September 2012 Archives

Analysis: Star Tribune Article Of St. Paul Shooting

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By Brett Stolpestad

The lead in this story introduces the main point of the article which focuses on the charging of an 18-year-old suspect in the shooting of at least three victims in St. Paul. The lead introduces the broadest information, telling the reader that a suspect was charged for the shooting.

The Next paragraph progresses into more detail about the suspect and the charges, telling the name and age of the man as well as the charges against him. The second paragraph identifies the 18-year-old as Jonathan J. Corbett and names the charges as attempted second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree assault. The focus of this paragraph is to add more detail onto the lead.

The next 3-4 paragraphs contain information from the criminal complaint, giving the reader background information on how the events unfolded in chronological order. These paragraphs also introduce the name of a second suspect.

The next two paragraphs report the condition of the victims involved in the shooting, giving the reader an idea of the aftermath of the crime.

The last paragraph tells the reader what the second suspect was charged with.

The reporter chose to order the story in a "martini glass" structure, giving the reader the most important information first and then proceeding to give details from the criminal complaint in chronological order. This structure makes the story easy to follow, giving the reader more details as the story progresses and as the incident unfolded.

The story could have introduced information about the second suspect in the same area as the information of the first, keeping like material together. It would have been helpful to know that a second suspect was also charged with second-degree assault earlier in the story rather than at the end.


Vikings Lead the NFC North

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By Brett Stolpestad

The Vikings moved their record to (3-1) after the defeating the Detroit Lions Sunday, taking the lead in the NFC North division.

The Vikings defeated the Detroit Lions 20-13 Sunday with the help of a 105 yard return from Percy Harvin on the opening kickoff, the Star tribune reported.

Marcus Sherels added to the Viking lead with a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter, the Pioneer Press reported.

Adrian Peterson ran for 102 yards over 21 carries, making it the first time Peterson has broken 100 yards carried since Oct. 3 of 2011, the Star Tribune reported.

Christian Ponder completed 16 passes of 26 attempts with no touchdown throws or interceptions.

St. Paul Man Charged in St. Paul Shooting

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By Brett Stolpestad

An 18-year-old St. Paul man was charged Thursday in the shooting of four people last week in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul, the Pioneer Press reported.

Jonathan J. Corbett was charged with attempted second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree assault Thursday in the Ramsey Country District Court, the Star Tribune reported.

According to the complaint, a woman and her two children went to a home in the 500 block of Thomas Avenue last Friday when Carl Antonio Wilks began to badmouth her friend and threatened to kill her, the Pioneer Press reported.

After the woman's 8-year-old left to get help and her fiancé came outside, Wilks and Corbett pointed guns at the couple. The woman was then allowed to leave with her child, the Pioneer Press reported.

Later that evening Wilks showed up to another home on the 500 block of Thomas Avenue and was asked to leave. Wilks left with a man from the house because he was not welcome at the get together, the pioneer press reported.

After they had left the house, Corbett started to fire a handgun, severely wounding three people while a fourth was grazed and did not seek medical attention, the Star Tribune reported.


By Brett Stolpestad

The Mississipi River is the healthiest it has been in a generation with less waste and pollution, more fishing and wildlife. However, new findings sugest that there are other risks to be faced, The Pioneer Press reported.

Since the Clean Water Act that was passed 40 years ago, there has been less industrial and urban pollutants but now findings suggest that the river faces new threats of pollution.

The Star Tribune reported that there has been an increase in the amount of runoff from household products and pharmaceuticals.

There has also been a reported increase in the amount of agricultural and urban runoff from storms that could ultimately threaten the health of the wildlife.

NFL and Officials Reach an Agreement

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by Brett Stolpestad

The National Football League and the NFL Referees Association reached an agreement Wednesday night giving the NFL officials a new eight-year labor deal and effectively ending the lockout, The New york Times reported.

The new eight-year labor deal was put into writing late last night and the regular NFL officials are to take the field Thursday night in Baltimore according to Commissioner Roger Goodell , The Washington Post reported.

The new labor agreement was made after a three weeks of controversial calls made by the unprepared, unseasoned replacement officials.

The New York Times reported that Goodell temporarily lifted the lockout so the regular referees will be able to officiate Thursday's game in Baltimore. The officials' union will vote to ratify the contract on Saturday.

China Launches New Aircraft Carrier

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By Brett Stolpestad

China launched its first aircraft carrier on Tuesday, emphasizing China's growing naval strength while tension between China and Japan continues, The New York Times reported.

However, The Washington Post reported that the carrier, the Liaoning, will not be used for combat purposes. The Liaoning is currently unable to carry planes and China has yet to develop aircraft capable of landing on the carrier.

Chinese military experts said that the Liaoning will be limited to training and testing purposes only, The New York Times reported.

The Liaoning was constructed from an unfinished Soviet vessel that was towed from Ukraine in 1998. The Chinese have refurbished it giving it new engines and navigation systems, The Washington Post reported.

