Paris, France Interview

(bold letters are Trevor Luebe’s responses)
Trevor, I am friends with your cousin Jenna Rott, and I just saw her Facebook status about how you were at the soccer game in Paris during the attacks. First of all I am glad to hear you are safe! I am in a reporting class at UNI and I was wondering if you would be willing to share what you experienced that Friday at the game and what the environment was like after the attacks took place, if you don’t I completely understand. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Sincerely, Aaron Van Maanen
Yeah i can do that! 
Thank you so much, Trevor! What was your initial reaction at the game, did people know what was going on? What was the environment like as you left the game?
When we heard the first bomb, people thought it was part of the game. It wasn’t until the second bomb that you could tell that people were a little worried. After the first half, my roommate got a text from a friend in france and she said that there was a shooting. As the match progressed we learned a little more but were still in the dark. With a minute left in the extra minutes we were told to leave. We started walking down the road to the metro and then suddenly everyone turned around and started running. I grabbed my friend and we ran. As we ran with the crowd I could hear people screaming and left behind shoes, bags and other items. We walked down another road and people started to calm down and try to figure out what was happening. We were escorted by police on the sides of the road and as we approached the metro two buses full of military soldiers passed by. We got closer to the metro and there was a barricade of police cars and policemen with rifles. We go up the ramp for the metro and get in. We arrive at the metro stop Gare de Nord and as we wait five people come running down the stairs yellign “close the doors close the doors!” the doors shut and everyone ducked and the metro took off. I live next to the shootings so I wasn’t able to go home so I ended up staying with a friend in my program with my roommate.
Oh my goodness. I’m so glad you and your roommate are okay, man. Thank you so much for sharing, you and everyone in Paris are in my and so many others prayers. Thanks again for being willing to share your experience, would you be comfortable if I posted some of your quotes on my blog for this class? If not I absolutely won’t.
no problem and i give you permission! glad i could help
Thank you so much Trevor! Stay safe and I hope you have a good rest of your trip.
thank you! and it was no problem!

Class Notes 11/17

Paris Attacks

  • 6 different locations, 8 suicide bombers and gunmen
  • ISIS claimed the attacks
  • Released a video saying there will be an attack in Washington DC
  • What would be one framework/story angle where we can examine this?
    • People who were affected by the attacks here in Cedar Falls (local impact)- what would we try and get out of the story?
      • Send the reporter to get an interview with someone who has family in France or someone who was planning on visiting France
      • Using personal networks to find a lady who works at John Deere who was working in France- but how would you find that lady?
      • Contacting high school French teachers, other leads, students who have visited France in the last year
  • Started my search at 9:58 AM, got my first response at 10:05 AM
  • I messaged Trevor Luebe on Facebook, a mutual friend posted a Facebook status on how he was attending the soccer game during the attack.
  • His first response to my message was “Yeah i can do that!”
  • I did not want to overload him with questions, but I asked ones that would prompt in-depth responses.
    • What was your initial reaction at the game, did people know what was going on? What was the environment like as you left the game?

Blog Post #11

Paris Terrorist Attacks

A nation known for peace has recently experienced one of the most horrific tragedies in recent history. In an attack claimed by ISIS, atleast 129 people lost their lives while at least 352 others were injured. Eight ISIS terrorists armed with AK-47’s and suicide belts planned attacks at six separate sites last Friday night. A solemn message from French president Francois Hollande explained how it was an “act of war” and that France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group.” The attack was devastating for France, and the response from the president is somewhat surprising but warranted. France has already responded by bombing ISIS camps, and a disturbing message has been given by an Iraq based ISIL group.

“We tell countries participating in the crusader campaign: We swear that you will experience a similar day to the one that France experiences; since if we have struck France in its heart – in Paris – then we swear that we will strike America at its heart – in Washington,” said a militant who calls himself AL-Ajkrar Al-Iraqi. I don’t want to live in fear but hearing that message from a dangerous group who is not afraid to take action is terrifying. When I heard that statement, I instantly was curious as to what Obama’s next move will be. President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters in Washington, decried an “attack on all humanity and the values that we share,” calling the Paris violence an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.” Obama is also planning on attending the climate summit meeting in Paris.

A sad fact of the terror is that it is the deadliest terror atrocity to hit a Western European city since a series of train bombings in Madrid, Spain killed 191 people on March 11, 2004. The most brutal attack that happened in Paris on Friday evening happened at the venue of an American rock concert. It was estimated that almost 87 concert-goers lost their lives. What initially sounded like fireworks, the audience believed it was part of the bands’ act. The band instantly stopped playing as the terror erupted in front of them. All band members have since been safe and accounted for, and left Paris shortly after the attack.

