December 8, 2008

Decemeber 8th in History

This information is from the Assciated Press.

Dec. 8, 1941- The U.S. entered World War II, a day after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor

Dec 8, 1776- George Washington and his men retreated across the Delaware River.

Dec. 8, 1863- President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan for the Reconstruction of the South.

Dec. 8, 1980- John Lennon was shot to death by a deranged fan outside of this New York City apartment.

December 7, 2008

Final Bush Christmas in the White House

First lady, Laura Bush, share the theme as well as her emotions at the annual White House holiday decorations press preview Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

This year’s color scheme is red, white and blue.

The White House hosts many parties over the holiday season and keeps the staff on their toes. Three hundred pounds of cheesy grits and 22,000 cookies are just the beginning of the preparations for the festivities to come, the New York Times reported.

The White House is now home to an 18-foot Fraser fir Christmas tree that was brought in from North Carolina.

Although Mrs. Bush got teary-eyed recounting her eight years at the White House, she said, “It’s the people I will miss most.?

Ghana Votes

Two foreign-trained lawyers were on the ballot for Ghana’s presidential election Sunday, hoping to lead Ghana into prosperity, Reuters reported.

The voting was generally peaceful with violence isolated to a few locations.

A total of eight candidates are on the ballot but “many expect a runoff election between Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party and John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress,? Reuters reported.

Results are expected during the week.

Third Oldest Person in the World Dies

At age 114, Catherine Hagel went down in the record books as the third oldest person in the world, and the oldest in Minnesota.

She is survived by 35 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren, and 20 great-great grandchildren, the Star Tribune reported.

Hagel has been living at Minnesota Masonic Home North Ridge in New Hope for the last 14 years, reported the Star Tribune.

Services for Hagel will be held at Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church at St. Martin in Rogers on Wednesday.

Faribault College Teacher Kills Himself

Faribault preparatory college is grieving the loss of their teacher after he shot himself Friday night.

Len Jones, 24, shot himself with a handgun in his faculty apartment at St. Mary’s School Friday night, the Star Tribune reported.

Seventh and ninth grade boys were in the dormitory at the time of the shooting and were quickly taken to another location while the adults went to the aid of Jones, Amy Wolf, a spokeswoman for the school said.

Jones started working at St. Mary’s six years ago and brought with his “southern flare? from South Carolina, Wolf said.

Faribault’s flags flew half-staff Saturday in remembrance of the beloved teacher, the Star Tribune reported.

November 23, 2008

Seven Days of Sex

In Grapevine, Texas, the sermon from evangelical Fellowship Church was far from ordinary. Rev. Ed Young called upon his congregation to have sex, and lots of it.

Young, a television host and pastor of the church told his members that the married couples were to conduct a “sexperiment? for seven days.

He said the experiment will bring about a happiness and content-ness among couples and bring them closer to each other and God.

Rev. Young quoted the Song of Solomon and Genesis as a way of justifying his experiment. “Two shall become one flesh,? or “do not deprive each other of sexual relations,? from Corinthians were a few mentioned, reported the New York Times.

The sermon was met with mixed reviews, but Young said he noticed members smiling and holding hands a lot more the next week.

Gang Fight in Guatemalan Prison, Seven Dead

A gang fight on Saturday resulted in seven murdered inmates, some of whom were beheaded, Reuters reported.

Prisoners were transferred Friday to Pavoncito prison from Guatemala. Rival gangs were the reasoning behind the riot and murders.

Five inmates were mutilated and decapitated, one was put on a stick that could be seen from outside the prison, Reuters reported.

"This is a dispute between prisoners belonging to different gangs, who bring their conflicts with them when they are locked up," Rudy Esquivel, the prison spokesman told Reuters.

Community College Professor Earns Ultimate Award

North Hennepin Community College’s chemistry Professor earned the 2008 U.S. Community College Professor of the Year award.

Eugenia Paulus was named by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement and Support of Education for her outstanding work.The ceremony was held in Washington on Thursday, the Star Tribune reported.

Paulus was nominated for her outstanding work in raising money needed for new equipment needed to help teach a Web-based industry skills course she developed, reported the Star Tribune.

Bow Hunter Shoots White Buck

White deer have been seen periodically throughout the last couple years, and a 29-year-old man found one.

