April 2010 Archives

Analysis: Computer-assisted reporting

I read an article about safety practices at two different coal mines. The reporter used computer-assisted reporting to produce the story. The reporter used an interactive database of public records from the U.S. Department of Labor to show a series of citations written out to the mine for violations. The reporter also included a picture slide show, an audio clip from one of the mine's foreman, an interactive photo gallery where you can view details about the men who died in the mine, and a graph that showed the key aspects of safe mines. The reporter would need to know how to efficiently operate a computer and create interactive links in order to do the reporting. The reporter would also need to know how to make slide shows, use audio clips, and make and use graphs.

Man Dies on New York Sidewalk

A homeless man lay dying on a sidewalk in New York as dozens of people walked by and ignored him last week, police said.
Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, 31, was stabbed in the chest several times on April 18 as he tried to save a woman from a mugger, police said, reports ABC News.
According to police, Tale-Yax's last hour was spent lying on a sidewalk in Queens as dozens passed by and ignored him. Finally, a man turned him over, saw the stab wounds and called 911, police said, reports the New York Times.
Michael Bradley, a psychologist, said Tale-Yax was probably ignored because Americans are desensitized to violence, reports ABC News.

Deadly Hot Air Balloon Crash in Emirates

Two people died Sunday after the hot air balloon they were traveling in crashed in the United Arab Emirates, officials said.
The balloon was carrying a total of 14 people and one other passenger was seriously injured, reports BBC News.
According to a spokesperson from the Balloon Adventures Emirates (BAE), the balloon took off early Sunday morning. Soon after take-off, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing because the wind had grown significantly stronger, reports ABC News.
According to BAE, this is first accident the company has had in its five years of operation, reports BBC News.

Deadly Tornado in Mississippi

YAZOO CITY, Miss.-- A tornado that hit Mississippi on Saturday killed at least 10 people in Yazoo City, officials said.
Humvees and Blackhawk helicopters carrying nearly 40 National Guard members patrolled Yazoo City on Sunday to search for survivors, reports the New York Times.
The tornado was almost a mile wide and hit Yazoo and Choctaw Counties the hardest, according to rescue and assessment crews, reports CNN News.
According to Gov. Haley Barbour, the tornado destroyed at least 100 homes in Yazoo County and 38 in Choctaw County, reports the New York Times.
According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, in addition to the 10 deaths, 33 people were injured, as reported by CNN News.

St. Paul Husband and Wife Shot

A St. Paul woman was shot to death and her husband was shot and wounded in their home early Sunday morning.
Police arrived at a residence in the 1700 block of Minnehaha Avenue and found a 25-year-old woman who was shot and dead and her 27-year-old husband with a gunshot wound to his leg, reports the Star Tribune.
According to police, the man was treated and released from Regions Hospital. He was then interviewed at police headquarters, reports the Pioneer Press.
According to the Star Tribune, Sgt. Paul Schnell said the details surrounding the shooting are not known yet and no arrests have been made.
The police were originally called to the house due to a reported burglary but found no signs of forced entry. The case remains under investigation, police said, reports the Pioneer Press.

Cops Find "Special" Brownies at Mankota Picnic

A 25-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after he was busted at a Mankato park with marijuana-laced brownies, police said.
According to police, the bust happened in the Land of Memories Park after an anonoymous person called to report possible drug-use in the park, reports the Star Tribune.
When the police arrived at the park, they searched a vehicle and found six loaves of banana bread, 10 brownies, and a tub of butter, all of which were laced with marijuana, reports the Mankato Free Press.
After the man was arrested, he was taken to Blue Earth County Jail, police said. He was released shortly after his arrest and, as of Thursday, charges have yet to be filed, according to the Star Tribune.
The man was later identified to be Christopher Sean Prodoehl of New Ulm, reports the Mankato Free Press.

Violence Breaks Out at Neo-Nazi Rally in LA

LOS ANGELES-- A Neo-Nazi rally at held in Los Angeles Saturday ended in mass counter-protest and violence, police said.
Approximately forty white supremacists from the National Socialist Movement gathered on City Hall's yard Saturday afternoon to protest illegal immigration, reports the Associated Press.
The Neo-Nazis were met by a crowd of about 500 counter-protestors, some of which had heard about the rally through Twitter, who came to promote peace instead of hate, reports the Los Angeles Times.
As the Neo-Nazis chanted racial slurs, the counter-protestors drowned them out by shouting "racists go home" and threw rocks at them, officials said, reports the Associated Press.
By the end of the rally, two Neo-Nazis were treated and released after being beaten by counter-protestors and five were arrested for throwing rocks, police said, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Earthquake Hits Papua New Guinea

A strong earthquake hit Papua New Guinea Sunday morning, officials said.
According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake happened on the east coast in the Pacific Island Nation around 9:15 a.m., reports the Vancouver Sun.
Officials said there have been no deaths reported so far and a tsunami alert was not issued, reports BBC News.
There were reports from the residents in the city of Lae, located approximately 18 miles east from the earthquake's epicenter, that they felt the quake but they did not report any collapsed buildings or homes said officials from the National Disaster Centre, according to the Vancouver Sun.
Papua New Guinea has a long history of being hit by earthquakes, tidal waves, and volcanic activity, reports BBC News.

