Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Pick Them Out, Knock Them Out"

Additional victims come forward after Crump Stadium mob attack

"Pick (or point) them out, knock them out" is the apparent name of the game played by a teen mob last Friday following a football game at Crump Station.  At least four innocent bystanders were targeted.  My colleague, Ben Watson, interviewed one of them.  I was assigned to try and get others.  Fortunately, a little digging paid off.  I interviewed two more victims and one mother.  A 16 year-old victim divulged information about the game's name.  He explained that attackers simply pick people from crowds and then pounce.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Couple, Toddler Robbed In Overton Square

Couple with 3-year-old robbed after dinner in Overton Square parking lot

This is something that's been discussed in the newsroom.  How long will it be before we cover a robbery in Overton Square?  The revived midtown entertainment district is packed with people many nights of the week.  Police will tell you crooks go where the people are.  We got word of this robbery through social media.  I found out where one of the victims worked and made contact through his boss.  The couple were more than willing to talk about what happened.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Story Prompts Company To Help Needy School

Varsity donates football and cheer uniforms to Hamilton Middle School

It's alway nice when positive things happen as a result of a story.  In this case, I did a story concerning the Hamilton Middle School football team.  Practice and games weren't possible because of old, unsafe equipment.  Varsity Brands of Memphis took note and did something about it.  I was more than happy to do this follow-up story about the team (and cheerleading squad) getting $25,000+ dollars worth of brand new stuff.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Memphis Council "Adjusts" Benefit Cuts

Chamber packed as council discusses health care cuts for city employees

The pressure of perturbed employees finally got to the Memphis City Council.  It voted to "adjust" benefit cuts that were passed in June.  No one would admit they "caved" or gave in.. But, clearly, it was somewhat of a reversal.  I went down to the 3:30 full meeting in order to turn a story at 5:00 on one proposal aimed at helping employees.  Turns out, three proposals came up and I ended up in both the 5:00 and 6:00 newscasts.  At the same time, a class action lawsuit over the cuts was filed.  This clip is from the 10:00 news.  I encompassed everything from the busy day downtown.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Driver Struck By School Bus Shares Story

SCS: Bus driver, 10 students sent to hospital after bus crash

Gary Bryant thought he was a goner as a school bus barreled toward his truck along Austin Peay Highway.  The two vehicles collided.  But Bryant and the 30+ people on board the bus all survived.  We were on this scene for hours.  I went by Bryant's house after our 6:00 hit to see if he'd be willing to talk (I got his address from a web search based on THP info).  Fortunately, he was willing to share his story.. And Bryant turned out to be quite a character.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Police Take Down Young Man During "Girl Fight"

MPD responds to girl fight, takes down young boy

Honestly, I'm over videos of fights and such.  I long for the days when cell phones weren't so prevalent.  Just my opinion.. Although many stories these days (often legitimate stories) are the result of such videos.  This is an example.  Some of the people who witnessed this incident, and shot it, believe officers went overboard.  MPD is now reviewing the video after we sent it to them.

Backlogged Rape Kit Test Snares Ex-Cop

Rape kit testing helps indict former MPD officer in a 2000 rape

We've done tons of stories on the rape kit backlog in Memphis.  Some untested kits stretch back into the 1980's.  It's been a PR nightmare for public officials.  But cases like this may help change things.  One of the backlogged kits was tested.. And investigators say the DNA matched a former Memphis Police officer.  He was living under a new name in Atlanta.  But you know what they say about the "long arm of the law."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Neighborhood Outraged By Kroger Mob Attack

E. Memphis residents disgusted by Kroger parking lot attack 

I was part of our team coverage of the Kroger mob attack Monday afternoon.  We were set up in a post office parking lot across the street.  Several people stopped by the news car to tell us how disgusted they were.  Many have lived in the neighborhood adjacent to Poplar Plaza for years.  One woman, in particular, was outspoken about how she would not let "thugs" take over.  I knew it would make for a good follow up story at 10:00.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bleach, Cleaning Supplies May Have Sparked Fire

Cleaning products may have caused apartment fire

This apartment fire was about the third thing we checked out on what was turning out to be a slow Friday.  I did a quick hit for the 5:00 news just minutes after arriving.  But then I discovered, through interviews with the tenant and fire lieutenant, that cleaning supplies may have started the fire.  I immediately thought this could be a bigger story for 10:00.  Having good chopper video and emotional sound certainly didn't hurt.  I wanted to do my live shot from the 3rd floor kitchen at the station.. But my photog was sent on breaking news.  I ended up grabbing some cleaning stuff to hold up during my live shot in the newsroom.