Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mayor-Elect Strickland Discusses City Hall Shakeup

Strickland discusses city hall changes ahead of taking office

I requested an interview with Memphis Mayor-Elect Jim Strickland late last week following word that a number of division directors and others would be shown the door.  The holidays and tornado coverage put the story on the back burner.  I finally got a sit down with him and he broke more news.  Embattled Memphis Animal Services administrator James Rogers would be let go as well.  Strickland also discussed short and long-term plans.  He officially takes office January 1st at noon.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Woman Pistol-Whipped, Robbed In East Memphis

Woman pistol-whipped outside shopping center

I had a story on another topic already shot when we were diverted to this one.  Scanner traffic suggested a woman was pistol-whipped and robbed in a popular East Memphis shopping center.  I discovered it happened outside an upscale furniture store.  We interviewed some other shoppers in the area.  I also spoke with the woman's boyfriend or husband.. But neither wanted to speak on camera.  In my live shot, I referred to fingerprint dust that was still on the victim's car.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Teacher Accused Of Fondling Student At School

SCS teacher suspended; accused of sexually assaulting student at school

We were the first to find out a Kirby High School teacher was arrested for allegedly fondling a student.  Police said it happened inside the school.  I was still anchoring the 4:00 news when I learned I would be doing the story for the 6:00 newscast.  I hurriedly gathered some information between 5:00 and 6:00 and presented the facts at 6:00.  My photographer and I then headed to the Kirby High area to get reaction to the arrest.  I even spoke with the alleged victim's mother over the phone.  We stayed out in the live van, edited the story, and had a full report for the 10:00 news.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

MPD Officers Replace Boy's Stolen Xbox

MPD officers replace 11-year-old's stolen XBox

This was a nice change of pace.. A positive story.  It was about a number of Memphis Police officers who bought a new Xbox for an 11 year-old burglary victim.  Someone broke into the family's house while they were at church.  The officer's told us they were most impressed that this young "man of the house" was more concerned about his mother than the stolen items.  Officers returned shortly after taking the report with a new Xbox and three new games.  Game Stop donated an additional controller.  It's clear in Facebook video that went viral.. The boy and his family were thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hillary Clinton Visits Memphis

Hilary Clinton visits LeMoyne-Owen College

It was nice to see the presidential campaign impacting Memphis.  Tennessee isn't really a player in the primary process.. But Hillary Clinton decided to make stops at two historically black colleges.  The campus of LeMoyne-Owen in Memphis was an exciting place to be on the day of her visit.  Clinton last came there as First Lady in 1993.  My photographer arrived early to set and that all equipment could be cleared by secret service officers.  I showed up a little later.  Clinton ran about 30 minutes late (which is not unusual).  She touched on a number of national issues and some with connections to Memphis.  It was amazing how quickly the gym was cleared after the event.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Syria Native Discusses Resettlement Debate

Governors want to keep refugees out

I did stories for the 6:00 and 10:00 concerning the emerging debate over the resettlement of Syrian refugees in America.  The governors of AR, MS, and TN (our coverage area) were among those requesting the placements here be halted after connections were made between the Paris attacks and Syria.  I had no problem finding political opposition to the effort to stop resettlement.  But finding a local Syrian immigrant took a lot of phone calls, texts, and emails.  I finally found a man who came to the U.S. from Syria in 1992.  He now works as a pharmaceutical researcher and professor at UTHSC.  He said refugees are fleeing terror, not bringing it.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Funeral Home Embalmed Bodies In Break Room

TN Government: Funeral home embalmed bodies in break room, reused caskets

Newsroom managers actually spotted this story on another station and then passed it on to me.  Getting story ideas from the competition or a newspaper is common.  This one involved a Memphis funeral home owner accused by a state board of embalming bodies in a break room, among other things.  I called the owner while on the way to the funeral home to get video.  I didn't think he'd be willing to talk on camera.  But he did.  He even showed us around the funeral home.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Shooting At Buffalo Wild Wings

Shots fired at Buffalo Wild Wings

We sent Chopper 5 to this Buffalo Wild Wings to check out reports of a shooting.  My photographer and I followed once we saw there was quite a scene.  We arrived about an hour before the 10:00 news.  I grabbed an interview with a customer who pulled into the parking lot.  We then wrote and edited something for the newscast.  I noticed bullet holes in the restaurant window just a few minutes before news time.. So we snapped photos of those and I incorporated them into my live shot.    

Friday, November 6, 2015

Mall Custodian: Shopper Urinated On Me

Wolfchase Galleria worker reports lewd act in men's room

A custodian at Wolfchase Galleria emailed us about a gross encounter.  She said a shopped urinated on her as she cleaned a men's room.  He was upset that the restroom was closed while she was inside cleaning it.  Of course, I verified that she had actually filed a police report before running with the story.  My photographer actually conducted the interview while I did the 4:00 news.  One big issue she had was the fact that mall security failed to detain the man until MPD arrived.  I decided to do my live shot from the TV station's men's room in order to make it more active.  Otherwise, I would have been outside a closed mall.

Boy's Death Exposes Massive Theft Ring

9-year-old's death on ATV leads to huge theft ring

This story began with a series of affidavits from the jail website.  Several men had been booked on numerous theft-related charges.  Their bonds were each $2 million.  We knew it had to be a pretty big deal.  Turns out, they were accused of being part of a multi-state theft ring.  But the most interesting part of the story is how they were busted.  A 9 year-old died in an ATV accident.  Detectives discovered the one he was riding had been reported stolen out of Shelby County.  The massive theft ring then started to unravel.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mail Carrier Robbed Of Pants While On The Job

Reward offered in robbery of postal worker

Robberies of mail carriers are fairly rare.  The USPS is always quick to offer a sizable reward in hopes of sending a message.  In this case, a postal inspector tipped off a fellow reporter about the crime and was willing to speak on camera.  I set something up with her.  Turns out, the mail carrier was robbed of his wallet, shoes, and pants.  The criminal made him remove is pants while the mail carrier delivered letters to a southeast Memphis apartment complex.  It was a frustrating, violating, and humiliating crime.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Crime Victim's Mistake: Reminder For Others

