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December 10, 2007

Man is Sentenced after Drug-Deal Murder

According to the Pioneer Press, “Lionell Thompson, 26, of St. Paul, was sentenced Friday to 17 years in prison in the shooting death of Robert Renville in a drug deal gone sour.? During the court proceedings no one was present to witness the verdict from either side of the case. “Prosecutor John Freeman said Thompson, also known as Loniel Thomas, was "born into a culture of violence." His father was stabbed to death when Thompson was a boy, and Thompson had been shot in the head before he was a teenager as a result of his gang activity.? Thompson pleaded guilty Oct. 10 to two counts of second-degree attempted murder, for shooting two men who had been with Renville, and one count of second-degree murder. “Renville's group paid the other men $100 but got what they thought was significantly less than the 3.5 ounces of cocaine they'd been promised. The two groups agreed to meet later near Ohio and Stevens streets on St. Paul's West Side. Renville, who would have turned 21 on Sunday, was shot with an AK-47 assault rifle that one of the other men aimed out the car window.?

According to the Star Tribune, “There were neither heartfelt victim-impact statements nor pleas for leniency when Lionell Thomas, 26, was sentenced Friday morning in a St. Paul courtroom for the March 7 murder of Robert Renville and the attempted murder of two other men.? Thomas, also known as Lionell Thompson, was sentenced to 17 years in prison, the sentence agreed upon when Thomas pleaded guilty on Oct. 10. He will be eligible for release in 11 years and four months. “Thomas admitted at his plea hearing that he and two other men sold drugs to Renville, 20, and two other men March 7 in St. Paul. The sellers later arranged to meet the buyers on Stevens between Ohio and Orleans streets to settle a disagreement over the amount of drugs delivered. It was there that Thomas shot them. Prosecutor John Freeman told the court Friday that Thomas was "born into a culture of violence." His father was stabbed to death when Thomas was a child; he himself was shot in the head before he became a teenager. Defense attorney Peter Dahlberg told the judge that Thomas is remorseful and also thankful that he'll be able to have a life after he is released from prison.?

These two articles are pretty much the same except that the Pioneer Press was a little more descriptive about the actual shooting itself.

December 9, 2007

Teen Shot outside Roosevelt High School

According to the Pioneer Press, “A 19-year-old man was shot outside the Roosevelt High School gym in Minneapolis on Thursday night while a basketball game was under way inside. The search for the shooter continued Friday.? The man shot was taken to HCMC, but his injuries didn’t appear to be life-threatening. The bullet struck the man in the cheek. “It wasn't clear whether the shooting was related to an incident that occurred during the game. Ross Bennett, a spokesman for Minneapolis Public Schools, said a "group of people were asked to leave" the gym for security reasons. Sgt. Fred McCormick of the Minneapolis Park Police said investigators think a group of young men was standing outside when someone came from around a corner and fired into the group from about 500 feet away.?

According to the Star Tribune, “Minneapolis police are trying to find out who shot a 19-year-old man Thursday night outside of Roosevelt High School and why. Shots rang out abut 9 p.m. in the parking lot of the school at 4029 28th Av. S. as a girls' basketball game was being played inside the gym.? The man shot, was hit in the cheek and taken to HCMC. There’s no indication that anyone involved is affiliated with Roosevelt or an incident during the game in which a group of people were asked to leave for security reasons, but the victim had attended the game.

The Star Tribune article was more specific about the event itself, while the Pioneer Press had more quotes from police and school officials.

December 3, 2007

Second Man Identified in Beating Death of Bicyclist

According to the Star Tribune, “A second suspect in this summer's beating death of bicyclist Mark Loesch has been identified as an inmate at the Hennepin County jail. The 21-year-old suspect is in custody on an unrelated burglary charge, according to Minneapolis police. His involvement in Loesch's death will be reviewed by the county attorney's office for possible charges, police said.? Loesch, 41, left his home for a late-night bike ride Sept. 12, and was found beaten up and barely breathing the next morning in the 3700 block of Elliott Avenue in south Minneapolis. He died before paramedics arrived. Donald E. Jackson was charged last month with second-degree murder in the death. The criminal complaint said Jackson and another man lured Loesch around a corner before beating him with a metal bat. Jackson pegged the beating on a jail inmate, who denied the accusations, police have said. Authorities have said it appeared Loesch was trying to buy marijuana when he was attacked. His family has said that's not the case.?

