Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Under Fire

In the past three weeks there have been two deadly, officer-involved shootings in Medford. One was a 20 year old federal fugitive who was shot by U.S. Marshals. Another was an 18 year old who was killed by Medford police officers.

Having two fatal shootings by police has sparked fiery responses in the community. Very fiery.

Our station's Facebook page has seen hundreds of passionate parents, teenagers, people who live in the Rogue Valley respond. Some of them ticked off, some trying to explain the police's rationale.

It seems as though some people have made up their mind and what we report either reinforces it or must be incorrect.

That's an incredibly difficult audience to work for. I love this job because I can make a difference with my reports. Illuminate confusing topics and connect people with their community. I can't do that when my audience is a brick wall.

Rather than use scare tactics or sensationalizing stories, I want to tell only the absolute truth. I think the facts are interesting and satisfying enough on their own.

On Tuesday, I talked with the Medford Police Chief about the department's training and when they use force. How guns are a last resort.

I'm proud of how this story turned out.

Just minutes after my report aired someone wrote on our station's Facebook page, "Thank you for your coverage and explanation... thank you for serving us locally."

My pleasure.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happiness and Passion

A quarterlife crisis is when you're a twentysomething and freak about everything you're doing and not doing and where you are and who you associate with and what you stand for and what you haven't done yet and what decisions you passed up and why you're here.

I'm not having one of those.

But I tend to think about those questions a lot. Unexamined lives aren't worth living, right?

A friend sent me this article about finding happiness and following passion. It says the opposite of what I've been taught to think-- Passion doesn't automatically lead to happiness.

It's an intriguing and quick read worth a few minutes of time now and lots more thought later.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Forever Faithful

That was one of the best games I can remember. Nearly four hours after kickoff my voice was gone, my hands stung from high fives.

The Niners beat the odds and shut up the critics, beating the Saints on not one, but two last minute drives.

36-32. San Francisco.

This game I'll remember forever and two plays will be etched into my mind and many others among the Niner Faithful.

(1.) On a 3rd and 7, Smith runs around the edge, picks up a few key blocks and gets into the endzone. SF up with just about two minutes to play.

Everyone was thinking pass, no one was thinking run. Especially a Smith run. What a call.

After the utterly deflating strike by Brees and Graham, I almost knew we'd score again. I knew it wasn't over. The energy level was too high, the Niners had come back already. One more wouldn't be too tough, right?

Smith to Davis over the middle, putting us in field goal range.

But Harbaugh didn't play it safe. No settling for the field goal and tie. If we had tied here's what would have happened. Either the Saints get the ball and march down to score a TD. Or the Niners get the ball and the loss of momentum from the previous drive being cut short to a FG deflates the team. We end up punting and New Orleans wins. It's a lose-lose in OT. But not in regulation. Plus, Harbaugh probably watched the Fiesta Bowl.

(2.) Smith to Davis on the goal line and into pay dirt.

The sight of Davis with tears streaming embracing his leader, his coach was amazing.

It's being called The Grab. To me, it was the The Catch II, part 2.

And it'll be as memorable for me as the original was for generations past.

Never been prouder to be a Niner fan and more excited to share the moment with friends in red and gold.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Deadly U.S. Marshal Shooting

"Are you psychic?"

That's what the Chief Deputy District Attorney asked me in a voicemail early Friday morning. She was returning a message I left the previous evening.

My call asked about laws surrounding police officers and lethal use of force.

Less than two hours after that first call, two U.S. Marshals shot and killed a 20 year old they were trying to arrest. It happened in a crowded parking lot in front of Albertson's.

-- --

I was one of the first reporters on scene and spent the next few hours giving live reports, tracking down police, shooting video, trying to find out what happened.

Information slowly started emerging from police, family, and witnesses. It was a 20 year old Medford man, Jimmy Georgeson, who had been arrested in the past and served time for assaulting a U.S. Marshal.

Co-worker Steven stayed late and did a major portion of the work in putting together all the information for the 11:00 broadcast.

-- --

-- --

The next day we had complete coverage once the dust started settling, and the victim's family became very unsettled.

Jimmy's family talks about their late son's history of mental illnesses and being behind bars in Juvenile Hall, jail, and prison.

They admit Jimmy did not have the best record, but they believe he was unarmed and killed without justice.

-- --

The Marshals who fired their weapons are on paid leave, Medford Police is investigating, the family is preparing a lawsuit.

This will be a long, time-consuming, and evolving story. It's got an incredibly interesting beginning.