Thursday, December 20, 2012

Candles Lighted in Fallen Officer's Memory

Memphis Police Hold Candlelight Vigil For Fallen Officer
On a day when Action News 5 spearheaded a fundraising drive for her 4 daughters.. Fellow officers and others gathered outside city hall for a candlelight vigil in memory of fallen officer Martoiya Lang.  I've covered a lot of these types of events.  I've never seen police officers cry, before this event.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Another Crappy Parent

Memphis Mom Charged With Beating Children With A Brick, Wooden Stick
I've covered countless stories of abuse over the years.  Parents have been charged with doing unimaginable things to children.  This mom's alleged crimes should not have surprised me.  I simply cannot fathom a mom beating 4 young children in their heads with a brick.  But police say it happened.  I hope those children never have to live with this woman again.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2 Memphis Police officers shot in the line of duty

New Information: Officer Killed While Serving Search Warrant
I woke to news via Twitter Friday that 2 MPD officers had been shot while serving a drug warrant.  We later learned one of them died.  It was a tough day for police and those of us who covered the story.  Many of us at Action News 5 ended up working a double.  The day was made tougher when news of a mass murder at a Connecticut school broke.  Sad day.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Smell of Bread Downtown May Dissipate

Hostess Strike Continues Despite Deadline For Closure
I covered strikers at local Hostess bakeries the night before the iconic brand announced it would cease operations.. Blaming, in part, the strike.  We watched as a final deadline passed with no deal.  It's sad knowing 18,500 employees nationwide may be unemployed for the holidays.  I feel certain rights to produce Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Wonder Bread, and other items will be gobbled up by another company.  Hopefully, the landmark bakery in downtown Memphis will cook again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tough Story to Tell

Search For SUV Involved In Freak Wreck That Killed Good Samaritan
Let's face it.  I cover a lot of death.  But it always gets to me when a widow, parent, or anyone else cries during an interview.  I don't think about it during the interviews.. Or even afterwards.  Sometimes it takes some reflection before it sinks in that these are real people going through extremely painful ordeals.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Campus Crime May Lead to ID Theft

Personal Info Of 300 Lemoyne Owen Students Stolen
I got to visit one of my favorite places in Memphis, architecturally speaking.  Some of the buildings on the LeMoyne-Owen campus are unchanged since their construction in the 60's and 70's.  But that's not what brought me there.  The theft of more than 300 student ID applications was the story.  Local police and the feds are trying to help crack the case.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Another election night at The Peabody

Celebration at Peabody Hotel goes late, sales tax fails
I couldn't have asked for a more celebratory place to be 4 years ago than a Democratic Party event at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis.  It was electrifying.  The mood 4 years later approached the same level.  I could hardly hear myself during this live shot.  I tried to explain the mixed emotions some were having after a sales tax referendum went down in flames.  But excitement over President Obama's re-election far outweighed any disappointment.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Trick-or-Treater Robbed of Candy on Halloween

Memphis Trick Or Treater Robbed Of Candy At Gunpoint
This story was pretty outrageous.. And we see a lot of that in Memphis.  A 12 year-old admitted he was out too late on Halloween.  A carload of crooks robbed him of his candy and cell phone.  Every station worked on this story.  But the kid and his mother spoke only with me.    

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stuck on a Cruise During Sandy

Germantown Couple Stuck on Cruise Ship During Sandy
Wednesday was one of those days.  My photog and I got sent to multiple breaking news stories in the afternoon.  I ended up doing a live shot on a 3-car crash during rush hour.  It was then time to worry about the 10:00 news.  At least two stories fell through.  Fortunately, a Nashville station called us about a Germantown optometrist who was apparently aboard a cruise ship during Hurricane Sandy.  He had posted video on CNN's website.  We tracked him down and he gave me a story.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Greenline attack victim talks to me.. And only me

Only On Five: Teen Attacked On Greenline Talks About Crime
I love whenever I can get the victim of a crime to speak when other stations are working the same story.  In this case, it was a 16 year-old boy on his birthday.  He was attacked on the popular Greenline trail which recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary.  It's a shame things like this have to occur on such an incredibly cool Memphis amenity.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Girl Fight Crazy

Family Fights MCS After Girl Fight Caught On Camera
If had a dollar for every "girl fight caught on camera" story I've seen in the Memphis market.. Well, you know the rest.  The truth of the matter is they pop up on YouTube way too often.. And they often occur on school campuses.  Such was the case with this story I did.  The difference is the grandmother of one of the girls in the fight decided to wage her own battle against the school district.  She was quite the character.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another noose? Really?