The sadness and terror caused in Paris will have lasting affects that will be arising in the near future. The retaliation will hopefully not lead to even more innocent lives being taken, but this may be what causes the alliance of many nations to take down ISIS once and for all.



Class Notes 10/12

Missouri Threats

  • Protests continue

Mizzou Professor Melissa Click Assaults Student Journalist

  • “You need to back up if you’re with the media”
  • “You don’t have the right to take our photos”
  • He is explaining that the first amendment protects his write and hers to be there
  • So many people are forcing him to leave and he is keeping his cool while the others are being aggressive
  • “You’re an unethical reporter”
  • “You lost this fight just leave”
  • “Well then we will just block you”
  • Groups were chanting “go”
  • “How about humanity and respect”
  • “I’m sorry these are people too, back off”
  • “We’ll call the police on you.” “You can’t, the first amendment protects us both”
  • “They have an education to get and a life to live”
  • Mizzou has an incredible journalism program and this is happening
  • “They just want to be together, and you are here infringing on what they need, to be alone”
  • “Just put the sign in his face”
  • “They’ll change the story on you.”- when the guy almost has an altercation with the journalist and his friend gets him to stop
  • “I’m being pushed, it’s our right to walk forward.”
  • “I need some muscle over here, who’s going to help me get this reporter out of here.”
  • “You can go”
  • “This is public property.” -then the professor mocked him
  • “He shouldn’t be here, don’t let him back in”
  • “Media, please stay off the grass”-dumb person
  • The reporter responded admirably, keeping his cool and just tries to document history.

Class Notes 11/10

Black Hawk County Press Release

  • First paragraph details the information of Cedar Falls and Waterloo’s runoff elections
  • The next paragraph explains how Jon Crews dropped out of the runoff, but explains how his name will still be on the ballot because there is no prevision in Iowa law for canceling or withdrawing from a runoff election.
  • Next election will be on a Tuesday once again. December 2nd, 2015
  • People could just assume Jim Brown will win and not vote for him, allowing another candidate the chance to win
  • If Jon Crews wins the election and still gets elected, he does not have to stay in office. The routine that would be followed, we’d forget all about the fact of the runoff, the city council would either hold another election or appoint somebody.
  • We could have Jon Crews with the most votes and still not have a mayor, they would have to appoint somebody.
  • We estimated the runoff election would be about $20,000
  • Monday people will be in town to vote on Tuesday, something to do with the ability for people to travel

Cedar Falls Mayoral Elections Essay

The Cedar Falls election was held on November 3rd, 2015. The three candidates for mayor were Jon Crews, Jim Brown, and David Haltermann. It was an exciting night of anxiously waiting for the results, and the conclusion did not surprise many. There was going to be a run-off election between Jim Brown and Jon Crews. There was an unofficial count from Tuesday’s election and it showed that Brown had beat Crews by nearly 700 votes, but neither candidate won the majority and the town of Cedar Falls was going to have to prepare to vote once more in December. After a few days, shocking information was reported regarding Jon Crews’ status in the run-off election.

The WCF Courier covered the breaking story. With an attention grabbing headline of “Jon Crews is calling it a career,” it drew many views from Cedar Falls residents. Crews was faced with a difficult decision, and was able to discuss it with his campaign co-chairs before reaching a decision. “It’s hard to leave a job you love,” Crews stated emotionally. “I’ve enjoyed immensely the job and I feel good about what’s happened in Cedar Falls. I can leave with my head held high. We’re in good shape. Very good shape. Truthfully, a lot of cities would trade places with us in a heartbeat,” said Crews. This interview was hard for Crews to get through, and reporters expressed how his voice was breaking throughout his responses. “This campaign was going to be the last one. There’s some projects to retire to and family to see more of. That was the plan.”

Crews gained many supporters over the span of his career as mayor of Cedar Falls, and many urged him to continue with the campaign. Crews met with Jim Brown to inform him of the decision, and he wanted to ensure a smooth transition for Brown to become the next mayor. The Courier was able to hold an interview with Brown as well. “”I’m humbled. He’s been such a good public servant. It’s humbling to me in terms of his trust, in relation to letting go. I’ve know Jon outside of politics. I’ve seen him in public. He’s a good guy. We can look at Cedar Falls and point to him for a lot of that success,” said Brown.

