10 On Your Side

The Newsroom: Top 5 at 5.

February 10th, 2014 at 2:28 pm by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities
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WAVY’s Asst. News Director Mark Kurtz oversees Executive Producer Bob Bennett.

“Attention stations!”

It’s a commanding electronic voice that conveys an urgent need to listen.  We call it the “squawk box:” NBC’s pipeline to local stations which informs our newsroom about stories of national or even world significance.  The voice on the other end may tell us President Obama is preparing for a newsconference, or that video is coming of a wildfire in California.   Our early evening 90 minutes of news is primarily local, however, so any bulletins shouted from the network will be carefully reviewed by our producers and management staff before inclusion in our days events immediately preceeding “NBC Nightly News. ”  

“Are we doing enough weather?”  shouted Assistant News Director Mark Kurtz.  Which brings me to the first of five things to watch on WAVY News 10 beginning at 5:

1.)  Winter’s worn out welcome.  Here we go again.   We have not one, but TWO chances of snow this week.  The hour to hour probabilities are detailed in a series of excellent blogs composed by members of our weather team.  But any obeserver of meteorology knows the forecast changes hour to hour.  Thus, you need to watch the latest forecast beginning at 5.

2.)  Saturday school?  Erin Kelly spoke with a member of the school board in Virginia Beach about the recent decision to make up snow days on Saturdays, which riled both parents and students.  What this board member said may surprise you.

3.) Give us just a little more time  Which brings us to another school district and how it plans to make up snow days, without having students attend extra days.   There’s a logical explanation.  You’ll see tonight.

4.)  Life in the cash lane?   A Norfolk City Councilman wants an all cash lane at the Downtown Tunnel.   Anita Blanton is working the story, and she’ll tell us why he’s pushing for it.

5.)  Eminent domain scam?    By now you may have seen our previews of a special report by Jason Marks about a man from Virginia Beach and his land deal with VDOT.  When he refused VDOT’s first offer,  the agency made a second offer, but its a practice that has some landowners calling it a scam.   This is a true example of how we’re on your side.  Jason spent two months researching this story.  You’ll see it at 6.

Nicole Livas and I will see you at 5!


The Newsroom

February 7th, 2014 at 2:52 pm by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities, Uncategorized

NewsroomSmall.jpgSo much of what you see between 5pm and 6:30 on WAVY-TV is the result of many minds and hands working feverishly behind the scenes.  As one of the anchors of the evening news, I work with a stable of talented reporters, producers, editors, photographers, directors, and the list goes on.   WAVY.com has a small but dedicated staff feeding a digital beast with an insatible appetite for content.   So, whether you download an app, log on, or hit the remote at 4:58 PM,  here are five things to look for in our 90 minutes of news.

Our 5pm producer Stephanie Duke is watching two monitors at her desk, and warns me not to take her picture.  As she juggles the show rundown, Stephanie barely makes eye contact with me, as she says “we’re hearing from a lot of parents in Virginia Beach over those school snow days.”   Erin Kelly is working on a follow-up to a decision to have students go to school on Saturdays following last week’s bout with winter.  I’ll only say it has a religious tone.  (That’s what we call a ”tease.)   As we talk about those unlucky students, a bulletin comes in about a commerical plane landing in Turkey following a bomb threat tied to the Olympic Games in Sochi.

Laura Mammarella has taken the reigns of today’s 5:30 show, and tells me my co-anchor Nicole Livas,  is working the story of the recent coal ash spill, and why it may be worse than we first thought. 

WAVY producer Laura Mammarella

WAVY producer Laura Mammarella

Jessica Ross produces WAVY News 10 at 6, and talked about three new arrests in the death of a police officer, who disappeared five days ago.   Also,  Newport News police picked up more than two dozen people for participation in the world’s oldest profession.   Now it’s time for the afternoon meeting.  I’ll see you at 5!


Heart and Sole

October 22nd, 2013 at 10:50 pm by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities, Uncategorized

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Look at that adorable little boy’s smile! He’s just one of many children who got a new pair of shoes from The Got Sole Project.

