March 2012 Archives

A bill passed Wednesday by the Senate would allow the University of Minnesota to serve alcohol to fans during sporting events, according to KARE11.

According to KARE11, the U of M would be the first of the Big Ten Schools to allow alcohol to be served to sports fans during events.

Apparently, the bill has been under consideration since 2009.

According to the Minnesota Daily, the bill was passed Friday, making alcohol available to be served in certain areas of TCF Stadium during sport events.

Linda Cohen, who holds the board chair, told the Daily that the board cannot act on the policy until May because the board does not meet during the month of April.

The 38-year-old man who drowned his baby son about two years ago could be released after treatment, according to the Star Tribune.

Randel Richardson of Eden Prairie, Minn. had drowned his infant son in a laundry tub, a psychotic episode that was triggered by depression, as the 33-page order Richardson received.

Richardson's record was cleared of first-degree murder by reason of mental illness last April, the Star Tribune wrote.

The order noted that Richardson had no history of violence or mental illness before the committing the drowning, Star Tribune reported.

Judge Jay Quam ordered Wednesday that Richardson not to be considered indefinitely mentally ill and dangerous, according to KSTP.

While Richardson remains taking his medication for his mental illness, Quam wrote in the order that Richardson "will be forever reinforced by the shame and guilt" about what happened to his son, according to the Star Tribune. Quam also denied Hennepin County Attorney's request that Richardson remain at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter.

It is required with his mental condition that he remains committed as mentally ill and then re-evaluated to determine whether he could be released or transferred to a transitional program before returning to society, the Star Tribune stated.

Taiwanese woman dies during Facebook chat

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A woman in Taiwan "killed herself" while chatting online to friends through Facebook by inhaling suffocating toxins, police said Tuesday, according to USA Today.

A 31-year-old woman by the name of Claire Lin committed suicide on her birthday, March 18. Her family had no idea of the Facebook conversations she had shortly before and during her death, authorities said.

USA Today reported included Lin's last words, in Chinese, that were: "Too late. My room is filled with fumes. I just posted another picture. Even while I'm dying, I still want FB (Facebook). Must be FB poison. Haha."

She was found dead the next day at her apartment by her boyfriend. Posting on her Facebook implied that there were relationship issues going on that contributed to her suicide, according to USA Today.

Lin had posted messages on Facebook as well as photos of charcoal burning in her stove during the incident, USA Today wrote. The police reported stated that cause of death was suffocation from noxious fumes.

However, an article on MSN News identified the woman as Lin Mei-heng and reported that she posted the messages and pictures on March 17.

Analysis: News Obituary

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James McPadden - Carver County News

The lead for this obituary follows the standard obituary lead for the most part, including the person's name, when and where he died, but it did not include his age or any notable identifying fact.

The structure of the obituary does follow the standard layout of an obituary, though. It follows a chronological review of his life as well as describing his personality and character traits. The obituary also included who in his family had preceded his death as well as a very lengthy list of living family members.

However, there were no quotations from family or any attribution to the information that was stated about McPadden, which is unusual for a news obituary to disclude.

After the 2011 tsunami, a Japanese fishing boat has been found off of the coast of British Columbia, according to the CBS News.

An government airplane had spotted the large vessel, 50 feet long in length, about 160 miles west of Haida Gwaii, according to Jeff Olsson of Victoria's Joint Rescue Coordination center, CBS reported.

The Montreal Gazette stated that the boat was a squid-fishing boat, but that it is 150 feet long, along with additional information stating that the ship is right-side-up.

Both articles stated that the ship has no passengers on board; the Montreal Gazette reported that the ship's owner, who was found by linking the hull numbers back to him, confirmed that nobody was believed to be on the ship at the time it drifted out to sea.

A student was shot to death at a Mississippi State University dormitory Saturday night by three suspects who have yet to be identified, officials said, according to ABC news.

John Sanderson, 21, of Madison, Miss. was found by police at the scene in Evans hall in critical condition and was transported to the hospital. He died approximately 30 minutes later, ABC reports.

MSNBC reported that authorities said the three suspects, all male, fled the scene in a Blue Ford Crown Victoria. No arrests have been made thus far.

According to both news organizations, this was the first incident a student had been shot on campus.

