Yesterday presented a unique situation for me and my fellow reporters.

The three of us worked on BREAKING NEWS Suspect caught after schools locked down with only one of us leaving the newsroom.

A call came over the scanner and beepers shortly after 10 a.m. for heavy police activity in Mansfield in the Coventry Road/Stafford Road (Route 32) area. The area is extremely close to Windham and Coventry and rather close to our newsroom (Read the brief for more details).

I was done with both of my stories already and Mike told me to grab our photographer, Roxanne, and see what we could find out.

Before I left, he told me to call in whatever I had so that the paper could have a brief in the paper so people would know what’s going on.

Roxanne and I set out for where the call came in. We ended up seeing about 10 state troopers on the way over, but figured there would have been a “headquarters” set up in the area. We were wrong. I forgot my scanner, so Roxanne turned on an iPhone app called “Scanner911.” It’s free and easy to use. I only wish it was louder.

With our makeshift scanner, Roxanne and I drove around the area for the better part of 45 minutes. We followed gut instincts, troopers and scanner reports as best we could. I don’t know how many miles we drove, but it felt like forever.

While we were driving I was calling into the newsroom with updates. Mike was editing page one so, at first, I had to calm down and explain to Louisa, our Windham reporter, what was going on. I told her what I saw, heard and told her about the schools being on lockdown. It was chaos, but it came out great. I had called Troop C before that to try and get some information, which I passed on to Louisa, as well.

The second time I called in, I called Michelle, our Mansfield/UConn reporter, to give her a description of the man the state police were looking for. I knew she had called the school district and had a hunch she had the story open. I was glad we got that in.

Not 15 minutes after that call the state police found the man and brought him back to Troop C’s barracks. Roxanne and I went back to the newsroom and, thankfully, the paper hadn’t gone to the presses yet. I informed Mike and the others that the police had caught the suspect and we changed the story accordingly.

I know it was only a brief, but the three of us really worked well together. We were firing on all cylinders and, frankly, I’m really proud of how well everything came out. I didn’t do any writing, per say, but we all pitched in and got it done. I have no idea how either of them understood a word I said, but we got it done.

And with the title of this post, there is no “I” in team and we proved that today. The entire newsroom worked together on that little brief.



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