February 2012 Archives

Pentagon admits to dumping 9-11 remains into landfill

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The Pentagon released Tuesday that remains of 9-11 victims were dumped into a landfill in Virginia, according to Boston.com.

The remains involved in the dumping were victims from both the crash on the Pentagon and another crash Shanksville, Pa. A report from the Pentagon stated that the number of bodies and identities of such involved are unclear, Boston said.

According to MSNBC, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta found after an Air Force-conducted investigation in December that some remains of U.S. military personnel hadn't been handled "in accordance with procedures."

MSNBC said that, last year, conducted investigations had " found no evidence that anyone intentionally mishandled the remains, but they concluded that the mortuary staff failed to 'maintain accountability' with some remains."

The report said that the remains had been cremated and then incinerated by a biomedical waste disposal contractor before they had been taken to a landfill, Boston.com said.

Within two weeks, an 18-cent/gallon increase in gas prices

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$3.69 is the new price for gas currently, according to Reuters, evidently due to apparent rising crude oil prices in Iran.

The price per gallon rose 18-cents on February 24.

It is said by a survey editor, Trilby Lundberg, to Reuters that "U.S. gasoline prices will likely rise at least a few cents per gallon in coming weeks because earlier increases in the cost of crude had not yet fully reached the pump."

The Sun Times reports that the nation's lowest price of gas is in Denver at $3.07 per gallon, whereas the highest cost is at $4.24 in San Diego.

Analysis: Multimedia Feature Comparison

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The Twin Cities Pioneer Press and the New York Times have some commonalities in terms of multimedia features. Each have an area designated for news photos and videos. Pioneer Press, probably because it is smaller in comparison to the New York Times, appears to have much less multimedia than the New York Times, but both organizations share similar multimedia news tactics.

The New York Times contains wider array of multimedia than Pioneer Press. Various multimedia devices include interactive features as well as graphics (that depict things like graphs). The way these various formats of multimedia are presented is a bit more of a collage in a single area in the New York Times whereas Pioneer Press seems to have them more separate and easily accessible under their own categorical tabs.

The two organizations both cover local and national news, and the photos and videos affect the way the news is conveyed and interpreted in a different way than through text. They allow visual aid that physically impacts the reader's mind and forms a connection to the story via such visualization. Typically, the photos are organized as a slideshow and contain an informal caption below the photo that explains in more detail the story of what the photos are depicting.


Young girl died after fighting with classmate

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An 11-year-old girl from California died after a fight that took place between her and a classmate on Friday, according to Boston.com.

About seven people witnessed the fight, according to the L.A. Times, and no names of the witnesses or the other girl involved in the fight have been released.

Joanna Ramos died at 9 p.m. Friday in Long Beach, Calif., approximately six hours after the fight had taken place, according to Boston.com. Her mother, Cecilia Villanueva, said that her daughter had complained of a headache on her way home from school.

Ramos' family told L.A. Times that the two girls were fighting over a boy.

The dispute occurred in a nearby alley to Willard Elementary and didn't appear to contain any weapons or to be especially violent, police said.

Police are currently still investigating and no arrests have yet been made.

16 army personnel and three others were trapped in a military camp that was encased under two massive avalanches that hit in Indian Kashmir, according to Washington Post.

Both avalanches occurred on Wednesday night, Washington Post said. Officials told the Hindustan Times they began around 10 p.m.

Three soldiers were killed in Sonamarg and 13 more were killed in a separate avalanche at an army camp in Dawar, according to Col. K.S. Grewal.

According to the Hindustan Times, this is the worst natural disaster since last winter when 17 soldiers were trapped under snow at the High Altitude Warfare School in Gulmarg.

Drunk flight attendant cancelled flight to Twin Cities

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An intoxicated Pinnacle Airlines flight attendant was removed from a Delta commuter jet scheduled to fly from Grand Forks to Minneapolis Sunday, according to Star Tribune.

Mary Jean Bongers, 51, of Coon Rapids failed multiple sobriety tests, reeked of alcohol, and couldn't even spell her own name, police said.

While Bongers denied that she had been drinking, she had a blood-alcohol content of 0.186. A police officer told Star Tribune that she was swaying, had difficulty speaking and couldn't even recite the alphabet accurately.

Further police inspection found three empty 50-milliliters bottles of Skyy vodka through a conducted search, according to Grand Forks Herald. The Star Tribune included the detail that the three containers were found in a trash bin on the plane.

According to the Star Tribune, flight records indicated that no alcohol was served on that particular flight.

