February 2011 Archives

By Kelsey Lund

The New York Times multimedia site and the Washington Post multimedia site are surprisingly different in the variety of multimedia options they offer.

The New York Times seems to boast a larger variety of multimedia options, providing maps, graphics, audio, interactive features, and pictures.The Washington Post focuses mostly on photos on its multimedia homepage, but contains a sidebar with links to news video, documentary video, and more photos.

The photos on the multimedia sites help to complement new stories by giving the reader a different angle on popular topics. For example, the Washington Post has photos entitled "Moammar Gaddafi through the years," which is a slideshow showing the history of Gaddafi's reign in pictures, giving readers a chance to succinctly see Gaddafi's history in Libya, rather than read a lengthy biography.

The photos also may help the reader to see parts of the news that sometimes a story can't tell. For example, the New York Times' "Map of Key Locations in Manama, Bahrain" gives readers insight into the protests in Bahrain from a geographical understanding. Similarly the New York Times' "Searching for Survivors after New Zealand Quake" slideshow gives readers a look at the scope of destruction that a story could not explain as fully.

For photos, and other multimedia video/audio, the writing is minimal and maintains the hard news style consistent with hard news stories. The photos generally tell most of the story, while the accompanying writing simply directs the reader to the important facts of the photo. Only one or two sentences tell the story of the photo, and the sentences are concise.

By Kelsey Lund

Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday the state is preparing its response for likely flooding as the end of Minnesota's record-setting snowfall is in sight, and with it the risk of substantial spring floods, the Star Tribune reported.

According to a report from the National Weather Service, because of the above normal water levels in the snow the Red, Minnesota and Mississippi river valleys have a high risk for spring floods, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Dayton said he took personal responsibility to ensure the state's plan for flood response was effective, the Star Tribune said. Minnesota and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are teaming up to locate resources available for communities likely to be affected, the Star Tribune said.

Granite Falls, located on both sides of the Minnesota River, has already started preparing for spring flooding, Mayor Dave Smiglewski said to MPR.

"We've done quite a bit of mitigation work in moving houses away from the river, moving some businesses in our downtown away from the river and levy work and flood-wall work," Smiglewski said. "We're way better prepared than we used to be, but there's still a fair amount to do."

Arizona lawmakers push for state gun

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

The Arizona legislature moved forward on Wednesday to make the Colt revolver the official state gun, angering some who think the state has more important budget issues to consider, NPR reported.

The state Senate Appropriations Committee voted 9-4 to continue the bill, picking the Colt revolver because of its significance when Arizona was settled, the Toronto Star said.

Less than two months ago a mass shooting in Tucson killed six and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, causing gun-control supporters to ask for stricter gun laws, NPR said. Arizona has been criticized in the past for its loose gun laws, the Toronto Star reported.

Hildy Saizow, the president of Arizonans for Gun Safety, does not support the bill, saying the state should work on stopping gun violence, NPR reported.

Supporters in the state Legislature said they sponsored the bill because it honors a gun that was a monumental piece of Arizona's heritage, NPR said.

By Kelsey Lund

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand's second largest city Tuesday afternoon, claiming 65 lives and leaving up to 200 people trapped in collapsed buildings, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Rescuers searched through the night in Christchurch to get to the more than 100 people said to be trapped in the rubble, BBC said. The Sydney Morning Herald reported rescuers were able to save 120 trapped people in the night.

The quake was deemed the country's worst natural disaster in 80 years, and a state of emergency has been declared, BBC said.

The city center was evacuated and broken water mains have flooded districts, BBC reported.

Christchurch suffered another major earthquake on Sept.4 when a 7.1-magnitude quake damaged the city, but with no fatalities, BBC said. The damage of the earthquake Tuesday is said to be more damaging than the previous quake because the epicenter was closer to the city and only 3.1 miles deep, BBC said.

"It's a nightmare. A lot of people were just getting back on their feet after the original quake," Kevin Fenaughty, manager of the data center at the Institute of Geological Nuclear Sciences, said in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Alaskan politician refuses "intrusive" airline security

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

An Alaskan state representative in Seattle decided to take a boat back to Juneau on Sunday rather than submit to an airline security pat-down, TIME said.

