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November 29, 2007

Woman will be questioned about the fatal stabbing of her two children

A 22-year-old woman stabbed her two young children in Augusta, Georgia Thursday, police report in both the Pioneer Press and the Augusta Chronicle.
Jeanette Michelle Hawes' two children, one boy and one girl, died of multiple stab wounds to the chest, police said. Hawes had taken both children into a convenience store bathroom in south Augusta. A Food Mart employee heard a scream and called the police.
When police arrived, they found Hawes and her two children, 1 and 3, on the floor of the locked bathroom. Hawes was unharmed and covered in blood. An autopsy is scheduled for tonight.
Hawes was charged with possession of a knife and two counts of murder. She is being held at the Richmond County jail.
Amanda Thomas, a store clerk, said Hawes was a regular customer.

November 18, 2007

Oregon park is being closed after being the scene of multiple crimes

Holman State Wayside Park near Salem, Oregon is not a place to take the family for a Sunday picnic, reports the New York Times.
It is unsure when the park turned from a friendly gathering point to a place where drug deals went down and couples had sex in public. Because of this, the 10-acre park is now closed. Concrete bricks block the entrance for vehicles and the cinder block bathrooms are scheduled to be demolished.
“What we really need to do is reboot the park,? Chris Havel, a spokesman for the parks department, says. “The plan is to let the reputation die off a little bit, then come back.?
This shut-down started in the 1990s, with changing parking to 15 minutes only. Cameras and signs indicating the cameras presence were put up and excess brush was cut, but nothing seemed to work.
Police have been called about two registered sex offenders were camping in the park and that men were having sex there. Eight men were arrested one weekend last May.
Because of the continuous rise in crime, officials have decided to close the park.

Japan begins whaling expedition, set out to kill hundreds

Japan's whaling fleet was scheduled to leave port Saturday to begin its largest hunt in the South Pacific, reports the Associated Press in the Star Tribune and BBC.
The orders are to kill up to 1,000 whales, including 50 humpbacks. This is the first humpback hunt since the 1963 global ban. Few groups have been allowed to hunt them since then.Japan is allowed to hunt in the name of scientific research even though commercial whaling was stopped in 1986.
Other species that Japan is hunting for include the Antarctic minke and fin, but the humpback hunt is drawing the most attention because it is a favorite among watchers. A Greenpeace ship will be following the Japanese fleet of four ships.
"Humpbacks are very sensitive and live in close-knit pods so even one death can be extremely damaging," Greenpeace spokesman Junichi Sato said.
However, Japanese fisheries spokesman Hideki Moronuki said that taking 50 whales will not have a significant impact on a population of tens of thousands.

Mankato student dies after being hit by a car, another injured

A Minnesota State University student died and another was injured after both were hit by a car early Sunday while walking home from a sorority event in Mankato, reports the Star Tribune and WCCO.
The women's names have not been released, and neither has the name of the 17-year-old driver who hit them on 3rd Avenue near Kingswood Drive. The women were both in their early 20s and were upperclassmen at MSU.
Apparently one had been lying in the street and the other was helping her up when they were struck at 12:47 a.m. Both were rushed to Immanuel St. Joseph Hospital in Mankato where one was pronounced dead and the other underwent surgery. Police said this happened on streets in an industrial area, not near any sorority residences.
"Our deepest, heartfelt sympathies go out to loved ones, fellow students, friends and acquaintances," said MSUM president Richard Davenport, "and we extend our wishes for a speedy, complete recovery to the injured student. The campus community is tremendously saddened by this tragic event."
Grief counseling has been set up at the university and a memorial is being planned. This is the second death of a student caused by a vehicle this school year. Catherine Delwiche, a freshman cross-country runner, was struck and killed last month.

November 13, 2007

Transplant recipients contract HIV and hepatitis C from infected organs

Four transplant recipients contracted HIV from a donor whose organs where infected, reports the Star Tribune, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune Tuesday. This is the first reported case of transmission by organ donation in more than 20 years.
The transplants were done at three Chicago hospitals in January, but the recipients found out that they were infected with both HIV and hepatitus C in the last two weeks.
The organs were tested before they were used, but the results came back negative. Doctors say that the donor likely contracted HIV and hepatitis C in the last three weeks of life so the antibodies were not detected by the tests done on the donor.
Information regarding the donor's medical history and cause of death was not released because of privacy laws, but the donor was classified as high-risk. Because the tests had come back negative, doctors went ahead with the transplants.
Federal guidelines discourage using organs from donors who engage in high-risk behavior. However, the number of people on the waiting list is much higher than the number of available organs.
The case is being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Guilty plea in fatal metro transit shooting last April

Jerome Pablo Cross pleaded guilty Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court to second-degree intentional murder in the shooting death of Earl Ray Freeman aboard a bus in downtown St. Paul last April, reports the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.
The shot was a result of a fight between two groups of youth. Freeman, 16, and two others got on a Route 74 bus at 5th and Minnesota. Cross, aka Ro-Ro, got on a couple of blocks later. He intended to shoot Emmett Wilson-Shaw, who had boarded the bus with the victim.
The bullet hit Freeman, who was sitting next to Wlison-Shaw, in the chest. Cross told the court today that he threw out the gun and his gloves, then went home to sleep.
The guilty plea did not make amends between the groups of supporters for both the defendant and the victim. A fight broke out in the hallway after the court hearing. However, it was quickly stopped by sheriff deputies and police.
The case was to go before a Grand Jury on Wednesday to consider a first-degree murder charge, which carries a life sentence. Cross was certified to be tried as an adult, and the guilty plea today came one day before his 18th birthday.
Sentencing has been set for Jan. 4.

