In my mind, the Earnest case will always be the top story of 2010. The selection of our "top 7" stories is a democratic process and I certainly respect the decision our viewers made, but I will never forget the hours I spent sitting through both trials with my fellow journalists. It was an experience that gave me a whole new perspective of our criminal justice system and allowed me to cover a major event in my hometown. Every time I walk into the Bedford County Courthouse, I will think of that case and the work that went into reporting it.
December 21, 2010
I have an important birthday coming up this weekend and I am not ashamed to talk about it.
Some people I know like to hide their age. They will stop at nothing to prevent others from learning their actual birthday. I am not one of those people, perhaps because I am regularly mistaken for someone far younger than I actually am.
On Saturday (yes, Christmas day), I am turning 30. Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to this event. I would much rather be 30 than 25 or even 20. There was so much uncertainty and insecurity at 20.
30 feels much more comfortable. Career-wise, I am where I had always hoped to be at this age. I am grounded by family and friends and the knowledge of what I learned in my 20s. I am ready for and embrace this milestone, even if my age is slowly robbing me of that youthful appearance everyone keeps telling me about.
August 26, 2010
What a great summer it has been! I've taken one of my favorite domestic vacations of all time, gotten lost on the way to the Grand Canyon (which ended up being a good thing, too), and watched my best friend get married in one of the most beautiful spots in the U.S.
I'll start by addressing the Grand Canyon mishap. It happened during the first thing I mentioned - my favorite domestic vacation. We traveled to Las Vegas for eight days back in June. Originally our plan was to stay on the strip the whole time, but we got a wild hair and decided to rent a car and travel into the desert.
Along the way, we stopped at the Hoover Dam. Pictures make the dam look like a massive structure, but it turned out to be a lot smaller than I expected. Lake Mead, which is held up by the dam, is a truly sad sight. It has almost dried up! One very neat thing going on at the dam is construction of a large bridge nearby. When finished, it will allow drivers to cross between Arizona and Nevada without driving on the dam. I'm glad we got to drive across it before that option was taken away.
Back to the Grand Canyon. We decided to go out there after reading brochures all over Vegas that offered bus tours to the Canyon's West Rim. The tours cost anywhere from $170 to well over $200 per-person. "Why spend that?" we thought, when a rental car costs much less and would get us there faster than a tour bus. My friend brought along his brand new GPS, a device we've nicknamed "Wilma." Here's where we made a mistake.
We typed "Grand Canyon West" into Wilma to see what would come up. Sure enough, she had an address for us. So we followed the GPS to what we thought was the west rim of the Grand Canyon. After four hours of driving, we arrived at a trailer park - not the Grand Canyon.
Apparently people make this mistake all the time. Not far from our destination was a hotel, owned by an Indian tribe that also happens to own the land where the Grand Canyon West is located. The people at the hotel were very friendly and prepared to tell me how to reach my destination, which was more than 100 miles away. They were almost too prepared to answer my question, if you get what I'm saying. I'm not into conspiracy theories, but I do believe that tribe has a racket going to make money off of people who get lost using a GPS. Smart, if you ask me.
Further proof of my GPS theory came when we finally got to the Grand Canyon - an indescribable site, if you've never seen it. We heard several people complaining of how long it took to reach the site from Vegas. "Did you use a GPS, too?" we asked. Their answer was yes. Another point for the conspiracy theorists.
Like I said before, our detour turned out to be a good thing. At the hotel, we learned about a discount admission to the canyon that we would not have known about had we driven straight there. Going out of the way also allowed us to drive on part of Route 66, something I've always wanted to do.
I'll wrap this up with a quick mention of my trip last week to Bar Harbor, Maine - the location of my best friend's wedding. I can't think of a more beautiful place to get married, or a more beautiful couple to tie the knot. If you ever have a chance to visit Mt. Desert Island or Acadia National Park in Maine, take the opportunity. You will not regret it. And by the way, you can use a GPS to get there. We did - and it worked out just fine.
July 27, 2010
It's been a while since I've posted anything on this blog. In the news world, it's been an eternity. I've covered the Wesley Earnest trial and the aftermath this week that nullified the April verdict. I've been extremely busy, not just with that story, but trying to keep up with events throughout Lynchburg, Central and Southside Virginia.
For nearly six months, I was covering an eight county area by myself. I'm thrilled to announce that I now have some great help. You may have noticed our new reporter, Karen Kiley. Karen comes to News 7 from West Virginia and has some great experience under her belt. She's been a bureau reporter for the last three years and brings to Lynchburg a great understanding of how to work in a satellite newsroom like ours.