The passengers from the cancelled departure were put on later flights, Pinnacle spokesman Joe Williams told Grand Forks Herald.

Vikings and U of M reach payment agreement on TCF games

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The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Vikings came to an agreement on Monday regarding how much the Vikings will have to pay the U to play at the TCF Bank Stadium, according to the Star Tribune.

Details on the amount that was agreed upon was not disclosed, but payment will be made on a per-game basis, Vikings spokesperson Lester Bagley told Star Tribune.

Bagley also said the agreement would add about 3,000 additional end zone seats. The TCF Stadium alone holds around 50,000 seats.

In a comparative estimate, the Vikings paid $1.7 million to the University to play at the stadium after the Metrodome roof collapse in 2010.

According to NFL.com, the Vikings' lease ended expired after the last season, "but they are expected to play at least one more season there."

Rules for self-driving cars passed in Nevada

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Nevada, the first state in America to do so, has issued rules for self-driving cars, according to an article on PC Mag.

While automobile companies are far from creating such a vehicle in the recent future, Department of Motor Vehicles director Bruce Breslow said that "Nevada is the first state to embrace what is surely the future of automobiles" in a statement.

According to USA Today, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval recently a rode in a driver-less car prototype.

If/when there comes a type when these types of cars are manufactured, Nevada will require a special license in order for the cars to be driven as well as requiring a "black box," a type of data collector, USA Today said.

The Minnesota House is looking to speed up the process in which a law can be created that would adjust the changes in relation to community notification of released sex offenders, according to the Minnesota Post.

The current standards are that the community does not have to be notified of a sexual offender's release if he is being sent to a halfway house. The conditions are different if the sexual offenders are released without tight surveillance, as InForum wrote.

InForum also reported that the issue wasn't uncovered until the time the judicial panel made a decision on when to release Clarence Opheim, now 64 years old, from a special Minnesota treatment program.

Opheim served 4 1/2 years in prison and 18 years in the sex-offender program, according to the Minnesota Post.

The Minnesota House is expected to declare an "urgency... a rules suspension that exempts lawmakers from having to hear legislation over multiple days" on Monday, as Kurt Zellers told the Minnesota Post.

The New York Times second-day story link: "After Honduars Fire, Cries for Justice Amid Tears"


The lead in the first news story sticks to the hard evidence of what actually happened during the Honduras prison fire. The second new story's lead writes from an emotional standpoint--by beginning its story with a personal account relating to the fire, which involves a short story about a mother's memory of her son, an inmate who had been killed in the fire.

The second-day article strays away from presenting updated information on the actual prison fire itself and focuses its attention on the opinions of relatives of those who were killed in the blaze as well as including criticisms of the current standards of Honduras prisons.

The second story involves many more accounts and attributions that are featured through the article as well as more specific factual information (like how fewer than half of the Comayagua prison prisoners had been convicted--397 of 858 inmates). The various accounts placed throughout the article serves as a decent transition from one opinion to the next and, ultimately helped to push the story along.

12-year-old girl found naked eating from a trash can

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A young girl was discovered searching through trash cans while naked in a California town on Thursday, according to the New York Daily News.

Neighbor Dominique Prado told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that she and her husband spotted the child searching through a trashcan while they were in their yard.

The girl's mother, 40-year-old Tracy Lynn Betts, allegedly left her child in the car while she was at work and was later arrested on suspicion of child endangerment.

According to the New York Daily News, the 12-year-old was covering herself up with a blanket from the car. West Central Tribune reported that she was using a floor mat from the BMW she was left in and that she was found in the BMW itself.

Betts' daughter was taken to a nearby hospital and is currently being held in protective custody.

Minnesota speed limit bill put on hold

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The Senate Transportation Committee decided to set aside the proposed bill for the time being on Tuesday that would change the speed limit on Minnesota two-lane roads, according to KARE11.

Sen. LeRoy Stumpf brought forward a bill that would raise Minnesota speed limits from 55 mph to 60 mph on two-lane roadways, but the bill was put on hold so it can be reworded.

According to West Central Tribune, a Minnesota Department of Transportation representative said that the way the proposal was written would allow raised speed limits on county as well as gravel roads.

Both articles contained attribution to another MnDOT representative, Sue Groth, who said that the bill would increase travel speeds as well as the total number of crashes, serious injuries and fatalities."

Honduras prison fire killed more than 300 hundred

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The world's deadliest prison fire in the century, with 358 confirmed deaths so far, occurred Tuesday night in Honduras, according to Associated Press.

