April 2011 Archives

Analysis: records/CAR

Student journalists at Kent State University interviewed Mid-American Conference schools asking for an athletic department budget and breakdown of tuition and fees, according to Kent University. They posed the question, "Why aren't universities providing line-item charges so students and parents can see where the money is going?"

After collaborative research, the students across MAC schools are paying millions of dollars to fund athletics and chances are they're not aware of such charges to their tuition bill. Based on the athletic budgets from schools that were willing to comply, they could total the percent of the budget from student fees. They also took the budgets and recorded the amount paid by students to the athletic department per credit. Of all the MAC schools interviewed, only the University of Buffalo displays athletic fees as a line-item on tuition bills.

Colorful pie charts and graphics are used strategically to attract the readers eyes and educate students with a visual image. Computer programs are used to create a visual picture in the confusing lists of numbers. A video produced by the students highlighted the procedure and conflicts with the investigation. The students also used the Internet to search contact information for the schools involved.

Kazakh man tries to hijack plan; divert to Libya

Cabin crew on an Alitalia flight overpowered a 48-year-old man who attempted to hijack the plane, according to Herald Sun.

Valeriy Tolmashev, from Kazakhstan, held a nail file to an air hostess' neck demanding the plane be diverted to Tripoli, Libya, USA Today said.

All 131 passengers aboard the flight were safe upon arrival into Rome on Sunday evening, Alitalia said in USA Today.

Tolmashev's motives are not known, according to Italian investigators. He had no known links with international terrorism, Herald Sun said, and a lack of a police record.

Idaho miner presumed dead

A miner is most likely dead after a collapse occurred in Idaho nine days ago, mining company officials said Sunday in The New York Times.

Larry Marek and his brother, Mike, had just finished a project in the mine when the tunnel ceiling collapsed. Mike Marek escaped, according to The New York Times. After a week of rescue missions, the family was informed of the change to a recovery operation.

No cause has been established since Hecla Mining Company shut down production to focus search efforts. Rescue workers are blasting rock to reach Marek's last known location, the Associated Press said.

The last death at the mine occurred in 1986 and no contact has been made with Larry Marek since the day of the collapse, The New York Times said.

High-fat diet may help reverse kidney damage

A "ketogenic diet" could reverse the kidney damage caused by diabetes, a study published online Wednesday by the journal PloS One, reported The Bellingham Herald.

At the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City a neuroscientist, Charles Mobbs, first did a study using mice. He found that dietary intervention alone is enough over an eight week span, BBC News said.

This diet of 87 percent fat is brutal and recommended only for those who are desperate, The Bellingham Herald said.

It is questionable whether the diet used would be sustainable for humans until clinical trials are performed, BBC News said.

Woman jogger sexually assaulted in Woodbury

A lone male sexually assaulted a 33-year-old female jogger in Wodbury at a park early Saturday morning, Woodbury police said.

The unknown male attacker assaulted the victim at about 5:30 a.m. on a walking path on the northeast side of Markgrafs Lake Park, according to police and Pioneer Press. (*note: spell check for Markgrafs in Star Tribune)

Sgt. Neil Bauer of the Woodbury Police Deptartment said the woman could not identify her attacker. They are asking the public for leads to the isolated incident, according to Star Tribune.

The woman suffered some physical injuries and was treated at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury, then later released said Bauer in the Pioneer Press.

Collision with dump truck kills student bicyclist

A University of Minnesota undergraduate student was killed in a collision with a semi-truck in the Dinkytown neighborhood on Thursday morning, Pioneer Press said.

Kimberly Yeong Sil Hull, 25, was traveling to campus as she entered the intersection of Fourth Street and 15th Avenue Southeast, according to police. The truck driver hit her while taking a right onto Fourth Street, The Minnesota Daily said.

Minneapolis police Sgt. Steve McCarty told The Minnesota Daily that traffic accident investigators are doing preliminary work to determine the speed of the semi-truck.

Within the last week in Minneapolis, this is the third deadly crash involving pedestrians or bicyclists, according to Pioneer Press.

Hull is remembered by friends for her spunk, upbeat personality and passion for filmmaking. She was planning to graduate in two weeks, The Minnesota Daily said.

New plan affects air controllers off hours

Federal officials announced a plan to guarantee a minimum of nine hours off between tightly scheduled shifts to air traffic controllers on Sunday morning, according to The Washington Post.

It took a seventh air traffic controller to fall asleep on Wednesday for the Federal Aviation Administration to understand that the current schedules were failing in their design, NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman told USA Today.

Within the nation's air-traffic system fatigue has become a major issue, but U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told The Washington Post that he has no tolerance for sleeping on the job.

There are currently 15, 475 controllers nationwide and it may take till the end of the week before the new rules take full effect, according to The Washington Post.

Legislators seek environmental study on trash burner downtown

Fourteen Minneapolis legislators are not convinced that Hennepin County has explored environmental alternatives in their letter sent Friday, according to MinnPost.

The garbage burner has supplied not enough information in the past, and legislators understand that an EIS will detail the consequences of large projects, County Commissioner told Star Tribune.