Crime victim's mistake is a reminder to others

The theft victim in this story got our attention by tagging us on Facebook.  She had posted surveillance video of two women stealing from her van while she was inside a vet's office.  She had left her purse on the seat and the doors unlocked.  She admitted that was a mistake.  But she still wanted help getting the word out about the theft.  I used a co-worker's purse and my car in the live shot to help illustrate what people should never do.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tax Issues Prompt New Daisy Closure

New Daisy Theater Tax Problems

We got wind of this story from a viewer who sent a photo of the New Daisy Theater's front doors.  They had padlocks on them and warning signs in the windows.  The Tennessee Department of Revenue shut down the venue due to "nonpayment of taxes."  It came as a surprise because the New Daisy held its grand re-opening just days before.  No one was talking about how much tax money may have been owed.  One of the venue's new owners did issue a statement.. Promising it would re-open.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Patient Becomes Theft Victim Inside ER

VIctims credit cards stolen in ER

This story idea came from the Memphis Police Department Facebook page.  That's where a lot of news is generated these days.  Most police departments post BOLO's and other items on a daily basis.  The post we saw featured a surveillance photo of a woman wanted for stealing from a patient as she was being treated in the Methodist University Hospital emergency room.  I used the photo in the attached story.  Meanwhile, we went to the hospital and got reaction from visitors about the crime.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

MPD To Burglary Victims: Get A German Shepherd

Couple's home burglarized days before their wedding

A couple whose home was recently burglarized contacted the station about their story.  Crooks broke in days before their wedding.  Gifts were among the items stolen.  But that's only part of the story.  They claimed responding officers took too long and then told them they were on their own.  One officer even suggested they get a German Shepherd since police can't adequately keep an eye on things.  The couple said the officers blamed recent budget cuts and the departure of many officers.  MPD disputed the concerns by saying each precinct is fully staffed, despite a drop in the overall compliment of officers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Anita 'Ring My Bell' Ward On Life After One Big Hit

Anita 'Ring My Bell' Ward talks about life after one big hit

People who know me well know my dream as a child was to be the next Casey Kasem.  I love popular music, including disco.  I also like the stories behind the hits.  I saw a blurb in the newspaper about Anita Ward (regarding her participation in a new documentary) and set out to find her myself.  Her hit, "Ring My Bell," topped a dozen charts in 1979.  Turns out, she now works at a Memphis JCPenney.  She still performs as well.  She welcomed us into her home to talk about hitting it big, but never again.  Ward embraces her "one hit wonder" status and was a very nice, down-to-earth lady.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tigers Fan Becomes Social Media Sensation

'Air guitar' playing Tigers fan becomes social media sensation

Walker Laury's air guitar performance during the Memphis Tigers versus Cincinnati game was all over social media way before the game even ended.  Radio and television news outlets were in touch with him the next day.  I tweeted him, hoping he would reply.  It worked.  We met at his fraternity house.  He and his brothers were watching a competitor's story on the 5:00 news when we arrived.  He seemed to get a big kick out of all of the attention.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Family Suing Durham School Services Over Child's Injury

Bartlett family suing Durham School Services over child's injury

The lawyer for a family suing Durham School Services over a child's injury emailed me about the litigation.  He knew the station had covered many incidents involving Durham.  The suit claims the bus's early departure from a stop resulted in the child riding his bike to school.  He was struck by a truck en route.  The child was unavailable for an interview.  However, his mother did agree to talk about the case.  Coincidentally, she works at LeBonheur Children's Hospital.  She was there when he was brought in.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Visiting Team's Bus Burglarized In Memphis

Visiting team bus burglarized at Rhodes College

A soccer team from The University of the Ozarks came to Memphis to take on Rhodes College.  They tied.  But a return to their bus revealed that a crook had also been busy during the game.  He ransacked the bus and stole personal items, electronics, and computers.  MPD released surveillance video of the suspect, which got our attention.  Unfortunately, the police report was not yet available.  But I really wanted to interview some of the teammates who were victims.  I looked at the team's roster online and then cross-referenced on Twitter.  One of the player's quickly replied.  I Facetimed with him and a teammate about the crime.

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Dumb Criminal's" Facebook Post Leads To Arrest

Man taunts SCSO on social media, winds up behind bars

Dumb criminal stories are staples of local TV news.  We were tipped off to this one by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.  They posted mug-shots of 50 or so domestic violence suspects who were still wanted.  One of them saw his photo on the sheriff's office Facebook page and decided to comment.  He taunted deputies to come get him in North Carolina.  So they did.  I tried to speak with the fugitive's family in Memphis.  His father only cracked the door.  His mother blamed her son's issues on PTSD from his time in the military.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

WMC Legend Dave Brown's Last Day

Behind the scenes: Dave Brown's last day at WMC Action News 5

This story was a little intimidating.  How do you encapsulate a local legend's last day?  I gave it a shot.  WMC chief meteorologist Dave Brown called it quits after a 53-year broadcasting career.  He'd been with WMC since 1977.  Dozens filled the studio as he delivered his final forecast.  Many of us were waiting in the newsroom for a post-show party.  I got a chance to get a last one-on-one interview with Dave as well.  Always the gentlemen.. He repeatedly thanked viewers who sent him hundreds and hundreds of congratulatory letters and emails.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Memphis Artist's Tribute To Dave Brown

Memphis artist creates tribute to Dave Brown

I pitched this as a story and didn't think it would pass muster.  But it did!  After all, it was about retiring WMC weatherman Dave Brown.  We first spotted the artist's portrait of Dave on IG.  Fortunately, I was able to use video from that and YouTube for my story.  We caught up with the artist as he was working an event at FedExForum.  Not only was he able to talk about his tribute to Dave.. He shared some personal stories about encounters with the Memphis TV legend.

