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March 29, 2009

Obituary Analysis

Archie Green Obituary in the Los Angeles Times

Archie Green's obituary takes on the standard obituary lead by focusing on one main "claim to fame" point of his life; the fact that he merged his university training and blue-collar work into a field of study all his own. The age of his death is incorporated into the story, instead of being blatantly stated as "he was 91," though. The second paragraph does state the cause of death, which was of kidney failure, and where he died, at his home.

Sources used within the story are primarily quotes from Green himself. There is one quote from an old friend, Robert Cantwell, which spoke about his character and how he viewed working men as important aspects to the culture of the day. Other than that, however, all of the quotes are either from interviews Green did previously or writings from his books. This is a good approach for this man because he was a self-made legend. He was interested in the working class culture and labor unions and made these things something for the rest of the world to take note of through his own studies. Other people cannot express what he wanted to do better than his own words can.

The lead works in this story because it is encompassing his entire life by pinning his university education against his other "working" education. He truly did merge both areas of his life into one field of study, which is not only his claim to fame, but is understood through the timeline of his life.

The obituary differs from a resume because a resume cannot indicate the impact his work has had. A resume would only list his accomplishments, where his obituary shows the impact he had, the work he did to create that impact and the way in which the world has taken his idea and run with it. It is not a straightforward list of accomplishments, but rather a melding of times in his life that were significant and what that meant in relation to his main goal of educating the world on a particular working class culture.

St. Olaf students win Rube Goldberg contest

Students from St. Olaf won the Rube Goldberg Contest Saturday at Purdue University.

The machine they built took 239 steps to replace an incandescent light bulb with a more energy efficient one, the StarTribune reported.

St. Olaf was the only liberal arts college that competed, and was also the only school without an engineering program, which is where most of the contraptions that win come from, according to the StarTribune.

The teams each needed to run the machines two times for the judges, with only 20 minutes between times in order to reset the machine, according to St. Olaf College News.

"We are really excited to have won this," Bern Youngblood, the team's captain, told St. Olaf College News. "The team put a lot of work into the machine, and we all learned a lot from the experience."

This was the first year of competition for St. Olaf. A University of Illinois team finished second in the competition and Ferris State University of Big Rapids, Mich. took third, according to the StarTribune.

The competition aims to bring to life the complicated machines designed to do simple tasks that cartoonist Rube Goldberg drew, the StarTribune reported.

Earth Hour a success across the world

More than 2,800 cities worldwide participated in Earth Hour from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to UPI.

Earth Hour is a symbolic gesture in which cities, businesses and homeowners turn off their lights for an hour. This dark hour draws attention to global warming and climate change, CNN and UPI reported.

People in 83 countries and all 24 time zones turned off their lights in honor of this event, according to UPI.

Earth Hour began in Sydney two years ago, and this year hundreds of people gathered at the city's harbor to watch the lights go off at 8:30 p.m., according to the event organizers and UPI.

The "Birds Nest" Olympic Stadium in China, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Colosseum in Rome, Big Ben in London, and the U.S. Capitol Dome in Washington were only a few historic landmarks that switched off their lights in contribution to the event, the Associated Press reported.

"Earth Hour has always been a positive campaign," Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley told the Associated Press. "It's always around street parties, not street protests, it's the idea of hope, not despair. And I think that's something that's been incredibly important this year because there is so much despair around."

Gunman kills 8 at a North Carolina nursing home

A man opened fire at a Carthage, N.C. nursing home on Sunday morning, killing seven patients and one nurse.

Six people were taken by ambulance to the nearby First Health Moore Regional Hospital, the New York Times reported. By that evening, three had been released, one was still being treated and two had died, according to Gretchen Kelly, the hospital spokeswoman.

Suspect Robert Stewart began the attack on the Pinelake Heath and Rehab home at 10 a.m., according to Maureen Krueger, the Moore County District Attorney, The New York Times reported.

The residents slain ranged from 78 to 98 years old, according to CNN.

Stewart, 45, was wounded by a police officer and caught on the scene, according to Carthage Police Chief Chris McKenzie.

Stewart will face eight counts of murder and one count of felony assault on a police officer, CNN reported.

March 28, 2009

Man commits arson outside Minneapolis church

A small fire was started in the St. Olaf Catholic Church in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday.

The church, which has been open for 70 years to the community, had installed a high-tech security system in 2007 that monitors the building. The person who started the fire was caught by one of the surveillance cameras, Kare 11 reported.

The person walked through the doorway to the second level, at the top of the stairs, and appeared to pour something onto the carpet, Kare 11 reported.

The liquid was then lit on fire and the suspect walked out. A member of the church staff found and put out the fire when it was still small, according to Kare 11.

"Churches have to walk a very fine line between being open and available to their worshippers and then securing their property, and that someone would take advantage of that openness that St. Olaf tries to promote is disgraceful," Minneapolis Police arson investigator Sean McKenna told Kare 11.

This incident is serious because a place of worship was targeted, the StarTribune reported.

The police are investigating it as an arson fire, and if flammable liquid was used to start the fire, the charge could be first degree arson with up to 20 years in prison as a punishment, according to Kare 11.