Vice president of student affairs at Mississippi State University Dr. Bill Kibler said that security of residence halls have been heightened although the entire campus has not been entirely locked down.

Renowned filmmaker James Cameron dove into the deepest part of the Earth's oceans on Sunday in his self-designed minisubmarine, according to the New York Times.

In partnership with the National Geographic Society, the expedition landed Cameron's -- "Titanic" and "Avatar" director -- name in the record-book as the third person in the world to have reached the Challenger Deep, the seven-mile abyss and deepest trough of the Mariana Trench, the NY Times said.

Just as the Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Capt. Don Walsh before him, Cameron was only able to remain submerged with visibility of the ocean floor for about 20 minutes before his submarine kicked up so much silt from the floor, NY Times reported. Walsh also accompanied Cameron in helping to advise his mission.

USA Today wrote several weeks ago that Cameron is not the only one who seeks to explore the unknown oceanic depths. Richard Branson, an airline and telecom entrepreneur, and Eric Schmidt, a former Google CEO, are both in the process of creating their own "deep water submarine project" for future expeditions.

Local teen killed on Carver County Highway

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A 17-year-old boy, cloaked in a blanket, was hit by a semi truck on Thursday morning on a southwest metro highway in Norwood Young America, according to the Star Tribune.

Draped in a dark-colored blanket, Andrew Mulville was standing in the right lane of Hwy. 212 near when he was struck by an oncoming semitruck around 7:05 a.m., KSTP reported.

Several news organizations (like the West Central Tribune) initially heard that the Minnesota State Patrol stated Mulville had wrapped himself in the blanket and lain in the road just before sunrise.

There were no witnesses of the crash, according to the Star Tribune, and the 55-year-old truck driver, Harold R. Schroeder, of Gibbon, Minn. was not injured.

A Minnesota high school student is not allowed to take a porn star to his prom, even after the actress accepted his invitation, according to Fox News.

18-year-old Mike Stone of Oakdale, Minn. sent out hundreds of Twitter messages to celebrities and adult stars throughout January and February, according to Pioneer Press, in attempt to find a date to his senior prom. Stone had never been to prom before.

Two girls had responded, according to Fox news, whose names are Emy Reyes and Megan Piper. Piper said she could attend if her travel fare of $400 could be covered for her. Pioneer Press didn't mention Emy Reyes' name.

But North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District policies prohibit any individual or group entry to school events if the visit is "not in the best interest" of the district, Jennifer McNeil told Fox News, a district spokesperson.

Superintendent of the district, Patty Phillips, also told Fox News that Piper, 19, is also denied of attending because her appearance would be "inconsistent" with district policy.

Kenya bus attacks kills six

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Explosive devices, believed by police to have potentially been grenades, killed six passengers and injured 69 others, according to The Guardian.

The attack, which occurred Saturday night, was reported by police to have involved three explosive devices that were thrown at a group of people waiting at a bus stop in Nairobi, thrown from a passing moving vehicle.

George Saitoti, the internal security minister of Kenya (whose status was not mentioned in the article on the incident) stated that investigative authorities covering the attack believe those behind on the attack are sympathizers with Somalia's al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militia.

"The group has been linked to a string of attacks on Kenyan soil since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October," The Guardian wrote.

A difference between the two articles is the number of injured people. The Guardian wrote that 69 people were injured, and reported that Saitoti stated that 63 were injured.

Minnesota man dies in ATV crash near Duluth

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A man from Wyoming, Minn. died Saturday even when he rolled his ATV 30 miles northeast of Duluth, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The man, whose name is will not be released until relatives are informed, was apparently not wearing a helmet, according to St. Louis County sheriff's office. The Star Tribune also validates this statement.

The 56-year-old man was driving his ATV around Pequaywan Lake when he rolled it at approximately 6:30 p.m. and died at the scene, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Both the Star Tribune and the Duluth News Tribune state that no other vehicles were harmed and that the cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

U.S. researchers have recently published their work regarding a light-emitting diode that operates above "unity efficiency", ultimately being able to convert heat to light, according to Physics World.

The idea of such a device has been around since 1957 and this created device is the first demonstration of an LED actually decreasing the temperature of its surroundings by absorption, Physics World reported.