According to the Pioneer Press, “Minneapolis police have identified a second suspect in the beating death of a bicyclist in September. They say the 21-year-old man already is in jail on an unrelated burglary charge.? Earlier, a 23-year-old man was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 41-year-old Mark Loesch in south Minneapolis. “Police say Donald Jackson told investigators that he and another man were selling drugs when they saw Loesch on his bicycle and decided to rob him.?

The Star Tribune provided the news with additional background information for anyone who might not have heard about the story. The Pioneer Press story was more of a brief and left the reader with more questions.

The Twin Cities Declare Snow Emergency

According to the Pioneer Press, “If the first snow emergency of the year is declared today, hundreds of St. Paul residents will be going to impound lots to retrieve their cars in the next few days.? Tows often occur in neighborhoods with lots of apartments, limited off-street parking and nearby impound lots. There have been pattern areas that tow truck drivers have targeted such as the Hamline-Midway neighborhood, east of Grotto Street, between Interstates 94 and 35E, “The majority of the cars towed because of snow emergency violations tend to belong to people who are new to the community, such as college students or immigrants. In St. Paul, snow emergencies are called by 2 p.m. for each snowfall of 3 inches or more. By 8 p.m., tagging crews hired by the city arrive at the public works office on Dale Street. A target list of problem areas is assigned to a couple of crews, but beginning at 9 p.m., the rest fan out across the city along the night-plow routes. Getting a ticket for violating snow emergency parking rules will set you back $45. But getting towed sets you back $190.53 if you retrieve your car before midnight on the day it's towed. A $15 storage fee is tacked on for each additional day the vehicle is left there.?

According to the Star Tribune, “The snowstorm that dumped as much as 8 inches of snow on parts of the state on Saturday has triggered snow emergencies in Minneapolis and St. Paul beginning tonight. Parking is banned until streets are plowed full width to the curb. There will be tagging and towing ahead of the plows starting immediately at 9 p.m. and continuing throughout the snow emergency. Today, parts of Minnesota can expect to see flurries and light snow, but it won’t add much to the snow already on the ground, the National Weather Service said this morning.?

These articles are reporting on the same topic, but the Pioneer Press article makes a greater attempt to help readers by telling them where the problem areas are and what they should do about it. Someone concerned about getting towed would find more valuable information from the Pioneer Press article, although it is mostly focused on St. Paul.

November 19, 2007

Two Killed in North Mankato Explosion

According to the Pioneer Press, “Two people died early Saturday after an explosion and fire at a mobile home park.? Police said they received several 911 calls at 1:25 Saturday. “When firefighters arrived at the Camelot Mobile Home Park, they found the rear of the residence fully engulfed in flames. Two bodies were recovered from the charred mobile home. There names were not immediately released, as autopsies were being conducted. Authorities said the fire was under investigation.?
According to the Star Tribune, Two people have died after an explosion when their mobile home burned to the ground in North Mankato. “Neighbors rushed out at 1:25 a.m. Saturday to see Shawn and Beth Marxen's mobile home engulfed in flames.? Positive identifications haven’t yet been made, but Beth’s mother has confirmed that her daughter lived at the home, and neither of the Marxens reported to work Saturday. The Marxens have two daughters – 12, and 6 – who often stay with their grandparents on Friday nights.
The Pioneer Press article is mostly just a brief, while the Star Tribune reported on the story, finding out who lived there, some personal information, and did interviews with neighbors.

November 18, 2007

4-Year-Old Boy Left on Bus for 2 Hours

According to the Star Tribune, “The Robbinsdale School District is reviewing procedures with its bus drivers after a 4-year-old boy was left on a bus for about two hours Wednesday.? The boy is an early childhood student at the Cavanagh School in Crystal. After he didn’t show up to his YMCA day care at 3:45, the day-care provider called the school’s transportation office. “School district employees searched the bus and found the boy in his car seat around 5:50 p.m.? The boy’s parents picked him up about 20 minutes later. “According to Nancy Rajanen, Robbinsdale assistant superintendent of administrative services., the driver deviated from his regular route to accommodate another student who needed to use the bathroom. The driver delivered that student to her house, then returned to the bus garage in New Hope, not realizing the boy was still on the bus. The boy is typically dropped off before the other student. The district requires drivers to walk through their buses at the end of each trip to pick up trash, close windows and check for sleeping students. In this case, the policy was not followed, Rajanen said. The driver has been put on paid leave while officials investigate. The driver may face disciplinary action, according to district policy. The district did not release the name of the driver, but said he has worked for the district for 25 years and has a clean record.?

