March 2013 Archives

Rocket Scientist Yvonne Brill's Obit: Analysis

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Yvonne Brill, a rocket scientist died on saturday evening. Her many scientific successes did not trump her beef stroganoff, at least in the eyes of the writer or her obituary, Douglas Martin.

After learning of the many different do's and don'ts of obituary writing I felt this story was a must. Yvonne Brill, a brilliant rocket scientist who created a propulsion system that made sure satellites stayed in orbit, was made out to seem like just a housewife.

The introduction to Brill's obituary began like this, "She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children. "The world's best mom," her son Matthew said.

Many people chastised this horrible beginning, was this beginning supposed to be anecdotal or what? What were Douglas Martin and his editor thinking about when they allowed this to be published? One would think her propulsion system would at least make the first paragraph.

The author has since changed the introduction but the original was organized in a way that put her as a woman and a mother first. The second paragraph then discusses her achievements as a rocket scientist, but then turns back to the sexism when the author mentions she preferred to be called "Mrs."

In the last paragraphs the author, thankfully, admires her many life achievements and awards.

** The keyword original brings you to a blog, if you scroll down to the bottom of the blog page, you can find the original obit there.

Two Escape from Duluth Prison: Local News

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Two men in their 60s escaped a minimum security prison in Duluth, Minn., on Saturday.

Star Tribune said Michael Krzyzaniak and Gerald Greenfield will face additional years of incarceration if they are apprehended.

The two men were discovered missing around10 p.m. on Saturday evening during a scheduled prisoner count, Star Tribune said.

Krzyzaniak has served three years of his 12-year prison sentence. Krzyzaniak promoted development projects that never began. He pleaded guilty in 2011 to wire fraud and tax evasion, which caused investors to lose nearly $26 million, Star Tribune reported.

Krzyzaniak is a 64-year-old white male with brown hair and hazel eyes, he is 6'0" tall and weighs about 200 pounds, Kare 11 said.

Greenfield has served two years of his four-year sentence. He was convicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering. He helped one of the developers of the Sexton Lofts in Minneapolis scheme a $2.5 million mortgage fraud, Star Tribune said.

Greenfield is 67-years-old with blond hair and blue eyes. He is a white male, stands 5'9" and weighs 150 pounds, Kare 11 said.

The Duluth minimum-security prison has a gym, a movie theater, and food service with a salad bar, Star Tribune said. It houses other white-collar criminals, like Denny Hecker, Star Tribune said.

Krzyzaniak and Greenfield must have wanted to retreat to their lavish lifestyles, which included chartered jets, multi-million dollar homes in Laguna Beach, and expensive vehicles such as Mercedes Benz.

A Brazilian doctor was charged with killing seven patients to free up some space in a hospital, CNN reported Thursday.

Virginia Helena Soares de Souza killed seven, and may have been responsible for up to 300 deaths according to a Health Ministry Investigator, New York Daily News said.

De Souza was arrested and charged last month on seven separate counts of aggravated first-degree murder, New York Daily News said.

De Souza allegedly recruited other doctors to administer lethal doses of anesthetics, sedatives and painkillers. Seven of her associates have been charged in the case as well, CNN said.

De Souza did not prescribe the drugs herself, but ordered other doctors to alter mechanical ventilation devices or increase prescriptions--such as muscle relaxants--to a lethal level. Most patients would die from asphyxiation, CNN reported and New York Daily News said.

New York Daily News said that in some cases, De Souza wasn't even in the hospital, and gave instructions over the phone on how to end a patient's life.

Investigations will continue, and new cases are expected to emerge upon further exploration of medical records of patients who have died in the past seven years at the hospital where De Souza was the head of the intensive care unit, New York Daily News said.

New York Daily News added that if prosecutors are able to prove that De Souza killed 300 patients, it could be one of the world's worst serial killings, resembling Harold Shipman's case. Shipman was the English doctor who has charged with killing 215 patients.

A dentist in Tulsa, Okla. is accused of infecting as many as 7,000 patients by sterilizing improperly, investigations found on Friday.

A deeper examination after complaints of Wayne Scott Harrington's dental practice found that needles were being handled improperly, and perhaps being reused and dental tools were sterilized with bleach, which caused them to rust, CNN said.

CNN also said, Harrington allegedly allowed unlicensed employees to perform intravenous sedation of the patients. The complaint issued said Harrington's dental assistants also did not have permits.

The investigation started after the health department informed the dentistry board to the potential hepatitis C infection coming from his practice, ABC News said.

