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November 29, 2007

Secret Documents published by Vatican City

ROME — The Vatican published secret archive documents about the trial of the Knights Templar, which included a long-lost parchment that shows that Pope Clement V initially absolved the medieval Christian order from accusations of heresy, officials said Friday. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,301509,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

There are only 799 copies of the 300-page volume which was priced at $8,377 said Scrinium publishing house, which prints documents from the Vatican's secret archives. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,301509,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

"The Da Vinci Code," which used the order of knights to captivate the imagination of its readers, reproduces the entire documentation on the papal hearings convened after King Philip IV of France arrested and tortured Templar leaders in 1307 under charges of heresy and immorality.The Da Vinci Code linked the Templars to the story of the Holy Grail. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,301509,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

The military order of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon was founded in 1118 in Jerusalem so as to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land following the First Crusade. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,301509,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

The Vatican documents reproduce the entire documentation of the papal hearings convened after King Philip IV of France arrested and tortured Templar leaders in 1307 on charges of heresy and immorality. http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2007/10/13/vatican_to_tell_true_knights_tale/

The publishing house said the new book includes the "Parchment of Chinon," a 1308 decision by Clement to save the Templars and their order. The document was misplaced for many centuries in the archives but found again in 2001 by a researcher who works in the Vatican archives. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,301509,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

Happy Birthday Pope

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI turned 80 on Monday, April 16, celebrating by lunching with cardinals and http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266311,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europeattending a concert. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266311,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

Benedict spent his birthday morning meeting with well-wishers from his native Germany, including the governors of Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein, and a representative of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266311,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

Benedict received some fun presents, including 80 bottles of Bavarian beer from the archdiocese of Munich, a birthday cake from Rome, and a giant stuffed teddy bear that was donated to a local children's hospital.

"The pope said explicitly that he would prefer not to accept personal gifts, but that anyone who wanted to give him a gift could make a donation that he could then use, for example for the Holy Land, or for other areas of crisis in the world or for Africa," the pontiff's secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein, told Vatican Radio. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266311,00.html?sPage=fnc.world/europe

Benedict celebrated Mass on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica and noted the "not brief period of my existence" in his homily.

To celebrate the big day, the Vatican philatelic office has issued a new set of 3 stamps to mark his 80th birthday.

British teacher lets students name teddy bear "Muhammad"

KHARTOUM, Sudan - A British teacher went on trial today on charges of inciting religious hatred by letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad at Khartoum's Unity High School yesterday, a crime that is punishable for up to 40 lashes and six months in jail. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html

Naming an animal Muhammad is insulting by many Muslims, regardless the commonality of the name used among Muslim men.

In a statement read to the court, Gibbons said her students picked out the teddy bear's name, British Embassy spokesman Omar Daair told The Associated Press. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html

The case posed a diplomatic dispute with Sudan's former colonial ruler, Britain.

Prosecutor-General Salah Eddin Abu Zaid told the Associated Press that the British teacher could expect a "swift and fair trial." If convicted, she would face up to 40 lashes, six months in jail and a fine, with the verdict and any sentence up to the judge's discretion, official have said. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html

The judge ordered the prosecution to bring forward the person who originally raised the complaint against Gibbons, whom was an office assistant at the Unity High School, said Isam Abu Hasabu, the head of the school's parent-teacher association, who was in the courtroom. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html

Djizouri, Gibbon's lawyer, said he would argue her case based on Islamic Sharia law and show there was "absolutely no intention to insult religion, and for blasphemy to take place there must be an insult."http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html

Gibbons asked the students to pick names for the teddy bear and they proposed Abdullah, Hassan and Muhammad. In September, the pupils voted for the name Muhammad. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html

Episcopalian Bishop Ezekiel Kondo, Gibbons' employer, was expected to testify for the defense.http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html
He said people are trying to make it a bigger deal then what it really is. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312895,00.html

The charges against Gibbons arrest on Sunday have angered the British government, both British and American Muslim groups have criticized this decision. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html

In London, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said British diplomats "will do everything to avoid" any of the possible sentences that could be imposed on the teacher. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html

"There is an innocent misunderstanding at the heart of this, not a criminal offense," Miliband said. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1580323.html

A spokesman at the Sudanese Embassy in London said he did not think Gibbons would be convicted.