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These are pictures from their  distribution Sunday October 20 on the Eastern Shore.  Local realtor Laura Contreras Rowe founded the group three years ago to give back to the Hispanic community and from there, it grew. I stumbled upon it when I was looking for a place to donate my gently used running shoes. This is what Rowe emailed to me about the program,  “I started it 3 years ago after I had come off book tour. I wrote a book about Hispanic women role models, Aim High Extraordinary Stories of Hispanic and Latina Women. I wanted to give back to the Hispanic community so this was spot on what I was trying to achieve. We also donate shoes to 4 kids shelter in Norfolk and we do humanitarian relief. We donated all of our inventory last year to the victims of Sandy over 2,000 pairs of shoes.  Our charity has 7 amazing board members and without them none of this would be possible.”

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These are just some of the pictures from The Got Sole distribution.  Check out their Facebook page for more photos and email them at TheGotSoleProject@gmail.com to volunteer or donate a pair of new or gently worn shoes. Just looking at the faces of the recipients you see- it makes a world of difference… call it “Heart and Sole”!

 


Headlines hit home: Cyber bullies and my grandchildren

October 17th, 2013 at 3:38 pm by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities

I love it when my 9 year old grandson, Christion, visits. He’s growing up so quickly! He has twin 6 year old “baby” sisters, Sonaia and Simone. And there’s one more- Leila- who’s 12. They are sooo smart- AND- very proficient with technology. Christion is my focus here. He and the “fam” all live in Roanoke. And, whenever they visit, Christion loves to play games on my cell  phone and laptop. He especially likes interacting with people, he thinks, are kids his age, in online “gaming” and other seemingly harmless sites. As soon as I figured out what he was doing, (Hey!, I’m 57! Yeah, yeah, no excuse) we limited his time, observed,  then just simply cut it off.  He admitted he didn’t personally know who he was talking to. Now, I’m hearing this troubling story: 12 and 14 year old girls could serve jail time for CYBER BULLYING 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick, pictured here. Rebecca couldn’t take it anymore, so, she committed suicide. CYBER bullying Rebecca Sedwick 1374118_583393441708647_1765423216_sAnd it appears the PARENTS of the two kids charged, and those whose kids bully- could bare responsibility. I was bullied when I was a kid – BUT I had great parental support, AND, I outgrew the bullies and their attacks. This online stuff is proving to be exponentially more dangerous since it’s PERMANENT, WORLDWIDE and ANONYMOUS!  Christion has limited access to computers at his home – as far as I know. But he has friends with cellphones, tablets and other connections. And then there are the kids will all that access, and NO SUPERVISION or, as we called it in my family- “no home training.”  Those kids could scar CHRISTION, for life, with one “tap.” I, and CHRISTION’S parents, will continue to monitor what he does online, and shut it down if we don’t approve. We have to. Lives are at stake. We’ll “train him up” as best we know how, and keep pointing him in the “right” direction. Then, we’ll turn him loose on the world – hoping and praying  he’ll “turn ‘it’ off”  on his own, and just TALK to someone FACE TO FACE! How ’bout that for a unique idea?


10 on your side: behind the scenes

April 5th, 2013 at 3:47 pm by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities, Uncategorized
Hand of producer pushing button to talk to anchor on the set.

Hand of producer pushing button to talk to anchor on the set.

   With the rise of the online world and social media, more information is available to us than ever before.   You are gracious enough to let us into your homes daily, but you don’t always get that extra look at how information gets to you.  Here then is a look behind the scenes; pictures I snapped around the station, to provide an additional angle of the news and a candid look at just some of the journalists and production specialists  on which you depend daily.  That’s 10 on your side.


It’s about telling the complete story

August 8th, 2012 at 1:23 pm by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

I’d like to offer my perspective on the story about Gabby’s mom receiving bankruptcy protection a few months before her family stood (and stands) to cash in on millions of dollars in endorsement deals from the Olympics. People mistakenly believe WAVY generated this story. We did not. It was reported by the Associated Press; and because it came across the AP wire, newspapers and television stations in Virginia and across the country ran it. Ours was one of them.

