False Alarms

via bp.blogspot.com

via bp.blogspot.com

They happen all the time, mostly around deadline, too.

One actually happened on Monday, where we thought we found the missing ECSU student, but it turned out to be a couple utility crews replacing a telephone that broke after an accident from over the weekend. For reference, this was all near the ECSU ballfields, which the radio had said was swarming with state police troopers.

Mike sent me out, while Louisa was doing an update to the story. I was already off deadline and I got there as fast as I could. I went the long way and ended up finding nothing, but I did see that the road was blocked off for quite a distance.

I headed back to the other side of Mansfield City Road, by Route 6 and the ballfields, and met up with Roxanne (staff photographer). We then walked from the ballfields to the corner, where the utility crews were repairing the broken telephone pole.

Since Louisa was still on deadline, I called her instantly and let her know it was a false alarm. She didn’t seem surprised and thanked me anyway. Roxanne made sure to get pictures for proof that we were there and didn’t find anything. In fact, the only trooper we found was already on his way out when we arrived.

False alarms are a nature of the business. You have to take them in stride and check them out anyway.

I remember last summer, there was an eagle stuck in a elementary school cafeteria. We heard it on the radio, confirmed it with the school and it turned out to be true. We weren’t able to get pictures, but we made it a brief, though. People want to read those things and it’s always nice to dispel rumors when you can.

It’s not always fun and games like the two incidents above. It can be a real pain in the ass, but we have to do it. No reporter is above checking out the false alarms.

We deal with the alarms as we do other breaking news.

It has to be done.

Jonathan

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