March 2011 Archives

Analysis: News Obituary for Mike Struck of Cleveland

Before his death, Mike Struck was a public employee for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The sources included in the column by Tom Tevlin, columnist for Star Tribune, include those he worked alongside and his loved ones that he has left behind.

A regional spokeswoman for MnDOT commented on the cause of his death and his work ethic. A friend and co-worker spoke of Struck as a person and the love for his family. His mentor, Brian Lillie, explained the little things that made Struck special and some contributions he made to his community.

The lead used in the column is unlike the New York Times obituaries, but is efficient in the way it is written. Struck's death is used as a positive example of a city worker in a time when government jobs are portrayed in a lazy and overcompensated manner. The first two paragraphs tie in the demoralization of public employees by politicians such as Gov. Scott Walker. His age is included in the third paragraph that describes Struck's death.

In comparison to a general resume listing career and volunteer positions and achievements, Struck's article describes how he will be remembered as a person and the mark he left on his community and state. In addition, his friends and loved ones are paying tribute to him in the memories that they possess of him in specific career positions.

Cleveland public employee dies on the job

Mike Struck tipped over in into a creek while operating a backhoe at Seven Mile Creek Park between St. Peter and Mankato, resulting in his death Tuesday, reported Star Tribune.

Rebecca Arndt told Star Tribune that he was cleaning debris from a culvert to prevent the flooding in southern Minnesota. Struck's life is left as an example of why not to leave the blame of our country's debt on a government employee.

Family members and city employees are mourning this lost in Cleveland and surrounding cities. They found his body Wednesday after being pulled down stream toward the Minnesota River, reported Mankato Free Press.

Struck is remembered as a hard worker that enjoyed his job. He was a city worker, a volunteer firefighter, an helped his parents on their farm, reported Mankato Free Press.

Worries lowered but the food is still coming

The cold temperatures have slowed the melt, but can not totally hold off the flooding that is expected to swamp much of Minnesota this Spring, reported Star Tribune.

The Crow River in Delano is expected to crest sometime Sunday and possibly again if more rain or snow runoff results, reported Star Tribune. The river entered the city's septic system, but the damage was limited to a few basements.

The Weather Center is advising the possibility of a second crest on the rivers, including the Upper Minnesota River basin near Montevideo and Granite Falls, reported West Central Tribune.

Towns remain cautious with sand-bagging efforts and cities like Montevideo hope there is no need to build temporary levees, reported West Central Tribune.

Perham adds state title to the end of an emotional season

The Perham Yellowjackets, now the Class AA Minnesota State Boys High School Basketball Champions, completed a victory over Rochester Lourdes on Saturday at the Target Center, reported Pioneer Press.

In the beginning of their season, junior-teammate Zach Gabbard, 17, collapsed during a game Jan. 20. The team carries his jersey with them as motivation while he is rehabbing at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, reported in Star Tribune's basketball hub.

Remembered now as the first time in history the school has competed in the state tournament, the boys knew Zach was the reason they wanted to be there, providing to them the inspiration that they needed, Pioneer Press reported.

Gabbard was too tired to attend Saturday's championship game but the coach told Pioneer Press that the teammate was watching the game on TV in his hospital room.

Geraldine A. Ferraro dies at age 75

Known as the first woman nominated for national office by a major party, Geraldine A. Ferraro died Saturday in Boston of complications from multiple myeloma, reported New York Times' Douglas Martin. She was 75.

Her zest and political smarts are what snagged her the vice president nominee for Walter Mondale's presidential election, capitalizing on her ambitiousness, reported Terry O-Neill from CNN.

Ferraro brought a new face to national politics long dominated by older gentlemen, giving young women the opportunity to aspire to anything, The International reported. She thought of the opportunities that her two daughters may have someday because of her efforts.

President Obama commented in the New York Times that she was trailblazer leading the way for women and will be remembered for the barriers she broke. She gave many women heart as she ascended in the political world.