Hazing Incident Possibly Involving Noose Leads To Expulsions
I went to Wynne, AR to cover a story about some sort of hazing incident involving the junior varsity football team.  I didn't know it possibly involved a noose and an African American player until I made contact with family and friends.  How, in 2012, does anybody think it's okay to use a noose in any manner?  The school board has the final say in this case.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another emotionally-charged murder scene

Westwood Park Murder Victim Leaves Behind 7 Month-Old Son
I was the first Reporter on the scene of this shooting Wednesday.  The victim, who died behind the Westwood Community Center, was the father of a 7 month-old son.  Dozens of family members and friends showed up.  The victim's mother and sister had to be treated by paramedics.  Their cries could be heard 100 yards away.  Seeing the fatherless baby had to be the saddest part.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HS Football Player Dies During Practice

Millington Central High Football Player Dies After Injury During Practice
This wasn't the first story involving a football player's death that I've covered.. But it may have been the first in Memphis.  Players who die at practice (and the number is very small) usually succumb to heat exhaustion.  This student athlete took a hit, complained of chest pains, and died on the way to the hospital.  I was first on the scene there when news broke of this death.  They are never easy stories to cover.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Alarming" Problem Would Drive Me Nuts

Burglar Alarm Blaring For Days
We got a tip from a Cordova homeowner that a neighbor's burglar alarm had been activated for more than 36 hours.  I figured we'd find a silent house when dispatched to check it out.  But I was wrong.  You could hear the alarm from the end of the block.  I cannot imagine putting up with this annoying sound for days on end.  It had been going for more than 48 hours by the time this story aired.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sex Trafficking Arrest Part of Huge Problem

Teen Held As Sex Slave
Sex trafficking is now the second most common criminal enterprise worldwide behind drugs.  A Memphis man was arrested over the weekend for allegedly keeping a sex slave inside an airport area motel.  Police would not have discovered the crime if the teen had not sought help from another guest.  People in town for Elvis Week were stunned all of this went down in a motel in which they felt relatively safe.  Fortunately, a sex crimes detective was available to add perspective to this piece.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Explosive Situation in Germantown

Explosive devices found in Germantown - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee
Anything related to the Memphis suburb of Germantown always gets a lot of attention.. primarily from those who live there.  The media also goes nuts when any big crime news occurs there.  Two improvised bombs found in a van certainly got our attention.  I was the first Reporter on the scene by a long shot.  In fact, I believe the other stations were actually tipped off by my tweets.  Chopper 5 watched as the bomb squad worked.  This is the live hit from our 10:00 webcast.  I did another live report after the Olympics.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Expected Pitch Forks at One Point

Cordova Annexation Meeting
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton brought all of his division heads to a town hall meeting in Cordova to try and answer questions about a recent annexation.  People are ticked because many were unaware a decade-old court case was finally resolved and that the city would be taking over.  It means, among other things, that taxes will nearly double.  The crowd was hostile.  Few questions were actually answered.  The debate is far from over.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Another Sad Ending to Missing Child Search

Child's body identified
I spent all afternoon Tuesday baking in the triple digit heat where a child's body was found inside a dumpster.  It turned out to be that of a missing 3 year-old.  Looks like the child's father lied to the media and police about what happened.  It's not the first time I've covered a story that ended this way.  I only hope it will be the last.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Busy Breaking News Day

Officer and suspect shot
This is a link to one of multiple stories that kept Action News 5 busy Monday.  I started the day covering a mundane economic development announcement for the 5:00 show.  We then got word of an officer-involved shooting.  My photographer Dan and I rushed to that scene and did two breaking news hits for the 6:00.  Meanwhile, I was instrumental in learning new information in a missing child case.  Then we got the call that MPD's top cop wanted to go live with us at 10:00.  Whew..

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tourist Couple Robbed Near Sun Studio

Tourists Robbed Near Sun Studios
This is the type of crime we don't cover very often.  Fortunately, tourists are rarely the victims of violent crimes.  But this was pretty scary.  A husband and wife were beaten and robbed after leaving Sun Studio.  I fund the police report by chance and pulled the paperwork down at 201 Poplar.  I was able to get the wife on the phone after the couple had returned home to Missouri.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Positive story leads the news!

Sequestered Jurors Save Child
I'll admit it.. I cover a LOT of crime.  All Memphis TV stations cover a lot of crime.  There's a lot of crime to cover in Memphis.  But it's nice, once and a while, to cover a positive news story.  This one was pretty incredible.  Two sequestered jurors (a pediatrician and a nurse no less) happened to be entering their hotel when a child nearly drowned in the pool.  They saved the child's life.  I was able to interview all of the main players.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Down in the Delta for disturbing story

Nun attacked in rural North Mississippi home - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee
I've seen some pretty pathetic looking small towns in my 15 years of covering news.  Cotton Plant, AR ranks up there.. And, now, so does Jonestown, MS.  But at least Jonestown has the help of a group of nuns who moved there many years ago.  One of them was attacked during a home invasion.  Fortunately, the suspect was arrested.  We got his mug shot in the hour before this story aired.. So I had to re-track and get it re-edited at the last minute.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Marathon Shift Reporting Manhunt End

