Analysis on records.

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USA Today did a report on how lead factories that have been gone for years have left a dangerous poison in cities nationwide.

In order to do the story, the reporter had to go into public records to determine when the EPA and government had tested the soil from the old factory and found out that it was contaminated. However, the government failed to tell citizens about the danger.

USA Today did a 14-month investigation that found the EPA had put thousands of families and children in harm's way.

The investigative report showed widespread evidence of government failures when it came to lead factories.

USA Today looked at old insurance maps, city directories, and telephone books to discover that certain smelters did exist even though governments in Minnesota, Indiana and Washington denied they ever did.

This is just a small example of the large record digging and analysis that the USA Today reporter did.

The report also need some computer skills because there are a couple of graphics next to the story that shows how lead can pollute soil, and a graphic about lead in soil.

The reporter needed to know how to make that graphic on a computer in order to better tell his story.

The graphic on how lead gets into the soil is a step by step process where the reporter uses pictures to help demonstrate how it happens.

Without knowing how to create such a visual graphic, the reporter probably would have had a hard time describing how it happens, and it would also take up a large amount of space and confuse the reader.

The graphic helps a lot by visually showing how the process works.

The reporter did a lot of work for this story that included a lot of digging through old documents, and determining what those documents mean for the safety of citizens near old lead factories.


Pakistani jet crashes

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A Pakistani passenger jet crashed in a wheat field as it was trying to land during a thunderstorm at an airport near the capital city of Islamabad, according to the Associated Press.

The AP reported that 127 people were aboard the plane, but Reuters reported that there were 131 passengers.

The plane was traveling from the countries largest city, Karachi, and crashed about five nautical miles from the airport, according to Reuters.

A governor minister expressed that there was little hope of any survivors, the AP reported.

The airplane was operated by Bhoja Air, and an official said there were 116 passengers and up to six crew members, according to Reuters. However this fact causes discrepancy between the two reported numbers.

A violent thunderstorm was hitting the capital at the time of the crash with heavy rain and winds, the AP reported.

The last major aviation accident in Pakistan happened in July 2010 when another passenger airplane carrying 152 people crashed into the hills overlooking Islamabad, according to Reuters.

Dick Clark dies

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Dick Clark, the TV host for many shows including "American Bandstand," and "New Year's Rockin' Eve," died Wednesday in Santa Monica Calif. He was 82, the New York Times reported.

Spokesman Paul Shefrin said Clark died of a heart attack at St. John's hospital, a day after he was admitted for an outpatient procedure, MSN.com reported.

Clark had a stroke in 2004 shortly before he was suppose to appear on his New Year's Eve telecast. He returned a year later and continued to make brief appearances, despite that his speech had been affected by the stroke, the New York Times reported.

Clark had a boyish look to him which earned him the nickname of "the world's oldest teenager." He bridged the gap between the new rebellious music scene with traditional show business, according to MSN.com.

Clark hosted many award shows, comedy specials, shows based on T.V. outtakes and the game show "$10,000 Pyramid," according to the New York Times.

The original "American Bandstand" ran from 1957 to 1987 and introduced talents from Buddy Holly to Madonna, MSN.com reported.

He was born Richard Wagstaff Clark in Mount Vernon, New York, in 1929, according to MSN.com.

Clark's first two marriages ended in divorce, he is survived by his wife, Kari Wigton; three children, Richard, Duane, and Cindy; and two grandchildren, the New York Times reported.

Pat Summit steps aside.

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Tennessee women's head basketball coach, Pat Summit, is stepping aside and taking the title of "head coach emeritus," according to ESPN.com

Longtime assistant coach Holly Warlick will take over for the sport's winningest coach, ESPN reported.

On Aug. 23 Summit revealed that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, according to SI.com.

Summit, 59, will now report to the athletic director and help the women's team that she turned into a powerhouse that won eight national titles, according to ESPN.com.

Summit has been the coach at Tennessee for 38 years. Her last game as coach came in a regional final loss to eventual national champions Baylor, SI.com reported.

Last season Summit handed the majority of her duties to her assistants as she needed to focus more on her health, ESPN.com reported.

Summit's career ends with a 1,098-207 record with 16 regular season Southeastern Conference championships and 16 SEC tournament titles, ESPN.com reported.

Under Summit Tennessee never failed to reach the NCAA tournament. They were never seeded lower than No. 5 and reached 18 Final Fours, according to SI.com.

Vikings' stadium plan in trouble.

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The proposed public subsidy plan for a new Vikings stadium was defeated by a House panel Monday night, according to the Star Tribune.

The bill had cleared two previous House committees fairly easily earlier this month, according to the Pioneer Press.

The Legislature planning will shut down in two weeks, leaving the $1 billion plan in extraordinary need for support, the Star Tribune reported.

The bill was voted down 9-6 in a vote that was bipartisan in its opposition, the Pioneer Press reported.

For the stadium plan to receive any hope at all, it will likely need to be resurrected by a Senate panel that considered the bill last month, according to the Star Tribune.

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley was very disappointed in the decision, and said that it is a mistake to think the Vikings and the NFL will continue to operate under the status quo, the Pioneer Press reported.

There were also a couple of amendments to the bill that were possible major setbacks for the stadium legislation, the Star Tribune reported.

