Page One Today / October 2007

October 31, 2007:
A Page One pumpkin from the Hampton Roads, Virginia newspaper, Link.


October 30, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Columbia, South Carolina newspaper, The State:

Tears and remembrance


As the sun set over the University of South Carolina campus Monday, candles held by students illuminated a somber scene.

Six black wreaths adorned with garnet bows stood in a semi-circle, flanking a single, purple wreath with a white ribbon and an orange rose.

Tri-Delts in matching blue jerseys, sorority sisters of three victims of Sunday’s deadly beach house fire, hugged each. SAEs in jackets and ties remained stoic but shaken at the loss of two brothers.

Scores of students circled them on Greene Street. “I’m just trying to understand what happened,” 19-year-old USC student Tim Cline of Niagara Falls, N.Y., said. “As bad as you feel, it’s helps to be part of something bigger.”

The wreaths and a growing circle of flowers mark tragedy. Seven young lives taken. Six friends from USC, one from Clemson on a weekend getaway.

October 29, 2007: An excerpt from a story in The Boston Globe:

The best
A new era dawns and it’s twice as nice


DENVER — If you go to a high school graduation in New England in the Year 2026, you will hear a lot of Jacobys, Dustins, Jonathans, and Hidekis when they call the roll. And it will remind you of a special time when it seemed the beloved local baseball team simply could not lose.

Five thousand feet above sea level and 1,800 miles from Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox last night won their second World Series in four seasons, beating the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, to complete a four-game sweep of the 103d Fall Classic. Frustrated for the final eight decades of the 20th century, the Sox have emerged as hardball monsters of the new millennium.

Indomitable closer and nifty dancer Jonathan Papelbon fanned pinch hitter Seth Smith on a 94-mile-per-hour fastball at 12:05 a.m. (EDT) for the final out, then heaved his glove toward the heavens. Catcher Jason Varitek stuffed the precious baseball into his back pocket while he ran out to the mound to congratulate his teammate. Time to pop the corks.



October 29, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Boston Herald:

Sox scale peak again


DENVER — Back in 2004, New England cried collective tears of joy when the Red Sox brought 86 years of futility to a resounding end, exorcising the restless souls of lost generations that never had the opportunity to see their beloved team win a World Series title.

When the final out was made in St. Louis, fans dropped to their knees, offering prayers of thanks for a relatively effortless sweep in the Fall Classic after an unimaginable comeback in the American League Championship Series.

Three years later, everything is different. When the Sox defeated the Colorado Rockies, 4-3, at Coors Field last night to wrap up another four-game World Series sweep, many folks back home undoubtedly substituted satisfied smiles for tears, realizing that with the way the team is currently configured, championships could become regular occurrences, altering the way future generations view the franchise.

And this time, rather than dropping to their knees, Sox fans were more likely to leap off their sofa and join Jonathan Papelbon in a frantic Irish jig to celebrate the organization’s seventh World Series triumph.


October 29, 2007: An excerpt from a story in The Denver Post:

Broomsday: Sox sweep Series
Rockies’ miraculous late-season surge comes to a sad ending in final four games


Sometimes dreams, no matter how inspiring, are not enough.

The Rockies’ magical season died on Sunday night, forever frozen within reach of a goal that seemed laughable when the players arrived in Tucson eight months ago. Four games, four losses. A paradise and championship lost.

The Boston Red Sox are the World Series champions after a nervy 4-3 victory Sunday night at Coors Field.

“To get this close and not win, it’s hard,” said first baseman Todd Helton, who waited 10 years to reach the playoffs. “When we get away from it, we will realize that we did something special.”

The Rockies carried this dream for five weeks, nearly made it real. But at 10:05 p.m. the clock struck midnight and the valet brought back a pumpkin. While they became competitive — the final three games were winnable — the Rockies never got comfortable in the sport’s floodlights.

October 29, 2007: An excerpt from a story in The Rocky Mountain News:

Four-gone conclusion as Rockies swept away by Red Sox


At 10:05 p.m. MDT Sunday, the clock struck midnight on the Rockies’ Cinderella season.

