« September 2007 | Main | November 2007 »

October 28, 2007

"Iraq Developements"

Original article appeared on startribune.com on October 27, 2007. It was written by News Services.

There was a bomb that exploded in Iraq Saturday. It killed eight people and wounded 13 more. The area was mostly shiite and full of restaurants which government officials regularly dine at.

The official time of the explosion was 7:30 a.m.

The U.S. will be turning over control of an eighth Iraqi province to Iraq on Monday. The province of Karbala seems to be ready to go back into the hands of the Iraqi's. There are 18 total provinces that need to go into Iraqi control.

A group of Christian minorities were fleeing Iraq due to the violence, but now the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has promised to protect them. The government wants to stop the Christians from fleeing and is therefore going to work hard to offer them protection.

"Hundreds flee brush fires on Big Island"

Original article appeared on startribune.com on October 28, 2007. Written by the associated press.

Nine fires appear to have been started on Sunday morning by people burning dry grass near the sides of roads. All of this took place on the big island of Hawaii.

The fires then became out of control and about five hundred people had to flee the island.

No homes or people have yet been injured, but if the Hawaiian winds change direction then the fire could burn right in the direction of large residential areas.

The fire is not yet contained and is currently covering an area of 700 acres of land. Over 60 fire departments are helping to calm the flames.

Many of the people who needed to evacuate have been given shelter. Also, the parks on the island of Hawaii have been closed and the campers were asked to leave.

"Keeping students on the ball"

Original article appeared onstartribune.com on October 27, 2007. Written by Herón Márquez Estrada.

Zion Lutheran school in Mayor, Minnesota has recently changed some of their classrooms by replacing all of the chairs with big bouncy excersize balls. While this may seem like an odd development, this same practice has taken place in Europe, Canada, and other schools across the U.S.

The benefits are enormous. The children who would normally be very fidgety or have trouble consentrating are given an outlet for their energy without being a distraction. These children are allowed to bounce quietly on their ball.

The balls also use up a lot of the children's energy. Kids work hard to keep themselves on top of the balls and this uses energy.

It also strengthens core muscles and these children are expected to be much more physically fit in a couple of months.

The balls are also able to heighten the kids consentration because they are consentrating on staying on top of the ball and then they are able to consentrate better in class.

Finally, these balls help with posture issues. The children are only able to sit on the balls with good posture.

These excersize balls have been used for years in gym's in order to help with various core muscle training.

If the program continues to be a success, then the entire school is going to get rid of all it's chairs and switch to the rubber balls.

"Online nanny ad ends in slaying"

Original article found on Startribune.com and was last updated on October 28, 2007. Written by Chris Havens and James Walsh.

Katherine Ann Olson was found dead inside her car truck Friday night after answering for a nanny job on Craigslist. She was supposed to have gone to Savage, Minnesota for a nanny job early Thursday morning.
The 19-year-old man who made the ad on craigslist is currently the number one suspect and is being held in custody at this time.

Katherine Ann Olson often answered job listings on craigslist because she generally expected good from people. She had been a nanny twice before this insident, and had even taken a job in Turkey.

She was a St. Olaf graduate who majored in theater and Hispanic studies.

It is unclear what exactly took place the day she was murdered. Her body wasn't found until she had been gone for a day and a half.

Her purse was first discovered in a garbage can by a resident of Savage who then told police. The police called her home to inform her that her purse had been found, but then a roommate told police that she had not been home since Thursday morning.

The police looked in the garbage can again and found a "significantly bloody towel". They continued to search the area but didn't find anything.

Her car was finally discovered by a helicopter in a Burnsville parking lot. Police then found her body inside.

October 22, 2007

"China's powerful vice president steps down"

Original article found on twincities.com the web site for the Pioneer Press. Written by Christopher Bodeen.

The Chinese vice president, Zeng Qinghong, stepped down on Saturday, October 20. He was a rival to the Chinese president and a strong communist leader.

Yet, as the communist party began to reshuffle in China, it seemed necessary for him to step down.

There was no reason given for his stepping down, but several theories have come up. The first is that he stepped down because he was nearing the age at which the communist leaders are expected to retire. Second, it is possible that some sort of a deal was made by the current communist party president in China, Hu, who will be benefiting greatly by this loss of a rival. He might even be given an extra 5-year-term as president now that Zeng is out of the way.

This resigning of Zeng Qinghong came about after a meeting of the congress of China. He was not the only one who seems to have been asked to step down. Two others also resigned around the same time. They are "Wu Guanzheng, who has run the party's internal corruption watchdog, and Luo Gan, who oversees law enforcement."

"Think you're a Minnesotan? The U may disagree"

Original article was found on twincities.com the website for the Pioneer Press. It was written by Paul Tosto.

The University of Minnesota has a very strict policy on who is allowed to pay resident tuition. The policy says that if a person has lived in another state for more than a year, than he or she is no longer eligible for Minnesota resident tuition.