According to the Pioneer Press, “A 4-year-old boy who was supposed to be dropped off at a YMCA day care Thursday afternoon was accidentally left on a school bus for more than two hours before he was discovered.? The boy was supposed to be dropped off at 3:30 p.m. at the day care center in Crystal by a Robbinsdale school district bus. “The bus driver forgot about the boy after another child on the bus needed to use the bathroom, forcing him to detour from the normal route. After the YMCA called the bus dispatcher, officials searched the bus garage in New Hope and found the boy unhurt in his car seat on the bus.? The bus driver is on paid administrative leave.

The Pioneer Press article is much briefer providing fewer details and less attribution. It seems like the Star Tribune reported on the story and the Pioneer Press just watched the Channel 5 news.

November 11, 2007

19-Year-Old Charged with St. Paul Rape

According to the Pioneer Press, “St. Paul police arrested a 19-year-old tonight in connection with the Wednesday rape of an East Side 17-year-old girl. George Allen Walker of St. Paul was taken into custody for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and for a probation violation warrant. He will likely make his first appearance in court on Tuesday.? The victim was alone in her home in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood on Wednesday when the man knocked on the door about 4:50 p.m. and forced his way inside, to then assault and rape the teen. “The suspect has a lengthy criminal record including felony burglary and drug possession.?

According to the Star Tribune, “A 19-year-old St. Paul man was arrested Saturday night in connection with the home invasion and rape of a 17-year-old girl on St. Paul's East Side last week.? Police said he was arrested and booked on suspicion of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and on an outstanding probation-violation warrant. “He’s suspected of forcing his way into the victim’s home in the 600 block of Jessamine Avenue on Wednesday and assaulting the girl, who was home alone at the time. She was treated at Regions Hospital and released.?

The Pioneer Press offered more specific information including the suspect’s name, as well as a direct quote from a police sergeant. Perhaps they had more access because they are based in St. Paul.

Minneapolis Parks Officer Dies after being Hit by Squad Car

According to the Star Tribune, “Mark Bedard, a hard-working Minneapolis park police officer, died Friday at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale..? Bedard was hit by another officer’s squad car during a chase on Nov. 1. He faced broken bones, a collapsed lung and torn aorta. His heart stopped twice during surgery, which led to a severe stroke. “Following several agonizing days, the family decided the 34-year-old's struggle would end peacefully. In the department's more than 100 years, Bedard was the first to die in the line of duty from a traumatic incident.? The incident happened after police responded to a 911 call from a shooting victim. The car they were chasing hit a tree and ran away. While Bedard ran after him, he was hit by a squad car. The driver of the car, Patricia Grant, is a 20-year member of the department. She is taking an extended leave of absence, while the accident is under investigation.

According to the Pioneer Press, “A long week for police officers ended Friday when a Minneapolis Park Police officer died of injuries suffered when a squad car hit him during a short pursuit in a neighborhood alley more than a week ago.? The Parks Department says Mark Bedard, 34, was the first Minneapolis park police officer to die in the line of duty since the agency’s inception in 1883. On Nov. 1, police received a call of shots fired at 27th Ave North and Irving Ave North. “When they arrived, they began following a car leaving the area.? Bedard chased suspects on foot into an alley. Then, a Minneapolis Police Dept. squad car hit Bedard when he crossed into the alley. Officers had been visiting Bedard in his hospital, while showing his wife and son their support. Police are undergoing an internal investigation.

The Star Tribune went further in-depth about Bedard’s life and career. It had more quotes to let the reader know more about him. The Pioneer Press was more brief, but gave a better description of the actual incident.

November 5, 2007

Minneapolis Murder Victim Identified

According to the Star Tribune, “Authorities have identified the victim of Friday's shooting in Minneapolis as Andrew E. Nakao.? The 21-year-old from Minneapolis, was shot in the chest at about 5 p.m. in the 3700 block of Girard Ave. N, and died at the scene. Another man suffered a gunshot wound shortly after Nakao was shot. It was not life-threatening. Police say the men were shot after an argument between two groups escalated and that it was unclear if there was an exchange of gunfire or if it came from one group.