Lightning on Venus?

Astronomers have suspected lightning on Venus for nearly three decades, and now have found proof of its reality.

A magnetic antenna on the European SPace Agency's Venus Express prob that has been orbiting for 20 months has proven the lightning to be real.

"In addition to all the pressure and heat, we can confirm there is lightning on Venus, maybe even more activity than there is here on Earth," said Christopher Russell, a NASA-sponsored scientist on Venus Express from the University of California, Los Angeles, and lead author of one of the Nature papers. "Not a very good place to vacation, that is for sure." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071128155513.htm

The idea is fascinating, said University of California, Los Angeles geophysics Prof. C.T. Russell, lead author of a paper in today's journal Nature. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1579680.html

"It's significant because lightning affects atmospheric chemistry, so scientists will have to take it into account. There's also the 'wow' factor. Venus' weather forecasts thought to be "boring ... steady winds for the next 400 years,"until now said senior scientist Allan Treiman of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1579680.html

According to Space Today, the lightning found on Venus may be related to volcanic activity on the surface. http://www.spacetoday.org/SolSys/Venus/VenusLightning.html

The probe has also shown Venus and Earth to be quite similar in many ways: size, mass and carbon dioxide amounts. Said Russell, "It may be Earth's 'evil twin,' but it is in many respects Earth's twin." http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1579680.html

Venus, 30 percent closer to the sun, is 900 degrees hotter than Earth's surface and lost nearly all its water. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1579680.html

The confirming measurements of the lightning from the electrical discharges were made with data obtained by the Venus Express magnetometer instrument which was provided by the Space Research Institute in Graz, Austria.

November 27, 2007

Alcohol poisoning death may lead to charges of suppliers

Amanda Jax died on her 21st birthday from alcohol-poisoning after celebrating her freedom to drink.

According to the Blue Earth County attorney, charges are being filed on people who were with her or businesses that served her through out the night.

The decision on charging someone is at least two weeks aways, County Attorney Ross Arneson said.

Arneson said that those subject to being charged "could be people who accompanied" Jax in the hours before she died late last month or "people commercially serving her." http://www.startribune.com/crime/story/1575948.html

The office Arneson works in has been meeting with representatives of Jax's family to listen to their views about issuing such charges, Arneson said. However he emphasized that, "it's not up to them" to make final decisions.

At the time of her death, Jax's blood alcohol level was at .46 percent, which is more than five times the legal driving limit. http://www.startribune.com/crime/story/1575948.html

According to the Mankato Free Press reports, Jax spent the last night of her life drinking heavily at the Sidelines Bar & Grill downtown Mankato, whom served her alcohol when she was clearly intoxicated, which is a gross misdemeanor.

Jax was a pre-nursing student at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Police said that Jax was taken to a friend's nearby home after the night out drinking. When they found her unresponsive they called 911.

MSUJ president Richard Davenport testified at the public hearing, saying that Mankato "has a reputation for binge drinking." Administrators plan to explore fining students for off-campus alcohol violations, Davenport said. http://www.startribune.com/crime/story/1575948.html

November 20, 2007

AIDS infections cut back

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - The long overestimated size and course of the AIDS epedimic will be acknolwedged by the United Nations' top AIDS scientists this week. They believe the epeidemic has been slowling for nearly a decade, according to U.N. documents that were prepared for their announcement.

The annual new HIV infections are at 2.5 million, released today, which is a cut of more than 40 percent from last year's estimate, shown by documents. This year the worldwide total infected with HIV is 33 million, down from 40 million last year.http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1562266.html

Last year, according to UNAIDS, 78,000 people acquired HIV in North America, Western and Central Europe. It has been a stable number since 2002. http://data.unaids.org/pub/EPISlides/2007/071118_epi_regional%20factsheet_en.pdf

Belgian scientist Peter Piot has been leading The United Nations' AIDS agency, known as UNAIDS since its founding in 1995. He has been a major advocate for increasing spending to combat the epidemic which has reached as much as $10 billion a year over the past decade. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1562266.html

"There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda," said Helen Epstein, author of "The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS." http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1562266.html

November 19, 2007

German Police Stop School Massacre

German police took an 18-year-old under arrest for suspect in school massacre plot. His alleged accomplice, suspect, aged 17, committed suicide after his questioning. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7101689.stm

A school in the western city of Cologne is believed to have been the target of the massacre. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7101689.stm

Suspects were spotted by classmates when they were studying pictures of the Columbine school massacre in the US in 1999. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7101689.stm

The two teenagers had planned to attack Cologne's Georg-Buechner high school on Tuesday, police said.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7101689.stm

According to a police spokeswoman, Investigators believe the two planned to use pipe bombs, which they skilled how to make in advance.

