October 2012 Archives

Wolf hunt to begin Saturday

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Minnesota wolves will be hunted once again in Minnesota beginning Saturday.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is issuing 3,600 permits to hunters with a hunting quota of 200 wolves throughout the season, according to a report by the Duluth News Tribune.
The DNR will release another 2,400 licenses for a later season that begins on Nov. 24, with another 200 kill quota.
The Star Tribune reported on the controversy surrounding the new wolf hunting season. Animal activists nationwide have tried to stop the hunt, and the Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals have notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that they plan to sue them in order to delay the hunt.
The main dispute is over the actual number of wolves in Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune. The wolf population has been off of the Endangered Species list for less than a decade and the DNR has not fully surveyed the animals in around five years.
Some northern Minnesota residents believe the DNR is actually underestimating the population, based on their own persona experiences.
Even so, it is unlikely that most hunters will see the silent and wily wolf while hunting.

Minneapolis man killed in hit-and-run

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Police are asking for the public's help in finding the car that killed an Augsburg student in downtown Minneapolis on early Saturday.
The Star Tribune reported that Austin R. Conley, 20, of Minneapolis, died after being taken to Hennepin County Medical Center.
The car is described as a dark-colored four-door, possibly a Chevy Lumina, with front-end damage, according to a report by the Pioneer Press.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the Minneapolis Police Homicide Unit.
Family and the Augsburg community are grieving for Conley, a business management major in his first year at Augsburg. There is a service for Conley on campus Monday morning.

San Francisco Giants win World Series

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The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in 10 innings on Sunday night to win the World Series.
The Giants swept the Tigers in four games, according to an Associated Press report in the Star tribune.
The Chicago Tribune reported that this is the second time in three years that the Giants have won the World Series. The team also won in 2010.
Marco Scutaro singled in Ryan Theriot in the 10th to break the tie.
The weather was dismal throughout the game, with gusting winds and drizzle, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Analysis: Multimedia

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As Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast, many news organizations opted for multimedia like photos and interactive maps to tell the story.
The New York Times used several different multimedia forms to accompany their traditional articles.
This interactive map highlighted that The New York Times is still a Northeast-focused paper, since it provides useful and necessary information for the residents there.
Both National Public Radio and http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/10/28/us/29storm_earlyss.html provided a slideshow of photos as well as a storm tracking map.
Storms are a very visual occurrence, and these multimedia features complemented the news stories to reflect that. Not only did the news organizations provide the facts, but they were able to make the story more personal by showing everyday life disrupted with storm preparations.
The writing that accompanied the multimedia was very short and to the point. Each individual photo or feature could have stood alone and still gotten the most important information to the reader.
The New York Times also had an online feature that updated with a new photo taken from the top of their building in New York City watching the storm come in.

Analysis: Information Progression in News

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The Washington Post story titled "Jordan disrupts major al-Qaeda terrorist plot" begins with the most pertinent facts and continues with deeper details.
The article, which describes a terror plot foiled by Jordanian authorities, summarizes the important elements using a basic inverted pyramid or cocktail structure. The most essential information of how the plot was foiled and who was responsible are at the beginning of the story, followed by background information and more complex details.
The way in which the reporters, Joby Warrick and Taylor Luck, order the information is effective. A reader learns in the first two paragraphs what the story is. By reading more of the story one learns more details, but no crucial information is withheld at the start of the article.
The last paragraph of the story could have been more effective if it had tied back to the story's start. That way, the article's end punch would have been stronger and more memorable.

Both campaigns avoid Afghanistan

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Beyond stating that the 2014 deadline to end the War in Afghanistan will stand, both campaigns in this 2012 race have otherwise skirted the issue.
The final presidential debate Monday night centered on foreign policy might force the candidates to talk more specifically about their plans for the country, according to a report by The New York Times.
The Los Angeles Times reported that 60% of Americans would like to see a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
Not only will the next president need to decide how to remove American troops from the country, but also how to ensure that the Taliban do not regain control upon the U.S. departure, according to The New York Times.
Neither President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney have served in the military.

