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January 30, 2008

East Bethel man charged after killing girlfriend

The Pioneer Press reported that a woman in East Bethel, Minn. died Saturday after being stabbed by her boyfriend.
Sharon Chouinard was stabbed by her boyfriend, Raymond Robideau, in the neck twice before trying to commit suicide. Robideau slit his wrists and went to a friend’s house in Princeton, Minn. where he tried to set himself and the house on fire. He suffered burns on 25 percent of his body and is recovering in the hospital.
“My guess was he was trying to blow the whole place up and take himself with it,? said Capt. Robert Aldrich of the Anoka County sheriff’s office to the Pioneer Press.
Chouinard’s 14-year-old son found his mother’s body early Saturday morning and proceeded to call the police. He was not harmed and will be moving to California with his father, Benjamin Chouinard..
Chouinard said “There’s a lot of love in this family. She was a wonderful mother and loved her 14-year-old son very much.? (Pioneer Press)
The Star Tribune reported that Robideau will face second-degree intentional murder charges, according to court documents.

East Bethel man faces murder charges

In the report about the killing of an East Bethel, Minn. woman by her boyfriend, the Pioneer Press used the lead angle from the woman’s son’s perspective. Elizabeth Mohr started off the article by telling of how the 14-year-old boy woke up Saturday morning and found his mother’s body. Then she proceeded to give all the details about the event. In the lead she gives is what happened and who it happened to. She uses this story telling to involve the reader with the event and then give the facts.
In the Star Tribune article the lead is a straightforward hard-news report. In the lead, Courtney Blanchard gives what happened, who it happened to, when it happened and where it happened. She chose this type of lead because she wanted to give the reader the facts about what happened and did not want try and put the reader in the event.

Santana Headed to New York

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins dealt two-time Cy Young award winner Johan Santana to the New York Mets for four prospects, the Star Tribune reported.
Santana and his agent, Peter Greenberg, made a deadline for the Twins to trade the pitcher to another team or face losing him to free agency after the 2008 season. The Twins received offers from the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, but chose to go with the Mets instead.
Sources say that the Mets plan to offer Santana a six-year deal that would be around $130 million. The deal, however, faces a timeline of Friday afternoon. Santana needs to pass a physical examination and work out a deal with the Mets before Friday to finalize the trade.
“We hope to have some resolution to the whole thing soon, but we don’t have anything else to say today,? said Twins GM Bill Smith. (Star Tribune)
The New York Times reported that Santana will become the Mets No. 1 pitcher, filling the gap left by former pitcher Tom Glavine. Santana comes in with a record of 93-44 in his career.
In return, the Twins will be getting four young players: outfielder Carlos Gómez, pitcher Philip Humber, pitcher Deolis Guerra and pitcher Kevin Mulvey. Of these four only Gómez had significant major league experience. In 2007 Gómez played 58 games for the Mets and has great speed and defense.
Humber and Mulvey are expected to be middle-of-the-rotation pitchers with Guerra expected to be a No. 1 pitcher. At only 18-years-old, Guerra stands 6-foot-5 and pitched at Class A St. Lucie. Yet all three pitchers are still a few years away from the major leagues.
“There’s no can’t-miss guy here,? said Jim Callis, the executive editor of Baseball America. “If Guerra became everything he could be, and Gómez became everything he could be, then it could be a pretty good deal.? (New York Times)

January 29, 2008

Food Prices Force Haitians to Eat Dirt

The Associated Press reported that Haiti’s poorest citizens are forced to eat dirt because of increased food prices.
In the past year, food prices, throughout the world escalated, due to increased prices in the oil used for agricultural processes. In addition, the 2007 hurricane season flooded and damaged many of the Caribbean nations’ crops. As a result, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency called a state of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean nations. In December, Caribbean leaders met at a summit to discuss options such as cutting food taxes to help ease the burdens of the poor.
The U.N. News Center reported that some countries are giving farmers aid in order to stimulate crop production.
Jacques Diouf, the Director-General for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, said, “Without support for the poor farmers and their families in the hardest-hit countries, they will not be able to cope.? (U.N. News Center)
In the past, pregnant Haitian women ate mud cookies as an antacid. However, as food prices increase, more people are forced to eat the cookies as a daily food source.
“When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day,? said Charlene Dumas, a 16-year-old Haitian mother, to the AP.
The health issues involved vary. Dirt can have toxins or parasites, but can also improve a pregnant woman’s immunity system. In either case, Haitian doctors are reluctant to encourage the eating of dirt.
“Trust me, if I see someone eating those cookies, I will discourage it,? said Dr. Gabriel Thimothee, executive director of Haiti’s health ministry. (Associated Press)