Mother Expected to Be Charged With Toddler's Death

A St. Cloud mother faces a possible murder charge in connection with the death of her 22-month-old son, police said.
Nayachuol Lungdicok Poch, 31, was arrested Friday after the toddler's autopsy showed he died from blunt-force trauma, police said, the St. Cloud Times reports.
According to police, they were called on Monday to Poch's apartment for a medical emergency. Upon arrival, they found the toddler unresponsive. He was taken to St. Cloud Hospital where he was pronounced dead after failed resuscitation efforts, police said, reports the Star Tribune.
According to the St. Cloud Times, Poch is being held at the Sterns County Jail while she waits for a court hearing.

New Jersey High School Students Punished for Food Fight

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.-- Cafeteria workers at a New Jersey high school punished students earlier this week who started a food fight by serving them only cheese sandwiches for lunch.
According to School Superintendent Fredrick Nickles, the punishment has worked well over the years and is only used when food fights have broke out, reports the Star Tribune.
Nickles said only the students involved in the food fight were served the plain cheese sandwiches on Wednesday and Thursday, reports USA Today.
The Star Tribune reports not everyone thinks the punishment is fair. One parent referred to the sandwiches as "prison food."

Man Shot in Home by Officer

A man was shot to death in his home by a police officer late Thursday night, officials said.
Timothy Scott Hanson, 55, was shot by a Woodbury officer who was responding to a domestic disturbance call involving a gun, reports the Pioneer Press.
According to Lee Vague, Woodbury's police chief and public safety director, the officer arrived at Hanson's house shortly after 11:20 p.m. Upon arrival, Hanson fired shots at the officer, who fired back in self-defense, reports the Star Tribune.
At some point, the officer was wounded during the cross-fire. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, Vague said, reports the Pioneer Press.
According to the Star Tribune, Woodbury police have reported to Hanson's house more than 25 times over the last ten years, mostly for domestic abuse calls.

Analysis: Diversity

I found a news story about modern shamanism, the stereotypes surrounding them and how it is beginning to regain popularity in South Korea. I interviewed Jaehyun Choi, 26, a Korean student at the University of Minnesota about the article. According to Choi, he feels that he is unlike many Koreans because he does not have stereotypes about Mudangs (shamans). Choi said that for thousands of years, Mudangs lived among Koreans and were regarded as advisors who helped people avoid trouble and gain good fortune. It wasn't until Christianity came into Korea and Koreans were told by protestant ministers that Mudangs were "puppets of Satan" that Koreans conceived stereotypes about them. Choi said he thought the article was more about "the effects of cultural invasion" than stereotypes that Koreans hold against Mudangs.

Two Arrested After Hopkins Robbery

Two men were arrested Monday in connection with a robbery of a Hopkins residence, police said.
Demetrius Lavell Sydnor, 22, and Robert Wilford Fields III, 19, both of Brooklyn Center, were arrested Monday after they broke into a Hopkins home and taped the couple who lives there to their bed, reports the Star Tribune.
According to police, the two men used guns to force their way into the home in an attempt to rob the couple, reports WCCO News.
Police were called by a neighbor who witnessed the men lurking around the neighborhood for approximately 20 minutes before they approached the house, reports the Star Tribune.
WCCO News reports no one was seriously injured during the robbery.

Seven Shot in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS-- Seven people were injured in a shooting near the French Quarter late Saturday night, police said.
Police said six of the victims were bystanders and it was a 17-year-old boy who was the intended victim, reports CNN.
According to UPI, the unidentified 17-year-old was shot in the stomach and was taken to a local hospital where he was to stay overnight, police said.
UPI reports the other six victims were not seriously injured and taken to a nearby hospital, police said.

Rio Mudslide Buries At Least 200 People

RIO DE JANEIRO-- A mudslide buried at least 200 people alive Wednesday night near Rio de Janeiro, authorities said.
The mudslide hit a slum area in the city of Niteroi late Wednesday night, instantly burying 50 homes, authorities said, reports the Times Online.
The Pioneer Press reports according to Pedro Machado, subsecretary of Rio state's Civil Defense department, all 200 people are feared to be dead because experience shows that being caught in a mudslide is "an instant death."
According to officials, 153 people have already died in floods since Monday due to record rainfalls.
The Rio authorities are going to force people out of homes in high-risk areas in an attempt to prevent more deaths, reports the Pioneer Press.