I know there are many people who want nothing to tarnish an otherwise feel-good story. But the complete story is not entirely feel-good; if we don’t tell you this fact when we know it to be the truth we would not be responsibly doing our job. I suspect that other news outlets ran the AP story for the same reason. We stand behind our decision to run it. We would have no justification for keeping it from you, just as we didn’t hide any one of the numerous positive stories on Gabby’s accomplishments leading up to and during the Olympics. We celebrated her wins (in one story, we wrote: “Gabby…touched the hearts of millions with her winning routines and golden smiles”). We told those stories. Now a story comes along that is not positive, yet gives a more complete picture and some viewers ask us to apologize for reporting it?

Consider this: if a news outlet knew something about a story and was withholding it from you, wouldn’t you wonder why? And wouldn’t you wonder what else it was withholding from you? The media is often accused of slanting the news, leaving out things,  or manipulating the viewer to think or feel a certain way. Here, the exact opposite happened. And because we gave you as complete a story as we know it, you get to decide how much weight, if any, to give to the story. Would you feel differently about the story if you were one of the creditors who was owed money? As I’ve read some of these Facebook comments, I wonder how people would have reacted had they been given only the positive aspects of the story, only later to learn that the whole truth includes some negatives. Would they feel duped? I can assure you we will always try to tell you the truth, as completely as we can, even if it’s unpopular, even if it doesn’t jive with the feel-good image some viewers insist we make the story out to be.

I am not trying to sway anyone’s opinion, nor change anyone’s mind. Just giving my perspective.

Jim Gilchriest

News Director

WAVY/WVBT


Live from DC hearing on tax preparation fraud

June 28th, 2012 at 10:49 am by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities

6:15 a.m. – Rise and shine! There is something about the nation’s capital that makes you want to get up early and get out the door. It could be the inevitable traffic on the way into the city, especially on a day like today.

We had to stay in a hotel in northern Virginia last night because almost every room in D.C. was full ahead of today’s Supreme Court ruling on the health care law and individual mandate. A decision is expected to come around 10 o’clock this morning.

I think we may be the only people here who are not here to talk about health care. We were the first station to investigate Mo Money Taxes locally, and we want to see it through to the end.

Today a House subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security is set to discuss identity theft and income tax preparation fraud. Mo Money Taxes is likely to be at the center of discussion, with a Norfolk victim scheduled to speak about his personal struggles with the company.

The hearing starts at 9:45 so I’ve got to run! Check back for updates throughout the day. You can also follow me on Twitter. My handle is @AnneWAVY.

9:42 a.m. – I am writing from inside the Rayburn Building where the hearing is about to begin. I have learned Michael Robinson is the Norfolk victim from Rep. Bobby Scott’s district who will be testifying today. I have received Rep. Scott’s prepared statement. He will speak primarily about his constituents struggles with Mo Money. His statement references WAVY TV 10 reports. We are underway. More to come…

11:00 a.m. – Norfolk victim Michael Robinson said he learned about Mo Money from a family member. He and his wife went to Mo Money to get an estimate ($3602). He felt funny about the company and left. Later he tried to file at Jackson Hewitt and was told Mo Money had already filed for him. JH discovered IRS paid Mo Money check in his name for $5270, which he still has not received to this date. He has filed an amendment.

Mo Money has remained the main topic of discussion. Victims would be encouraged to hear how the Congressman are holding the IRS rep’s feet to the fire. She cannot comment on ongoing investigations. She told Congressman Conyers she will take his comments back to the IRS. His response: “Taking it back is not enough. I want action.”

12:38 p.m. – Hearing is over. We will have reaction from the IRS, Rep. Scott and Mo Money Norfolk victim Michael Robinson tonight at 5. Here is a picture of Michael and me after our interview. He took a train from Norfolk to get here and he did a great job despite being a little nervous.

The victim advocate from the IRS was an insightful interview. She explained some of the Mo Money schemes described by the subcommittee falls into the cracks of banking regulations, meaning no one is watching over the money. There’s some talk about increasing penalties and changing laws to incorporate direct deposit victims.