Friday, August 28, 2015

New Plans For Old Medical District Eyesore

New plans for old medical district eyesore

Anyone who's lived in Memphis a while knows the building at Madison & Pauline.  It looms over the medical district like a big blighted behemoth.  Previous plans for redevelopment have fallen through.  But I learned UTHSC (the adjacent medical school) won approval to proceed with a plan to redevelop the site.  I got started on this story, as usual, after 5:00.  Fortunately, I ran into some women who walk past the building daily.  They welcomed news of redevelopment.  I also caught up with the Downtown Memphis Commission president for his perspective.  Naturally, I get excited about any building-related story.  Check out my Instagram account for more about that: jason_miles.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Memphis Police Department Testing Tasers

Memphis Police Department testing tasers

A lot of people, myself included, were kind of surprised when we learned MPD officers didn't carry Tasers.  Turns out, many departments don't.  But some believe the non-lethal option may have saved the life of a 19 year-old shot and killed by a Memphis police officer last month.  He was unarmed, struggled with the officer, and was shot.  I tried to find a Taser to use in this story, but didn't get started on it until after business hours.  Fortunately, there is tons of material on YouTube.  I also interviewed the chief of police in West Memphis.  That's where a suspect died years ago after being "tased."

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fake Veterinarian Charged With Abusing Dogs

Dogs found abused, malnourished at veterinarian's office

I'm an animal lover.  Stories like this always disgust me.  This guy was posing as a vet and "treating" dogs possibly used in dog fighting.  An undercover officer took him down.  10 dogs were confiscated from his "office."  I had little luck via email getting permission to get video of the dogs at Memphis Animal Services.  So, my photographer and I decided to just stop by unannounced.  The director was more than willing to show us the abused animals.  They're in a better place now.. But, unfortunately, the dogs are still in danger.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

More Lively Mayoral Debate

Mayoral race heats up with latest debate

The candidates running for Memphis mayor wanted to make a splash.  In fact, the ones challenging incumbent mayor A C Wharton needed to make one.  I believe councilmen Jim Strickland and Harold Collins did that.  They took on Wharton's record while Mike Williams (a fourth participant in the debate) criticized both the mayor and councilmen.  They talked about crime, city finances, and blight.  Many observers still believe it is Wharton's race to lose.    

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Travel Channel Focusing On Memphis Food

Travel Channel visits several Memphis restaurants

Feature stories are far and few between on the nightside shift in Memphis.  But I really enjoy lighter fare.  Speaking of fare.. The Travel Channel's visit to Memphis restaurants was the focus of this story.  We got wind the network's crew was out and about at some well-known places.  I called a couple of them and they were more than willing to speak with me too.  Many believe exposure like this can only mean good things for the city.  I even got some free doughnuts for the newsroom.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Using Pepper Spray Properly

Women learn to effectively use pepper spray in Bartlett class

My station has been on a self-defense kick lately.  It's with good reason given Memphis's crime rate.  We know that women, in particular, are interested in learning how to be more vigilant.  The owner of a karate studio contacted us about a class he was holding about pepper spray.  I thought using it was a cinch.  Turns out, there are proper ways to use pepper spray and techniques to make it more effective.  I got to use a test spray for my live shot and standup.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Robbed While Stopped At Red Light

Police search for 2 suspects that robbed U of M student

Memphis Police sent us a news release concerning this crime.  It featured photos of a car and two suspects wanted in connection to a robbery.  It took place as the victim sat in his car at a red light.  He's a University of Memphis student and just 20 years old.  He was too scared to speak on camera.  I did speak with him over the phone.  We made the story work by getting interviews with drivers.  Some were surprised by the brazenness of this crime.  Others say you're not safe anyway.. Even in your car.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Paralyzed Shooting Victim Seeks Justice

Paralyzed victim seeks justice for shooter

This paralyzed shooting victim's mother contacted us about doing a story.  She was outraged the suspected shooter had yet to be caught.  I met the victim at another family member's home.. Where he was in hiding.  He seemed to have a positive attitude despite his injuries.  He was shot seven times and left paralyzed from the waist down.  We covered the initial shooting.. So, we used file video to help tell this story.  I was not able to present this story "live" because of breaking news.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fire Station Tribute To Fallen Officer "Under Investigation"

Fire station's officer Bolton tribute 'under investigation'

We got a tip from a firefighter that a homemade tribute to an MPD officer killed in the line of duty was under investigation by the city.  It sounded difficult to believe.  I mean, what's the harm in a sign with his badge number on it standing outside a fire station?  I was tasked with confirming or denying the tip.  A mayor's spokesperson actually confirmed an investigation was underway.  It remains unclear which protocol or city policy the firefighters may have violated.  The situation got quite a response from people participating in a memorial 5k for officer Sean Bolton, held the night of his funeral.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lightning-Sparked Fire Destroys Firefighter's Home

Memphis firefighter loses home to lightning-sparked fire

A severe thunderstorm moved through the Memphis area on this day.  Downed trees, power outages, and flash flooding were some of the results.  So was this house fire, which was sparked by a lightning strike.  We got on the scene well after the fire was out.  I spoke with a woman who grew up in the house.  Her family still lived there.  She mentioned during the interview that her brother was a firefighter.  He was home at the time the fire started.. But was powerless.  You'll notice the microwave signal breaks up during my live intro.  It's a reminder of how we're reliant on properly-working equipment.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"God Have Mercy On Memphis"

1 killed in Frayser shooting

The above comment was from a grandmother who thought her 20 year-old grandson was shot dead in the street.  The family got a call from someone who alerted them.  They hoped and prayed for hours before police finally told them their loved one was not the victim.  The grandmother expressed her frustration with overall crime in Memphis.  We spoke with a neighbor who had the same sentiment.  There are people in our community who never know if the next call will be from someone telling them a loved one is dead.