November 11, 2007

Diversity analysis

The story in the Star Tribune about not redrawing district lines to even out the diversity in Eden Prairie's elementary schools is interesting to me.
It compares the nonwhite enrollment of the area schools and the Supreme Court decision to not move students around based on race. I never knew that this type of thing was an issue that needed to be dealt with by the Supreme Court.
It does not really focus on stereotypes, although it does seem to say that schools with higher rates of minority groups and those learning English as a second language need special help. I don't know if that is true, but that is the only stereotyping I noticed in the story.

Should newborn screening be optional?

About one day after a baby is born in Minnesota, nurses draw five drops of blood which are used to test for more than 50 hereditary conditions. This screening process is now in danger because some say it is an invasion of privacy, reports the Star Tribune.
Twila Brase, a former nurse and an advocate for privacy, leads a small group which plans to bring this issue to the legislature next year. She believes this testing is involuntary and carries future implications on insurance and employment.
Medical professionals argue the other side, saying that the testing detects disorders in about 140 children a year saving them from death or disability.
While Brase does not disagree with the testing, she does think it should be the parent's choice. Some legislators agree with Brase on the issue. Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville said, "Five years from now, when there's a breach in the computer system, and 200,000 of your youngest residents have been compromised, you wouldn't want parents to be totally unaware that the state is storing this data. That's when we're going to be in really big trouble."
Doctors see that as a fear of the unknown and cannot understand how that could shut down a screening program that is clearly beneficial. "People watch too much TV," said Dr. Piero Rinaldo, who oversees the Mayo Clinic's newborn screening program. "It's CSI syndrome."
This screening process has been done since 1965 and allows early detection and treatment of over 50 conditions. Only approximately 140 babies out of the 72,000 born in Minnesota each year have a genetic disorder, but the early detection can result in fewer future hospital visits.
As the debate continues, doctors and privacy-advocates speak out for their cause.

Italian soccer fans rebel after shooting death

The accidental shooting death of a disc jockey on his way to watch a soccer game caused other fans to rebel at many big games throughout Italy, reports the BBC.
Gabriele Sandri, 26, died after being shot while police tried to control other fans near a service station in Arezzo. Police suspect he was hit by a warning shot. "It was a tragic error," said Arezzo police chief Vincenzo Giacobbe.
Fans attending games around the country began rebelling against police. It is thought that the most damage was done in Rome, the capitol city, where fans burned vehicles and threw rocks at the stadium.
Two journalists were beat up in Milan and people called police "muderers" in Siena. All of this violence caused many of the games to start late, or be postponed all together.
Last February, a police officer was killed in Sicily during violence at a soccer game which prompted the Italian government to instate a law this April about controlling fans at games.

Streetcars return to New Orleans more than two years after Katrina shut them down

Streetcars followed a marching band down the St. Charles Avenue line in the Garden District of New Orleans Saturday, reported in the Star Tribune.
Hurricane Katrina caused the lines to close more than two years ago. Only some of the line has re-opened, but even this is a definite sign of progress. The sight of the 1920s-era cars is a morale booster for the people.
"It's what makes New Orleans feel like home," said Councilwoman Stacy Head.
Fourteen million dollars was provided by federal highway officials. Mark Major, general manager of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, said that money was necessary to resume the streetcar service.

St. Paul girl raped Wednesday, arrest made Saturday

A 17-year-old girl was raped late Wednesday when a man forced his way into her home on St. Paul's East Side, reported the Pioneer Press. Police arrested a 19-year-old St. Paul man late Saturday, reported the Star Tribune.
Police received a call shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday from a home on the 600 block of East Jessamine Avenue. The girl said a man had knocked on the door, then forced his way in and assaulted her. She was taken to Regions Hospital.
The man, whose name was not released, was arrested around 8 p.m. Saturday. He was booked into Ramsey County jail on suspicion of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and on an outstanding probation-violation warrant.
Police offered little information about the case but said they were issuing an announcement about the arrest "because of the grave concerns of the residents of the East Side and all of St. Paul's citizens after this brazen attack."

