Monday, November 27, 2006

10 die in fire in Anderson, MO

Right now I am sitting in a hotel in Neosho, trying to catch up on the day's events surrounding the deadly fire in Anderson. In case you don't know, 10 people in a residential care facility died after a fire broke out Monday morning. Missouri Governor Matt Blunt says authorities are treating it as a crime, though no one is willing to confirm at this point that it is, indeed a crime.

KY3 was the first TV crew to go live at the scene on Monday afternoon. The building was still smoldering, family members were still coming to the scene for information, and one by one, television crews from across the area and the country came to cover the story.

It is truly sad. I try to avoid words like "tragedy" because even if it's obvious that it is one, it's not really my place to call it that. But what human being wouldn't? 10 people, 9 of whom were residents--and likely physically or mentally challenged--couldn't survive on their own, much less in a stressful situation like an intense fire. It is sad. If you pray, please do so for the survivors, the town, and the loved ones left behind.

See you on TV in 4 hours.
update: to see all of the stories about the fire, go to

Ozarks Marine becomes paralyzed after getting vaccinated

Here's the story of a young Ozarks man who grabbed my attention. His name is Josef Lopez, and he's just 20-years-old. Just about a week before leaving for Iraq, he got a small pox vaccination. These are not mandatory by the military, but apparently, they're advised. His reaction to the vaccine is so rare, that doctors at a naval hospital told him they had only seen three other cases like his in the past decade...and to top that, the CDC reports that out of every million people, less than 55 will have a serious reaction to the vaccine. Here's his story:

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Chinese Adoption on Thanksgiving REDO

This is a story that aired on KY3. It is about a couple who brought home their little girl from China the night before Thanksgiving. The proud new parents are Tracy and Ann Nix...the little girl is Hanna Marie. It is always so great to see how families become families! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Chinese Adoption on Thanksgiving

Okay, let's try this again. See if you can watch the story's reposted above.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


So, today I went to the doctor because I've been really jittery. I thought maybe I was showing signs of early diabetes or something because it's been happening when I eat. Plus, I think diabetes runs in my biological family--not really sure, the translation was sketchy. My doctor said it was probably stress and lack of sleep. I am thankful...because that is easily solvable.

Here's a thought this Thanksgiving...this is a list compiled by the Willard School District.

The top 10 things that make students thankful this year, are:

#10 air and water
#9 a clean chair
#8 janitors
#7 broccoli salad
#6 My prisbole (that is kidspeak for Principal)
#5 food
#4 remote controls
#3 pets
#2 our teachers
#1 Mom and Dad

*Dr. Kent E. Medlin
Superintendent of Schools
Willard, MO

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Adoption Talk!

The International Adoptive Families of SWMO has asked me to share some of my personal stories concerning my adoption. They asked me to talk about my visits to South Korea and my meetings with my birth family. I encourage adoptive families to go--not for me--but to meet other adoptive families.

We're meeting tonight (Sat. Nov. 18) at 6:30pm at the Pathways Methodist Church on Dale Street in Springfield, MO. (Formerly the Dale Street Church)

The above picture is me. Notice I didn't have a name, but a number. A social worker named me Hyun Sook Park, sometime after this picture was taken.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A nationwide hotline number may have saved a MO child

This is a story I wrote and aired on November 13th. It's concerning a glitch with the child abuse and neglect hotline number, and Missouri's inability to communicate with its surrounding states. If you have an opinion, please leave a comment.

Most of Missouri’s child abuse investigations start with people calling a state hotline. More than 50,000 people pick up the phone each year to make a report. It turns out, however, that many other people can’t get through if they try to call the child abuse hotline.

"Life is quite a bit different, and it will never be the same,” said Connie Hardin. She never hurt her 18-month-old granddaughter, Jaycee, but she feels partly responsible for the toddler's death last May. It's a guilt she lives with "every day, every single day," she said.

Hardin suspected Jaycee was being physically abused. “We felt like something was not quite right,” she said.

But because Hardin lives in northwest Arkansas, and because Jaycee lived in southwest Missouri, Hardin says she didn't know exactly how or where to report her suspicions. First, she says, she called the Arkansas hotline number from the phone book. The call taker told her that she had to make the report to Missouri's Department of Social services and even instructed her to call Missouri's toll free hotline. Hardin said she did – seven or eight times.

But every time she called, she heard this recorded message: "The number you have dialed cannot be reached from your calling area."

The call didn't connect because the toll free number only works within Missouri. So, if you live in Arkansas, you can’t use the number (800-392-3738). This could pose a major problem for people because Missouri has eight states that touch its borders -- Tennessee ties that number--but no other state has more.