State Rep. Sharon Cissna, D-Anchorage, had already been taken through a full body scanner when the airport security told her she would need a pat-down because her mastectomy showed up in the scanner, USA Today reported.

Cissna's chief of staff, Michelle Scannel, said the pat-down was "intrusive" but did not give further details why the representative would not submit to it, TIME said.

The journey from Seattle to Juneau by sea takes approximately 12 hours, USA Today reported.

2 state troopers injured in snow related crashes

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

Two Minnesota state troopers were hit by vehicles while attempting to help out crash scenes during the winter storm that hit the state Sunday, the Pioneer Press reported Monday.

A semi-truck hit a state trooper on the side of Interstate 94 by St. Cloud Monday morning while he was investigating an earlier crash, the Star Tribune reported. Further information regarding the crash has not yet been released, the Star Tribune said.

Sunday evening a car hit state trooper Brian C. Bammert, 30, of Golden Valley while he was attempting to help the scene of a crash on westbound Interstate 394 near Minneapolis, the Pioneer Press reported.

According to the state patrol report, vehicles started colliding around him when Bammert looked up and saw a BMW, driven by Brian P. Cooney, 38, about to hit him, the Pioneer Press said. Bammert was hit in the right leg and left hand, the report said in the Pioneer Press.

Analysis: Spot and follows on Wisconsin union protests

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

The Wall Street Journal contained stories Thursday and Friday following the protests of public employees concerning Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposed bill lessening the state deficit by removing collective bargaining rights and increasing the costs of pensions and health benefits.

The first story's lead detailed the bill public employees were protesting. The follow story's lead had new information--the fleeing of Democratic lawmakers while employees continued to protest.

The lead in the follow story advanced the story by pushing the newest information, the fleeing lawmakers, to the lead and putting the details of the protests and bill later in the story.

The main news is summarized in different ways in the first-day and second-day story.

The first-day story is shorter, summarizing what the bill means for employees in Wisconsin, with a few quotes from the president, the governor and a union leader.

The follow story is longer, containing both new events and the same older information with more detail. Various lawmakers are quoted in the story. In all, the follow story contains less focus on what the bill means and more on the reaction of citizens and lawmakers to the bill.

There is no response to a competing news organization's report, because no other news organizations are mentioned.

Overall, the two stories contain much of the same information. The follow story just advanced the news by pushing the recent events to the forefront, while still maintaining the facts from the first story.

Woman crashes into cow on I-90

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

A woman crashed into a loose cow after a cattle truck rolled over near Hayward Thursday morning, the Austin Daily Herald reported.

The truck overturned on Interstate 90, letting loose 16 cattle from the top of the truck, the Star Tribune reported.

The woman who hit the loose cow was taken to the hospital by an ambulance and sustained minor injuries, the Minnesota State Patrol said in the Star Tribune.

The truck driver was not injured, but one cow died at the scene and six others were euthanized, the Star Tribune said.

The area was under a dense fog advisory at the time, the Austin Daily Herald reported.

12 tourists dead after Vietnamese tour boat sinks

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

Tourists from nine different countries, including two Americans, died when a tour boat sank in Vietnam's Ha Long Bay Thursday morning, the Associated Press reported.

The boat was anchored around 5 a.m. when survivors said a wooden plank on the ship broke off and water flooded in, the AP said.

There were 27 passengers on the boat, including six crew members, when it sank, the AP said. The nine foreigners and six locals who survived jumped into the water and were taken in by nearby tour boats, the AP reported.

The 12 who died were in their cabins when the boat went down, the AP reported.

"Crew members tried to stop the water from coming in and alerted the tourists who were sleeping, but the water came in and the boat sank quickly," Vu Van Thin, chief administrator of Quang Ninh province said in the AP.

The victims were from Britain, the U.S., Australia, Japan, Russia, France, Sweden and Switzerland, BBC said.

A local government official said the cause of the accident was unknown, BBC reported.

Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam's top tourist destinations, BBC said. Many tourists come to see the hundreds of tiny islands for overnight trips aboard wooden ships, the AP reported.

Obama calls reporter attacked in Egypt

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

President Barack Obama called CBS reporter Lara Logan on Wednesday after the announcement of her brutal attack in Egypt last week, CNN reported.

