Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fullilove Considers Running for County Clerk

Fullilove considers running for county clerk
Memphis City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove has a habit of making headlines.  This story prompted a lot of reaction among our viewers.  I found out Fullilove pulled a petition to run for Shelby County Clerk.  She told me by phone that she is considering it.  Unlike her city council seat.. This would require winning votes county-wide.  Fullilove is always frank with me and she said there are people in the community pushing her to seek other offices.

Man Found in Blood-Covered Basement

Man found in blood-covered basement
This is a story I did the day after Christmas.  We heard the victim had been shot.. But Memphis Police would not confirm that before news time.  Fortunately, I encountered a longtime gang member mentor in the neighborhood who provided some perspective.  This is a neighborhood that rarely makes the news.  We later found out the victim had indeed been murdered.  Three suspects were behind bars by the end of the week.  This story remained the most popular on our website.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Big Changes For Beale Street

City to take over Beale Street starting January 2014
We've known about the city's pending takeover of Beale Street for a while.. But finally got around to doing more on it once we found out that Mayor A C Wharton requested the Downtown Memphis Commission manage the street for an interim period.  It was a nice night to get video and interviews along what was recently voted "America's most iconic street."


Monday, December 16, 2013

Cabbie Murder

Family mourns after driver found beaten, killed next to taxi
A Memphis taxi cab driver was murdered amid a winter storm.  Storm coverage may have overshadowed the crime.  An increased reward one week later provided a new "peg" to jump on the story.  I managed to locate the family.. Made up mostly of Ethiopian immigrants.  The victim had come to America for a better life.  But it ended in tragedy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Memphis Memories of JFK's 1960 Visit

Memphis leader: President Kennedy inspired me to get into government
I love any opportunity to do a History-related story.  I got a chance to do two of them on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination.  Neither concerned the president's death.. But rather JFK's 1960 campaign stop in Memphis.  Congressman Steve Cohen helped relate the impression he got as an 11 year-old boy.  I also did this story with TN Rep. Johnnie Turner.  She and fellow students were arrested while "sitting in" at the airport during JFK's arrival.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dirty Schools Drawing Complaints.. Again

Principals complain about dirty school buildings
All of the media were at Tuesday's Shelby Co Schools board meeting to listen for a lawsuit settlement with two suburbs.  Concerns aired by board members and the superintendent about dirty schools were mostly ignored.  But I took note of the discussion and decided to look into it.  Turns out, we did a story back in 2006 concerning complaints against the same custodial services company.  I like how my stand-up turned out.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jerry Lawler: 'I'd love a return match with Kaufman'

Lawler: 'I'd love a return match with Kaufman'
I was somewhat surprised this story passed muster.. Since I don't do many features.  It was prompted by new rumors that comedian Andy Kaufman was still alive.  His connection to Memphis was through a rivalry with wrestling legend Jerry Lawler.  We caught up with Lawler at a local comic convention (where he was showing off his Batmobile).  He credited Kaufman with giving him national exposure back in the early 80's.

Friday, November 15, 2013

More Sex Allegations Against Mid-South Sheriff

Employee claims sheriff coerced her into a sexual relationship
I got a call the other day by a woman wishing to speak exclusively with me about what she claims Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork coerced her to do.  She's, at least, the third current or former employee to allege sexual harassment.  The sheriff is also under investigation related to a domestic violence incident with an admitted mistress.  I'm beginning to wonder just how pervasive the culture of sex and power may be within his department.  It's something that may very well be revealed in the coming months.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mother Of "Risky Business Bandit" Suspect: "Don't Do Drugs"

Mother of robbery suspect: 'Don't do drugs'
I first heard an arrest had been made last week in a series of bank robberies during which the suspect wore sunglasses similar to those Tom Cruise wore in "Risky Business."  We finally got confirmation Tuesday that two suspects were actually behind the crimes.  I went to a detention hearing for one of them and learned he has a serious drug problem.  I was able to speak briefly with his mother and sister in the elevator at federal court.  They may not have realized who I was.  But the mother did say a few things on camera once we walked outside.. Where multiple cameras were waiting.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Germantown Schools Could Get New Names