Rockies pinch hitter Seth Smith struck out, bringing an end to the Rockies’ World Series debut, a 4-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 that allowed them to complete a sweep in the most lopsided four- game World Series in history.

“(Boston) is a tough team, and it’s hot. That’s a tough combination,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “No excuses. We got outplayed. But we accomplished a lot this year. I told those guys that brought me more moments of joy this season than I have had in 33 years in pro baseball.”

October 26, 2007: An excerpt from a story in The Orange County Register:

Who Would Do This?


Nature created the perfect conditions, but investigators say it was the hand of man that lit flames on Santiago Canyon Road, sparking a blaze that has blackened 26,000 acres, incinerated 14 homes and was still only 30 percent contained late Thursday.

Four days after the Santiago fire started — fueled, according to investigators, by a liquid accelerant as Santa Ana winds howled — a $250,000 reward was offered for the capture of the person who started it.

October 25, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Riverside, California newspaper, The Press-Enterprise:

Hope amid the smoke


Tamer winds and fresh crews brought some relief Wednesday in the three-day campaign to master two fires that have rampaged across 12,000 acres and demolished more than 300 homes in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Weather changes slowed the fires and brought an inversion layer that held smoke close to the ground, blanketing mountain towns in a pungent orange haze much of the day and interfering with the airborne attack on the fires.

Crews on the ground “couldn’t see past their noses,” said Don Will, of the U.S. Forest Service, who oversees operations for the Slide Fire. That blaze had scorched 10,800 acres and destroyed at least 200 homes in Running Springs and nearby communities by late Wednesday.

The same inversion layer is expected to return today, along with higher humidity and lower temperatures. Fire crews are expected to focus on building lines around the fires and keeping them from spreading into populated areas.

The Grass Valley Fire, which started near Lake Arrowhead and has destroyed at least 100 homes, continued to burn west through the Twin Peaks area and north toward Silverwood Lake. The Slide Fire, ignited near Green Valley Lake, blazed east toward Big Bear Dam.

No homes burned overnight or on Wednesday, a welcome change from Monday and Tuesday when firefighters battled to save homes in neighborhoods engulfed in flames.

October 24, 2007: An excerpt from a story in The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Help from above
The toll: 500,000 evacuated; 300,000 acres charred; 1,300 buildings destroyed;
The front lines: Air fleet grows; ground reinforcements arrive; weather eases


Reinforcements swooped into San Diego County by air and ground yesterday, infusing new energy into battles against a deadly firestorm that has compelled the largest evacuation in state history.

More-favorable winds permitted giant air tankers to enter the fray for the first time. They joined a fleet of helicopters in fighting four major wildfires that continued to burn out of control.

Additional crews from several states joined the effort in San Diego County. By sunset, more than 3,200 firefighters were in action.

Ron Lane, operations director for the county Office of Emergency Services, welcomed the fresh resources after days of strained staffing. “The worst is behind us,” he said.

But no one was declaring victory.

October 23, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Los Angeles Times:

Massive evacuations ordered as onslaught of fires spreads


Wind-whipped firestorms destroyed more than 700 homes and businesses in Southern California on Monday, the second day of its onslaught, and more than half a million people in San Diego County were told to evacuate their homes.

The gale-force winds turned hillside canyons into giant blowtorches from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border. Although the worst damage was around San Diego and Lake Arrowhead, dangerous fires also threatened Malibu, parts of Orange and Ventura counties, and the Agua Dulce area near Santa Clarita.

Late Monday night, new blazes were menacing homes near Stevenson Ranch and in Soledad Canyon in northern Los Angeles County. The Soledad Canyon fire burned multiple mobile homes and evacuations were underway, fire officials said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, calling it “a tragic time for California,” declared a state of emergency in seven counties and redeployed California National Guard members from the border to support firefighters. Schwarzenegger stressed how much California officials have learned since the devastating wildfires of October 2003, which raged over much of the same terrain.

But as the day wore on, it became clear that any hard-earned knowledge was no match for natural forces overrunning the ability of firefighters to control them.

