Sunday, November 25, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007


I'm wearing 3 bandaids on my arms because I had to get three shots today. Three!! And I'm taking the typhoid vaccine orally...which also isn't that fun either. The side effects are awesome.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Even though there has been no evidence that Rowan Ford endured abuse, now is as good a time as any to remind people that they are mandated reporters.

We know that teachers, doctors, daycare workers, etc. are mandated reporters. Duh. But, when I went to the Department of Social Services in Jefferson City for a child abuse case a couple of years ago, workers there wanted to emphasize that ANYONE WHO HAS A CHILD IN THEIR PRESENCE is a mandated reporter.

That means if you are driving a minivan full of children, and you notice something odd, you're supposed to report it. Babysitters, carpoolers, room mothers are ALL mandated reporters. The same goes for Sunday school teachers.

Now, I suppose that's really hard to enforce, but it's probably DSS's way of covering themselves and driving the point home. Nonetheless, I think it could be an extra nudge someone might need to "get involved".

KSPR found out there's a decent chance Rowan Ford has a file at the Department of Social Services. Her school confirmed someone from there had hotlined her. I'm very surprised that no one else has reported this yet because (honestly) there are enough signs that might lead one to ask questions concerning abuse. Notice I didn't say there were signs of abuse, though. Anyway, I made the request, and hopefully we'll hear something before 3 days...I'll keep you posted.

But remember, get involved. Don't be afraid to get in someone's business. When it comes to kids, it only hurts when people don't.

Child Abuse and Neglect Hotlines:
The toll-free number is 1-800-392-3738. (ONLY WORKS IF CALLING FROM MISSOURI)
Persons calling from outside Missouri should dial 573-751-3448.
Text telephone number: 1-800-669-8689.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Update on Former Springfield Anchor

From NewsBlues and Collective Talent: Rachel Aram, a morning reporter at CBS-owned WFOR-4, was injured in a car accident in a station vehicle yesterday and had to be cut free by rescuers. Aram, who is pregnant, was in a Ford Explorer with photographer Brian Shannahan when they were sideswiped by another car on Sunrise Blvd in Fort Lauderdale. The WFOR vehicle then hit a cement pole. Aram was briefly trapped in the passenger side, and rescuers used the jaws of life to extricate her. Both were taken to Broward General Medical Center. Shannahan had minor injuries and was released. Aram underwent surgery on her ankle, was kept in ICU overnight, and has now moved to a private room. Her unborn baby was uninjured. The WFOR website made no mention of the crash or injuries. Ironically, Aram is scheduled to leave the station at the end of the November book and move to San Francisco, home to her fiance.
(Rachel used to work at KOLR/FOX. I ran into her just a few times out in the field, but I thought I'd post it if anyone was interested.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rowan Ford is Dead, Charges are Filed

Rowan Ford, dead at 9 years old
Please keep Rowan Ford's family in your thoughts and prayers.
As many people in the Ozarks already know, she was a 9-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by her stepfather and his friend last Saturday.

This is the most horrible crime against a child I can imagine.
It terrifies me to think that there are people out there who could carry out such a brutal act.

Even though it's nothing compared to those who knew and loved Rowan,
I have to say that it's pretty disturbing to cover...
I did not have to go out to any of the crime scenes, but it is pretty difficult and disturbing to read the things that allegedly happened to her...
It has been weighing heavily on my mind.

At the same time, it's exhausting.
We've all been working endless hours trying to get the latest information on the case, and work through our station's challenges. Believe it or not, KSPR was the first to go online with the arrest Friday night and we cut in on air earlier than anyone else. We were also the first to put the charges online... I know this because I did it from home Saturday morning, and I looked... (Thanks to Randy at The Turner Report for appearing to notice...I couldn't upload the PC statement, so I typed it out.)
However, being a new station has its challenges of growing an audience, and I understand that people have their own viewing habits.
Plus, I can truly say that there was some outstanding coverage by several media outlets.
Anyway, that's not the point.

I'm just saying this because it's horrible to cover, and at the same time we have a job to do that requires us to de-sensitize ourselves and work to be as fast and indepth as possible.
My personal thought is that news organizations should be required to bring in counselors for their staff when things like this happen. Law enforcement agencies do it for their officers because they see so much. Journalists are in many ways in the thick of it, too.

Anway, please do not forget Rowan.
She trusted someone, and he violated it in the worst way.
Her story cannot be something that's covered one week and forgotten the next.

And remember these men:

Christopher Collings (DOB: 02-04-1975)

David Spears (DOB: 11-04-1982)

Remember that they admitted to the crimes...

If they are telling the truth, remember these men in hopes that Rowan and her family will get justice. Right now they face first degree murder charges, forcible rape, and first degree statutory rape charges.

Authorities are also looking for other people of interest--basically David's friends.

Rowan's funeral will be on Wednesday in Neosho.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

No time to blog!

God, are the days getting shorter?

If you really want a good read, you should check out some of the blogs from my coworkers. I just realized we are like the blogger station. Watch out interweb!!

First of all, there's Ron Davis and his Chatter blog. Need I say more? Ron is a pioneer in so many ways, and he always manages to find the most obscure facts about things. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he makes me laugh.

Next, there's Doc Larry. Larry will laugh at me when I say this, but it actually took me a couple of weeks to figure out who he was. I mean, I had read his blog, but I didn't know it was him...and here he was, the 1o pm producer. Ha! Good stuff...

Then there's Emily Rittman...she is a reporter and a person, too! That's the premise of her blog...she's so funny, and I really enjoy sitting by her. Most days she's chasing down criminals in the Ozarks, and I think you'll really see great things from her!

Friday, November 02, 2007

OMG! "It's Sweeps Week!"

If you've seen the movie Bruce Almighty, then you've heard "sweeps week" before!!! Of course, it's really like a month, and we won't be sending people to Niagara Falls...

But, it is the beginning of the rating period. November is a big month...I am working on sweeps stories, too, and hopefully, they won't go something like this:

Here are some sweeps-type news slugs--
"Teen Prostitutes"
"Dirty Doctors"
"Prison Sex"

And, hey, you've probably heard these lines before--
"It's 10 o'clock, do you know where your kids are?"
"Did you know your cereal can kill you?
"A KXYZ exclusive investigation tonight, take a look at this "shocking" video"
But here's something out of the box...look at how KCTV 5 in Kansas City is promoting its sweeps story... (I really like it...)

So, here's your challenge...come up with more exciting sweeps headlines or story slugs...