Hope this Monday isn't kickin' your butt too much... (as Mondays sometimes have a way of doing! :)
I've been slacking with the blog, but I have a good excuse - I've been on vacation (so if you're looking for a lot of news content- after 10-days off, you'll probably not find it here! :)
Got a chance to tour one of America's most historic cities - Boston! It's beautiful! I was a huge fan. Even though I lived outside of Boston as a kid, I don't really remember it. Going back as an adult definitely made a difference..
So, what did I do on this vacation besides eat lobster rolls, clams and copious amounts of lobster bisque? Well, I saw quite a bit of the area - I did a trolley tour of the city where you were able to get off and explore multiple sites, went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (where there was a cool glass exhibit by a man name Chihuly = awesome!), went to Martha's Vineyard, walked Harvard's campus (about as close as I'll get to Harvard! haha) and caught up with my good friend Kate who used to work here at the station. All in all, I spent too much money, ate too many lobster rolls - and had a WONDERFUL time! :)
Did I mention the weather? It hovered near 60-degrees (YES.. 60! One day was 58!) for at least half the week! A big difference from the upper 90s that are coming our way this week. Please stay hydrated- keep an eye on the kids and seniors & don't forget the sunscreen!
Until next time- take care & please be safe! :)
Every holiday, it seems, without fail- something major happens.
Monday as we were preparing for the noon news, word of a shooting at the Roanoke Sheetz came across the scanner. We eventually got some info and were able to air it during the newscast.
As I got off the desk, we're hearing more.. this time not just about the Sheetz. We're hearing a trooper had been shot. To say we went into panic mode would be an understatement.
Let me set the scene. I've been here since 3 a.m., my producer has been here since 12:30a.m., our one reporter/photographer team is out doing a story and not answering their collective phones. There's an intern. One guy who's getting ready to walk out the door after editing video for the a.m. & noon. And, one other guy who's answering the phone (7-people for those keeping up at home.)
We start sending people out the door. Any plans you have to leave or go home are put on hold. I pick up the phone and start calling people in. We need a live truck operator. We need a satellite truck operator (the two aren't interchangeable- the SAT guy knows how to do the live truck, but most LIVE truck guys aren't trained and approved to do the Satellite truck.)
Off the record, we're getting all kinds of information. On- record, well, that's another story. No one's talking.
When it's all said and done, we got the story & got the people where they needed to be.
Sadly, a woman is now dead.
A trooper is recovering.
An alleged shooter is in the hospital.
Days later details are still emerging in this case.
First, I've personally spoken with Sgt. Matt Brannock. He's home. He's recovering. He's humbled by the outpouring of support.
Meanwhile, police say Jennifer Agee was gunned down by her ex-husband, Franklin County deputy Jonathan Agee. According to a search warrant, the two, who have been divorced since '05 had some sort of "relationship." Jennifer Agee reportedly contacted the new wife via text messages to let her know of this development. (hey, don't shoot the messager! this is all from a Franklin County search warrant.. )
Also coming out, word that Agee's current wife contacted the Franklin County Sheriff's office to warn them her husband was on a murderous rampage. Instead of issuing an "all points bulletin" or "be on the lookout" - Sheriff Ewell Hunt reportedly said he would handle it himself. He thought it would be quicker. He reportedly contacted the Salem Police Department (Jennifer Agee lived in Salem.) He apparently couldn't get a hold of anyone, so he left a message. Someone from the Salem PD contacted him 13-minutes later. A "be on the lookout" wasn't issued until after Jennifer Agee was shot and killed in Roanoke.
Oh, did I mentioned that Jonathan Agee was named in the Franklin County grand jury indictment against Sheriff Hunt. According to that testimony, Jonathan Agee and Ashley Hunt (the sheriff's daughter) spent time together and she did ride-alongs with him.
Okay, as a reporter/viewer/citizen- here are some of the questions that pop into my head...
- why wasn't an APB or BOLO (All Points Bulletin or Be on the Lookout) issued?
- is there a protocol for this? or is it up to the discretion of the officer?
- if you thought handling it *personally* would be quicker, why did you leave a message? Where's the urgency?
- how much of the office's business is handled personally? (i.e. would handling something "personally" be considered unusual?)
More questions will no doubt come as the days progress, but right now there seems to be an air of "what if" hovering about..
What do you think about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts with me at: email@example.com
Until next time, please be kind & take care of one another!
A lot of you have sent me notes asking how my knee's doing. (I had knee surgery back in March. Light duty for another month after that. Now, nearly 2-months later, still doing Physical Therapy) First off, thanks for asking! To answer your questions - It's slow going. I had a setback, hurt my knee and still haven't returned to the gym.
That being said - since I haven't been able to work-off my extra pounds I've been cooking more. (for people who watch News7 Sunday Morning- you've heard me mention what an AWFUL cook I am! for friends and family- you KNOW this is true! haha) I've discovered a website - Gina's Skinny Recipes: http://www.skinnytaste.com It's been a help. Out of the three-recipes I only messed up one! (I especially liked the Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad!)
I got a little exciting news today. I learned that photographer Rob Chewning & I received a Virginia Association of Broadcasters Award for our stories on local soldier Zach Osborne.