Some of my favorite stories
Rebuilding the Reservoir
This may be one of my favorite stories I have ever written. It was a story I began following at the capitol; a major state park destroyed because of negligence by the primary utility company in the state. I wanted a chance to take an issue that has been highly politicized and make it a story about people, who it affected, who it left behind and who was still trying to clean up. The story had so many facets and from the onset I struggled with what to have as the dominant theme. From talking with residents and park rangers in the area I began to focus on the fact that two years after the disaster the park still had not been rebuilt. The political issues surrounding the collapse, the main reason the park had yet to be rebuilt, were so complex I thought they could be best explained through a timeline and a breakdown of the various settlement offers between the state and the utility company.
YouTube becomes a political force in state politics
I normally do not include stories I have co-wrote on a resume, but this was an interesting piece about how state politics have been affected by online video sites such as YouTube. This story began at the national level and it was a lot of fun to localize it in a way that readers from across the state could relate to. The other reporter and I compiled a list of 55 names and spent a week conducting interviews, cumulating with writing over 65 inches of text and repeated editing.
For state auditor, balance is keystone
This profile was one of the first articles I wrote in Jefferson City. The state auditor is one of the only Democrat's in a statewide position, she was new to politics and it was difficult finding anyone to say something bad.
Redistricting after census might alter states power
Missouri is a bell-weather state, so when a study came out that the state could lose a congressional seat, a lot of people were worried. The interesting part of this story was that everyone wanted to comment, but no one seemed to have anything to say. Weeding through interviews was entertaining, in some cases I had 15-pages of great material but it just didn't fit. I found Professor Endersby three hours before deadline, threw out the majority of the story and started over.
Partisanship in Senate blamed on term limits
The 2007 legislative session was an exciting time to cover politics in Jefferson City because the relationship between Democrats and Republicans was starting to deteriorate. I wrote this story the last week of the legislative session while running between the House and Senate. Senators were quite surprised that I was asking them about how term limits affected the relationship because many people hadn't made the correlation.
Senate blocks MOHELA vote
This story was the first clear example of how the bi-partisan relationship in the Missouri Senate had begun to crumble. There were many issues within this session that cause tension along party lines and Democrats began using filibusters as a way to delay a vote and control the Senate. The controversy about the sale of Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority ran mostly along party lines, with Republicans supporting the governor's plan and Democrats arguing that the plan went beyond the duties of the loan authority. This story was fun because I spent the full 14 hours of the filibuster sitting at the press table drinking bad coffee or standing outside the closed-door meetings being held by Senate leaders and joking with other reporters about reading lips. This was the first filibuster I've covered and I attend classes at MU every other day during the week, so I was very excited about going to classes directly from the Senate chamber.
Legislators hammer out HealthNet
The semester ended two weeks before the end of the legislative session, I wanted to experience the craziness of the last day so I stayed voluntarily to help out. Since I was not "officially" working for the Columbia Missourian I didn't have to follow a beat, this gave me the chance to gain a wide breadth of knowledge, which helped a lot writing this legislative wrap up.