April 26, 2009


In the Frontline story Poisoned Waters, The records that they needed for this story had to do with water reports and water records. They include stats on safe drinking levels and drinking contaminants. There are interviews and discussion but analysis is also done by the reporter. It is displayed in different links, where each area is reported on such as, "Weren't our waters supposed to be cleaned up years ago." which leads to a video and more links about water pollution. The computer skills the reporter probably needed to do this reporting would include an understand of how videos are embedded (how long they can be or good shots for a small screen, etc.) in order for the video to look good once it has been embedded on the website. Also, they probably have to know how to analysis records and report them in a way that people can understand. Also having an understanding of how photos look when posted on the web (resolution, etc.) would be helpful for this project.

Three people wounded in Hampton University shooting

On the Hampton University campus in Virginia, a former student shot two people in a dormitory and then shot himself, university police and officials told CNN. university's president, Dr. William Harvey said in a press conference the former student entered the dorm by following a pizza delivery man into the building. The former student shot the deliveryman and the night manager of the dorm. The motive for the shootings is unclear, according to officials. No one was killed in the incident. According to WDBJ7.com the suspect is an 18-year-old Richmond, Virginia man. The dormitory where the two victims where shot was Harkness Hall. The school was locked down on Sunday while police investigated.

One man dead and one rescued from Mississippi

Two men where trapped in a tunnel after if filled with rain water, according to the Star Tribune. Ian William Talty, 30, of Woodbury, died on Saturday. Nicholas Breid, who was with Talty swam to shore and survived. The men were exploring and photographing the cave when a thunderstorm began after 10 a.m. After Breid made it shore he began yelling for help. Three students from the University of St. Thomas crew team heard him yell and called police. They then got into motorized aluminum boats to go towards. Breid. Talty was found shortly after polcie arrived and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Italian cruise ships fights of Somali pirates

According to BBC News, Capt Ciro Pinto said six pirates in a speedboat approached his ship, and fired, but then fled after security guards fired shots in the air. He also told BBC that the crew sprayed the pirates as they tried to climb the site of the ship with latters. Around 1,500 people were on the ship, but no on was hurt on Saturday. The captain said the pirates fired around 200 rounds of shots on the vessel. According to USA Today, six men in a small, white Zodiac-type boat approached the ship. Of the 1,500 on board, 1,000 were passengers and 500 were crew members.

Riot in Dinkytown stopped by police

Six people were arrested when a party became unruly in Dinkytown. The people made a fire and attempted to tip over cars, the Star Tribune said. Police used pepper and smoke grenades to disperse a crowd on the 7th Street between 13th and 14th avenues. (This occurred in my front yard. The Star Tribune said that a bonfire was made in the street. The party was a part of Spring Jam. According to the MN Daily, more than 500 students were in the 1300 block of 7th street on Saturday night and early into Sunday morning. Minneapolis police Sgt. Jesse Garcia told the MN Daily that officers first came to the scene around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. and saw partygoers throwing rocks and bottles. Police cleared the scene before a fire was started around 12 p.m.

April 5, 2009

Shootings at American Civic Association

A gunman entered the American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York and began shooting after he barricaded the door of the center with his car so no one could escape. Zhanar Tokhtabayeba, her teacher, and 15 other students hide n the classroom's storage room. Police told CNN news that once it ended, 14 were dead. Tokhtabayeba told CNN, ""I heard shootings, very long time, about five minutes, and I was thinking when it will be stopped, but it was continued. No screaming, yelling ... just silence, shooting, silence, shooting, silence." According to CNN, 37 people made it out of the building alive. msnbc said the gunman killed 13 people before shooting himself Friday. Investigators said they had yet to establish a motive for the shooting. The shooting was at least the fifth deadly mass shooting in the U.S. in the past month. The killer is believed to be a Vietnamese immigrant. Pakistani Taliban militant leader Baituallah Mehsud claimed on Saturday that he was responsible for the attack but was unable to provide evidence to support his claim. Police didn't hear any gunfire but waited an hour before entering the building to ensure it was safe for the officers.

