July was dominated by wildfire. First, I spent time in Riggins, Idaho to report on the risk of wildfire in the small community. It was part of a larger USA Today Network project. Then I covered the impact of the Milepost 97 Fire in southern Oregon.
Sikh Parade at StatesmanJournal.com
I tried something a little different for the Awesome 3000 this year. By my count, there are 342 individual kids in this video. I’m happy that it turned out so fun and light, even with all the people involved. For more from the Statesman Journal’s coverage of the Awesome 3000, go here.
Tents and other belongings are under water at a homeless camp as Wallace Marine Park floods near the Willamette River in West Salem on April 9, 2019. See it on the Statesman Journal.
This story is incredibly heartbreaking, but incredibly important. I cried during the interview and again while editing the video. Thank you Ginger for being so strong and open with us during your family’s tragedy.
“What I want the most is to raise awareness so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
You can read the whole story here.
This is a story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. So glad we got the chance now. The Statesman Journal has the full story.
August brought a large installment of homeless stories from the Statesman Journal. I was able to shoot photos and video for all of the three main segments (here, here and here). I think as a newsroom we are gaining the trust of homeless advocates and those they help in Salem. It seems like we are getting a lot more open and vulnerable interviews and visuals the longer we work on stories of homelessness in our community. It is a wonderful feeling. August, of course, also means the fair and back-to-school. Also, I included a couple of shots from our vacation to Crater Lake National Park.
Jack Schumacher, at age 14, died of a rare bone cancer and was possibly another victim of a West Salem osteosarcoma cluster. ANNA REED / Statesman Journal
March was a great month. The Statesman Journal published some meaningful stories surrounding sexual abuse at a local church and families facing homelessness. It was so nice to feel like we are doing real watchdog journalism. Riding in a fire engine ladder and getting splattered with neon paint was just a fun bonus.
Kim Kinney’s longtime partner died by suicide in 2015. To treasure his memory, she walks in the Out of the Darkness walk for suicide awareness and prevention.
September is for football/fútbol.
The summer has sped by. In May, a reporter and I out went out to the Oregon Coast for three days to learn how the recreational marijuana industry is affecting the already booming tourism industry. The video I made is above. The complete story, along with other USA Today recreational marijuana stories, can be seen here. The full series was published all across the country on July 31.
Otherwise, the Statesman Journal Sports Awards and vacation (imagine that) took up most of my time in June. July was back to normal. We’ll see how August and the total solar eclipse that is passing over Oregon goes. I’ll be back out at the coast to cover the hordes of people expected to descend upon Oregon.
April saw the publication of two stories I had worked on for a long time. First, a story on a surrogate here in Oregon who was carrying a child for a New York couple. Oregon is one of the most surrogacy-friendly places in the country and the world. I spent several months following both families as they worked together to bring a child into their worlds. In October of last year, the baby boy was born. I was able to be in the delivery room and see those first moments when Will and Dan met their son after he had been carried for nine months by Yessenia. It was simply amazing. The story was part of a larger USA Today project on the laws and emotions surrounding infertility and the lengths potential parents go to to have a child. The Will and Dan portion of the project can be seen here.
Second, I pursued a story at a new place in downtown Salem. Church Street Boxing is actually on Church Street, but it is also a church/boxing gym combo. Sundays, people gather to worship. And the rest of the week, people come to workout and learn to box. The pastor behind the space says he likes that both the boxing and the spiritual guidance teach the same values; determination, discipline and a sense of direction.