Technically speaking, the "LED produces 69 picowatts of light using 30 picowatts of power", as wrote in an article. Wired's article was mainly concerned on clarifying the fact that this diode doesn't break the first law of thermodynamics.

It doesn't break the first law because the LED puts out double the amount of protons than it takes in, essentially because this shows that it alternatively "draws in heat energy from its surroundings instead," according to Wired.

"The most counterintuitive aspect of this result is that we don't typically think of light as being a form of heat," said lead scientist of the project, Parthiban Santhanam, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as Physics World included in its article.

69 picowatts of light is the amount of light that would be most fit for low-power electronic applications, Wired reported.

After roaming the outskirts of the Nevada desert for a total of 53 days, a dog is finally found and returned to its owner on Feb. 18, according to ABC News.

Barbera Bagley had suffered traumatic losses on the night of Dec. 27 when her husband, her two Shetland sheepdogs, and herself were involved in a fatalistic car accident, Care2 wrote.

Bagley's husband and one of the Shetlands, Delaney, died during the car crash that happened about 200 miles east of Reno. The other dog, Dooey, 4, had escaped the scene.

A search was proposed but canceled three days prior to initial investigations when apparent dog remains were found along the road where the crash had taken place, ABC News reports.

Bagley didn't give up hope. "Something inside me told me Dooley was still alive out there," Bagley said.

Sightings had been reported of a Shetland sheepdog three weeks later, ABC News reported. A family friend as well as another individual, who was named in ABC News as Shannon Sustacha, were able to capture the skittish dog.

Dooey had lost 24 pounds from the ordeal, and a veterinarian who inspected him discovered bird bones in his throat.

Care2 mentioned that the average lows for January and February months when Dooey had been missing were 17 and 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Veterinarians and witnesses deduced that Dooey had survived on eating roadkill and consuming water from ranches, but there was no indication where he may have slept, Care2 wrote.

University of Minnesota considers year-round calendar

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The University of Minnesota president proposed a year-round academic calendar in his speech at Coffman Union Theater on Thursday, according to the Minnesota Daily.

With an academic calendar of three 14- or 15-weeks periods, Kaler said that it would ultimately help students graduate faster. His proposal had mixed reactions from faculty and students alike.

Undergraduate student body president and U of M student, Lizzie Shay, said that she believes more students are looking to finish school early and they would take advantage of the opportunity, according to Pioneer Press.

"If students can complete their degree faster and with more flexibility, it seems like a no-brainer. I see this as part of an organizationwide movement to a more flexible, interesting and exploratory U," Shay told the Pioneer Press.

Mechanical engineering professor, Caroline Hayes, told the Daily that a year-round calendar might be problematic, given that there would be a strain on hiring more faculty and teaching assistants as well as it would detract from students working over the summer.

The altered academic calender would increase tuition revenue, Kaler said, and would allow more faculty to be hired. "Faculty would still teach two semesters a year but could have two consecutive semesters dedicated to research. Alternatively, faculty could decide to work nine months in a year and teach three semesters from time to time for additional compensation," the Daily wrote.

Pioneer Press highlighted the fact that year-round school calendars are rare, but does allow more students to be admitted.

Kaler said that the University of Minnesota administration will be looking into the alternative school calendar proposal more intricately at the Twin Cities campus before consulting with other campuses on the proposal.

"Detriot native Mitt Romney tells Detroiters in Detroit how much he loves Detroit" is the title of a speech coverage on Mitt Romney speech to the Detroit Economic Club on Feb. 24 by Crain's Detroit Business.

Throughout the article, the reporter really focuses on Romney's ties with Detroit--especially given the first giveaway, the repetitive use of Detroit in the article title--and continues to do so throughout the article while also including some of the subjects that he touched based on.

The article briefly mentioned Romney's views on Obama, how his presidency is a "failed" one, the several plans he has in store (like cutting business tax and cutting subsidies like Planned Parenthood), as well as his connection to Detroit.

The way the reporter involved Romney's comments on how he enjoys being back in Michigan, his homestate, emphasizes the directional proximity of the article since the article is written by an organization based in Michigan.

