Danielle Washington – Arson in Uptown Columbus

arson interview

There were many incidents of Arson in the Columbus Area especially in the historic district. So as I went out in the field with Curtis we put on our investigative hats to determine the culprits of these incidents. I learned that when you are a reporter you can’t be afraid to ask questions and knock on the doors of people’s home to get the information you need. We walked up and down the bricks of the historic district to get a lead into whom or what could be the cause of all the arsons in that specific area. We saw the tangible evidence with our very own eyes and it was devastating. There were cars in ashes and also trees were caught up in this damage as well.

I also got the divine opportunity to witness how each element of a story comes together full circle. Curtis began by doing a live shot right in front of a sign that spelled out the reward for the person who could help find the culprit of the arsons in the historic area. Yet again he did it effortlessly and then we moved on to get our interviews. We happened to find a great person to interview who actually is a major part of the police force. He told us that he was gone for the weekend but his wife and young daughter were still at the house when the arsonist place fire to his wife’s vehicle and as a result that caused a raging conflagration that went  up into his trees in the front yard.

arson reward

No one was harmed but just the ideal that the child could have possibility lost its life to the fire is so hard to even imagine. We got the main ingredients for a great story and some wonderful close ups with the help of photographer Jarrod Six and I realized that as a reporter one has to be prepared to wear many hats. The last effect that Curtis added to his package was tag on the roof of WTVM and it definitely was a nice finishing touch to the Arson story.

arson tag

Danielle Washington – Hometown Hero

tommys interview

It is rare that you find a hometown hero that actually personifies what it means to be a great person. A hero that looks out for the greater good of the community and is often willing to go above and beyond to help someone out if they can. I had the privilege to meet such a man while I was interning with Curtis McCloud. This man is a local umpire for the little leagues of Columbus, Georgia and he has been dedicated to calling fair games in this town for over thirty years. He is definitely concerned with the well being of the children in this town and he has prided himself as a dependable umpire in this city. We had the opportunity to attend a special ceremony for Mr. Tommy because of all his hard work he one of the baseball fields in Britt David park named after him.

His ceremony was so lovely it was filled with his family members, close friends, coworkers, and of course the children that are in the little leagues. It was such a humbling experience to be a part of this story and I was intrigued at how Curtis connected to this man during the interview. I also learned some great pointers on how to shoot better angles when one is at an outside venue. The photographer Jarrod that went out with us is definitely has some great skills and he always captures some great footage when go out live.

The most beautiful part about this particular story was how appreciative Mr. Tommy was to receive such an accolade he was moved to tears by all the support and love shown to him. Due to his recent decline in health, Tommy was in a wheel chair because his MS had gotten worse but he did not allow that to hinder him from being at the ceremony and he acts as if he does even have the disease. He has the true spirit of a champion and I was so proud to meet him and be a part of this hometown hero’s ceremony. It makes me feel proud live in Columbus with such outstanding citizens that service the community. I realized as a reporter these can become the stories you live for because they elevate your skills in a befitting manner.

tommys fied