According to the Pioneer Press, “Authorities have identified the man shot to death Friday night in North Minneapolis as Andrew Earl Nakao.? The 21-year-old died as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest. The shooting happened in the 3700 block of Girard Avenue, less than a block from Nakao’s home. It was the third homicide in three days in North Minneapolis. Police responded to a report of shots fired at about 5 p.m. and found Nakao on the ground. Another man was hospitalized for a gunshot wound shortly after officers found Nakao’s body. He was connected to Nakao’s fatal shooting.

Both articles had essentially the same information, however the Pioneer Press article was more clear.

Hunter Fatally Shot on Opening Day

According to the Pioneer Press, “A 60-year-old man who was hunting southeast of Elbow Lake, Minn., died of a gunshot wound to the chest Saturday, the opening day of the state's firearms deer season.? He was shot while waiting while other hunters were driving deer. The apparent accident was reported after 9:30 a.m. He died at Lake Region Hospital. The man’s name was not released.

According to the Star Tribune, “An Elbow Lake, Minn., hunter died after he was shot in the chest on Saturday, the opening day of the firearms deer-hunting season.? He was waiting for deer to emerge while other hunters flushed them out for a slough area. He was taken to Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls where he died. The incident is being investigated.

The Star Tribune article had a few more minor details and also included one quote.

October 28, 2007

Man left Dead in St. Paul Clash

According to the Pioneer Press, “A young man was struck so hard by a car Friday evening that St. Paul police were investigating whether he died from the impact, or possibly after being shot in the head.? The man, reportedly in his late teens or early 20s, was involved in a clash between two groups of youths in St. Paul’s Payne-Phalen neighborhood. Another young man was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his hand. “Police were called to the 800 block of East Jessamine Avenue just after 7 p.m. following reports of a flurry of gunfire in the area.? A witness said he saw a group of roughly 20 teens cross Arcade Street into the alley north of Jessamine just before 7 p.m. “Minutes later, he heard a dozen to two dozen gunshots form the alley and saw the teens run back to Arcade where they split up in several directions. Four of them got into a Toyota sedan and drove south down Arcade, the witness said.? When police came, they ordered at least a dozen people out of a house at 837 Jessamine, and several were taken into custody. “Neither victim was identified late Friday as the incident remained under investigation.?

According to the Star Tribune, “St. Paul police were called about shots fired on the city's east side Friday night, and responding officers found the body of a young man in an alley off Jessamine Street near Arcade Avenue. A resident who had called police to the 800 block of Jessamine Avenue reported that a group of young Asian men were arguing when the shots were fired about 7:15 p.m.? Another young man was being treated at Regions Hospital for a gunshot wound to the hand.

The Star Tribune article had the essentials but didn’t include the interesting details like the Pioneer Press did. However, the Star Tribune did list that the young med were reported to be Asian, while the Pioneer Press made no mention of that.

Same Man Robs 3 Banks in 8 Days

According to the Pioneer Press, “Police are asking the public for help to find a metro-area serial bank robbery suspect.? The most recent robbery took place Wednesday Oct. 24 at about 7 p.m. at the TCF Bank in the Edina Cub Foods on York Ave. South. The man approached the teller and presented a note demanding money. He received an undisclosed amount of money and was last seen leaving the store. “The suspect is described as a white man in his late 20s to early 30s. He is between 5 feet 6 inches tall to 5 feet 8 inches tall and between 130 pounds and 150 pounds. He has brown hair, a scruffy beard and sideburns. He was wearing black pants, a black shirt and a red baseball cap. Authorities believe the suspect also robbed a Highland Bank at the Mall of America on Oct. 19 and a Guaranty Bank at a Rainbow Foods store in Inver Grove Heights on Oct. 15.?

According to the Star Tribune, “The same man held up three banks in an eight-day period. The latest occurred around 7 p.m. Wednesday when the suspect entered the TCF Bank in the Cub Foods store in Edina and handed a teller a note demanding money. He left with an undisclosed amount of cash, said Special agent Paul McCabe. McCabe said the suspect likely is the same man who held up the Guaranty Bank inside the Rainbow Foods store on Broderick Blvd. in Inver Grove Heights on Oct. 15. The robber in that heist is believed to have struck again last Friday when he robbed the Highland Bank inside the Mall of America in Bloomington. “

These two articles were written by different people but are almost identical. Only the wording and a few minor details are noticeable.