Board member suggests renaming retained Germantown schools
This is a story SCS board member Billy Orgel didn't really want me to do.  But when an elected official makes a comment during a public meeting.. Well, it's fair game.  He suggested the names of 3 Germantown schools be changed if SCS retains control of them.  The issue is still being negotiated with Germantown officials as they form their own municipal school district.  I found those for and against potential name changes.. And others who thought it was petty compared to the real issues at hand.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Right Place, Right Time

Suspect crashes into officer
We were checking out a report of teenagers arrested at gunpoint near a school in Cordova when, suddenly, several MPD cruisers sped by.  I knew something was up.  The PIO responded to an Email concerning the first story by writing "busy now.. carjacking."  My photographer and I were on the 2nd scene within minutes.  Turns out, a carjacking suspect crashed into a number of police officers and made for some scary moments for witnesses.  I was live in the 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, and this clip is from the 10:00.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Slower End To Very Busy News Week

Memphis lawyer, wife survive crash landing in Texas
Deputy hurt in car crash, 3 dead in medical copter crash, another deputy dead in car accident, triple shooting at a national guard armory, man on fire after home explosion.. All made news this week.  I was in nearly every evening newscast most of the week.  Friday was a bit less stressful.  I fronted a follow-up on the house explosion for the 5:00 news.  We then heard about a Memphis couple hurt in a crash landing of their plane in Texas.  We got video from the NBC station in Amarillo and I was able to track down friends of the couple for the 10:00.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Another Officer Injured Means Another Day At MED

No broken bones for deputy hit by his own patrol car
I got out of the door immediately upon getting to work after we received word that a DeSoto County deputy was injured in a crash.  A photographer had already been dispatched to The MED and was able to get video of the ambulance arriving.  We had no idea what the officer's condition was.  Fortunately, it turned out to be non life-threatening.  This came less than a week after 2 Memphis Police officers were shot during a standoff situation.  Needless to say.. the hospital is a frequent live shot location for us.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Huge Story Welcomes Me Back From Vacation

House believed to be holding standoff suspect fully engulfed in flames
I got into work after 6 days off and left the building within about 10 minutes.  We got word that a Memphis Police officer had been shot.  A second officer would be shot by the end of the day.  The suspect would be dead in a bathtub.  This clip is from one of numerous live hits throughout the day.  In fact, I was the first reporter on the scene and did the first live shot from there before police pushed us back.  It was an exhilarating day and a reminder of how fun this job can be.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Government Shutdown = Hungry Memphis Kids

Free meals for hundreds of Memphis children suspended after shutdown
The government shutdown immediately sent newsrooms across the country searching for local angles.  We covered a number here in Memphis.  The Boys & Girls Club counts on a federally funded meal program.  It was suspended thanks to the shutdown.  I was actually working on another story when we got word of this.  I thought it was worth more than a mere mention.  Fortunately, the club was more than willing to help relay the challenge congressional inaction was causing.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Big Bucks For Interstate Interchange Completion

TDOT awards most expensive contract ever for Memphis interchange
I hate traveling the north loop to I-40 east in Memphis simply because there's a one-lane entrance ramp.  It backs up all the time.. And gets even worse during rush hour.  The interchange at 40/240 will finally be finished thanks to the biggest contract ever let by TDOT.  Coincidentally, the TDOT commissioner happened to be in Memphis on the day this was announced.  He should have held a news conference.  But I got him anyway.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Will "No Gang Zone" Work?