Fargo parents to see their daughter jailed in Iran

According to the Star Tribune, U.S.-born Roxana Saberi, has been in custody since January for allegedly buying alcohol. Her parents, Reza and Akiko arrived in Iran on Sunday to visit their daughter. Iranian officials also told the Associated Press that she was working as a journalist without proper creditably. Saberi has reported for the BBC and National Public Radio. She has been living in Iran for six years as a journalist and student. Saberi was pursing her masters degree. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told AP, the United States had given a letter to Iranian officials looking for help in resolving Saberi's case. The Pioneer Press says that Saberi was arrested for working as a reporter even though her press credentials had expired. Her parents found out about her arrest on Feb. 10. She is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran. She attended Concordia College in Moorehead, Minn.

Number Use

HSBC Raises $17.7 Billion in Stock Sale is a story that I found that uses numbers in at least 3 ways. The article uses percentages, whole numbers, and dollar amounts. The reporter has used numbers to tell the story because the story is about HSBC selling shares to existing stock holders, so numbers are needed to understand why the fact that they sold shares is important; the amount that HSBC raises is a very large amount. I do not think the numbers are overwhelming even though I don't know a lot about stocks. The reporter used whole numbers and percents to put the numbers in perspective, for example the reporter says, "To strengthen its finances, the bank sold 4.9 billion shares, or 96.6 percent of the stock offered." This is also a good example of how the reporter may have to to crunch numbers to tell the story more effectively. They most likely had to take the number of bank shares divided by the amount that they sold. The sources of the numbers that the reporter used are from HSBC directly.

Researchers in Brooklyn work on editing unwanted memories

The New York Times said Sunday, researchers in Brooklyn are researching an experimental drug delivered to areas of the brain critical for holding specific types of memory, like emotional associations, spatial knowledge or motor skills. So far, the research has only been done on animals. According to the Times, scientists would be able to make you forget a chronic fear, a traumatic loss, or even a bad habit. They said that nueroscience is becoming more prevalent, The National Institutes of Health last year spent $5.2 billion,on brain-related projects, the Society for Neuroscience told The New York Times. “This possibility of memory editing has enormous possibilities and raises huge ethical issues,” said Dr. Steven E. Hyman, a neurobiologist at Harvard said. Researchers have already tried to soften painful memories and addictive urges using existing drugs but blocking PKMzeta could potentially be far more effective. PKMzeta is the chemical in the brain that erupts when one cell stimulates another, and this is the area of the brain that researchers are experimenting delivering drugs to.

St. Thomas student missing

University of St. Thomas Freshman Dan Zamlen was reported missing early Sunday morning. He was last heard from around 3 a.m. as he walked along the Mississippi River in St. Paul. Sally Zamlen, Dan's mother told the Star Tribune that Dan's friends told her that her son was talking to them on his cell phone and the friends had just told him they'd come and pick him up. "Then they heard, 'Oh my God, oh my God,' so we think he fell," she told the Star Tribune. Zamlen has diabetes, which raises concern that he may need medical attention. According to the Pioneer Press, Zamlen said, "Oh, my God...where are you...help. " Pioneer Press said there are worries that he is somewhere in a comma due to the fact he is a type-1 diabetic. He had been drinking at a party at the 100 block of St. Clair Avenue in St. Paul. Friends Anna Chappuis and Sarah Nelson told the Pioneer Press when he left the party he was upset. No one has heard from Zamlen since the phone call cut off. Friends and family are searching the area

Pirates take over German cargo ship

According to BBC news, Somali pirates hiijacked a German cargo ship in the Indian ocean. Kenya-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Program told BBC News, that there is believed to be 24 crew members on the ship. The names of those on board are being verified. The ship was about 400 nautical miles from the southern Somali port of Kismayu, between Kenya and the Seychelles, Andrew Mwangura, of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers Assistance Program told Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera said that Germany's foreign ministry said it was looking for "concrete evidence" that a German-flagged vessel had been captured. They said that dozens of ships have been taken by pirates and been released after owners paid tens of millions of dollars in ransom.