There are exceptions to this rule though. If the person was out of the state for military reasons or if they were only in the other state for schooling, then they are still allowed the cheaper rate.

Resident tuition is roughly $10,000 per year, but for the non-resident, the cost can be up to $19,000 when you include all of the fees.

One student, Wil Meland is angered over this developement. He lived in Minnesota for most of his life, went to high school here and grew up here, but after moving away for a couple years, he is no longer considered a resident. However, every other school considers him to still be a Minnesota resident and would grant him in-state tuition.

There is an appeal process. Students who are considered non-residents are allowed to formally appeal their status and a few are allowed to only pay resident tuition costs every year. Otherwise, a person has to live in Minnesota for a year without being a student before they are considered for resident tuition rates.

"Airport noise: Who gets help, when"

Original article appeared on startribune.com on Sunday, October 21, 2007. Written by Steve Brandt.

A plan was released last week saying that the Metropolitan Airport Commission will be insulating hundreds of homes against airplane noise. Now, a week later, the task is looking much harder to do.

It is going to take time in order for the MAC to be able to insulate all of the homes that need the extra sound barrier. They will not even be starting this year, but rather are waiting until next. The 432 homes that have the highest sound problems will be finished by 2009, but thousands of others that have problems won't be touched until close to 2014.

People whose homes are qualified for the sound protection will be notified by MAC much closer to the time when the insulation would be put in.

The work that is going to be done on these homes "includes new or repaired windows or doors, attic or wall insulation, noise baffling, and in some cases, air conditioning."

The money for these repairs is coming directly from the business of the airport such as the parking fees or the stores inside of the airport.

October 18, 2007

"In an angry message to U.S. , Turkey OKs attack in Iraq"

Original article found in the Star Tribune on Thursday, October 18, 2007. Written by Molly Moore.

In the recent weeks of the Iraq war, many Iraqi Kurds have been moving into Turkey and attacking people there. Turkey is very angry about this because they have expected the United States to protect their borders in exchange for letting the U.S. fly over Turkey.

As of Wednesday, the Turkish parliament voted to go ahead and attack Iraq despite United States warnings that now would not be the right time to do that.

On first glance this may seem like a huge help to U.S. troops. But the act is much more of a slap in the face to the United States. The U.S. had promised to keep things like this from happening in Turkey. Our failure has angered those in Turkey enough to make them strike back and take care of this problem themselves.

The vote was incredibly in favor of giving the prime minister power to do air raids. The parliament voted 507-19 in favor. Now, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has power to conduct strategic strikes to better defend the country.

October 14, 2007

"Laotians live with a lethal legacy"

Original article appeared on startribune.com on October 13, 2007. Written by Paul Watson.

During the Vietnam war, U.S. planes dropped mines and other explosives from planes on the country of Laos. Many of those dangerous objects never detonated and are planted in the soil for unsuspecting civilians to step on.

One boy, To, was recently in his fathers backyard when a fire heated up an old shell causing it to explode. Many peices of the shell became imbedded in To's arms and legs. He was rushed to the hospital in order to have the peices removed, but it cost his father half a years pay.

The people of Laos are angered with the Americans for occurances such as these. They say that U.S. troops need to come in and clean up the mess that they left 30 years ago.

This year, the State Department has given $1.4 million to the operation of cleaning up these military objects in Laos in order to prevent more innocent people from dying from a war that ended ages ago.

This amount is much less than the amount given to the same effort last year. If this decrease in money continues from the government on this issue, then it will be 50 to 100 years before it is all cleaned up.

"15 trucks pile up in California freeway tunnel"

Original article appeared on startribune.com on October 13, 2007. Written by Noaki Schwartz.

A major highway in California between the cities of Los Angeles and San Fransisco had major backups on Saturday after many trucks collided in a tunnel and a fire was ignited. The actual accident took place at 11:00 p.m. on Friday.

It has been confirmed that two people are dead, ten have injuries, and one person is unaccounted for. However, there could be more people who were trapped inside the tunnel inside small cars.

The fire that was started during the collision burned almost until morning. One firefighter said that it looked like a bomb had gone off. Flames could be seen coming out of both ends of the tunnel. The fire seems to have caused some damage to the road below the tunnel as well. It might not be possible to drive on those roads even by Monday morning.

The fire left at least six of the trucks involved in the collision as only completely burned out shells.

The tunnel is still so hot that firefighters cannot go in to look for more people or wet down other areas of fire that are not completely burned out.

"Miley mania makes moms hoppin' mad"

Original article was found on startribune.com on October 13, 2007. It was written by Graydon Royce and Jon Bream.

Miley Cyrus is putting on a tour that is one of the most popular this year. However, it has become impossible to find tickets to the show. The second that they were able to be sold all of the tickets disappeared. Now, all of those tickets are being sold on the internet for 5X their original value.

Many tickets were supposed to sell for around $30. But now, some of the cheapest seats to find are a minimum of $75.

