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October 26, 2008

Gopher Football Prepared for Homecoming

After an 1-11 season in 2007, the Minnesota Gophers have made the ultimate comeback and are now 7-1 in the 2008 season.

Homecoming has been the motivating factor for the Gophers in their last two games on the road. Both Illinois and Purdue selected the Gophers to be their homecoming "chumps" in the hopes of an easy win, Brewster and the Gophers had another agenda.

"Coach Tim Brewster made it clear to his football team that the Gophers were being treated with sizable disrespect by being designated as Homecoming opponents," reported the Star Tribune.

The Gophers beat Illinois in an upset 27-20 and held Purdue to under 10 points with a 17-6 victory.

The Gophers will host Northwestern Saturday at the Metrodome for homecoming, hoping to keep their winning streak alive.

Mayo Clinic's Lights Causing Bird Deaths

The Mayo Clinic was asked to dim its lights, with statements saying the upward facing beams cause birds to fly into reflective windows.

A local Audobon Society reported that 231 birds were killed or injured on the grounds of the Mayo clinic over a 10-month period, which ended in June, reported the Star Tribune.

The Mayo Clinic agreed to turn off some of its lights but the Audobon volunteers are striving for more.

Falling Gas Prices

According to a national survey, gas prices have fallen nearly 53 cents in the last two weeks, the Star Tribune reported.

Lundberg’s Survey of 5,000 gas stations across the nation have revealed that the average gallon of gas was costing consumers $2.78 for regular all the way up to $3.05 for premium on Friday.

Wichita, Kan. came in with the lowest gas price at $2.26 and Anchorage, Alaska ranked the highest with $3.50, reported the Star Tribune.

Drug Leader Arrested in Mexico

One of the United States most sought after drug traffickers was arrested in Tijuana the Mexican government said Sunday, reported Reuters.

Arellano Felix led police on a car chase to a three-story home in Tijuana where police opened fire, peppering the home with bullet holes. Mexican police took no chances and more than 100 police officers and soldiers were used to capture Felix.

Felix was indicted in 2003 for drug-smuggling in the U.S. and a $5 million reward was set.

The Felix family is largely responsible for the cocaine and marijuana trafficking into the U.S. in the 1990s and “was feared for its ruthless elimination of enemies,? Reuters reported.

The Felix family has only one remaining family member still at large, Enedina, Arellano’s sister.

October 19, 2008

Sarah Palin, Saturday Night Live

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin appeared on ‘Saturday Night Live’ to critique as well as make light of Tina Fey’s comedic portrayal of her on the show.

Palin was also accompanied by actor Alec Baldwin who mistook the Gov. for Fey’s character in the opening of the show.

"Forgive me, I feel I must say this: You are way hotter in person,? Baldwin said to end the skit.

The Gov. also appeared in the ‘Weekend Update’ skit where she swayed along to a rap about John McCain, reported the Los Angeles Times.


The Science Museum of Minnesota is running a three month long exhibit featured around CSI. The event is scheduled to open on Wednesday.
The reporter chose to get info from a person who actually works in criminal investigations to get their take on the exhibit and what they think about it. They also interviewed the director in charge of the exhibit itself to get an inside look into what people can expect. Both points of view offer a great basis for the advanced story. It gets readers involved and wanting to go see if for themselves.
The reporter chose to make it an interesting precursor to the event by adding infromation from the actual show and comparing it the exhibit and what visitors can expect when they go. This keeps people guessing and intrigues the readers even more.

Unicef Worker Killed in Somalia

A Somali Unicef worker was shot Sunday as he was walking in a small southern town.

“Three men armed with pistols and assault rifles ambushed the Unicef employee as he was walking in the southern town of Hudur, shooting him several times in the head, witnesses said,? reported Reuters.

Another United Nations employee was killed two days prior to the shooting as he left a mosque in the town of Merka.

Fighting has increased in Somalia and many local foreign aid workers have been the victims.

*The article was found on New York Times website.

Kidnapped 6-Year-Old Found

A kidnapped 6-year-old boy in Nevada was found walking near his home police reported Sunday.

Cole Puffinburger was supposedly kidnapped Wednesday because of drug related debt that his grandfather, Clemens Tinnemeyer, owed, the New York Times reported.

The boy was unharmed and in good health.

“I’m just glad he’s safe,? Cole’s father Robert Puffinburger said.

Puffinburger’s grandfather has been arrested in the hopes of revealing information on the kidnappers’ identities. No charges have been filed against Tinnemeyer.

“The investigation now moves on to the drug dealing and the potential extortion issues,? Capt. Vincent Cannito of the Las Vegas Police Department said.

Walgreens Busted From The Inside

Walgreens handed out $9.9 million in a lawsuit after their own employees turned them in, stating they were over-billing customers.