Vikings Upset Talented 49ers

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By Brett Stolpestad

The Minnesota Vikings improved their record to 2-1 after defeating the undefeated 49ers Sunday in a stunning upset.

The Pioneer Press described the win as a glimpse into the potential greatness of the Vikings squad led by a potential franchise quarterback, Christian Ponder's.

Ponder ran the Viking's offense with precision and authority in the 24-13 victory, completing 21 of 35 passing attempts for 189 yards, The Star Tribune reported.

While the Vikings found the end zone twice in the first half, the 49ers struggled only putting three points on the board.

The win was a huge confidence builder for the Vikings showing the potential of Minnesota players such as Christian Ponder, Percy Harvin and tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Rudolph, who had two touchdowns in the win, told the Star Tribune that the win is a "springboard" for the rest of our season.

The Vikings hope to carry their great performance into the game next week at the Detroit Lions.

By Brett Stolpestad

The New York Times story about the 14 killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan had a wide variety of sources. The sources that are most referenced are U.S. government officials and the Afghan police force. The New York Times also referenced direct quotes from a spokesman from the Afghan insurgent group, Hezb-i-Islami.

The source references are scattered throughout the article with one source reference in each paragraph. The article references reports from both Afghan and U.S. officials to provide detailed information from two different sources of information. The quotes from the insurgent group spokesman adds a little more life and interest to the story as it gives the reader a direct explanation of the reasoning behing the attacks.

The article made sure to have reports from multiple Afghan authorities in order to show how those reports from several sources conflicted with one another.

The reporter also makes sure to alternate how the attribution is set up in order to keep the story flowing and easy to read. For example the reporter may attribute and the end of one paragraph and then start the next paragraph with the attribution (Police said...). This is effective because it makes the story seem less repetitive while keeping the clarity of who is saying what.

Groups Sue to Prevent Minnesota Wolf Hunting Season

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By Brett Stolpestad

Two groups filed a lawsuit on Tuesday asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to block the wolf hunting and trapping season set to start this Nov., The Star Tribune reported.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves argued that the Department of Natural Resources did not allow enough time for adequate public input before announcing their new regulations, The Pioneer Press reported.

The two groups argued that the 30-day survey issued by the DNR over the summer, did not provide enough time for the public to weigh in on the new regulations, The Pioneer Press reported.

The DNR plans to hand out 6,000 licenses via lottery system and will set a quota for 400 animals between Nov. 3 and Jan. 31, The Star Tribune reported.

by Brett Stolpestad

A Minneapolis federal judge reinstated contempt charges against a Somali woman Tuesday who refused to stand before the court during her trial, The Star Tribune reported.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis cited Amina Farah Ali 20 times in the first two days of her trial when she refused to stand before the court, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

Ali protested and refused to stand before the judge saying that it would violate her interpretation of her islamic faith, The Star Tribune reported.

Judge Davis originally ordered Ali to serve 100 days in jain but later dropped the jail time when a federal appeals court vacated 19 of the contempt charges, MPR News reported.

Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan were both convicted of providing support to the Al-Shabab terrorist organization last October, The Star Tribune reported.

Suicide Bombing Claims More Victims In Afghanistan

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By Brett Stolpestad

Suicide bombers launched another attack in Afghanistan's city of Kabul on Tuesday killing 14 people, The New York Times reported.

The New York Times reported that the attack had been carried out by an 18-year-old woman named Fatima after speaking with a spokesman from the Afghan insurgent group Hezb-i-Islami.

However, CNN reported that the Afghan insurgent group, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, took responsibility for the attack and said that the woman, Fatima, was 22-years-old.

There is a lack of consistency between the CNN and New York Times reports, disagreeing on both the exact number of victims and the age of the attacker.

What is consistent in both reports is that the group Hezb-i-Islami took credit for the attack saying that it was an act of retaliation for a video insulting the prophet Muhammad and Islam.

Among the victims of the attack were eight South African citizens, three Afghan citizens and one citizen of Kyrgyzstan, CNN reported.


The Romney campaign decided to adopt a new strategy focusing on policy details aimed at strengthening the middle-class, The Washington Post reported.

The New York Times reported that Romney announced this shift in campaign strategy on Monday, outlining plans for a new advertising campaign.

In addition to Romney's plan to strengthen the middle-class, Romney also said that he plans to "cut the deficit," "crack down on China" and "champion small businesses," The New York Times Reported.

The shift in campaign strategy plans to move away from the former strategy which was mainly focused on criticizing President Obama and his handling of the economy, The New York Times Reported.

Romney campaign senior advisor Ed Gillespie told reporters on Monday "We do think the timing is right to reinforce more specifics about the Romney plan for a strong middle class," The Washington Post Reported.


