Monday, December 29, 2014

Missing Alzheimer's Patient Safely Returns Home

Police find 80-year-old last seen on Christmas - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

This story played out over the Christmas Day and the day after.  We were alerted about a missing Alzheimer's patient through an MPD "city watch."  These often involve runaways.. But this case warranted more coverage.  I found the man's family at the home from which he wandered away.  We shot an interview, got some video, and I did a stand-up.  My photographer and I were preparing to edit the piece when the missing man's son called.  He said his father had been found!  Needless to say, we re-grouped and went back to the house for the reunion.  It turned out to be a much better story.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day Fire Claims Family's Home

Fire crews respond to large house fire in Midtown - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

We saw the smoke from this fire long before we arrived on the scene.  I hated that a home was going up in flames on Christmas Day.  Fortunately, the family of 4 and their 4 pets made it out alive.  The homeowner, who was still in shock, agreed to speak with us about the fire.  I later learned the blaze was sparked by an unattended candle.  And the home had no working smoke detectors.  Their Christmas tragedy may be a lesson for others.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Neighborhood Delivers Christmas Cheer To MPD, MFD

Residents give back to public servants for the holidays - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

I thought this was a lame story when the producer pitched it.  It's light, for sure.  But I'm glad I got to do it. I believe it illustrates the Christmas spirit well.  I didn't realize, at the time, that the Cooper Young community had been preparing holiday gifts for the Memphis Police Department and Memphis Fire Department for two decades.  I'm sure the hard-working officers and firefighters appreciate it, every year.  I am also convinced that it's a tradition many of the volunteers cherish as well.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Family Shot In 2013 Survives House Fire This Week

Cordova family loses almost everything in house fire

Nicole Luke and three of her children were shot last year in Nashville during a domestic dispute.  This week, their rental home in Memphis burned.  We got an email about the story from a family friend.  I got in touch with Luke who was more than willing to talk.  The story aired at 10:00.  I was then bombarded by viewers wanting to help.  The generosity of viewers in situations like this is always encouraging.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former Midtown Restaurant Owner Dies In Fire

Memphis restaurant owner died in house fire

I was dispatched to Lakeland, TN hours after fire ripped through a house in the Davies Plantation subdivision.  It was still a very active scene.  We confirmed a 66 year-old man died in the fire.  Naturally, I wanted to learn more about the victim.  I did a property search on-line and found the homeowner was Jerry Stamson.  The last name rang a bell as the same name as a former Juvenile Court Clerk.  So I called Steve Stamson.  He told me Jerry was his brother.  Information from Steve really helped personalize this story.  Steve also revealed that Jerry had owned the landmark Barksdale Restaurant in Midtown for many years.

MPD: Man Exposed To HIV By Girlfriend

Alleged Victim Of Criminal HIV Exposure Speaks Out

This story was generated by an affidavit.  We get a lot of stories that way.  The charge against Lakisha Free was "criminal exposure to HIV."  My goal was to find the ex-boyfriend who was allegedly exposed.  His name was in the affidavit.  Fortunately for me, he also had a criminal record.  I used data from the courts to find his address.  I spoke with his grandfather for a few minutes at their home.  The boyfriend then walked in and agreed to talk about this ordeal.  He was visible distraught about what police say his ex had done.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Student Escapes Robber Outside U of M Law School

Safety alert sent after attempted robbery at U of M law school

Memphis Police released information about this attempted robbery hours after it happened.  They generally wait until investigators have exhausted leads before giving us surveillance video, etc.  A student was approached by an armed man after leaving the University of Memphis Law School downtown.  It was 1:49 in the morning.  But other students told me it's not uncommon for them to be at school at all hours of the night.. Especially during exams.  This incident provided a reminder about available police escorts, walking in pairs, and parking in a secure garage.