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Jefferson City Fires/Sedalia Parade

Well, I got back to the grind after a nice battery recharging in Hawaii. I went right to work on Wednesday and came in with some interesting ideas – including Marshall’s airport renovation plans, and the School of the Osage graduate who is now joining the astronaut program with NASA. None of them panned out, so I started working on the “suspicious fires” release we received from the Jefferson City police department. It seemed like a pretty interesting story and I got the sense it would have some decent visuals. So, we called the contact listed on the press release and hit the road to Jeff. City. I had my trusty intern/shadow Coleman with me, and once we got to Jeff. City, we drove around to try and find some of these “suspicious fire” sites located mainly on the east side of the city. While we didn’t find anything, we got the sense of the neighborhood where some of these fires had happened. We stopped at the Fire Department’s administrative office to try and find out a little more information. A secretary gave me the number of someone who knew more about it, and after speaking with him on the phone, we found out some of the basics on where the fires were happening. Turned out there had been a fire behind the Gerbes Super Store over the weekend – someone started a fire inside of a dumpster behind the store, rendering the dumpster almost completely destroyed and also damaging a few wooden pallets. I had Coleman shoot an off-the-shoulder standup with me showing the damage to the dumpster. I liked what we had and I was happy to let him shoot so he learns how to use the cameras. After the standup, we went to the Jefferson City Police station downtown and spoke with Captain Doug Shoemaker, who gave us the “official” soundbite. He told us about the house that had been hit by a fire, which I did not know of – so after talking to him, we hightailed it to the house to shoot some video. I was shocked at how much damage had been done, yet Shoemaker said the fire was not intentionally set to burn down the house – only that some pyromaniac was messing around on the foreclosed property and the fire spread onto the house. After that, I went to pick up my pizza from Kate & Ally’s, and we hit the road back to Columbia. Unfortunately, this is when my day started to derail. Hungry for some of the best pizza in Mid-Missouri, I ate a slice while driving. Not being careful enough, sauce dripped down from the pizza onto my tie, completely ruining it. We got back to the station and I didn’t have any trouble cutting a mini-package for the 6. Meredith and I agreed it would be good to go live at 6, so I left the station at 5 assuming I’d have plenty of time to run home and grab a new tie, then get to Jefferson City by about 5:40-5:45. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way. I got stuck in traffic on Highway 163 (my mistake in going that way instead of Grindstone to 63) and then on the Whitton Expressway, so I didn’t make it to the house until about 5:55. I scrambled to the setup, began to mic/IFB myself up, and RIGHT as I held up a piece of paper to white balance, EVERYTHING shut off. Kyle Seever, the truck operator, did everything he could to revive the truck, but we were royally screwed – no generator = no live shot. So, I was naturally pissed that 1) I didn’t give myself enough time to get to Jeff. City, and 2) that fate/karma would have it that the generator shut down after arriving late to a live shot. I really got a shitstorm when I got back to the station, and understandably so – I deserved every bit of criticism and such for ruining the A block of the show. But otherwise it was a fun/interesting story that was overshadowed by my bad luck/planning.

Since I was in Hawaii for what would have been my Monday dayside shift, I came in to cover Brandon Spiegel’s Thursday nightside. Unfortunately, all the stories I had were total flops, and otherwise the day was completely dead, so I left with nothing to show for the day. It wasn’t too big of a deal to me because I had agreed to work on the 4th of July, Saturday, and had a story lined up in Sedalia about the town’s revived parade. So, I came in early and hit the road to Sedalia. I had heard about this from a woman I met there when I was there for the stolen donation jar story. She gave me the name and number of a guy who had supposedly revived the Sedalia 4th of July parade when for years the town did not have one, for unknown reasons. So, I went to Sedalia and got the obligatory parade video, trying to move around as much as possible without getting the camera too wet from a surprise rainstorm. There was some cool stuff – like motorcycles, classic cars, and war veterans. Then, I interviewed the 2 guys who had a big part in the parade’s return, and got their story. It seemed pretty interesting, and a good “return to tradition” type of story. I shot my standup in the park where free BBQ and community games were going on. It definitely seemed like a legit 4th of July event – people came with their kids, parents, aunts/uncles, etc. to fish, play volleyball, etc. It was pretty cool to see several different generations of people on display. I also interviewed a woman unrelated to the organizers for a good “resident” soundbite. Overall I was very happy with the video I had, and I felt I’d have plenty of information to write whatever I needed. When I got back to the station, I went on-set for the 6, and cut a vo/sot for the 10. Definitely enjoyed this story and I felt it was a success! The on-set came in the C block of the 6, and I’m not sure when the vo/sot aired.

So, done with b3 reporting shifts! Now, I have to do my HFR and a paper with an interview of someone from a different ethnicity in a different TV market.

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