"They wanted to hurt and kill people, and then take their own lives," Norbert Wagner, the chief investigator in the Cologne case, told reporters.

The 17-year-old was questioned on Friday. He was then allowed to go home, but on his way home threw himself under tram and died from injuries, police said. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7101689.stm

Mr. Wagner said the second suspect confessed to the plot.

The names of the two suspects have not been released. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7101689.stm

Just five years ago in April 2002, 19-year-old Robert Steinhauser shot dead 16 people before killing himself at a school in Erfurt, eastern Germany. http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/police-thwart-school-massacre-plot/2007/11/19/1195321648192.html

China gets a lot of Snow

BEIJING—Snowstorms across northeast China forced to close three airports on Monday, leaving 1,000 travelers stranded for hours.

According to the Associated Press, Shenyang and Taiping airports were shut for about four hours, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Changchun's airport, located between the two other cities, closed for a shorter period, Xinhua said. http://www.twincities.com/national/ci_7505189?nclick_check=1

Several highways were also closed around Shenyang, about 370 miles northeast of Beijing, due to a visibility of 985 feet during the storm. http://www.twincities.com/national/ci_7505189?nclick_check=1

This week, an area known as Manchuria, is expected to reach temperatures as low as 1 degree about zero, Xinhua said. http://www.twincities.com/national/ci_7505189?nclick_check=1

Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 11:54 GMT
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Thousands trapped in China snow
Chinese soldiers clear snow to rescue a truck stranded at Altay, northwest China's Xinjiang province
Transportation is a problem in snow-covered Xinjiang
Almost 250,000 people in north-western China have been trapped by heavy snowfall, as the country faces its worst winter in 20 years.

Temperatures have plummeted to -43C, and snow is blanketing large parts of Xinjiang province.

Almost 100,000 people have been evacuated after their homes collapsed under heavy snow.

More than 5,000 people are being treated for frostbite, four of whom had to have limbs amputated.

But forecasters are warning this is just the beginning of a cold freeze, and that China needs to brace itself for the chilliest winter in 20 years.

According to the BBC correspondent in Beijing, Louisa Lim, this wraps up a year of extreme weather conditions following the hottest summer in more than 50 years.

Government appeal

About 60cm (two feet) of snow is covering parts of Xinjiang, according to Wang Zhenyao, a disaster relief official with the civil affairs ministry.

"The most urgent issue right now is to ensure traffic and transportation," Mr Wang told a briefing in Beijing on Friday.

Snow has reportedly blanketed the eastern province of Shandong too, cutting off roads and grounding aircraft.

China's government is appealing to private companies and millionaires to give more money to those in need across the country, saying 18 million people affected by natural disasters are still waiting for aid.

There has also been heavy snow in Japan in the past few weeks - killing dozens of people and paralysing the transport system.

Most of the casualties have been elderly people who tried to clear snow from the roofs of their houses.

According to Reuters news agency, a 93-year-old woman and her daughter were crushed to death in Ishikawa on Thursday, when their house collapsed under the weight of the snow. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4586558.stm

This was the worst snow storm in twenty years according to reports by BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4586558.stm

Japan whalers hunting humpback whales

Japan's biggest-ever scientific whale hunt in the South Pacific was set to leave port today, with orders to kill up to 50 humpack whales.

The expedition will also hunt 935 Antartic minke whales, 50 fin whales along with the humpback.