See you at 5!


Time and miles ticking away!

April 28th, 2012 at 5:51 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Personalities, Uncategorized

this is our own "on board computer"

Just shy of 12 miles in just over three hours this morning. Along with every-runner-who-can’t- stand-not-knowing-their-exact-pace-mileage-and-time’s best friend…Jimmy and I also carried our music and kicked it to Eagle 97.3 all the way.
Colley avenue close to Norfolk General and CHKD was a great place to start, considering there’s a good chance both places had some resident babies living out their first days. Some of course spending the customary day or two before heading home, others beginning what could be days, weeks or months in the NICU because of prematurity, low birth weight or other medical difficulty.  Fortunately many more of these children eventually go home now, but until they all do, we will need the March of Dimes and the MOD will need you.
Once we hit the boulevard at the Harrison Opera House, we stayed on 58 all the way to Rosemont road. The Norfolk and Virginia Beach Police Departments did a great job managing those intersections, and folks out on the roads today showed their patience and support.
Tomorrow we’ll meet again bright and early in VB, and pretty much walk until we see water!

50 miles down, 20 to go!

April 27th, 2012 at 7:49 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Personalities, Uncategorized

Hey everybody…just wanted to share some photos from today…Day 3…the big one…

The gang's all here!

    

engine/rescue 10 CVFD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now THAT’s an escort…fire engines and everthing! Maybe  it was because Friday also always brings out a VIP guest,76th district delegate Chris Jones. We never have to worry about him keeping up, he moved like he just heard Andy Fox was coming back with more questions about tolls…ha ha ha!!!  Actually Chris and Jimmy were stopped in their tracks by the ladies from O Doodle Doo’s donuts!

Carb loading

And now for the sweetest part of our day…little Forest, who stood outisde waiting to give us a few dollars and to say “This is for keeping the babies healthy.”
 

Forest makes our day!

 

Forest and his grandmother, Linda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"For keeping the babies healthy."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                        The one part of our walk on Day 3 we always talk about is the Mills E. Godwin bridge…you definitely have to lean into it, but the view  sure is worth the climb.

beautiful Hampton Roads

     We stopped at the Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy, where Chris and his team are close to celebrating 30 years in business, and each year since the walk began, Bennett’s Creek has handed Jimmy band-aids, water and a check for the March of Dimes.
     At Hall Chevrolet, we caught up with old friends and new…and got an in person update on one of our favorite March of Dimes ambassador babies…Virginia.

Virginia, 4 years old!

When Virginia was born she was about the size of the purse in her hand, less than one pound. She was 17 weeks early. Now she is getting ready to start kindergarten and her mother is still very supportive of the March of Dimes as the Suffolk walk coordinator. We appreciate Erin bringing Virginia each year and are so happy to see her thriving!
 
After our visit with viewers, listeners and lovers of healthy babies we hit the road again to cover the last 7 miles to the Mid Town tunnel. As much as we love Day 3, we really love when it’s finished…can’t you tell?
 
 
Thanks again to the officers, deputies, fire fighters and EMT’s, Del. Jones (whose baby is in college), Jim Bowles who drives the truck and takes care of business, and everybody back at the ranch at Eagle 97.3 and WAVY Tv/FOX 43
 

 


“Hale” yeah!

April 26th, 2012 at 5:03 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Personalities

 

With the officer’s permission of course!

Officer Hale of the Newport News police department took this picture of me and Jimmy on her trusty steed after we finished today’s 14 mile stretch!  She and her fellow officers from Newport News, York County and Hampton all did an excellent job once again. Thanks to all.

After that we headed to Langley Federal Credit Union where folks came out for Jimmy’s parody CD’s, official walk t-shirts and to just show their support for the March of Dimes.  We appreciate every single person who takes the time to let us know they understand what this walk is all about!
I’m going to keep it short tonight…I’m off to Portsmouth to serve as the emcee for the First Citizen Award Presentation, then it’s up early once again…tomorrow is the mother of all days…twenty miles from Isle of Wight County to Portsmouth. I’m sure I’ll wish I had that motorcycle at some point….