Neil Thompson has been working with medications ever since his youth at his family’s drugstore, but at age 45 he decided to become a lawyer.

Thompson wanted to expose the way pharmacies sometimes over-charge on medications, and he wanted the expertise to do it. Upon becoming a lawyer, Thompson returned to pharmacy and was hired at Walgreens where he began to uncover the truth along with fellow employee Dan Bieurance.

In 2005, Thompson became a state-sanctioned undercover investigator, scouring files and records in Walgreens’ offices where he found the billing errors, reported the Star Tribune.

Thompson and Bieurance brought their findings to the U.S. attorney in Minneapolis and an investigation got underway.

The investigation continued through 2007 to no avail. Walgreens officially admitted no wrong doing but agreed to pay $9.9 million to the government, the Star Tribune reported.

Thompson and Bieurance each received $483,000 for their discovery.

392-Foot Tower Dispute in St. Louis Park

Northern Lights Broadcasting proposed a 392-foot FM radio tower to St. Louis Park city council and was met with unclear city ordinances and upset residence.

The city’s ordinance for tower height states the limit is 200 feet, but also states no specific height. The council is looking to amend the ordinance and allow towers up to 400 feet high but only on a permit basis.

"I'm very concerned that if we adopt this ordinance as issued, allowing tall towers and short setbacks, that what we will see is a gravitation of other towers," said Council Member Susan Sanger. "We'll be a magnet."

St. Louis Park residence are concerned the tower will affect their cell phone and radio signals, but because the tower is FM it will not interfere with current signal strength, the Star Tribune reported.

"There are towers all over, you hardly notice them anymore," Steve Woodbury Northern Lights' president and CEO said.

October 10, 2008

Tropical Species on the Run From the Heat

Not only are the polar regions in danger due to global warming, but the tropical regions may face an even greater problem.

“Many lowland tropical species could be in trouble,? A team of researchers in Friday’s edition of Science warn.

The increase in heat may cause lowland animals to escape to cooler climates. In the tropics this means moving up mountainsides, and to those already at the highest peaks, nowhere to go but to survive the climate change or die.

“Some species will thrive, but they are likely to be those already adapted to stressful conditions,? Robert K. Colwell, research team leader at the University of Connecticut said.

“A separate paper in Science reported that warming climate has already scrambled the ranges of small mammals in Yosemite National Park,? reported the LA Times.

Asteroid Successfully Predicted

Observers at Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson successfully identified the arrival time of an oncoming asteroid that hit the Earth’s atmosphere early Tuesday.

Sudan got an early morning light show when a 6 to 15 foot asteroid burned in the atmosphere above them but causing no harm to the people below, reported the LA Times.

The asteroid was first identified in Tucson early Monday and reported to the Near-Earth Object Program Office in La Canada Flintridge. The information was then sent to space observers around the world, reported the LA Times.

“We did an impact analysis and saw that it would indeed hit? the Earth, or at least its upper atmosphere, Don Yeomans, director of the office in charge of space rubble monitoring said.

This prediction lets scientists know that future predictions are possible, and if serious dangers are imminent they will be able to inform the world.

Ships Required to Slow in Right Whale Waters

Ships over 65 feet in length are now required by law to slow below 10 knots in areas where right whales and other endangered species live.

The National Marine Fisheries Service’s approval on Wednesday now requires ships within 20 miles of the Atlantic coastline from Massachusetts to Florida to slow down, reported The New York Times.

“This has been a really long, ongoing process, but it’s a significant new step in protecting right whales,? Connie Barclay, a spokeswoman for the fisheries service said.

Scientists estimate there are about 400 right whales left in existence.

“The species is at such low numbers that even the loss of one female is detrimental to the species and could keep them on a downward trend,? said Vicki Cornish, vice president of marine wildlife conservation at Ocean Conservancy.

The new restriction comes with a five year expiration date; unless scientists can prove that the new method is improving the right whale population, reported The New York Times.

October 9, 2008

UW-Madison Band on Suspension

Allegations of hazing and other inappropriate behavior led the University of Wisconsin- Madison to suspend its band.

Letters have been sent to parents of band members asking them to encourage their children to tell the truth and cooperate with the investigation taking place. Dean of Students Lori Berquam said parents were told that their children might have been placed in unsafe situations and a humiliating atmosphere, reported the Star Tribune.

Allegations say some band members were forced to cut their hair, drink alcohol or drinks containing alcohol, unwillingly touched sexually, or made to eat disgusting items.

The band will play at Saturday’s football game, but will not travel in the near future, the Star Tribune reported.

This is the second time the UW-Madison band has been in trouble. Two years ago they were placed on probation and told to shape up or lose travel privileges.

