April 2011 Archives

Computer assisted reporting- analysis

In this story published on Nicar.org, the journalist investigated the number of waivers made by the state Teaching Board over the last five years, concluding that the number had doubled. The reporter also evaluated the number of teachers who were improperly licensed, interpreting these numbers in comparison to previous years. The reported definitely needed the skills to navigate computer data and how to interpret this data.

Boy Dies After Falling From Zip line

An 11-year-old boy died Sunday after falling from a zip line at a theme park in Snowdonia, Wales, the Guardian reported.

The tragedy happened around 4:30 p.m. Sunday at GreenWood Forest Park at Bethel on the park's new "SwampFlyer" zip, the Daily Mail reported.

According to the theme park's website, the zip line was launched just last week and is "the longest zip line in Wales." The park's operation manager, Steve Williams, couldn't say why the tragedy occurred. He said the ride is checked over every morning by park maintenance crews.

Yemeni people Protest President's Immunity Deal

Thousands of Yemeni people took to the streets Sunday to protest the President Ali Abdullah Saleh's agreement to step down from power in exchange for immunity of those who served in his regime, CNN reported.

Saleh, who has been in power since 1978, has agreed to the deal but not yet signed anything that concretes it. According to the Guardian, the protestors believe the deal does not justify the thousands of people who have been demonstrating over the past three months.

There is also fear that although Saleh has agreed to the deal, he will not actually leave office. In an interview with BBC Arabic, Saleh said he would not accept being overthrown by a coup. "To whom shall I hand over power?" he said. "Those who are trying to make a coup? No. We will do it through ballot boxes and referendums. We'll invite international observers to monitor - but a coup is not acceptable."

St. Louis Airport Reopens After Tornado

The St. Louis airport reopened Sunday, two days after a tornado damaged a few planes, blew out windows and threw a bus onto the roof, the Associated Press reported.

Officials said that around 70 percent of the scheduled flights would still arrive and depart, the Washington Post said. Concourse C, which suffered the most damage, is expected to open in a few months.

The tornado damaged about 750 homes in the St. Louis area and left nearly 26,000 people without power. Gov. Jay Nixon said that the lack of serious injuries felt like "divine intervention."

Facebooker Who Caused School Lockdown Found

The Facebook user who triggered the full-day lockdown of Eden Valley-Watkins schools has been tracked down by police, KARE-11 reported.

Three schools in Eden Valley-Watkins were shut down after one of the principals saw a Facebook post of a picture of the school with a status next to it that read "I see dead people."

Police tracked the IP address to a woman whose children attend one of the schools. She told authorities that she had watched the movie "The Sixth Sense" Tuesday night, leading to the post, the Star Tribune said.

KARE-11 News Director Fired

Tom Lindner, KARE-11's longtime news director, announced that he was leaving the station Wednesday, according to the Star Tribune.

Lindner, a University of Minnnesota graduate, had been the news director since 1996, the Pioneer Press said.

"I was simply told that they wanted a change," Lindner told Star Tribune staff in a phone conversation. He said that it was not his decision.

John Remes, KARE's general manager, wouldn't give any specifics about Lindner's departure, but said that the decision did not come from KARE's corporate parent Gannett.

Mauer Denies Infection Related to Leg Weakness

The Minn. Twins' All-Star catcher Joe Mauer denied that the weakness in his legs was connected to a viral infection he has been battling, the Star Tribune reported Sunday.

Mauer was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of leftover weakness from a December surgery on his knee, KARE 11 said.

Mauer said that he lost 12 pounds over the weekend while battling to keep food down.

"I'm still not feeling very good," he said. "Definitely better than the last couple of days, though."

He says his legs are weak because of a failure to build strength during spring training, and not the illness he's been fighting recently.

Thousands Protest Yemeni Leader's Remarks on Women

Thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday to protest the Yemeni President Ali Abduhllah Saleh's remarks that women should not demonstrate or take part in rallies, the Guardian reported.

Security forces opened fire on the anti-government protesters, who were numbered in more than 100,000, shooting at least 10 and using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, the Star Tribune said.

