Story Behind The Story

New Law Targets Repeat Nuisance Properties

Today, I finally got to finish the story we had begun shooting on Friday.  If you’ve been watching nbc4 or keeping tabs on, you know we’ve been doing a lot of stories about ‘Houses from Hell.’ (In other words, stories about houses that you wouldn’t want next door… or down the street for that matter.)

See, a new law gives zoning and code enforcement officials more authority to mow repeat nuisance properties without the wait. (At the owner’s expense of course… up to $200!)

As I mentioned, we shot this story over a two day period; starting on Friday and finishing it up on Monday. To start this story, we interviewed the administrator for Prairie Township. Since we are talking about properties with overgrown lawns and such, we had him meet us at one of those properties.  I think it’s a little bit more appropriate for us to do the story with tall grass and weeds in the background than an office window. (Don’t ya think?)

Following the interview, we got some shots of the home, did some teases as well as a standup (You know, the part where you actually see me in the story.) Then we focused our efforts on getting interviews with neighbors about what they think of the property. (As if we didn’t already know what they were going to say.) However, having sound bites from people who live near the property help drive the story home.

I will say this; sometimes asking people to give their opinion on something is like asking someone to go run full speed into a brick wall. (For some, being on camera is the last thing they’d ever want to do.) I understand that, so I don’t push it. You don’t want to be on television, no problem. I won’t put you on. (That is, unless we have a reason to put you on… Listen up crooks, thieves, etc.)

On a story like this though, in which so many people are obviously upset at having this home near theirs, (and which so many people can relate to this situation) it wasn’t an issue finding people to talk to.

Following those interviews, we went on our way.

Here’s where it get interesting. (If my headline caught your attention, this is what you came here to read… maybe) This afternoon, before we had continued working on the aforementioned story, we got news that an operation linked to a Mexican drug cartel had been broken up in Pickerington. (You read me right.)  Listen to this, police had seized 1,200 pounds of Marijuana with an estimated street value of $1.8 million!  (Yeah, I’d call it a big bust.)

We headed to Pickerington to interview a police commander to get the nuts and bolts (or information) on the case. Five minutes after we sat down for the interview, we were done. Fortunately, he provided a picture of the drugs. Since it was a hard copy, I immediately took a picture (of the picture) with my cell phone and sent it to our main web folks. (I won’t use the term ‘web folks’ generally, because these days, we’re all in a sense ‘web folks.’) Unfortunately, the commander wouldn’t provide us with the address of where these busts happened. (There were two houses involved.) Since we didn’t have an address, we couldn’t further the story much. Of course one angle we would have gone for is by speaking to those who live around these homes and get their thoughts on the house next door being a drug distribution center of sorts.

Anyways, the story is certainly interesting. If I can figure out how to post the picture I sent of the drugs on this blog, I’ll do so. (But I’m not making any promises)

That brings me to now. I wrote the story on the drugs, put that online and am now in the process of writing my nuisance property story for the 11pm. (Thought I’d take a break to write this blog.)

Well, better get back to it… have a good one!

Posted by Tom Brockman  on 07/19 at 07:38 PM



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