October 21, 2007

15-year-old Boy Opens Fire during Standoff

According to the Star Tribune, “A 15-year-old boy from St. Croix County, Wis., was in custody after shooting about 100 rounds from his home near Hudson during a standoff with police.? The boy barricaded himself in a house at about 9 p.m. Friday. He had two shotguns and a .22 caliber pistol. Authorities did not return fire and negotiated for three hours with him, who was said to be suicidal. He surrendered at 12:30 a.m. Saturday. No one was injured and the boy was taken to a Madison hospital for evaluation.

According to the Pioneer Press, “An armed standoff between a teenage boy and police ended without serious injury Saturday morning after the boy fired about 100 shots from inside a home in an upscale Hudson, Wis., neighborhood.? The standoff began at about 9 p.m. after the 15-year-old boy had threatened suicide. Friends heard gunshots over the phone which prompted them to call police. Police say he was not directing fire at officers. They contacted him by having his friends call the house. He was persuaded to surrender at about 12:30 a.m. The boy had numerous cuts on his hands and feet from the broken glass. He was taken to a local hospital and was then transferred to a mental health institute for evaluations. He will likely face felony charges for reckless endangerment and criminal damage to property.

The Star Tribune story was more of a brief, leaving out a lot of information. The Pioneer Press was far more detailed, including quotes from a sheriff, and much more about the boy himself.

Body Found in Minneapolis Lake

According to the Pioneer Press, “A body was found in Cedar Lake in Minneapolis near and overturned boat.? A 911 call was made at 9:45 a.m. from a man who spotted the boat. The body was found after authorities searched the area, and was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.

According to the Star Tribune, “The body of an unidentified man was found in Cedar Lake near an overturned boat Saturday morning.? The cause of dead wasn’t given and it is unknown whether it was from natural causes, accidental, or suicide. The body was discovered 100 feet off shore shortly before 10 a.m. by a passerby who found the overturned boat. Minneapolis police are investigating while the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office is working to identify the body.

The Star Tribune article had a little more detail stating that the body was found about 100 feet off shore, and specifically saying that the cause of death is unknown. The time was worded differently with the Pioneer Press saying that the man who spotted the boat called at 9:45, and the Star Tribune said the body was found shortly before 10 a.m.

October 14, 2007

Plymouth Artist Wins National Duck Stamp Contest

According to the Pioneer Press, “Wildlife artist Joe Hautman, of Plymouth, won the 2007 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest on Saturday for his depiction of a pair of pintail ducks.? He had previously won the contest, which is the nation’s oldest wildlife art competition, in 1992 and 2002. “Hautman's art will be transformed to the 2008-09 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in late June. Proceeds will be used to help protect wetlands. Federal Duck Stamp sales raise about $25 million each year to fund wetland habitat acquisition for the National Wildlife Refuge System.?

According to the Star Tribune, “Wildlife artist Joe Hautman of Plymouth, Minn., has won the 2007 Federal Duck Stamp art contest with his painting of a pair of pintail ducks nestled atop reeds in a marsh. It was Hautman's third winning entry in the contest. He also won in 1992 and 2002 and has won several state duck stamp contests. The sale of the $15 stamp raises about $25 million annually to fund wetland habitat acquisition for the national Wildlife Refuge System. All waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp, commonly known as the Duck Stamp.?

These two articles both contain the necessary information with the Star Tribune going into more detail. The Pioneer Press tells the reader what they need to know while the Tribune goes more in-depth for readers who may want to know more about the contest, the winner, and where proceeds go.

October 13, 2007

2 Arrested after Cokato Bank Robbery

According to the Pioneer Press, “Two Cokato residents are charged with second-degree burglary in Saturday's robbery of the State Bank of Cokato.? 42-year-old Kelly Louise Bell and 18-year-old Jeremy Richard Fuller were arrested in their home Tuesday, after officers with a search warrant recovered a large sum of money, newly purchased electronics and clothing and items believed to have been taken from the bank.

According to the Star Tribune, “Two people have been arrested and charged in connection with a bank burglary in Cokato. Police found items that Kelly Bell, 42, and Jeremy Fuller, 18, are believed to have stolen from the State Bank of Cokato sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. Bell's three children were present when authorities arrested the suspects in the house on the 200 block of SW. 3rd Street. The Wright County Major Crimes Unit and the FBI had been investigating the burglary after a bank employee showed up for work Saturday morning and reported money was missing.?

The Star Tribune provided more detail than the Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune had a short article format, while the Pioneer Press was essentially a news brief.