The Tulsa Health Department sent 7,000 letters to patients of Harrington, informing them of the investigation and advising the patients to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, ABC News said.

Harrington voluntarily gave up his state dental license and any other permits he had--such as anesthesia permits and medications--two days after the health officials inspected his office as part of their investigation, CNN said.

The Tulsa Health Department will set up a free clinic to test patients on the first of April, ABC said.

The University Panhellenic Council announced Chi Omega will join the U's greek community this fall.

The University's News Service said another sorority, Phi Mu, is set to join campus between 2015 and 2017. Both Phi Mu and Chi Omega have previously been on the University of Minnesota campus. Phi Mu from 1925-1970 and Chi Omega from 1921-1989.

Chi Omega will be the 14th Panhellenic sorority on campus, and Phi Mu the 15th, the University's News Service said.

The new chapter of Chi Omega will have a different recruitment process than the rest of the Panhellenic sororities. They will have their own time to recruit members and will participate on the first day of fall formal recruitment for a general information session about the sorority and the chapter, and will then drop out of the formal recruitment process, the Minnesota Daily said.

There are many reasons why Chi Omega was chosen to come to the U. One reason they were chosen was because they have a Chi Omega at every Big Ten School besides Minnesota. The second is the sorority has a high concentration of alumnae in the area. There are more than 1,100 alumnae within a 25-mile radius.

Chi Omega is planning on using the new 17th Ave. residence hall as its meeting space until it finds more permanent housing, the Minnesota Daily said.

This is the first time in more than 30 years the University has added a sorority, the University News Service reported.

The first female to ever head the U.S Secret Service was named by President Obama on Tuesday.

Julie Pierson, a 30-year veteran of the Secret Service, will replace Mark Sullivan, who announced his retirement last month, the Los Angeles Times said.

Pierson has worked at the agencies in Miami and Orlando Fla. She currently works as chief of staff of the law enforcement agency that is best known for protecting the U.S. president, the Los Angeles Times said.

Mark Sullivan announced his retirement after some recent incidents for the agency, which involved 11 agents allegedly bringing prostitutes back to their hotel, while the agents were on assignment at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, NBC News said.

The Los Angeles Times reported, the agency Pierson will head has more than 150 offices in the U.S. and throughout other countries. Her offices began by hiring employees who would fight counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Now her agents also protect national and visiting foreign leaders, secure national sites and events, and manage criminal investigations.

The Los Angeles Times said Julie Pierson joined the Secret Service in 1983 as a special agent. She rose through the ranks of the service and will now head it.

Vikings Sign Greg Jennings: Analysis

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In the article written in ESPN this week about Greg Jennings, there were many words and statements that may have led readers to believe Jennings is lowering himself to be a Viking.

Now, as an avid Vikings fan, I do have to admit that if someone has a bad comment to say about my team, I'm not one to take it lightly.

The author(s) used phrases "desperately open arms," and "fill a gaping hole in Minnesota." Granted, Minnesota was in desperate need of a decent WR, but these words just added a side that as a journalist, I didn't think needed to be portrayed to the reader.

The authors did portray a side of Jennings that showed his excitement about wearing purple and gold, like when they used a quote, "'I'm not the first Packers player to jump on this side,' he said with a smile."

ESPN set the story up in this way, giving a background of Jennings as a player, the contract he signed with the Vikings, and previous injuries he's had. Then they moved into quotations from Jennings, Leslie Frazier (Vikings Head Coach) and Christian Ponder (Vikings QB).

They did not use any quotations from the Packers players though, which I think would have helped the reader fully understand the heat of the rivalry between the Vikes and the Pack.

Vikings Sign Greg Jennings: Story of my Choosing

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A former Green Bay Packer will turn to purple and gold as a Viking.

In perhaps one of the bitterest rivalries in NFL football, Greg Jennings, and wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers signed a contract with the Vikings. The contract guarantees Jennings $18 million and a maximum value of $47.5 million, ESPN said.

The Vikings traded wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawkslast week, and needed a receiver that could make plays, so they turned to Jennings a free-agent.

Jennings was the Packers all-time top 10 in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He averaged about 1,000 yards a season, said.

There are a few worries about signing Jennings though. The first is his age, he's 29-years-old, which is on the old side, at least in NFL years. He also has had a number of injuries, which include; torn abdominal muscles, and a sprained knee, ESPN said.

Jennings justified his trade in a statement to ESPN. He said, "You can just get a sense that he [Christian Ponder, Vikings QB] needed a little more around him to give him some help, Hopefully, I can help him a little bit."