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not disclose further details of the call, CNN reported.

Logan was sexually assaulted and attacked Friday while covering a story for CBS about the celebration after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned, the Associated Press reported.

A group of women and 20 Egyptian soldiers rescued Logan, who had been separated from her crew and their security team in a mob of about 200 people, CNN reported.

Logan is currently recuperating in a U.S. Hospital, the AP said.

New White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was not new to the briefing room where he held his first press briefing Wednesday.

Carney was a White House correspondent for Time magazine before becoming Vice President Joe Biden's press secretary for the past two years, the New York Post reported.

Carney overall kept the briefing on track, managing to avoid direct answers to tougher questions, CNN said.

He sidestepped answers to questions about a possible U.S. response to Iranian warships in the Suez Canal, as well as whether Obama would reduce Social Security benefits, the New York Post said.

Carney stayed focused on Obama's budget proposal, and the need for non-violence in protests in the Middle East, according to CNN.

After the briefing, some reporters asked what Carney thought of his first day, CNN reported.

"It was better than I ever could have imagined," Carney said. "I like it up here."

By Kelsey Lund

Gov. Mark Dayton proposed a new tax bracket for the top five percent of taxpayers on Tuesday, in hopes of lessening Minnesota's $6.2 billion deficit, the Washington Post reported.

The new top tax bracket would apply to couples earning over $150,000 of taxable income--raising their taxes from 7.85% to 10.95%, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Dayton's proposal would also add 3% surtax for three years on people making over $500,000, the Washington Post said. He also wanted to establish a higher property tax for homes worth over $1 million, the Wall Street Journal said.

Dayton campaigned with the promise to heighten taxes for the wealthy. He said this proposal would only affect the top 5% of Minnesotans, making them pay a proportionate share of income taxes, the Washington Post said.

"This is about restoring tax fairness in Minnesota, and I'm asking our most affluent citizens to help us out during this time," Dayton said in the Wall Street Journal.

The Republican majority in Minnesota's legislature have responded negatively to Dayton's proposals, saying the tax increases would cause high-income citizens and business to leave the state, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"I don't want to say this is dead on arrival," said Geoff Michel, assistant minority leader of the Minnesota Senate in the Wall Street Journal, but "I don't think it's got much of a heartbeat."

Analysis: Structure in story about collision of officers

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

The reporters in the Star Tribune's story about two police officers' cars colliding summarized the most important information in the lead. The lead summed up that two officers were involved in a collision on their way to a robbery and one of the officers ended up in the hospital.

The story progressed to tell the injuries of the officers, the details of the crash, more details about what the officers were responding to, and finally even more details about the officers' years of service to the Roseville police force.

The reporters ordered the information by summarizing the most important overarching facts first, and then getting further detailed as the paragraphs went on. This was effective as the story was smooth and logical to read. By learning the facts about what happened first, I was ready to read more in-depth details about the officers and the crash as the story went on.

In the structure of the story, I thought it made sense overall. The fact blocks could have been arranged a little differently. The paragraph about the actual bank robbery the officers were responding to could have been put up higher, perhaps right after the paragraph detailing how the crash happened.

The robbery was the reason the police cars collided in the first place, and I found myself wondering what happened in the robbery as I read the article. The reporters could have mentioned the bank robbers who got away as a result of the crash, although that information may have not been available at the time of the report.

Mexico court denies French kidnapper's appeal

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

A Mexican appeals court upheld their conviction of a French kidnapper Thursday, renewing tensions between the two nations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Florence Cassez, 36, was arrested for three kidnappings in 2005, and later convicted in 2009, although she and many people in France argue she was innocent, BBC said.

"This decision will affect our bilateral relations," French Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie said in the Wall Street Journal.

In the appeal hearing, Cassez's defense lawyers argued she was shown as guilty in the media before her trial began, BBC said. Her lawyers also said the kidnap victims' testimonies identifying Cassez were invalid, since they saw the media coverage of Cassez before the trial, the Wall Street Journal said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked that Cassez be allowed to serve her sentence in France, but was denied, BBC said.

