December 14, 2007

2 LSU students killed

Two students were found shot to death at their Luisiana State University apartment after an alleged home invasion Thursday.
Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam were both international Ph.D. students in the chemistry program.
They were found inside their apartment at the Edward Gay complex late Thursday.
Both victims had been shot one time in the head, according to an LSU spokesperson.
The campus remained open on Friday while local police searched for three suspects seen leaving the apartment complex around the time of the shooting.

December 9, 2007

Possible tropical storm threatens Atlantic coast

Forcasters are predicting that a weather system off Puerto Rico could potentially become a tropical storm even though hurricane season has been over for nearly a week.
At about 5p.m. Saturday, the system was approximately 550 miles east-northeast of Puerto Rico.
It is expected to continue in that general direction at about 15-20 mph over the next two days according to the National Hurricane Center.
Within the next 24 hours, forcasters are predicting that it might become a tropical or subtropical storm.

November 25, 2007

California wildfire destroys 30 homes

Santa Ana winds raced through Malibu, forcing 14,000 residents to evacuate their homes Saturday.
The fire expanded early in the morning on Saturday when the Santa Ana winds finally returned. The fire quickly grew before the winds subsided.
Forty-nine homes were destroyed and 27 were damaged according the Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman.
As soon as midafternoon, the fire had grown to nearly 7 square miles with only 25 percent contained.
By Saturday evening approximately half of those who had evacuated were allowed to return to their homes.
Nearly 1,700 firefighters, 15 helicopters and 15 airplanes battled the fire.

November 17, 2007

Recent hurricanes cause largest tree die-off in U.S.

New satellite images have shown that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused the largest single forestry disaster ever recorded in the United States.
The hurricanes killed or severely damaged approximately 320 million trees located in Mississippi and Louisiana.
This tree die-off was caused by wind initially and then by flooding around the bases of the trees.
Researchers are saying that the die-off will significantly contribute to the green-house gas buildup. It will put as much carbon into the air as the rest of the U.S. forests will take out in a year of photosynthesis.
Efforts to control the damage have been stalled by a $504 million federal program for Gulf Coast land owners to replant and fight invasive species. Officials in the emergency conservation program say they have only seen about $70 million be processed or dispensed thus far.
The assessment of trees that were damage or killed will be released in a study in the journal Science Friday.

November 11, 2007

Two Charged in Missouri Girl's Death

Two men were charged with the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl in Cassville, MO Saturday.
The young girl's stepfather, David Spears and his friend, Chris Collings were each charged with one count of first degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape.
The girl's body was found in a cave 10 mi south of her home in Stella, MO. She lived with her mother and Spears.
She went missing last weekend which prompted an extensive search that included officers from surrounding counties and 50 FBI agents and specialists.
Collings confessed to authorities on Friday that he and Spears had both raped the girl before one of them strangled her with a cord.
The affidavit reports that the two men took the girl from her home to a camping trailer where Collings lives.
It was not certain whether the two men had lawyers yet.

November 2, 2007

Padres Center Fielder Suspended

San Diego Padres cented fielder, Mike Cameron was suspended for the first 25 games of next season after testing positive for taking a banned stimulant.
This was the second time that Cameron had tested positive for the stimulant.
Cameron believes he was given tainted supplements which resulted in the positive test results.
He filed for free agency after the suspension was announced.

In the Thursday edition of the Pioneer Press, their article only included the facts of the suspension and what Cameron's plans are for next season. The same day, had an article on the suspension. This article included a lot more background information on Cameron's career and personal life. The article was aimed more towards sports fans with quotes from the Padres CEO and general manager. It also included specific stats from his career. Overall, much more aimed towards baseball enthusiasts.

October 26, 2007

Democrats Criticize Rice over Efforts in Iraq

House Democrats in Washington criticized Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in a hearing Thursday for mismanaging efforts in Iraq while concealing information from Congress.
Rice testified on Capitol Hill before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Iraq.
Democrats said that the State Department was poorly overseeing the construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Rice had also allowed corruption in the upper levels of the Iraqi government Democrats said at the hearing in Washington.
The hearing focused on U.S. corruptions investigations in Iraq. Right now, the department says it discloses corruptions information because it could hurt U.S.-Iraqi relations.
The hearing gave Democrats a place to question the administration on the war, but did not go unnoticed by Republicans.

Rice appeared flustered at some points during the three-hour testimony.

October 18, 2007

Family Ties Between Obama and Cheney?

Vice President Dick Cheney's wife Lynne Cheney said during a television interview on Tuesday that she had uncovered family ties between her husband and Barak Obama while researching family history for her latest book "Blue Skies, No Fences."
According to her research, the two are eighth cousins. According to MSNBC the two are ninth cousins once removed.
"This is such an amazing American story, lives that have taken such different and varied paths as Dick's and Barak Obama," Lynne Cheney said.
Obama's spokesman said when hearing that he is distantly related to Cheney that, "every family has a black sheep."