October 8, 2007

DWI Lawyer Faces Drug Charges

According to the Pioneer Press, One of America’s top lawyers was charged with three drug related crimes after Scott County authorites received a tip from his ex-wife about receiving prescription drugs illegally. Samuel A. McCloud, 64, whose law office is in Shakopee, was arrested Wednesday after he was found with 90 hydrocodone pills. Later, empty pill bottles and marijuana were also found in his bedroom, as well as a credit card bill stating his ex-wife his drug source. McCloud claims that his ex-wife “set the whole thing up? and that he didn’t know what was in packages he had signed for. “A top DWI defense attorney, McCloud once boasted that he gained acquittals in 12 straight drunken-driving cases in one jurisdiction. He now faces separate charges for possessing the narcotics, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.? McCloud faces up to 20 years in jail and/or a $250,000 fine.

According to the Star Tribune, “A prominent Twin Cities defense attorney who has been charged with felony drug possession said Friday that he was framed by his former wife, who was trying to get even over several domestic disputes.? Sam McCloud, 64, who specializes in DWI cases, was arrested Wednesday, after authorities found 90 hydrocodone pills he had picked up from the post office. He was charged with third-degree drug possession as well as possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. “He said the sting was set up with false information from his ex-wife, Kerri M. Petterson, who had the illicit drugs mailed to his post office box.? McCloud has been previously convicted for assault, and has undergone chemical dependency treatment in the past five years.

Both articles provide good detail to tell the story. Both had fairly long leads, but told what had happened. The Pioneer Press mentions more about the arrest itself, while the Star Tribune goes more in-depth about McCloud’s past.

October 7, 2007

Wisconsin Hunter Found Guilty of Homicide

According to the Pioneer Press, “A jury found a white hunter guilty of second-degree intentional homicide Friday night in the killing of a Hmong immigrant while the two hunted squirrels in a northern Wisconsin wildlife area.? James Nichols faces up to 60 years after shooting Cha Vang in addition to being convicted of hiding a corpse and being a felon in possession of a firearm. “Nichols told investigators he and Cha Vang got into a dispute while hunting separately. He acknowledged shooting and stabbing Cha Vang but said he did it in self-defense. Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte said Nichols took advantage of the isolation in the woods to act on an ‘ugly trait of his - racism toward Hmong.’ Nichols’ accounts of the incident changed over time, and contradicted witness testimony. Judge David Miron said a sentencing date would be set next week.?

According to the Star Tribune, “A jury found a white former sawmill worker guilty Friday night in the shooting and stabbing death of a Hmong immigrant while they hunted squirrels in a wildlife area.? James Nichols was convicted of second-degree intentional homicide for killing Cha Vang, a case that “rekindled racial tensions? in northern Wisconsin, where six Caucasian hunters were fatally shot by a Hmong hunter three years ago. Nichols also was convicted of hiding a corpse and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Nichols claimed it was an act of self-defense. Vang’s brother and others in the Hmong community were upset that Nichols did not receive a maximum sentence.

These two articles basically provided the same information with the Star Tribune going a little more in-depth adding more from the Hmong community’s perspective. The Pioneer Press gave a more descriptive account of what actually happened, both in the woods and in the courtroom.

October 1, 2007

Minnesota's Smoking Ban Kicks in Monday

According to the Star Tribune, “Minnesota's "Freedom to Breathe Act" takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, forcing smokers to put out their cigarettes or take their habit outside of bars and restaurants.? Minnesota will become the 17th state to issue a statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. Carrying a lighted cigarette or cigar will be prohibited in most public places and workplaces. It will be legal in homes, cars, hotel rooms, a disabled veteran camp in Washington County, casinos, and in tobacco shops, if you’re trying out products. The new ban is supposed to be enforced by bar and restaurant owners, and local law enforcement. The consequences could be a fine of up to $300. The ban will be noticeable throughout the state.

The Pioneer Press printed the same Associated Press article 35 minutes earlier with a slightly different title. The article format is easy to read because it is written in a Q and A style, that allows the readers to get what they want.

