A Look At The Past Few Weeks In Pictures

A street becomes flooded after a large rain storm moves through South Bend. The water was a few inches deep, but cars still forged their way through it.

This office at the Laporte County Fair Grounds says Sheriff's office, but this year a privately owned security firm will be on hand after a lawsuit was filed against several deputies.

Two men in ski masks, dropped off by a third man, robbed this pawn shop. As soon as they got in the door the door they fired a shot into the ceiling and told the customers to get down.

They then smashed in this case where the high end jewelry was, grabbed it, and ran out the door. The whole robbery took about 60 to 90 seconds.

The two men ran to this side of the store, where they knew there were no security cameras, and ran into the woods. Police are still looking for the three men. A version of the story that I did, coming soon!

State Representative John Proos, Congressman Fred Upton, and State Senator Ron Jelinek met in Niles to learn how one manufacturing company has managed to thrive. We took a tour around Delta Machining, a company that manufactures parts for the wind and solar industry, to see how they've become so successful during these tough times.

I interviewed all three politicians to see hear their thoughts on where Michigan's business economy is headed. Click here to read the story I wrote.

Police rescue a man off a bridge after the man threatened to commit suicide by jumping.

You think "cat stuck in tree stories" are only cliches? Think again! Little Chewy got stuck up in that green tree for four days, braving the wind, pouring rain, and even 97 degree heat.

Walt Temple Tree Service agreed to come rescue Chewy... and boy it sure was quite the rescue! Cherry picker and all...

Here's little Chewy enjoying his much needed Tuna... If you happen to get your cat stuck in a tree, don't call the fire department or your local Humane Society. Walt Temple suggests placing the cat's favorite food or toy in your cat's sight to help bring it down. If this doesn't work, try spraying a hose above the cat and hopefully the falling water will force it down.
A shredder coming to South Bend? The man who owns this property sure hopes not! Jim Parker owns 90 acres of land, but butted up against a portion of his land is a metal recycling business that hopes to put a shredder in. Parker doesn't want to deal with the noise the shedder could create and he says his property could be a great development in a few years.. but not in a shedder is put in.

We spoke with Parker who calls the shedder idea "ludicrous".

Here is the metal recycling yard right next to Parker's property.

Randy Schlipp, the man who owns the recycling company, says the shedder shouldn't make much noise, won't create an odor, and will bring about 30 jobs to South Bend.

Doing a stand up describing how the metal recycling company tested the sound a shredder would make with a decibel reader. My version of the story coming soon!

NISPCO is debating whether or not to have a base rate hike for natural gas use. We spoke with the Studebaker National Museum to see how it could affect them.

Passing by on the heat or air conditioning is not an option for the museum. They must keep their temperature at a constant 68 degrees to preserve artifacts and cars like these in the museum.

A 17-year-old boy is found shot dead in his trailer home here at Countryside Village. You can't tell in the pictures, but more than a dozen police cars showed up, along with Metro homicide and investigators. They still haven't caught the person who did it.

A man on his way to the restaurant he visited every Saturday with family, was killed at this intersection while riding his motorcycle. The man who killed him was on his way home from Indianapolis. He was high and traveling at a very high rate of speed when he hit the man on the motorcycle, sending him the length of two football fields. We spoke with the motorcyclist's pastor who describes him as a lover of this country. The man driving his BMW, ended flipping his car several times.

Urban Adventure Games is coming back to South Bend for a second year! Teams from South Bend and states across the Midwest will travel on foot, bike, and even down the East Race (pictured here). They will be asked to do either mental or physical tasks.

Protesters marched the street of South Bend expressing their thoughts on why they are against Arizona's Immigration Law.

They ended their protest at the public natatorium where a few speakers made their statements.

Dinner-time Storms Rock Michiana

A massive storm tore through Michiana June 18th, showing no forgiveness or gentleness to the towns in its path.

The storm stretched more than 100 miles long with winds reported as strong as 90 miles per hour.

The driving rain and ferocious wind left thousands of trees down and tens of thousands without power.

I'll share with you how one group at the Blackthorn Golf Course in South Bend dealt with the vicious weather.


Day At The Skatepark


Runaway Teen Held Captive And Raped

A South Bend man is behind bars after allededly raping a 15-year-old girl.

But the details on this story extend way beyond that.

I'll tell you what happened in this bizarre case.

Police say they have opened a second case after pornographic images of the girl were found at another home.

Boy Nearly Drowns At Silver Beach

Losing a child is something no parent wants to face.