October 22, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Santa Ana, California newspaper, the OC Post:

Wildfire breakout in So. California
About 10 areas from Malibu to the Mexican border catch fire, killing 1; 96 O.C. firefighters sent to assist in Malibu.

By The Associated Press

Nearly a dozen wildfires driven by powerful Santa Ana winds spread across Southern California on Sunday, killing one person southeast of San Diego, destroying thousands of acres of wild land in Orange County, burning several homes and a church in Malibu, and forcing hundreds of people from their homes.

The Santiago Canyon fire was among at least 10 blazes that burned more than 35,000 acres, stretching from north of Santa Barbara to San Diego, as hot weather and hurricane-strength winds marked the height of the traditional wildfire season.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency throughout all seven counties late Sunday night, enabling greater deployment of state resources to the fire-afflicted areas.

October 19, 2007: Earlier this week, the Lexington Herald-Leader posted the following description of their six-part series about a Kentucky  mother’s struggle through drug court. Today they present chapter four: “A Fragile Hold.”

About Dawn’s story

At 21, Dawn Nicole Smith has three kids she adores, a marriage that’s deteriorating and a gut-wrenching addiction to painkillers. In March 2004, she entered Fayette County Drug Court for forging prescriptions. Since then, with her and the court’s permission, reporter Mary Meehan and photographer David Stephenson have followed her struggle to stay clean.

Almost everyone knows someone touched by substance abuse. In Kentucky alone, 375,000 need treatment. Because of stagnant funding, only one in 12 will get help. Yet substance abuse causes more U.S. deaths — 120,000 a year — than any other disease. It is a factor in at least half the domestic violence, child abuse and property crimes committed. To cope, Kentucky has invested $56 million in drug courts, which will serve every county by year-end. Non-violent addicts receive intensive treatment and avoid prison if they stay off drugs. Considered the best solution to an intractable problem, drug court works for two of every five people in the program in Fayette County. Will Dawn be one of those? Or will she remain a prisoner to pills? Her success will depend on something a court can’t order: hope.

(Additional information about the series, and an interview with reporter Mary Meehan and photographer David Stephenson, was posted on Al’s Morning Meeting.)


October 18, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Texas newspaper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times:

Harry Potter and the muggle from Corpus Christi
Local fan will meet the author

CORPUS CHRISTI – Kalyn Clark, 11, believed in magic despite her mother’s skepticism as the Kaffie Middle School student entered an online contest against 50,000 U.S. Harry Potter fans to meet the series’ author in New York City.
Kalyn shook with excitement the day her mother came to school with a wide grin to share the news that she was one of 1,000 fans selected in the J.K. Rowling Open Book Tour Sweepstakes.
….Kalyn is an honor student, whose passion for Potter had her parents telling her to stop reading so they could get her out the door for school. “She would read all day if she could,” her mother said.
Rowling’s writing style captivates, Kalyn said, and the magical stories encouraged her interest in reading. She has read each of the books repeatedly.
Rowling will read from and sign copies of the latest book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and answer questions.
Kalyn plans to perch her signed copy high in her room so her 5-year-old brother can’t reach it, she said.
“My friends are excited for me,” Kalyn said. “I tell them it doesn’t hurt to try things. If you win, congrats, if you don’t, at least you tried.”
October 17, 2007:
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s trip to Iran is described in the Tehran newspaper, Jam-e-Jam.

October 16, 2007:
The Chinese newspaper, The Beijing News, reports on the opening address of President Hu Jintao at the National Congress of the governing Communist Party.


October 15, 2007: An excerpt from a story in The Washington Post:

Reporter For Post Is Fatally Shot In Baghdad


BAGHDAD, Oct. 14 — On Sunday afternoon, Salih Saif Aldin set out for one of Baghdad’s most dangerous neighborhoods. He knew exactly where to go. He nodded, smiled, grabbed his camera. There was nothing he needed to say.

Saif Aldin always came back — from death threats, from beatings, from kidnappings, from detentions by American soldiers, from the country’s most notorious and deadly terrain — but on Sunday he didn’t. The 32-year-old Iraqi reporter in The Washington Post’s Baghdad bureau was shot once in the forehead in the southwestern neighborhood of Sadiyah. He was the latest in a long line of reporters, most of them Iraqis, to be killed while covering the Iraq war. He was the first for The Washington Post.