September 29, 2007

Coen Brothers Back to Film in Minnesota

According to the Pioneer Press, the Coen brothers are scheduled to shoot a movie in Minnesota, for the first time since they shot “Fargo? in 1995. “The St. Louis Park natives, Joel and Ethan Coen, will film the dark comedy, "A Serious Man," next year in the Twin Cities.? The Coens shoot all of their movies on location, and “The Serious Man? is reportedly about a Jewish family in the Twin Cities in the 1960s. “It's not autobiographical, but, it's certainly based on the Coen brothers' experiences here, said Bob Graf, one of the film's executive producers.? No cast has been announced, however local talent played into the decision to film in Minnesota, said Graf. The Minnesota Film and TV Board are “thrilled? to have the Coen brothers back in Minnesota. “A Serious Man? is expected to be a $15 million production, and of that, more than $6 million would be spent in Minnesota going to industry workers, hotels, restaurants, supplies, and car rentals.

According to the Star Tribune, “For the first time since their Oscar-winning 1996 film “Fargo,? the Coen brothers are returning to Minnesota to make a movie.? “A Serious Man? set in Joel and Ethan Coen’s hometown of St. Louis Park, will begin shooting in March. The dark comedy centers on "Larry Gopnik, a Jewish college professor in the Midwest during the 1960s," according to the website FilmJerk. The Coens are currently filming their next feature “Burn After Reading? in New York. The film will “jumpstart? Minnesota’s visibility as a film location, said Minnesota Film and TV Board director Lucinda Winter.

The two articles gave generally the same information, however, the Star Tribune gave more information regarding the movie’s plot, and the Pioneer Press gave more about the Coen’s extensive film experience. The Pioneer Press also has fact blocks listed at the end that make the story a little harder to read. The Star Tribune was a little more specific about filming locations, and had more about recent movies made in Minnesota.

September 23, 2007

Man Faces Felony Charges after He Rips the Head off Hotel's Duck

According to the Pioneer Press and police, a Denver man ripped the head off of a live duck in a hotel lobby in downtown St. Paul. Scott Clark, 26, “allegedly drunk? early Saturday when he chased and cornered a duck from the lobby’s ornamental pond at the Embassy Suites. He grabbed the bird and “ripped its head from its body,? said police. “Clark turned to onlookers and said: ‘I'm hungry. I'm gonna eat it,’ according to the police report. Security guards detained Clark until police arrived. He spent Saturday night in the Ramsey County Jail on suspicion of felony cruelty to animal and was scheduled to appear before a judge Monday morning.? Several ducks remained in the lobby Saturday, paddling in the pond.
According to the Star Tribune, “A guest at the Embassy Suites hotel in St. Paul could face jail time and a $5,000 fine for ripping the head off a tame duck. A 26-year-old Denver businessman is in jail on suspicion of felony animal cruelty and is scheduled to appear in court Monday.? Police said the man chased one of about eight ducks kept in an ornamental pond and killed it at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. He then told onlookers he was hungry. “The man was detained by hotel security guards until police arrived and took him into custody.? A spokesman for the Minnesota Federated Humane Societies said the man could face up to two years in jail along with a fine. The spokesman blamed the hotel for not providing safety for the ducks, and suggested fish instead.
These two articles were fairly similar; however, the Pioneer Press had a more detailed account of the event itself. The Star Tribune didn’t list the man’s name due to some kind of policy they have of waiting to name suspects until they are formally charged. The Star Tribune did have a little different angle, focusing more on why it may have happened and how it could have been prevented.

September 22, 2007

Man Survives Fall, Five Nights in Woods

According to the Pioneer Press, “a Remer, Minn., man was recovering Friday after spending five nights in the woods without food or water after falling from a hunting stand.? Larry Mackey, 62, was in a bear-hunting stand when he fell 20 feet, breaking his hip and pelvis, immobilizing him for five days when temperatures dropped below freezing. “The retired bank employee said he sang and talked to himself to stay awake, flexed his muscles to stay warm and slept during the day when it was warmer.? While lying there, Mackey saw bears and wolves feeding off the bait he had set out. After five days, he was found by his and was brought to St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth. He had surgery, and doctors say he should have a good recovery. He's probably going to need a new hip later in life. His pelvis is going to heal up," Schnell said. “It was lucky that Mackey’s grandson found him when he did.?
According to the Star Tribune, “a Remer man is recovering after spending five nights in the woods without food or water. Larry Mackey, 62, fell from his bear-hunting stand about a mile from home Sept. 10, and broke his hip and pelvis.?
The rest of the Star Tribune’s article includes the same information as the Pioneer Press, except that it has fewer details and contains no quotes from doctors on Mackey’s condition.