New plan in place for fighting gang violence
I've covered dozens of news conferences over the years during which police board up drug houses and talk about how it's going to clean up the neighborhood.  It usually doesn't work.  But this time a nuisance action was filed against an individual gang that has been the scourge of one Memphis neighborhood.  It's the first such action ever taken in Shelby County.  It sounds good in theory.  I hope for law abiding neighbors that it works.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Hoarder" Talks About Pile Of Stuff

City orders wife to clean up yard after 'hoarder' dies of heart attack
I fully expected to only talk with neighbors when we drove across the river for this story.  It concerned a "hoarder" recently ordered by the city of West Memphis to clean up her property.  Fortunately, she was sitting in the front yard and was more than welcoming.  Anyone who watches those hoarding shows knows people come up with all kinds of excuses to explain their "collections."  This nice lady blamed her deceased husband.  I hope someone will step up to help her.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Family Of Cousins Killed In Wrong-Way Crash On New Mission

Alcohol to blame in fatal wrong-way crash
I originally covered a fatal wrong-way crash along I-240 back in June.  I reached out to the family of 2 cousins killed, but they were not ready to speak.  They contacted the station nearly 2 months later and wanted to share their story.  They had learned the wrong-way driver was drunk when the crash occurred.  They want to keep others from following suit.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Crooks Leave Downtown Vehicles Up On Blocks

Rash of Wheel Thefts Reported in Downtown Memphis
I noticed an SUV up on blocks when I walked out of my building this weekend.  I figured an unfortunate neighbor was the victim of a random crime.  I later discovered a number of other drivers in the downtown area found their vehicles without wheels as well.  They included the delivery driver of the popular "Bardog Tavern."  The vehicles had yet to be fixed when we shot this story on Labor Day, so we ended up with good video.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

First Time I Haven't Been Kicked Off A Walmart Parking Lot

Police seek purse snatcher, getaway car hitting 67-year-old Walmart shopper
We usually stay on adjoining properties when shooting any Walmart store.  History proves that it's only a matter of time before a security guard asks you to leave (when you're a news crew).  But the Walmart in Cordova required us to walk onto the lot to get interviews.  Not a word was said.  The story was about a 67 year-old woman who was robbed and then struck by the suspect's getaway car.  Certainly not a story Walmart probably wants publicized.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dead SCS Employee Gets Paid Amid Payroll Issues

Dead SCS employee paid during recent payroll issues
My mouth dropped when Superintendent Dorsey Hopson mentioned during this meeting that a deceased employee got paid.  It's just one example of the issues with which the district has been dealing since the merger happened.  Hopson went off on the media for delivering misinformation.  But watch my tag to find out the misinformation he may have provided during the meeting.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Action News 5 Co-worker Interrupts Intruder

Home invasion suspect claims to be tree trimmer
I first thought web producer Stephanie Healy transcribed an Email or took the phone call concerning this crime.  I soon discovered she was the victim.  Memphis Police were still on the scene dusting for fingerprints when we arrived at her home.  A man who claimed to be a tree trimmer had waltzed right into her back door.  Healy's experience writing scripts for TV made the interview pretty easy.    

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hope I Can Help This Mom Find Justice

Mother of hit-and-run victim makes plea to find driver
This is the third story I've done with the family of a Memphis teen struck and killed by a hit & run driver.  The driver kept going after hitting and dragging Tyler Johnson along South Perkins.  His mother is always accommodating and emotional.  To think someone could have realized what they had done and kept going irks me to no end.  Perhaps the regular publicity will pay off one day.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

80+ Year-Old Sisters Robbed In Driveway

Police: Elderly women robbed at gun point in own driveway
Crimes against the elderly have always bothered me.  I just think it's especially cowardly to prey on someone of advanced age.  In this case, 2 elderly sisters were robbed in an East Memphis driveway.  A neighbor came out of his house as soon as we pulled up in the news car.  He knocked on the door with us. The 85 year-old victim I interviewed could not have been nicer.  And she certainly doesn't look 85!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Another Crime Hits Close To Home

Three suspects charged in deadly shooting on South Main
I wanted to believe this murder along South Main was the result of a drug deal gone wrong or something.. Anything but a random act of violence.  However, it appears that's exactly what it was.  A 27 year-old nurse was shot and killed during an apparent robbery while walking home from a party.  I was able to track down his family's home in Germantown.  They allowed me inside to discuss the victim and the crime.  It happened in an area where I walk daily.. Providing another reminder of how fleeting life can be.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Robbery, Shooting Caught On Home Security Camera

