http://goo.gl/atFMe4 published by The Wild Rose Press
Celebrating 10 years as reporter
I am a reporter with the Record Publishing Co. and wrote this column, which appeared in the Hudson Hub-Times newspaper at http://goo.gl/B07yFo
By Freeman of the Press
My tenth anniversary as a newspaper reporter with Record Publishing Co. arrives Feb. 1, 2015.
my beat has covered city Council meetings in Tallmadge and Hudson, that
amounts to roughly 500 meetings I’ve attended. Covering government
stories means I’ve reported on governors, senators, congressmen, judges
and too many candidates to count, learning more about politics than any
class in school.
Want your voice heard? Speak at a Council meeting
during public comments. The meetings are televised, sending your message
to viewers, the city officials and your city representative.
it result in change? Sometimes, the argument is more emotional than
practical and fails, but other times words have impact. I know. I write
Someone asked me how I make sense out of the meetings. The
hardest part is filling in the blanks — the things not said by members
of Council. Sometimes a handout, resolution or phone call answers the
questions. But time reveals whether the decision was good or bad.
key to writing a story, any story, is to focus on the problem. What are
Council members talking about? What is the decision they have to make?
The answer is the story.
Another part of being a reporter is
community news. I’ve seen businesses open, close, celebrate
anniversaries and change ownership. Mayor William Currin is a familiar
face at ribbon cuttings.
I remember when Main Street Cupcakes opened
and I sampled some of the cupcakes. There were some doubts a
cupcake-only business would survive, but it’s thriving.
businesses, like Hershey’s and The Learned Owl Book Shop, changed
owners, while Lager & Vine took on a new name with new ownership.
is known for its events, fundraisers and holiday celebrations. I was
around when the Fourth of July fireworks were canceled in 2006 due to a
lack of funds, but they’ve returned every year since. The worst
experience occurred on a warm summer night when the last blast exploded
into a torrential downpour, sending everyone dashing for their cars.
holidays included children dressed in Halloween costumes and an annual
stocking contests with the Green decorated for Christmas. The biggest
festivals were the Harry Potter celebrations when thousands dressed as
characters from the J.K. Rowling books. It was my job to attend, but it
also was fun to share in the enthusiasm of the crowd.
children are a major focus in the community. I’ve interviewed young
entrepreneurs who sell lemonade; students testing the water in a stream
restoration project at the high school; future lawyers in a courtroom
practicing for a mock trial; actors preparing for a play or musical; and
photographing graduates stepping on stage to receive a diploma.
favorite past time is covering the annual Challenger game when Special
Olympic kids play football against the Hudson Hawks seventh-grade team.
High school players help mentor, and the band and cheerleaders encourage
everyone as they score. Plan to attend in August.
Those are the
happy memories. Others are sadder. The deaths of men and women I’ve come
to know — Mayor John Krum, Council member John Jeffers, Peter McDonald,
Dick Malson and others who have impacted the community and left a mark.
The most difficult job was covering the funeral of U.S. Marine
LCpl. Daniel Nate Deyarmin Jr., 22, killed Aug. 1, 2005, in Haditha,
Iraq. He was the first casualty in our coverage area and, unfortunately,
not our last. I also covered the funeral of U.S. Army 2nd Lt. David
Rylander, 23, of Stow, who was killed May 2, 2012, in Logar Province,
I covered five murders — Philip and Sarah Gehring who
were murdered in New Hampshire by their father, who drove across the
country, burying them in a clearing off Terex Road; Marci Kornblut who
was murdered by her husband; and Patricia and John Knudson murdered by
her son and his brother.
Then there are the children with cancer or
some other life threatening disease. And although you hope your words
help them fight the battle, some lose the fight.
challenge is to make the words count, influence or impact others. I hope
I have succeeded most of the time and will continue to reach out in
print. Thank you for reading.