November 2010 Archives

Publicist killed in Beverly Hills

Publicist Ronni Chasen was murdered Tuesday after being shot multiple times in the chest while in her car.

Chasen was driving in her black Mercedes-Benz on Whittier Drive in Beverly Hills when she was shot in the chest. She pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at 1:30 a.m., the New York Times reported.

Chasen's murder remains a mystery as there is no theory whether the attack was road rage or a planned hit, a police official said, according to CNN. No motive or suspects have been identified, he said.

TSA trying to find screening balance

The TSA and the White House are attempting to reach agreements on airport screenings.

The White House has said they are taking complaints into consideration, but for the time being, the current screenings are necessary due to current risks, the New York Times said.

According to the Associated Press, Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole said that the agency would work to make screening methods less invasive, but didn't say when the changes would take place.

The new full body scans are being used in 70 of the 450 airports in the United States, and thorough body pat-downs are offered for those who refuse the scan.

Freezing rain brings accidents in Minn.

There were over 400 crashes on Minn. roads this weekend, including two fatal crashes, the State Patrol said.

Due to freezing rain over the weekend, there were 438 reported crashes by noon on Sunday, and because most crashes aren't reported, the number is believed to be much higher, the Star Tribune reported.

The Associated Press reported that four-car crash resulted in the death of Kimberley A. Mead, 44, of Wilmar, who was ejected from the car.

Capt. Matt Langer of the State Patrol said that driving conditions are as dangerous as during last week's snowstorm, even though it may not look like it.

"What we want motorists to do is consider everything to be icy," Lander said according to the Associate Press. "If it looks wet, assume that it's ice. Because oftentimes, even though it looks as wet as can be, it's absolutely black ice.

The second fatality was a 12-year-old girl, who was not wearing a seat belt, who was ejected from the pickup she was riding in when it lost control and slid into a ditch.

Iran moves trial for U.S. hikers

The trial date for two American hikers being held in Iran has been postponed to February 6, their lawyer said Sunday.

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer's original court date was set for early November, but the trial has been postponed because one or more of the Americans did not show up for their court date, according to CNN.

The Associated Press reported that Sarah Shourd, who was freed in September, was apparently summoned to appear in court, according to Iranian authorities. She has not disclosed plans to return to Iran.

The hikers crossed an unmarked border into Iran, where they were arrested. They were later charged with espionage.

2 injured, 10 displaced in Wayzata fire

Two people were injured, and 10 were displaced, due to a fire at a Wayzata townhouse, Saturday.

The townhouses are located east of Wayzata's downtown area, on Hampton Street near the intersection with LaSalle Street, where over 80 firefighters responded around 12:40 a.m., according to the Associated Press.

The two injured residents, who suffered from smoke inhalation, were treated at Hennepin County Medical Center.

The Star Tribune reported that the cause is still under investigation, but it is suspected that the fire started in a garage of one of the four townhouses, said Fire Chief Kevin Klapprich.


5 are dead after California crash

Five people were killed and six others were injured in a California crash after a car crashed into a group of 12 motorcycles.

According to USA Today, the driver of the car, Carlos Ramirez Bobadilla, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when alcohol was detected on his breath after the crash. It is unclear if alleged consumption contributed to the accident, and Bobadilla was arrested on a misdemeanor.

According to the motorcyclist who called 911, a gold Honda Civic attempted to pass the motorcycles, when a Dodge Avenger, driven by Bobadilla, had to swerve to miss the Honda and collided with the motorcycles, CNN reported.

Four motorcyclists and a passenger in the Avenger were killed, and five of the six injured were in serious condition.

Analysis: Numbers

The Star Tribune ran a story on the rising commodity costs affecting the prices of many common grocery items.

The writer uses numbers while explaining different things throughout the article. Because numbers can become confusing, the writer begins by demonstrating the message of the article, listing some companies who are expected to raise prices in the next year. This way, even if the reader gets lost by numbers, they understand right away what it all means for them.

The writer focuses a good deal on inflation, and uses numbers throughout the whole article to back up his statements. He pads the numbers with quotes from businesses explaining the cause and effect of the numbers presented. In this way, the writer once again gives his readers an escape. If they don't understand the numbers, they still get explanation of what the numbers mean for them.

The writer attributes his sources clearly after numbers are used in the story.

British couple freed by pirates

A British couple was released Sunday, after being held captive for over a year by Somali pirates.

Paul and Rachel Chandler were sailing for Tanzania on Oct. 23, 2009, when their yacht was boarded by pirates. According to the Associated Press, a huge ransom was demanded, one that the Chandler's could not pay.

CNN reported that in negotiations for the couple's release, there was trouble conveying that the Chandler's were retirees and not part of big commercial business. Finally, a ransom of about $750,000 was paid.

Missing Ohio teen found alive

A 13-year-old Ohio girl, who has been missing since Wednesday, was found bound and gagged in a basement Sunday.

CNN reported that Matthew Hoffman was arrested on charges of kidnapping after police raiding his home early Sunday, and found Sarah Maynard in his basement. Maynard went missing Wednesday along with her mother, Tina Herrmann, 32, her brother Kody Maynard, 10, and Herrmann's friend Stephanie Sprang, 41.


