November 23, 2008

Five Arrested in Connection to Dinkytown Robberies

Five men were arrested in relation to several armed robberies that occured in the University Avenue corridor over the past week, the Star Tribune reports.

The five men were arrested near 15th and Brook avenues Tuesday night after attempting to rob a woman. Despite having abandoned the vehicle they were seen using last weekend, the men were busted with purses and other belongings of the woman that had been robbed. The items were found both on the men and in their new vehicle.

Police have also released surveillance footage of a separate man believed to be involved in four downtown robberies. The man is armed and dangerous.

Five Arrested in Connection to Dinkytown Robberies

Five men were arrested in relation to several armed robberies that occured in the University Avenue corridor over the past week, the Star Tribune reports.

The five men were arrested near 15th and Brook avenues Tuesday night after attempting to rob a woman. Despite having abandoned the vehicle they were seen using last weekend, the men were busted with purses and other belongings of the woman that had been robbed. The items were found both on the men and in their new vehicle.

Police have also released surveillance footage of a separate man believed to be involved in four downtown robberies. The man is armed and dangerous.

Detroit Bracing for Meltdown if Bailout is Denied

The city of Detroit has long been known as the center of the auto-industry. It is home to General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. But now the Big Three giants of the auto industry are facing bankruptcy and are looking to the government for a $25 billion bailout--a recovery plan the government has been opposed to thus far.

In Detroit, auto dealers and auto parts suppliers have seen drops in sales as high as 45 percent, with almost every company having to lay off large numbers of employees.

It is estimated that more than one million people are employed by the auto industry, according to the BBC. If one of the Big Three were to be forced into bankruptcy, it's thought that up to 500,000 jobs would be affected within the auto supply industry as well.

Business analysts in Detroit estimate that a collapse of the auto-industry could mean the end of Detroit as a city.

While almost no one in the city opposes the idea of a bailout, many agree that any measurements taken should include conditions that will lead to stricter improvemens for the auto industry.

Georgian and Polish Presidents Fired Upon

Leaders from Poland and Georgia accused Russian forces of firing upon a motorcade they were traveling in Sunday.

President Mikhail Saakashvili was on his way to visit victims of the recent conflict between Russia and Georgian forces. The BBC reports that the Russian-Georgia border has seen much cross-fire in the past few weeks, and Saakashvili took the opportunity to shed light on the situation to other European leaders.

Despite Russia and Georgia falling from headlines as of late, Saakashvili made it clear that the region is still unstable and wanted to emphasize Russia's "immoral" and "illegal" presence in the Georgian state.

Russian officials and Russian media denied the incident, claiming none of their soldiers had fired upon the Georgian president's motorcade.

Man Shot at Scientology Facility

A sword-wielding man was shot by security officers at a Scientology complex in Los Angeles Sunday.

Police are now investigating the shooting to discern whether or not the shooting was justified.

According to a report by Fox News, witnesses and surveillance camera coverage both make it clear that the man approached the downtown L.A. Scientology building with samurai swords in both hands. When the man got within range of striking the security guards, one of them opened fire on him, killing him.

The investigation is ongoing.

November 16, 2008

Cultural Diversity Stories

The La Crosse Tribune recently ran an article on the La Crosse city's Hispanic population celebrating the Day of the Dead.

The article opened with a backstory on a woman, Nemecia, and her journey across the Rio Grande into the U.S. The report moves beyond the stereotype by going into details of the woman's life and bringing to life the struggles, both culturally and physically, of adapting and traveling into a new country.

The story shares about the traditions of celebrating the Day of the Dead and its blend with the Roman Catholic holiday of All Souls Day.

The story does this through both quotes and data about the way the holiday is celebrated.

Omaha Man Breaks World Record For Tallest Hair

Eric Hahn has a lot of hair.

The Omaha man recently had his hair cut and styled into a 27-inch mohawk, donating the remnants of his hair to raise money for the cancer charity organization Locks of Love.

The musician told his local news station that he thought he'd take advantage of all the time he'd invested in growing his hair and now use it to raise awareness for a cause as important as cancer.

He also claimed title to world's tallest hair in the Guinness Book of World Records with his new hairstyle.

November 15, 2008

Minneapolis Included in Nationwide Protests to Gay Marriage Ban in California

More than 700 people gathered in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday to protest the passing of Proposition 8 in California, the Star Tribune reports. Prop. 8, as its come to be called, was on the ballot Nov. 4 in California and called for the definition of marriage to be between a man and a woman.

The demonstrators gathered on the plaza of the Hennepin County Government Center and waved flags and signs in dismay at the passing of Prop. 8.

The demonstrators were joined by brethen in many other major U.S. cities such as St. Paul, Duluth, Boston, and more.

Fires Rage Near Downtown L.A.

In what has become an eerily familiar scene, fires once again threatened the downtown area of Los Angeles Saturday with high winds and boiling temperatures only adding fuel to the flames.

CNN reported that the fires has spread along high-voltage lines along Interstate 5 corridor and threatened to cause rolling blackouts in the Los Angeles area.

The fire began in the Sylmar area near L.A. and has caused 4 firefighters to be injured and forced the evacuation of more than 10,000 citizens from their homes. Two other fires in the Southern California area had also caused several injuries and forced even more evacuations.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in reaction to the fires, while L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Villaraigosa also stated that by midday Saturday only 10% of the fire that had originated in Sylmar was contained.

Both power and water supplies whose lines run through the I-5 corridor were shut down at various times throughout the day to ensure continued safety of the firefighters battling the blaze.

Firefighters were taking several preventive methods to help stop the fire that included ground and air support and being "on the defense" by putting trucks and firefighters in position of where the fire is expected to go.

Global Leaders Pledge Growth at G20 Summit

Global leaders met this weekend to talk about the problems facing their countries in light of the global recession.