Friday, July 31, 2015

MATA: On Shaky Ground.. Literally

Ground continues to swallow MATA headquarters

I pitched this story for months before finally getting the green light.  It's about MATA's headquarters slowly sinking into the ground.  It was built on an old landfill.. And the ground continually settles.  Recent studies say relocating the operations and administrative offices would top $60 million.  Making this story happen on short notice proved to be a challenge.  But the always helpful MATA public relations person eventually got me an interview with the boss and a tour of the damage.  I even did my pre-taped "look live" underneath one of the buildings, now exposed by the settling.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Deputy Honored For Saving Choking Diner

Deputy honored for saving choking diner

A spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office sent me a text about this story.  He wondered if I'd be interested.  Given all the negative news about law enforcement of late.. I jumped on the chance to do a positive story.  A woman who choked on a piece of fried zucchini at Logan's Roadhouse credits and off-duty deputy for saving her life.  He stepped in and gave her emergency aid.  My photographer went down to the criminal courthouse to interview the deputy while I was in the 4:00 newscast.  We later interviewed the woman at Logan's.  The GM even gave me some fried zucchini to use in my story.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Elderly Couple's Deaths May Be Heat-Related

Police investigate death of elderly couple inside Whitehaven home, may be heat-related

Scanner traffic first alerted us to the discovery of bodies inside a Whitehaven home.  Memphis Police didn't suspect foul play from the start.  The excessive heat became a potential contributing cause of death after it was determined that the air conditioning wasn't properly working.  Frankly, I'm surprised we haven't seen more heat-related deaths this summer.  I got some stats from the Shelby County Health Department in order to complete this story.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Teen Murdered Inside LA Fitness

Family searches for answers after teenager shot, killed inside LA Fitness

We got sent to this story just after 5:00 on a Friday.  A busy area of Memphis was even busier after police were called to reports of a shooting inside a LA Fitness health club.  Turns out, an 18 year-old recent high school graduate was murdered while playing on an indoor basketball court.  The club was filled with people at the time.  I managed to find the victim's uncle in the crowd outside and he shared a photo with me.. Along with a compelling interview featured in the above story.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Potentially Explosive Burglary In Bartlett

Dynamite, ammo stolen during Bartlett burglary

I found this story by perusing the Bartlett Police Department's Facebook page, where daily reports are posted.  I noticed dynamite and a load of ammo were among the items stolen from a homeowner's storage shed.  He didn't want to talk on camera but told me over the phone that he knew the shed wasn't properly secured.  The fact that explosives were taken alarmed some neighbors.  The owner said he used it to blow up stumps.  Many in the neighborhood have joined NextDoor.com (a neighborhood watch site) as a result of this and other recent property crimes.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Family Marks Anniversary Of Hit & Run Death

Family marks anniversary of cold case hit and run death

The mother of a 15 year-old boy killed by a hit and run driver pledges to never give up.  She's always a compelling, emotional interview subject.  This story is the fourth one I've done with Roshonda Johnson since her son's death in 2013.  Johnson texted me last week to remind me the anniversary was approaching.  She contacted Memphis Police as well.  They made the cold case one of their "crimes of the week" in order to get some publicity.  I met Johnson and her family near the spot where Tyler Johnson died.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

8 Year-Old Recalls Armed Robbery

8 year-old recalls armed robbery

The wife of a robbery victim posted details on the crime on the WMC Action News 5 Facebook page.  A producer spotted it and emailed the post to the newsroom staff.  The woman was particularly concerned because the robber also pointed a gun at her 8 year-old son.  I asked a member of the web team to message the woman to see if she'd talk.  She later sent her contact info.  I convinced her to do an interview with the understanding that we would not reveal the family's identity.  The 8 year-old's interview proved to be the most compelling.  His mother also wanted to touch on the issue of crimes against Hispanics.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Remembering Judge D'Army Bailey

Judge D'Army Bailey has passed away

We were minutes from the 5:00 newscast on Sunday when we got word that Judge D'Army Bailey died.  We included details as breaking news and then put together a plan for 10:00 coverage.  I did a retrospective of his life.. Including information about his childhood, civic service, and work in civil rights.  Bailey was a founder of the National Civil Rights Museum.  That may be his most lasting legacy.  I knew Judge Bailey very well and often called upon him for his insight on a variety of topics.  I recall watching a 2013 KKK rally with him near the steps of the old courthouse, which stands on what was honorarily named "D'Army Bailey Avenue."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ex Teacher Alleges TCAP Cheating

Ex teacher alleges TCAP cheating

This former teacher called the newsroom wondering how to get in touch with officials looking into possible TCAP test cheating at two Memphis schools.  I overheard a producer discussing it and requested the teacher be transferred to my desk.  I talked her into speaking on camera.  She made very serious allegations regarding fellow teachers feeding answers to students.  I got a statement from Shelby County Schools, which had not previously heard of these concerns.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

School Buildings: Sitting Ducks During Summer

The Investigators: Keeping would-be school burglars at bay during summer months

This was the first "sweeps" piece I've done in a while.  Lawyers killed the last two-parter after pressure from a business owner.  Anyway.. This one is about the number of school burglaries during the summer.  The piece was prompted by burglaries that happened in the days after the last day of school this year.  I got quick responses for data from both Shelby County Schools and MPD.  A guy we saw running past one of the schools we profiled provided great feedback on the subject.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

First Official Move To Remove Forrest Statue

Ordinance to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest being drafted

This story was the result of an email from Memphis City Council chairman Myron Lowery to fellow council members.  It informed them that a proposed ordinance had been prepared regarding the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue and gravesite.  Forrest was a Confederate general and early leader of the KKK.  His statue has stood in what is now Health Sciences Park since 1904.  The council will take up the matter during its next meeting.  But it is likely just the first step in a long process to finally resolve a decade-long debate.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Possible Serial Rapist Terrorizes Apartments

Police search for possible serial rapist

I first visited the Mill Creek Apartments in Memphis in April following a rape and assault.  Now, police report at least four crimes possibly linked to the same suspect.  I got reaction from tenants and others at a convenience store across the street.  More than one said they would deal with the suspect themselves if the opportunity arises.  Police encouraged them to remain observant and vigilant.. And report anything suspicious.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Robbery Suspect Snaps "Selfies" With Stolen Phone

Robbery suspect's selfies may lead to her arrest

Memphis Police sent us two photos of a robbery suspect that were taken with the victim's stolen cell phone.  They were "selfies."  We pulled the report and tracked down the victim.  She was hesitant to talk about the crime.. But eventually gave in.  The phone was still synced with the victim's email.  So, she was getting "selfies" and other pics taken by the victim every day.  I took a few "seflies" to spice up my live shot.  Turns out, the suspect was arrested after my story aired.  The stolen phone was also recovered.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Lawyer Charged In Hitman Plot Indicted For Poisoning Wife