“The death of Salih Saif Aldin in the service of our readers is a tragedy for everyone at The Washington Post. He was a brave and valuable reporter who contributed much to our coverage of Iraq,” said Leonard Downie Jr., executive editor of The Post. “We are in his debt. We grieve with his family, friends, fellow journalists and everyone in our Baghdad bureau.”

October 13, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Nashville, Tennessee newspaper, The Tennessean:

Nobel win validates Gore and his vision


Environmentalists and supporters see Al Gore‘s Nobel Peace Prize win Friday as vindication.

Seven years ago, he lost the closest presidential election in memory — after losing his home state. On Friday, he became the second Tennessean to win the Nobel Peace Prize, receiving the same honor bestowed on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter.

Carter on Friday urged Gore to run for president, but the former vice president from Carthage, Tenn., would say only that he was “going back to work now.”

Global warming “is a planetary emergency and we have to act quickly,” Gore said in Palo Alto, Calif., where he was visiting the headquarters of a nonprofit that he heads. He said he wants to use his new platform to speed up action against climate change.

He shares his prize with the scientists of the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

October 11, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Cleveland, Ohio newspaper, The Plain Dealer:

Four shot at school, gunman kills himself
Students and staff ran, hid in restrooms, closets


SuccessTech Academy, one of Cleveland’s best public high schools with a 94 percent graduation rate, seemed a highly unlikely place for a Columbine-type outburst of gun violence.

But, suddenly, that all changed Wednesday when a student with black-painted fingernails and wearing a Marilyn Manson T-shirt opened fire in the downtown high school, injuring two teachers and three students. Police said he appeared to be targeting both teachers.

Asa Coon, 14, who had been suspended from school for a fight on Monday, then turned the gun on himself, unloading a fatal shot.

Students Michael Peek, 15, and Darnell Rodgers, 18, and teachers David Kachadourian, 57, and Michael Grassie, 42, were taken to hospitals with gunshot wounds.

Trinnetta McGrady, 14, injured her knee and back falling down a staircase and was trampled by other students fleeing the gunfire.

She was hospitalized, but was expected to be released late Wednesday.

(See Also: School Shootings, 1997-2007)


October 10, 2007: A column from the executive editor of the Olympia, Washington newspaper, The Olympian

Today’s tribute part of special brigade coverage


Today’s front page is a dramatic departure for The Olympian.

A Stryker brigade based at Fort Lewis, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, has returned home from a 15-month deployment in Iraq. The 48 brigade members pictured on the front page are not among them. The Olympian chose to dedicate today’s front page as a small but dramatic way to honor their service. It is not intended as an editorial statement on the war. Rather, it is the biggest of local stories. Nonetheless, we recognize that, whether you support or oppose our country’s military presence in Iraq, this front page display will generate strong feelings.

But today, as brigade members remember their dead comrades in a special ceremony at Fort Lewis, we felt it was important to show our readers the faces of those who did not return. We also plan to share with you the jubilation of the official welcome home ceremonies for the brigade later this week. And we will spotlight some of the many acts of bravery of those who served. This weekend we will report on what’s next for many of these individuals as they rebuild their stateside lives.

We assembled this front page with careful deliberation. Our intent is to be respectful but knowing, without doubt, that this lineup of faces conveys the effect of the war in a way words cannot.

We hope that you will look at the page, read the profiles of these men and reflect on their sacrifice.

I welcome your feedback.

October 9, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Race organizers offer no apologies
‘We Were Very Proactive’
Defend decision to end race, say they took extra steps to prepare for heat — but runners angry at lack of liquids as over 300 needed care


Running in Sunday’s overheated Chicago Marathon, Robin Gault didn’t get any water until mile six or Gatorade until mile 10.

And like thousands of other runners, she wasn’t allowed to finish.

Organizers defended their decision to close the race early due to hot weather and insisted they were well prepared.