Leaders from all over the world including such countries as the U.S., England, Japan, Germany, Brazil, India, and many more were at the summit. 85% of the world's economy was represented there, according to the BBC.

England's Prime Minister Gordon Brown declared some of the agreements reached at the summit "historic" while U.S. President George W. Bush said that countries now had detailed reform proposals to get working on and report back with when the next G20 summit occurs in April, 2009.

Included in the proposals agreed upon at the summit were a call to reform global financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, a promise to establish global free-trade by the end of 2008, and a call to make sure financial institutions incentives "prevent excessive risk taking."

All of this came together after over a month of rollercoasting markets. Bush said in his closing address at the summit that there was "no doubt" the problem face the U.S. and other countries was severe. He even went as far to say that in today's world, a depression in the U.S. brought about by falling markets could be worse than that of the 1929 market collapse.

World leaders headed back to their home countries after the conference to begin testing and implenting the new proposals. They will report how they are coming along when the G20 summit reconvenes April 30, 2009, in what is expected to be London.

October 26, 2008

Free Dr. Pepper for Everyone!

Soda producer Dr. Pepper will follow through with its promise to give everyone in America a free 20 oz. Dr. Pepper on Nov. 23, the reported release date for Guns'N'Roses long awaited album, "Chinese Democracy."

The company had promised earlier this year that they would give everyone in the country one free drink if Axl Rose, the singer for the famed rock band Guns'N'Roses, would finally release his album. The wager came after years of controversy surrounding the album in which is has been promised to be released multiple times and then never appeared.

A spokesman for Dr. Pepper released a statement with directions for Dr. Pepper drinkers to claim the free drink on the date of album's release, pending it actually is released.

The production of "Chinese Democracy" has been over a decade in the making and seen the come and go of numerous studio and live musicians in the ever fickle Rose's quest to produce the ultimate rock album. Whether or not it lives up to the reported $13 million invested into it remains to be seen.

18-year-old Shot and Killed in St. Paul DoubleShooting

An 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were shot near at Sixth Street East and Forest Street Saturday night in St. Paul, leaving the woman dead and the man hospitalized.

The Star Tribune reported that St. Paul police responded to a call around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night and discovered the two victims at a gas station near Minnehaha Avenue and Arcade Street. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene while the man was taken to Regions Hospital.

The man's condition is unknown, and it is also unknown whether the two were in the vehicle they were discovered in at the time they were shot, reports the Pioneer Press. A police spokesman noted that one of the windows of the victims' vehicle was "shot out pretty good."

No one is in custody at this point, though the Gang Unit and homicide detectives are investigating.

News Anchor Succumbs to Injuries

CNN affiliate KATV anchorwoman Anne Pressly died Saturday from injuries she sustained after a savage beating earlier in the week.

reported that Pressly had been hospitalized and sedated in intensive care, suffering from brain swelling and broken bones. Though doctors had said her condition seemed to be improving yesterday, Pressly took a turn for the worse Saturday night.

Her family was with her in her final moments, both grieving over the loss of Pressly and finding comfort in the fact that she was with "her heavenly father".

Pressly, 26, is thought to have been the victim of a burglary, police thought; however, Guy Cannady, her father, seemed to think the attack in which Pressly suffered severe trauma to her head and face, was more than random. He cited the brutality of the beating as evidence for more than just a simple burglary.

Fox News reported that Pressly was discovered Monday morning in her home by her mother after failing to answer her normal 4 a.m. wake-up call. Pressly reached national audiences earlier this week in a small role in director Oliver Stone's new movie "W" in which she gives a favorable report of President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech.

KATV opened its nightly newscast Saturday with a seven minute tribute to the fallen anchor.

Thousands Flee as Congo Rebels Seize Army Camp

Rebel soldiers under the command of renegade general Laurent Nkunda routed a government army base Sunday and fortified their position in a national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo Sunday.

The BBC reported that the Rumangabo camp fell for the second time today, despite military efforts to maintain control. Along with Rumangabo, Nkunda's soldiers also seized control of the headquarters of Virunga National Park, home to some of the world's last mountain gorillas, an endangered species.

Though the rebels had defeated nearly 1,500 government troops at Rumangabo three weeks ago, their victory there today was "unprecedented" and complete.

Nkunda, who was part of a peace treaty signing in January, continues to battle with government and U.N. forces in the region on the grounds of protecting the country's Tutsi minority. He has said he will not relinquish his arms until roaming Hutu rebels leave the area.

In a scene echoing that of Rwanda, over 200,000 thousand civilians fled the area. Nearly 18,000 U.N. troops are in the country to provide aid and secure peace, reported the Associated Press; however, both civilians and rebels have accused the U.N. of assisting either side and relations between all parties continue to be strained.

One U.N. soldier required two life-saving surgeries to repair his face after a rock hurled by a civilian crushed his nose. Despite the surgeries, he will be disfigured for the rest of his life, reported a U.N. spokesperson.

1.2 million people have been displaced since fighting between Nkunda, the government, and several other miscellaneous rebel parties resumed in 2007.

October 19, 2008

Advance Analysis

The writer of the advance written for the Houston Clinic that appeared in the La Crosse Tribune on Sunday did not take a whole lot of time to make a story out of the advance; however, he did present the facts.

The story is summed up in the first line, stating that the Houston Clinic opens on Monday. It then goes on with a brief background that this is Gundersen Lutheran's first clinic in the town, and that it's opening after Franciscan Skemp closed their clinic there in February. The advance ends with a message to pick up a copy of Monday's Tribune for more information.

The story is basic, has no real draw for the reader, and is likely something to be skimmed over by anyone not in the town of 1,000 people. On the plus side, though, it clearly presents most of the facts, and alerts the reader to where they can find more information.