Lawyer charged with hiring hitman, indicted for poisoning wife

This story had to come together pretty quickly.  We got to Collierville around 8:00 PM and were tasked with turning a story for 10:00.  This attorney made news in the previous week for paying an undercover TBI agent to kill his wife.  He thought the agent was a hitman, according to investigators.  I bought some toothpaste to help illustrate new charges against him.. For putting poison in his wife's toothpaste.  We regularly rely on MOS (man on the street) interviews for stories, especially when those involved in a case don't talk.  In this case, I interviewed folks outside the Walgreens.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Child Hurt After Shot Fired At Pickup

Family shot at while in pickup truck in Panola County

I was sent to Panola County, MS after a producer saw an article in a newspaper concerning a family whose pickup truck was shot.  A toddler in the back seat was injured by flying glass from a shattered window.  His mother was quoted in the article.  But my attempts to reach the family were unsuccessful.  Obviously, the story must go on.  So, I got some photos of the incident from Facebook and spoke with neighbors in the area where the shooting happened.  The suspects were still at large.. Although everyone seemed to know them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

4 Year-Old Dead After Finding Father's Gun

SCSO: 4-year-old finds gun, kills self

I've covered way too many of these kinds of stories over the years.  Some gun owners simply haven't learned to lock up their weapons and keep them out of reach of children.  In this case, a 4 year-old boy somehow got hold of his father's gun and shot himself.  He died on the scene.  His dad was outside mowing the lawn at the time.  My photographer was first dispatched to what was initially a shooting call.  I joined him once we learned a child was involved and that it was fatal.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Victim's Father Speaks About Baseball Coach's Abuse

Victim's father responds after Bolton High teacher admits having sex with student

This was a story that we shot, wrote, and edited within about 45 minutes.  The father called the station expressing his interest in talking about a guilty plea entered earlier in the day by a former baseball coach.  The coach had a sexual relationship with the father's 17 year-old daughter while teaching at Bolton High School.  I already had an unrelated story shot for the 10:00 news.  But I figured this dad's interview was timely and would be "only on 5."  It turned out great.  And we had a lot of the interview left over to place on our website.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Arrest Made In Hit & Run That Injured 7

Arrest made in hit-and-run that injured 7 people

Memphis Police charged a woman for striking 7 people (including four children) with her car nearly two months after the incident.  Turns out, they say she'd been hiding out ever since the crime.  I went to the apartment complex where it happened in hopes of finding one of the victims.  It took about 10 seconds.  Luckily, one victim was sitting on a porch with her crutches and a knee brace on her leg.  She and several other people were more than happy to talk about the arrest.  Now, they want to see the suspect's charges upgraded.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Car Flips Off I-40, Lands In Water

MFD Lt. Wayne Cooke speaks about crash on I-40 near Covington Pike

We heard on the scanner that a bad crash occurred along I-40.  My photographer and I were sent to check it out.  I could tell it wasn't just another accident as soon as we pulled up.  One side of the interstate was blocked.  I found out a car struck a guardrail and then flipped over into a swampy area below.  Several boats were among the equipment brought to the scene by MFD.  I did a couple of hits in the 10:00 newscast.. Including the one attached.  We were rejoined during a briefing by the MFD's spokesperson.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Preacher Shot While Mowing Lawn

Police search for suspects accused of shooting minister, teen

This story was the result of teamwork.  Initially, a photographer was sent to check out a possible shooting.  Turns out, a preacher was grazed by a bullet while mowing his lawn.  Bullets also flew into a home next door.  A young man later showed up at the hospital with a head wound.  He had been shot in the same area.  Police worked to connect the dots while another reporter did a live shot for the 5:00 news.  I was then sent to do a 6:00 live shot.  Police confirmed that everyone except the young man was collateral damage just before the 10:00 news.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Former WDIA Manager Recalls Hiring B.B. King

Former WDIA manager recalls hiring B.B. King

I could have talked with this lady for hours.  She was the program director at WDIA radio in Memphis when BB King was hired by the station back in 1949.  It became his big break.  At the time, WDIA was the first and only radio station with an all-black format.  Christine Spindel is now 90 years old.. Yet sharp as a tack.  She even remembered that it was raining the day King came in for an interview.  She heard from him in the months before his death at age 89.  I could tell King still has a place in her heart.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Teens Assault Bike Riders, Steal Bikes

Teens assault bike riders, steal bikes

This is a story we find out about by listening to the Memphis Police dispatch scanner.  It's an integral part of the assignment desk's job.  We sent a photographer to check it out.  Turns out, a U of M student and his girlfriend were robbed of their bikes.  The woman was also thrown to the ground.  They were both shaken by the experience.  They told police three teens were responsible.  I borrowed my producer's bike for the live shot.. And I'm glad I didn't fall or something.

Monday, May 11, 2015

FedEx Delivers Supplies To Nepal

FedEx delivers supplies to earthquake-ravaged Nepal

FedEx is the economic engine of Memphis.  So, when there is a FedEx-related story, we usually jump on it.  This happened to be a positive story about how the company was giving back.  It offered up two big jets to transport much needed supplies to earthquake-ravaged Nepal.  The communications staff was more than helpful.  They provided the right interviewees and the opportunity to get plenty of b-roll of the planes being loaded.  My photographer, Mark Deal, also did an excellence editing job.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Neighbors Rescue Elderly Woman From Burning House

Neighbors help save elderly woman from house fire

My photographer and I drove all the way to Lakeland (Memphis suburb) for a story we hoped to turn for 10:00.  But the woman we aimed to interview wasn't home.  Fortunately, another photographer had been dispatched to a house fire around the same time.  He got great interviews from neighbors.. Including those who helped save an elderly woman from the burning house.  And Chopper 5 got great video of the house going up in flames.  So, I put these elements together for a story.  We went live from the neighborhood.. Where firefighters and others remained at 10:00.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Family Fears Body Found Is Missing Loved One