Tickets for the concert are in such high demand for the Twin Cities that the only higher demand tickets were for the 1991 World Series. The primary audience for Miley Cyrus, also known as Hannah Montana, are teenage girls.

Because the tickets for this concert were sold out at an alarming rate, investigations have been set up by several state attorney generals. It has been uncovered just how many tickets are ever available to the public to buy. For the most part, 40% of tickets are given to places like radio stations before anyone is allowed to buy them.

Many moms are responding to the high priced tickets by refusing to watch "Hannah Montana" or to buy her cd's. They are angry at Cyrus for putting the burden on them to buy these expensive tickets.

"Man crushed to death by small-gauge rail car"

Original article was found on startribune.com on Sunday, October 14, 2007. Written by David Shaffer.

A man was killed on Saturday when he attempted to prevent a railroad caboose car from tiping over.
William Paget was at a private property in Northfield Minn. riding around on a small train. However, during the ride, the caboose began to tip, so he jumped out and tried to prevent it from falling all the way over. Unfortunetely, the car was just too heavy for him and instead fell right on top of him. The 68 year old man died on the scene.

He had been volunteering at this railroad demonstration as the brakeman. There were three adults and five children on the caboose at 2:30 when the it fell over.

The train was going at a speed slower than the average walking speed and it has not yet been stated as to what may have caused the train to fall.

October 8, 2007

"That's Show Bees"

Original article appeared in the Star Tribune on Wednesday, October, 3, 2007. Written by Colin Covert.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Jerry Seinfeld visited Minnesota in order to promote his new "Bee Movie" which will come out on November,2. He is visiting 10 cities as part of his promotional tour and the Minneapolis area was a must stop for him. He has always had incredible and enjoyable experiences when working in Minnesota. He even said that when it comes time to do his last performance, Minnesota is the place that he would like to be.

He specifically visited Edina's Southdale 16 theater. He signed several autographs and then watched a 45 minute preview of the film for the local media's benefit.

Seinfeld has been promoting this new movie of his for months now. He has guest stared on TV shows and worn giant bee costumes for film festivals. This 10 city promotional visit is to get the word out even more. Seinfeld says that he is really excited about the film.

October 7, 2007

"Campaign 2008 Roundup, Obama, Clinton Split Black Support."

Original article appeared in the Star Tribune on Thursday, October, 4, 2007. Written by News Services.

The already intense 2008 campaign is continuing to take polls to find out where the various subdivisions allegiance lies. As of this point right now, the black population is pretty evenly split overall, but Clinton is leading 47% to 37% among black women. Blacks account for 10% of the votes overall.

However, whites are less easily convinced than blacks and many are having a harder time seeing Obama as ready to be President. Clinton is still leading in white polls 35% to 18%. Clinton is also leading overall.

Republican candidate Rudy Guiliani has made some comments about Hilary Clinton. He believes that he is the only one who can keep her from becoming President. He also made fun of some of her policies especially the one where she says that she is going to create a $5000 savings bond to every U.S. born baby.

Clinton retorted that it is a shame that Guiliani only spends time attacking people instead of focusing on the issues and what he would do if President.

Baghdad orders $100 million in military equipment from China"

Original article appeared in the Star Tribune on Thursday, October, 4, 2007. Written by News Services.

Government officials from Baghdad, Iraq, have begun ordering military supplies and munitions from
China because the United States government is too slow. In order for the Iraqis to continue their military work, they need more supplies. The United States has already sent over more than $600 million worth of equipment and there is another 2 to 3 billion being ordered, but he slow pace requires the Iraqis to order from China.

The War in Iraq is continuing with a few developments being two key Iraqis were killed in a roadside bombing. The two that died were top Shiite official and an anti-Al-Qaiada Sunni sheik. Also, the number of military personal in Iraq or Afghanistan that have been killed or injured is up to 18,000.

"Time to face the music: A $222,000 fine"

Original story was found in the Star Tribune on Friday, October, 5, 2007. Written by Larry Oakes.

A woman from Brainard was the first ever to take a case to trial where she was accused of illegally downloading music. Jammie Thomas claimed in her court case that she never never downloaded music. But the 12 person jury ruled otherwise. She was fined a total of $222,000 for the distrubution of 24 song to the public.

This case will hopefully send a message to the thousands of others who illegally download pirated music. The music industry has lost billions thanks to people like Thomas who download and distribute the music for free.

Thomas may attempt to repeal the verdict, but has not fully decided. Also, it is unclear as to whether or not the money can even be collected from her. But, the message that this verdict is sending will hopefully discourage many who would steal the music.

Thomson had plead innocent in the case, but the evidence that was found against her was enough to convinct her of the crime. In reality she should be thankful that the fine was not more. Music companies can charge up to $150,000 per song, and Thomson actually had downloaded and distributed over 1,700 songs. But Sony BMG decided to only convict her of 24 songs for simplicities sake.