All of the information given below is fictitious and is used as a class assignment. You should write your ledes as if this information were true, accurate and timely. Factors included in the evaluation of your ledes include AP style, grammar, spelling and quality of your ledes.
1. You are a reporter for the Troy Trumpet, Troy’s daily newspaper. From the following facts, write a “hard and straight” lede paragraph that answers who, what, where and when. You are writing for an evening edition that will print late today.
Possession of counterfeit United States obligations (money) with fraudulent intent is a violation of Title 18, Section 472 of the United States Code and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 15 years, or both. Manufacturing counterfeit bills (money) is also a federal crime, punishable by a fine and up to 15 years, or both. The United States Secret Service is on campus this week investigating a crime. Five counterfeit $20 bills were passed last week at Troy University’s dining hall. The fact that so many bills were passed in such a short time is evidence of criminal activity, not just coincidence, said Secret Service Special Agent Richard Jones. Counterfeiting of bills falls under the Secret Service’s jurisdiction. Agents from the Montgomery field office responded to the call. Secret Service agents have educated all campus cashiers on how to identify counterfeit bills, and the cashiers will now be using special counterfeit detectors on all bills over $20. According to Secret Service Agent Moe Monny, “the bills were as sophisticated a forgery as I’ve seen in my 25 years in the counterfeit division.” Monny said the Secret Service believes a student at Troy University passed the bills. “Whether the student is working alone, or is part of a larger crime ring, is something we hope to discover through the course of our investigation,” Monny said. The school has to “eat” the loss of $100, as the bank doesn’t cover loss due to counterfeit bills.
2. You are a reporter for the Troy Trumpet, Troy’s daily newspaper. In about 20 words, write from the following facts a short, punchy lede paragraph.
The U.S. Department of Justice is calling identity theft the crime of the 21st century. Identity theft is the illegal appropriation of another person’s personal information — usually Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card numbers, birth date, etc. This information is used to drain the victim’s bank accounts or to open new credit card accounts. This is now considered to be the fastest growing crime in the United States. A Troy husband and wife were arrested this morning and charged with a series of identity theft crimes that cost credit card companies more than $700,000, police said. Andrew Jassinglinn and his wife, Nellie Jassinglinn, both 43, of 123 Lotus Lane in Troy were charged with identity theft, grand larceny and fraud, police said. Andrew Jassinglinn was also charged with multiple counts of possession of a forged instrument, and additional counts of identity theft. Using the stolen identities of at least 15 people, the couple opened fraudulent credit card accounts and purchased appliances, televisions, jewelry, clothing, food, gasoline, furniture and swimming pool equipment, police said. Some of the goods were recovered at their home this morning at the time of their arrest, Troy police said. They are to be arraigned tomorrow in Troy.
3. You are a reporter for the Troy Trumpet, Troy’s daily newspaper. Write a lede (just the lede) from the following information.
Troy University has a real nice swimming pool at the Natatorium. Both students and faculty members enjoy going there for exercise and enjoyment. A 28-year-old man drowned in that pool shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday, according to university police. A witness saw him swimming alone, said Rod Anderson, the police chief. The swimmer went down about 10 minutes later, he said. Rescue crews tried reviving the man for about 45 minutes, without success. His identity has not been released. Police said that the victim was a graduate student in the MBA program, and he was from the Birmingham area.