13-year-old boy bites 11 people, blames "Twilight"

A 13-year-old McCombs Middle School student has been accused of biting 11 students at the Des Moines school, the Des Moines Register reported Thursday.

The boy has been accused of biting the students between Feb. 10 and March 13, according to a Des Moines police report. He was referred to a juvenile detention center.

The case was brought to Des Moines police's attention after the boy bit a 13-year-old female on the right hand at a track meet. Vice President Connie Sloan of McCombs Middle School investigated the incident and found 10 other students that the boy had bitten who had not come forward.

The police contacted the boys father, who said that his son was biting students because of the movie "Twilight," and that he had no intention of hurting anyone, the Des Moines Register reported.

The boy was given a delayed referral to juvenile court on an assault charge, according to the Des Moines Register.

"Twilight" is a recent, popular vampire movie with tween and teen audiences.

Another source that provided similar information: Softpedia News

March 13, 2009

Ten people die in gunman's shooting spree

A gunman killed 10 people on a shooting spree through three rural Alabama communities Thursday.

The gunman, Michael Kenneth McLendon, went on an hour-long rampage firing more than 200 rounds from four different guns, the Associated Press reported.

Police do no know what triggered the attack, where he murdered his mother, grandmother, uncle and two cousins. He continued to kill five seemingly random victims throughout the 24 mile shooing spree before killing himself, according to the Associated Press.

"This event formed the single deadliest crime recorded in Alabama," Col. Chris Murphy, the director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, told MSNBC.

The most significant evidence so far is a list of people that the gunman said "done him wrong," according to MSNBC.

Runner attacked at Lake Phalen

A female runner was attacked and robbed on Wednesday as she was running around lake Phalen in St. Paul.

The woman was running north on the west side of the lake at 6 p.m. when she was approached by two suspects wearing full face masks, Maplewood police told Fox 9 News.

The suspects struck the woman in the head, pushed her to the ground, kicked her and stole her iPod, according to the StarTribune.

She walked away with no serious injuries, Fox 9 News reported.

"Fortunately, though bruised, she was not more seriously injured," police said in a news release, according to StarTribune.

Police are investigating this case and if there are any possible connections to similar incidents which have occurred around Lake Phalen in recent months. StarTribune

March 12, 2009

House passes water bill

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a water bill that dedicates $19.4 billion to water and wastewater infrastructure on Thursday.

The bill, which also dedicates $13.8 billion to states water funds over 5 years, would create jobs, clean up the Great Lakes and help cities build wastewater systems, the StarTribune reported.

"The agenda for clean water is for this generation," Oberstar told StarTribune. "We have to manage it well."

The bill passed 317 to 101 and is a combination of five pieces of legislation that had passed in the House the previous year, but stalled when they reached the Senate, according to Reuters.

The bill would require states to provide principal forgiveness and negative-interest loans when working with water projects in low income communities, Reuters reported.

The other three pieces of legislation include another $2.5 billion in grants for sewer overflows, $250 million for alternative water source projects and $750 million for cleaning up the pollution within the Great Lakes. Reuters

Young Minnesotans qualify for National Spelling Bee

The fourth of five young Minnesotan spellers who will qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee has been determined.

Barnesville’s Ryne Kisch, a seventh-grader, won the regional bee in Fergus Falls Thursday, the StarTribune reported.

Ryne joins last week’s winners Daniel Halvorson, a home-schooled 14-year-old from Mankato, and Laura Galbus, an eighth-grader from Kasson-Mantorville School District. StarTribune, Post-Bulletin

Audrey Lothspeich, an eighth-grader from Brainerd won a regional bee on Feb. 12, according to the StarTribune.

The final regional spelling bee is in the Minnesota Historical Center in St. Paul Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

The Scripps National Spelling See will be televised from Washington, D.C., on May 26-28, Post-Bulletin reported.

Disaster declared in Australia after oil spill

Authorities declared parts of Australia's northeast coast a disaster area Friday.

A ship lost more than 30 tons of oil Thursday, causing at least 60 kilometers of beach coastline to be contaminated with the oil slick, according to Reuters.

Moreton Island, Bribie Island and southern parts of the Sunshine Coast were declared disaster zones, according to Reuters.

"It may well be the worst environmental disaster Queensland has ever seen," Queensland state Premier Anna Bligh told Australian Associated Press.

The ship was damaged in heavy seas from the tropical cyclone Hamish, which hit the waters off of Australia with winds greater than 125 km/h, according to CNN International.

A ship also spilled at least 30 containers of chemicals in the heavy seas, Australian officials told CNN International.

The authorities are still trying to assess the affect the ammonium nitrate would have on marine life, CNN International reported.

March 8, 2009

Advance Analysis

Advance: Coming in September: A Beatles edition of the `Rock Band' video game

This advance is giving information related to the September release of a 'Rock Band' and Beatles collaboration. Sources used include the Beatles' management, who said when the game will debut, which is Sept. 19, and that instruments similar to those that members of the Beatles played will be for sale before the game is released. Representatives of the Beatles and Rock Band were also cited and were reported to have been collaborating on the project for quite a while. MTV Games is another source used; they are the producers of the project.