Local Comayugua Gov. Paola Castro received a phone call from an inmate threatening to set the Comayagua prison on fire. Castro said she notified the Red Cross and fire brigade minutes after the phone call.

The New York Times reported that by the time the first round of rescuers arrived at around 11:30 p.m., the fire had already been ablaze for 40 minutes.

"We were asleep when we suddenly heard the screams of people on fire," a surivivor said on the Televicentro televison network who were outside the prison, the Times reported.

Both articles emphasized the fact that the Comayagua prison, was overcrowded and at double capacity. 856 prisoners were packed into barracks, Supreme Court Justice Richard Ordonez told AP. Ordonez is leading the fire investigation.

Many bodies remain unidentified due to incineration, NY Times reported. The Times also noted that prison riots and fires are not uncommon for Hondurus. After a riot in 2003 in a Honduran prison, the government supposedly promised to improve the system, according to a government report. However, a fire sparked in another overcrowded prison" and "killed more than 100 prisoners.

AP reported that officials have not been able to improve prison conditions because they lack sufficient funds.

The progression of the information in this news article began strong with explaining the reactions that the father's viral video has got so far as well as it had briefed shortly about what the video was about.

From there, it presented details on what the video depicted and included some quotes the father made. Embedded in the article was the actual video, which I would classify as being a part of the article itself rather than as a mere reference.

The end of the article was dedicated to how the father felt about the reactions he received. The way the article was presented in seemingly three separate segments helped to subtly organize the information in a way that is readable and understandable. In this sense, the structure of this article was effective. There were even attributions to some comments that were made by some viewers of the video as well incorporated into the article at the end. However, I feel like there was probably too many quotes from the father and too many pull-quotes, in general. Paraphrasing would have allowed there to be a more effective understanding, in my opinion. Otherwise, we just get lost in between every pair of apostrophes.

Man found dead at gun range, wife dead at home

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On Saturday morning, a 52-year-old man shot himself in the head at a shooting range, and his wife was found dead at their home, according to Fox News.

The Florida man, unidentified, visited the Arizona Shooting Range in Lauderdale Lakes, rented a gun, and killed himself in the target practice area.

He was taken to Broward General Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, according to Huffington Post.

Police arrived at the man's home around 1 p.m., Hufftington Post reported. There was no answer after knocking on the door, although the wife's car was in the driveway. Officers entered the house and found the man's wife dead in the bedroom.

Fox News reported that police did not reveal the woman's identity or cause of death, but said that the couple had no incidents at their home.

Custody battle between a gay man and his lesbian ex-wife

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A gay man fights for partial custody of his son with his lesbian ex-wife and her partner, demanding for overnight and holiday contact, Parent Dish reports.

The Telegraph reports that the father and mother had a "marriage of convenience," and are now divorced. Neither article provides names of the parents to protect their child's identity.

The father, mother, and her partner are highly-paid professionals, both The Telegraph and Parent Dish state, that live in central London.

The father claims he had always been more than a sperm doner and wishes to play a prominent role in his son's life. Parent Dish states that he had attended the child's birth.

The parents had a prior agreement before their child was born that the mother and her partner would be the "primary parents" within a 'two-parent, nuclear family," Parent Dish reports. They are very traditional in the way they want to raise their child.

Charles Howard QC told The Telegraph that the mother and her partner would have opted for an anonymous sperm doner had they known beforehand of the position the father would want to take.

However, in The Telegraph, it was stated the Charles Howard QC was for the mother's side while the Parent Dish states that he was on the father's side. The Telegraph also mentioned that Alex Verdan QC was for the father's side.

There is no confirmed date when the Appeal Court judges will make their decision.
The father currently has five hours of interaction a fortnight with his son.

A teenage girl, who was charged for the death of her 9-year-old neighbor when she was 15, has a history of battling depression, drug addict parents, and thoughts of suicide, according to The Telegraph.

Alyssa Bustamante is being charged as an adult for stabbing her next-door neighbor, Elizabeth Olten, to death after she confessed to the second-degree murder and armed criminal action last month. The Telegraph reported that Bustamante told officers she committed the murder "to know what it felt like."

While it is reported by the Washington Post that Bustamonte has been relatively quiet in the court room, prosecutors expose her voice through excerpts from her diary--excerpts that are also included in The Telegraph's article.

"I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they're dead," Bustamante wrote in her diary, as read aloud in court by a hand-writing expert. "I don't know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the 'ohmygawd I can't do this' feeling, it's pretty enjoyable."

