Monday, September 29, 2014

Census Assignment

Story related to my beat: 2nd Quarter Summary

Press Release

Interesting about ACS New State: I think it's interesting that 42 states and the District of Columbia saw no change in Poverty.

1. Genesee, ID -- Latah County
  1. Click on “selected social characteristics” and dig deeper into your town.
    1. How many people live in your town? 994
    2. How many people were born in a foreign country? 12
    3. How many divorced women and divorced men? 38
    4. What percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree? 150
    5. How many people have a disability? 90 (9.1%)
b. Go back to the main page for your town (click the back arrow). Click on “Topics,” “People,” and then “Poverty” -- in that order.
c. Then click on Food Stamps/SNAP.
1. How many households receive food stamps? 32
2. What percent of the population lives below the poverty level? 5.5%

2. Go back to your search page. (Click the back arrow.)
a. Under “Your Selections” in the upper-left corner, click the X to remove poverty results.
b. Now click “Topics,” “People,” “Employment,” and then “Employment Status.”
a. Click on the table “Selected Economic Characteristics.”
1. How many residents are in the labor force? 508
2. How many are not in the labor force? 202
3. How many work in agriculture? 23
4. How many work in Educational services, and health care and social assistance? 162
5. How many earn more than $200,000 annually? 3
6. How many families live on less than $25,000 per year? 53
7. What percent lack health insurance? 73 (7.3%)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Enterprise Pitch

Enterprise Pitch:

Two Sentence Explanation: After years of waiting and asking for money, the Genesee Recreation Department is finally getting some adequate play fields. They are adding two softball fields, and in the future (hopefully) a standalone baseball field and a standalone football field.

Evidence: I wrote a story about this earlier in the Summer when they initially had the money approved for the play fields back in July. The softball fields are in the process of being built. They hope to add the football and baseball fields in the future.

Why Now: The city of Genesee has needed these fields for awhile, so this story is relevant no matter what part you cover. The reason for me is they want the fields ready and playable by the Spring when the softball team returns. The softball team (if I remember correctly) has won the State Championship in back-to-back years. Now they will finally have a field that is at their level of play.

Interviews: I’ve talked to Art Lindquist the Genesee Recreation Department Commissioner. Since my initial talk with him to check in, I haven’t been able to get him back. The reason that is important is I’m hoping to interview one of the coaches and a softball player about the new fields and what it will mean to them. I was hoping to get a name suggestion from Art, so when I called it wasn't a surprise for the coach and player. My fourth interview I’m not sure whom I’ll go after, but I’ll find someone.

Format: Print, 500-600 words

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Com 425 Edits

1. The robotic system allows specialists from Spokane to remotely view, assess, and assist patients and doctors at the rural hospital.

2. When a laptop or phone is stolen the police work with WSU’s Information Technology department, Hansen said.

3. The iPad program was started as a tool to better assist athletes in two ways: an academic need and a sport need, Chris A. Cook, associate director of student-athlete development, said.

4. Adams allegedly caused $800 in damage when he shattered the front door glass window, said Christina Havens, co-owner and winemaker at the winery. Adams has not been charged with a crime.

5. Technology use is monitored through a public library where patients are allotted two hours of technology use per day. A public library monitors the patients technology use. Patients are only allowed two hours of technology use per day.

6. “You The Fan” is not only meant to entice fans to stay, it is also meant to reward the fans, said Kevin Massimino, graduate assistant with WSU Athletics marketing and promotions.

7. Schulman explained his life growing up, and the close bond between he and his brother, Ariel.

7a. Jessica Simpson wrote a chart-topping song called "Between You and I."

8. “I think it's something happening across the nation,” Brown said.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Public Records Stories

