January 2010 Archives

Investigation Into Fraternity Branding

The branding of a sophomore student during a January ski trip in Breckenridge, Colo. has prompted Texas Christian University and Kappa Sigma Fraternity officials to investigate, The New York Daily News reported.

Amon "Chance" Carter IV returned home from a ski trip with Kappa Sigma Fraternity and Tri Delta Sorority members, with second and third degree burns on his buttocks after fraternity brothers used a hot coat hanger to brand him with the mark of their fraternity as well as the mark of the Tri Delta Sorority.

After a night of drinking Carter said he consented to allow his fraternity brothers to finish the Kappa Sigma sign which had been started more than a year ago on a spring break trip.

The branding continued after Carter passed out and he awoke in pain to find an additional mark, that of the Tri Delta Sorority, on his other buttocks. Carter said the additional mark was not consensual.

ABC News reported that the Carter family hired Kathryn Craven, a Fort Worth lawyer, to find answers about what happened that night and to ultimately hold someone accountable for the incident.

An additional view on the incident from KHOU.


On Jan. 31, the BBC posted a story about the sabotage of a Nigerian pipeline. The lead in this article contained information on whose pipeline was attacked, what happened, and where the incident occurred.

The lead identifies that a Royal Dutch Shell pipeline was attacked. The "who" becomes more detailed in the second paragraph when the pipeline is identified as Trans Ramos pipeline.

The description of what happened was detailed, the pipeline was sabotaged and three oil flow stations were shut down.

The reporter also identified the specific region of Nigeria that the attack took place, the Niger Delta region.

The lead did not contain information on when the incident took place. The reporter clarified this detail in the second paragraph when she said the attack took place on Saturday.

The reporter made no mention in the lead as to why the attack occurred. I think this was wise because there was no definitive answer to that question.

Sabotage Of Nigerian Oil Pipeline

Nigerian militants sabotaged the Royal Dutch Shell PLC pipeline in the Niger Delta on Saturday, rupturing the Trans-Ramos pipeline run by a Nigerian subsidiary for the second time, CNBC reported.

Workers shut down three flow stations in efforts to curb the spreading oil and it is uncertain when the pipeline will be repaired. No injuries were reported in the sabotage.

While no one has claimed responsibility, the attack occurred the same day Nigerian militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, announced they were ending their cease-fire agreement with the government.

The BBC reported that MEND has demanded a higher share of profits from the oil resources and the land for residents. Whether or not this statement reflects the beliefs of the entire group or a faction of the group is unclear.

CNBC reported that ongoing militant attacks on the oil industry have decreased Nigeria's oil production by approximately 1 million barrels a day.

Pendants based on the new animated Disney movie "The Princess and the Frog" were recalled on Friday by Federal consumer safety regulators due to high levels of cadmium, a toxic metal, Kare 11 reported.

Fifty-five thousand pieces of jewelry sold exclusively at Wal-Mart were voluntarily recalled by FAF Inc., a Rhode Island-based jewelry company, who acted in compliance with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Two pieces of jewelry were recalled, a crown pendant, UPC #72783367144, and a frog pendant, UPC # 72783367147, both manufactured in China.

The Examiner reported that Walt Disney Co. has a zero tolerance policy for cadmium in their products and that they consider any product that contains cadmium a failure.

Kare 11 reported that Walt Disney said the pendants met safety standards when they were manufactured, but that cadmium, unlike lead, does not have a certain exposure level at which objects are deemed unsafe for children.

The Examiner said that exposure to high levels of cadmium may result in the "cadmium blues." Symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhea, muscle pain, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema. Currently, there have been no reports of cadmium poisoning.

Light-Rail Train Struck Man

A Metro Transit light-rail train struck a man around 11:20 a.m. on Friday who was standing on the tracks at a downtown Minneapolis station, the Star Tribune reported.

The man was hit at the Warehouse District Station between First and Hennepin avenues along Fifth Street.

Bruce Howard, Metro Transit director of marketing, said the man was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. At this time, it is unclear why the man was on the tracks.

According to Metro Transit, the trains were running smoothly again by Friday afternoon, despite temporarily shutting down the Hiawatha Line, WCCO reported.

In accordance with standard procedure, Metro Transit tested the train operator for controlled substances and placed the operator on administrative leave, reported the Star Tribune.

A 2009 spring graduate of the University of Minnesota in Morris was arrested in New Orleans on Monday for allegedly tampering with Sen. Mary Landrieu's phones, the Star Tribune reported.

Joseph Basel, 24, is one of four men charged with entering the Hale Boggs Federal Building under false pretensions at 11 a.m. on Monday, with the intent to commit a felony.

Basel and Robert Flanagan, one of the other four suspects, entered the building posing as phone company repair technicians and were arrested by U.S. marshals after failing to produce proper identification.

WCCO reported that if Basel is convicted he could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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