October 13, 2007

Manufacturers Voluntarily Pull Cold Meds for Infants

Many leading manufacturers of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for infants were pulled from the market Thursday on the basis that the medicine could be misused by parents.
14 different products used to reduce congestion have been pulled from shelves nationwide. The decision comes two weeks after safety reviewers for the FDA urged the agency to ban the products for children under the age of 6.
The companies that make the pulled products say they are safe and effective when used properly, but there is a high risk of complications when misused in children under the age of 2.
There is little evidence that these products are effective in children and with this ban there is an increasing fear that the cold and cough products designed for infants may be dangerous. Pediatricians are recommending more traditional methods to calm sick infants such as suctioning out stuffy noses and using salt water drops.
A complete listing of the drugs being pulled can be found on

October 6, 2007

Bush Vetoes Health Care Bill

President George Bush vetoed a bill to extend a health insurance program to children of poor working class families. The families that would be served by this program would be families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and not enough to afford private insurance. The bill would expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program which would cover over 10 million children. 6 million children are currently covered by the program.
Democratic leaders in congress are outraged by Bush's veto. The bill passed 67-29 in the Senate last week, but fell short of the two-thirds margin needed to override a veto in the House.
The House will vote to override the veto as early as next week. Republican leaders are confident that the President's position will be supported in the House.

The article covering this story in the StarTribune included many statistics about the program and specific numbers providing the reader with an understanding on how vetoing a bill works in the House and Senate. I researched this story from and found a completely different approach to the story. Their article included more about Bush's stance and less about what the program would actually do for working class families and their children. It also quoted many Democrat leaders on their strong opinions of Bush as a president, creating a much different tone in the story. The articles were written from a completely different perspective depending on the audience in which they were aiming to draw.

September 30, 2007

Favre Breaks All-time TD Record

Green Bay Packers quarterback, Brett Favre, breaks Dan Marino's all-time touchdown record in the first quarter vs. the Vikings at the Metrodome. Favre threw his 421st and 422nd touchdown pass as the Packers defeated the Vikings 23-16, Sunday.

Favre threw zero interceptions with the Viking defense attempting to make him the all-time leader in interceptions as well.

Favre now holds the NFL all-time record for career passing attempts, career completions, career touchdown passes and career wins as a starting quarterback.

The Packers remain unbeaten at 4-0 going into week five against the Chicage Bears.

September 23, 2007

Electronic Records a Possible Violation of Privacy Act

The United States government has been collecting electronic records on travel habits of Americans, but since 2002, the amount of the data they are collecting has expanded. These records are used as a part of the Department of Homeland Security to determine the security threat of traveler's entering the U.S.

Personal travel records are held for 15 years and are analyzed by the department's Automated Targeting System.

Data collected includes who people are traveling with, how many carry on items they have, and even as specific as what their carry on items are. This is why some are saying that it could be a violation of the Privacy Act. Activists are claiming that the government is "trying to build a surveillance society."

Currently, the data collection is exempted from portions of the Privacy Act.

September 15, 2007

Hurricane Humberto Leaves Meteorologists Speechless

Hurricane Humberto, the first hurricane to hit the US since 2005, left meteorologists without words last Thursday. It grew faster than any storm on record, escalating from a depression to a full-scale hurricane in 18 hours with winds reaching 85 miles per hour. At least one person was killed while more than 100,000 lost power. The damage left behind by Humberto was large considering there was virtually nothing on satellite imagery suggesting a tropical storm on Wednesday of last week, the day before it hit the Texas-Louisiana coast.

Meteorologists are having a hard time finding possible trends on fast forming hurricanes like Humberto since this was such an extreme case and it is not possible to draw conclusions from one instance. Analyzing these fast forming storms would help meteorologists prepare the public, providing them with ample time before the storm actually hits.

LEAD: The lead in the version of this story is a direct lead. It explains what (Hurricane Humberto), where (the Texas-Louisiana coast), when (last Thursday), information that suggests it was a fast forming storm, and also specific numbers on wind speed, how many lives were lost, how many lost power and how long it took to form. This lead is direct and concise, leaving no information untold after reading the first sentence.

September 10, 2007

Bids on Vick's Notes Reach $10,000

Bids reached $10,000 on Thursday for the alleged notes from Michael Vick’s official apology given in response to charges in a dog fighting scandal. Startribune explores this issue further at their website.

The Humane Society of the United States is selling the outline of his speech on eBay with proceeds going to an account used to prevent dog fighting. It has not yet been verified whether these notes actually belong to Vick. The eBay auction site includes a photograph of the notes and a message from The Human Society of the United States.

The Human Society of the United States president Payne Pacelle wants to turn Vick’s actions into something positive by helping animals with money accrued from the auction. More information on the fund can be found at their website.