But according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages one through fourteen.

I'll tell you how a day at the beach for one boy turned into a scary situation and what parents can do to keep their kids safe.

The incident at Silver Beach was one of three near drownings that day.

Expelled Students Get A Chance To Re-Enter School

When students are expelled from school, they must do something positive to get back in.

For some students, one program is giving them that chance.

I'll show you how the Fresh Start Program reshapes student's lives and teaches them the skills they need to succeed in school.

Oladle says he he expects to return to traditional school in the fall.

The Art Of Detaching Yourself From Stories

Disconnect. It’s a word you must learn how to do as a journalist. From time to time, you must disconnect yourself from your story and your subjects.

In college, professors have warned us. There will be stories you cover where you will see dead bodies, burning buildings, car crashes, people shot and stabbed, and many times people going through the most painful time in their lives. There will be so many things you will experience that perhaps you’ve never even thought about, and if you can’t handle it than this certainly isn’t a job you should be doing.

Recently I read 60 Minutes correspondent Byron Pitt’s autobiography “Step Out On Nothing.” In it he describes various disasters and catastrophes he’s covered in his career. September 11 was one of them. Pitt’s was in NYC when 9/11 happened and he recounts the horror he and others faced that day. He depicts of how the ground covered in dust made is seem as if they were walking on the moon, the people he watched fall from the towers, and the firefighter he interviewed near the WTC site covered from head to toe in dust, the only streak of skin showing was from a tear that had rolled down from his eyes. The firefighter had just lost all of his men.

He writes, “On September 11, 2001 and on many days like it, I found it best to hide behind my job. Reporters are supposed to keep some detachment from the people and the subjects in their reporting. It was that professional distance that kept me grounded in the notion that I was placed in this moment to cover history not get caught up in it. It was not about me or particularly what I was feeling, it was about the people around me and reporting on their experiences, their emotions, and not my own.”

The other day I went out with a reporter and a photog on a story about eight apartments that had been completely destroyed by a fierce fire. I’ve been out on car crash stories and others where disaster has struck, but I can honestly say this was the first fire story I’ve gone out on.

When I first walked up the stairs to an apartment that had been affected, I couldn’t help but notice the reeking stench of smoke filling the air. As workers moved in an out, shoveling debris into garbage cans and dragging them across the room to be taken to the dumpster, their feet squished against the sopping wet carpet. Pieces of charred black wood that had fallen from the ceiling lay on the carpet. The entire apartment, although not the place where the fire had started, was stripped of its inside walls and there was almost nothing left except a few appliances.

In the room where I’m guessing the master bedroom had been, sat a dresser and a large mirror… the only lonely pieces of furniture left in the entire apartment. Across the way was another bedroom and under the mound of wreckage lay a few Christmas decorations that had been left behind. I also noticed a half a loaf of bread stuck behind a few boards and wondered how it had survived…

While standing there watching the photog shoot, I watched as the workers excavated the bathroom. I couldn’t help but stare at the bathtub thinking that someone once took showers there.

It’s a weird thing, standing in the middle of a place destroyed by fire. You start to think all these things you never would until you’re there. You wonder what sort of things the family lost in the fire, how the apartment looked before the fire, what the family was thinking while they stood and watched as their home was consumed by unforgiving flames, how they feel after the spectators and firemen are long gone, and when you see little collectibles laying around you wonder why they decided not to take them with when they come back to salvage their belongings.

And unlike other stories, although the apartment owners weren’t around for this one, I didn’t feel as if I was intruding in on their place. Maybe that’s part of the disconnecting and detaching yourself from the story.

This is only the first of many fires I will cover and each time I will learn more and more how to detach myself from the subjects I may want to get close to and express sorrow and sympathy for. It’s not always an easy process, but if you want to be a journalist, it’s just something you just have to do.


Week Four At WNDU

It’s no surprise when I go home my mom gets undoubtedly annoyed hearing my complaints about being bored.

“Can’t you just enjoy sitting around for once?” she always asks me; but I can’t and that’s what so great about reporting. There’s always something to do, new people to meet, new things to learn, and every day’s assignment is unexpected. And in my fourth week at my internship, it was no different than described above.