There is a long-distance number for people outside of Missouri to call (573-751-3448). Workers with the Department of Social Services in Jefferson City say it's been in place for decades.

"You can contact your hotline for your state and they should be able to give you that number for the Missouri hotline,” said Celesta Hartgraves, an executive for DSS.

But it turns out the Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services didn't know Missouri's toll hotline number. A call taker at Arkansas’ child abuse hotline only had Missouri’s toll-free number, the one that doesn’t work outside of Missouri. Ky3 called all of the other seven surrounding states. Only two -- Iowa and Kansas -- gave us the right number to call (573-751-3448.)

Hardin says getting the wrong number left her helpless.

"All hope was severed; I couldn't get through," she said.

Hardin did get through, but only after she called and made face-to-face visits with both Arkansas and Missouri authorities. When she made the report in July 2005, the Missouri Children's Division investigated and found no evidence of abuse. Hardin says she never knew that because no one from DSS contacted her. At that point, the only thing she did know was that she was disgusted with the system, and it mader her weary of reporting any future suspicions.

“I feel bad about that, and I'll always feel bad about that,” she said.

Jaycee died 10 months later from a blow to her abdomen that was so hard it tore her small intestine. Her stepfather, Joseph Frye, is awaiting trial for her murder.

“It’s too little, too late,” said Hardin.

Hardin feels like she could've prevented her granddaughter's death if Missouri's DSS had a better hotline system. She hopes, by telling her story, it can save the life of someone else.
"Get better protection for the children in the state of Missouri because, to me, that will at least mean that Jaycee's life meant something,” she said.

Hardin says better protection for children should mean having a toll-free number that works from anywhere. Leaders of Missouri's DSS say they will explore ways to change the hotline number, because it's their job to provide what's best for children. DSS, at one point, did have a nationwide number, but it was cancelled because people were calling the number when they should've been calling another one. DSS said not only was that delaying child safety but it also was costing the state money. If Missouri reinstated the nationwide number now, the cost would be based per call, which DSS says is roughly seven cents a minute.

To watch the actual story, click here:

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Darin is so freaking cool!!!!

In plain language, he sent me a Korean version of my blog, and everything that's attached to it. I am so computer illiterate, this totally blows my mind!!!

Plus, this is so exciting for me because hopefully I can communicate with my sisters.

Darin, you are my new best friend. I'm not kidding. THANK YOU~!

Michelle Sherwood - Korean Edition

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Creepy but Cool!

I recently found this website, and we've been playing on it at work ever since. It's called SitePal, and it is basically a paid service that puts a talking head on your website. You can get it to say anything, like George Carlin's seven words you're not allowed to say on television. It's a little creepy, but it's so cool. And even more fun, you can make the voices speak in accents ranging from English to Korean to Greek to Spanish...There's a free demo, try it out:

1) Click on "try demo"
2) Click on "record" (underneath the talking head)
3) Click on "text to speech"
4) Type in what you want a computer-generated voice to say!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


If you work in a newsroom, you put in extra hours. It comes with the territory. It is nearly 2:30 am Wednesday morning, and half of our newsteam is still working. Why you ask? We're still waiting for some numbers, duh.

I actually covered Amendment 2 this election--that is the stem cell initiative. It looks like it's going to pass, but just 15 minutes ago, we were wondering if the vote was too close to call. At one point tonight, the difference was only 755 votes. It has been a controversial issue, no doubt. Stem cells are two very powerful words that have evoked emotion, excitement, confusion, and debate these last few months and in particularly, these last few days. This one really came down to the wire.

Elections, good times, good times. I hope this makes head is spinning. By the way, what a close race between McCaskill and Talent! Very interesting night! I hope you exercised your right to vote. There is always debate in our newsroom whether journalists should vote...

Friday, November 03, 2006


The movie "Borat" opened in theaters across the U.S. today. Normally, I don't rush out to see movies the day they open, but this one was an exception. The movie has received unbelievable reviews across the board. One critic called it a "cult comedy that will likely endure and mature like an Airplane! or a This is Spinal Tap."

In case you're not familiar with Cohen's work, he is Ali G, of HBO's "Da Ali G Show."

Anyway, the movie is hysterical. Here are the first four minutes of it, but don't judge the movie by that. The funniest stuff happens in the middle of the movie, and by that, I mean roll-out-of-your-seat-crying-funny.


Deleted scene--

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I just want to say that the guys over at Whitaker Publishing know how to throw a great party. I went to the GO party for Halloween, and it was incredibly fun. Good food, good band, good times. In fact it was so fun that I had to go home at 9:30 pm. If you have the chance to go to one, it's absolutely worth the $5. I spend more than that for a hot tea and a muffin.