Friday, December 05, 2008

Someone was listening

This is one of the most moving stories I have ever been apart of.

I told you on Monday about the deaf man and his mom who lost everything because of thieves and then a house fire. One of his hearing aids was destroyed in the fire. A local audiologist stepped forward to donate a new pair of hearing aids for Ricky. But these are state of the art digital hearing aids, so Ricky is hearing better than he ever has before.

Watching Ricky hear his mom for the first time... really HEAR her and not need to read her lips.... it was a powerful moment.

CLICK HERE to watch the story

Monday, December 01, 2008

Hear their plea

Last Sunday was a very bad day for a Kansas City family. First thieves steal from them. Then some kind of electric short starts a fire in the house. A woman and her deaf son lost everything in just one day. They didn't have renter's insurance, so now they're struggling to get back on their feet. Plus, her son uses two hearing aids, one was destroyed in the fire and the other is not working quite right.

CLICK HERE for a link to the story, and click on the video link to watch the story.

The good news is that since the story aired, I have been getting many emails with suggestions of organizations to contact and also people wanting to donate money to pay for the new hearing aids. Generosity... it warms my heart.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wild Thing

Why in the world was an African Serval cat wandering around a wooded area in Kansas City's Northland??? Is this a pet that escaped? A pet that got too big and someone dumped it? A bad pet owner who thought it would be funny to turn an African wild cat loose in the city? This is such a strange story, I just had to share it:

CLICK HERE to link to the article, then click on the video link to watch my story

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blowing in the wind

My sweeps story about wind energy and the turbines that are powering the future of the midwest:


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fighting for charity

Firefighters and police officers will raise their gloves and battle it out this weekend, all in the name of charity:


History's New Future

The Black Archives of Mid-America are the considered the most comprehensive collection of African American History and Heritage in the midwest. But for years many worried the collection would be lost forever. Taxes were left unpaid and state paperwork was never filed. But now there's a new donation, and dedication to bringing the Black Archives a new home.

CLICK HERE to see the story

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans and Suicide

Many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are fighting for their country, and then coming back home to painful memories, nightmares, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mental Health experts say the military is not preparing veterans for their return, and a third of them suffer from mental health problems after returning from war. Now they're committing suicide at an alarming rate.

Click here to watch the story

Monday, November 10, 2008

Brooke Investigation

I spent a little more than two months working on this story. It's probably the most intense investigation I've ever worked on, because every time you'd peel off one layer of the onion, there would be 10 more layers underneath.


The main video is my investigation, and then the sidebar video is the story I did today talking about the current state of Brooke. The Special Master in charge basically says there's nothing left to do to save Brooke, and at this point they're just winding down operations to close up shop for good.

Music cures the blues...

....but not serious illness.

This is a story I did on Friday night about a musician, her fight for her life, and her desire to help others who might one day find themselves in her situation:

CLICK HERE to watch the story about Abigail Henderson

CLICK HERE to learn about the event and how you can help Abigail

Friday, November 07, 2008

Finally coming home

A local man's helicopter came under fire, and crashed against a hillside in Vietnam 40 years ago. Now finally, the remains have been identified, and Lance Cpl. Kurt La Plant is going to have a proper burial at Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC. His mother says it's hard going through all these emotions again, 40 years after she already grieved for her son. Especially because this process of identifying the remains has dragged on for more than a year. But she's also happy because this is all to honor him, and she knows he would have appreciated that.

CLICK HERE to see the story.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


So if you're not on board with yet, it's basically like a mini blog. Instead of crafting a well-written blog, you can just sort of blurt out whatever is on your mind. They call it "micro-blogging." You can follow me on twitter under the username TessK.

Tuesday, I was kind of busy working, but managed to blurt out a few things.
Here is a collection of my twitters from ELECTION 2008:

Got in line to vote, wait was going to be 1 1/2 hours. But then some guy said 'names h-o this way' & it was a line with 2 people in it. Wow.

Got my free chick filet with I Voted sticker. Line was long but moved fast. Now off to get free Starbucks. List of free stuff on

Hey natl news: MO cities always report later than rural areas. It will be too close to call until STL and KC report

The crowd goes wild as cnn calls Ohio

I twittered a couple of other things that apparently got lost in a technology mess.... but I remember saying something about "I will always remember where I was at this moment. the announcement of "President Barack Obama" on the loudspeaker, and then the roar of the crowd."

