Monday, October 18, 2010

Catching Up on Stories

It's been a while since I posted stories that I've covered. I've been spending as much time I can with my friends before they left and in the sun before it leaves, as well. However, now I've got a bit of time and I'm happy to post some of the work I've done lately.

Free After-School Dinners
We've all heard about free school breakfasts and lunches, but some children in the Rogue Valley also receive a free supper. It's part of an after-school program sponsored by Sodexo Catering (who is also the food supplier at Saint Mary's) and non-profits. It was a really cool program to learn about and I'm glad i got to do the story.

First Southern Oregon Gay Pride Parade
Last week was National Coming Out week and Ashland celebrated with its first ever Gay Pride Parade. It's kind of a big deal that a town with a population of 19-thousand in a relatively conservative area (So. Oregon) is hosting an event like this. Usually you hear about big cities like San Francisco, Boston, Chicago hosting parades, but I liked that a small town rallied together to do something like this. The parade it self was on Saturday, but I covered a preview of the weekend's events on Thursday and Friday.

Dirty Dancing
Grants Pass High School's homecoming dance was came to a grinding halt when students were accused of dancing inappropriately. This was the second time students had done so and the school's administration is considering canceling dances for the rest of the year. It's an interesting story but I knew that I'd need something visual to really bring the story home. While I was talking to students, one told me about a youtube video that was taken on cell phone while the dance was shut down. Thankfully the audio was usable and I incorporated it. I think the story is pretty interesting and could lead to good discussion about what's appropriate for a school-sponsored event.

Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood in Medford is receiving a million federal dollars over the next five years to implement a teen outreach program that has been shown to reduce dropout rates, teen pregnancy, and improve decision making. It sounds like it's oging to be a good program that will help hundreds in the Rogue Valley. What made reporting this story difficult is that another reporter Tove conducted the first interview and I was picking up from there. I was going to be reporting on this story without as much background as I would normally like. I also needed a second interview and no one was getting to me. Thankfully, Tove helped and we were able to get Planned Parenthood to help too. The end result was a pretty cool story about the group's program.

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