Story of the Week 9/29

Classes help seniors enter the digital age


I’ve never met anyone who didn’t know how to use Google, until last Thursday.

I’m not picking fun at Noella. I just found it amazing that, as a great-grandmother, she wanted to get online and start using a computer.

It was incredible. I couldn’t put all of her past into the story, but I’ll never forget that interview.

What an amazing person.

Please read this one. It’ll be worth it.



Story of the Week 9/14



Every district that you’ll cover will have transportation issues.

These stories are easier said than done, in that, you have to find parents to tlak to.

It’s really tough to track them down, but, once you do, you’ll have your story.

The trick is to get both sides of the story. What does the district think? What does the school board say? Do the parents have a valid argument?

There are a lot of moving parts and you have to be aware that the stories aren’t going to make many people happy. It’s a stressful story. I have no problem admitting that.

You’re just trying to get the story out there.

New Lebanon policy keeps magnet school students off bus

This first story took me over a week to get ready for print.

The only reason I was able to get the second story in the paper was thanks to a school board meeting.

Parents seek answers on bus issue

Keep your head up and do your best.

That’s all your editors can ask for.


Story of the Week 9/8

This was a busy week in Willimantic.
As it has been all summer, the Willimantic Police Department had its hands full.
Each week, in the newsroom, we have just been waiting for something to happen. This past week was more of the same.
These stories need no description. I encourage you to read them.

Story of the Week 8/11

via the Lebanon Country Fair's Facebook page

via the Lebanon Country Fair’s Facebook page

It’s not often that I get to get dirty and have fun at the same time.
For the night shift this past Friday, I was able to do just that.
We always cover the Lebanon Country Fair. And whoever gets the night shift that Friday of the fair, gets to cover it.
It’s a load of fun. This year, it rained, but everyone was in a great mood. I made sure to get my fair food, too.
It’s nice to see a town come together like that, rain, or no rain.
I did get dirty, but the picture I took doesn’t really show it. My boots were absolutely covered in mud. There were parts of the walkways that I didn’t think I was going to be able to get my foot out of.
via my Samsung Galaxy S4

via my Samsung Galaxy S4

The story is nothing special, but I think it came out really nicely. It was easy to write and I wish that I had gone to the fair again this weekend.
Check it out.

Story of the Week 8/4



I didn’t write any features this week. I stuck to regular news, with a court story and some breaking news in one of my small towns.

That breaking news turned into a scoop with “Lebanon to Franklin: Send your pupils here.”

It kind of fell into my lap.

And to protect the person who gave me the tip, I cannot go into heavy details, but it only took me an afternoon to confirm everything and get it into a story.

My boss said it was going to take a lot of legwork, but I made sure to get it done a day after I had gotten the tip.

After deadline on the first day, I made all of my calls and made sure it was even a story.

I had to confirm a few things and then call the “big players” to get the quotes and “meat” of the story.

Before I left that day, I told my boss what was going on, and that I’d have the story for him tomorrow morning.

I had the story written and edited with plenty of time to spare the next morning. It worked out pretty good.

It was a pretty nerve-racking story, though. Even thought very few people are quoted in the story, I had to call a lot of people to cover my bases.

I’m glad we got the story in and I’m glad we beat our competing paper that’s moving into that town. To say that’s a good feeling, is an understatement.

Read the story and let me know what you think.


Story of the Week 7/28

Summer isn’t supposed to be this busy.

Once graduations ended, I mentally prepared myself to really start digging for stories and get ready for summer.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t prepared for this. I don’t think any of my colleagues were ready, either.

Today’s post is about the breadth of what we’ve been keeping track of and writing.

Looking beyond disabilities Camp’s goal is to form future leaders

This feature fell into my lap this week. We had gotten an e-mail a week before about it and my boss and I decided to cover it.

We weren’t expecting much.

When I got there, I knew we had something special and I made sure to get as much information as I could. I talked to a ton of people and I could have easily had a 40″ story. I was really happy with the way it came out and I’m glad we covered it.

It really brightened up the paper on Saturday and I couldn’t believe how awesome the entire event was. It really was lucky.

I highly recommend the story.

Samuolis enters ‘not guilty’ plea

We’ve been following this story extensively since it occurred on June 25. We’ve been going to court and keeping tabs on the case with the police departments involved and the neighborhood.

It’s not something you would ever think would happen in Willimantic, but it did. It could have happened anywhere.

It’s not as high-profile as I thought other papers and stations would have made it. The big names tend to forget about the cases as they move along the judicial process. I wasn’t expecting that.

No matter what anyone else is doing, we are going to cover it all the way through. All of the reporters can cover courts and we sure aren’t going to drop the ball on this one. We owe it to our community. We need to keep them informed. Period. They deserve it.

It’s a graphic story, but it’s more than worthy of a read, or two.