CLICK HERE to watch my interview with Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver as he discusses the historic significance of Barack Obama's run for the White House.

AND NOW WEDNESDAY... the election is over.

Hope hangover. My friend Bob's account of the watch party we attended last night:

CLICK HERE to see my story from the day after the election, as a church group in Kansas City celebrates this historic victory for Obama and for civil rights.

I keep hearing people say we woke up to a new day, a new America. I don't want the sun to set on all this Hope. The rays feel nice on my face.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sign Swapping

A Riverside man has been driving his neighbors crazy. He's got an Obama sign out in front of his house one day... then the McCain one is out the next day. He's an amateur artist and the signs are his own creation. He says he's the quintessential undecided voter, and changes the signs whenever his leaning changes. And he also enjoys the fact that he's the talk of the breakfast crowd at the local Corner Cafe down the street. Sometimes he'll leave one candidates picture up with the other candidates name... just to make people wonder.

This story was so much fun to shoot because Jeff was so funny... he had me and photographer Steve in stitches the entire time we were there. He said anyone who doesn't like his sign flip flopping can "just go paint their own signs."


Monday, October 06, 2008

Halloween is coming...

Originally uploaded by TessK
I stumbled across this online article today and I really enjoyed looking at kids home-made Halloween costumes. See, I was actually pretty worried that a home-made costume was a fading tradition. Why bother making something when you can buy some cheap plastic garbage bag with Spider man on it?? I mean, it comes with a cheap plastic mask!!

My mom made our Halloween costumes every year. I have very fond memories of Halloween and I know that some of those fond memories are because we always had fun coming up with some wacky Halloween costume. I was two when my mom plopped a popcorn bowl on my head and called it R2D2. I think I was four the year mom dressed me up in a wig and make-up and bam! you've got Olive Oil. One year I was a princess with a big tall blue princess hat, and it poured rain Halloween night. The blue cardboard hat left a blue ring stain on my blonde hair. Ahhh... memories. Yeah, I know they didn't look perfect, but nothing you can buy in a store will beat my popcorn bowl R2D2.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Deaf KU Soccer Star

A KU women's soccer player is the first deaf student-athlete on campus. She's a star on the team because of her amazing scoring ability, but she's never heard the crowd cheer for her.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Weeding out controversy

Local Botanical Garden gets caught up in the middle of some political "dirt."

According to the Chicago Sun Times, back in 2001, then State Senator Barack Obama gave some grant money to a supporter to build a garden, and that garden never got built. The Illinois Attorney General is now investigating. The Garden is called "Englewood Botanical Garden."

Thing is, there's an Englewood Botanical Garden here in Independence, Missouri. And when you do a Google search for "Englewood Botanical Garden" the local garden's website is one of the first to show up. So... guess who has been getting a bunch of angry phone calls the last several days?? Russ Lawrence wanted to talk about it today, to set the record straight:


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cats Killed

It's bad enough that a Lawrence neighborhood is coping with the pain of losing three families pets in three weeks. But the Lawrence Humane Society says it's part of a disturbing pattern: a significant rise in animal cruelty cases in the area.

Click here to see the story

Monday, September 22, 2008


A woman was convicted today in a murder for hire plot. She conspired to kill her own husband. The case is more than three years old now, because it took that long for the evidence to fall into place.

I remember covering this murder when it first happened, and Jeremy Warrior's uncle told me back then that he thought Jeremy's wife was involved in his nephew's death. Jeremy was a hard working man, lived a good life, stayed away from drugs and violence. He had discussed divorcing his wife because she was cheating on him. Now she's convicted of first degree murder and conspiring to kill him to get his life insurance money. So many lives ruined.

Click here to see the story

Friday, September 19, 2008

A rising star

I always like to celebrate others successes. It's just good karma.

So when I opened up my Apple iTunes email on Tuesday and saw that the featured artist of the week was a Kansas City band, I was so pleased for them. Yesterday, I got to meet them and do a story about their recent successes... if you'd like to see the story CLICK HERE

Monday, September 15, 2008

Acrobatic Airplanes

So some people probably saw my Twitter about flying in a small acrobatic airplane trying to paint 9-11 in the sky? It didn't work out so well because it was cloudy and rainy.... but anyway....