The angle of the story is primarily based on novelty of the popularity of both the Beatles and the 'Rock Band' game. 'Rock Band' has been available for Xbox360, Playstation 3, and Wii video game consoles, making it incredibly common for people to be able to play. This takes the angle that it has been a long road in producing the final product, which is in part due to the fact that the Beatles have been slow to embrace technology. One of the points made to support this is that their music is not even available on Apple's iTunes.

The reporter has given the date and logistics of the release, but has also shown how the production process was more than a few e-mails between executives. The original game was not even supposed to be made for 'Rock Band,' so it has taken a few different directions than were originally planned. The reporter put in useful information for both Beatles and 'Rock Band' aficionados, making the article appeal not only to those who just love the Beatles or who just love 'Rock Band,' but to both groups of people.

NASA clears shuttle for liftoff on Wednesday

NASA managers cleared the space shuttle Discovery Friday for its upcoming launch to the International Space Station on Wednesday. Reuters

The shuttle is on a construction mission and is scheduled for liftoff at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., MSNBC reported.

The fourth and final set of U.S.-manufactured solar wing panels will be delivered to the station by the shuttle, aiding in the $100 billion project that has been under construction by 16 nations for more than a decade, according to Reuters.

The station assembly, which has been a large part of U.S. human space exploration for almost 30 years, is scheduled to be completed next year by NASA.

The launch, originally scheduled for Feb. 12, was postponed due to safety concerns with the ship’s fuel pressure valves, MSNBC reported.

This is the 125th shuttle mission and the first of five planned for this year, according to Reuters. It is scheduled to last 14 days.

Two British military members killed in Northern Ireland

Two British military members were shot dead and four others were wounded in a shooting incident at an army base in Northern Ireland, police said Saturday.

Pizza was being delivered in Massarene, in Antrim County, when gunmen opened fire from a passing car at about 9:40 p.m., shooting soliders and delivery drivers, eyewitnesses told CNN.

Two military personnel and two civilians were taken to the hospital in Antrim with serious injuries after the attack, which occurred 200 yards from a police station where suspected militants were believed to be detained and questioned recently.

"We haven't lost a soldier or policeman to terror in quite some time," David Burnside, an assembly member from the loyalist Ulster Unionist Party who also represents south Antrim, told CNN. "We had hoped these days were behind us."

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Shaun Woodward, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, condemned the attack, calling it an 'act of criminal barbarism,' the Belfast Telegraph reported.

Ohio man kills self after murdering 5 others

An Ohio man killed himself Friday after being cornered in a house by police in relation to the killings of five people, Cleveland, Ohio police said.

Davon Crawford, 33, was suspected of killing his new wife, Lechea Crawford, 30, his wife's sister Rose Stevens, 25, and her sisters three children, 5-year-old Destiny Woods and 2-year-old twins Deon and Davion Primm, USA Today reported.

A 7-year-old boy is in the hospital for a gunshot wound to his shoulder, a 12-year-old managed to escape the shooting and Crawford's 2-month-old daughter was unharmed, according to CNN.

Police began searching for Crawford Thursday.

"It looks like it was some type of domestic argument that sparked this tragedy," Police Chief Michael McGrath told CNN Friday.

Crawford did have a criminal record including serving time for manslaughter in 1995 and having gone to prison in 2002 after pleading guilty to felony assault with a firearm, endangering children and other charges, according to USA Today.

March 7, 2009

Southwest Airlines to being Minneapolis-St. Paul service

Southwest Airlines begins Minneapolis-St. Paul service Sunday, making this launch for the company the first in a new city since August 2007.

Southwest will fly eight daily round-trip flights from MSP to Chicago's Midway Airport, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

"There's very high fares on that route. And there's as many people flying between those two cities as we serve between Dallas and Houston, maybe more," Gary Kelly, Southwest's chairman told USA Today.

The competition that Southwest will give Northwest Airlines has already lowered fares to Chicago, which, with over a million passengers a year, is the heaviest-traveled air round out of the Twin Cities, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Kelly told USA Today that the decision to move into the MSP market is not affiliated with the expected merger of Northwest Airlines and Delta.

Southwest is USA's leading discount airline and carries more domestic pasengers than any other airline, according to USA Today.

Apple Valley woman injured in hit-and-run

A 25-year-old Apple Valley woman was a victim of a hit-and-run on Friday, police said. StarTribune

Joan Levasseur, who is deaf, was hit by an unidentified vehicle while walking eastbound across Cedar Ave. at 153rd Street in Apple Valley at 9:11pm Friday.

Levasseur was taken to Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville and then transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

A spokesperson for HCMC told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Levasseur was in critical condition.

Levasseur suffered a trauma to the head, severe brain injury, fractures to both legs, a fractured pelvis, a broken right hand and lacerations to her face, Levasseur's sister-in-law told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Witnesses told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the vehicle was large and light-colored, but there are currently no suspects.

The incident is under investigation by the Apple Valley Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol.