October 6, 2008

35W has people thinking about other area construction

The 35W bridge went up in 11 months. Some highway construction projects take more than three years. People have begun asking why.

The article doesn't really answer "Why" it just says what things were special about the 35W construction and juxtaposes them with other projects, like highway 62 and parts of 494.

For instance, the 35W project had just one manager over everything, not a bunch of managers for different parts. Certainly, streamlining like this and taking out a bunch of the middlemen is a good thing and helped stuff get through quicker.

35W also was using some of the most modern construction practices.

Also, since the road was completely closed (read: gone) there was no traffic, and when there's no traffic, construction crews can work a lot quicker.

It's a good article in that it points out the special circumstances of the 35W bridge apart from the fact that it was a tragedy and there was immense need and approval to get it up quickly.
It doesn't really answer "Why" though, but it couldnt without straying into the realm of opinion. So maybe the opinions page will answer that question.

September 29, 2008

Impulse made Freedom Rider of Peter Ackerberg

This is a very interesting feature on Peter Ackerberg, a Prospect Park resident who was a reporter for the Minneapolis Star.
It's very interesting to see how Chris Steller balanced between paraphrasing and direct quotes when painting a scene, so to speak. I'm interested in what judgements get made during that. Is it OK to paraphrase scenery passages, or describing emotions? Steller wasn't in the South during the Civil Rights movement, so does he need to constantly attribute this back to Ackerberg, the new book "Breach of Peace," or did Steller and his editor come to a consensus that it read clearly enough that a reader would understand that the reporter isn't pulling this stuff out of thin air?
This isn't the newsiest piece of news to blog about, but i was tired of going to Star Tribune for local stories. I used to get The Bridge for free in my mailbox, but i moved and i don't get it anymore.
It's also just a pretty good feature.

September 22, 2008

Eden Prairie third best place to retire

Eden Prairie was named the third-healthiest place to retire by U.S. News and World Report. Ahead of it are Bella Vista, Ark., and Boulder, Colo. The criteria that influenced the decision were things like providing places to exercise, promoting strong social support and encouraging healthy lifestyle habits, cost of living, recreational opportunities and climate.
Ranking behind Eden Prairie are Green Valley, Ariz. at No. 4 and Issaquah, Wash. at No. 5, followed by Longmeadow, Mass, Portland, Maine, Punta Gorda Fla., Reston, Va. and Walnut Creek, Calif.
The story in the Strib didn't have much more than that, given that the report was just published Sunday. Maybe more will come of this, if the Strib editors decide to pursue stories on local businesses in Eden Prairie in relation to seniors and the like.

September 9, 2008

Rashad Raleigh, killer of Probation officer Porter

Today on the Pi Press' Web stie, they had a news brief reporting that Rashad Raleigh, who plead guilty to killing Howard Porter in May 2007, a probation officer and former basketball star, received a sentence of life without parole. He pleaded guilty to this crime in an agreement to avoid charges for a triple murder in Ramsey county that took place just a few months before the Porter murder. He could still face federal charges for that crime, however.

It was a standard news brief, which had its middle paragraph devoted to telling facts about Porter — his basketball stardom at Villanova in the early '70s, his seven pro seasons thereafter, his cocaine abuse and rehabilitation.The brief says that another defendent pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting, and a third defendent's murder trial is set to begin soon.

On, they have a much more in-depth, almost feature-style account of Monday's court proceedings.
In this version, we find out that the defense's attempt to remove Raleigh from the court during the prosecution's impact testimonies was turned down by the court, so he had to stay in the court while Porter's widow and sister told stories of how their lives have been changed.
Also divulged are the details of the murder, and the two other defendents' names: Tonya E. Johnson, who pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting, and Fredquinzo (Snake Eyes) King.
Johnson ployed Porter into her house under pretenses of sexual intercourse. While they were in the middle of a sex act, Raleigh and King helped Johnson beat him to death. The motive was robbery.
Also learned from this article were the circumstances of the triple murder Raleigh was allegedly involved in but was able to avoid a state trial for. Slain were Maria McLay, 32, her boyfriend, Otahl Saunders, and her 15-year-old daughter, Brittany Kekedakis, in the head. Two younger children escaped. Those slain were shot to death.
The Star Tribune account has many quick jots of descriptions about the weeping witnesses and the "red-eyed and expressionless" Raleigh.
"Eventually, [Judge] McGunnigle asked Raleigh if he wanted to address the court before his sentence was read.
He replied simply, 'No.' "

One has to think that the news brief was the most coverage (at least online) in the Pioneer Press because this was a case that happened in Minneapolis, but the Star Tribune article said that 2,500 people mourned him, attending services in more than three states.
One article went for facts, one went for emotion.