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tail Date

So you're single and dating and having trouble meeting Mr or Ms Right? A single guy in Kansas City tried a unique approach. He needed a date for the Chiefs game this weekend, so his marketing mind came up with TailDating. he advertised on his blog and the internet responded. Will Bob Roth find true love on his Tail Date?


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Church Arson

You know that saying "there's a special place in hell for...."
Yes it's cliche. But I think it's an appropriate cliche for the person responsible for setting this 102 year-old church on fire:


This marks the second day in a row I've covered a church falling victim to criminals.
Yesterday's story was about gang graffiti marking another community church:

CLICK HERE to watch that story.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ted White Civil Trial

I was the first in Kansas City to report on the efforts to free a man from jail, wrongly convicted of child molestation. I was there for his re-trial, and when a jury acquitted him, freeing him from prison three years ago. But Ted White says his real freedom came today, when a jury awarded him 16 million dollars for what he went through. He did a one on one interview with me about what he calls his "vindication."


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Help for autistic kids

Parents of autistic children know how complicated it can be to find therapies or medications that work. But a couple in Kansas says their sons life has changed for the better ever since he got a new best friend: his therapy dog named Coop.

CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY (click on the video link)

A common problem with autistic children is they have a hard time connecting with people, and a hard time communicating. But Coop doesn't require a lot of conversation. Simple commands will do just fine. And it's not hard to have a special connection with a dog who is always there for you, by your side, supporting you and protecting you. It's no wonder why this program is such a success. It may not help every autistic child, but it's certainly an option for parents as they struggle with this incredibly complicated disease.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Emmy Nomination

A story that I did with photographer Jon Haiduk got nominated for a regional Emmy. It's a huge honor to be nominated.

If you want to see the story CLICK HERE and click on the video link to watch the story.

And as a special bonus to you, my loyal readers, here is some video of me getting tossed around in a Hummer. This footage was taken also at Ft Riley while we were out shooting our story, but it didn't make the cut in the story.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Woman fired for showing mastectomy scars

I recently interviewed a woman who is suing Children's Mercy Hospital, although she called herself the "reluctant plaintiff." Lisa says she isn't the suing type, but she was very upset when she got fired from her job at CMH. See, she's a breast cancer survivor, and throughout her recovery process, she had a core group of co-workers who were very supportive of her. After she went through a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, they wanted to see her scars and post-operative tattoos, and learn about what she went through. So Lisa says she took them into a private room and showed them. Someone who wasn't there found out about it and complained. Lisa got fired for "exposing her breasts" in the workplace.

Lisa felt what she did was educating her fellow women, and celebrating her recovery from breast cancer. The hospital wouldn't comment because of the pending lawsuit, but one would imagine their argument is that they were following hospital rules. It's an interesting case.

Click here to see the story.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stalking Laws get some teeth

Imagine being threatened, harassed, living in fear of physical harm. On top of that you feel you have no where to turn, because the courts won't do anything to protect you from your stalker. Imagine dealing with all that, and you're only 15 years old.

One family has been living with that reality for the last two years. The teenager's stalker has never been charged with a crime, despite many incidents happening in front of witnesses. But now they hope a new stalking law in Kansas will change things, and put the law on their side.

Click here for the story.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Now Hiring: Vampires and Ghosts

August. To some it's the end of summer. To others, it's the beginning of the Haunted House season. KC's haunted houses are well known throughout the country, and right now they're looking for a few good ghosts and goblins.

Check out the story here.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Good and The Bad

How does a simple story about a program donating air conditioners turn into an emotional experience?

Click here for a link to the text of my story.... But to understand why this story effected me so much you really need to
click on the video link to WATCH the story.

Here's some information that the story doesn't go into:
26 Years ago, Wanda was a single mother of two elementary aged kids when she got word that her two year old nephew was going to be taken into state custody. A severe case of child abuse left him with brain damage and he's a quadriplegic. Wanda says she prayed to God, asking for guidance. This child was abandoned by so many people in his life, but Wanda stepped in to raise him as if he was her own child. That alone would be an admirable quality in a person, but the fact is Milan was in need of very special care. If Milan refuses to eat, she has to hook up his feeding tube. He has a shunt in his head to drain fluid from his brain so his brain doesn't swell up. He can't speak, but Wanda has figured out how to interpret his noises and she says "he speaks with his eyes."

