January 2011 Archives

Analysis: Lead in story about U of M student body found

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By Kelsey Lund

A lead concerning the body of a missing University of Minnesota student found in TCF Bank Stadium in the Star Tribune is an example of a straightforward hard-news lead. It works by giving a summary of the article, while emphasizing the parts that are most newsworthy, including its proximity and impact.

The action of the lead is given right away by saying there was the discovery of a missing body on campus--this important action of the story grabbed my interest right away.

The writer details the who, where and what of the story in the lead. The lead tells the reader the article is about a University of Minnesota student. It specifies this student was missing before being found dead. The lead gives the location of the body as TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. These details are important in giving the basic summary of what happened to maintain the news value of the story.

The details of the lead are also kept general. The name of the student is not given. The exact location the body was found is not specified. Finally, the date the body was found and who found it is not put in the lead. These details are not the most important parts of the story, and so can be told later in the article.

By Kelsey Lund

Light-rail trains in downtown Minneapolis were at a standstill for four hours Thursday after a wire that provides power from overhead broke.

The high-voltage wire came down just after 10 a.m. at a downtown station near the Metrodome, reported the Star Tribune.

There were no injuries and no fire, said Metro Transit spokesman Bob Gibbons in the Pioneer Press.

Metro Transit buses provided transportation for downtown riders until the light-rail service resumed at 2 p.m., according to the Star Tribune.

The cause of the downed wire is still unknown, Gibbons said in the Star Tribune.

Catapult used to toss marijuana across border

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By Kelsey Lund

The catapult was the method of choice for drug smugglers trying to get marijuana over the Arizona-Mexico border last Friday evening.

Video surveillance operated by the National Guard troops at the Naco Border Patrol Station caught the smugglers on tape testing out their 3-yard tall catapult along the International Border fence, reported the Star Tribune.

The National Guard informed the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, who contacted Mexican authorities about the incident, according to the Toronto Star. Mexican authorities stopped the catapult operation before any marijuana could be sent over the border.

According to the Star Tribune, the catapult was able to launch 4.4 pounds of marijuana at a time.

The smugglers had already left the operation when authorities arrived.

No motive identified for Vadnais Heights murder-suicide

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By Kelsey Lund

The motive for the murder-suicide deaths of a husband and wife in Vadnais Heights remains unknown, authorities reported Thursday.

The deceased Kalen Pohjonen and his wife Katherine Pohjonen were found on Tuesday morning by authorities in their home in Vadnais Heights, reported Minnesota Public Radio. The exact time of death is still unknown.

Authorities said Kalen Pohjonen shot his wife before turning the gun on himself. A handgun was found at the scene, but no suicide note was present to suggest the reason for the incident, according to Pioneer Press.

Kalen Pohjonen was a member of the Minnesota National Guard, but had not been deployed with the Guard previously, reported Minnesota Public Radio.

Anti-government protests break out in Egypt

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by Kelsey Lund

What began as a peaceful demonstration in Cairo on Tuesday soon turned violent as police clashed with thousands of anti-government protesters, unleashing tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, reported NPR.

Activists marched outside the Interior Ministry building demanding the resignation of their leader Hosni Mubarak.

The protest began with an internet campaign, which was inspired by the recent events in Tunisia, reported BBC. According to NPR, 90,000 people on Facebook and Twitter said they were attending the protests.

Almost half of Egypt's 80 million people live at or beneath the poverty line set by the United Nations, reported NPR. High unemployment, low quality education and healthcare are current major issues for Egyptians.

by Kelsey Lund

2 Somali men were injured in a drive-by shooting on Monday outside the Brian Coyle Community Center in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside area, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Pioneer Press, one victim was shot in the torso, while the other was shot in the leg. They were taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center. Both are expected to survive.

The police have made no arrests.

This incident is similar to a fatal shooting in September 2008 of Ahmed Nur Ali, a 20-year-old Augsburg student, which occurred outside the same center, reported the Star Tribune.

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