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.