Family hopes for answers after body found in Parkway Village

We got sent to the scene where a body was found as we began shooting an unrelated story.  We made it in time for a 6:00 live shot.  Dozens of people started gathering there as well.  Most were related to a man reported missing days before in the same area.  Many couldn't help but think that the body was, indeed, Harold Kimbrough.  These situations are tough for reporters because you don't want to seem disrespectful.  Fortunately, the family was more than willing to share information and conduct interviews.  This is my 10:00 story on how they were waiting for official confirmation.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Woman Robbed As 911 Dispatcher Listens

911 dispatcher listens as Memphis woman is robbed

I found this story by searching the Shelby County Jail database.  Basically, I peruse the inmates and look up affidavits if charges looks interesting.  I discovered the two suspects featured in this story were accused of invading a woman's home while she was in the bathroom.  She was held at gunpoint and robbed.  But there's a catch.. She had the chance to first dial 911.  I got done with the 4:00 news and headed to the woman's home.  There's always a good chance victims like her will refuse to talk on camera.  Fortunately, she was more than willing to share her story.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Germantown Woman Robbed While Washing Car

Germantown police search for driveway robbery suspect

An elderly woman was robbed at gunpoint in Germantown while she washed her car.  It happened in the middle of the morning.  We didn't know about it until the City of Germantown sent a media release seeking to publicize the crime.  I went out to the neighborhood to try and get reaction.  The victim was not interested in talking.  I was turned down by several neighbors before a couple of woman agreed to speak on camera.  I decided to get a little creative in my live shot.. By "washing" my photographer's news car.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Body Spotted In Mississippi River, Search Ensues

Police, firefighters search for body reported in Mississippi River

We had just finished up shooting another story for the 10:00 news when the assignment desk called about this.  Memphis Fire and Police were staging along the Mississippi River after a fisherman reported a body in the water.  The harbor patrol and others quickly began searching the water.  The current is very fast on the Mississippi, so time is of the essence in situations like this.  No body was found by nightfall.  Coincidentally, multiple agencies participated in a river rescue exercise hours before the real-life search started.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Teen Fights Spark Frenzy Of Coverage

Students suspended after fight at White Station High School

I got in Tuesday and was almost immediately dispatched to White Station High School.  It's the last school I would guess something like this would have occurred.  Two fights were caught on camera.. Including a huge brawl in the cafeteria.  Girls are seen punching, kicking, and stomping one another.  It's pathetic.  Needless to say, this story ruled the day.  I did five live shots from 4:00 through 10:00 and three different "packages."  This clip is from team coverage during WMC Action News 5 at 5:00.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Inside Look As City Eyes Old State Building

City of Memphis may buy vacant building for police headquarters

As an architecture buff, I'm glad I got to do this story.  I set it up through the TN Department of General Services.  Officials gave me an inside tour of the vacant 14-story Donnelley J. Hill building downtown.  The state moved out last summer.  Now, the City of Memphis is looking to buy it.  MPD headquarters and other city offices would move in.  It's pretty much move-in ready.  However, there's quite a bit of deferred maintenance that needs to be addressed.. Including an $800,000 elevator upgrade.  City administration will present its plan to the Memphis City Council.  

Car Shot Up Along Sam Cooper

Police investigate reports of shots fired on Sam Cooper

This breaking story culminated one of those days.  I did a story for the 6:00 newscast and was in search of a 10:00 story.  I checked out several potential stories and finally did two interviews for one of them.  But then we got sent to this breaking news.  At least one car was shot while driving along Sam Cooper Boulevard.  A Camaro with a lot of damage ended up in a gas station parking lot.  Fortunately, a witness arrived on the scene and we interviewed the store clerk too.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Snitches Get Stitches" Code Preventing Tips In Murder Case

No arrests in week old drive-by shooting that killed Memphis teen

I did this story one week after a 15 year-old Memphis girl was killed while sleeping in her bed during a drive-by shooting.  Memphis Police say they've encountered a lack of cooperation from neighbors unwilling to share possible clues.  "Snitches get stitches" is a common phrase in neighborhoods where talking to police is frowned upon.  The girl's uncle agreed to speak with me about her death and the investigation.  The family is praying for arrests to be made.  Meanwhile, Memphis's top cop said not telling police pertinent information is a crime in itself.

Friday, April 17, 2015

MPD Stats Reveal Number Of Rapes City-Wide

MPD stats reveal number of rapes city-wide

This was a follow-up to a horrific rape story out of Whitehaven.  A woman reported she was car-jacked, driven to another location, then sexually assaulted.  We recently requested crime stats from MPD that detail every incident over the last year.  I pored over the stats and found the police wards with the highest and lowest number of reported rapes.. In addition to the number in the wards where this most recent crime occurred.  There were 329 reported rapes city-wide from April 2014 to this week.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kirsten Williams Family Reacts To Arrests

Kirsten Williams' family reacts to arrests

Kirsten Williams was the 7 year-old killed last week during a drive-by shooting.  Police officials pledged to work day and night to solve the crime.  They announced three arrests Wednesday.  I was tasked with trying to get reaction from the girl's family.  We had a number for her grandmother, but calls went unreturned.  It's difficult because you don't really want to hound a grieving family.  I searched Kirsten's obituary for other possible family contacts, cross-checked on Facebook, and sent a direct message to a great aunt.  Fortunately, she was more than willing to express the family's gratitude for the swift arrests.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Home Shot, Family Forced To Move

Home shot, family forced to move

A Memphis mother contacted us following recent news of two deadly drive-by shootings.. One involving a teenager shot and killed while sleeping.  This woman's home was also shot.  She wanted to share her family's story now that they've relocated.  She suspects a retaliatory neighbor shot the home.  Bullets barely missed her two sleeping children.  He's locked up on unrelated charges.  Now, she's hopeful police will charge him with aggravated assault.. If not attempted murder.  I had to send my photographer to get this interview since I was busy on the 4:00 news.  Teamwork is a big part of what we do.  He did a great job.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Redbirds Play Amid Severe Weather Threat

Rain threat lowers attendance at Redbirds season opener

So, we were anticipating severe weather on this night.  It didn't really happen.. At least in Memphis.  I was assigned a story about how the weather might impact the Memphis Redbirds baseball season opener.  The angle changed somewhat since weather had little effect on the game.  But it often does.  I interviewed the GM about the team's contingency plan.  It actually started raining soon after the game ended.  Interestingly, the Redbirds take on the Omaha "Stormchasers" next week.