With the decision of dropping out of the race, the runoff election is still going to happen. Crews’ name will still appear on the ballot, and he encourages all of Jim Brown’s supporters to return to vote, as it is still very important. “He needs to get his supporters out to vote that day,” Crews said. “Jim is inheriting a good city. I know he knows that.” Crews also had a very respectful statement in regards to Jim Brown and the citizens of Cedar Falls. “I extend my best wishes to Mr. Brown. I pray that his commitment to the office of mayor and to the citizens of Cedar Falls will continue the legacy of progress that has been set. To every resident, whether supporting me or not, I wish you well. I sincerely thank you for the wonderful opportunity you have given me,” Crews said.

After serving as mayor for 30 of the last 44 years, it is time for Cruz to hand the baton to the next great leader of Cedar Falls. He plans on helping his wife with her foundation and spending time with his growing mixed family. Crews helped make Cedar Falls is what it is today, and now Jim Brown will continue his legacy.

Blog Post #10

Arizona man abandons granddaughter in desert with loaded gun

There are stories that I come across that I choose not to blog about because they are too sad or grotesque. There are also stories that seem as if a parody news account created them. This is one of those articles, and I had to check it out to see if it was actually true or not. The title of the article reads “Arizona man abandons granddaughter in desert with loaded gun.” I did not know whether to laugh at the stupidity of the idea or be terribly afraid for the little girl. I quickly did research to learn that the granddaughter was in fact unharmed after the incident, so I was able to take the situation a little more lightheartedly. I even showed the article to my peers and they did not believe it was a real article. There are so many aspects I want to cover about the article but I began by learning about what the actual situation was.

Paul Rater is was found in a local restaurant eating a cheeseburger and drinking a beer when authorities were able to track him down. Officials say that he immediately admitted to leaving his granddaughter in the desert. Apparently Rater and his granddaughter were going for a ride in his new pickup truck, when he left her in desert brush, and gave her a loaded gun. The series of events that happened in the story so far seem so ridiculous it is hard to believe how a man could be so foolish to put a child in that much danger. Not only is she at risk of injuring herself with the gun, but there could be many other dangerous factors that could’ve arisen from being alone in the desert. The saddest part of it all is that the little girl is five years old. She was quoted saying to her grandmother, “I don’t know why papa left me. I was calling out for him. He took me by some bushes, gave me a gun and left me.” The heartbreaking quote truly shows how vulnerable the little girl was in the dessert. After four hours the girls was reported missing, which is a scary amount of time for the little girl. The family notified authorities and a helicopter was able to locate her.

The gun she was given was a .45 caliber hand gun, and it was set to the ready-to-fire position. She also reported that she was instructed to “shoot any bad guys.” This leaves me to believe there is something mentally wrong with Rater. No one in their right mind would in the first place give a loaded hand gun to a 5 year old girl, let alone instruct her to shoot at potential threats. Sanity has to have been missing, and I am hoping a further investigation will take place regarding Rater and his motives. He claimed his truck got stuck and they had to walk for help because he left his cellphone at home, and he only abandoned her under a tree after she couldn’t walk any more. This plea has no meaning when the authorities found him eating a burger and drinking beer, he obviously was in no rush to go back and make sure his granddaughter was okay. That will not hold up in court and I am hoping he will be found guilty on all of his charges. He has been charged with two counts of child abuse and one count of child endangerment, and given a $25,000 bond. The charges seem appropriate but one thing that can not be fixed from this situation is the relationship with the family. The child was returned to her mother and I can not even begin to think about how the family dynamic is now. I am so glad there is only emotional hurt rather than physical hurt, if the granddaughter had been injured in any way it would take this scenario to a whole new level. Rater has to be very thankful that the situation did not go as bad as it could have.

After stumbling upon this article I am glad I took the time to look into it. I am still just as upset and confused as I started but I was able to be slightly relieved when I learned that the girl was okay. The situation is horrible, but I am thankful it was not worse than it already is. Christmas will interesting this year for the family.



Class Notes 11/5

  • First run off since 1999. Do research to include factual information like this in the news story. Consider yourself a news writer, not an opinion writer.