University of Minnesota promises to freeze tuition

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By Brett Stolpestad

The University of Minnesota says that it will freeze tuition for undergraduates in 2014 and 2015 if they receive an increase in funding from the Minnesota State Legislature, The Minnesota Daily reported.

The Star Tribune reported that the U of M will be asking for $91.6 million to be added to the current biennium.

The University also plans to use $14.2 million of that increase for a tuition freeze for in-state undergraduates, The Star Tribune Reported.

The Star Tribune also reported that request, made by President Eric Kaler, will total to $1.18 billion.

The proposal will be voted on next month.


By Brett Stolpestad

The lead in this story identifies some very specific information regarding the nature of the attack and those involved, including the victims of the attack.

The New York Times leads with identifying the perpetrators as a heavily armed Islamist militant group, including information about the types of weapons and amount of force used in the attack.

The details about the heavily armed militant group and the lightly defended U.S. embassy are meant to introduce further issues about the radicalization of groups and countries in the Arab Spring.

This lead is effective because it introduces the main point of the article which focuses strategically planned attack by the Islamist militant group and the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

The lead also introduces questions and concerns being raised about the rising violence in Libya.

NHL Faces Another Lockout

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By Brett Stolpestad

The National Hockey League expects its second lockout in eight years as the NHL and the NHL Players Association continue to argue over a collective bargaining agreement.

Minnesota Public Radio News reported that the NHL and the NHL Players Association are trying to work through issues regarding how revenues should be shared and distributed.

Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner told the Star Tribune's Michael Russo "It does not appear as if there will be any formal bargaining today. Neither side has altered its position on substance in the last 48 hours."

This lockout brings back memories of the unfortunate 2004 NHL lockout but the NHL and players hope that this time an a agreement can be reached without sacrificing any games in the upcoming season.

The lockout will officially begin later this evening.

By Brett Stolpestad

The Minnesota Gophers Football team won their third game of the season today defeating the Broncos from Western Michigan.

The Gophers defeated the Broncos by a 28-23 margin at TCF bank stadium with help from second string quarterback Max Shortell after starter MarQueis Gray left the game at the end of the first half.

The Star Tribune reported that Gray left the game with 4:20 remaining in the first half, spending the rest of the game on crutches with a suspected high-ankle sprain.

The Minnesota Daily reported that Gray plans to have an MRI and that it is likely that the Minnesota starter will miss at least month.

Even though the Gophers lost their promising senior quarterback, the backup Max Shortell put on a strong and reassuring performance passing for 188 yards and three touchdowns, the Minnesota Daily Reported.

Minnesota will rely on Shortell to carry them through the next few games until Gray is able to return to the field.

Funding for New Saint's Ballpark Emerges

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By Brett Stolpestad

A new home for the St. Paul Saints looks all the more promising as Gov. Mark Dayton announced a $25 million award to go to the city of St. Paul.

The owner of the Saints Mike Veeck was also excited about the news of the grant to build the new Saints facility telling the Minnesota Public Radio that "It's just more than I could possibly hope for."

Minnesota Public Radio News also reported that the award given to St. Paul was a part of a $47.5 million statewide competition with the goal of creating new jobs for Minnesotans.

St. Paul came away with the largest portion of the award money but other cities also won big including Duluth which won $8.5 million for downtown development, The Star Tribune Reported.

The Start Tribune also reported that the city of St. Paul plans to build a 7,000 seat ballpark and holds high expectations for the positive impact it will have on the economy and the community.

Teacher Strike in Chicago Continues

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By Brett Stolpestad

The negotiations between the Chicago Teacher's Union and the Chicago Board of Directors has made progress since the strike began on Sunday.

Karen Lewis, The president of the Chicago Teachers' Union, told the New York Times that she hopes to see the strike end before Monday of next week while other public officials share the same hopes.

Although the CTU hopes to end the strike by early next week, the chief education advisor for Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, told the Chicago Tribune that it's all up to the Teacher's Union to come to an agreement.

The Chicago Tribune also reported that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with other officials, placed the blame on the teachers for the strike, saying that negotiations could have been made without taking the children out of school.

A new proposal from the district was put on the table Wednesday evening which included a new structure for teacher raises and an offer for a wellness program that would keep health insurance rates in tact, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The strike will continue as teachers and public officials continue to negotiate the new policies.

United States Responds to Assault on Embassy in Libya

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by Brett Stolpestad,

The United States is taking steps to respond to the deadly attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya which resulted in the death of U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

The attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya sparked responses from the President, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other U.S. officials.

President Obama made a statement vowing action and justice saying, "We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act,". CNN reported.

The New York Times also reported that American and European officials describe the attack as well organized, well armed and strategically planned.

The U.S. plans to take action against those responsible for the attack including the use of warships along the the coast and the use of drones to track the movement of the suspected group responsible for the attack, officials said.

More investigation is being done to uncover the identity of the militant Islamic group responsible for the attack as well as the possible motivations behind it.

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