Greenpeace and the animal rights activist group Sea Shepherd said they will be tracking the South Pacific hunt. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1557909.html

"These whales don't have to die," said a Greenpeace spokesman, Junichi Sato. "Humpbacks are very sensitive and live in close-knit pods. So even one death can be extremely damaging." http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1557909.html

Accroding to Common Dreams, Newscenter.org, two Greenpeace ships Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise launched inflatable boats on Wednesday to harass Japanese "catcher boats," by positioning them between the whale and harpoon gun. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1222-02.htm

Prime Minister John Howard told reporters in Sydney, "I do not support action which endangers lives or breaks the law." http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1222-02.htm

Four decades ago, humpback whales were hunted to near-extinction and have been off-limits since 1963. The humpback whales are listed as "vulnerable" by the World Conservation Union. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1557909.html

According to Japanese fisheries officials, the animals' population have returned to sustainable levels.

"Humpback whales in our research area are rapidly recovering," said the Fisheries Agency's whaling chief, Hideki Moronuki. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1557909.html

Ho Ho Ho's are now being heard as No No No's

Santas in Australia are hearing "no, no, no" instead of cheering "ho, ho, ho."

The Daily Telegraph in Sydney is telling all those portraying Santa Claus that they can not say the Jolly Old Elf's traditional laugh of "ho, ho, ho" because it could be understand as offensive to women. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1560979.html

The newspaper reported that Santas are being told to say "ha, ha, ha."

One Santa told the newspaper that a recruiting firm warned him not to use "ho ho ho" because it could scare kids and was too similar to "ho," which is a shortened version for a prostitute's slang term. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1560979.html

Two Santas applying for the position, quit half way through when they found out about the change in tradition.

Australian Childhood Foundation chief executive officer Dr. Joe Tucci said it was the latest example of political correctness gone mad. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,311797,00.html

"There is no stronger tradition for children than Santa's ho, ho, ho," Tucci said. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,311797,00.html

An Aussie spokesman for the Westaff recruitment firm told the Telegraph that it is up to each individual Santa to judge their laughter because it was misleading to say the company had banned the greeting.

November 18, 2007

Analysis Diversity

"Spanish TV network to launch 'Survival English' series"

Mexican immigrant makes New Year's Resolution to learn English. He's been too busy with family and work to enroll in a class. However, Azteca American is launching a show called "Survival English" for people to learn the basic language skills for real-life situations.

This article is a good one about diversity because it shows how people are still diverse and even though they are living in America, they still don't know English. I think it's great that they are having this show for them because it is important to know the language that is spoken in that country. I wish they had "Surival Italian" and "Survival Spanish" for people who would like to pick up another language as well.

I thought this was a good quote, capturing the article's point which related well to the diversity.
"Our community will be more powerful politically if they can be more culturally assimilated," said Hector Romero, director of operations for Fundacion Azteca America, the nonprofit arm of the company. http://www.startribune.com/484/story/1557888.html

The article also mentioned that the show is hoping to motivate Mexicans to start businesses and pursue education with their confidence in English. They are really trying to make it easier for the Mexican population, which is great on the diversity issue. The story definitely taught me something I didn't know. I think the show idea is great, and I didn't realize that there were people who were living in America that really didn't know English. It must be very tough for them to get around so I think the show is a great idea for them.

November 17, 2007

Get your shots or go to jail.

MARLBORO, Md.- Two months into the school year, more than 2,000 students still needed to get the required shots. The school system decided to take a more affirmative action.

Parents of the students' in Prince George's County have been ordered to appear in a court hearing today and offered the choice of getting their children vaccinated or risking up to 10 days in jail and fines. http://www.startribune.com/484/story/1556570.html

Maryland adopted the new immunization policy in the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year. http://baltimore.about.com/od/healthfitness/a/vaccinations.htm

Maryland gives a small grace period of 4 days for multi-shot vaccinations done a few days before the next scheduled interval. However, if the shot is done a week early, it will be invalid. http://baltimore.about.com/od/healthfitness/a/vaccinations.htm

Prince George's County school officials and prosecutors said the parents of these children have been warned about the need for vaccinations over the past year. They said the goal isn't to throw parents in jail but to protect public health. Parents can obtain exemptions for religious or medical reasons, under Maryland law. http://www.startribune.com/484/story/1556570.html

"The message is get your kids vaccinated or get an exemption," said Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey. "You can't just sit on the fence." http://www.startribune.com/484/story/1556570.html

National Smokeout

Smokers and nonsmokers gather to get a chance to see how deadly the habit can affect their appearance while celebrating the Great American Smokeout day across the nation.

