Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Next Stop: Houston

Lots of memories and lifelong friends are among the things I've made in Memphis.  It's amazing how quickly nearly a dozen years have passed.  But it's time for a new adventure.  I'll join KHOU-TV in Houston in late August.  

I came to WMC-TV in 2004.  I've learned a lot being a part of this legendary station.  I wish it continued success as the delivery of local news evolves.  

I am excitedly optimistic about my new opportunity with KHOU-TV.. Where Dan Rather once worked.  I look forward to joining the dynamic and committed news team.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Raleigh Springs Mall Redevelopment Reboot

Part of Raleigh Springs Mall scheduled to be demolished

We've been covering plans to revitalize the Raleigh Springs Mall site for years.  The mall, opened in 1971, is virtually abandoned and serves an an example of the urban decay that plagues so many areas.  This story is about a plan to replace the mall building with a library, police precinct, park, and retention pond.  It's been rebooted as city leaders work to purchase the last piece of property on the mall site.  A portion of the old Sears building will be demolished as part of the renewed focus.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

MPD Officer Accused Of Sex Assault Outside Club

MPD officer relieved of duty, accused of sexual assault

This story was generated by a tip to our assignment editor.  He said something would be coming down regarding a Memphis police officer and a sex investigation.  We still had not heard late in the afternoon.  But then he and I got texts from inside MPD.  I had just gotten done with the 4:00 newscast.  My photographer and I drove downtown to do a live shot for 6:00.  Basically, a woman claimed an officer assaulted her after she left a nightclub.  I convinced the GM of the club to do a quick interview.  Otherwise, there's wasn't much to go on except for limited details from the police department.  I turned this longer piece for 10:00.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

'Worship Watch' Partnering MPD With Churches

'Worship Watch' partners Memphis police with churches

I went to church for this story.. Literally.  The Memphis Police Department is partnering with churches to build communication.  MPD officials believe clergy and congregations have a direct connection with communities and can be a tool to fight crime.  Many churches also welcome stronger relationships with officers.  The idea started in the Frayser area at the Old Allen Station police precinct.  Precincts around the city are now reaching out to other churches.  It's nice doing a story about possible crime solutions rather than just random crime that we cover so often.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Midtown Man Thwarts Robbery With Karate

Robber has tables turned when victim has karate black belt

This story came courtesy of my colleague, Kontji Anthony.  She said the guy who makes sandwiches at Kwik Chek had a big injury on his temple.  He told her he was robbed at gunpoint after work near the popular Overton Square entertainment district.  I asked her to call and see if he'd talk about it.  He agreed to meet me.  Turns out, he thwarted the robbery with his Karate moves.  I got him to demonstrate exactly what he did on me.. Without causing me serious injury, of course.  He had yet to file a police report when we spoke.  But an MPD officer happened to pull up after our interview and he did so.    

Friday, March 4, 2016

African-American Newspaper Snubbed By Trump?

Tri-State Defender denied access to Trump rally in Millington

Dozens of media outlets covered Donald Trump in Millington, TN last weekend.  The African-American oriented Tri-State Defender, based in Memphis, was not among them.  Publisher Bernal Smith told me they applied twice for credentials in the week before the event.  However, they never heard from the Trump campaign.  A white power-promoting talk show host got in.  He even posted a photo on his blog of him holding his credential.  Smith said it's hard to believe the paper's exclusion was unintentional.  The Trump campaign never responded to my email.. But told another media outlet that all credential requests were answered.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

No Monorail In Mud Island Park Re-Do Plan

Progress continues in plans to renovate Mud Island River Park

I love Mud Island River Park just the way it is.  Completed in 1982, the park features a scale-model replica of the Mississippi River, river museum, and amphitheater.  But its monorail may be the park's most recognizable feature.  It's a gondola-style monorail and set the scene for a famous chase in "The Firm."  Right now, the Riverfront Development Corporation is looking for a company that can take over management of the park.  One of two finalists for the job would scrap the monorail and turn the pedestrian bridge above it into a High Line (NYC) style walkway.  We'll see how it all comes together.  But I think scrapping the monorail is a mistake.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Homeless Men Return Runner's Lost Wallet

Homeless men return St. Jude worker's wallet

Don't judge a book by its cover.  We've all heard that.  A Memphis runner learned why you shouldn't first-hand when he lost his wallet while on a run.  Two homeless men found it.. But decided to turn it in.  They sought out a cop and handed it over.  The officer then took the wallet to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where the runner works.  There was a St. Jude logo on the runner's health insurance card.  I met the runner through social media.  He wasn't pitching me the story idea.  He just casually mentioned what had happened.  I jumped on the chance to tell the story.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

East Memphis Crime Meeting

Home burglaries are hot topic at East Memphis crime meeting

Covering a town hall meeting can be tricky.  You don't always get emotional sound from people.  I was worried when I entered this one.  It concerned recent crime in an East Memphis neighborhood around Sea Isle School.  The crowd was pretty small.  But several residents shared their stories.  One stood out.  A man's home was burglarized just days earlier.  He later texted me photos of the aftermath.  The event also afforded the opportunity for me to speak one-on-one with the city's new interim police director.  He discussed a number of topics.. Including fighting crime in East Memphis.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Off-Duty MPD Officer Shoots Home Intruder

Off-duty MPD officer shoots would-be burglar in Southaven

A attempted home invasion during which a homeowner shoots the suspect would have made a story in any event.. Especially in Southaven, MS.  But this one also involved an off-duty Memphis Police officer.  He was home tending to his two young children when Southaven Police said a man kicked in the back door.  I interviewed a number of neighbors who said they would have done the same thing to protect their families. One neighbor even showed me the gun he had strapped to his hip.  It is still rather vague as to if this officer violates MPD's residency requirement which states officers hired since 2005 must live in Shelby County, TN.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Remembered In Memphis

Earth, Wind & Fire founder's friend talks about Maurice White

Not everyone knew Maurice White was from Memphis.  But everyone knows the music of Earth, Wind, & Fire.  I was on the phone with a lot of Memphis music folks upon news of White's death.  I found out that Stax Records legend David Porter grew up with him.  He still considered White his best friend.  Porter agreed to meet and discuss his late friend.  He called White a visionary who was ahead of his time.  One of White's sisters still lives in Memphis.  She was very welcoming when I knocked on her door.  Understandably, she wasn't ready to speak on TV.  She said White was a "cool brother."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Doorbell Cam Catches Package Thief

Package thief caught on hidden doorbell cam

This was the latest story generated by The website and app used by neighborhoods for alerts and such.  Our 10:00 producer saw that someone caught a package thief on a home surveillance camera.  But the camera was a new one we'd never seen before.  It's hidden in a doorbell and acts as a motion sensor, camera, and speakerphone.  I did some digging to try and find the victim and was able to get his number.  He agreed to discuss the crime and share more of his video.  He even used the camera when I came to the door.  I used that clip in this story.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

AMVETS Worker Charged With Stealing From Charity

Man caught stealing donations from veterans

This story was the result of a Shelby County Sheriff's Office news release.  It even included a photo of the alleged crime taking place.  I've been anchoring the 4:00 news.. So, it's nice to have a ready-made story when I'm done.  This one concerns an AMVETS charity truck driver accused of stealing from the load of donations he was hauling.  Investigators snapped a pic of him allegedly selling some of the goods to a woman in a random parking lot.  It was pretty easy getting people to react to the crime.  My first few interviews happened to be with veterans or those with veterans in their families.