Bacha Bazi

  • Afghanistan- young boys sold by their families are sold to soldiers and wealthy people to dance, entertain and are used for sex.
  • (what methods are the journalists using to discover this story?)
  • It’s a form of slavery
  • A journalist went undercover, realizing he had to be inside the action to expose it
  • “Dancing Boys of Afghanistan”- title of the piece
  • Journalist: Afghan journalist who has been living in exile, almost beaten to death when he was investigating a massacre.
  • The boys are street orphans, and after their performance they will bid and whoever is the highest bidder will participate in sexual activity with the boys.
  • He arranged a meeting with a man who participated in bacha bazi, he needed to get inside the organization to be able to expose it.
    • He’s a very successful businessman, leads a double life. He invited the journalist to meet one of the dancing boys, he was able to see a bacha bazi take place.
  • After a man was asked how many boys he had, he answered: it’s unlimited, 2,000 or 3,000. “I just like watching them dance.” You could obviously tell he was lying when he denied having sex with the boys.
  • Bacha Bazi comes from Pakistan
  • “How long have you been doing bacha bazi?” “about 20 years, what can I say, there is money and power. “
  • Dastager has police security guards for protection.
  • He lives in a wealthy neighborhood, is married, and has 2 young sons.
  • He promises the boys family money and tells them that he will train them. They need to be 12 or 13 and have to be good looking.
  • They are protecting the identity of the 11 year old kid, for reasons later revealed.
  • The kid had absolutely no idea what he was getting into, had never met Dastager in his life.
  • “I had a boy because every other commander had one.”
  • “In Afghanistan, men don’t listen to their wives.”
  • Many miles away he was able to track down “The German”
  • The German acts as a bacha bazi pimp, supplying boys to wealthy businessmen.
  • The 11 year old boy is given lessons in singing and dancing
  • Bacha bazi is taboo in Afghanistan- another method is interviewing sources in other fields
  • Another method- conducting direct interviews with the victims- very tense with the owners sitting in the same room right next to them.
  • The journalist also spent time talking with expert sources in the unicef community and spent time with the local authority as well, it’s not just a one sided story.
  • The boys know that if they do not go with the men or do not please them it is very dangerous for them. Some boys are terrified by that and some seem completely unfazed by it all.
  • Another journalist method- addressing the camera directly and leading the audience.
  • He had seen a popular dancer a year before and tried to find him but was told that he had been murdered.
  • “They terrified him, and warned him. They were planning on doing terrible things to him”
  • The victim becomes the perpetrator, it’s the only life he knows.

We are able to take the cloth off, buy a plane ticket and leave afghanistan. The women there do not have that opportunity.

Iowa Supreme Court

In class we covered a very controversial allegation that was handled by the Iowa Supreme Court. Alleged Jesse M. Marzen committed numerous violations of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct by engaging in a sexual relationship with a client, disclosing client confidences to the public and making a misrepresentation to a judge. It began with a simple suspension and then lead to a court case. We were able to obtain information regarding the allegation and viewpoints from both Marzen and the victim “Jane Doe”.

The general background information covered the career path of Marzen. He is an Iowa lawyer who graduated from St. Thomas school of law. He practiced law in Charles City and is currently the Floyd County Attorney. On September 2006, a complaint was filed by a woman named “Jane Doe”. She alleged Marzen engaged in a sexual relationship with her after representing her in a mental health commitment hearing. Soon after, a district court judge also filed a complaint against Marzen after hearing testimony from Doe. Marzen was a candidate for the position of Floyd County Attorney at the time the complaints were filed. The news of the allegations spread throughout the community and was highly publicized by local media. Marzen was still elected as Floyd County Attorney even after the allegations.

At the hearing on the complaint, Doe testified she had sexual intercourse with Marzen on numerous occasions while he represented her. Marzen quickly denied any intimate contact with Doe. One member of the commission dissented from the dismissal of the sexual misconduct. The dissenting member believed the events established at least one occasion of sexual intercourse between Doe and Marzen during the course of their attorney-client relationship. Doe’s testimony revealed interesting information that would lead people to believe sexual intercourse did take place between her and Marzen. She commented that Marzen had “funny”-appearing buttocks due to a loose fold of skin hanging from the lower portion of his buttocks. Doe testified she engaged in sexual intercourse with Marzen on four additional occasion’s, all in different locations. One of the witnesses, Amanda, had stopped by a home unannounced when she observed Doe and Marzen walking out of a bedroom. She claimed that Doe hastily offered a reason for her presence in the bedroom with Marzen.