Three stories of Minnesotans who struggle to go smoke-free are showcased at the Smiley Clinic exhibit, 2020 E. 28th St., Minneapolis, in honor of the Smokeout.

Those visiting the exhibit, which is open from 1:30 to 5 p.m., can also see how their own faces would look if they smoked for years.

The Great Smokeout is held each year on the third Thursday in November. http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1552809.html

Lynn R. Smith, publisher of the Moticello Times, started the state’s first D-Day, or Don’t Smoke Day, in 1974. Smith put the 300 pledged names to stop smoking or using tobacco on the front page of his newspaper. http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1552809.html

The “Great American Smokeout? became a nationwide event in 1977 by the American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/subsite/greatamericans/content/How_to_Quit.asp

According to reports in Startribune.com, there are about 46 million smokers in the United States. http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1552809.html

A famous quote by Mark Twain gives encouragement to smokers, "Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it a thousand times." http://www.cancer.org/docroot/subsite/greatamericans/content/Why_Is_It_So_Hard_to_Quit.asp

According to the American Cancer Society web site, four key factors that help in the quitting process. The first is to make the decision to quit, by setting a quit date and choosing a quit plan. You must also deal with the withdrawal that will occur from the absence of nicotine in the body. And lastly, maintaining your quitting habits. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/subsite/greatamericans/content/How_to_Quit.asp

November 14, 2007

Bird Flu back in Britain

The H5N1 bird flu disease had its first mass outbreak in Britain earlier this year, government said.

The source of the outbreak has not yet been identified, Acting chief veterinarian Chief Veterinary Officer Fred Landeg said.

About 5,000 free-range turkeys, 1,000 ducks and 500 geese on the affected farm were being culled, officials said earlier. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

A dozen black-feathered turkeys were spotted dead in a field. A witness said, "They were dropping like flies. Several were lying around with their legs in the air." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/13/nbird313.xml

According to the StarTribune, if the disease spreads, it could affect the Christmas poultry. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

Shadow Environment Secretary Peter Ainsworth said, "This is yet another nightmare for the farming community and we can only hope that this is an isolated case." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/13/nbird313.xml

According to reports by the StarTribne, "A two-mile protection zone and a six-mile surveillance zone were created around the infected farm, and further restrictions were imposed throughout Suffolk and much of the neighboring county of Norfolk." http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

Britain's first case of the H5N1 virus was in a swan in Scotland in 2006. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

H5N1 has previously been found in France, Switzerland, and Germany and human cases have been recorded in Turkey and Azerbaijan. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

Experts say that bird flue remains difficult for humans to catch, however they are worried it could mutate into a form that could be easily spread among people. http://www.startribune.com/722/story/1547496.html

Chicago transplant patients contracted HIV

Four Chicago transplant patients contracted HIV and the hepatitis C virus from an organ donor, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday. http://www.startribune.com/1244/story/1548922.html

Health officials said the organ donor tested negative for both diseases, but apparently the donor was infected too recently that blood tests did not detect the infection.

If the test is done within 22 days of infection, antibodies may not be detected, therefore results may be inaccurate. Doctors said that this may have been the case with the donor.

There is another test that can pick up viral infections earlier, but this test was not used for this donor. http://www.startribune.com/1244/story/1548922.html

The cause of death and nature of the risk of being infected with HIV was not disclosed of the organ donor, officials said.

The case is being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Depending on circumstances, transplant surgeons generally decide what information is given to patients and their families, University of Pennsylvania medical ethicist Art Caplan said. http://www.startribune.com/1244/story/1548922.html

"Every patient in need of an organ has a significant medical condition that in most circumstances limits life expectancy," said Alison Smith, Gift of Hope vice president for operations. "The question becomes what degree of risk is appropriate in that situation."http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Science/2007/11/13/patients_receive_hiv-infected_transplants/1626/

The Startribune reported, "Not every aspect of a potential donor's life is fair game, but patients have a right to know 'if a donor dropped dead in a bathhouse with a needle in his arm,' Caplan said." http://www.startribune.com/1244/story/1548922.html

"It's not clear how much the four patients were told about the donor. But University of Minnesota ethicist Jeffrey Kahn said it underscores the importance of the consent process "and an individual's right to decide what's right for them." http://www.startribune.com/1244/story/1548922.html

November 12, 2007

Seven story tall Christmas Tree headed to Rice Park

A seven story tall, 27 foot wide Christmas tree is heading to St. Paul's Rice Park and being donated as their second annual Christmas tree.