Girl Scout Cookie Order a $24,000 Hoax: National News

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Two Girl Scout troops in Portland Oregon thought they got the order of a lifetime--but an order of 6,000 girl scout cookie boxes, ended up being a hoax.

A company based in Hillsboro, Oregon, ordered $24,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies, but the person ordering the cookies was not even an employee of the company, KATU said.

The two Girl Scout troops didn't let that get them down.

Hundreds turned out this saturday. The girls held an event to sell the boxes at the Girl Scout offices Saturday morning and the cookies sold at a rate of 1,000 boxes per hour, KATU said.

The sales from the cookies will allow them to go to summer camp, and the "cookie credits" earned will allow them to attend, Komo News said.

A statement made by Girl Scout Spokeswoman Sarah Miller showed even the offices were surprised. She said, "I expected a few people to come down, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this many," KATU reported.

North Dakota Approves Strict Abortion Laws: Local News

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On Friday, North Dakota moved forward with adopting the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States.

The laws will ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, or when a heartbeat is detected, and another law which will prohibit women from receiving an abortion if the fetus has a genetic defect, Star Tribune said.

Groups including the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties warned the lawmakers that their measures would be deemed unconstitutional, the New York said.

In the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade, the courts ruled a woman has a right to an abortion until the fetus is 24 weeks old, or viable outside the womb, the New York Times reported.

The new bill outlaws abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected using "standard medical procedures." Heartbeats of a fetus can be detected at about six weeks using a transvaginal ultrasound, or at about 12 weeks when using abdominal ultrasounds, the New York Times noted.

The senate approved the fetal heartbeat bill 26-17; and the house approved it 63-28, they approved the genetic abnormalities bill 27-15, and the house was 64-27, the Star Tribune said.

CLA Dean to Step Down: UMN News

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James Parente, University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts dean, will step down this summer. He has been the dean (he was interim, then dean of College of Liberal Arts) for over a decade, and will pursue different research projects, the Minnesota daily said.

The Minnesota Daily said, Parente will return to the Department of German, Scandivian, and Dutch to teach. Parente also wants to pursue his research, and re-connect with University of Minnesota students.

Parente will step down on June 30, 2013. Parente thanked President Kaler and Provost Hanson for allowing him to return to his faculty position at the U, according to CLA News a blog for CLA announcements.

The College of Liberal Arts has over 15,000 students and is the largest college at the University, and a national search to find a replacement for Parente will begin as soon as possible, the Minnesota Daily Reported.

New Pope Rises: International Story

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New Pope, Francis, rises after Pope Benedict XVI steps down.

Pope Francis, 76, is the first Pope since the 8th century to come somewhere other than Europe, and the first pope to come from the Americas, CNNand the New York Times said. His name, Pope Francis, is also a first. The Pope chose this name to honor St. Francis of Assisi, who was known as a servant to the poor, CNN said.

Pope Francis, also known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio born of Italian immigrants, was raised in Argentina, The New York times said.

According to the New York Times, Pope Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI was the first pontiff in almost 600 years to resign. Pope Francis and Pope Benedict have similarities, they both hold extremely traditional values.

Pope Francis, known as a humble, simple, and even a normal man, according to CNN, will face many challenges. The Catholic Church is currently facing cynicism for Sexual Abuse by priests, and CNN added, corruption is also among the problems that need to be addressed by the new Pope.

St. Thomas Academy wins 1A state title, and Edina wins 2A state title on Saturday.

For the 1A, St. Thomas Academy defeated Hermantown despite trailing 4-2 after the second period at the Xcel Energy Center. With a final score of 5-4, it is their third win in three years. The school's overall record was 27-2-2, with the team losing only to Hill Murray and Minnetonka, According to The Mendota Heights Patch

Top scorers for St. Thomas Academy were Matt Perry with three goals, and Tom Novak with one in the final game, The Patch said.

For the 2A title, Edina beat No. 1 Hill-Murray 4-2. It is Edina's eighth hockey title in the school's history. Edina's record stood at 25-6-0 and they were the third seed coming into the State championship, MPR reported

The top scorer for Edina was Cullen Munson with two goals. The goaltender, Willie Benjamin stopped 25 shots from top-ranked Hill Murray, MPR said.

Next year, St. Thomas Academy will be moving up to the 2A class, and will go against high-ranked teams like Hill-Murray, Edina, Shattuck St. Mary's, and Duluth East.

Two Minneapolis Churches Burglarized: Local News

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Burglars stole valuable belongings from two South Minneapolis churches between 8 p.m. Friday, March 1, and 7 a.m. Saturday, March 2.

