CAR analysis

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USA Today's story about lead factory contamination in nearby yards is a good example of CAR reporting.

They looked at records of soil tests and documents of hazardous contamination. USA Today also did their own soil testing of 21 neighborhoods. They used a 2007 report by the EPA to show the lack of response to previous concerns of contamination.

The reporter used analysis of these reports and data to determine they needed to do their own examination of the quality of government assessments.

They needed computer skills to a) find the documents and reports b) compute their own data. They needed basic searching skills along with more technical skills for testing.

TV for your dog

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Filmakers have created a TV show just for man's best friend. DogTV is eight-hours of on-demand cable TV programming designed to keep your dog relaxed, stimulated and entertained while you are at work, reported the Associated Press.

The show, currently airing to over a million viewers with two different cable companies in San Diego, is doing so well that PTV Media will offer it nationally in the next few months, Gilad Neumann, chief executive officer of DogTV, said to Associated Press.

It will cost about $4.99 a month, Neumann said. More than 46 million U.S. households have dogs (according to the American Pet Products Association) and 97 percent of U.S. homes have televisions.

To get the footage, camermen shoot "from the point of view of the dog," Neumann said. They then mute colors, alter sound and add music specially written for dogs. The show will have no commercials, ratings or reruns.

Mary Catania of San Diego is the owner of a year-old French bulldog that has been watching the show for a month and snorts and grunts his approval, she told the Associated Press.

"I always feel guilty leaving him alone all day when I'm at work," Catania said. "He's like my kid. I don't have any children so I really treat him like my child. Anything that makes him happy makes me happy."

The sights and sounds of the shows are muted, changed and added to accomodate the hearing level of dogs, their inability to see red and green, and incorporate stimulation and relaxtion patterns based on dog sleeping habits. New technology may be used to include smell as part of the programming.

Firework bill passes Minn. Senate

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A bill allowing for more explosive fireworks passed the Minn. Senate 41-22 on Tuesday. The House version of the bill is waiting for a floor vote.

Currently, the law only allows residents to purchase and use sparklers and other low-explosive toys, according to KSTP news.

Supporters of the bill say Minnesota residents buy large fireworks in Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota anyway. They say that, by allowing these larger explosives within state borders, they would generate money from sales taxes and eliminate a law rarely enforced.

Critics said that hospitals, law enforcement and fire chief organizations are opposed to the law because it will increase injuries and property damages.

The bill would take effect on June 1, if approved.

University of Colorado hopes to stop '420

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April 20, better known to some as "420," is unofficially known as a day for smoking and advocating the legalization of marijuana.

At the University of Colorado Boulder, one of the biggest pro-pot rallies is held annually at 4:20 p.m. on the campus' Norlin quad, reported CNN. Last year, more than 10,000 people showed up to smoke on the quad, some of them flying in from other states.

This year the University wants to end the ritual. They will close off the campus to anyone who isn't student or faculty, with violators facing trespassing charges. Police may also give out tickets to those smoking, though last year there were only 23 tickets and five arrests made for marijuana possesion.

The main way the campus is looking to prevent people from the smoke out is by fertilizing the quad with a strong fish-smelling fertilizer.

"We're trying to do things to make it not a fun place to be," said University spokesman Bronson Hilliard to CNN.

Sixteen states have legalized the use of medical marijuana and Colorado and Washington are considering the legalization of the drug, according to the Associated Press.

Abortion bills pass Minn. House, Senate

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Two unrelated abortion bills passed the Minn. House and Senate on Wednesday.

The house passed a bill requiring a woman to take an abortion pill, like RU-486, in the presence of a doctor, reported the Star Tribune.

The bill passed also had an ammendment proposed and voted on. Proposed by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, the ammendment would require medical supervision of men taking Viagra, reported the Star Tribune. The house voted the ammendment down 95-28.

The Senate passed a bill requiring the state to licence clinics performing more than 10 abortions a month and subject the clinics to random inspections, according to the Star Tribune.

Sen. Claire Robling told lawmakers that the bill will prevent dangerous conditions being found in a few abortion clinics in other states, reported MPR.

DFL opponents say the bill singles out clinics that perform abortions and is unnecessary, reported MPR. The bill still needs House approval.

Taliban Commander turns self in for reward

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A mid-level Taliban commander in Paktika province, Mohammad Ashan, walked up to a police checkpoint holding a "Wanted" poster with his face on it. He demanded the finders fee of $100 written on the poster, reported the Washington Post.

Suspected of plotting two attacks on Afghan security forces, officials arrested him on the spot.

When U.S troops went to confirm it was Ashan, they were in disbelief.