The tree was cut down at 500 block of Smith Avenue S., this morning and donated by James and Rebecca Dreyling.

The tree will be decorated with 60,000 multicolored lights (twice the number New York City's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree uses) and anchored in concrete, promoters in St. Paul said. http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1544647.html

The Rice Park's Christmas tree is to be up and lite by Nov. 24, at 5 p.m.

Don't live close to Rice Park? Get your own Christmas tree!

The Minnesota Tree Association is selling Balsam Fir, Canaan Fir, Fraser Fir, Norway Pine, Scotch Pine, White Pine, Colorado Spruce, Norway Spruce trees this year. http://www.mncta.com/treeinfo.html

If you take good care of your tree it can last between 2-5 weeks, Minnesota Christmas Tree Association wrote about their tree tips. http://minneapolis.about.com/od/shoppingservices/l/aa111403a.htm

According to the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association, Christmas trees contribute to a home for wildlife, and that when a tree is cut down, 203 seedling are put in its place so as not to worry about hurting the environment's growth. http://minneapolis.about.com/od/shoppingservices/l/aa111403a.htm

November 8, 2007

Numbers Analysis

"While it's unclear where KSTP would place Barreiro in its lineup, pursuing him makes sense for a station that didn't see a great ratings return on the $1 million per season investment it made on the Twins beginning this season. KSTP had a 3.0 share and was 12th in the market among people 25-to-54 years of age from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (when most programming is local) on weekdays in the spring Arbitron book and a 3.5 share and 11th place finish in the summer book." http://www.startribune.com/503/story/1537773.html

There are a lot of numbers in this selected paragraph. They use dollars, shares, market ranks, ages, and times. Since they use a bunch of different forms of numbers, the paragraph is easier to understand. If it was all about cost or rankings or age groups I think it would be too jumbled and confusing. I think the reporter did a good job of laying out the paragraph and making the use of all these numbers in an understanding and useful way.
The reporter didn't really use any math to come up with their numbers.

Here comes Santa

Santa Claus is coming to the Mall of America's Park at MOA ready to kick off the holiday season.

Even though its still two-plus weeks before the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season, Santa will be ready to get those Christmas lists rolling at 6 p.m. in the nation's largest shopping and entertainment complex. http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1537441.html

Looking to hire your own Santa for your Holiday party or Christmas campaign? Look no further than, http://www.yoursantatoo.com/ to find Mr. Carlucci, who has been an experienced real bearded performer / actor and Professional Santa Claus since 1996. http://www.yoursantatoo.com/

Mr. Carlucci is available year round for home parties, company/corporate parties, film performances, photo shoots, modeling, parades (etc).

He is dedicated to his Santa position by showing it with his C SANTA license plate and Naughty and Nice Inspector bumper sticker.

He comes dressed and ready to sing songs, read books, tell North Pole stories/anecdotes and pose for pictures. He's ready to give a full 'show' for as long as you can. http://www.yoursantatoo.com/

Contact Mr. Claus by e-mailing: Santa@YourSantaToo.com


Flu Season Begins

Minnesota recorded its first case of influenza for the season today, reported by the state Health Department.

A Dakota County, 44-year-old woman has the first case, which was caused by the B/Shanghai-like strain of the virus, the department said. http://www.startribune.com/1244/story/1537496.html

"The woman’s virus is a good match for this year’s vaccine," the department news release read.http://www.startribune.com/1244/story/1537496.html

The flu case has been confirmed historically to begin most often in late November or early December. "So now is a good time to get immunized," said Kristen Ehresmann, section chief for immunizations at Health Department. http://www.startribune.com/1244/story/1537496.html

Ehresmann said that shipments of vaccine from the providers seem to be arriving smoothly and on time for this years flu season.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health the are starting vaccines early after the death of six children and a firefighter from last year's flu season. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/hcp/fluplan.pdf

This year, manufacturers are expecting to produce more than 100 million doses of the vaccine. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/hcp/fluplan.pdf

Young, but Strong.