Monday, April 6, 2015

LEGO Toys Make For Fun Shoot

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Crook burglarizing Memphis toy store

The owner of a store that buys, sells, and trades LEGO toys emailed me about a burglar he caught on camera breaking into his store.  He had good surveillance video of the crime and was interested in publicizing it.  The store is called "Bricks & Minifigs."  I had no idea what they sold until I did a little more research.  Turns out, the owner had a LEGO mock-up of his store and his daughter even fashioned a "crook" using a miniature LEGO figure (or "minifig").  I put them to good use in the story.

Jessica Chambers Arrest Rumors

Sheriff: Rumors about arrests in Jessica Chambers case are false

I got a call from the station at 7:15 Easter Sunday morning.  Not good when you're the on-call reporter.  I was asked to come in as soon as possible.  Rumors had arisen that several people were charged in connection with the murder of Jessica Chambers.  The 19 year-old was killed four months ago and the case has garnered international attention.  Anyway, the rumors turned out to be false.  However, I still managed to cobble together two stories on how false hope affected the family, again.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Injured MPD Officer's Neighbors React To Shooting

Injured officer's neighbors react to shooting

I hit the door as soon as I got into work shortly after a Memphis Police officer was shot in the line of duty.  My assignment: find family, neighbors, or anyone else who knew him.  We gathered a list of about 8 possible addresses using his name.  Fortunately, the first two I randomly picked ended up being his home and the home of an uncle.  Family members were at the hospital with the officer.. But several neighbors shared their thoughts about the shooting.  "Good man," "family man," and "great cop" were among the ways they described the officer.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

House Of Blues Coming To Beale Street?

Big announcement planned for Beale Street

This story was generated by a news release.  It let us know about a "big announcement" concerning a project on Beale Street.  A partnership between some developers and Live Nation Entertainment would be announced.  House of Blues high-ups would be in attendance.  None of those close to the project would reveal anything before the planned announcement.  So, I built this story around speculation that a House of Blues location might be coming to Beale.  Needless to say, business owners and others along the famous street were excited by the possibilities.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Woman Raped After Meeting Man On Beale Street

Woman says she was raped after meeting man in Beale Street club

I peruse police incident reports daily and came across a "forcible rape" that was reported on Beale Street.  It caught my attention because of the location.  Beale is the #1 tourist attraction in Tennessee.  MPD would only release very limited information because the crime is sexual in nature.  Efforts are always taken to protect the alleged victim.  But I had enough information to do a story.  I relied heavily on MOS ("man on the street") interviews.. Or, in this case, women on the street.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Whitehaven Apartment Fire Intentionally Set

Fire at Whitehaven apartment complex intentionally set

I needed a story this particular night after my first one fell through.  There had been a fire earlier in the day that gutted a Whitehaven apartment complex.  I was tasked with going out and trying to find victims or residents who lost things.  I was able to convince a couple of guys to talk and the Red Cross showed up while we were there.  Then, about 30 minutes before the newscast, I got an email from MFD revealing the fire was intentionally set.  We quickly re-edited part of my story and made it to Whitehaven for this live shot.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cars Under Siege By Thrown Rocks

Drivers under siege by thrown rocks where school bus was struck

I was dispatched to breaking news Monday about a student on board a bus injured by a rock that was thrown through a window.  I interviewed the kid who, fortunately, suffered only minor injuries.  We got an email after the story aired from another driver who said rocks shattered his Coca-Cola truck window in the very same area on Southern Avenue.  MPD confirmed there have been at least 3 other attacks in the last 2 weeks.  I did this live shot (in my follow-up story) on the railroad tracks that run along Southern Avenue.  I held up some rocks like the ones likely being thrown.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Margaritas At Middle School

Middle school students suspended for bringing alcohol to school

We got a tip about students boozing it up at a middle school.  It was difficult to believe.. But I reached out to the school district to try and confirm the story.  10 students had indeed been expelled for bringing alcohol onto the Kate Bond Middle School campus.  Students and a teacher told me the kids were making margaritas.  I didn't get out to the school to get reaction until well after dismissal.  Fortunately, there was an event going on and several parents and students were accessible.  I also found a cooperative liquor store owner who let us get some video of tequila and margarita mix

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Former Melrose Band Director Facing Sex Charges

Former Melrose High School band instructor arrested in Florida

I got a tip that a former Melrose High School band director had been arrested in Florida on sex charges.  I did some digging and found the arrest had already made news in West Palm Beach.. Because the guy was working as a band director down there.  However, the charges involve his time at Melrose in Memphis.  A deputy arrested Leebrian Walker when a warrant from Memphis came up during a traffic stop.  I'm told there were always rumors about Walker and boys in the band during his time here.  But many stand by him, despite these charges.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teen's Suicide Prompts Interstate Shutdown

Lanes closed on I-40 after police say Arlington High student jumped to death

We generally don't cover suicides.. Unless they impact the public or involve public people.  This one stalled traffic for hundreds of drivers.  But I also wanted to, at least, offer some information for other people who may be struggling.  It's so sad to think a 16 year-old boy got to the point where he wanted to park on a bridge and jump into traffic below.  Perhaps this can lead to conversations between parents and their children.. Or even adults who feel they may have no alternatives.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Warming Centers Attract More Than Homeless

Warming centers open to anyone seeking relief from the cold

The deep freeze prompted the City of Memphis to open three "warming centers."  I was tasked with finding a family or people seeking relief in one of them.  It worried me a little.  People are prideful and are not always willing to talk about potential hardships.  However, I found at least two men who were willing to share their stories.  One of them even brought his 10 year-old son with him to stay warm.  I was glad to see people taking advantage of something that really could keep them safe, and warm.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some Uproar Over "The Lion King" Cancellation

'The Lion King' show at The Orpheum Theatre canceled Tuesday

The Orpheum Theatre decided to cancel Tuesday night's performance of "The Lion King" due to the wintry weather.  The announcement sparked understanding and uproar alike.  I dispatched my photographer to The Orpheum to get some video.  Fortunately, he ran into some patrons too.  One young lady turned out to be a great interview.  I did a phone interview with another man who travelled with his family five hours to see the show.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On The Road For Icy Weather Coverage

Overnight re-freeze a worry for TDOT, others

Icy, snowy, or severe weather doesn't mean a day off or working from home for news folks.. It means we're out and about in it.  In my case, I did a live shot actually driving down the road.  Well, my photographer did the driving.  It as a way to illustrate how crews had treated the ice-covered roadways.  I also got a chance to visit TDOT's traffic management center, which was pretty cool.  More than 120 traffic cameras are monitored on a huge video wall.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Once Wayward Youth Now MPD Officer

37 new officers join police force

This MPD graduation ceremony had to be one of the most highly anticipated.  It came after a loss of many officers due, in part, to recent healthcare and pension cuts.  There have also been high-profile crimes involving officers.  But I wanted to make this about more than those issues.  Fortunately, one recruit was willing to share his story about going from troubled youth to new officer.  He got help through a program known as JIFF.  It was nice putting a positive spin on what might have been just another negative story about Memphis Police.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kidney Donation Costs Man His Job

Man donates kidney to friend in need

We got an email from a customer of hair stylist Steven Cotton who thought his would make a good story.  A young man he helped raise decided to donate a kidney to Cotton.  But the donor's employer couldn't keep him on the payroll during the recovery.. Until I got involved.  I filled in one of the donor's managers and she later contacted him.  He will not only remain on the payroll, but will receive some new benefits as well.  The surgery is next Tuesday.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Teens Record Themselves Killing Dog

Animal activists outraged after teens shoot dog

This video is outrageously offensive.  Two teens recorded themselves on a crime spree.  They killed a dog before shooting at a security guard.  Fortunately, they've already been convicted.  This video was played during their sentencing hearing.  I got wind of it and requested a copy from the criminal court clerk.  He was nice enough to deliver it to the station.  Even he commented on how disgusting it was.  Animal advocates hope it helps them increase penalties for such behavior.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Man Shot 3 Times Walking Home From ATM

Victim shot 3 times walking home from Frayser ATM

This is a story that arose from an overnight shooting we covered for our morning news.  MPD later informed us that the victim was shot 3 times during an attempted robbery.  Fortunately, the victim survived.  I was tasked with trying to get him to talk.  The police report revealed his address.. Which is very near the spot where a gunman shot him.  His aunt told me he was not up to speaking, at first.  But the victim came out of the house just as we were about to leave.  He got around pretty well considering two bullets are still lodged in his body.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Son's Death Raises Road Construction Concerns For Couple

Son's death raises road construction concerns for Memphis couple

This grieving mother reached out to us after seeing a road closure update from TDOT.  She and her husband blame ongoing construction for the death of their son.  I found where the victim had a BAC level higher than the legal limit.. But his family contend the results were unreliable.  If nothing else, the family hopes this story will encourage others to be more aware when driving in construction zones.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

MPD Officer Hailed Hero For Helping Injured Girl

MPD officer receives award for saving girl crushed under grandfather clock

The Memphis Police Department's Facebook page tipped us off to this story.  Officer Kevin Jackson transported an injured little girl in his squad car after seeing the family stranded on the side of the road.  He received an award this week.  I found the family through a property search and, fortunately, the mom and little girl were more than willing to talk about Jackson's heroism.  Jackson, on the other hand, is shy.  He did agree to do an over-the-phone interview.  We're the first to jump on the story when a cop gets caught doing something wrong.  It's nice to tell positive stories too.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Arrest Fails To Alleviate Germantown Crime Concerns

Burglary arrest doesn't alleviate Germantown crime worries

The news release regarding this arrest got some in the newsroom excited.  They assumed it was the guy wanted for a number of armed robberies.  But, alas, it concerned a number of recent burglaries.  At this point, police say there is no connection to the more serious robbery cases.  I was dispatched to Germantown to get community reaction.  People were relieved a suspect was off the streets.  But they hope those behind the armed crimes are caught soon too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Decade Covering Bass Pro At The Pyramid

Bass Pro Shops gets ready for May grand opening

I first covered talk of Bass Pro taking over the then-empty Pyramid arena a decade ago.. in 2005.  There have been doubts, delays, and general skepticism ever since.  But the company announced this week that May 1 will be a definitive opening date.  I was able to snag an interview with the newly named store manager who said he's confident the mega-store will open on schedule (even if not fully completed).  This really is an amazing transformation.  The Pyramid is reportedly the only former sports arena to be adaptively re-used into anything other than a church.  Lets also hope it helps revitalize the adjacent Pinch District.  Sadly, some of the business owners I interviewed in 2005 are no longer in business.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Emotions Run High On Murder Scene

Man shot to death in SE Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

We were dispatched to this murder scene only knowing a man was shot dead.  I did a quick hit for the 4:00 news with very limited information.  I was able to interview a neighbor or two for the 5:00.  Family members arrived during this time and it was so sad witnessing their reaction.  It's something I've seen dozens, if not hundreds, of times in Memphis.  I still cannot imagine the grief.  I included the emotion in my 6:00 story (seen here).  I often feel this can be exploitative.. But it's difficult to ignore the impact it may have on viewers.

Macy's Closing Southland Mall Store

Macy's Southland Mall location to close - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

This is big economic news for Whitehaven.  We got wind of it late on a Thursday evening.  I was on the scene of a murder after having done live shots for 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00.  We drove to Southland Mall, got video, and then spoke with residents.  City Councilman Harold Collins was at the Memphis movie premiere of "Selma."  I thought his input was important, so I included a statement in this story.  I'd hate to see Southland go the way of Raleigh Springs Mall, Hickory Ridge Mall, and the Mall of Memphis.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

MLGW Policy A Cold Reality

MLGW customer faces cutoff amid cold snap - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

This MLGW customer contacted us out of desperation.  Extremely low temperatures had her worried since the utility cut her gas due to an overdue bill.  She thought, like many in our newsroom, that MLGW would not cut service with impending wintry weather.  Actually, it's a day-to-day determination based on wind chill on those days.  I think this story was a good opportunity to explain the policy.  Fortunately, many viewers contacted me about helping this customer pay her bill.