March 2012 Archives

Mega Millions $360 million jackpot goes unclaimed

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California state officials announced the new $500 million Mega Millions jackpot for Friday after the prize went unclaimed Wednesday, the Silicon Valley Mercury News said.

Whether the winner is found Friday or not, the jackpot will be the biggest in human history.

The largest jackpot to be awarded before this one was $390 million, which was split by winners in Georgia and New Jersey in 2007.

Between last Friday and Tuesday, California sold more than $50 million in tickets.

The odds against guessing all six winning numbers correctly are around 1 in 176,000,000.

The thought of the jackpot increasing even more is a possibility as well, but with the rising popularity, it's realistic to think a winner will be determined very soon.

A baby girl died in Boyd after her mother suffered a medical condition that caused her to fall on top of her child, the Star Tribune said.

Authorities were called to the home in rural western Minnesota, where they found 28-year-old Joyce Whitmore unresponsive and on top of her 15-day-old baby, Skylar Shipley.

Police said the baby suffocated, but both were taken to the Dawson hospital before the baby was pronounced dead. Whitmore was airlifted to another hospital while in serious condition.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident, but no foul play is suspected.

Analysis: Obituary

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I observed the obituary of "Gorgeous George" Wagner, which was published by the Pioneer Press on March 4.

The only main source that the writer cited was a professional wrestling memorial site that listed notable deaths within the wrestling world most recently.

The lead used for Wagner's obituary is very standard, listing his name first and followed by his most notable accomplishments. The writer also used the opinion of wrestling fans to portray the type of person Wagner was, but did not list his age in the lead.

The lead is very effective and toward the end the writer uses a famous quotation from Wagner for which he was known the most. "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!"

This obituary is different from a resume because it involves character that a resume does not provide. Using famous quotations and fan perspectives are two things that you will not get from reading a resume that simply lists accomplishments.

Gophers meet Sioux again for trip to Frozen Four

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The Minnesota Gophers men's hockey team defeated Boston University Saturday to advance to their regional final against rival North Dakota on Sunday, the Star Tribune said.

Their meeting Sunday will be the sixth contest between the two teams this season, but also the most important.

The winner will advance to play in the Frozen Four held in Tampa, Fla., which will be played next weekend.

The Gophers are playing in their first NCAA tournament since 2008, but playing their first two regional games at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul was certainly helpful to the team's energy.

The only certain outcome from Sunday's game is that at least one WCHA team will be representing the conference in college hockey's pinnacle.

Nine suspects with alleged ties to a Twin Cities area street gang were charged Friday with the rape of a 14-year-old on St. Paul's East Side last November, the Star Tribune said.

The suspects, five adults and four juveniles, were alleged to be members of or have ties to the True Blood street gang, authorities said.

The charges said that the victim was picked up at school on Nov. 17 by one of the suspects , and after attending one party was taken to an abandoned house on the 200 block of White Bear Avenue.

According to the complaint, the girl tried to leave but was carried by two juveniles into a bedroom with just a mattress on the floor.

the complaint also states that the TB22 gang is a documented criminal street gang that operates in the Twin Cities, and has been involved in various violent acts including rape.

Big earthquake hits Mexico, no major damage

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A major earthquake hit most of Mexico on Tuesday, causing panic as it damaged buildings and caused homes in the capital to collapse, Reuters said.

Workers fled into the streets when a 7.4-magnitude quake shook Mexico City for more than a minute. Buildings were evacuated and traffic was disrupted due to the large shake.

The earthquake hit hardest in the southwestern state of Guerrero, where 800 houses were damaged, officials said.

The tremor was one of the largest to hit the country since the devastating 8.1-magnitude earthquake of 1985, which killed thousands of citizens.

No deaths were reported on Tuesday however, but it scared many residents and cut off electricity to some 2.5 million people in the capital.

Peyton Manning picks the Denver Broncos

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Four-time MVP Peyton Manning told his agent Tom Condon to finalize contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos because he was headed to the Mile High City, the USA Today said.

ESPN's Christ Mortensen broke the news on SportsCenter and reported that a press conference is expected to be held Tuesday.

Manning apparently called the 49ers and Titans, the other teams vying for his services, on Monday morning to inform them of his decision.

All three of the teams had contractual frameworks in place last week when Manning's decision was yet to be made.

ESPN's Adam Schefter further reports that the Broncos may bring in Center Jeff Saturday, who played alongside Manning in Indianapolis. The Broncos will also look to trade quarterback Tim Tebow.

Arizona cities buried in rare snowstorm

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A surprising late-winter snowstorm will leaves parts of Arizona buried Monday, while travel is halted and schools are closed, CNN said.

A day before spring officially starts, most of the country will continue to enjoy warm temperatures, but The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the mountains of central and eastern Arizona early Monday.

The city of Flagstaff continues to dig out of the 10 to 14 inches of snow that fell this weekend, which caused school closings in the city for Monday.

Heavy snow and powerful winds forced authorities to close 180 miles of Interstate 40 in northern Arizona on Sunday until further notice.

In eastern parts of the country, temperatures are well above average from Texas and the Midwest all the way to the East Coast.

20 Charged in Twin Cities-based meth ring

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Hennepin County prosecutors will announce charges against 20 people Friday afternoon in connection with a major methamphetamine drug ring, KARE 11 said.

The charges are a result of an 8 month investigation by the FBI, St. Paul and Minneapolis police.

Investigators say the drug ring was operating on a national scale. It was centered in the Twin Cities, but included distribution hubs in Duluth, St. Cloud and Eau Claire, Wis.