More than 120 people have been killed in Yemen since a crackdown by security forces, and the country has been harrowed by protests demanding the president's ouster for the past two months. Last week the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council advised Saleh, who has been in rule for 32 years, to hand over his powers to his deputy in order to quell the unrest.

Storms Hit North Carolina Hardest

A storm system that launched at least 241 tornadoes over 14 states hit North Carolina Saturday, killing at least 21 and devastating homes, flipping cars and throwing livestock into the air, the Washington Post reported.

The three-day system was one of the worst spates of twisters ever recorded, the LA Times said. At least 45 have been reported dead nationwide, and more than 241 tornadoes were spotted.

It was the deadliest day for tornadoes in North Carolina since 1984, when 22 twisters killed 42 people across the state.

Woman Critically Injured After Colliding with Cow

A Lacrosse, Wisc. woman was critically injured Saturday night when her van collided with a cow in Southern Minnesota, KARE 11 said.

Authorities said that Svetlana Schmitz, 36, was traveling westbound on I-90 south of Lewiston when her van hit a cow and rolled, the Pioneer Press reported.

Schmitz sustained serious injuries and was transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester. The only passenger in the car, 62-year-old Tatyana Grigorieskaya, had only minor injuries.

Minn. Lawmakers Approve Budget

Minn. lawmakers in both the House and Senate have approved a two-year budget for agriculture agencies and programs and have sent it to Gov. Mark Dayton, the Star Tribune reported.

The governor is expected to sign the bill because it is closely in line with his own budget proposals, KARE 11 said.

The bill includes a final $13.7 million payment to ethanol producers, which the state intends to phase out. It also commits $79 million to agriculture programs.

The sponsors of the bill said it was a good example of bipartisan cooperation.

Charl Schwartzel wins Masters

Charl Schwartzel became the 75th champion of the Masters on Sunday, finishing with four straight birdies to win 6-under 66, MSNBC reported.

Schwartzel, who is from South Africa, came up from behind in the final round to beat a group of contenders, including Rory McIlroy, who held a 4-shot lead going into the final round but ended up bogeying his way to being 10-shots behind Schwartzel, the Los Angeles Times said.

McIlroy ended up receiving almost more media attention than the winner Schwartzel, mostly because of his boyish demeanor (McIlroy is only 21) and the seemingly obvious fact that he was spooked by Tiger Woods. "This golf course can bait you into being too aggressive," Woods said. "That's what happened to Rory out there."

Trial set for BWCA Cell Tower

A five-day trial will begin this week in Hennepin County disputing whether a 450-foot cell phone tower should be built in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the Star Tribune reported.

The Minneapolis-based conservation group Friends of the Boundary Waters, who is taking AT&T to court in an effort to block the construction, argues that the tower will leave a permanent human footprint in the pristine wilderness, KSTP said.

AT&T argues that the service tower would provide service in case of emergencies and to the residents of the wilderness area, which could mean the difference between life and death if something went wrong in the remote area. They also plan to present support from local emergency crews and residents.

The conservation group counter-argues that studies from AT&T itself have shown they could provide nearly as much coverage with two smaller 199-foot towers. The 450-foot tower AT&T has in the works would sit on a 150-foot ridge, making it nearly 600 feet higher than the surrounding landscape.

Grocery Store Shooting Victims Identified

The identities of two people who were shot in the break room of Festival Foods in Brooklyn Park were released Sunday, the Star Tribune said.

Abigail M. Fedeli, 20, and her boyfriend Michael Habte, 21, were in the break room of the grocery store when a co-worker who was off-duty came in and shot them out of jealousy, FOX News said. The shooter then fled to Minneapolis where he took his own life near the Washington Avenue Bridge. His name has not been released yet.

Fedeli died at the scene from a single gunshot wound to the neck, and Habte died in surgery at the North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner.

The victims and the shooter reportedly had known each other for years, and one employee said that the workers there were "close-knit." The Fedeli family released a statement Sunday morning saying that "An extraordinarily bright, beautiful, and loving part of our lives has been senselessly taken away from us."

NATO admits mistake in airstrikes

NATO expressed regret in the accidental bombing of Libyan rebels by airstrikes Friday, a day after reports surfaced forces had killed four people, the Washington Post said.