An EIS is the most expensive environmental study that can be done, but would finally allow the public and concerned people to have a long conversation on the issue, Star Tribune said.

The plant has requested to operate at capacity, which would add as much as 200 tons daily to the total garbage burner downtown, Star Tribune said.

Three students injured in Dinkytown hit-and-run

A car hit and injured three University of Minnesota students near Dinkytown early Friday morning, according to The Minnesota Daily.

Near the intersection of Fifth Street and 12th Avenue Southeast, Joe Bailin, his girlfriend Katelynn Hanson and their friend Sarah Bagley were heading west before the wrong-way driver knocked all three to the ground, Minneapolis Sgt. Stephen McCarthy said.

The car continued to travel on the sidewalk and hit Benjamin Van Handel, leaving him in critical condition. He is being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, according to Pioneer Press.

The students were out celebrating their acceptance into graduate architecture school over drinks at the Kitty Cat Klub, The Minnesota Daily said.

Yemen women protest against degrading comments by Saleh

In a brief speech to followers on Friday in Yemen, President Saleh requested men and women to stop mingling with those of no direct relation, in order to keep with cultural norms, Voice Of America News said.

Originally advised to stay at home, women continue to go against Islamic law after the verbal attack and degrading by their ruler, according to CNN International.

Saleh met with women leaders to explain the misunderstanding of the "encouragement, care, and support provided by the president to women in the country," CNN International said.

Mohammad Sabri commented on the lack of respect by the regime for the rights of expression. It appears that they want women to be lead by men at all times, according to CNN International.

Spring storms leave 39 people dead in six states

Powerful storms ripped through six southern states killing 39 people as of Sunday morning, according to NY Daily News.

The death toll is expected to rise as search-and-rescue units search the rubble left from tornadoes, flash floods, and hail. Families were killed while sleeping in their homes during the past few days, NY Daily News said.

A state of emergency was declared in North Carolina after an unusual number of supercell tornadoes touched down in the same area, totaling 62, according to CNN U.S.
The storm claimed lives in Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Virginia, Mississippi, and North Carolina, according to NY Daily News.

Federal support is necessary and will be given as the number of reported storm-related incidents continues to rise from this epic storm, according to CNN U.S.

Analysis: Diversity in the Arab Middle East

One of the most serious problems that remains in the Middle East among the Muslim countries is the routine abuse, harassment and even brutalization of women, reported Frida Ghitis of the Miami Herald.

With the war and uprisings in the Middle East, the treatment of women and their role among men is seen predominantly for what it really is. Women are usually silenced and hidden behind their clothing, but lately some women have found the courage to step out and defend themselves. The Saudi Women's Revolution is demanding equality and a society driven by male's who view women as property.

Several examples of women in the Arab news are mentioned within the commentary and allow the reader to view the incidents as stepping stones to a change that may take quite some time. No numerical data is available, but rather accounts of rape victims or deaths made in the light of a suicide by the Arab government.

The 21-year-old student, Leah Rogotzke, is a member of the Advocates for Human Rights Group and a Global Studies major. She has specialized some of her studies to the treatment of women in Arab countries and the cuts that Muslim governments have made to programs that offer support. She is disturbed by the events occurring in the news, but appreciates the efforts to publicize what is happening to the suffering race of women.

Gas prices accelerating across the nation

The average price for a gallon of gas in the United States is $3.76 according to a survey of oil prices, reported Star Tribune.

Jumping 19 cents over the past three weeks, the average gallon of gasoline is 91 cents higher that this time the previous year, reported Star Tribune.

Prices are prompted by a number of variables, reported Kane County Chronicle. "The ongoing tragedy in Japan, unrest in the Middle East, war in Lybia, weakness in the U.S. dollar and economic volatility in the U.S. and Europe," said Patrick DeHaan, a petroleum analyst.

Prices are expected to drop as the demands for high fuel prices and economic recovery cool down within weeks, rather than months, DeHaan told the Kane County Chronicle.

An anti-abortion student group sued the St. Michael-Albertville High School Thursday for denying the group a club status, reported Star Tribune.

The All Life Is Valuable (ALIV) is being denied permission by school administrators because the group does not "support the student body as a whole," reported The Minnesota Independent, and finds it an issue that only some clubs are granted access.

This type of governmental discrimination is prohibited under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The group would like to talk freely about topics such as abortion, abstinence, and politics, reported Star Tribune.

Chuck Shreffler, the student group's attourney, has stated that there are factual disagreements based on a statement by Superintendent Marcia Ziegler. She said the club could meet, despite their claims made, reported Star Tribune.

Family of six flees fire in St. Paul

A mother and her five children escape a fire within their home in St. Paul Wednesday night, the St. Paul fire marshall said Thursday, reported Pioneer Press.

Fire Marshall Steve Zaccard said a 7-year-old girl was plugging in an electric heater when it sparked and ignited the child's bed, reported Star Tribune, and suffered only a minor burn on her finger.

The mother called 911 to report the fire and then quickly fled the home with her children. The father, Tik Soukchaleum, was arriving home at that time and attempted to stop the fire with the use of an extinguisher, reported Star Tribune.