September 17, 2007

Escaped Convict Surrenders

According to the Pioneer Press, police have apprehended a fugitive who escaped Lino Lakes prison after a week of searching. Jun William Vang turned himself in at 10:30 a.m. to police at an undisclosed St. Paul location. “Jun Vang, 27, walked away from the minimum-security unit of the Lino Lakes prison Sept. 8, where he was serving a 13-year sentence for second-degree attempted murder. Officials said he left prison grounds in a vehicle waiting for him. Jun Vang's escape caused a stir among some Lino Lakes residents because the public wasn't informed of the escape for at least 45 hours. Shari Burt, a corrections spokeswoman, said Saturday that officials didn't immediately notify the public of Jun Vang's prison escape because he was a minimum-security risk and they didn't want to scare him into hiding or out of state. Jun Vang was scheduled for parole in February, but corrections officials indicated his escape could affect his release date.?
According to the Star Tribune, a 27-year-old escaped convict was back in custody at the Ramsey County jail on Saturday.? Jun William Vang was in contact with officials when he agreed to turn himself in. “On Sept. 8, Vang had walked away from the Lino Lakes prison, where he was serving a sentence for attempted second- degree murder for the benefit of a gang. Vang had been in the state prison system since 1999 and escaped with just five months left on his sentence.?
Both stories tell the reader what they need to know, however, the Pioneer Press goes into a little more detail. Perhaps because the Pioneer Press is based in St. Paul, they had more sources on the story and chose to give their audience more. It was interesting that they stated his escape “could? effect his parole date, however anything is possible. Because he wasn’t considered dangerous, a shorter report on this story makes sense.

September 16, 2007

Investigation Continues after Bicyclist is Found Dead

According to the Pioneer Press, police are investigating the death of a south Minneapolis man, found beaten Thursday morning. “The death of Mark Loesch, 41, has been ruled a homicide. He died from "multiple blunt force head impacts," the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said this morning. Police found Loesch lying near his bike outside a home about 7 a.m. Thursday at 3732 Elliot Ave. S. He died at the scene. Loesch was last seen at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday at his south Minneapolis home, less than a mile and a half from where he died. He left his home to go for a late bike ride, according to published reports. He was known as an avid cyclist. No arrests have been made, but police say they are investigating various leads.?
According to the Star Tribune, Mark Loesch told his wife he was going out for a “quick spin? on his newly fixed bike Wednesday night after watching the 10 p.m. news. Gene Chadwick, a friend of Loesch, said Loesch may have been headed to his house. But, he never made it. “Loesch was found about halfway between his house and Chadwick’s in the 3700 block of Elliot Avenue S., barely breathing on a front lawn about 7 a.m. Thursday. He was dead by the time paramedics arrived. Police say the 41-year-old father of four is the city's 35th homicide victim this year. He died from ‘severe trauma.’ Loesch, an information technology consultant, was an avid bicyclist, and it was common for him to ride at night, said Chadwick. Samantha Loesch called police early Thursday after she woke to find that her husband of 16 years had not returned home, said Will Vervair, a childhood friend. He'd left his wallet and cell phone at home, Chadwick said.? The incident has upset the community in which Loesch was found. “‘I'm so angry and shocked at this horrible violence in our community,’ City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden said Friday. A devoted father of three girls and one boy ranging in age from 3 to 14, Loesch could be found on his knees playing with plastic horses with his daughter or building LEGO robots with his son. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.
These two reports were both effective. The Pioneer Press article seems to have been written from a press report, only stating the facts with no personal information. The Star Tribune article goes in-depth listing his occupation, family information, and focuses more on the effect the incident had on the people related to the man and the area he died in. A weak point of the Pioneer Press article was that they didn’t make it clear as to whether he was alive or not when police arrived, and whether there were any rescue attempts. In some ways, the Pioneer Press article was more descriptive, giving the exact address of where Loesch was found, while the Star Tribune gave the block he was found on. The Pioneer Press also gave a more descriptive account of his cause of death stating it was from “multiple blunt force impacts,? compared to the Star Tribune’s “severe trauma.? Also, one of the Star Tribune’s sub-headlines was misleading saying, “‘Somebody saw something,’? when the actual quote said, “You would think somebody saw something.? The Star Tribune gave readers a more personal story while the Pioneer Press just gave the facts, leaving the reader with more questions. Perhaps, the Pioneer Press is setting up a bigger story after later developments, which is logical because they ended the story saying, Twincities.com will post updates as more information becomes available.