Two high school seniors juggle school work and teen life, while overcoming great personal crisis.

Winter Mealey and Tottiana Adams were both sexually molested. Adams was molested this year by a stranger and left homeless this summer. She was attending a national spoken-word poetry competition and representing Minnesota.

Mealey's world turned upside down when her parents were arrested for discovery of methamphetamine lab inside their home. Both Mealey, her then-9-month-old brother and now-14-year-old sister all tested positive for meth residue. http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_7389229?source=rv&nclick_check=1

Even with the trauma in their lives, both St. Paul students kept school in mind and are planning their college and potential careers. They are both among 15 city high school seniors selected to receive a $1,500 scholarship for college from the Optimist Club of St. Paul.

According to RedOrbit, Adams describes herself as a person of peace and reconciliation. She looks upon herself as an aspiring artistic voice "for the unspoken." http://www.redorbit.com/news/education/1134385/tough_odds_strong_kids/index.html

The awards are given to low-income and college-aspiring city kids who are doing well in school and overcoming compelling odds. The awards will be presented Thursday evening at a formal dinner.

Augsburg College, College of St. Catherine, Hamline University, Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas are all pledging to annually match and renew the award amount for the recipients who are admitted to and attend their institutions.

The other 13 award winners are also excelling in school while dealing with physical disabilities, mental illness, murders or deaths of parents or siblings, their own crime victimizations and other obstacles, stated in TwinCities.http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_7389229?source=rv&nclick_check=1

After college, Mealey plans to own her own beauty salon or child facility.

Minnesota woman kills wealthy husband

A Minnesota woman is jailed for life in Hong Kong after allegedly killing her wealthy husband by a sedative-laced milkshake before bludgeoning him to death. http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1534275.html

Nancy Kissel, 41, murdered her husband so she could begin a new life with a Vermont television repairman says her new book "Never Enough" that broke her silence on the case.

Robert Kissel was missing for four days when colleague and close friend, David Noh, prompted calls to find him. http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/family/nancy_kissel/1.html#continue
Bryna O'Shea, close friend of Robert Kissel's, said he was having marital problems and thought maybe he had gone off to live in his own apartment. When they could not reach him they knew something was wrong.

Greed seems to be at the root of the family's problem said book's author, Joe McGinnis. Simon & Schuster, publishers, says on its website, the book is about "a modern American woman for whom having it all might not have been enough." http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1534275.html

Kissel accused McGinnis that the advanced copy was a "gross mischaracterization of herself and the people around her," the South China Morning Post reported from citing Kissel's defense team. http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1534275.html

According to the Post, McGinnis was quoted as saying his book was based on interviews with family and friends of Kissels'.

The StarTribune said Kissel's husband's body was found in 2003 wrapped in a rug in a storage locker at the couple's luxury apartment building on a mountain that overlooked Hong Kong's steel and glass skyscrapers.

Prosecutors said Kissel wanted to start a new life with Del Priore, a TV repairman living in a trailer park in Vermont and that she wanted to inherit her husband's millions to start their life together.

November 5, 2007

Minnesota no longer healthiest State

Vermont took over Minnesota's rank as healthiest state in the nation.

“Vermont certainly has earned bragging rights to the Healthiest State honors,? said Scott Morgan, President of Morgan Quitno Press. “It offers great access to primary care doctors, has a low teen birth rate and a high percentage of citizens covered by health insurance. In addition, the people of Vermont are physically fit: it has one of the lowest obesity rates among states and some of the highest percentages of citizens who exercise.? http://www.morganquitno.com/hcpress.htm

According to the 18th annual survey conducted by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, Minnesota now stands as No. 2 followed by Hawaii, New Hampshirt and Connecticut for healthy states.

The survey said the least healthiest states are Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1529488.html

Minnesota came in the top 10 states for 12 of the 20 measurements used in compiling the healthiest state survey. They were found to have a low premature death rate, low death rates from cardiovascular diseased and low infant mortality rate.

