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December 9, 2007

"Broadway strike ends, but Hollywood's drags on"

Original article appeared in the Star Tribune.

For several weeks, the Broadway stage hands were on strike in New York City. This ended up shutting down the Broadway shows for a while, but now a new contract has been made with the stagehands and the shows will resume once again.

The strike officially ended on November 28. But before it ended, Broadway lost a lot of business during one of it's most successful times of the year. The main shows that were shut down were "Wicked", "The Lion King", "Rent" and "Jersey Boys".

The ratification of the stagehands contract was ratified at an overwhelming rate.

Unfortunately, the strike by the writers in Hollywood is still underway. It has lasted for six weeks now and does not seem to be coming to an end. Negotiations are not going well.

Right now the strike has caused many prime-time and late night TV shows to switch completely to reruns. Also, a lot of the writers have been having to live off of savings.

December 2, 2007

"Evel Knievel dies at 69"

Original article found in the Star Tribune.

The spectacular daredevil Evel Knievel died on Friday, Nov. 30 of natural causes. He had health problems for some time before Friday, but on Friday he was having trouble breathing and died before he made it to the hospital.

Over the years Knievel has been known to attempt some the of the craziest stunts ever-all on his motorcycle. He could have died several times. He failed in completing several jumps including when he tried to jump over the fountain outside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and when he jumped over Idaho's Snake River Canyon.

During his career, he broke 40 bones, put himself into a coma, and ended up with an infinite amount of bruises. He was an incredible showman and always wore red, white and blue. He finally retired in 1980.

Knievel lived in Butte, Montana.

November 21, 2007

"New limits on snowmobiling in Yellowstone"

Original article found in the Star Tribune.

For the last several years, conservationists have been concerned about snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park. They say that the snowmobiles cause air pollution and unwanted noise.

So, in the winter of 2008-2009, only 540 personal snowmobiles will be allowed in the park per day.

However, this year, the number of snowmobiles will stay the same as in the past. 720 snowmobiles will still be allowed every day.

Local business owners are not happy about this. They say that the snowmobilers bring good business to their stores.

This whole issue is being spurred on by the National Park Service. The National Park Service hopes to eventually get rid of all snowmobilers in the park. But congressmen who live in the states surrounding Wyoming do not seem to be in favor of the decision.


November 18, 2007

"Flooded Katrina cars showing up worldwide"

Original article located in the Star Tribune.

A couple years after the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe in New Orleans, it is being discovered that many cars that were flooded and seemingly destroyed, have been sold to foreign countries.

These cars often have mold lines which show how deep they sat in water. But some people, in countries like Bolivia, jumped at the chance to get a car for cheap.

Over 10,000 cars damaged by Katrina are suspected to now be located in Bolivia. Bolivia has pretty relaxed import rules, so it was an easy place for these cars to go.

They were mostly bought over the internet through sites that were originally supposed to turn the cars into scrap metal. One car, a mini cooper, owned by Colleen Mcgaw, was sold to a very large United States salvage company. But somehow, it was sold to a person in Bolivia for $7000.

Thankfully, Mcgaw had received a check from her insurance for $18,500 for the car. The check came because of the immense water damage that the car had received.

November 11, 2007

"Investigators to survey San Francisco Bay oil spill"

Original article appeared in the Star Tribune.

There was an oil spill in San Francisco Bay on Wednesday, November 7. It was caused by a ship called the Cosco Busan which due to human error hit the side of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The impact caused a 100 foot gash in the side of ship and oil then spilled out. This has been declared the worst oil spill in that area in 20 years.

Nearly 58,000 gallons of fuel were dumbed into the bay. This kills birds and other sea creatures. Also, all of the beaches along that area have to be closed as well because you cannot swim in oil.

At this point in time, their are 20 boats working to get the oil out of the water. Originally their were only 11. The efforts have been going well. In four days time, the 770 workers were able to clean up 20,000 gallons of the oil. But obviously more still has to be done.

It is probably a big communication problem that took place and the reason why the ship ran into the bridge in the first place. Investigations are still under way to try and pinpoint the exact cause.

Over 60 birds have already been found dead from all of the oil. 200 more have been picked up and taken to animal hospitals to try and get cleaned up.

November 1, 2007

"Child who started fire could face charges"

Original articles located in the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

Last week there was a fire in California which burned over 59 square miles and destroyed 21 homes. The original presumed cause of the fire was downed power lines, but now, a ten year old boy has come forward and has admitted to playing with matches and accidentaly starting the fire.

