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.