Two gunman caught on tape shooting man outside Frayser house
I went by a home in Frayser after Memphis Police sent us a press release regarding a robbery and shooting from last week.  They included a few surveillance photos.  Fortunately, I was able to find both victims (one of whom was just released from the hospital).  One victim had much better surveillance photos on his computer.  They came from a camera mounted outside his home.  More and more people seem to be using home surveillance systems.  Perhaps the photos will help catch the crooks in this case.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back In Time For A Bank Robbery Story

Startling update on Tuesday's suicidal bank robber
I dipped into the Action News 5 archives for this story.  It happened after I learned a suspected bank robber who killed himself following a pursuit had been chased by Memphis Police before.  Marvin Amerson was so infamous in the early 90's, he even earned a nickname.  He was just released from prison in March.  In addition to the old video, I got in touch with a retired detective who worked the case way back when.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mom & Baby Saved From Flooded Street

Flash flooding traps mother, baby in waist-high water
Heavy rains brought flash flooding to parts of Memphis on this day.  It meant my photographer and I got wet, really wet.  We were dispatched to the Raleigh neighborhood where several cars got stuck in waist-deep water.  We heard a mother and baby were rescued.  Fortunately, a cash advance office employee came out of her business and told us the victims were at a hair salon next door.  We got video of the 3 week-old child and his mom talked too.  As a result, it wasn't your average flooded street story.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

City Of Memphis Victim Of Thieves

Crooks rip out air-conditioning unit, steal expensive city lawn equipment
I was perusing police reports and noticed a city owned property had been burglarized.  A little digging revealed that $40-$50,000 worth of grounds maintenance equipment was swiped.  The guys in the public works department are always willing to get the word out.  And we happened upon a city crew cutting some grass.. So, that gave us some good b-roll.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2nd Time's A Charm For Municipal Schools

TEAM COVERAGE: All six municipalities choose to form school districts
Voters in Memphis's 6 suburbs went back to the polls to vote on the formation of municipal school districts.  It was an effort started following the planned consolidation of Memphis and Shelby County Schools.  It includes, arguably, some racial undertones.  Referendums in 2012 were struck down by a federal judge.  The Republican controlled state legislature then changed the laws allowing another round of voting.  The results were overwhelming.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sad Start To The Work Week

15-year-old killed in hit-and-run accident
I came in Monday and was assigned to follow up on a weekend drowning.  A 14 year-old died in a condo complex pool.  That was for the 5:00 news.  Then came word that a 15 year-old died in a violent hit & run while walking across a street.  I went by the family home and spoke with two emotional aunts.  That story ran at 10:00.  The unfortunate deaths of two different teenagers became my stories for the day.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Moonshine In Memphis

Moonshine still found in Frayser man's garage
We cover drug busts in Memphis all of the time.  We're usually talking pot, cocaine, heroin, and increasingly meth.  This was the first moonshine bust for me, in Memphis.  Police say a guy admitted to making it in his garage.  One neighbor, who did not want to talk, told me he had sampled the homemade spirit.  That's something officials say can be very dangerous since the manufacturing process is not controlled.  The only comment I got from the suspect's family wasn't really a comment.. She gave me "the finger."  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nice To Have Choices

Police search for suspects in Cooper-Young robbery, shooting
I worked on a couple of different things on this day and knew either would be a good story.  I got an exclusive interview with a lady who was "flashed" by a sex offender outside a Kroger store.  She was compelling, but we had already done a story on the guy's arrest.  So, she became a feature in the newscast. I ended up fronting a piece centered around another exclusive interview.. With one of two men robbed while walking home from a popular neighborhood bar.  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sometimes Better To Be Lucky Than Good

Man captures downtown chaos in smartphone video
I was tasked Friday with following up on a July 4th shooting involving a 13 year-old victim.  Follows can be challenging.. Especially when a dayside reporter is already following up.  Anyway, I set about trying to find some new angle.  Luckily, the first group of teenagers I approached near the neighborhood where we heard the 13 year-old lives knew him.  I left a card on the family's door.  Then we went to Beale Street in search of random MOS (man on the street) interviews.  Luckily, one of the people we encountered shot video of teens being arrested minutes before the shooting.. And the recovery of a weapon.  Instant story.  I'm still waiting on 13 year-old to talk..