"We asked him, 'Is this you?' Mohammad Ashan answered with an incredible amount of enthusiasm, 'Yes, yes, that's me! Can I get my award now?'" recalled SPC Matthew Baker told the Washington Post.

His identity as the wanted insurgent was confirmed with a biometric scan.

Wanted posters are distributed by NATO often, but mostly without direct results of an arrest. Some officials guess that the unusual circumstances of Ashan's arrset point towards desperation, lack of resources and its defiance of law and order. But others disagree.

"Clearly," one U.S. official said, "the man is an imbecile."

Best Buy Co. CEO resigns

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Best Buy Co. CEO Brian Dunn announced his resignition from the retailer.

The company announced on Tuesday that the decision was mutual and there were no disagreements with Dunn on any matter, according the the Associated Press report.

Dunn's resignition came just under two weeks after the company announced its plans to close 50 of its U.S. stores, open 100 small-format stores and cut $800 million in costs within the next five years.

Circuit City filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008 and Best Buy is working to avoid doing the same. According to AP, big electronic retailers have been suffering as people buy their products online or from discount stores.

Best Buy said board member Mike Mikan will act as interim CEO until the company finds a permanent replacement.

7th graders save bus

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MILTON, Wash.-- Two seventh grade boys helped gain control of a bus when the driver suffered a medical emergency Monday morning.

Jeremy Wuitschick was returning to school on Monday after spring break when he noticed something wrong with the bus driver, reported Kare 11.

"The bus driver starts convulsing, his eyes are bulging... making weird rasping noises and his hands are twitching..." Wuitschick told Kare 11.

The 13-year-old ran down the aisle from his seat, turned the wheel to the right, bringing the bus to the side of the road, and took the keys out of the ignition, reported King 5 news. Wuitschick said he has some experience with cars because his mom lets him drive down their driveway.

Videos from the bus surveillance camera shows the boy starting chest compressions on the driver before another boy, Johny Wood, came up and told Wuitschick he knows CPR, according to King 5.

Wood told somebody to call 911, got students to clear the area and began performing the procedure.

The driver was brought to the hospital and it is still not clear what the problem he was suffering from. Deputy Schools Superintendent Jeff Short said he was in "grave" condition at the hospital, according to ABC news.

Short said students go over emergency bus procedures for what to do if the driver is incapacitated.

"I think they did an outstanding job," Short said.

A kindergarten boy showed off fifty packets of heroin for show and tell on Monday.

According to the Connecticut Post, the boy's stepfather was arrested when he came to retrieve the drugs.

The 5-year-old showed up to school wearing his stepfather's jacket. When it was time for his presentation, he opened the jacket and displayed 10 bags containing five folds of heroin, police spokesman Keith Bryant told the Connecticut Post.

The teacher immediately confiscated the drugs and contacted the principal who called police.

The boy's stepfather, Santos Roman, 35, came to the school searching for his stepson and the drugs, police told the Connecticut Post. When he found his jacket in an empty classroom he grabbed it and found the drugs gone. They had already been given to police.

Roman was taken into custody and charged with risk of injury to a minor, possession of narcotics, sale of narcotics and possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school. His bail is set at $100,000, according to the Associated Press.

The 5-year-old is in custody of the state until relatives can be contacted.

UMD play upsets Catholics

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A play scheduled for next week by the University of Minnesota Duluth has Catholics objecting because of its criticism of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust.

The play, "The Deputy", a 1963 script, is part of the school's annual Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration, reported the Duluth News Tribune. It criticizes the pope for not doing enough for Jews in the face of the Holocaust.

A Duluth priest, Fr. Richard Kunst, spoke with UMD Chancellor Lendley Black about cancelling the play. Other local Catholics have also contacted the school with their objections, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

Black said they play will be performed as scheduled.

The year's theme for the commemoration is "Religious Institutions' Response to the Holocaust," and has discussions of multiple religious groups' response to save the Jews during that time.

The play itself isn't causing a lot of the upset, though. According to the Duluth News Tribune, the postcard for the event shows a faceless pope standing with a Nazi soldier on top of a Holocaust victim on one half. On the other half is Pope Pius XII above a concentration camp crematorioum

Kunst said the allegations in the play have been proven wrong and the play and postcard are "nothing more than hate speech."

This year's chairwoman of the Baeumler Kaplan Committee, Deborah Petersen-Periman, said they are only intending to raise awareness. She knows the event will be provocative but anyone is welcome to join the discussion following the play.

The commemoration runs Thursday through April 19 at UMD. "The Deputy, Acy IV" is set for Sunday.

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