This past Monday I pitched a story at the morning meeting about a man who had been arrested on Sunday for allegedly raping a 15-year-old runaway girl. The story goes way beyond just that though. Apparently the 15-year-old had accepted an offer from this 34-year-old woman "Amanda” who she had met at a bus stop. The woman had told her if she ever wanted to run away she could stay with her. But not too soon after she met her, “Amanda” would take the 15-year-old to different homes, leave her there for a couple of days, and force her to have sex with men. Finally this past Sunday the girl called home and told her mother she wanted to come home. When the police picked her up from one of the homes Amanda had driven her to, they arrested a man there who had forced the 15-year-old to have sex with him. The police also arrested another man in connection with the girl and child pornography. Making the case even more shocking, the 15-year-old claimed “Amanda” starved her and she would go days without food. After pitching the story I asked if I could go out with the reporter on it.

After receiving information from the police on where this house was we headed over there. Stories like these can sometimes feel strange at first. You never know if someone is going to be willing to talk or not. Luckily for us we approached a woman a few doors down from where the incident had happened who was more than willing to speak her mind. She was sitting on the porch with one of the neighborhood children talking to people as they walked by. As we got to know her it became clear she was like the neighborhood grandmother who watched over all the neighborhood children. She happened to know the people who lived in the home where the 15-year-old had been taken to. She gave us a unique look into what type of people they were, saying they occasionally came to cut her grass and help with her plants. The crime they had committed seemed “very scary” to her.

Next we headed to the police department to talk with an officer who gave us all the facts we needed to complete the story. This was a gruesome crime that churned our stomachs, but the officer stated it clearly: "it shows you what can happen with in your community. This is not...human trafficking is not something that happens internationally alone, it can happen in a 10 mile radius of an individuals home, and I think that's what we have here, we clearly have a minor that's being trafficked around the area."

Click here to read Runaway teen held captive and raped

On Tuesday morning I was asked to go out on a vosot in SB. Four police officers in St. Joseph County and the Fatal Alcohol Crash Team were being honored for their efforts in keeping drunk drivers off the roads. For all the bad news we must cover, it makes me really appreciate things like this. The week of July 4 is the deadliest in terms of deaths related to drunk driving so it was no coincidence why they were holding this ceremony at this time. These four officers were the top in catching impaired drivers.

Click here to read Recognition ceremony held Tuesday for DUI Task Force

When I got back to the station I headed out with a photog and a reporter who wanted to do a story about new Elkhart businesses. This happened to be on of those stories where everything wasn’t quite falling into place. The owner of the new business the reporter wanted to talk to was out of town and all other sources weren’t answering their phones.

As one reporter told me, a million things can go wrong in your day, but by deadline you are always expected to turn a story. The key source in your story may not want to talk to you, but you must find someone to talk. Your camera could break while your out, or the battery could go dead, but you are still expected to have video for your story. Your computer could crash while you’re editing your story, but no matter what you are still expected to have your story done by show time.

After heading to Elkhart to see what we could find, the planning and economic city director gave the reporter a call and agreed to do an interview. We ran to meet up with a Elkhart police officer to do a quick vosot on a man who had been found shot to dead in an alleyway the night before and then went to meet with the director.

The city’s planning and economic director also hooked us up with our next source, making our story complete. A man was just starting up his business in Elkhart. Bruzer is making non-lethal guns for officers to use when they don’t necessarily need to use lethal force.

Although everything wasn’t quite falling into place at first, I learned you just have to keep trying no matter what. At the end of the day, if you’ve tried hard enough, you should be able to turn out something good.

Click here to read Elkhart businesses are hiring and diversifying

The next two days were fairly simple as well.

On Wednesday one of the photogs and I attended a meeting where the Niles City Council was meeting to hear proposals from two companies who were looking to restore or rebuild an old dam in the town.

Although I was only expected to write a vosot on this, I know as a reporter it is important to know how to cover meetings. So as I sat and listened to the two companies speak, I treated the story as if it were going to be turned into a package. I definitely felt more confident in how I would have sorted the information if I were writing a full package on it than I would have if it were the beginning of the summer. Thus I know I must be improving!

Once back at the station, I wrote the vosot, edited it and wrote the web story.

Click here to read Niles City Council looks to restore or rebuild old dam

Another meeting day on Thursday, except this time it was a group of animal lovers who are trying to get the counties animal control officer ousted because he allegedly has been abusing the animals.

Stories like these can be tough sometimes… when you only have the she said he said aspect of it, so taking the facts and basing your story around them is extremely important.

By the time we got back to the station, it was pretty late. And what does this mean? Crunch time! It seems to happen a lot… but once again, stress is something a reporter must be able to handle. When it comes to show time you are expected to act calm and collected… No matter how your day turned out…

Click here to read Allegations of animal abuse in Kosciusko County
Copyright © Tara Grimes
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