Joe Furrer hit the jackpot while hunting in western Waukesha County, a 10-point white buck.

White deer are similar to Albino deer because of their white fur, but white deer have brown eyes and sometimes brown spots, whereas Albino deer have red eyes, reported the Star Tribune.

Furrer is in the process of full-body mounting the beast, reported the Star Tribune.

November 16, 2008


The story tells about Somali pirates hiajacking Russian ships. The reporter describes the Somali pirates as tough fighters and gives their general characteristics. The story is better for the character descriptions and is not based on stereotypes.
The story tells about how piratees are taking over ships and demanding ransoms off the coast of Somalia and how when their demands are met, they move on to another ship.
I think the reporter did a good job of describing the pirates and physical as well as mental personas. It helps the reader to relate to the story they are reading and get a visual picture.

New York Times

Gophers Fall to Badgers

The Gophers started Saturday’s game against the Badgers up by 14 points only to lose in the end by three.

The offensive line held up for the first half, protecting Adam Weber, but let the Badgers score off of two safeties, the Star Tribune reported.

The Gophers will host Iowa in their last home game of the year on Saturday. Saturday’s game is the last one the Gophers will ever play in the Metrodome until the new TCF stadium opens in the fall of 2009.

Dogfighting Busted In Houston

Houston officials broke up one of the largest dog fighting rings in the country Friday, eight people were arrested and 187 dogs were confiscated, the New York Times reported.

State officials learned through undercover investigations that the dog fighting ring attracted crowds of up to 100 people, reported the New York Times.

News of the event was spread through word of mouth, attracting only people that knew each other. Gamblers would place thousands of dollars in bets in the illegal arena.

This was a large-scale, highly organized operation,? said Lisa Block, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A total of 55 people were indicted and eight people were arrested.

The indicted were charged with engaging in dogfights which can get up to two years in prison. A misdemeanor charge of one year for being a spectator is also proposed for those who are indicted, the New York Times reported.

November 13, 2008

Trick or Wedding Ring?

A good Samaritan answered the prayers of a Ramsey man on Thursday.

Mike Janiak, 44, lost his wedding ring Halloween night. He was handing out candy for Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Ramsey when his ring went missing, the Star Tribune reported.

Janiak thinks the ring slipped off his finger in the cold weather without him knowing.

A story about Janiak’s ring ran in the Star Tribune’s North Extra section on Wednesday along with many prayers. Thursday morning, Janiak’s ring was in his mailbox, the Star Tribune reported.

"The prayers apparently got through," Janiak said. "There's a heck of a good connection there."

November 9, 2008

A Kidney For An Acquaintance

Dan Heins lost both of his legs in recent years to diabetes, had a heart attack, a stroke, and quadruple bypass surgery, but received the gift of life from a casual friend, a kidney, reported the Star Tribune.

Nancy Volk, a twice-divorced mother of three daughters, Main Street Deli in Anoka owner, and paraprofessional in the Anoka-Hennepin School District wanted to do something for a friend, give him his life back.

"Never underestimate the power of an act so generous and maybe, in this case, so unexpected," said Dr. Mikel Prieto, the Mayo Clinic's living-donor authority and the surgeon who removed Volk's kidney in September so it could be transplanted into Heins, the StarTribune reported.

Volk was set on closing her deli down in Sept. after her surgery because she couldn’t keep it up, as well as her new medical bills, but donations flooded from around the country. More than $1,000 dollars was raised in a wicker basket in the deli that read “Nancy’s Kidney Fund? and thousands more were raised in a bake sale, a silent auction, and an Oct. benefit, the Star Tribune reported.

The surgery was a success for both parties and Heins said he hasn’t felt this good in 20 years.

"I got a thank-you card with a kidney bean in it," Volk said. "But I'm the one who's grateful,? reported the Star Tribune.

Number Use

In the story "A gift that gave back", it uses numbers in three separate instances; age, dates, and money. The author is very careful to use the numbers in such a way as to not confuse the readers. They are used far apart in the story and don't make it overwhelming at all. The numbers are directly from the soures themselves, the ages and dates derived from interviews. There is a sum of money that was collected as donation that is sighted in the story, which also comes directly from the source. The author used the numbers very effectively in the story and it helped the reader fathom the intense amount of money raised and to relate to the people in the story by telling their age.

The Star Tribune has the story of this analysis.