Minneapolis police are now advising religious institutions to be attentive to security after the two churches were robbed of valuable electronics and musical equipment. The Minneapolis Police Department offered a list of security tips for religious institutions.

A set of 10 musical instruments called "singing bowls," as well as computer equipment and electronics were stolen, Star Tribune reported.

Star Tribune said, the singing bowls were stolen from Living Spirit Methodist Church, and the computer equipment and electronics were stolen from St. James Episcopal Church.

The two churches, St, James Episcopal Church on Minnehaha Pkwy., and Living Spirit Methodist Church on Bloomington Ave., both showed forced entry, according to My Fox Twin Cities

University of Minnesota Staffing Costs: UMN news

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An analysis done by a New York consulting firm results in the University of Minnesota looking deeper into the cost of administration.

University President, Dr. Eric Kaler, hired the New York-based Sibson Consulting in response to an article written by the Wall Street Journal that used the U as an example of exponential growth of administrative costs according to the Star Tribune

The article written in the Wall Street Journal gave some percentages such as, "administrators consume 24% of the payroll, up from 20% in 2001," and "The school [University of Minnesota] employs 353 people earning more than $200,000 a year."

The first analysis done by Sibson Consulting which covered human resources, finance, information technology and purchasing said the U "could improve" its staffing per each supervisor the Star Tribune reported.

Star Tribune also said the report also included a bit of salary data. In the finance department, supervisors make up to 27 percent of the University employees and about 38 percent of the administrative payroll. The average salary for a supervisor in the financial office: $103,000.

East Coast Shuts Down Due to Winter Weather

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Federal offices, schools, and transit shut down this Wednesday.

Hurricane Sandy nearly destroyed New Jersey and New York, and now Snow is causing disturbances in D.C and the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Office of Personnel Management decided at about 4 a.m. Wednesday morning to close all federal offices in the D.C area, according to the Washington Post

The federal offices were not the only ones who got a snow-day. Airlines canceled hundreds of flights before the snow had even started falling, The Washington Post reported.

A reported two feet of snow in some places has knocked out power for about 200,000 in Virginia and another 40,000 in New Jersey, Fox News said.

In D.C, 10 inches were forecast, and the snowflakes melted as quickly as they came due to warmer temperatures, Fox told readers.

They are still expecting more snow though, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said at about 1 p.m. on Wednesday to Fox News, "Over the next 12 hours, as the storm chums up the coast quite slowly, we expect a lot more heavy wet snow, we expect heavy winds and that is a dangerous situation."

Hugo Chavez Dies: Analysis

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In the CBS article "Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan Leader and U.S. Foil, Dies" a reader may bypass it, because it seems as if it is going to be a biased story.

The author struggles to contain any bias he may have toward the Venezuelan leader, sometimes getting off track by saying "the exceedingly popular leader," which makes the author out to be a fan of Chavez, and another statement where the author writes about Chavez's closeness with America's enemies (i.e. Saddam Hussein).

The title suggests Hugo Chavez's death was a good thing for America. The author begins with his death itself and why, then goes on to use two quotes, one mild one from President Obama, then another not-so-mild quote for Rep. Mike Rogers, where he talks about Chavez as a "destabilizing force" the chairman of the House of the House Intelligence Committee.

The article then goes onto talk about his Venezuelan opponents, and compares Chavez to Fidel Castro, and Hitler himself.

The author then continues to talk about the closeness of Chavez's ties with Cuba, and socialist points of view, and how the state attempted to keep his illness private.

The background information, the death reports, and the government Chavez ran were displayed well in this article. Although the use of the words "fiery" and "polarizing" and the title itself displayed the author's point of view on Hugo Chavez, it turned out to be an informative piece on the life and leadership of Chavez.

Hugo Chavez Dies: International Story

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Hugo Chavez has been battling cancer for over two years, and died Tuesday.

The 58-year-old Venezuelan President hasn't been seen publicly since he underwent his fourth surgery to remove some of the cancer, according to CNN

Chavez has been the Venezuelan president for 14 years. Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said this after the news of the death of the Venezuelan leader "Hugo Chavez was a destabilizing force in Latin America, and an obstacle to progress in the region. I hope his death provides an opportunity for a new chapter in U.S.-Venezuelan relations," Rogers told CBS

Chavez is a leader known by the U.S. for polarization and close relations with Cuba, CNN reports. He decreased poverty in Venezuela, and worked to centralize the country's oil supply. A problem that remained unsolved under the Chavez administration was crime. The homicide rate has in the past 14 years, CBS said.

Chavez leaves behind four children, and three grandchildren (CBS).

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