Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Horrible News

We often have to report bad news. Unusual events in our community and world affects our viewers. Sometimes the news affects us individually and sometimes very deeply. That happened this morning in our MoneyWatch Report. One of the items in the 75-second report is horrible...potentially devastating. It's winter in the Southern Hemisphere. One of the most important commodities in the world is grown in places like Columbia, Argentina and Brazil, and it's been an unseasonably cold winter. That means this year's coffee harvest is less than normal. Reduced supplies and continued strong demand means that the coffee prices are going up. That's awful! Those of you who know me personally know that my coffee cup is always close by, and never empty for very long. Someone asked me how many cups of coffee I drink every day. I can't answer that. I don't count. If I did, it wouldn't be measured in cups. Pots maybe. Quarts would be a more manageable unit. Let's pray that the harvest is better than they expect.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gossip Girl, Signing Off...

Katherine gave us the following blog entry to post before she left town Thursday. We wish her the best! You can leave your comments below:

As some of you may know, Thursday was sadly my last day in the Big Country. Tonight, I will drive East on I-20 towards Dallas, where I am beginning the next chapter in my life.

I came to KTAB two weeks after I graduated from TCU. What a change it was! All the sudden, my mom pulled out of my driveway and I was a full-blown adult on my way to my first reporting job.

I was told in the beginning that time would fly, and there were some days I didn't believe it. But, as I sit at my desk one last time, I can honestly say, it did.

I have been so lucky to work with such an incredible team at KTAB/KRBC. Each one of you has been a partner and a friend. I will never forget this place.

I wanted to take the time to thank ALL of you whose path I have crossed since coming here in May 2008.

Every person I've encounted has made a huge impact on my life. There has never been a moment I felt out of place, for that I am eternally grateful.

I would like to especially thank my family and friends in Albany for inviting me into your amazing community and making me one of your own. I grew up spending most of my free time in Albany and always wanted to get a taste of what it would be like to live here. I am SO lucky to have chosen such a unique profession to give me that opportunity.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Bon Voyage Big Country!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stamford Situation Brings Back Bad Memories

The following blog post was written by KRBC Executive Producer Mark Moseley:

It's absolutely unbelievable. Shocking, really, that in 2010, you could imagine anyone spouting something like it.

That was how I reacted to the racist "Song of the South" recording that our newsroom received Monday afternoon. An excerpt:

Cotton on the roadside
Cotton in the ditch
Pick that cotton, you black son of a b****
Pretty shameful. And the fact that it was attributed to a school district superintendent made it all the more shocking. It's no wonder that residents of Stamford are angry at this. Residents are saying it's not the first incident of alleged racism in that city. Either way, a lot of people are upset, and it's clear that a conversation needs to be had on race relations in that city. But before that happens, this song business should be cleared up. And that can be done with a simple Google search.

Look up "song of the south racist version ringtone". The very first result is the exact same song that you heard on our news Monday. It's no different. It's pretty obvious that it's been on the internet for a long time. And unless Stamford's superintendent goes by the profile name "michael_54", it's pretty clear that this isn't him in the recording.

I grew up in Greenville, Texas, about 50 miles east of Dallas. Just about everyone who grew up there knows the two things Greenville is famous for: the sign, and the church burnings. For the better part of four decades, a sign hung over downtown Greenville, which read "Greenville Welcome: The Blackest Land, The Whitest People". (Image here) That sign has been gone for more than 40 years, but the stigma lives on today. It certainly did in the summer of 1996, when an arsonist burned two predominantly black churches to the ground. The KKK and Black Panthers gathered at our courthouse simultaneously. It was an ugly time, and even though I was only 10, I knew something was horribly wrong in my hometown.

I bring this up not because I believe the same thing will happen in Stamford, but because I know how quickly things like this can escalate. And they become much, much worse when garbage like this ringtone comes into play.

I've never been to Stamford. I don't know anyone from Stamford. I've never met the superintendent, or anyone who may be an enemy of his. I don't know why someone would say that's him on the recording, or that there's the possibility that it's him, or that would lie and say it's him to discredit him. And I hope that residents there can get to the real root of what's bothering them. But as long as wild accusations like this ringtone are being thrown around, that just can't happen.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Day of Comebacks, On and Off the Field

As a proud lifelong fan of the Texas Rangers, I know that Wednesday, August 4, 2010 will go down as a red-letter day in franchise history. Even though the two most important events of the day technically happened in the wee hours of the 5th.

It was a day for comebacks. Victory in the face of defeat. The Rangers were in the Pacific Northwest, but the story begins over 2,000 miles away, in a Fort Worth courtroom.

For months, the Rangers have been mired in desperate times, thanks to owner Tom Hicks’ gradual descent into financial ruin. You see, Mr. Hicks and his ownership group became stuffed to the gills with debt. Millions upon millions of dollars owed to creditors, including a handful of former players who haven’t put on a uniform in more than a decade.

The debt situation had become so bad that even when Hicks decided to throw in the towel and sell his Rangers, it just wasn’t feasible because of the sheer number of people owed money. That led to months of wrangling, while the Texas front office remained hamstrung by a lack of cash.

As we fans have witnesses in recent weeks, the Rangers’ wunderkind of a GM, Jon Daniels, has spun some magnificent trades, convincing other teams to not only trade Texas good players, but cash needed to pay them as well. His moves have given the Rangers, among other things, the ace this team has needed for decades to make a bona fide playoff run.

Meanwhile, team management (and of course, the most faithful of fans) counted down the days until Wednesday, when the team would go up for auction like a prized blue-ribbon pig. Two groups were ready to bid on that pig: a pre-approved group led by Rangers legend Nolan Ryan (and dapper Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg), and a late addition to the proceedings, led by Mr. Moneybags himself, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Cubes had both the cash and the cojones to keep jacking up the price for the Rangers, setting off a tumultuous day in federal bankruptcy court that continued well into the night and following morning. Don’t get me wrong; I think having Mark Cuban as the Rangers owner would be spectacular. He’s passionate, he wants to win, and he’s got the cash (“Steinbrenner money” as my buddy called it) to go out and overpay for elite talent.

But my support was firmly behind Team Ryan/Greenberg. They’ve already been approved by MLB’s owners (the key to ownership in this league), and they are virtually assured to keep the front office as it is, which has turned the Rangers from a joke into a juggernaut. And finally, at about 12:45 am, Team Cuban conceded. The long nightmare was over. The Rangers would have a pair of fresh, friendly faces at the top.

But the drama wasn’t limited to the courtroom that night. Having lost 3 of their last 4 games, the Rangers’ offense had been sputtering, and the team desperately needed a jolt. Thanks to a little disrespect, the team got just that. Backup outfielder David Murphy came up with the go-ahead run on base, which had been put on intentionally so that the Mariners could pitch to Murph. David responded by blasting a home run deep into right field, then staring at it a la Ken Griffey, Jr. From there, the runs kept coming, and the Rangers ended up scoring 11 times. Then after the game was over, the players learned, along with the rest of the world, that the ownership situation had been resolved.

It’s a new day for the Rangers and their fans. The talent is there, from the top of the organization, all the way to the rookie leagues. The front office is talented, and brilliant, and they finally have ownership that will support them financially. This is an exciting time to be a fan. Playoff fever is in the air, and the team is playing as well as any team named “Rangers” ever has. The future, both immediate and long-term, looks amazing.

And who knows, maybe in the next couple of months, the Boys of Summer will knock the Dallas Cowboys off the front pages.