November 9, 2007

Former Mankato student had an "incredibly high" blood-alcohol reading the night of her death

Amanda Jax, the former Minnesota State University Mankato student who died of alcohol poisoning early Oct. 30, had a blood alcohol level of 0.46 the night of her death, police reported in the Star Tribune. That is nearly six times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
Jax, who was taking the semester off from school, was in Mankato celebrating her 21st birthday on the night of Oct. 29. Friends were unsure how much she had drank and took her to an off-campus apartment. Friends called 911 after finding Jax unresponsive in the morning.
Mankato Public Safety Director Matt Westermayer said he has "maybe once" seen an alcohol level that high during his 21 years working in law enforcement. Only a handful of similar cases were found in a nationwide news report search.
"The death of Amanda Jax is a tragedy ... that should have never occurred," Westermayer said. "Binge drinking ... is a very serious problem with devastating effects as the death of Amanda Jax so clearly and cruelly illustrates."
A Facebook page dedicated to Jax's life shows pictures and memories of her. Some also commented on the anger that is felt about Jax being labeled a binge drinker.

November 4, 2007

Number use analysis

The article in the New York Times on the cost of study abroad programs uses numbers in many ways.
The reporter has included the tuition cost in dollars for many different programs, as well as the mentioning the conversion rate to euros. Numbers of students that study abroad and the percents of which type of programs are chosen.
The numbers are a bit overwhelming to me because they are included throughout the whole story. Although they are needed to prove the point of inflated costs, it's hard to keep them all straight.
I think the reporter tried to make it easier by spreading them out, but with so many figures it was still hard.
The sources for the numbers are not always cited, although all of the universities whose programs are discussed are listed and the costs could most likely be found on their study abroad Web sites.

November 3, 2007

Rome's Trevi Fountain is dyed red

A disguised man, seen as a culprit by some and an artist by others, dumped red dye into the Trevi Fountain in Rome Oct. 24, reports the New York Times.
It is thought that it was done in protest to the cost of the large film festival taking place in Rome. The red color of the water signified the red carpet. Gianluca Nicoletti, a media critic, said the festival lacked color and depth while saying, “The real splash was the one made at a fountain."
It is thought that Nicoletti could be responsible.
Many found the incident involving the fountain seen in movies like "La Dolce Vita" upsetting, but after it was discovered that no damage was caused people began to see it as art. The protection of Italy's monuments such as the Trevi Fountain is very important, and incidents in the past have caused damage to others such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

November 1, 2007

Hiroshima pilot, Paul W. Tibbets dies at age 92

Paul W. Tibbets, the pilot of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Japan during World War II, died Thursday at his home in Columbus, Ohio. He was 92, reports the New York Times and BBC.
Gen. Tibbets' health had been declining for the past two months, said Gerry Newhouse, a friend of Tibbets.
The plane Enola Gay took off from the island of Tinian in the early morning hours of Aug. 6, 1945 to complete the mission known as the Manhattan Project. At 8:15 a.m., the atomic bomb known as Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima. Tibbets said he has no regrets about being involved in the act that is said to be "the beginning of the end" of WWII.
After returning from the mission, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, which is the Army Air Forces’ highest award for valor after the Medal of Honor.
Paul Warfield Tibbets was born on Feb. 23, 1915 in Quincy, Ill. His family moved to Miami and a plane ride at age 12 interested him in becoming a pilot. Although his father wanted him to become a doctor, his mother, Enola Gay Haggard, encouraged him to follow his dream.
Tibbets attended both the University of Florida and the University of Cincinnati, then enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1937.
He began working with the secretive Manhattan Project in 1944, training other pilots after being instructed to find the best. Tibbets did and the 12 crew members carried out a flawless mission over Hiroshima.
Although at the time he and the others were regarded as heroes, in the years following Tibbets has become a target of controversy.
A pro-Communist newspaper called him "the world's greatest killer" and was criticized in 1976 for re-enacting the event at an air show in Texas.
Tibbets retired from the Army in 1966.
He is survived by his wife, the former Andrea Quattrehomme, two sons from his first marriage to former Lucy Wingate, Paul III and Gene, and a grandson, Col. Paul Tibbets IV.

Former Mankato student dies after celebrating her 21st birthday

A woman died in Mankato after celebrating her 21st birthday with friends, reports the Star Tribune and Mankato's Free Press.
Amanda Jax, a student set to start nursing school this spring, was found dead in an apartment near Minnesota State University Mankato (MSU) early Tuesday. Police said it "appears that alcohol played a significant role in the death of Ms. Jax" after she "became quite intoxicated."
Although Jax's death is definitely a tragedy, police say they expect this sort of thing to happen. Binge drinking is common among college students, and their 21st birthday is no exception.
Everyone knew Jax as a girl who brought energy to every situation. “She was an amazing person. A person everyone loved,? said Dan Regnier, a friend of Jax. “I remember her being extremely smart. She was always dedicated to what she was doing.?
In recent years, college binge drinking has come into the light and caused college health departments to raise awareness. “Maverick Health,? a publication for Mankato students did a feature on 21st birthdays in 2005, encouraging students not to pressure the birthday boy or girl to drink more than they should.
Also set up to curve binge drinking, "Mavericks After Dark," was started. This is a program in which MSU provides activities for students to do instead of drink on weekend nights. Some of the events have been very successful, while other have not had high attendence, said Wendy Schuh, MSU’s alcohol and drug education coordinator.
The University of Minnesota has a program, "Gophers After Dark," which aims to do the same thing.