Muammar Gaddafi's troops withdraw from Ajdabiya

Rebels challenging Muammar Gaddafi's forced troops to retreat on Saturday morning marking the first significant advancement and a change in the dynamics of the battle for control, reported New York Times.

Air strikes allowed rebel fighters to gain entrance to the city on the eastern front after American and European air strikes began a week ago, The Independent reported.

Homes were badly damaged with wreckage in the city streets and visually what was left defined an intense battle was fought, reported Star Tribune.

The horrific scenes cause Western leaders to debate the ability of the military to protect Libyan civilians and remove Colonel Gaddafi from power, reported Star Tribune.

Local senator requests nondenominational approach

A Jewish member of the Minnesota Senate wants to require prayers by clergy to be nondenominational before meetings, reported Star Tribune, because of how uncomfortable she became Monday.

Terri Bonoff, a Democrat from Minnetonka, ignites the debate over whether the Senate has the right to censor their prayers or if this violates the separation between church and state, reported St. Cloud Times.

Bonoff mentioned that other Jewish members of the Legislature share her concerns and she will implement it through the Senate rules process if Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch won't commit to the change submitted in Bonoff's letter, reported Star Tribune.

This touchy issue continues to arise even after visiting religious leaders are asked to refrain from direct references to any specific faith, according to Star Tribune.

Durst quadruplets become new reality TV stars

Identical quadruplets from Buffalo are staring in a six-episode TV series "Four of a Kind" starting Tuesday night to follow the sisters in their senior year of high school, reported Pioneer Press.

Calli, Kendra, Megan, and Sarah Durst are one of only 63 sets of identical quadruplets in the world as they reach their 18th birthday, according to Pioneer Press.

The quadruplets mother, Naomi Durst, could not pass up the opportunity of a TV series when told that the family would be paid enough to cover "a considerable amount" of the quadruplets college expenses, reported Star Tribune.

Without the use of fertility drugs, Naomi Durst, beat the odds of having quadruplets, but the real anticipation the girls will split up next fall as they pursue the rest of their lives, reported Star Tribune.

Preparing for the flood

The St. Paul mayor declared a flood emergency on Monday that will start preparation of flood fighting measures, including a temporary floodwall at the St. Paul Downtown Airport, reported Pioneer Press.

Waters are expected to rise to record high levels as the temperatures around 50 degrees induce the snow and ice to rapidly melt throughout the remainder of the week, reported Star Tribune.

Crews all over the metro area are at work filling sandbags to aid flood prevention efforts for the Minnesota, Mississippi, and St. Croix that have the potential of major damages and expenses, reported Star Tribune.

This is the fourth time the floodwall has been deployed at the St. Paul Downtown Airport, but the rivers are expected to reach flood level as early as this weekend, reported Pioneer Press.

Bus accident kills 15 people

A World Wide tours bus slid into a signpost that sheared it, killing 15 people in New York Saturday morning, according to Star Tribune.

Known as one of the deadliest bus accidents in years, the passengers were returning to Chinatown from an overnight trip at Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, according to Star Tribune.

The driver, Ophadell Williams, claims to have been sideswiped by a big rig, but investigators want to know if he was speeding or fell asleep at the wheel, NY Daily News reported.

Bodies were found everywhere with the dead and living tangled, leading to around 20 people treated at area hospitals, Star Tribune reported.

Numbers escalate in Japan

A tsunami ripped apart northeastern Japan Friday and bodies are still floating to shore with the tide, reported San Francisco Chronicle.

Survivors are devastated by Friday's disaster and a Japanese news agency reported that 2,000 bodies washed up on two shorelines, according to San Francisco Chronicle.

The 8.9-magnitude quake at 2:46 p.m. local time created a 23-foot tsunami and officials are certain that more than 10,000 have died, reported San Francisco Chronicle.

Japan his invested significant resources in preparing itself, but with all the troubles after the tsunami, Prime MInister Naoto Kan said this was Japan's "worst crisis since World War II," according to The New York Times.