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Park Change The KKK Won't Protest

Downtown Christopher Columbus Statue May Be On The Move
This was another "un-Jason" type story I got to do on July 4th.  It concerns the possible relocation of the Christopher Columbus statue from downtown to East Memphis.  An Italian-American organization is behind it.  Fortunately, I had no trouble tracking them or a city councilman down on the holiday.  This park change comes as the city council prepares to permanently re-name 3 Confederate-themed parks.. An issue that sparked a recent KKK protest in Memphis.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Death By Cop

MPD: Suspect Killed After Shooting At Officer
I was just about to begin writing a story on a possible sales tax hike in Memphis when we learned of an incident on Parkside Drive.  Apparently, a gunman was firing at police.  My photog and I hopped in a live truck and headed out.  The alleged gunman was dead when we arrived.  It's unclear whether he wanted to die at the hands of police.  He won't be talking.  But police say someone who called 911 did report that the man threatened to shoot officers if they showed up.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making Sense Of A Complicated Council

Memphis city council approves operating budget
I covered yet another marathon Memphis City Council concerning the budget.  I've never seen a group of people who take so long to make decisions.  Multiple votes taken, various amendments struck down.. Until finally an operating budget was passed. I had about 15 minutes to throw something together.  Fortunately, CAO George Little offered to do a live interview.  It really set apart what we did from the competition and added insight.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Pimp My Office"

Commissioner questions Shelby County mayor's office renovations
There have been politicians from whom you could expect lively sound-bites in every market I've worked.  Memphis may have more than most cities.  I know our producers were sold as soon as Shelby Co Commissioner Terry Roland said he wanted to talk about the mayor's new office on the 11th floor of the county building.  His interview did not disappoint.. Although his comparison to the "Taj Mahal" may be somewhat exaggerated.  


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Working The Weekend

Police investigate three separate deadly shootings
I got stuck working the weekend thanks to an on-call status switch.  It's cool.  But it makes for a loooong work week.  Saturday was interesting.  The person who was supposed to fill-in for a vacationing anchor called out sick.  So I anchored the 5 and 6 before going out and turning a story for 10.  It was about 3 homicides committed within 3 hours.  I wanted to showcase one of the crimes for my story but ended up doing an all-encompassing piece.  I plan to stick to the streets Sunday.  But stay tuned..

Friday, June 21, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Former officer charged with forcing fugitives to perform sexual acts
I'm man enough to admit when another station has the upper hand.  I'm happy to say we're the station with whom most others usually try and keep up.  But, in this case, another station led their 5:00 newscast with this story concerning a former cop accused of misconduct while he was still on the job.  I was out in one of the suburbs working on a school story when I got the call to cover this.  We had nothing.. other than a one sentence response from the police department spokesperson.  I made it work.

Friday, June 14, 2013

How One Comment Becomes a Lead Story

Possible changes to solid waste in Memphis
I was assigned to cover what was sure to be a boring meeting at city hall regarding sanitation.  But the focus became clear thanks to a comment by the public works director.  He said the city wanted to eliminate weekly trash pick-up.  Say what?  I envisioned the public outcry that would likely follow once I put it out there.  I even included reactionary tweets in my story.  For the record, the city wants to collect quarterly while offering drop-off locations.  You'd have to pay more for more frequent pick-up.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This Story Ran, Eventually. Thanks Hockey

Somerville detention facility holds high rate of sexual victimization
The Hockey play-off match on NBC went into, at least, 3 overtime periods.  I went to bed before a late edition of Action News 5 at 10 came on.  Fortunately, reporters and photographers were allowed to go home at 10:30, quitting time.  Anchors, producers, and production staff stayed behind.  I'm glad this story ran.  I cannot imagine the fear some of the juvenile inmates must face on a daily basis.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Did He Really Say That?!?

