A crime reporter’s year in review

Note: This was a post I first published for my Gross on Patrol crime blog at GoUpstate.com. So long, 2014. Another year has come to a close, marking my first full year as the Herald-Journal’s crime and public safety reporter. My days here have flown by. I can’t tell you how easy it is to forget all that I’ve … Continue reading

A look back at fire deaths

Fire fatalities burned an eye-opening statistic into Spartanburg County last year. As we enter 2015, a look back at 2014 reveals that the county significantly led the state with the highest number of people killed in fires. Fourteen people died in fires in 2014. There were just two in 2013 and another two in 2012. Not … Continue reading

A positive headline among the muck of journalism trends

Well this one caught me by surprise. I was treating myself to a daily dose of headlines from Poynter and Romenesko today. I read one clipping which told the story of a Detroit Free Press staffer who was made to attend a training session on the very day she was laid off. “What’s new?” I … Continue reading

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

Mentoring a summer intern

For the next couple of months, I have the pleasure of serving as a mentor for one of our summer interns at the Herald-Journal. Andrew Moore is a junior print journalism student at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. I have a cumbersome checklist for him to tackle while he is with us and the internship … 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

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