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July 19, 2007

Hot Dog Chili Sauce Linked to Botulism

Botulism is a bacteria that causes paralysis in people that contract it. And apparently four people - two in Texas, a pair of siblings, and two in Indiana, an adult couple - contracted it from hot dog chili sauce. MMM, that's good chili!
The Strib's coverage sought out spokespeople from the Centers for Disease Control, Castleberry foods co. (the company that made the chili con carnage) and the FDA.
Apparently this is baffling that it happened to canned foods, because they usually heat the canned goods up to such a temperature as to kill the botulinim spores.
The spokesman for Castleberry foods was their Senior V.P. of marketing, which i thought was weird. Does that mean he's like the chief P.R. guy, or that he heads up their advertising? i dunno. I thought maybe there was someone else that could've been talked to at Castleberry, or its parent, Bumble Bee Seafoods LLC, based out in San Diego.
The article listed out the UPCs for the contaminated chili cans, always a good thing.
It was an AP article, so i didn't find any different information when i looked it up at CNN.com. Although there they didn't list out the UPCs.
About 25 cases of botulism are reported each year, but they come from home-canned goods. Again, that's why people at Castleberry and the CDC are going, "hey, wha' happened?"

July 18, 2007

Amped-Up camp

this was a story i found when i came home from work tuesday night (actually wednesday morning, so this must be going in the 18th's paper) about a rock n roll camp for young girls aged 9 to 17. It's called Girls Rock n Roll Retreat (GRRR) and they have it out in Golden Valley. This is a program where girls get to put together a rock band and let loose, (which i think is awesome, and if i ever had a girl, or a boy, i'd put em in stuff like this. especially with girls i think it's important to get them havin good self esteem early on.) and local women who have ties to the music world in some aspect, or in the case of Karen Gustafson, the camp director, a psychologist. It seems the goal is to get girls in the mindset that they don't have to be the pretty singer - they can be the (badass) drummer or whatever. This camp here in Minnesota is tied up with the International Girls Rock Camp Alliance, which started in Portland, Ore., in 2001.
So i went to the web to see if the IGRCA had a Web site. Of course they did. girlsrockcamp.org. they list out their values:

We value the power of music as a means to create personal and social change;
We value efforts that actively expand opportunities for girls and women;
We value positive approaches to fighting sexism;
We value integrity, honesty and respect;
We value appropriate sharing of resources, cooperation, and collaboration;
We value using our collective voice to further our mission;
We value diversity.
(pretty f'in cool)

they also have a camp for ladies 19 and up. And in Portland they're trying to put together an all-girl "break crew" for those who dig hip-hop. People from the group in Portland also started a record and distribution label. This is something pretty neat i've never heard of before.
Their mission statement reads "The Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls, a 501(c)3 non-profit, builds girls self-esteem through music creation and performance. Providing workshops and technical training, we create leadership opportunities, cultivate a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encourage social change and the development of life skills."
The strib's article is in the lifestyle section. It covers the couple of days of camp the girls have, where they split off by role in the band - singer, guitarist, bassist, etc. - and work on their craft, attitude and look, then they get together for band practice. Girls with prior experience are not allowed to play covers. Everyone writes songs. (rad.) There's good voice in there from both the volunteers at the camp and the girls who are participating in the camp. There's no bits on crowd reaction. The camp ended with a show in front of about 200 people.


the pioneer press wasn't running anything on this, not that i could find anyway.
Definitely a cool alternative camp experience for kids in the summer.

July 12, 2007

Man goes on police chase early tuesday morning

a 26-year-old man named Jimmy gene McNab was all wasted and had a chase across three county lines in his mustang with police. they finally stopped him basically because his car was nearly undriveable (my words, not the reporter's). I found this online at the strib's Web site. his tire was flat and it had lost so much rubber that he was driving on the rim and shooting sparks everywhere. Then as soon as he gets out of the car, a little dog gets out with him. Luckily the dog was OK. Richard Meryhew's kicker was a quote from the police saying that luckily no one was injured, even the dog turned out OK. then Meryhew says "except for McNab, whose next court appearance is July 24." i thought that was a good kicker.
Also, this story is structured just like we were supposed to structure our news story for the spot news lab. It's got the most important facts in the first section, such as what he's being charged with, where he's from, what region of MN this took place in, and then goes into a chronilogical re-telling thanks to the police report. this could have been one of our stories in a can.