Story Behind The Story

Students Possibly Come In Contact With Mercury At School

Where do I start? Today was a busy (not to mention flat out crazy) day.

It didn’t start that way though. This afternoon, Mark, Nishant (the intern) and I headed out on a story I had setup on Thursday. (It’s the story I was initially going to do before it came out that the governor had asked department heads to show how they would be impacted by a ten percent cut.) You can check out that story on nbc4i.com.

Anyways, the story we were on (which will remain a mystery for now. I’ll explain why in a moment) started off great. We had our interview set up, we got great video as well as great sound from neighbors who were impacted by the topic of the story.  (Bottom line, we had a solid story going for us.)

Then Mr. Breaking News came knocking on our door.  Within a moment’s notice, we had to put that initial story on hold and head down to Fairfield County.  (See, the reason I’m keeping that story under my hat for now is because we’re going to continue working on it and turn it for Monday night.)

So what was going on in Fairfield County, you ask? It turned out high levels of Mercury had been discovered at Bloom-Carroll High School. (That’s never a good thing.) According to school administrators, On Wednesday, some workers began repairing the school’s gym floor. Under that floor was a type of rubber floor that was original to the h.s. that apparently contains Mercury. According to the administrator, the workers had not properly contained the area before they began working on said floor.  Bottom line, as many as 200 students may have come in with the Mercury. (Again, not good.)

First things first, we met up with the administrator who gave us an interview as well as the facts surrounding the situation. One thing that happened (that doesn’t happen too often) is that he said the district was in the wrong in some aspects because communication within the district had broken down somewhere along the line. (It’s not every day you have someone taking some of the blame for a specific situation.) It’s actually refreshing in a way for that happen. (That’s how rare it is.) However, let me be clear. He did not say the district was responsible for whole incident.  He also put some blame on the company. Now, to get that side we made some calls to the company who he alleges didn’t take the proper precautions while doing the work. I left a message on their machine. (There really wasn’t much else I could do)

At that point, we began to try to find community members, students, alumni, faculty to see what they had to say on the issue. We tracked down and interviewed a concerned community member as well as a recent graduate of the school and got good sound bites from both of them to use in the story.

By that time, the sun was going down and it was about time to get back and put this story together. (By this time, I think we were all pretty exhausted.  The heat will do that to you.)  I’d still take the heat though over frigid temperatures.

Anyways, I went through the interviews, wrote my story for the broadcast and wrote my story for the website. That brings me to know - where I find myself sitting in front of a blaring computer monitor typing away my thoughts to an audience that hopefully enjoys reading what I’m thinking. (I assume you enjoy reading my thoughts, or I doubt you would have made it this far.)

Anyways, I’ve got to get back to work. The clock stops for no one!

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Tom Brockman  on 07/16 at 08:19 PM

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