No ruling has been made as to the outcome of the situation, but the school is looking into the matter.

Minnesota Ranked 12th for Vehicle-Deer Collisions

A study done by State Farm Insurance over the last six months of 2007 and the first half of this year, concluded that you are more likely to get audited by the IRS than hit a deer, reported the Star Tribune.

Minnesota is still considered as a higher risk state with 1 in every 139 vehicles on average hitting a deer, but is only the 12th ranked state in the country for such collisions.

West Virginia ranks number one in the nation with 1 in 45 odds followed by Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Arkansas, reported the Star Tribune.

Minnesota Department of Traffic Safety reports indicate that 3,144 vehicle-deer collisions occurred last year; resulting in 336 injuries and six fatalities, reported the Star Tribune.

Deer tend to be more prevalent during the fall and during the hours of dusk. Drivers should take extra care when driving during these times, as well as throughout the year.

October 5, 2008

Spot and Follows

I chose the story about the O.J. Simpson case and the results. The leads differ in their wording, but in terms of their meaning they are the same. The second story elaborates on a part in the O.J. Simpson trial, on the reaction from the jurors and why they chose the decision that they did.

The second story was not written as a response to a report, it just opened up another aspect of the first story.



Salmonella Found in Frozen Chicken Dinners

Thirty-two people in twelve states have become ill after not fully cooking their frozen chicken dinners.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a warning to consumers about meals that have breaded chicken, or the brown appearance of already being cooked. They said meals with chicken need to be cooked properly and not in a microwave.

Depending on the severity of the bacteria, Salmonella can cause abdominal muscle cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and the chance of dehydration,

“The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued the warning Friday after Minnesota health officials found a link between the chicken dinners with salmonella illnesses reported in Minnesota and 11 other states,? USA Today reported.

Pregnant African Women Are Linked With Hookworm and Anemia

Hookworm has affected a quarter to a third of pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa, almost seven million.

Hookworm, a parasite that lives in the intestines, can cause anemia leading to smaller births or deaths during pregnancy. Anemia in pregnant women in common in Africa due to poor nutrition, malaria, and genetics, the New York Times reported.

Health officials are reluctant to prescribe anti-worming drugs for fear of harming the unborn child.

“Because heavy hookworm loads are associated with low hemoglobin levels in pregnant women, the authors, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the World Bank, believe such drugs will do more good than harm. They argue for further studies with drugs,? the New York Times reported.

Lost WWII Submarine Found

The USS Grunion was confirmed as the wreckage found off the Aleutian Islands last year.

The submarine has been missing since July 1942 when it reported heavy anti-submarine activity near Kiska, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Japanese anti-submarine attack data didn’t report any activity around the time the USS Grunion disappeared, which left its disappearance a mystery, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Mannert L. Abele’s sons are the ones who aided the Navy in confirming the wreckage by hiring experts and leading expeditions to the site. Underwater photos and video allowed the submarine to be identified about a mile below the surface.

"We hope this announcement will help to give closure to the families of the 70 crewmen of Grunion," Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny said.

15 Year Anniversary for Radio K

Radio K, the University of Minnesota’s radio station, is celebrating fifteen years of broadcasting Tuesday at First Avenue in Minneapolis, reported the Star Tribune.

It took hard work and persuasion to get the University of Minnesota to accept a radio
Station, but on October 1, 1993, Steve Nelson played the first song on the airwaves.

"We had this vision of creating this station that would serve the local music community, serve local music lovers, who weren't being served elsewhere and create a place where students could learn and grow and become professional broadcasters and all this work had culminated into this one five-minute stretch of radio," Nelson, now the director for The Current said.

Radio K has since built a reputation for its independent and local music. It was named the best radio station in the Twin Cities by City Pages in 1994, reported the Star Tribune.

"I think the school should be as proud of Radio K as they are of the Gophers," Mark Wheat, former program director said.

The Star Tribune attributed The Minnesota Daily for information.

Rewards for Recycling

Starting in January, Maple Grove will be the first city in Minn. to reward its neighborhoods for recycling.

RecycleBank is the program introduced by Allied Waste Services Management that will track recycling levels through computer chips and reward neighborhoods accordingly for their contributions.

Coupons and gift certificates are being used to compensate recyclers for their paper and containers, the Star Tribune reported.

Rewards are determined by the weight of product recycled. “For every one pound recycled, a participant will earn 2.5 RecycleBank Points,? the Star Tribune reported.
Homeowners can access their personal accounts online and trade points in for the coupons that they prefer.

Eden Prairie and other cities are in the process of adopting the new recycling initiative.

Allied Waste Services Management hopes the new service will increase people’s recycling habits and reward those who are already avid recyclers.