State Trooper Arrested for Drunk Driving

An off-duty Minnesota State Trooper, suspected to be driving while intoxicated, was arrested Tuesday night after smashing into another vehicle in Meeker County, officials said.
The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 12 in Darwin, Minn., where Scott Urdahl, 40, was driving his personal vehicle and crossed the center line, causing him to hit an oncoming vehicle, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, reports Pioneer Press.
The driver of the other car, Carrie Nickel, 57, of Litchfield, was taken to Litchfield Hospital for minor injuries.
Urdahl was arrested at the scene and given a preliminary breathalyzer which showed a 0.112 blood-alcohol concentration, said the DPS, reports the Star Tribune.
According to the criminal complaint, Urdahl was booked into Meeker County Jail on the charge of felony criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm, the Pioneer Press reports.

Teacher Admits to Biting Off Piece of Ear

A Northfield middle school teacher confessed in court to biting off a piece of a man's ear last month.
Susan Mukuhi Mwarabu, 30, of Rochester, pleaded guilty to felony third-degree assault Wednesday. The assault happened while Mwarabu was dining in St. Paul's Uptowner Cafe' on March 14, police said, reports the Pioneer Press.
According to police Sgt. Paul Schnell, the male victim was missing "a noticeable chunk" of the upper part of his ear and assumes Mwarabu swallowed the ear because it couldn't be located at the scene, reports the Star Tribune.
Mwarabu was drunk at the time of the incident and fought with police during her arrest and booking, according to the criminal complaint, reports the Pioneer Press.
A spokesman for the county attorney's office said Mwarabu will be sentenced May 20 and may be able to reduce her charge to a gross misdemeanor, reports the Star Tribune.

Analysis: Numbers

I read a story about teachers' contract negotiations in the Carver County School District which was featured in the Star Tribune. The reporter used numbers to show costs to the district and poll results. I didn't think that the numbers were overwhelming. I thought the reporter did a good job using them correctly to further explain the story. The reporter did attribute the results of the poll to a survey that was conducted but failed to clearly mention the source of the costs.

Rock Bottom Brewery Helps Feed Needy

Needy families enjoyed a free holiday meal Sunday thanks to a local restaurant.
The Rock Bottom Brewery restaurant, located in downtown Minneapolis, served a traditional Easter meal to nearly 300 families in need, reports WCCO News.
This is the third year in a row the restaurant has opened its doors to families in need on Easter, said the Jim Gose, one of the restaurant's managing partners, reports the Star Tribune.
According to WCCO News, not only did the restaurant provide food to the families but they also made sure the Easter Bunny was on hand to visit with the children.

Nine Miners Rescued in China

XIANGNING, China-- Nine people were rescued from a flooded coal mine Monday after being trapped for over a week, officials said.
According to the Star Tribune, the miners were rescued 179 hours after the Wangjialing mine originally flooded.
According to officials, the survivors were severely dehydrated upon rescue but had normal heart rates and blood pressure, reports VOA News.
Nearly 3,000 people have been working nonstop to pump water out of the mine since it flooded March 28, reports the Star Tribune.
There are 144 workers who have still not been rescued, officials said, reports VOA News.

Search for Missing Girl Continues

GREELEY, Colo.-- The search for a missing girl continues as authorites plan on searching the lake near her home and interviewing motorists, police said.
Authorities are still searching for Kayleah Wilson, 12, who went missing after she left home on March 28 to walk to a friend's birthday party, police said, reports the Star Tribune.
The FBI, the Weld County Sheriff's Posse mounted unit, and the Greeley police are searching five local locations, including a lake, according to a Greeley police spokesman, reports the Denver Post.
The authorities plan to stop motorists today and interview them to see if they can get any new information regarding the missing girl, reports the Star Tribune.
Besides police and FBI, various members of the community have also joined in on the search, reports the Denver Post.

Quadruple Amputee accuses St. Paul Man of Assault

A St. Paul man was charged with assault this week after he beat his quadruple amputee roommate, police said.
Jacoby L. Smith, 33, was charged with fifth-degree assault for beating up his 28-year-old female roommate early March 22, according to a criminal complaint filed with Ramsey County District Court this week, reports the Star Tribune. He was also charged with interfering with a 911 call.
As the Pioneer Press reports, police were called to an East Side apartment building where the amputee woman told them Smith threw her out of her wheelchair and assaulted her because she was blocking the television.
According to the complaint, Smith then blocked the woman from leaving the apartment and took her phone from her when she tried to call 911.
The police were called after Smith took the woman to a nearby gas station to get ice for her injuries and the victim asked the clerk to call 911, police said, reports the Star Tribune.

Wife Stabbed 70 Times

A Minneapolis man stabbed his wife to death on Friday as their children watched in horror, police said.
According to the Star Tribune, Billy Nash, 46, stabbed his wife, Pauline Nash, 42, over 70 times in their North Minneapolis home Friday around 3:15 a.m.
Police said they recieved a 911 call after the couple's two children awoke to their mother screaming as their father stabbed her. One of the children tried to stop him by grabbing the knife and fleeing the house, reports the Pioneer Press.
Mrs. Nash was transported to a nearby hospital where she died from her injuries, police said.
Mr. Nash will likely be charged with first-degree murder, police say, reports the Pioneer Press.

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