Analysis: computer-assisted reporting

by Courtney Reigh

The Hidden Life of Guns is an investigation done by the Washington Post which heavily relies on computer-assisted reporting. In one of their main segments, Police Officers Killed by Guns, is a program completely created with computer related programs.
The website features an interactive map of the United States and features red dots correlating to police officers killed in different states. By clicking on one of the red dots, an information box appeared with the name of the officer, the location and the date. Even more in-depth, it also states the type of weapon they were murdered with, as well as what situation they were murdered in. None of this could have been created without the use of computer-assisted resources.

Passengers stranded on Missouri lake cruise reach land

by Courtney Reigh

Passenger and crew members made it to shore safely this morning after a Saturday night dinner cruise that turned into an overnight adventure.
The Showboat Branson Belle left the dock at Branson, Missouri at 4 p.m. Saturday for an evening dinner cruise and comedy show. Due to problems with strong winds and the boat's thruster, the two and a half hour long cruise kept passengers on board over night, CNN said.
The nearly 640 people aboard the ship weren't harmed and had heat, electrical power, food and beverages on board, the New York Daily News said.
Passengers made it to shore safely around 9 a.m. Sunday morning.

Two are dead in Minneapolis house fire

by Courtney Reigh

Two people died in a house fire on Elliott Avenue early Sunday morning.
The fire call came at 1:31 a.m. and fire officials arrived on the scene at 1:36 a.m., the Star Tribune reported. The first responding crew got stuck in the snow, in what Minneapolis Fire Chief Alex Jackson called the 'worst possible weather conditions to fight a fire,' WCCO-TV said.
Six people were rescued from the fire, four of whom were hospitalized with injuries, the Star Tribune said.
The names and ages of the two victims who did not survive have not yet been released.

Heavy snow causes metrodome roof to collapse

by Courtney Reigh

Due to heavy snowfall Friday and Saturday, the roof of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome collapsed early Sunday morning, causing debate and quick decision making for both the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants, who were scheduled to play at the Metrodome Sunday.
Metrodome officials announced the stadium would not be ready to host a game Monday or Tuesday. The NFL debated playing the game at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, as well as in Detroit and Indianapolis before deciding to host the game in Detroit, KARE-TV reported.
Luckily, no one was injured during the roof collapse. Metrodome officials say they have no details on yet on what happened to cause the collapse, WCCO-TV reported.
This is not the first time the Metrodome has collapsed. According to WCCO-TV, the roof collapsed in 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1986 due to heavy snowfall.

Homeless man does right by turning in backpack full of money

by Courtney Reigh

A homeless Arizona man is seeing the impact of doing good after finding a backpack filled with $3300 and turning it into the authorities.
Dave Tally, who is recovering from drug and alcohol addictions, returned the backpack to the Tempe Community Action Agency, where officials returned it to Bryan Belanger, a student at Arizona State University, who had lost the backpack on his way to buy a used vehicle, The New York Times said.
According to USA Today, over 50 people have sent donations to Tally for his selflessness. He has also been offered jobs to help him get back on his feet, The New York Times said.
"It wasn't my money. I didn't earn it," Tally says. "I'm the one that has to lay down every day and deal with myself. If I'd done anything different than what I did, I don't know if I could handle that."

Stockholm hit by possible terrorist blasts

by Courtney Reigh

One man died and two others were injured in two simultaneous explosions in a city-center shopping district in Stockholm Saturday evening.
The foreign minister deemed the explosions terrorist attacks, The New York Times reported. An email sent to news organizations just minutes prior to the attacks could prove a possible connection.
According to BBC News, a vehicle exploded outside the shopping center at 5 p.m. Saturday. The second explosion took place nearly 15 minutes later on a nearby street. A man's body, with blast injuries to his torso, was found at the site of the second explosion.
Swedish newspapers reported the man was a suicide bomber, The New York Times said. This has not yet been confirmed by police officials.
These recent blasts have caused shock amongst Swedish citizens, who have been known to have a peaceful society.

St. Cloud high school student dies during bus ride

By Courtney Reigh

A St. Cloud high school student is dead after going into cardiac arrest on a school bus Tuesday.
According to The Pioneer Press, the 16-year-old Apollo High School student complained of shortness of breath, dizziness and sweatiness before the attack. Concerned riders alerted the bus driver of the student's condition at 3:40 p.m. An ambulance was called and a defibrillator was used, KARE said.
The student was then transported to St. Cloud hospital where he never regained consciousness.
A funeral Mass is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Peter's Catholic Church in St. Cloud, The Pioneer Press said.

Burnsville school reopens after flooding

By Courtney Reigh

Nicollet Junior High School in Burnsville reopened Wednesday after a frozen pipe thawed and burst Saturday, flooding the school.
The school was flooded with over 120,000 gallons of water, The Star Tribune reported. The leak started at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and was reported by a passerby at 3:30 p.m.
The leak elongated Thanksgiving break for students, who did not have school Thursday or Friday due to the holiday. Officials are not sure whether or not the students will have to make up the missed days, KARE reported.

University of Minnesota goes quiet after Christmas

By Courtney Reigh

The University of Minnesota will close its doors for the Christmas holidays beginning Dec. 24 until Jan. 2, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
Buildings, business offices and study buildings will be among the buildings that will close their doors after Christmas. This will be the first time the University of Minnesota will be administering a winter shutdown, The Star Tribune reported.
During the shutdown, three of the days will be unpaid leave for all university employees. It is part of an effort to save $28 million in the university's budget.
The University of Minnesota's OneStop Student Services website will be open for students during those days.

U.S. drilling ban in Gulf of Mexico continues

By Courtney Reigh

The U.S. ban on off-shore oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the Atlantic has been extended due to weaknesses in federal regulation revealed by the BP oil spill, The New York Times said.
Ken Salazar, Interior Secretary announced Wednesday that drilling would be banned in those areas for at least seven years, until stronger safety and environmental standards were in place, The New York Times said.
This ban counteracts oil and gas exploration in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and areas of the Atlantic proposed by President Barack Obama and Salazar in March, BBC News said.