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News Lead-writing Exercise1

You are a reporter for the Harkensville Gazette. Use this information to write a summary news lead for a hard news story. Your lead should be no more than 20 words and one sentence in active voice. Assume your news story will be published in a daily newspaper the day after the meeting was held. Make sure your lead contains correct grammar, punctuation and AP style.

 

A Middlevale couple and their three children are dead. The died Sunday. Their pick-up crashed head-on into a semi-trailer. It was 1:12 PM.  Mr. John Eriksson, his wife, Laura, and their three children were coming home shopping in Harkensville. It was foggy. The kids were riding in the back of the pick-up. Their Toyota pick-up was passing the cemetery on Glebe Road just outside Harkensville. It’s a 2006 model. It went out of control and collided with the semi-trailer. Mr. and Mrs. Eriksson, their son Paul, aged nine, and daughter Rachel, aged seven, died instantly. All three children had been riding in the back of the pick-up. The semi-trailer belonged to Montgomery Earthmoving Co. The youngest Eriksson girl, Miriam, aged three, died at St. Luke’s Hospital.  The semi-trailer was carrying a 12-ton bulldozer. The big truck was driven by Lewis Killigan, who lives in New Jersey. Killigan suffered only minor injuries. He was treated at General Hospital for shock. He was allowed to go home. Police said they have interviewed Killigan. No charges have been filed. The police said a deer jumped into the road in front of the pick-up truck. Killigan told police the pick-up truck swerved to avoid the deer. Police Officer Martha Aminton said she couldn’t confirm Killigan’s story. The police report said there were tire marks on the road indicating the pick-up truck swerved into the oncoming lane of traffic. The semi-trailer was slightly damaged, according to Aminton. Aminton said the pick-up was totaled. The Eriksson family lived at 201 Madison Street in Middlevale. Killigan was bringing the bulldozer in from a job in Freehold, NJ. Hampshire Elementary School principal Jamie Richardson said counselors would be available at the Middlevale school Monday.

 

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News Lead-writing Exercise2

A tornado with winds surpassing 85 miles per hour has ripped through Cowlitz County. It happened Thursday afternoon as the elementary school was letting out. Roofs were torn off buildings. The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado was an EF1 on the tornado scale.No people were seriously injured. The police chief said the worst debris and damage appeared to be near the intersection of 10th Street and Vandercrook Way. 20 houses were destroyed in Longview. The assisted living facility in Longview lost its roof according to Malloy. A number of other buildings along Main St. sustained considerable structural damage, Chief Malloy said. Harkensville Elementary School’s counselor, Patsy Trainer, said 18 children who were boarding buses at the time were treated for minor injuries at St. Luke’s. "I saw what looked like an enormous dust devil and then these large panels off a roof started falling everywhere," said Police Chief Denny Malloy, who was driving through Longview when the wind started swirling around his truck. It skipped through neighborhood streets and into downtown Longview before vanishing in the dark sky a short time later. No estimates yet on losses in the county. The large climbing toys on the elementary school’s playground have disappeared. A children’s slide punched through a window of the school office, Trainer reported. Cook said he saw trees were uprooted in the cemetery on Glebe Rd. A grain elevator was toppled just outside of Longview, which seems to have sustained the most damage in the county according  to the police chief. Chris Christenson was inside 360 Auto Care, which is in nearby Kelso. A barn was flattened outside of Kelso on Granary Road. He said debris started spinning in the city block around him just after he parked. The tornado arrived in Kelso at about 3:13 PM. "It sounded like rumbling, just massive, massive rumbling. The wind picked up really fast," said Emmet Cook who was at the store buying a new carburetor for his Chevy pickup at the time.

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Here are a few tips:

·        The assignment calls for you to write two news leads. Each should be 20 words or fewer, written in active voice and free of grammatical and spelling errors. Write only one sentence for each of the leads. 

·        If you break any of the major rules, you will lose credit (one grade for each major rule broken). That means if you hand in a 21-word news lead, you lose a letter grade (-5%). If you hand in a lead written in passive voice, you will lose a grade. If you put a name in your lead, you will lose a grade. If you write a label lead, you will lose a grade. If you omit when the action occurred, you will lose a grade. If you make a factual error in your lead--even a tiny one or an accidental one--you will lose a letter grade for it. Please study and learn the information presented in our reading assignments and posts here in the classroom. Please also follow all assignment instructions.

Use Associated Press style. You will lose points for every style error, including grammar and mechanics mistakes

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