March 29, 2009

Analysis on obits

Arthur Code, Astronomer and Professor, Dies at 85, was published on March 22, 2009 by The New York Times.

It has a very standard obituary lead:
Arthur D. Code, an astronomer and designer of space observatories who helped lead a triumphant experiment in the 1960s that yielded information about the composition of stars, comets and galactic gases, died on March 11 in Madison, Wis. He was 85.

It starts with the name of the person, notable identifying facts and when the person died. The last sentence is separate, "He was XX" and follows our guidelines for writing leads.

This lead works because by starting this way it lets the reader know that it is an obituary and not a special interest piece or a feature.

The kinds of sources that are used are his family (they tell how he died), and verifiable facts such as, "Dr. Code taught at Wisconsin, the University of Virginia and the California Institute of Technology before returning to Wisconsin as a professor of astronomy in 1958."

This obit differs from a resume in that it does not just list his accomplishments, it explains them in detail. It does not include all of his accomplishments, rather a summary of the most important events in his life. It also features quotes by Code about discovers he made.

25-year-old rows across Atlantic

According to Forbes, Paul Ridley was the youngest American to complete a solo row at age 25. On Sunday he rowed into Antigua's English Harbor. It took him 88 days to cross the Atlantic. Ridley wrote a daily blog via a solar-powered satellite phone. CNN reported that the trip took 3,000 miles. He started from the Canary Islands off the north African coast on Jan. 1 and ended on the Caribbean island of Antigua at 2:30 p.m. on March 29. His goal was to raise $500,000 for research at the Yale Cancer Center. He started an organization Row for Hope to raise money for cancer. The idea came after his mother died of skin cancer in 2001. CNN said Ridley was not the first to row across the Atlantic alone; he was the third American, but at age 25 he broke the record for the youngest. Ridley told CNN his sister spent $60,000 of their own savings to have his boat custom built.

Minnesota state trooper disciplined after traffic stop

According to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol as reported by the Pioneer Press, Carrie Rindal has been disciplined and will receive additional training, after a traffic stop on New Year's Eve. She performed a "pursuit intervention technique" to stop the vehicle, and after review it was found to be an incorrect way to deal with the situation. Sam Salter, 40, of Hudson, Wis., was driving his children home on Interstate 94 on Dec. 31 when Rindal tried to pull him over for going 70 miles per hour in a 55 zone and an improper lane change. Salter reported took more than a minute and a half to pull his van over. The review board's reported that "the board did not believe that the driver was actively intending to flee the trooper." as reported by the Star Tribune. The report also said that the P.I.T. maneuver attempt did not follow patrol training standards. Salter was arrested at gun point the night of the incident. The report said that she was right to arrest him at gun point because Salter came out of the van "yelling and approaching slightly toward the squad [car]." Salter proposed a $9,500 settlement to attorneys for the State Patrol.

Man is shot by police after killing two sisters and injuring one

According to AOL News, a 23-year-old Milton, Mass., man named Kerby Revelus killed two of his sisters and injured one on Saturday. He first fatally stabbed 17-year-old Samantha. Sarafina, his 9-year-old sister called 911, around 5 p.m. Saturday. Police arrived on the scene and witnessed Revelus decapitating his 5-year-old sister, Bianca. Revelus then went after Sarafina and police shot him. According to AP and AOL News, Sarafina was hospitalized Sunday at the Boston Medical Center with wounds to her hands and stab wounds in her abdomen and one of her legs. 24 hours before killing two of his sisters, Revelus got into a fist-fight with a neighbor. According to the Boston Globe, police broke down the door to Revelus' apartment to find him slashing the throat of his 5-year-old sister. Police Chief Richard G. Wells Jr., told the Globe that His intent was clear; He was trying his best to kill all of them." The Globe stated that it was Bianca's birthday and her cake was decorated with candles and sitting on the table. The grandmother, who was watching the children was in the basement doing laundry at the time of the attack.