Councilman criticizes own district in budget debate
I'm convinced nowhere will you hear politicians stick their feet in their mouths more often than in Memphis.  Then again.. I've only been covering news here for nearly a decade.  In this case, councilman Joe Brown (who has a history of this type of thing) criticized part of his own district before getting into it with another councilman.  I decided to get constituent reaction as well.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Old South" Mentioned In New Video Targeting City Hall

Memphis firefighters bring up "Old South" in video
I first thought this was just another story about a city employee union griping about pay cuts and layoffs.  Granted, there's a lot to gripe about.  But we've done these types of stories over and over again.  This one was different thanks to a phrase the firefighters' union president used.  He defended "plantation mentality" as a way to describe the non-negotiable decisions made by the administration.

Monday, June 3, 2013

When Bad Things Happen to Old People

Police: Thief lies about missing cat, ties up elderly man in bathtub
Obviously, we cover far too many tragedies involving people of all ages.  But crimes against the elderly always touch a nerve with me.  Like small children.. Many older people are somewhat defenseless.  The gentleman in this story still seemed to have good spirits days after a scumbag tied him up and robbed him.  The crook was apologetic.  But the victim said he didn't feel one bit sorry for someone who preys on other people.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Another Late Night at the School Board

School Dress Code Vote
It goes without saying that Shelby County school board meetings last for hours.  In fact, I don't recall a meeting (since the unified board of 23 members took over) that ended before 10:00.  It makes putting a story together for the late news rather challenging.. Especially when there is more than one topic that deserves attention.  In this case, a decision regarding school uniforms was made around 9:15.  It became the focus of my 10:00 story while I briefly mentioned some other issues.  We were left with tons of video from the meeting that I hope gets used later.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Water-logged

Rain-swollen creek floods Horn-Lake community
We knew before the day began that flooding might be an issue in the areas that usually get swamped during heavy rains.  My photographer and I were dispatched to Horn Lake, MS where we noticed some cars stuck in the water, etc.  But we really didn't realize the impact of the flooding until getting near a creek.  An entire street was flooded.  Sometimes, flash flooding events, the water is gone by the time we get there. Not in this case.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Competing for a Live Interview

Beale Street club shut down
I had an interview set up with the DA following the closure of a Beale Street nightclub.  A reporter from a competing station wanted her too.  Fortunately, we were the first ones on the air and I snagged the interview.  Fortunately for the other reporter, I finished in time for her to have DA as well.  I think we were both happy in the end.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When Everything Comes Together

School district admits fault over child left in bus
I got a call last week about a kid who was left on a school bus in Earle, AR.  I rarely get to leave Memphis to cover the news.  But I finally got a chance to do this story.  I knew the little boy's mother would talk.  Fortunately, the boy's bus pulled up just as we arrived.  We interviewed him too.  And the superintendent of the tiny school district could not have been more accommodating.  Then there's the bus driver who allowed us aboard and demonstrated the alarm system.  It all made for an easy, yet productive, Monday.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Advancing A Story

MED sends unsecured emails with patient information
It should always be the goal of a good Reporter to advance a story.. Especially if it's a story that another station has already covered.  I was still trying to figure out how to advance this story about The MED mistakenly emailing patient information when I discovered internal paperwork lying on the ground outside the hospital.  It too included private information about a number of patients.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Facebook Helps Nab Theft Suspect

Facebook video catches theft suspect
So, I needed a story after 5:00 on a Monday.  Fortunately, people at the station monitor Facebook.  Personally, I no longer have an account.  This homeowner posted a video showing a theft suspect stealing stuff from underneath his garage.  The guy was caught within 4 hours.  One of the cameras was in full view.  I got to present the story from our studio "BMW.." or "big monitor wall."

