2012 will be hard to beat with news contentPublished 8:00pm Wednesday, January 2, 2013
In Wednesday’s edition of the Times-Journal we printed the top 10 stories of 2012. I moved to Selma in May of 2012, but I feel like I was around a good bit for all the major happenings.
Every story I cover is my favorite story, but I wanted to give readers a look behind the scenes into some of the most interesting and important stories I helped cover in 2012. This past year was full of big news days for us, so 2013 has some big shoes to fill.
In my eyes, the most important story I helped cover was the manhunt for Deandra Marquis Lee that ended in Selma. I will never forget that rainy Saturday morning when we showed up at the Merrimac Apartment complex on Medical Center Parkway. I wore purple rainboots and had a purple umbrella, to which the state troopers looked at me when I got there and said, “You must be lost sweety!” But no — I was in exactly the right place with my fellow reporters. The triple murder suspect had already been taken to jail when we arrived, but it was great to see the relief on the faces of local law enforcement officers and also those around town when we shared the good news. I am glad the suspect was caught because we were antsy in the newsroom for about a week.
Another story that had twists and turns, and most certainly threw me for a loop, were the events and incidents that occurred after the Nathan B. Forrest bust was stolen from Old Live Oak Cemetery. I had heard that racial tensions still remained in Selma and that there were activists who would speak out against racial prejudice. After covering several protests that occurred around the construction area for the upgrade to the monument in Old Live Oak, I now know what people were talking about. I learned that race is nothing to joke about in Selma.
The third story that shook my boots was when the Alabama Paranormal Association pulled into town to talk to ghosts. As I wrote several columns ago, ghosts in Selma are nothing to joke about either. They are definitely real and I felt them all around me as the mediums and ghost whisperers turned this skeptic into a believer, well sort of — I still have some doubts.
Another highlight was chasing a story about LuLu the library hamster who had an epic escape from her cage was surely important information to get out the community. After library director Becky Nichols posted a $5 reward for anyone with information about her whereabouts, LuLu decided she was ready to come home. I was happy to report this precious story about a lost library hamster.
Lastly the local elections served as journalism boot camp for myself and other reporters. I think I am just now, months later, recovering from all that coverage.