Marzen denied the existence of any sexual relationship at any time with Doe. He testified Doe was never at his house. However, he acknowledged he had been at the house where Doe was staying on multiple occasions, but only for business purposes. Marzen claimed he had more than 10 moles on his back, which Doe failed to mention. Marzen also denied the presence of a flap of loose skin on the bottom portion of his buttocks. He did, however, acknowledge he weighed 325 pounds when he graduated from high school and lost between 125 and 150 pounds since that time. He also acknowledged he has loose skin around his waist and inside his arms.

In addition to his testimony, Marzen offered testimony from a number of witnesses. Rod Mulcahy, a lawyer in Marzen’s former law office, testified the attorneys and staff at the office would be there until eight or nine in the evening. He felt it would be difficult for Marzen to have had sex in his office during this time without being noticed. Marzen also offered testimony from a number of witnesses designed to show Doe had a propensity to lie or exaggerate. Marzen offered testimony from John Farrell, a probation officer formerly assigned to Doe. Doe had sued Farrell for sexual misconduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and false imprisonment. Although Farrell denied any sexual harassment or other such conduct, he settled the lawsuit for $5,000. Exhibits were used and a DNA test by the IDCI came back with negative results. Also had a doctors appointment where the report documented only that Marzen’s buttocks and perineum appeared “normal,” without a specific statement affirming or denying the presence of loose folds of skin.

It is an interesting case that required a lot of background information and reason to formulate a decision. There are many reasons that would argue “Jane Doe” is falsely accusing Marzen but it is up to the Supreme Court to make the decision.

Blog Post #9

New York City man arrested five years after wife’s death


New York City is known for it’s wild city life. As with any city, there are potential dangers that come with it. Most people fear gang violence in cities like New York, but there are often many white collar crimes that take place and garner just as much attention. You don’t fear New York because of the wealthy citizens committing crimes, but it happens nearly as much as the blue collar crimes. Recently an article came out about a man who was arrested five years after his wife’s death. I knew instantly that their had to be ulterior motives to the possible murder, and they were so clear it was almost mystifying why the arrest happened so late. I am planning on studying in the New York area and coming from midwest Iowa, I will have to get used to hearing about these happenings in the news. I am not excited about this, and neither is my mother, but these kinds of murders leave me wondering. What could possibly lead a husband to kill his wife, when they have been married for years with two children? The details are clearly stated in the article.

The couple had been going through a bitter divorce, something that should tip off officials during the investigation. I feel like the husband should be a primary suspect during an investigation such as this, especially after the next information released in the article. The investigators initially believed the death was an accident, but after they exhumed the body and performed an autopsy it was revealed that she had been strangled. The next bit of information is what I believe should have confirmed the suspect of the investigation being the father. The day after her death, she had a planned meeting with to make changes to her will. “She was fearful for her life, believed Rod intended to kill her, and there was some urgency to make changes in her will,” according to court papers filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court, which handles estates. I don’t know how this information could have delayed the arrest of the father, although investigators were thrown off by a wound on the back of the neck of the victim. They believed that she had possibly slipped and fallen, causing her to wound her head and drown in the tub.

The saddest piece of information from the article came next. Their daughter, nine years old at the time, found her lifeless mother in the tub. There are so many reasons that make this article sad and distressing, but the fact that their innocent daughter found the victim’s body takes it to a new level. The scarring of their mother being murdered is enough to trouble them for a lifetime, but having to experience it in person is the most terrible thing that could have happened to that poor girl.

After I was upset by the last information I had found, I was stunned at what I read next. Her Jewish Orthodox family had rejected an autopsy initially, which resulted in the cause of her death being undetermined. After the investigation began, the family agreed to allow her body to be exhumed and an autopsy had taken place. I now realize why the husband was able to be free of any accusations because he was saved by the family’s rejection of the autopsy. The family has now spoken out against him, calling him an animal. They are now currently fighting him for custody of the children, and I truly hope they win so the kids will be able to grow up in a safe and loving family. Currently his guardianship was suspended when the investigation began, which is good for the children whether or not he is guilty. Kids do not deserve to be involved in adult situations such as these, especially in their case. Roderick Covlin’s lawyer said his client was “stunned” by the Sunday arrest. “There can be no credible evidence, because he did not kill his wife,” Gottlieb said after a brief court appearance.

This is yet another heartbreaking article that was hard to read at times. It is just hard to fathom how the family could ever move on from such a terrible tragedy, and there have been so many turns in the five years since the accident. I hope the best for the family and for the children, they deserve a life of love and happiness. I plan on trying to stay up to date with the story because I am curious what the investigation will lead to.