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Another 15 Year-Old Shot Outside a Memphis Church

Teen shot, killed while riding bike
This may have been the biggest crowd I've ever seen watching a police investigation begin.  Police say a 15 year-old boy was shot multiple times while riding his bicycle.  A woman was arrested.  This happened in Orange Mound.. A tight-knit community where one witness said everyone is "like family."  Unlike the shooting of a 15 year-old last week, this young man didn't make it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Murder of Another Suburban Wife Seemingly Solved

Germantown Man Accused Of Killing Wife Appears In Court
I know there are cases of domestic murder within the city of Memphis.  But cases over the last few years that have gotten the most publicity are the murders of suburban wives.  Two of them have been teachers.. Including this most recent case involving a teacher who lived in Germantown and taught in Frayser.  They're the cases the media can't get enough of.. The ones that become episodes of crime shows on cable TV.  Perhaps it's because nothing bad is supposed to happen in these areas.. Or that seemingly perfect marriages aren't supposed to end this way.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Another Officer-Involved Shooting in Memphis

Memphis Police Kill Man After Being Struck By His Car
I was dispatched from a city council budget meeting to cover another officer-involved shooting.  Cops killed a man who they say struck them with his car.  Hundreds of people from the surrounding neighborhood came out to watch the investigation unfold.  Many questioned how police handled the situation.  It's a touchy subject given the number of these types of shootings in recent months.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Memphis Runs for Boston

"Run For Boston" Held In Memphis
A hastily arranged benefit run for the Boston bombing victims drew a large crowd in Memphis Friday evening.  Organizers were not sure what to expect.. But had an idea the Bluff City would come through.  I got a chance to speak with several local runners who competed in the Boston Marathon and felt the need to show up for this event just days later.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Always Worth a Knock

Kroger Shooting Suspect Turned In By Older Brother
I couldn't even estimate how many doors I've knocked on over the years.  It's an often fruitless step in covering a story.  But you never know who might answer.. Sometimes a suspect themselves.  In this case, a family member opened the door and was more than willing to explain why he told police where his brother was hiding minutes after a shooting outside a Kroger store.  Instant story.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Story With Local Ties

Ricin Letter Sent To U.S. Senator Roger Wicker Postmarked Memphis,TN
I've long made jokes about big stories always coming back to Memphis.  This story, regarding a ricin-laced letter sent to a US Senator, was no exception.  Sen. Roger Wicker of MS was the intended target.  Officials say the letter was postmarked Memphis.  I was working a couple of unrelated stories when I got the call to pursue this one.  Fortunately, NBC shot the mail facility in DC and Wicker's office.  I got a phone interview with US Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis (after he responded to a direct message on Twitter).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Low for Live Shot

Car Part Thieves Strike While Victims Are At Work
This live shot got a lot of attention.. But it really wasn't a stroke of genius or anything.  In fact, we had planned to just be live in the station parking lot.  I decided to get on the ground, under a car, at about 9 minutes until show time.  I used a sun shield to protect my suit.  Just a way to spice up a live shot.. Many of which are pretty boring.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Old Video = New Story

Archival video released of James Earl Ray's arrest
The Shelby County Register's Office (which runs the archives) released never-before-seen video of MLK's killer, James Earl Ray.  The sheriff's office purchased brand new cameras in 1968 to document his arrest.  Many of the tapes had been in storage, until now.  Doing a story on it was a great assignment for a History buff.  I happened to know where Ray's cell was located in the old jail.  That's where we went live.  The release of the video comes during the same week as the 45th anniversary of MLK's assassination.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

KKK Came And Went

MPD successful in keeping KKK rally 'civil'
The KKK had a First Amendment right to rally in downtown Memphis.  Police had a duty to keep it civil.  They did.  In the end, only about 60 stereotypical Klansmen protested the recent renaming of 3 city parks behind a chain-linked fence.  Hundreds of cops kept the rally from devolving into a free for all like a similar rally in 1998.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Doggie "Discipline" Or Abuse?

