When to use a straight news lede

Sad story today. I was reading The Associated Press’ accounts of a shooting in Maine where five people — including three children between ages 4 and 12 — were found shot to death inside an apartment. The details are sorrowful, but the news is blunt. I wanted to share because I found it to be one … Continue reading

WaPo blogger notes ‘grammar of police shootings’

I stumbled on this blog entry through a tweet from AMU/APU criminal justice professor Mark Bond. The title reads, “The curious grammar of police shootings.” I come to find out the post goes into detail about one of the all-too-common sightings I encounter as a cops reporter, a beat that thrives on rummaging through police … Continue reading

Reporting through 80 pounds of protection

I’l admit, strapping on the bomb suit put me in a Hollywoodesque mindset.I imagined I was starring in the Oscar-nominated The Hurt Locker as I approached the scene of a controlled explosive to ensure the blast detonated. Strips and pieces of cardboard were everywhere. A small blast mark had imprinted in the parking lot space. All clear. The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office … Continue reading

Latest awards from MDDC Press Association

I’ve been in South Carolina now for about five months. I left The Frederick News-Post in Frederick, Md. to join the ranks at the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, S.C. and I couldn’t be happier here. That said, I am pleased to feel as if I made a true impact at my last newspaper. I learned Friday that … Continue reading

Fighting crime with… iPads?

This week I’ve had a number of conversations with officers in the Spartanburg Police Department about the possibility of having the department use iPads or similar tablet devices. For years now, each patrol cruiser has been stocked with what’s called a Toughbook. They’re heavy, durable laptops and can’t be taken out of the cruisers. They … Continue reading

Blotter round-up

In just one short week at the Spartanburg Herald-Journal we’ve had several serious and some quirky criminal cases — yet my colleagues all say “it’s been a slow week.” On Christmas Day, a man reportedly stabbed another man twice, once in the chest and once in the stomach. Police said the motive stemmed from an … Continue reading

Recent clips: Ethiopian adoption, credit card fraud and school safety

I meet interesting people everyday. Every so often I find a reason to write about them. Sometimes a person’s story can be just that — a heart-throbbing personal life tale about a situation or circumstance while others’ stories can be the magnifying glass to a broad issue with serious implications. I thought I’d share a … Continue reading

It’s difficult making time to reminisce, recollect

Never a dull moment   Judging by the time stamps on these posts, I’ve taken a hiatus from the blog. My sincere apologies. As a cops reporter, it becomes very easy to get lost in the day-to-day muck of police briefs, research, court docs and crime-scene perusing. These past few weeks have been nothing short of a … Continue reading

Regaining sight of the story behind the story

My last post prior to this one was a mere four months ago in February and I realized that four months is far too long. Being entangled in the essence of my job, writing each day and telling the stories of others, I’ve forgotten to tell my own story and offer my own perspectives. And so, at … Continue reading

Heat waves bring crime waves

It’s no secret that when the summer months roll around, criminal activity takes a spike, including and especially homicides, rapes and other violent crimes. In fact, according to the FBI’s website, all crimes rise about 10 percent during the summer season. Murders increase even more during the summer, rising at about 16 percent. There are … Continue reading