However, Minnesota ranked 41st for binge drinking which included 17.6 percent of population engaging in the activity. It also had a rise in obesity, which could have contributed to the slipping in rankings.

The study found that 25 percent of Americans are obese, which is up from 11.6 percent in 1990.

November 4, 2007

Obit Analysis


Death: Randall Forsberg
The activist who founded the nuclear freeze movement and led the largest demonstration against nuclear weapons in 1982

It has a standard lead but they did his age first, instead of at the end of the paragraph.

There were no sources used. I think the lead works because it tells what he was known for. The obituary was very short and only stated the surface information on Mr. Forsberg. I feel they should have included quotes from family or friends.

November 3, 2007

Scott Tridgell - found in Wisconsin

A Twin Cities couple was driving past a black pick-up truck when they noticed a man sleeping in the back around 11:30 Friday morning. http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/S244773.shtml?cat=10335

They called 911 and Menomonie, Wis., police arrived shortly, confirming the unidentified body to be Scott Tridgell, 23, who had been missing for three weeks, Edina police Lt. Dave Nelson said. http://www.startribune.com/west/story/1525086.html

Tridgell had been missing since Oct. 10, after being last seen working at his job as an accountant for Lund's grocery store.

Nelson said Tridgell seemed to be ok, but just a little confused and lost as to where he was.

Tridgell's parents, Gary and Amy Tridgell of Duluth, said they thought their son may be experiencing an amnesia episode due to a serious head injury he suffered in December.

“He recognized Amy and I… but he’s definitely confused,? Gary Tridgell said. http://ww

"We always think the worst case scenario," Sgt. Brian Tholen said. "And this turned out the best."

Olympic Distant Runner Dies in Training

U.S. men's Olympic marathon runner died during the Olympic trials Saturday after collapsing 5.5 miles into the race.

Ryan Shay was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital and pronounced dead at 8:46 a.m., Mary Wittenberg, New York Road Runners president said.

Shay, 28, fell to the ground near the Central Park boathouse, during the 26.2-mile qualifier for the Beijing Olympic Games.
Shay who is originally from Flagstaff, Ariz., was a favorite going into the 2004 trials until injured by a hamstring strain leaving him to finish 23rd. This year he was third at this year's U.S. 25K championships and was also a 2003 U.S. marathon champion and the NCAA 10,000-meter champion for Notre Dame in 2001.

Shay's wife, Alicia, whom he met at the 2005 New York City Marathon, was also a long distance runner and was a two-time NCAA champion and the collegiate 10,000-meter record-holder at Stanford. http://www.startribune.com/503/story/1526665.html

"We ask you to join us in extending our very deepest condolences to Alicia, to Ryan's family and the Notre Dame running community," Wittenberg said. "It's certainly not the way we expected any part of the race to go." http://www.denverpost.com/ci_7362066?source=rss

November 1, 2007

Bomb threat in Bloomington, third threat in the last three months in Minnesota.

There was a bomb threat this morning at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Bloomington. Police are on the scene investigating. http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1522249.html

Roads near the building are closed. Those include areas near Metro Parkway and American Boulevard, police said.

"We are investigating," an officer with the Bloomington Police Department said about the threat.

Authorities said there were two bomb sniffing dogs out on the scene and that they detected possible explosive material on the Homeland Security transport van. http://www.kare11.com/news/ts_article.aspx?storyid=268657

Just a few months earlier a Prior Lake High School was evacuated due to bomb threats as well. http://www.thisweek-online.com/2007/September/14trib-sv-evac-9.13.html

An even more recent case, the University of Minnesota's Anderson Hall was evacuated due to a bomb threat just 9 days ago. The bomb threat came through an e-mail form that originated from a Cedar-Riverside area coffee shop, Jason McDonald, a facilites management employee said. http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2007/10/24/72164057

Jason McDonald, a facilities management employee who was on duty during the bomb threat, said he was told police believe the e-mail originated from a Cedar-Riverside area coffee shop. http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2007/10/24/72164057
This is the second threat the university has received in the last year.

Investigations are taking place on the Bloomington case, but no other details are available on this threat.