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December 14, 2008

Teacher decides to sell ads on tests

A high school school teacher in San Diego has found a way to generate money for his school's depleting budget.

Tom Farber, is using the bottom of his math tests as advertising space. According to CBS News, "The ads appear as lines of text - 'Braces by Stephen P. Henry D.M.D.,' for example.

When school administrators announced that they were cutting almost a third of the supplies spending, Farber realized that he'd pocket more $200 in printing for his tests.

Farber is selling his quizzes for $10, tests for $20 and final exams for $30 and the costs are only enough to the pay for the printing fees.

According to USA Today, "San Diego magazine and The San Diego Union-Tribune featured his plan just before Thanksgiving, and Farber came home from a few days out of town to 75 e-mail requests for ads. So far, he has collected $350. His semester final is sold out."

Farber told CBS News, "Anybody who criticizes this I challenge them to open up their wallets."

While these two news organizations presented the same story, they were written in different styles. The story by CBS was a feature that got quotes from one of Farber's students and that also highlighted the general issue of funding (or lack thereof) for schools across the U.S. The story by USA Today talked more about the implications of what Farber has chosen to do, and the economic impact-good and bad-that it will have on schools should they decide to do the same.

Shoes thrown at Bush during rare visit to Baghdad

A pair of shoes were thrown at President Bush during a press conference in Baghdad.

In his fourth and last visit as President to the country, Bush addressed the newly signed Strategic Framework Agreement, a security pact that, according to Bloomberg "sets June 30, 2009, as the deadline for U.S. combat troops to withdraw from all Iraqi cities and towns. The date for all U.S. troops to leave Iraq is December 31, 2011."

As Bush spoke to a room of reporters, an Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, flung the two shoes as Bush managed to duck both lodges.

According to CNN, as was pinned down and then dragged away, al -Zaidi, screamed out in Arabic ""This is a farewell ... you dog!"

“All I can report is it is a size 10,� Bush said after the incident.

Bloomberg reported that "In Arab culture, throwing shoes is a grave show of disrespect."

Although both articles generally presented the same information, Bloomberg included information about President-elect Obama's plans for action and the effects that Bush's previous visits to the country will have on Obama's plans.

I also noticed that quotes were different, but essentially meant the same thing. For instance, CNN reported that the al-Zaidi said "This is a farewell ... you dog!" While Bloomberg reported that al-Zaidi said, “This is the farewell kiss, you dog.�

Divers find body of Edina woman in Mississippi River

The body of a 39 year-old woman from Edina was pulled from the Mississippi River on Wednesday.

Lisa Gustincic was found under the partially frozen river, that was according to Sun Newspapers, " in 8 feet of water about 125 feet from shore near the Camden Bridge in north Minneapolis, near 47th Street."

The Star Tribune reported that "Divers began searching for a possible missing person after a park worker called in to report a black Labrador retriever running near the Camden Bridge around 2 p.m."

The incident was tipped off by person who a black Labrador retriever pacing back forth near the area and trying to get close to the water. Minneapolis Fire and North Memorial were called to the scene. According to the Star Tribune, "When responders arrived, they found a wet cell phone and gloves near the hole."

Lisa Kiava, a public information officer for the sheriff's office told Sun Newspapers, "In some cases people fall through ice trying to retrieve pets. We don't know if that's the circumstances."

According to Sun Newspapers, the dog ran home on its own.

Both stories provided the same information, and had the same source. The Star Tribune also put the story in to context by citing other incidents, similar to this one. The Star Tribune also talked briefly about the technology that was used to search through the river.

December 7, 2008

Pilot flying from St. Paul dies in plane crash

A 47-year-old pilot from Lake George, NY was flying from St. Paul to New York when he died Saturday after his plane crashed in northern Michigan.

According to the Star Tribune, the plane, a Cessna 206 with one engine "circled in the sky about 18 miles southeast of Traverse City, dipped its wing, clipped some trees, then crashed through the roof of a mobile home around 2:15 p.m. CST."

The occupants of the mobile home, were outside shoveling when the plane crashed. They were not hurt in the wreckage.

Sheriff Bill Artress told the Battle Creek Enquirer that "the men had gone outside between five and 10 minutes before the crash, which left a section of the plane’s wing lodged in the side of the mobile home."

The crash is currently being investigated.

The newspaper from Michigan got some good quotes from the occupants of the mobile home, which helped to round the story out.

Tainted pork in Ireland leads to investigation of other countries

On Saturday, people in Ireland were warned not to consume in pork products because contaminants are believed to be spread in them.

According to Reuters, "The Irish government has recalled all domestic pork products from shops, restaurants and food processing plants because of contamination with dioxin -- which in some forms and concentrations, and with long exposure, can cause cancer and other health problems."

Dioxins can easily enter an animal's system due to its food ingestion or the environment it lives in, and remains in the pigs fat.

The government issued a recall on pork products dating back to Sept. 1 " after discovering potentially dangerous dioxins in pigs and pig feed at 80 to 200 times the safety limit." (Associated Press)

The Associated Press reported that "The government’s warning that Irish pork may have been tainted for months threatens a pig industry worth more than $600 million annually."

Because Irish pork is also consumed heavily in other countries, the government has also began an investigation as to whether the contamination has spread elsewhere such as Asia and Europe.

While both articles presented similar information, the article by the Associated Press presented all of the essential facts and was written for a reader who had never heard of this story. The article by Reuters was more of a feature that included interviews from families from Ireland and more quotes from various officials in Ireland.

David Gregory named new Meet the Press Host

Meet the Press Interim host Tom Brokaw officially announced David Gregory as the new host to take over beginning next Sunday.

Brokaw has been filling in since this past summer, after the unexpected death of Tim Russert in June

Yahoo News reported that other TV correspondents, "Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd and Gwen Ifill had also been under consideration."

Gregory is quoted as saying in the Hartford Courant, "I'm honored and deeply humbled as I take on this role," Gregory, 38, in a statement. "I'm filled with a great sense of purpose as I join a superb team to cover Washington and the world from a treasured platform in our country. Above all, I want to make Tim proud."

The Hartford Courant, while presenting hard news facts, was also an op-ed piece that talked one-sidedly about the negative aspects of Gregory's hiring. It mentioned Gregory's strained relationships with President Bush's spokespersons.