Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Morning Reflections

The media crush has shifted from the Stark County Sheriff's Office to downtown Canton in anticipation of today's arraignments of Bobby Cutts Jr. and Myisha Ferrell. I was in Canton this morning and can tell you that Second Street is now a sea of satellite dishes. Most of the national morning shows are set up on the courtyard commons.

Canton Police Chief Dean McKimm arrived early to make the rounds beginning with the CBS Morning News. He's really quite a professional. He told me off-camera that he reminds his officers that they never take credit for the good job another officer does, so there's no reason to beat themselves up for the alleged crimes of a fellow officer either. That's a pretty strong way to deal with this. I'm hoping to sit down with the Chief later today or tomorrow to talk about the pain this has caused the department.

It was good to see peace amongst the morning show folks today. Last Friday, Jessie Davis' mother was late arriving for her scheduled interview with Good Morning America at the Greentown Fire Department. Patricia Porter had apparently overslept. Rushing across town, Porter did arrive in time for her second interview with the Today Show. Long story short, GMA folks felt she should still do their interview first but NBC folks felt that they'd locked in a time with Patricia and whatever she'd missed earlier wasn't their fault. I'm told the field producers from the two shows nearly came to blows right in front of Porter. I can understand the frustration of a guest being late when the competition is just a few feet away. Still, I can't fathom having that type of blowup right in front of a mother whose daughter and unborn grandchild have been kidnapped. No reason for that at all.

My cell phone rang Saturday night just before my 11 p.m. liveshot on Channel 3 about the discovery of the body. It was a local police officer who told me, "you're never going to believe whose sitting dead center at the 'Alive' concert in Canal Fulton -- Cynthia George!" On any other day, I would have had a million questions about a CG sighting and whether this means she's getting back to a normal public life. But while still coming to grips with Jessie's death, I couldn't process anything else.

I got to meet Todd Porter last night. He's the Canton Repository reporter who got the exclusive interview with Bobby Cutts Jr. last week. His reporting all week has been top-notch but he isn't one to take much credit. He kept championing the entire newsroom's effort. I'd like to find out how much the Rep's web traffic has increased since it posted the audio of Cutts' interview. Porter told me, "I'm just a sports reporter trying to help out" but I think his contributions this week will keep him in the News side of the house for a while.

I'm looking at a receipt in my wallet for $31 and trying to recall what I bought. Now I remember. When I got the tip call Saturday afternoon about Cutts' arrest and the search for the body, I jumped in my car and just started driving towards Canton while calling sources on my cell phone. Problem is, because it was Saturday and I wasn't scheduled to work, I hadn't shaved. I didn't realize it until I was a few miles from the Sheriff's Office. Being resourceful, I ran in to the Wal-Mart on Route 62 and snagged an electric razor, but unfortunately I didn't read the package label. I got out to my car and found that my $31 facial fixer didn't take batteries so I had to plug it in. I ran back inside the store, but there were no outlets in the men's' room (and you thought WM had everything right?). With time running out, I went out in front of the store and plugged in the razor at an outlet between the 7-Up machine and a electric device that spits out tattoos. For five minutes, I worked to clean up my mug as patrons walked past looking at me like I was out of my mind. I just kept waving and smiling and trying to not look like a complete nut. One lady stopped and said, "Hey, aren't you ..?" I quickly cut her off and said, "Paul Orlousky from Channel 19? Yep. That's me!" "I thought so," she said as she walked away. Paul, now we're even :)

1 comment:

vanillacokehead said...

My heart just sunk when I got the text alert Saturday afternoon with the news about the discovery of Jessie Davis' body. My wife drove home via Bath Rd. and noted there were a bunch of police officers lining the road.

I take that road almost every day to my job in Fairlawn. I stopped by the "Top Of The World" park sign and said a little prayer this morning for everyone involved. It was sad to see under the sign a stuffed doll of a big bear holding a little bear.

I nearly cried when I saw it. The drive to work along there will never be the same.

And I agree with you that the laughter at the Saturday night press conference was more than a little inappropriate.

And, disagreements over a delayed live shot resulting in tense moments for field crews. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt...