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.