Charles Capone Case

Pullman Robbery Case

Thursday, September 18, 2014

An Extra Set of Eyes


An Extra Set of Eyes
            The City of Pullman relies on so many individuals to succeed that sometimes it is hard to keep track of who the people are that come to help.
            When the city sees places to improve they bring in consultants to provide insight to their situation. Kevin Gardes, Pullman’s Public Works Director, usually deals with bringing in consultants because Public Works handles most of the city’s projects or improvements.
            The city usually brings in a consultant for a fresh set of eyes. The city may see a problem, and know what it wants to do, but the department may not come up with every possible option, Gardes said.
            “One of the biggest reasons we bring someone in is because they have specific knowledge or expertise on an issue we’re having,” Gardes said.
            The price will determine the way he looks for a consultant. If the price is $50,000 or under the city will first look at their roster of consultants, Gardes said. However, if the price is higher, the city usually looks for funding from a federal level.
            “We advertise saying we need a consultant, why we need them,” he said. “After that, firms send us their qualifications, and we evaluate them.”
            The department in charge will finish the process by interviewing two or three firms to get a personal look before making a final decision on a consultant.
            Recently the city brought in two consultants to do a study of downtown Pullman along Grand Ave. to find ways to alleviate traffic during the busy times of the day, between 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. during the week.  Taylor Engineering Inc. in Pullman participated in the study.
            “We had Taylor Engineering come in for the traffic study because they deal with parking, traffic and similar things all the time,” Gardes said. “Bringing in a consultant saves the city from wasting time educating staff on what to look for or what to expect.”
            Professional Engineer and Project Engineer for Taylor Engineering Inc., Angela Taylor, didn’t directly work on the traffic study, but she has worked on other projects as a consultant.
            “The hardest part for us is we have to give all perspectives possible,” Taylor said. “We look at the data and analyze it; sometimes the analysis isn’t great.”
            A consultant’s job is to just give all perspectives; some are better suggestions than others, Taylor said.
            “If we don’t suggest everything we find from the data, we’re not really doing our job,” she said. “Ultimately, our goal as engineers is to provide public safety.”
            Pete Dickinson, Pullman’s Planning Director, also deals with hiring consultants. The planning department is working on the city’s comprehensive plan, which guides the city’s growth for the next decade or more.
            The comprehensive plan is in the beginning stages of a two-year process, but to complete the project a consultant will be brought in, Dickinson said.

            “We want the comprehensive plan to prepare the city for the future and grow Pullman toward a better tomorrow,” Dickinson said. “A consultant will be vital to giving us that alternative view to reaching that goal.”

1. Story on
2. Outline: First I lead into the subject of the story: consultants. I give the background of how the city chooses a consultant through the eyes of Kevin Gardes. Then, I look at the consultants point of view, where they come from and how they do their job. Finally, I wrap with a brief mention of the current project that will require a consultant in the Comprehensive Plan.
3. Sources:
Pullman City Planning Director Pete Dickinson: 509-338-3213

Professional Engineer & Project Engineer, Taylor Engineering Inc. Angela Taylor: 509-334-5115
Pullman City Public Works Director Kevin Gardes: 509-338-3217
4. Headline: An Extra Set of Eyes 
Two Sentence Summary: The City of Pullman brings in consultants to aid with the future. How a consultant is brought in and what one does helps the city grow.
5. Outline structure: I wanted to start and end with the city with the consultant in the middle. I thought the most important part of the story was the timeline to hiring a consultant, then the consultant's perspective, finishing by rounding back to the the city and where they'll need a consultant next.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Published Stories for Beat

Preview for the 9/11 Event in Pullman... And Picture (2nd link) from the event... Important to the city because of the people lost from the Palouse area and because although we weren't directly impacted (ex. a plane flying to crash in Pullman) we still lost people...

Story about Keith Jackson building dedication... Important because WSU is possibly the biggest thing in Pullman and brings people to the city.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Writing Off the News Pitch

Two-sentence explanation: The City of Pullman has many goals for their future. One way they reach that goal is through hiring consultants to take another look at the city.

Evidence: Recently the City of Pullman had a parking study done by two consulting firms. The city and it’s people were not pleased with the consultant’s suggestion to consider eliminating 41 parking spots on Grand Avenue to open up a lane on each side of the street. The reason I bring this up is because this incident got me wondering, how does the city choose their consulting firms to hire for studies? The people of Pullman were furious at the notion to eliminate parking spaces. I started wondering, “how did this firm get the job? They clearly don’t understand what Pullman needs or can handle.”

Why now: The Planning Department is beginning their Comprehensive Plan process. Although the entire process takes two years, the consultant choosing process can be explained and understood at any time. The story about choosing a consultant is important now because the Comprehensive Plan helps the city plan for 10-15 years at a time. In the grand scheme, the department already has a 50 year plan in place (set to be “complete” in 2060), but historically the city checks itself every 10-15 years to make sure they’re on track and if the citizens like the city’s plan and goals for the future, according to Pete Dickinson.

Interviews: Pullman Planning Director, Pete Dickinson, I’ve already interviewed Pete a few times. I’m going to set up an interview (hopefully) with Public Works Director, Kevin Gardes, because Dickinson says Gardes deals with hiring consultants the most because Public Works has so many different facets and potential consultants needed to hire. I also want to talk to a Pullman resident and get their thoughts on the past consultants (especially the last one with the parking fiasco).

Format and Length: I think I can tell the story in 500-750 words. I don’t think it will be hard to digest or confusing because I’ve been working all summer to make my pieces easily digestible for the public.