Only On 5: Dog Owner Speaks About Animal Cruelty Caught On Camera
This is a good example of how you advance a story that's already been done by another station.  A YouTube video showing a dog owner striking his animal led to cruelty charges.  The woman who shot the video spoke with another station.. But they didn't get the dog owner.  I did.  He spoke exclusively to me about how it was merely "discipline." You be the judge.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stories That Touch A Nerve

Only On 5: Disabled Police Retiree Speaks About Removal From Bar
And to think I almost dismissed this story thinking Facebook posts were exaggerated.  But alas.. A disabled police retiree had, in fact, been thrown out of a bar and injured by bouncers.  An intern happened to know one of the former cop's friends.  We found his address and snagged an exclusive.  I had to calm my photographer down when we got to the bar.  She was ready to pounce.  But we were there to simply get their side.. Which they were unwilling to share.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Love It When Things Fall Into Place

Neighbors Help Solve String Of East Memphis Car Burglaries
I was in the 5:00 show with a story about wine sales in grocery stores.  I then needed a 10:00 story.  Fortunately, I thought ahead and pulled a police report regarding a car burglary suspect who'd been terrorizing an East Memphis neighborhood.  We drove out to the neighborhood without making prior contact.  It's a gated neighborhood.. But people could not have been nicer.  It really helped the story come together.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Latest Pyramid Plans Sparking Debate

Bass Pro Sign
I recall the first night we heard Bass Pro was interested in the vacant Pyramid arena.  I got reaction from Pinch District merchants who were very excited.  7 or 8 years later.. Bass Pro is attracting mixed reviews about the the size of the signs it wants to put on each side of The Pyramid.  Many in the design community have weighed in by saying the proposed 4000 square feet signs are way to big.  But so is The Pyramid.  The Downtown Memphis Commission's Design Review Board will consider Bass Pro's request next month.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Panda Visit for Vandalism Story

Only On 5 : Bamboo Farm For Zoo Panda's Vandalized
I got to spend some time with one of the Memphis Zoo's two pandas for this story.  I love animals.  So it's always a treat when a story requires getting video of them.  In this case.. the bamboo farm where food for the pandas is grown was vandalized by some teens.  We needed some fresh video of a panda munching on some bamboo.  Fortunately, Ya Ya was feeding her face when we showed up.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Good or Bad.. KKK Always Gets Attention

KKK promising "largest" rally ever over Memphis park names
This story was the most popular on our website for days.  It was also prominently featured on the websites of NBC News and MSN.  I have mixed feelings about it.  Frankly, I don't like giving hate groups any attention at all.  But in the midst of a ratings period.. Well, you know.  I doubt there will be the "largest rally ever" ever held.  But I'm sure the KKK will get coverage nonetheless.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cancer Patient Robbed of Chemo Drugs

Cancer Patient's Purse Taken In Cooper-Young Robbery
I check Memphis Police incident reports daily.  Robberies usually include the items stolen.  I noticed "chemotherapy drugs" on this particular report.  I went to the victim's address and she agreed to speak to me.  She's battled cervical cancer three different times.. and now has to deal with this

Thursday, January 31, 2013

When a News Guy Does a Sports Story

Fans React To Rudy Gay Trade
News broke in the middle of the day that the Memphis Grizzlies were trading fan favorite Rudy Gay.  I had already done a PKG on a murder for the 5:00 news.  The producer said they wanted reaction to the trade for 10:00.  I happen to think sports news belongs in the sports segment.  Fortunately, I got into a sports/talk radio station for some of the reaction I needed.  The story turned out better than I anticipated.

Monday, January 14, 2013

When The Call Comes

Flooded road in Whiteville, Tenn. traps residents
I had just taken a seat with a cup of coffee and my dog Sunday afternoon.  "Octopussy" was on TV.  Then the call came.  Work needed me to go to rural west Tennessee to cover flooding concerns.  9 times out of 10 you never get called in when "on call" on a weekend.  But at least we get overtime.  Turns out, a roadway was washed away in the flooding and the story came together rather nicely.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Animal Hoarder Killed by Police

MPD Officer Kill Suspected Animal Hoarder
This was, like, the fourth story my photographer and I went on Friday.  We initially thought it was just a shooting.. But still worth covering given the suburban location.  And I needed a 10:00 PKG.  We then heard police may have killed someone.  Then we noticed animal shelter vehicles.  Turns out, a guy with a house full of animals was shot and killed.  I felt sorry for him (although you can't point a weapon at police) and all of the creatures he obviously loved.