George McGovern, dedicated Liberal, dies at 90

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The former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern died Sunday in Sioux Falls, S.D. at the age of 90.
The New York Times reported that the family has confirmed the death, but the cause has not been announced.
Sen. McGovern infamously lost 49 out of the 50 states in his 1972 run for president against Republican Richard Nixon.
His campaign was defined by a strong anti-war and Liberal agenda, which cost him in the election. Despite this, his platform definitively began to shape the Democratic Party's vision, according to a report by the Washington Post.
The report quoted President Obama calling McGovern "a statesman of great conscience and conviction."
Sen. McGovern continued to serve as a Liberal voice in various roles in the government throughout his life. He was awarded the highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by then-President Bill Clinton in 2000.

FARC kills Colombian soldiers

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The Colombian army reported that five soldiers were killed by FARC Friday night near the border with Ecuador.
The sides had initiated peace talks in Oslo only days before.
According to a report by the BBC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel leaders had called for a cease-fire during the peace talks. The Colombian government refused.
Only a day earlier air force planes bombed a rebel camp on the Pacific Coast, according to Al-Jazeera.
The two sides have not met since 2002, according to Al-Jazeera.
The peace talks are scheduled to continue in Havana early next month.

Debate between Ellison and Fields turns ugly

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A debate between U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and challenger Chris Fields on KFAI-FM turned unusually Thursday morning, causing to publicly apologize later in the day.
The two men are both running for the Fifth Congressional District spot, an area which covers eastern Hennepin County.
According to a report by MinnPost, the debate began to turn ugly when Fields accused Ellison's camp of publicizing past aspects of Fields' personal life, and continued by bringing up Ellison's divorce.
Ellison called Fields a "scumbag" multiple times throughout the debate.
The Star Tribune reported that the KFAI broadcast cut to commercial during a particularly heated exchange.
Ellison apologized after the debate, saying "His tactics are no excuse for my departure from civility. I will not allow this to happen again, and I regret my action."
The state of the candidates' debate next week is uncertain.

SPCO has Sunday lockout deadline

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Despite resistance from the musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra on Friday, management said that the Oct. 21 deadline stands.
According to a report by the Star Tribune, the SPCO musicians would not be able to vote earlier than Oct. 31 since most players are out of town.
The orchestra's management maintained that if a deal was not confirmed by the deadline, the musicians will be locked out.
In a response to the offer on the table by management, musicians released a statement saying "They want to decrease the number of musicians; they want to cut salaries by 33 percent; they want to buy out the most experienced musicians; and they want to pay new musicians $50,000 per year," according to the Pioneer Press.
Musicians in the MInnesota Orchestra, based in Minneapolis, have been locked out since Oct. 1. If a deal is not reached with the SPCO, it would be the first time the two prominent Twin Cities orchestras would be locked out, according to the Pioneer Press.

Daredevil Jumps from 24 Miles Above Earth

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Felix Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound barrier through his own power Sunday after jumping from 24 miles above the Earth's surface.
According to a report by The New York Times, Baumgartner was free-falling for over four minutes before engaging his parachute and reached a speed of Mach 1.24, or close to 833.9 mph.
Baumgartner rose to his jump height with a helium balloon in a pressurized suit. According to The New York Times report, part of the mission was to collect data and test the equipment for future pilots and astronauts.
The Los Angeles Times reported that two-dozen cameras were used to film the event. Baumgartner also had a camera attached to his helmet. The event was webcast on the Red Bull Stratos website.
Baumgartner was able to land on his feet in New Mexico as planned.