Multiple authorities are expected to convene for a press conference with reporters Friday afternoon to discuss the charges being assessed.

Minnesota Gophers football player Ge'Shun Harris was dismissed from the team Thursday after being charged with stealing a credit card and making more than $800 in purchases with it, the Star Tribune said.

Harris was in violation of team rules stemming from the criminal charges filed against him Thursday.

He made purchases on an American Express credit card that he pulled from a bag at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The complaint stated that Harris took the bag from an airport carousel in January and then used the card on Jan. 11 at a gas station in Minneapolis, a Macy's store in Roseville, and at GNC stores in Roseville and Minneapolis.

Harris transferred to the University of Minnesota in January 2011 from Arizona Western College, where he scored 12 touchdowns. Last fall, Harris played in five games for the Gophers as a junior, catching one pass for 28 yards.

"Kony 2012" campaign goes viral

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A social media campaign set forth by the organization called Invisible Children is making waves all over the Internet after it unveiled a video outlining their plan for action, said the Sydney Morning Herald.

Millions around the world showered their support for the campaign, calling for the arrest of Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony. An emotive film was released on March 5 by Invisible Children, which was posted online and quickly went viral.

Many celebrities have been asking their followers on Twitter to get familiar with the plan and to help take action.

However, mounting concerns over the legitimacy of the group itself have surfaced online, highlighting how complex the anti-Kony campaign actually is.

Kony's army, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), is accused of killing tens of thousands of people and enlisting children as soldiers and sex slaves.

Colts expected to release Peyton Manning Wednesday

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The Indianapolis Colts plan to release veteran quarterback Peyton Manning Wednesday, the USA Today said.

The nearly 36-year-old four-time NFL MVP will not have his option picked up by the team, which owes him a $28 million roster bonus, leaving him free to sign with any team.

The team plans to make the announcement at a press conference attended by team owner Jim Irsay and Manning, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Manning had to sit out the 2011 season after having multiple neck surgeries during the offseason and again during the NFL season.

Peyton's older brother Cooper Manning provided information to the report, which lead reporters to speculate that the Colts and Manning were close to parting ways.

Rory McIlroy survived a Sunday charge by Tiger Woods to claim his first Honda Classic victory and took over the top spot in the World Golf Rankings in the process, the Times Union said.

McIlroy began the day with a nine-shot lead over Woods, but a final round 62 put him in position to possibly force a playoff with the tournament leader.

A clutch performance worthy of the No. 1 ranking was exactly what McIlroy was counting on, and he delivered down the stretch by making a birdie on the 13th hole. That birdie secured a two-shot lead for the 22-year-old phenom, and he played the final five holes at even par to finish the tournament 12 under par.

With his win Sunday, McIlroy became just the 16th player to reach the world No. 1 ranking.

He is also the second-youngest player to reach the top spot at 22 years and 10 months old. Tiger Woods reached the top spot at 21 years and five months old back in 1997.

Speeches Analysis

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President Barack Obama spoke at the annual American-Israeli conference in Washington, DC, Sunday, CBS News said.

In terms of the way the reporter crafted the story, she seemed to put a premium on the president's agenda that assured the United States would not sit idly by and let Iran build a nuclear weapon. She also made sure to mention that the president and the Israeli prime minister will be meeting just a day after his speech on the matter.

When the reporter adds information like this, she is helping the reader to understand context and reaction better than a simple manuscript of the speech could. Other links are also provided to give additional understanding of the matters at hand. One of the links is a video and the other leads you to the American-Israeli conference website, which coincidentally crashed due to the actions of hacker activist group Anonymous.

Duluth recovers from 16 inches of snowfall Wednesday

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The Duluth area is still digging itself out of the second blast of huge snowfall this week, the Star Tribune said.

An array of lake-effect snow fell on the Duluth area Sunday on top of a foot or more that fell on Saturday. Totals measured at around 16 inches for the entire week due to the huge snowfall that dropped Wednesday also.

East lake winds off Lake Superior created favorable conditions for lake-effect snow.

After all the snow this week, Duluth has nearly doubled its snow total for the season.

Going into Sunday, Duluth had recorded 23 inches since the previous Sunday.

MLB officially expands playoffs

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Major League Baseball officially announced that its playoffs will expand to 10 teams in 2012, the Chicago Tribune said.

An agreement was finalized Friday between the MLB and the Players association, which allowed for an additional Wild Card team in each league. The two Wild Card teams will meet in a one-game playoff, with the winner joining the other three division winners in the tournament format.

Another change in the format comes during the divisional series, where the lower-seeded teams will host the first two games of the series, and then the higher-seeded teams will host the following three. The change eliminates one travel day, which was necessary because the regular season schedule is already set.

The expansion of the playoff format places a larger value on winning a division title.

Five Wild Card teams have won the World Series since the format was put in place in 1995.

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler made his first State of the University address on Thursday, where he proposed new ways to work smarter and switch the academic calendar, the Star Tribune said.

Kaler proposed a new year-round academic calendar that included three terms of equal length. This calendar would make it possible for a full-time student to earn the 120 credits needed for a bachelor's degree in less than three years.

Kaler also addressed the problem with eliminating tuition increases, which he said could be taken care of by more robust state support.

His speech contained some of his most specific ideas for improvement since he became president last summer. He hopes to make the culture of the public university system more innovative and nimble.

Kaler also was able to preview his budget plan for the 2013 fiscal year, which he will fully present to the U's Board of Regents in May.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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