The admittance came after some initial confusion between rebel forces on the ground and the NATO air forces. Apparently the rebels had released tanks on the ground and not informed NATO, causing the tanks to become targets.

Adm. Russell Harding, the British deputy commander of the air campaign, said he would not apologize because "The situation on the ground, as I said, was extremely fluid and remains extremely fluid, and up until yesterday we had no information" according to the New York Times.

Government Averts Shutdown

Lawmakers reached a budget deal Friday night minutes before the deadline for government shut down, the New York Times reported.

The agreement has averted a government shutdown that would have closed down thousands of government facilities nationwide, postponing tax returns, passport obtainment, and other government procedures.

According to the Washington Post, the deal reached by negotiators will have $39 billion in spending cuts.

Republicans agreed to drop their demands to cut funding for programs that included abortion, and Democrats agreed to an overall bigger size of cuts outlined in the budget.

Analysis: Numbers

In this article which appeared in HTR News, the author examined how smoking affects breast cancer risk. The numbers were used semi-responsibly- sometimes the author used the numbers in comparison with each other during the same paragraph, other times the numbers seemed to be rapid-fire and a little confusing to the reader. The author didn't seem to need to interpret many numbers, nor were they listed. The author had quotes from researchers and doctors which seemd to back up their findings.

French take Control of Ivory Coast Airport

French forces have taken control of the Ivory Coast's primary airport in Abidjan Sunday according to the Telegraph , sending in an additional 300 peacekeeping forces to the already 1,200 stationed there.

Since November forces loyal to the newly elected president, Alassane Ouattara, and forces loyal to the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, have been clashing as Gbagbo has refused to leave office. Thousands are feared to have been killed in the fighting.

According to the New York Times, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for Gbagbo's immediate resignation. "Gbagbo is pushing Côte d'Ivoire into lawlessness," she said. "He must leave now so the conflict may end."

Ouattara, the newly elected president who was endorsed by the African Union, has been criticized internationally for reports that some of his troops have been killing civilians.

BP Seeking to Drill in Gulf of Mexico Again

BP is in talks to resume oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the Washington Post reported Sunday. The discussions between the Interior Department and BP come almost a year after the blowout of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which dumped oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days.

A BP official told the New York Times,">New York Times that the corporation is asking for permission to drill on 10 more sites in the Gulf in exchange for stricter safety and supervisory rules.

The Justice Department is considering a range of criminal penalties against BP for the oil spill last year, including a manslaughter charge for the deaths of the rig workers.

Charlie Sheen Booed off Stage

Charlie Sheen had a rough start to his "Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour in Detroit Saturday when he was booed off stage and many people walked out, Inside TV reported.

Sheen, 45, who has been in the public eye the past few weeks after being fired from the show "Two and a Half Men" and giving raving interviews to reporters, kicked off the 20-state tour in Detroit, the Huffington Post said.

After a comedian who opened for him was booed off stage, Sheen reportedly entered to a standing ovation from seemingly adoring fans. The first droves of people lef during his opening incoherent rant session while Sheen told them "I"ve already got your money." Sheen also told the crowd he thought Detroit was a good place for crack cocaine stories, which drew immediate booing and heckles.

Sheen reportedly blamed the situation on the audience instead of himself.

Woman dies in St. Joseph Fire

A woman died in a fire at her mobile home early Saturday morning in St. Joseph, the Star Tribune said.

According to St. Joseph Fire Chief Jeff Taufen, a neighbor called the police department to report seeing flames. According to the Pioneer Press, Taufen and other neighbors said the woman was the only person living in the trailer home.

The woman's identification has not been released pending notification of family members. The cause of the fire was unknown.

Jennie-O recalls 55,000 pounds of turkey burgers

The Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar has recalled 55,000 pounds of turkey burgers because they may have been contaminated with salmonella, the Star Tribune reported Sunday.

The recall includes 4-pound boxes of frozen, raw turkey burgers labeled as "All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat." They were distributed across the nation in Sam's Club stores, Kare 11 said.

The products were packaged on Nov. 23, and over the past four months 12 people have become ill in states such as Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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