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September 21, 2008

6 children in Ark. custody after raid on ministry

Six minors were placed in state custody after a raid Saturday on a ministry in Fouke, Ark. run by a man who may be part of a child porn business, The Associated Press reported.

WCCO and The Star Tribune also posted the story written by the AP reporter.

The children, who are 12-, 13-, and 14-year-old girls, will be held in state custody while investigators interview them.

Bill Sadler, state police spokesman, said he didn’t know how long the interviews would last. The courts will decide on the children’s status in regards to their separation from the property of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in rural Fouke.

“Investigators said their two-year probe into allegations of child pornography and abuse focused on convicted tax evader Tony Alamo and his ministry, described by its critics as a cult," The Associated Press reported.

The raid ended after midnight Saturday. Sadler said there are no plans to search the buildings again. No plans to search other ministry locations have been reported.

Analysis: Attribution

The headline for this story reads "2 dead in helicopter crash into Wis. house." It was written by an AP reporter and posted on Google News.

There are a lot of sources used in the story about a helicopter crash in Wis. In fact, there are seven total.

Most of the sources of information are from actual people, and most of those people are named. A police Sgt., a meteorologist, a neighbor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, an airport operations supervisor, and an air safety inspector for the National Transportation Safety Board are all listed within the story by first and last name. The other source is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who the neighbor in the story originally spoke to, so AP had to list it.

Most of the attributions follow the “______ said? format. The attributions are scattered throughout the story, with about one per paragraph, so the story is not confusing or difficult to follow.

Fourplex explosion caused by copper-piping thieves

A vacant Minneapolis fourplex exploded around 10:30 a.m. Sunday due to copper-piping theft that led to a natural gas leak, The Star Tribune and Kare 11 News reported.

The building, 2407 Golden Valley Road, had been abandoned and boarded up for about a year. There were no injuries.

According to Becca Virden, a spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy, a company supervisor determined the cause of the explosion with Minneapolis Fire Department investigators.

Charmaine Brown, who lives in the duplex next door, smelled the gas but said she did not call 911 because she didn’t think it was an emergency.

Rene Hatchett, the other resident of the duplex, was cooking when the building exploded, shattering her windows.

After being thrown back several feet, Brown and her children evacuated the duplex.

The two families were relocated by the American Red Cross.

Crash kills a man, leaves 4 others injured

A car went through a red light and struck another vehicle in Minneapolis Sunday afternoon, killing one man and leaving four others injured, The Star Tribune reported.

The crash occurred at about 1:30 p.m. A car going north on Park Avenue S. ran the light and struck a car going east on E. 31st Street, Minneapolis police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said.

The passenger in the front seat of the car on E. 31st Street died. The victims were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where three people are in critical condition, and one is in stable condition.

“It's unclear if seat belts were used or how fast the vehicles were traveling,? The Star Tribune reported.

Helicopter crash leaves 2 dead

A helicopter crashed into a house in Kenosha, Wis. early Sunday, killing two people in the aircraft, and leaving five people in the house uninjured, The Associated Press reported.

The Star Tribune posted the same story.

The helicopter crashed around 5:30 a.m., Sgt. Eric Larsen said.

Gary Stielow, who lives nearby, said he heard the engine before the crash.

“It was sputtering. It was at full power, but it was sputtering real bad. Then you just heard a loud boom,? Stielow told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

He ran outside after he heard the crash. The family in the house had made it to safety, Stielow said. The two bodies from the helicopter were lying next to the engine, which was on fire.

The helicopter was a 2006 Robinson R-44 registered to Midwestern Air Services of Kenosha, Tony Molinaro, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, said.

The helicopter did not have a flight data recorder, Ed Malinowski, an air safety inspector for the National Transportation Safety Board said. A report on the crash will take about a week to complete.

Nearly 13,000 children in China sick from tainted milk

12,892 children in China became sick last week after drinking tainted milk formula, The New York Times reported.

The milk was contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, which is banned from foods.

The Star Tribune reported that a toddler in Hong Kong, the first victim of the contamination in the territory, has developed a kidney stone after drinking Chinese milk.

At least four infants have died from the contamination after drinking contaminated baby formula.

Other countries have been taking action by suspending sales and imports of all Chinese dairy products.

September 14, 2008

New Interstate 35W bridge to open

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and other politicians gathered on the nearly completed Interstate 35W bridge Sunday morning to announce when it would reopen, the Star Tribune reported.

The bridge could be accessible as early as Tuesday.

What officials can't determine yet, however, is how traffic flow on the bridge will compare to the past. The new bridge could see more cars, fewer cars or the same amount, David Levinson, a University of Minnesota engineer who has been studying metro travel patterns after the collapse, said. "That, I think, will be an interesting thing to watch."

140,000 cars passed the old bridge every day, but after the collapse, there was only a 90,000 increase on other bridges that cross the river.

The opening of the new bridge will reduce congestion in other areas, particularly during morning and afternoon commutes.

Analysis: Leads

The news lead on a Reuters story reads: "HOUSTON (Reuters) - Texas mounted its biggest ever rescue effort as search teams searched through debris and flooded homes on Sunday after Hurricane Ike cut a swathe of destruction and left millions without power."

The lead covers most of the basic Ws. It tells readers what happened (Hurricane Ike hit Houston), when it happened (Sunday), and where it happened (Houston, Texas). The "who" is unclear, as the lead does not focus on exactly who did the rescuing or the specific numbers of those rescued. Instead, it is more general, simply referring to those involved as "search teams" and "millions [of people]."

It is a typical news lead because it covers the basic elements of the story. Readers get the overall account in one sentence, with numbers and other specifics later in the report.

2,000 rescued in Texas

Search teams saved nearly 2,000 people Sunday after Hurricane Ike passed through Houston, leaving millions without power, Reuters reported.

A weeklong curfew has been placed on the city, where floodwater and downed power lines cover the streets.

Many people had made it to safety by boarding buses, unaware of where they were going.

“I don't know what I'll be coming back to. I have nothing,? Arma Eaglin, 52, told Yahoo News through AP reporters. “I’m confused. I don’t know what to do.?

1,984 people were rescued. It was the largest search-and-rescue effort in Texas history, including “more than 50 helicopters, 1,500 searchers and teams from federal, state and local agencies,? Yahoo News reported.

After being rescued, evacuees were brought to shelters around the state, awaiting news of when they could return to their homes.