By Kelsey Lund

A nurse at a Minneapolis hospital shortchanged a patient's painkiller during a kidney procedure Tuesday so she could feed her addiction, the Star Tribune reported.

A criminal complaint filed Wednesday said Larry V. King, 56, was about to undergo a kidney stone operation at Abbott Northwestern Hospital when he was told by a nurse to "man up" while she injected herself with some of the painkiller, according to the Pioneer Press.

King only received about a third of his painkiller dose, the Star Tribune said. According to the complaint, King's pain level was a "nine out of 10," or "enough to just about bring [the patient] off the table," the Pioneer Press said.

Nurse Sarah May Casareto, 33, was charged with theft of a controlled substance Wednesday, the Pioneer Press said. She resigned from the hospital, later admitting her dependence on pain medication, the Star Tribune reported.

King retained attorney Tony Nemo with the Meshbesher and Spence law firm for the case, the Star Tribune said. King is "feeling fine and back at work," the Star Tribune reported.

Two police cars totaled while responding to bank robbery

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

A Roseville police officer crashed into another Roseville officer's car while driving to respond to a bank robbery Wednesday afternoon, the Pioneer Press reported.

Both officers were driving separately on County Road B2 to an armed bank robbery at InterBank's Roseville Branch when the marked squad car hit an unmarked squad car and flipped, the Star Tribune said.

Sgt. Greg Levendoski had to be extricated from the car, and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he is expected to be released Thursday, the Star Tribune said. The other officer, Lt. Lorne Rosand, was not injured, the Star Tribune reported.

Capt. Matt Langer of the Minnesota State Patrol said that both officers were wearing their seatbelts, which attributed to the "very low level of injuries" sustained from the crash, the Pioneer Press reported.

The bank robbery suspects apparently were not apprehended, the Pioneer Press said.

$53 billion high-speed rail project in the works

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

Vice President Joe Biden announced a $53 billion high-speed rail project Tuesday intended to boost job growth and upgrade infrastructure.

The project will take place over the next six years, with $8 billion to be put aside in this year's budget for passenger-rail projects, the Wall Street Journal reported.

President Barack Obama has already spent $10.5 billion on high-speed rail expansion since he entered office in 2008, CNN said. Obama said in January's State of the Union address that his goal is to provide 80 percent of Americans with access to high-speed rail within 25 years, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Republicans said rail projects were wasteful spending, arguing that rail construction should be canceled in order to reduce the deficit, the Wall Street Journal said.

Biden said in a written statement, "there are key places where we cannot afford to sacrifice as a nation--one of which is infrastructure," according to CNN.

'Polite robber' arrested

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

Authorities arrested a suspect Monday for supposedly being the "polite robber"--the courteous man who robbed a Seattle convenience store Saturday, the Associated Press said.

The 65-year-old suspect, Gregory P. Hess, earned his nickname as the "polite robber" after he apologized and thanked the owner of the convenience store, John Henry, whom he robbed at gunpoint on Saturday, the Seattle Times said.

Hess was caught on surveillance video taking $300 from the store and telling Henry, "I'm robbing you sir," the Associated Press reported. Hess promised Henry he would pay him back if possible, the Seattle Times said.

Hess is also known as the "transaction bandit" in connection to a string of bank robberies he was convicted for in 2003, the Seattle Times reported.

Analysis: Attribution in story about passed Senate bill

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

The Star Tribune's story about the Minnesota Senate passing an alternative teacher licensing bill contained two source attributions.

The two sources were said to have opposite opinions of the bill, which made the article seem balanced and unbiased.

The first source attributed was the Education Minnesota teacher's union. Unnamed union officials were paraphrased and quoted in the story. The attributions were always set up in front of the quote.

The next source was Sen. Terri Bonoff. She was first introduced as a senator from Minnetonka who supported the bill. In later paragraphs she was quoted. The attributions for Bonoff were placed after the quote or in between two quotes.

The attributions to both the union and Bonoff were scattered throughout the story. The union was attributed in the beginning, but was also attributed and quoted in the last line of the story. Bonoff's words took up a majority of the middle section of the story.