According to MSNBC
, Herrmann was reported missing after failing to show up for work on Wednesday. Blood was found in her home, where Sprang's vehicle was parked in the driveway. Herrmann's truck was found Thursday near Kenyon College campus.

Authorities had hoped to find all four of the missing in Hoffman's basement, but were only certain that they would find Maynard.

Remains found in park identified

The remains found in Elm Creek Park Reserve in Hennepin County have been identified.

The human remains have been identified as Christopher Cox, 26, of Champlin. The Hennepin County medical examiner's office said the man appears to have died of a shotgun wound to the head according to the Star Tribune. The medical examiner also said Cox appears to have died at 129th Avenue and Forest View Circle in Dayton, according to the Pioneer Press.

The remains were found Friday by a man walking in the north end of the park about 400 yards from a parking lot.

Man killed while car was in ditch

A Minneapolis man was killed Saturday night after his car was hit while it was in a ditch.

John Kennedy IV, 24, of Minneapolis, was stuck in a ditch off of the westbound lane of Highway 60 when his car was hit head on by another car, according to a KARE 11 report.

The Star Tribune reported that the driver of the second car was Haiyan Zhong, 41, of Worthington, Minn., who was not injured in the accident.

Kennedy and the passenger in his car were taken to Madelia Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The passenger, Alexandra J. Moeller, 22, was treated and released.

Analysis: News Obituaries

The New York Times posted an obituary for Artie WIlson. It uses the standard obituary lead, noting the name of the person, a notable characteristic, where and when he died, and how old he was.

The rest of the obituary also follows the classic obituary format, following the lead with the claim to fame section and the chronology section.

The only attributed source in the article is Wilson's wife Dorothy. She is attributed in the second paragraph where the cause of death is announce, and she is quoted at the end of the article. The rest of the article is full of information that is easily verified and therefore doesn't need to be attributed.

The obituary differs from a resume because it is much more than a simple list of accomplishments. Anecdotes are used to create a snapshot of the person's life and attitude. It is much more personal.

Defense secretary urges repeal of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is encouraging congress to act before the end of the year to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

The Associated Press reported that Obama said he is simply doing what the American people want, stating that a large percentage of Americans are in favor of treating those who serve the country fairly and equally. A recent Gallup poll showed 70 percent of Americans in favor of repeal.

MSNBC reported that Obama and Gates are meeting opposition from the new commandant of the U.S. Marines Corps, who said that this is the wrong time to repeal the law, stating it would get in the way of combat effectiveness.

Many Republicans are opposed to voting on the repeal until the Pentagon releases its review of the impact on the military that repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" might have.

Obama expected to visit Indonesia

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Obama plans to visit Indonesia as part of his tour of Asia, but may be delayed due to the eruption of an Indonesian volcano.

The Associated Press reported that the eruption of Mount Merapi has killed 138 in the past two weeks, and it's continual spewing of ash has delayed many international flights, including those carrying burn cream and ventilators for victims of the eruption.

CNN reported that Obama's visit to Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, has been met with Muslim protests on Sunday. The protests have been organized by the Muslim group Hizbut Tahrir, and some 20,000 people attended the rallies.

Stillwater woman hit by car

A Stillwater woman was hit by a car and critically injured Friday evening while crossing the road.

The Pioneer Press reported that Erin Cran, 26, was wearing dark clothing as she ran across the road in the 5800 block of Neal Avenue around 7 p.m. when she was hit by a Ford Excursion, the Minnesota State Patrol said.

The Star Tribune reported that the 47-year-old driver from Forest Lake was not injured, and alcohol was not a factor in the accident, the state patrol said. Cran was taken to Regions Hospital and is in critical condition.

Teenage apparent drowning under investigation

A 17-year-old boy died at a water park in Brooklyn Park on Saturday.

The Pioneer Press reported that the boy was pulled from the bottom of the water slide at Grand Rios Ramada Hotel and Indoor Water Park around 5 p.m., according to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

CPR was preformed and he was sent to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where he later died. The Star Tribune reported that his name has not been released and that authorities are expected to release more information on Monday.

Tourette Syndrome used as defense for 'hiccup girl'

The lawyer for a Florida teenager charged with murder is exploring Tourette Syndrome as a possible defense.

Jennifer Mee, 19, gained fame as "hiccup girl" in 2007, when she had hiccups for five straight weeks, and appeared on talk shows and in the news. She was later diagnosed with Tourette Syndrom, her attorney said.

CNN reported that while hiccups can be a symptom of Tourette Syndrom, multiple symptoms must be present for diagnosis, and she was reported saying that she had no other symptoms.

Dr. Jonathan Mink, a professor of neurology at the University of Rochester in New York, said that it would be hard to say she does have Tourette Syndrom, and if she did, it would not be relevant to the case.

"This is not a disorder that leads to violent behavior," Mink said.

MSNBC reported that the spotlight Mee was in when she had her uncontrollable hiccups may come into play in her prosecution according to the lead investigator in the case against her.

Mee's mother said that the spotlight turned out to be a "curse".

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