It seems unlikely that the boy will face criminal charges, but it is still being debated if he should be charged with anything.

His parents probably won't be liable for the costs of the damages. There were millions of dollars in damages and they would not have the financial means to cover even a part of it. Plus, it seems that the whole incident was an accident and the boy is terribly distraught over the whole thing.

It was on October 21 that the boy was playing with matches and the brush caught on fire. There were many other fires burning that day due to the Santa Ann winds which were making it difficult for firefighters to control the flames.

October 28, 2007

"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.

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

"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.

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.

September 30, 2007

Bush says Clinton will top Obama

Original article appeared in the Star Tribune on Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2007. Written by the Associated Press.

Typically, President Bush tries to remain silent on future politics and issues of the 2008 Presidential campaign. He even had a personal rule against stating his views. But he finally gave in and expressed his opinion that Hilary Clinton will probably beat Obama in the primaries and end up receiving the Democratic nominee. However, Bush also believes that the Republicans can beat her in the actual Presidential Race.

Bush says that Clinton can win the primaries because of her "great national presence". She also has the available funds in order to run a good campaign. It will be difficult for the Republicans, but Bush thinks they can do it.

Bush also gave his opinions on the Republican nominees. He is surprised that Giuliani is still the frontrunner thus far because he says that Giuliani has some liberal tendancies in areas such as social and cultural issues. But, the fact that Giuliani is so popular so far shows just how much Republicans care about the terrorism issue.

The final comment from President Bush was that Republicans should not give up on Arizona Senator John McCain. He had some difficulty earlier this year, but he has been able to revive the campaign recently.

September 22, 2007

"Electric blue may hold warming clue"

Original article appeared in the Star Tribune on Friday, September 21, 2007. Authored by Michael Milstein.

Global warming is continuing to leave more obvious signs of its existence. It has become a common occurance in places as far south as Oregon for there to be unusual cirrus clouds which turn bright blue at sundown and continue to glow brighter and brighter.

These clouds are called "noctilucent or night-shining clouds". In essence, they are cirrus clouds which build themselves 50 miles in a higher altitude than normal. They are probably caused by greenhouse gases which have made their way into the atmosphere in an increasing amount. A hundred and tweny years ago no such clouds even existed. Then for a long time they were only seen up in Canada and Scandinavia. The fact that they are occuring more frequently and at a lower latitude is a dangerous indication of global warming.

NASA is so curious about these clouds that they sent up a satellite to study them. The satellite was launched last Spring and is focusing its observation on the mesosphere where clouds are formed. It is hoped that from this study, Americans will have a better understanding of what it is that causes these clouds and how to prevent the effects of global warming from altering the earth any further.

September 16, 2007

"Safer toys will cost consumers more"

Original story found on September, 14, 2007 in the Star Tribune. Written by Anne D'Innocenzio.

Millions of toys this summer have been recalled because they contained lead paint. Most of these dangerous toys were manufactured in China. China is a much cheaper place to produce toys, but now with all of the dangerous lead paint in so many of China's toys, more toys will have to be manufactured on the United States. Also, there will be more regulations on the making of toys.

All of this means that toy prices, across the country, will go up. With the added inconvenience of moving manufacturing plants into America, and with so many corporations spending money to have all of their toys tested, the prices of most toys is supposed to raise up to 10% by the new year.

Walmart and Toys R Us, the two largest toy sellers in the America, are greatly dissapointed by the dangerous situation for children. So, Toys R Us specifically is taking all branded products and sending them to be tested at an independant company. Walmart has always done all it could to keep prices low for consumers and is sorry that the toys will have to become more expensive. However, Walmart is willing to do whatever necessary to keep kids safe.

September 6, 2007

"Big Mistake: B-52 unknowingly loaded with six nukes"

Original article appeared in the Star Tribune and was written by the Associated Press.

The final week of August was marked with a dangerous airplane flight from the state of North Dakota to Louisiana. A B-52 bomber accidently flew from North Dakota with six armed nuclear bombs aboard. The actual day of this three hour long flight was August 30. This incident put no one in danger at any time, and yet it was extremely careless. The handling of nuclear bombs must be carefully overseen. Therefore a large investigation will be taking place to find out how this could have happened. Also, extra-special precations will be set up to ensure it never happens again.

President Bush was immediately informed as soon as the plane landed and the nuclear bombs were realized to be on board. Also, Defense Secretary Robert Gates "will now be asking for daily briefings on the Air Force investigation".

All of those involved in any way with the flight "have been temporarily decertified". The squadron commander was also immediately fired.