Analysis: Skippy peanut butter recall

In a press release on the Skippy website, the Unilever United States, Inc. announced a limited recall of Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Reduced Fat super Crunch Peanut Butter Spread March 4. The news report by CNN International states many facts from the news release. The product, the expiration dates, and what to do if you have made this purchase are all listed for the readers.

The listing of the exact symptoms or side effects from the consumption of the peanut butter are listed by Unilever in the press release. Unlike the release, the news report only stated that there were no known illnesses.

Where the product was sold is included in both as well as the reason for the recall- salmonella detection. Basically, the reporters main concern is to include enough logistics to inform the readers and possible buyers of Skippy and inform them on the actions that need to be taken if this effects them personally. Any unnecessary business jargon can be left out, besides the facts. The Who, What, Where, When, and Why are the basics to the news report.

Community rally promotes small businesses

More than 300 people rallied in St. Paul to create awareness of small business concerns where construction is centered on the Central Corridor light-rail line, reported Star Tribune.

The increases in property value in the surrounding areas of construction may force current residents to leave their homes, reported Twin Cities Daily Planet.

Inside the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, community leaders said they want to focus on keeping housing affordable ,and protecting residents and local businesses, reported Star Tribune.

Small businesses are at risk of being out-marketed by chain retail concerns as well as restricted access and parking to those businesses, reported Twin Cities Daily Planet.

Satellite Glory fails to launch

According to NASA, the climate research satellite did not reach orbit March 4 due to the fairings failure to separate and is likely to have landed in the South Pacific, reported The Washington Post.

If Glory had reached orbit, it would have been on a three-year mission to analyze airborne particles and track solar radiation and its effects on climate change, reported Boston Globe.

NASA climate researcher Gavin Schmidt called the mission "one of the most important (and most delayed) satellite launches in ages," reported The Washington Post.

Two years have been spent studying what went wrong with the 2009 mission that also failed. The $424 million mission is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, reported Boston Globe.

No coverage for sewage backup in Chanhassen

The city of Chanhassen's insurance company has refused to pay for any damages resulting from a sewage backup that affected 25 homes on Feb. 23, reported Star Tribune.

Crews popped a manhole that evening, saw what was flooding the sewer line and shut off the main water immediately. The filthy waste ruined many furnished basements and furnishing and anything reaching as high as 3 feet, reported Star Tribune.

In the neighborhood near Highway 212, homeowners were not aware of what their insurance covered and are left without any financial coverage that in some cases exceeds $25,000, reported KSTP.

Travelers Insurance denied all homeowners claims and told how the city was not at fault and crews responded immediately after being notified.

Vietnamese race to save Hoan Kiem lake turtle

Government agencies and teams of people are cleaning debris, pumping fresh water into the lake and using sand bags to construct safe structure for the turtle, reported Star Tribune.

Scientists plan to capture and treat the turtle's alarming number of injuries that have escalated in the past two decades, reported Viet Nam News.

Forced to survive highly polluted waters and attacks for red-ear turtles, the Hoan Kiem Lake Turtle is considered a peaceful symbol of the Hanoi people, reported Viet Nam News.

It is believed by experts to be the most endangered freshwater turtle species in the world, reported Star Tribune. The turtle is assumed to be more than 80 years old and stretches as long as 6 feet.

21 airlines fined for fixing fees

Since Sunday there have been 19 executives charged with wrongdoing and 21 airlines payed more than $1.7 billion in fines, reported Star Tribune.

Avoiding financial ruin in the airline industry over the past decade resulted in one of the largest criminal antitrust investigations in U.S. history.

Inflation of passenger and cargo fuel surcharges occurred between 2000 and 2006 as compensation was attempted from lost profits, reported Chicago Sun Times.

No major U.S. carriers have been charged, but those convicted include British Airways, Korean Air, and Air France-KLM, reported Chicago Sun Times.

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