When you look at the video, remind yourself that Milan was once a happy, healthy two year old child. Now know this: Wanda tells me the man that did this to Milan never spent a DAY behind bars. His mother didn't want to press charges. It was agonizing for me to hear, but Wanda doesn't seem angry about this fact at all. It's just reality. And she's right. All these years later, what good would it do to be angry about it? Putting him in jail won't turn back time and change what happened to Milan.

I was so humbled and touched by Wanda's devotion to Milan. I find myself overwhelmed that a horrible act of violence turned into an incredible act of kindness, that is now truly a life of kindness.

As I left her home, all I could think of to say was "you're an angel...."
And I am sure that she is... especially to Milan.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gaming Junkies

So here's an interesting story I spent months working on, and it finally aired Thursday for sweeps.

When is playing video games a fun hobby and when is it an addiction? The medical community is debating that issue right now, and some psychologists believe gaming is just as addictive as drugs or alcohol. The doctor I talked to is a gambling expert and says video games are set up with the same type of reward system that gambling has. The more you play, the more you want to play, the more you need to play.

But he says the most important reason why video game addiction should be considered a mental disorder is so more study will be done on treatment and people needing treatment would be eligible for insurance coverage.

I think it's an interesting debate. I'm sure everyone has their own opinion about it. When I was in college, I got so hooked on a Tetris game on my computer that I would dream in Tetris. But it never got to an extreme point where it was impacting other parts of my life. If someone had an obsessive personality though, I could see how that would happen.

Watch the story by clicking here.

Or you can read the text of the story by clicking here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Putting Citizens to the Test

So I did a pretty fun story recently. I went to a class where immigrants are preparing to take their naturalization test. We borrowed some flash cards, and then hit the streets to ask every day people if they knew the answers... if US Citizens would be able to pass the test people have to take to become a US CItizen.

I thought it was pretty interesting, and it generated a lot of traffic on the web.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MADD is angry

Mothers Against Drunk Driving confronted a Lake Lotawana city alderman at a meeting last night about his comments at a previous meeting. He said he wanted police to lay off the drunk driving patrols near bars in the city.

READ THE STORY HERE Or click on the video link to watch it.

I will add that I have been working in this business in one capacity or another for about 11 years and this is the first time a public official tried to tell me I can't have my camera at a public meeting. I told him he could call the police if he wanted to, but I wasn't going to leave.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Thanks to John at Bottom Line Communications for the mention about my award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It was a really nice write up, which you can read here.

Awards are nice

So I guess I've won a "major award" as they would say in "A Christmas Story." MADD has announced that I won their Missouri media award for 2008. I'm the sole winner from all the print, radio, and TV media in the state, so it's a very nice honor, and I'm pleased they thought of me.

This is one if the stories where I worked with MADD recently. The video link is on that page or you can click here for a direct link to the video.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sound the alarm

My neighbor got to be on TV today, after she tipped me off to some pushy sales people in our neighborhood.

Turns out these sales people have been hitting the streets all over the metro, and it's concerning to the KC Crime Prevention Assoc.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE STORY and the video of my neighbor's cute dog.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Queen Bee

Today I talked to the 12 year-old who is a much better speller than I am. We joked at work that we should hire her to check all of our scripts.

Read and watch the story here

I bet she rocks at Scrabble too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Our American Idol

Kansas City area native David Cook won American Idol. Cook spent years slugging away in the local bar scene with his band before being plucked from obscurity. He's earned his rock and roll stripes, and I think that's why I like this story. He wasn't just an overnight sensation. His combination of hard work and talent paid off.

I covered the watch party that took place near his hometown:

WATCH THE STORY HERE (I'm after John Holt's live shot)

And yes, my voice is sore.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Energy of Hope helps children in Africa

I did a special in-depth report for sweeps about a Missouri college student who started an African orphanage in her spare time and now works to support about 20 kids.
And you thought you were busy in college.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Eminent Domain Fight

How do you fight "the man?" Sometimes, it requires a change in the law. Some people in Missouri fighting what they call Eminent Domain "abuse" are hoping their petition to change state law makes it on the November ballot.

