22 and 19-year-old, to chat with young girls and allegedly having sexual encounters with them, Star Tribune reported.

Schnickel told one victim that she was "hot" at age 13 and had sexually-explicit encounters online which led to their meeting at her Coon Rapids home last fall, Fox9 reported.

According to the charges, Schnickel took a 14-year-old girl in his silver car after she snuck out of her house, offered her alcohol then eventually had sex with her, Fox9 reported.

Also, Schnickel told two other girls to deny allegations against him when police questions, Fox9 reported.

After the charges was filed, Schnickel was fired from the police department and released on $250,000 bail from Anoka County jail Friday, according to defense attorney Fred Bruno, Star Tribune reported.

Anoka County investigators is currently reviewing the evidence and believed when it's done, Bradley Schnickel might be connected with more than four victims, Fox9 reported.

Iraq marketplace bombing killed at least 36

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Suspected Sunni protesters set off five car bombs at two outdoor markets in Shiite area Iraq Friday, killed at least 36 people and wounded nearly 100, health and police officials said, Fox News reported.

The first explosion was at a bird market in Kadhimiyah, northern Baghdad and the second at a Shomali town, Babil province, then one at Shiite shrine city of Karbala, security and medical officials said, ABC News reported.

Sunni protestors targeted the crowded Shiite area for this attack, many of the victims were women and children, ABC News reported.

On Friday, minority Sunni protesters rallied in five major cities, accusing their Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who is Shiite of dictating Iraq government and threaten him to "witness what other tyrants have witnessed before", rally speaker Sheik Mohammed Jumaa said, Fox News Reported.

Sunni militants have marked the bird market before and killed 102 people throughout Shiite neighborhood in the past week, ABC News reported.

U's breakthrough in cancer treatment

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Scientists at University of Minnesota said an enzyme they found which caused majority of breast cancers was a key element of cancer treatment on Wednesday, Star Tribune reported.

The discovery was published in the journal Nature after five-years of studies and a team of 17 scientists led by College of Biological Sciences professor Reuben Harris, Minnesota Daily reported.

The identification of this enzyme, APOBEC3B, which caused up to half of breast cancer tumors, could help find a breast cancer cure now that scientists know what mutation exists, professor Harris said, Minnesota Daily and Star Tribune reported.

"There's a lot of work to be done," breast cancer specialist Dr. Matthew Goetz said, but agreed with professor Harris this discovery would assist finding a breast cancer cure and saving lives if known how to prevent those mutations, Star Tribune reported.

DNA tests confirmed King Richard III was the owner of bones found under a city parking lot in Leicester, England last August, on Monday, CNN reported.

A team of expert historians and archaeologists from the University of Leicester extracted DNA from the human remains, matched it to two of Richard III's modern-day descendents and "beyond reasonable doubt," University of Leicester official Richard Taylor said, the bones belonged to the king, the New York Times reported.

Before the DNA matching, the team members already concluded Richard III suffered from scoliosis disease and dead violently with many injuries and a fatal wound of fractured skull, the New York Times reported.

The scientists confirmed King Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485, CNN reported.

The remains of the former king will be reburied in Anglican Cathedral in Leicester, where the bones were found, early next year, the New York Times reported.

A violent man who held hostage of a 5-year-old boy on Tuesday in his underground bunker at Midland City, Ala. is dead and the boy was freed with no physical harm Monday, the New York Times reported.

Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, kidnapped a boy Tuesday afternoon from a school bus, killed the driver who refused to provide two boys between age 6 to 8 and kidnapped a boy into his homemade bunker on his property, Chicago Tribune reported.

During the standoff, officials passed toys, food and medication through a pipe Dykes made to easily observe trespassers, the New York Times reported.

"Within the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated and Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun," Stephen E. Richardson, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.'s division in Mobile said and the F.B.I. agents broke into the bunker and rescued the boy concerning the boy's safety, according to the New York Times.

Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said Dykes is trying to tell a complicated story from this kidnap, Chicago Tribune reported.

by Anna Lin
In Star Tribune's article, "2 die after car goes through ice on Lake Minnetonka channel", the author has taken "What" as the most important focus in the lead.

First of all, the inverted-pyramid style is generally used in breaking news stories.This article is a breaking news, therefore, the basic news summary lead is most suitable. The author summarized the key facts, combined the most significant of the five W's into one sentence. Also, a good lead is written in a clear, concise way following the subject-verb-object sentence structure.

Since this is a news story about accident, the lead began by stating the death of a middle-aged man and an elderly woman. Starting with the numbers of deaths helps readers to measure the seriousness of the story. The lead continued with the reason for their death is that their car sank into the channel. Author here used "plunged through" to relate readers to visualize the motion. Followed by the the location of east side of Lake Minnetonka for the readers to pin point where it happened. The date of the accident and attribution to the source are placed to the end because these two elements are the least important information must be included in this particular lead.

The author descried two people as "a man in his 30s and an elderly woman" which provides more details than "2" in the article headline. Also, strategically lead capture readers' attention

This lead works because it is written in one clear, active, and concise sentence that summarize the accident and keep the readers interested for more details.

Two died in submerged car on Lake Minnetonka channel

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A Maple Grove man, 30, and an elderly woman have died in their submerged vehicle, attempting to drive through the ice of a channel on Lake Minnetonka Sunday, according to authorities, Star Tribune reported.

The man called 911 around 2:24 p.m., asking for rescue from his sinking car at the approximately ten feet deep channel separating Gray's Bay from Wayzata Bay below the Hwy. 101 bridge, Fox9 news reported.

Two people were found unconscious and not breathing when divers pulled them out of their car on Saturday, and were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, Maj. Darrell Huggest from Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said, source obtained by Fox9 News.

Officials suggests residents to use precautions when drive or walk on channels and pressure ridges, Star Tribune reported.

One of the Minneapolis office shooting victim Jacob Beneke's family filed a lawsuit against company Accent Signage Systems on Friday for failing to take action when known fired ex-worker's ill mental stage, the shooter, according to Star Tribune.

Associated Press obtained a copy of the lawsuit on Friday, reported Beneke's family claims the company have known the shooter's prior misconducts in the office but failed to adjust and sued the company for poor training regarding to firing and inadequate office security, Fox9 News reported.

Andrew Engeldinger, with a history of violent tendencies and mental illness, killed five co-workers and a UPS deliver guy in his Minneapolis office after he was fired, took his own life after the attack on Sept. 27, 2012, Fox9 News reported.

In the lawsuit, the family said the company could have prevented the incident by training employees to properly handle firing and all other office conflicts and Engeldinger held personal animosity toward Beneke, Fox9 News reported.

"A reasonable employer in Accent's position would have, among other things, provided adequate security on its premises, locked its doors, monitored Engeldinger, and would have attempted to terminate Engeldinger in a safe manner," the lawsuit contends, Star Tribune reported.

President Obama drives immagration reform

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Determined to provide approximately 11 million illegal immigrants citizenship in the United States, President Obama demanded Congress to take action on Tuesday, the New York Times reported.

President Obama proposed to issue temporary visas to undocumented immigrants as long as they pass the background check and pay back-taxes, according to BBC News and the New York Times.

During his speech in Las Vegas high school, he addressed the White House would write its own legislation and urges lawmakers to vote on it if Congress refuses to enact his plan, BBC News reported.

At the same time, President Obama promised to enforce stricter broader security to further reduce illegal border crossing, the New York Times reported.

The focus to Obama's second term is to put immigration issue to his priority, the New York Times reported.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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