The Telegraph reports that Cook County Circuit Court

Bustamante, now 18, had appeared a little happier as the two left for a church youth dance the evening of the crime, according to her grandmother and legal guardian, Karen Brooke.

Brooke told Washington Post that Bustamante had attempted suicide in the past by intaking a large bottle of Tylenol and was prescribed with the antidepressant Prozac following the incident. Her dosage was reportedly increased two weeks before the crime took place.

Patty Preiss, the 9-year-old victim's mother, pleaded the court for a maximum sentence, both news organizations reported.

Defense psychiatrist, Edwin Johnston, believed that the increase in antidepressants may have been the cause of Bustamante's mood swings and violence, Washington Post reported.

Bustamante's lawyers are working toward a sentence of 10 years for Bustamante in jail rather than a maximum sentence.

Minneapolis man convicted of fatally stabbing friend

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A Minneapolis man was convicted of charges in stabbing his friend by a Hennepin County jury, Pioneer Press reported.

Kevin Lamont Mims, 29, was found guilty on Thursday in the death of his friend, 20-year-old Brian Nelson, as well as assault in the stabbing of another person the same night.

A fight ensued between Mims, Nelson and two other friends n the parking ramp near Envy nightclub in Minneapolis, the club that the group was returning from on Sept. 11. It was reported that Mims argued with the front-seat passenger and hit him in the process.

Nelson tried to break up the fight, but Mims pulled out a scissors and stabbed Nelson two times in the heart, KSTP reports. He died.

Mims was also charged on the grounds of second-degree assault for stabbing the other man in the arm.

Sentencing is scheduled to take place on Mar. 1.

The Respectful Learning Environment Curriculum policy was endorsed by Anoka-Hennepin teachers' union on Monday, according to the Star Tribune.

The "Respectful Learning Environment" policy was introduced on Jan. 23, Pioneer Press reported. It is the second draft to be reviewed by a school board.

A first draft, the "Controversial Topics Curriculum Policy," fell through after its proposal in December, according to the Star Tribune. The latest policy was introduced in replacement of the district's current Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy.

"Ultimately we believe this (proposed) policy reflects what works for students and we definitely can work with that," said Union President Julie Blaha, as reported by Pioneer Press.

According to the Star Tribune, teachers have criticized the existing policy for its lack of clarity on how to interact with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

The new policy is subjected a school board voting next Monday.

There were a plentiful amount of sources in MailOnline's article concerning the death of Leslie Carter. The first, most prominently-used source was a police report that was cited to be obtained by ABC News. This report was referred to within the first good half of the article when it was explaining the incident of Carter's death. Concurrently with the report attributions, Ginger Carter was referred to as a source as well.

Nick Carter's publicist, Access Hollywood, Aaron Carter himself, and E! Online were also other sources that were attributed in the second half of the article. These four attributions were clustered in one area, paragraph after paragraph.

I would have to say the most effective attributions involved the police report and Ginger Carter's witness accounts, because the two were intertwined with each other. It made the explanation easier to comprehend. The heap of attributions in the last half the article doesn't seem to compare as effectively. While they were informative in providing more background in relation to how much of an effect her death was to the live of her celebrity brothers, I don't think they were able to compare just because of their jumbled structure.

The 25-year-old sister of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and pop singer Aaron Carter died Monday afternoon from a possible overdose of depression medication, according to ABC News.

Leslie Carter had a history of mental illness and believed was on medication for depression at the time of her death, her stepmother, Ginger Carter, told authorities reporting on the incident.

There were three types of medication near Carter at the time of her death: Olanzapine, Cyclobenzaprine, and Xanax. The first is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; the second is a muscle relaxant; and, the third, is a common medication used to treat depression.

Carter's stepmother told authorities that Carter seemed depressed the morning of her death and had fallen in the shower. After assisting to her aid, Carter helped her stepdaughter to her bed to rest.

Carter assumed her stepdaughter was resting when she brought in the 25-year-old's 10-month old daughter, hoping it would wake her and lift her spirits. When she realized she wasn't breathing, she called in her husband and Carter's father, Robert Carter, who attempted to perform CPR.

Carter's stepmother appeared to be under the influence at the time of questioning, an incident report obtained by ABC News states.

Backstreet Boy Nick Carter's publicist, Jack Ketsoyan, told MailOnline, "Nick is thankful to the many people and the fans who have shared their wishes and prayers during this tragic time. We want to let the fans know the tour will go on as promised."

The MailOnline reports that Carter's family are making funeral preparations later this week and it is unknown if the family will release the cause of death publicly when results are available.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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