M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Archive for the ‘Why I Love Local News’ Category

And sometimes you do a story just for the headline

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An 18-year-old Florida woman was only slightly injured when she was shot by her friend’s oven, police said.

Yes. An oven. She was trying to cook waffles and didn’t know her friend was storing ammunition in the oven. So we got to write this totally straightforward headline:

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Full story at NBC News

Written by Alex

February 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Life on general assignment

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In the new world at NBC News, I’m now doing general assignment after many years covering various beats. That yields a certain variety to one’s work week.

At 1 o’clock this morning, I was hunched over a spreadsheet calculating word-frequency counts for President Obama’s State of the Union address. Ten hours later, I was writing this:

One of the busiest interstates in the U.S. remained closed Wednesday, hours after a semi-trailer transporting French vanilla coffee creamer overturned in Phoenix, coating more than 150 feet of the highway with a white slick of delicious-smelling traffic hazard.

You never know what life on GA will bring next.

Grab your coffee mug: French vanilla creamer closes busy Arizona interstate (NBC News)

Written by Alex

February 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Sometimes, you do a story just for the picture

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130206-san-diego-accident-crash.photoblog600

(Jody Taylor/Sixty5 Media via NBC San Diego)

Driver stuck in midair after car rams California clinic (NBC News)

Written by Alex

February 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Police Blotter of the Day: ‘Marijuana’ in undercover deal was sandwich

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A Graham man was charged Monday with selling an undercover police officer a bag that he said contained an ounce of marijuana.

Instead, the bag contained a half-eaten chicken sandwich.

(Dustin Rockwell Davis, 23, was charged with selling and delivering a counterfeit controlled substance — which is also a felony.)

Full story (Burlington, N.C., Times-News)

Written by Alex

February 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Police Blotter of the Day: Kaboom! Oddly named man’s walking stick leads to evacuation

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An aluminum pipe with the word “Kaboom” written on it led to the evacuation of Akron City Hall on Wednesday. Turns out it was a walking stick, and “Kaboom” was the owner’s name. Really.

Full story (NBC News)

Written by Alex

October 3, 2012 at 10:24 am

Police Blotter of the Day: Be on the lookout for me

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Lithonia Police Chief Washington Varnum Jr. is accused of attempting to serve his own eviction notice.

“He basically provided a sworn statement to the courts that he himself could not be found,” said Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) spokesman Ryan Powell.

Full story (WSB-TV of Atlanta)

Written by Alex

August 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

Police Blotter of the Day: Drunk man goes into wrong house, gets into bed with couple

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WDIV video

Click to watch the report from WDIV-TV

Police said House had a blood alcohol level of 0.174.

Full story (WDIV-TV of Detroit)

Written by Alex

August 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Police Blotter of the Day: Honestly, officer, that’s not cocaine

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FORT WALTON BEACH — A man who pulled out his pants pockets to show a Fort Walton Beach Police officer he wasn’t carrying drugs didn’t count on a plastic bag of cocaine falling to the ground.

Full story (Northwest Florida Daily News)

Written by Alex

July 31, 2012 at 10:21 am

Pro tip: Chimpanzees are not good interviews

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Click the image for the video.

Full story (KRNV-TV of Reno, Nev.)

Written by Alex

July 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

Police Blotter of the Day: Athens man sang national anthem while tied up by robber

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An Athens man told police he sang the national anthem to himself during an armed robbery on Athens’ Eastside two months ago. …

He told officers that as he was leaving a business at 50 Gaines School Road, a man he knew as “Mario” pulled a gun on him and made him go back inside, where he stole a wallet, cash, a pocketknife and an iPhone from the victim’s pockets, police said.

Mario then bound the man’s wrists with zip-ties and tried to lock him in a bathroom, police said.

“He waited until he had sung the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ in his head before exiting the bathroom,” according to police.

Full story (Athens, Ga., Banner-Herald)

Written by Alex

July 13, 2012 at 9:57 am

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