I thought the attributions were clear and well placed. The writer set up his attributions in the front, middle and end of quotes, integrating the attributions into the text for a smooth read. I found it interesting that the writer used words such as "stressed" and "cited" in addition to "said" when attributing.

Senate passes alternative teacher licensing bill

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

Legislation intended to ease the process for teacher licensing was passed in the Minnesota Senate on a vote of 40-23 Thursday.

The bill was approved by 37 Senate Republicans and three Democrats, the Pioneer Press reported.

The legislation would allow mid-career professionals and young people without teaching degrees to obtain a provisional license, the Star Tribune said. The bill would also assist the Teach for America program in easing the process for college graduates seeking teaching placements in low-income schools, the Star Tribune said.

Supporters of the bills said it would help to narrow the achievement gap between white students and minority students, the Pioneer Press reported.

Opposers of the bill include the Education Minnesota teachers union. Union officials have said the bill needs more restrictions, including a supervision period and degree requirement for teachers, the Star Tribune said.

Inmate in Mexico prison given Botox

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

Mexican authorities are investigating how a high-profile inmate received Botox injections in prison, authorities said Tuesday.

A doctor was allowed into a Mexico City prison in January to perform Botox on Sandra Avila Beltran, the Associated Press said. Avila Beltran is known as the "Queen of the Pacific," an alleged leader of one of Mexico's most powerful cartels, the Associated Press reported.

Mexican officials said the Botox injection was an "unauthorized procedure" and the prison's director and hospital chief have been fired, BBC said.

Avila Beltran has been in custody since 2007 under suspicion of drug-trafficking and money-laundering, BBC reported. She was acquitted of these charges in December, although prosecutors are appealing that ruling, BBC said.

Avila Beltran has denied the drug-trafficking allegations, saying she earned her money selling clothes and renting houses, the AP said.

Minneapolis woman attempts to mail puppy

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

A Minneapolis woman was charged with animal cruelty after attempting to airmail a puppy from Minneapolis to Atlanta last week.

Postal workers became suspicious after the woman, Stacey Champion, left the post office on Jan. 25 and the package began to move and make noises, the Star Tribune said.

Workers had to call a postal inspector to obtain permission to open the package, Thompson Ojoyeyi, supervisor at the Loring Station post office told the Star Tribune.

Postal inspectors found a 4-month-old poodle mix with no food or water inside the box, the Washington Post said.

Police Sgt. William Palmer said the puppy would have died in the non-pressurized cargo hold of the airplane if the postal workers had not intercepted the package, the Washington Post reported.

The puppy was intended to be a birthday gift, Minneapolis Police Sgt. Angela Dodge told the Star Tribune. "It would have been kind of traumatizing to get a dead puppy," Dodge said.

Massive winter storm strands Chicago motorists

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

One of the biggest winter storms in Chicago's history left hundreds of people stranded in their vehicles on Lake Shore Drive Tuesday evening.

Lake Shore Drive became impassable Tuesday after a string of accidents blocked the roadway, Reuters reported.

At least 1,500 vehicles were stranded along the iconic stretch while the snow buried some cars up to their windshields, NPR reported. The snowfall totaled 20.2 inches at O'Hare Airport as of 12 p.m., Reuters reported.

Over 130 firefighters and 100 police officers were sent to rescue the stranded motorists, NPR said.

Some of those stranded were frustrated the city had not closed the thoroughfare earlier, NPR said. The mayor's chief of staff Ray Orozco said Lake Shore Drive needed to stay open to give motorists a chance to make their commute home and keep city streets clear, NPR reported.

Climber survives 1,000 feet fall

| No Comments

By Kelsey Lund

A mountain climber fell almost 1,000 feet down the slope of a mountain Saturday, and survived.

Adam Potter, 36, of Glasgow was climbing with three companions when they reached the summit of Sgurr Choinnich Mor in Scotland, reported BBC. Potter lost his footing at the summit and fell down the eastern slope of the mountain.

When rescue helicopters flew to the scene they discovered Potter on his feet reading a map, said CBS News. According to BBC, Potter suffered some superficial cuts and bruises, and "minor fractures" in his back.

Potter said he is feeling fine and hopes to be climbing again in the next few weeks, BBC reported.

About this Archive

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

January 2011 is the previous archive.

March 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.