October 8, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Appleton, Wisconsin newspaper, The Post-Crescent:

Off-duty deputy kills 6 in Crandon; deadly rampage ends with suspect’s death


CRANDON — The off-duty police officer suspected of killing six people and seriously injuring another in a shooting rampage early Sunday was killed later by his fellow officers in a nearby town, Forest County Sheriff Keith Van Cleve told The Post-Crescent.

Van Cleve, who declined to identify the suspected gunman, told The P-C the suspect was shot in Argonne, a small town about six miles north of Crandon. He said authorities do not yet know who fired the fatal shot.

“There was (gun)fire exchanged,” he said.

A two-block area of downtown Crandon remained blockaded Sunday night as investigators from the state Department of Criminal Investigation gathered evidence. The mother of one of the victims said the shooter, identified by Crandon schools Supt. Richard Peters as Tyler Peterson, 20, burst into the home of his ex-girlfriend and shot her and six others.

October 4, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Lewiston, Maine newspaper, the Sun Journal:

Fugitive caught in flash


LEWISTON — Several police agencies are lauding a Sun Journal photographer for tackling a suspect who jumped from a third-floor balcony Wednesday to escape the officers pursuing him.

Photographer Russ Dillingham was credited with helping police capture 35-year-old Norman Thompson of Lewiston as Thompson tried to flee from police and federal agents.

“We never would have caught this guy without Russ,” said Lewiston police Detective Sgt. Adam Higgins. “He was able to take pictures, tackle the guy and then hold him for us.”

October 4, 2007:
The Moscow, Russia newspaper, Izvestia, reports on the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, which was launched by the Soviets and began circling the globe October 4, 1957.


October 3, 2007: An excerpt from a story in Florida Today:

Launch of Russian Sputnik was a wakeup call for U.S.
Satellite highlighted failures, kicked space program into gear


CAPE CANAVERAL — Sputnik emitted a mocking radio beep as it circled over the United States 50 years ago Thursday.

Beth Davie remembers the fear and curiosity. The Rockledge resident was a 7-year-old schoolgirl in Vermont. Though harmless, Sputnik was a powerful mental salvo in the Cold War. Americans’ fear of the Russians was rising because of a looming threat of nuclear war and the probe by U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy, who claimed Communists had infiltrated the U.S. government.

“We were scared to death,” Davie said. “It was scary because it was the Russians. We had to crawl under our desks for drills. They were going to get us.”

About the size of a basketball, Sputnik weighed 184 pounds, carried two radio transmitters and the beep picked up by radios around the Earth shattered the illusions of American engineers and military, who thought they were ahead of the Russians in the race to acquire missile technology.

October 2, 2007: An excerpt from a story in the Seoul, South Korea newspaper, JoongAng Daily:

Peace in his time is Roh’s summit goal

If President Roh Moo-hyun gets his way at the inter-Korean summit beginning today in Pyongyang, he will come away with an agreement that could formally end the Korean War.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 59th Armed Forces Day, Roh said yesterday that his priority for the second meeting between the two Koreas is to establish a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, which has been technically in a state of war since the conflict ended with an armistice in 1953.

The Blue House has been unwilling to release a detailed agenda for the talks, citing diplomatic custom. Roh’s speech yesterday, however, confirmed his desire to make a peace agreement a key focus.

October 1, 2007: An excerpt from a story in The Washington Post:

‘There was a two-year learning curve . . . and a lot of people died in those two years’

(PART 2 of the series:
Left of Boom: The Struggle to Defeat Roadside Bombs)


As Gen. John P. Abizaid began his second year at U.S. Central Command in July 2004, the simple solutions he had hoped would defeat improvised explosive devices in Iraq seemed further away than ever. More than 100 American soldiers had been killed by bombs in the first half of the year, and IED attacks were spiraling toward an average of 15 per day.

Eager for creative ideas, Abizaid told Centcom subordinates in August that he would accept what became known as “the 51 percent solution”: If a new counter-IED gadget or technique had a better than even chance of success, it would be welcome in the theater. “Listen, if you have something that’s greater than 50 percent, then get it forward,” he also told Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Votel, director of the Pentagon’s Joint IED Task Force. “I’ve got the greatest testing ground in the world in Iraq.”

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