Mommy's done a little bit to help Gabe prepare for his first birthday cake next month, giving him a few chances to eat processed sugar so he's not overwhelmed on his birthday. This past Resurrection Day, we gave Gabe a marshmallow Peeps after church. Below is a series documenting his enjoying the treat in a matter of seconds.
On deadline ...
I've reached more local students at Tech, although I'm stymied on several. That work and some Internet reporting continue to suggest that all of our kids are OK.
I had some misgivings about the status of several kids, and those are tough calls to make. Calling the house, introducing myself, and checking on the kids. That's when you've got to suck it up and tell yourself you're a real reporter, so you've got to do it.
Thankfully, everyone had talked to their kids. Nobody was offended by my asking, but I got a variety of response -- thanks and confusion, mostly (who are you, how did you know they go there, etc.).
It helps to be a concerned citizen in those situations, especially one looking to inform others. Having lived through 9/11 and talking to a hometown reporter that day helped too.
Some parents were protective of their kids, but gave me contact info in the end.
The majority of my contacts, though, originated with a call to one parent. She gave me her daughter's cell phone, which led to a chain of other cell phone numbers from her and other students.
Newseum and Collegiate Times (see links in previous post) did come through well. They're worth checking out. From the front pages I've seen, I think print media have done well. I see one headline close to the one I have in mind.
Today's massacre at Virginia Tech is a scary thing, even though it's about 3 hours from us. Undoubtedly, it's a major story, and one thing we try to do at our weekly newspaper is put local faces to national issues.
That's what I've been busy with this afternoon. I've got a working list of about 2 dozen county kids attending Virginia Tech, and I've been working all sorts of angles to check on them. Our local kids have graduated from three public schools, and Tech is a popular choice for college.
Official word on victims is not likely to come soon. I've got pretty good information that everyone from one of our schools is OK. That includes two who are residents of the dorm in which the first shooting occurred. Info on the other two schools is sketchier, so I'm still working on it.
It's rare that such big news ties into our coverage area, but this is a time when a weekly newspaper can really do a community service by sharing news, possibly correcting rumors and telling the stories that everyone's talking about.
When the sun rises tomorrow, I suggest checking the front pages of newspapers around the world at the Newseum to see how dailies around the country handled the story. I've already got a headline in mind. We'll see if anyone else uses it. (You'd be surprised how much duplication there is when it comes to headlines for such major stories.)
UPDATE -- 5:25 p.m.
As with any big story like this, initial information can be hard to come by. Facts and figures change and morph as the confusion dies down. That can be seen in coverage online, such as at Yahoo News
Throughout the day, I've been checking in on the school's newspaper, which has done a neat job adding updates as they come available. They're to be commended.