One amendment removed the language of the bill that exempted the stadium project from a Minneapolis charter requirement that mandates a public vote for stadium expenditures of more than $10 million, the Pioneer Press reported.

Bakdash gets 40 year sentence.

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Tim Bakdash was sentenced to 40 years in prison Monday for running down a group of University of Minnesota students one year ago, according to the Star Tribune.

Bakdash, 30, showed little emotion as the judge delivered his sentence. His attorney said Bakdash has been on several medication for depression, and that emotions are hard to come by, according to the Pioneer Press.

Bakdash did apologize to the family of Benjamin Van Handel, who Bakdash killed, as well as the two victims that survived and their families, according to the Pioneer Press.

Van Handel's family and friends wore baby blue shirts with the letter B on the front and the dates of his birth and death, according to the Star Tribune.

The punishment was more than twice what the defense had wanted, and even more that what the prosecution argued would be appropriate, according to the Pioneer Press.

Bakdash will be nearly 57 when he will be eligible for parole, according to the Pioneer Press.

The sentencing came exactly a year and a day from the night Bakdash drunkenly drove onto the Dinkytown sidewalk and hit the three victims, according to the Pioneer Press.

A jury found Bakdash guilty of second-degree murder and eight other felonies last month, according to the Star Tribune.

U.N. approves Syria observers

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The U.N. Security Council voted on Saturday to deploy U.N. military observers to watch over the cease-fire between the Syrian government and the opposition rebels, according to the Associated Press.

The 15 member Security Council voted unanimously that called for the Damascus government to follow through on the cease-fire plan it accepted earlier in the month, according to the New York Times.

Russia and China had vetoed two resolutions that would have condemned Syrian President Bashar Assad's government for the attacks on protesters, according to the AP.

There were some mortar shells strikes on Homs from government armed forces on Saturday, but over all the cease-fire has been holding, the New York Times reported.

At least six were dead from both sides from the attacks, according to the New York Times.

The cease-fire formally started Thursday and is the center of Kofi Annan's peace plan that aims to end the year-long bloodshed that has killed about 9,000 people, according to the UN, the AP reported.

The first team of observers consists of only 10 to 12 people. Annan envisions a mission that consists of about 250 observers in the future, according to the AP.


Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said the fate of the the overall health of the city is directly linked to the fate of north Minneapolis in his State of the City address, Wednesday, according to the Minnesota Daily.

The address took place at the Capri Theater on West Broadway and lasted nearly an hour, as Rybak talked about nearly the same themes as he did six years ago, according to the Star Tribune.

Rybak noted many of the neighborhood's successes, such as how violence has dropped nearly 45 percent since his last State of the City at Capri Theater in 2006, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Rybak spoke a significant amount about the city's past accomplishments and existing programs, but he also talked about several goals for the North Side, according to the Star Tribune.

Rybak placed a high priority on improving housing in order to get more people to move into the city, according to the Minnesota Daily.

The mayor also announced a program called Urban Scholars that will bring in mainly black college students as City Hall interns, the Star Tribune reported.

Rybak said that if north Minneapolis prospers, the whole region will benefit, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Trayvon Martin shooter charged with murder.

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A law enforcement official said the shooter in the killing of Trayvon Martin will be charged with second degree murder and is in custody, according to the Associated Press.

Angela B. Corey, the prosecutor, called for a press conference at 6 p.m. in Jacksonville Wednesday to announce the charges against George Zimmerman, 28, who fatally shot Martin while on volunteer crime watch, according to the New York Times.

There was never an arrest earlier because of Florida's stand your ground law which gives people leniency in a killing case by claiming self-defense, according to the AP.

Earlier in the week Corey said that she would not convene a grand jury in investigating the case, but would make the decision herself, according to the New York Times.

Zimmerman had been in hiding the past several weeks after receiving multiple death threats, according to the New York Times.

The lack of an arrest caused a public outcry over Martin's death. It sparked many rallies in the Orlando area, and all over the country, according to the AP.

The shooting occurred Feb. 26 when Martin was returning to his father's girlfriend's home when Zimmerman approached him. Zimmerman told police that Martin had punched him in the face and tried to take the gun when he was returning to his truck, according to the AP.

Zimmerman then told cops he shot Martin in self defense, according to the New York Times.

Ozzie Guillen suspended for Castro comments

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The Miami Marlins suspended manager Ozzie Guillen five games for his comments about Cuban leader Fidel Castro, according to ESPN.com.

The suspension will take effect immediately, and came before Guillen was to have a press conference explaining his remarks that caused major public backlash, according to SI.com.

Guillen told Time magazine that he loves and respects Castro for being able to stay in power for so long, si.com reported.

Guillen, speaking in Spanish Tuesday morning in Miami, apologized to the city, and its Latin-American community. He said that he feels like he has betrayed the Latin community, according to ESPN.com.

The Marlins recently opened their new stadium in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. The team is trying to rebuild its fan base with the help of the large Cuban community of Miami, according to SI.com.

The Marlins were quick to refute Guillen's statement and said that in no way does the Miami organization respect the brutal dictator, according to ESPN.com.

This is not the first time Guillen has such controversial words. He once used a gay slur when referring to a reporter, he defended illegal immigrants, and just recently admitted to drinking in excess after road games, according to SI.com

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