Bain sisters found safe; Adam Mayes dead
This is a link to our coverage Thursday night of the end of the Adam Mayes manhunt.  He was on the lam for 2 weeks with kidnapped sisters.. wanted for killing their mother and older sister.  The nationwide search included dozens of officers in the Alpine, MS area.  That's where things ended when Mayes shot himself in the head after being confronted by cops.  The girls were safe.  I worked a double and my photographer and I were up 24 hours straight.  It was exhilarating.. and reminded me of why I love my job.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beale Street "Boondoggle"

Beale Street Landing prepares for docking of American Queen
I've been following the progress of the Beale Street Landing project in downtown Memphis practically from its inception.  Once called a "boondoggle" by several city council members, the project is now years behind schedule and millions over budget.  This story is an update on the progress as the city anticipates the arrival of the American Queen steamboat.. Which will use the Beale Street Landing dock.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crime that hits close to home

Midtown walkers falling victim to robbers
The above link is to a story about the armed robberies of walkers in Midtown that occurred in the middle of the day.. when most people least expect to be victimized.  It reminded me of a recent rash of armed robberies in my very own neighborhood.  People have been approached by robbers while walking to and from their cars and even to the mailbox.  Thankfully, two armed men who pistol-whipped a victim last week before raiding his home were arrested.  Covering crime can often be unsettling.. but especially when you realize how easily you could become part of the story.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pinata at party prompts Facebook firestorm

U of M picture controversy
My photographer could not believe someone would think the photo featured in this story might be offensive to someone.  But many on Facebook thought it was.. from undertones of racism to sexism.  I tracked down the U of M student who took the photo and had a little fun with this one.  I even got to buy a pinata.  I'm still trying to figure out when I'll use it.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Pigs at a trough"

Greg Davis spars with residents during board meeting - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee
This is a link to yet another story from Southaven, MS. I was not excited about covering another meeting of the mayor and board of alderman. But it seems we go to every meeting in the wake of allegations that Mayor Greg Davis misspent more than $170,000. At least citizens who sign up to speak are often animated. In this case, a bag of hog feed and references to the mayor's dining choices gave me enough raw material for a new, and entertaining, story.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ask and you shall receive

Three children transported after hit and run crash - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee
I started the day Thursday covering a meeting of the Transition Planning Commission. I was not excited. In fact, I was live in the 4:00 and 5:00 newscasts.. Although the meeting started at 4:30. Despite expectations, a big decision regarding a new unified school district wasn't made after all. I E-mailed the producer letting her know the story would be a re-hash of earlier information. I jokingly told her to find some breaking news. Moments later I received an E-mail alerting us to a hit and run crash in which 3 children were injured. Fortunately, their injuries were not life-threatening. However, I'm thrilled breaking news arose when it did.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Popping pills in the police evidence room

Stolen drugs lead police chief to resign
I've been in Memphis for more than 7 years..but this was my first story in Trumann, AR. Mayor Sheila Walters kept us waiting more than an hour before finally talking about police chief Tony Rusher's resignation. An internal investigation found he was stealing prescription drugs from the department's evidence room. The drugs had been seized and used in court. Rusher told the investigator he used more than a dozen Xanax, Hydrocodone, and Percocet pills per day. It's a wonder he could still function.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

2 wives, 0 divorces lands man in jail

Bigamy suspect in jail after missing court date
I routinely check the Shelby County Jail database in search of stories. Well, the word "Bigamy" caught my eye Wednesday. I don't recall ever seeing anyone charged with that in Memphis. Sure..men leave their wives and, perhaps, move in with other women. Some men even father children with other women. But this particular gentleman decided to marry a second "wife" while still married to his first. I managed to track down the minister who conducted the ceremony.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pastor accused of raping, impregnating teen

Pastor accused of rape
The pastor in this story is smiling in his mug shot.. But many in Cotton Plant, AR do not consider his arrest a laughing matter.  The preacher is accused of raping a 14 year-old girl who family claims is now pregnant.  Cotton Plant itself was intriguing to me.  Virtually every storefront in the town is empty, buildings deserted and falling apart.  It's like modern ghost town.  I'd like to go back and take photos.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Demons Made Me Do It

Defendant claims "demon" made him murder girlfriend - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee
Here's a link to a story I covered about a murder defendant who claims a demon told him to kill his former girlfriend.  Curtis Stanton said he never heard voices before the murder or since..but did hear them the night he stabbed Regina Tidwell with a steak knife.  We got wind the trial was underway after the Commercial Appeal posted a story on its website.  I wasn't sure we'd be able to get inside the courtroom since we had not previously requested access.  Fortunately, Judge Chris Craft is always accommodating.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sen. Ford at it again

Tenn. state Sen. Ophelia Ford rants, raves against nurses - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee
State Senator Ophelia Ford is the gift that keeps giving.  Ford has made a practice of railing against groups from her perch in senate committee meetings.  This most recent rant is against, of all things, the nursing profession.  It came as the committee debated a proposal that would increase penalties against those who assault health-care workers.  Enjoy!