Analysis-Records

by Kendall Mark

In a story published in the New York Times about mine safety, the three journalists held interviews with employees, present and former, from the Massey Energy mine and TECO Coal Corporation. They've collected data from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration on violations relating to both companies and divulged information on how the companies various practices promote or fail to promote mine safety. They've looked at records from both companies discharge lists and looked into why people were fired, plus at vacation times due to injury. They've noted deaths in the past two years because of mine safety and failures to fix things regulators have said they needed to.

Most of the information came from workers and federal documents, which involve knowing how to navigate and filter through the documents. They also would have needed to know the most basic question of where to look and who to ask for the information, since it might have been hard to access out of Massey Energy (considering what they are currently going through with the recent deaths due to safety failure), An idea of where the mine was and other mines around it would have been neccesary so they would need to know how to find that out and who to contact.

by Kendall Mark

A former nurse is charged with aiding the suicide of a man in Britian and a Canadian woman via an internet chat room, the Star Tribune said.

William Melchert-Dinkel, 47, had his nursing license revoked last June, allegedly suggested to people on suicide chat sites that they commit suicide together on Webcam and told people how to most effectively do so, the Star Tribune said.

The charges will be hard to prosecute because of freedom of speech, but if charged Melchert-Dinkel could have the maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine, the Associated Press said.

Minnesota authorities began investigating March 2008 when an anti-suicide activist in Britain told them someone was assisting in suicides from Minnesota, the Associated Press said.

Minnesota Historical Society director retiring

by Kendall Mark

Nina Archabal, 70, will be retiring before the end of the year after 33 years of service as director for the Minnesota Historical Society, the Pioneer Press said.

The consolidated Minnesota History Center will be seen as her crowning achievement, the Pioneer Press said. Membership has grown from 7,000 in 1987 to just short of 20,000 now since she took over as director.

The Star Tribune said she was someone who could make history accesible, engaging, and brought it to life through hard work and determination.

Other than the Minnesota History Center, her most notable history projects were the building of Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Onamia and Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, the Star Tribue said.

Leech Lake Tribal Council halts fishing protest

by Kendall Mark

The Leech Lake Chippewa Tribal Council has said it has not promoted a protest set for May 14, the day of the state's walleye and pike fishing season opener, planned by tribal members, the Star Tribune said.

The band believes they have rights reserved under the 1845 and 1855 treaties with the federal government for fishing and hunting but with to seek a diplomatic agreement before any other form of activism, the Star Tribune said.

The idea of a fishing protest was discussed in a meeting over the 1855 treaty, the Bemidji Pioneer said, which includded Leech Lake, White Earth, and Red Lake Reservations.

The group wished to highten awareness of the treaty, but never received permission from the Leech Lake Tribal Council, the Bemidji Pioneer said.

NASA postpones shuttle landing due to rain

by Kendall Mark

The Discovery's landing has been postponed til Monday night because of rain in Florida, MSNBC said.

NASA's seven astronauts were scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center at 8:48 a.m., ET after a 14-day mission to resupply the International Space Station, MSNBC said.

NASA prefers to land in Florida due to costs of bringing a shuttle back to base after landing, Reuters said.

The Discovery has supplies to last them until Wednesday, but the will land regardless sometime Tuesday even if that means landing in Edwards Air Force Base in California, Reuters said.

Airlines continue to wait for volcanic ash to lift

by Kendall Mark

Airline loses have reached around $1 billion as of Monday morning, causing the industry to demand compensation from the EU and criticizing governments for not testing the ash and the amounts of open air space, MSNBC said.

Over the weekend, the industry succesfully preformed test flights with out passengers on board, MSNBC said. This led some in the industry to wonder if volcanic ash was as detrimental to jet engines as originally thought.

The airways are supposed to fly only 8,000 to 9,000 of the 28,000 scheduled flights Monday due to air traffic restrictions, the Associated Press said.

Airspace in southern parts of Europe, such as Spain, France, and parts of Italy, is now open but upper airspace is difficult to access, the Associated Press said.

Hecker's girlfriend charged with two counts of fraud

by Kendall Mark

The girlfriend of ex auto mogul Denny Hecker has been charged with bank fraud, in connection with helping Hecker hide assets, and lying in court by the federal court, the Star Tribune said.

Christi Rowan, 36, not only lied under oath, but now faces on charge of bankruptcy fraud and one count of bank fraud, the Associated Press said.

She has also been accused of telling a credit union she was an attorney making $189,000 annually in order to attain a car loan when she was unemployed, the Associated Press said.

Hecker and Rowan had been romantically linked for two years and she has been living in his Medina home for nearly a year, the Star Tribune said.

Justice John Paul Stevens to retire

by Kendall Mark

Justice John Paul Stevens had been serving on the Supreme Court for 34 year when he announced his retirement Friday, the New York Times said.

The Times says Justice Stevens was the last justice to be appointed when politically idealogies played second to great legal abilities. He was nominated by former President Ford in 1975.

Stevens was appointed as a Republican but gradually became the court's leader of the liberal wing over his years on the bench, the LA Times said.

He will step down at the end of June or beginning of July, saying he wanted to retire before the commencement of the next term so as to have the next appointment confirmed before that time, the LA Times said.

The New York Times said, at 89, he was just a year shy of Justice Holme's record as oldest justice.

St. Paul police kill 2 aggressive pit bulls

by Kendall Mark

St. Paul police shot and killed two pit bulls Sunday after the loose dogs bit two people, the Star Tribune said.

The two victims were taken to Regions Hospital and suffered non-life threatening injuries, one a leg puncture wound and the other a significant foot wound, Pioneer Press said.

Around 6:00 p.m., the Pioneer Press said police recieved reports about dog bites in the 200 block of Stinson Street and the 300 block of Burgess Street.

Officers tried to contain the dogs but were forced to shoot when the dogs became more aggressive and posed a threat to bystanders, the Star Tribune reported.

The owner of the pit bulls has been identified and reports were still being compiled as of Sunday evening, the Pioneer Press said.

L.A. restaurant shooting not a random act

by Kendall Mark

The four men killed in a shooting at a Mediterranean resteraunt in North Hollywood Saturday are believed to have been targeted, not random victims, USA Today reported.

The dead all had Armenian names and were ages 25 to 31, USA Today said. Two other victims were hospitalized after the shooting, and one remains in critical condition.

The Hot Spot Cafe was usually empty or closed, a man that lives near the restaurant where the shooting took place told the Associated Press. Another resident said people were always outside but never eating.

The Los Angeles Police Deputy Cheif said there was no immediate danger to people in North Hollywood, but that the shooting was an intentional act, the Associated Press said.