Click here for the story (and click on the video section to watch the story)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Midwest Storms

I live in the Midwest. It's not a surprise to folks from here that we have storms. Friday, a tornado touched down north of the river, which is close enough to me to make me nervous, but far enough away that I wasn't really impacted personally.

Click here for my story from Friday.

Click here to see Monday's follow up story.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Barter your Business

With a slumping economy, people are looking for ways to stretch their business' budget. And that means more people are turning to an age-old practice of bartering, but now it's been updated for the 21st Century.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Precious Pendant Stolen

When I pitched this story today, one of my bosses kind of yawned. It's a burglary, who cares? The thing is my parents house was broken into about a year ago now, and all of my mother's jewelry was stolen. Most of it was actually HER mother's jewelry. None of it was expensive, none of it was valuable, but it was all invaluable to her. Some of the items stolen were my mom's jewelry that I remembered playing dress up with when I was a little kid. The sense of violation when someone steals something from you is incredible. But then to have the stolen items be something so personal....

Let's just say that I could relate to this Lee's Summit couple who had 10-thousand dollars worth of jewelry stolen from their home. But there's only one thing they really want back:


Thursday, April 24, 2008

National Convention is in KC...

You probably don't know it, but there's a national political convention here in Kansas City this week. It's for the Constitution Party, who are preparing to pick their presidential nominee. And if you don't know a lot about the party... perhaps you should.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Preschool Suddenly Shut Down

Parents learned today that their preschool was closing down. They went to the church, where the school is housed, and tried to get answers from the church staff. The church staff called the police. I was there for the whole thing.

(This is the text version; click on the video to watch the story.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bullet Parts Stolen from the Army

Some guys find out the hard way that it's a bad idea to steal from the army. They now face 30 years in federal prison, charged with "sabotage of war materials." They're accused of stealing copper parts from an ammunition plant, parts used to make bullets. It wasn't an anti-war statement. They allegedly sold the copper for salvage and got more than 45-thousand bucks for their trouble.

I actually drove to Moberly, MO for this story. It's about 2 hours 20 minutes one way drive. Yeah, Rachel and I were sick of being in the car by the end of the day today.

CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY (click on the video to watch my story)

It's a Tuesday two-fer

Basic rule of TV is that kids and PUPPIES make great TV. This story is about 25 dogs that faced death and lived to tell about it.

And the other story I did today:

A family lost every single thing they own in just 30 seconds.
I can't imagine what heartless person would steal someone's baby pictures.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Flippin for Gold

Some metro athletes are bringing home gold medals in sports acrobatics, and hoping it will one day soon become an Olympic sport.

I had to do this story in a hurry, so I'm not really happy with how I wrote it. But these girls are amazing... you have to check them out.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Flu Epidemic

A sad story tonight about a mother taken from her family, after a bad flu takes a turn for the worse. She was only 42 years-old and had three kids (including a 20 month old baby.)


It's a good reminder for those people who resist going to the doctor... sometimes it's a life or death decision.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Boating While Intoxicated

A woman's death sparks her family to fight for justice, and a change in the law about boating while intoxicated.

And click on the video link to watch my story.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Learning about the past

A KCK High School wanted to teach kids about what it was like to live in segregated America. So they divided students into "light skinned" and "dark skinned" students, and the light skinned kids could only use certain water fountains and bathrooms and enter through certain doors. Another reporter covered the story dayside, and talked to some of the kids who organized the whole thing. I followed up nightside, talking to more students.

CLICK HERE to see the story

People helping people

I did a story last night about a program that helps families make ends meet, reducing grocery bills.
It's a faith-based program, with USDA support, but it's open to ANYONE and EVERYONE, regardless of income. And there are sites all across the country.

(CLICK on the VIDEO link to watch the story)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My work

So... hi again. I had hoped that my myspace blog would serve as a way to show my friends and family what stories I've been working on, especially when there's a story I think they'd be interested in or a story I just enjoyed doing. But MySpace has this nasty habit of breaking links to (where my stories would be posted.) Since the links don't work there, I thought I would try posting the links here on blogger instead.

SO... tonight I did a story about an urban swim team that is now treading water to stay alive. Its funding source is being forced to make cuts, and the swim team is on the list of cuts. The only thing that could save the team now is private donors stepping in.