They lost almost everything they owned within the rental home, totaling $20,000, reported Pioneer Press, and the Dayton's Bluff Community Council is currently collecting money for the family.

Twelve elementary children shot in Rio de Janeiro

A 23-year-old male killed 12 children in the halls of an elementary school on Thursday morning in Rio de Janeiro, reported Detroit Free Press.

Children and families mourned while watching 11 of 12 burials on Friday at a cemetery overlooking the school where the shootings took place, reported The New York Times.

The shooter, Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, was carrying two revolvers that fired off 66 shots before he turned it to himself and fired after police confronted him, reported Detroit Free Press.

Pleas for more gun control in Brazil and concerns of heavy arms sales escalated after revealing one of the guns was sold illegally to Oliveira following the shooting, reported The New York Times.

Government avoids shutdown and reaches agreement

An agreement was met Friday evening through both houses and the president who agreed on a budget that will keep the government running through the financial year, reported The Washington Post.

Calls were made for increasing Pentagon spending and cuts to domestic federal programs shortly before the government ran out of money, New York Times reported.

Obama signed into law a stopgap measure on Saturday, until a long-term deal is made this week by Congress, reported The Washington Post.

Not everyone will be pleased with the painful outcomes, but a net spending reduction of nearly $38 billion are the beginning steps to a resolve, reported The New York Times.

Analysis: Number use in story about Southwest Airlines

The use of numbers in the Southwest Airlines article by Star Tribune was necessary and thoroughly planned by the reporter, in order to explain the situation. The type of plane in a numerical value is referenced several times as well as the amount of planes inspected.

The inspection numbers are used comparatively to show the severity of the emergency and how rare of an occasion it is made out to be. The age of the planes, the dates of past inspections, and time frames are all used within the article and offer context for the purpose of the article.

Very simple math was done, if any, by the reporter for this specific piece. The story flowed smoothly and provided numbers that put the emergency into perspective for an audience. Southwest Airlines, Federal Aviation Administration, and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board all provided numbers in some way for the story.

A Southwest jetliner made an emergency landing in Yuma, Ariza., after losing pressure due to a fuselage rupture ending in subsurface cracks, reported Star Tribune.

Inspectors have found small subsurface cracks in two more Southwest Airlines planes, while 19 others passed the inspection and returned to service as of late Sunday, reported USA Today.

A National Transportation Safety Board member said there wasn't any "indication that the plane was improperly inspected or maintained." Maintenance crews would have to be specifically searching for such cases, other than routine management, reported USA Today.

After leaving Phoenix and in the air for 18 1/2 minutes, decompression occurred and the assessment of the damage prompted pilots to declare an emergency to land in Yuma's suitable airport, reported, Star Tribune.

Porky's future status is pending

University Avenue's drive-in burger joint, Porky's, closed Sunday and a sale is pending to a neighbor senior housing developer, according to Pioneer Press.

The St. Paul Preservation Heritage Commission is concerned about the plans to demolish this historic resource and is fighting for more time to consider other alternatives, reported Pioneer Press.

Intentions for the land will be consistent with Episcopal Homes role of serving seniors or packing the joint up and moving it to the Great Minnesota Get-Together, according to Star Tribune.

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota announced Friday that Porky's made this year's "10 Most Endangered Historic Places," but that may not be enough incentive to save the street rod haven, reported Star Tribune.

Edina man kills moped rider and recieves 3 1/2 years

An 41-year-old Edina man was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on Friday for killing a 53-year-old moped rider while intoxicated, reported The Republic.

Christian Neal Rogat, 41, pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal vehicular homicide. He killed the 53-year-old driver of the moped, Robert Kuntze, on Sept. 1., according to The Republic.

Rogat's blood alcohol level was over the legal limit while behind the wheel of his SUV. After hitting the motor scooter, he fled the scene. While prosecuting him, the judge took into account his low mental capacity, reported Star Tribune.

Kuntze is survived by his wife, June, and their son Ryan, 22, according to Star Tribune.

Radioactive water leaking into ocean in Japan

Japanese safety officials said Saturday that Reactor No. 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has developed a leak that releases highly radioactive water directly into the sea, reported New York Times.

The efforts to regain control of the reactors have continued since a tsunami hit the country on March 11. The strategy is to "cool the reactors and spent fuel storage pools by pumping hundreds of tons of water a day into them," reported New York Times.

On Saturday, attempts to fill the crack with concrete to plug the radiation leak are bring made by Tokyo Electric Power Co., reported The Japan Times.

The seawater is nearly twice the legal limit for radioactive iodine. There is no "immediate" danger to the public, because the material has dispersed, reported The Japan Times.

Title IX investigation at Yale University

The United States Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights will investigate several instances of sexual misconduct from recent years at Yale University, according to a press release Thursday afternoon.

Title IX prohibits discrimination or exclusion from education programs and the University has failed to dissolve its sexual environment on campus, according to Yale Daily News.

The investigation truly started as a result of 16 people, 12 women and 4 men, filing a complaint against the University last month, according to New York Times on Thursday.

The complainants hope that the University is found out of compliance so the necessary steps are taken to allow a change of equal access, or the University will lose their federal funding from the state, reported Yale Daily News.

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