In The New York Times' story, "El Paso Schools Confront Scandal of Students Who 'Disappeared' at Test Time," sourcing is self-contained in the article and is from a mix of official records and people involved in the issue. The reporter, Manny Fernandez, had spent time himself researching the matter as evidenced by the dateline and by the investigative nature of the story.
Of the one dozen or so sources used in the story, five are named when referenced. Those named are from a variety of backgrounds: a parent, a former principal, two prosecuting attorneys, and a current district administrator. All of the named sourced were quoted in the story.
The sources were spread throughout the article and were not returned to at any later part of the story. Legal records and Texas education records are alternatively referenced with people. The story used data from these records to support what was said by the human sources.
Attribution throughout the article is not glaringly obvious. There are no links out to other websites. The two most used attribution terms used are "according to" and "said." Fernandez incorporated the attributions in to the framework of the story. It is clear the Fernandez did the source interviews himself. This is effective in that the attribution does not call attention to itself, but is present in order to maintain credibility.

15 Now Dead in Meningitis Outbreak

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The death toll in the fungal meningitis outbreak has reached 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Saturday.
The outbreak has been linked to tainted steroid vials from the New England Compounding Center based in Framingham, Mass., according to The New York Times.
The company has suspended operations and some lawmakers are calling for a criminal investigation, according to The Washington Post.
The Washington Post further reported that Food and Drug Administration officials said they had no clear authority to take action against the compound pharmacy, citing an outdated regulatory system for the quick and drastic changes that have taken place in the industry.
The New York Times reported that lawmakers are also calling for new laws to regulate operations of pharmacies such as the New England Compounding Center more tightly.
Some 13,000 may have been given the tainted drug, according to the CDC. State and federal health officials have been focused on notifying all of those possibly affected.

20 Killed in Attack on Worshippers in Nigeria

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At least 20 people were killed by gunmen early Sunday morning while leaving a mosque in the remote village of Dogo Dawa in northern Nigeria, a local official said.
The community chief, who was not in the mosque, was also killed in the attack according to a report by the BBC.
Al-Jazeera reported that the state police commissioner Olufemi Adenaike confirmed the attack but could not confirm a death toll.
No one has yet taken responsibility for the attack.
According to a report by The New York Times, Dogo Dawa is located in a volatile area of Nigeria where the country's predominantly Muslim North and majority Christian South meet. Clashes over land and ethnicity are not uncommon.
A local official said bandits were most likely responsible for this attack, while Al-Jazeera reported that a radical Islamic sect called Boko Haram could also have been responsible. The group has carried out similar attacks on Muslim mosques and clerics that do not subscribe to their interpretation of Islam.

Judge to Examine Campaigning Complaint against Ritchie

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Lawyers for both sides of the complaint against Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie have several weeks to submit arguments and materials to an administrative law judge after a hearing Friday morning.
Republican State Sens. Mike Parry and Scott Newman filed a complaint against Ritchie for making inaccurate statements about and campaigning against the proposed voter ID amendment.
According to a report by MinnPost, the administrative law judge, Bruce Johnson, first has to decide whether there is probable cause for the complaint. If found, a second hearing would take place in November to hear further evidence.
The state senators claim in the complaint that Ritchie and his staff have been taking part in political activity by spreading false information about the proposed amendment, which is against the law.
Ritchie has said that the proposed amendment would cost more than $50 million to implement and would alter established voting procedures in Minnesota, according to the report by MinnPost.
The Pioneer Press reported Friday that according an attorney representing the secretary, statements about the amendment made by Ritchie were based on facts. Another representative for Ritchie, Kristyn Anderson, said that no staff of the secretary were forced to spread information about the amendment.
According to the Pioneer Press, it is unlikely the complaint will be resolved before Election Day on Nov. 6.

New Signal Technology to be installed on Hiawatha Avenue

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City crews will begin shutting down portions of Hiawatha Avenue this weekend in order to install a new traffic signal system. Commuters will see delays, including a 10-day shutdown of the thoroughfare, according to a report by the Star Tribune.
However, MinnPost reports that the new system will significantly ease traffic flow.
As the system is now, the traffic light cycle restarts every time a train passes. This leaves some commuters waiting at a red light for as long as ten minutes.
The new signal technology does not have this issue, and can even turn green for those lanes that have been waiting the longest.
Crews from both Xcel Energy and the Minneapolis Public Works Department will begin work on Friday night when the 10-day shutdown commences.

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