Other more general, nationwide articles had more of a general perspective such as TMP's article, which focused on how almost-empty the stadium was. This article by Crains just briefly described the crowd in the beginning, saying how it was a "polite, mildly enthusiastic pro-Romney audience."

Flying robots learn to play James Bond theme

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A viral YouTube video was posted on Feb. 28 depicting several robots fly around a room filled with instruments playing the James Bond theme, according to MSNBC.

Two doctoral students, Alex Kushleyev and Daniel Mellinger, from the University of Pennsylvania's General Robots, Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab (a.k.a. GRASP), are the makers of these nine, computer-programmed fleeting robots.

According to the Telegraph,, Vijay Kumar, a university of Philadelphia robotics laboratory member, presented the robots at the TED2012 conference. This article doesn't include the makers' names, Kushleyev and Mellinger.

Among playing instruments, Kushleyev and Mellinger said that these robots could help scope out buildings and survey landscapes. Some of their abilities include turning, flipping, flying in formation, and working in unison.

One of the most important capability is that the bots are able to analyze their surroundings and monitor where they are compared to the other.

"The nanobots are fitted with wireless cameras and infrared lights that help their pilots plot their exact position in a precise way," the Telegraph wrote.

Japanese invent gun that prevents speech

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Two Japanese researchers have recently developed a gun that is able to stop someone from speaking mid-sentence, according to the Washington Post.

Kazutaka Kurihara of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and Koji Tsukada of Ochanomizu University who made the gun said that the device can silence someone from talking more than 100 feet away, the Post reports.

"In general, human speech is jammed by giving back to the speakers their own utterances at a delay of a few hundred milliseconds. This effect can disturb people without any physical discomfort, and disappears immediately by stopping speaking," Kurihara and Tsukada wrote in a research paper describing the portable gun, according to The

Initially, the researchers intended the device to be used in hushed spaces, like libraries. But also in that paper they wrote that it can be used to silence people who speak during important speeches and hush meaningless noises. comments that this gun was made basically "to enforce 'proper' conversations."

Controversial talk bout the invention of this speech-silencing gun concern the rights of free speech.

Couple held for potential death of unborn child

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A couple from Crystal, Minn. is being held in custody for a suspicious death of an unborn child that is believed to have occurred about three to four years ago, according to Fox 9 News.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the incident occurred on the 5700 block of Quail Avenue N. Star Tribune reports that word of the possible murder from a few years ago was received by police on Tuesday morning. They received the information by responding to a domestic disturbance call, Fox 9 reports.

Unlike the Tribune, Fox 9 provides names of the couple, who is currently being held in the Hennepin County Jail. Duane Albert Clark, 30, is being held for for first-degree of an unborn child; Tiffany Ayn Clarke is charged with first-degree manslaughter of an unborn child.

However, Police Chief John Banick won't say if the couple that was arrested Tuesday is the same couple who were involved with the assault, according to the Tribune.

Star Tribune included attributions of neighbors commenting on the couple; they didn't say they were suspicious of the couple. On the other hand, Fox 9 included an attribution of a comment that the family was rarely seen with their children who played in the streets and that isolationism isn't something unusual of the family.

Random objects strike vehicles, causing injury

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An iron vise shattered a driver's windshield and struck the driver of the hit vehicle on Monday night, according to the Star Tribune.

National Guard Sgt. Jon Stacke was driving along the 14-block stretch of Normandale Boulevard between 84th and 98th streets, which is an area that's experienced five other similar cases to this involving random objects striking passing vehicles since the beginning of January.

Stacke was accompanied by his friend, National Guard Staff Sgt. Jeremy Gettel, as they were on their way to the Bloomington Armory. The pair had just left Normandale Lake.

Gettel said the iron vise had smashed through the windshield, ricocheted off of the steering wheel and struck Stacke hard in the jaw, inducing him unconscious. But Stacke's "foot was still on the gas pedal," Gettel said.

According to MPR News, this is the first incident out of the six cases on Normandale Boulevard that someone was injured, Bloomington Police Deputy Chief Rick Hart said. The article on MPR News contains no information about Stacke or Gettel, except for that fact that someone had been still under hospitalization on Wednesday for a serious facial injury.

Both articles indicate that there is a $1,500 reward that has been issued by the Bloomington Crime Prevention Association for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects.

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