(Originally posted to my personal blog)
Welcome to NebraskaLand Days, a two-week festival in this town dedicated to history of the wild west — basically all the rowdy times that probably wasn’t so glorified then. Nonetheless, there’s almost always something to do for two weeks straight, and for the third year, I’ve had the chance to be on the media end.
To start, I got to cover the crowning of Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2013 at the first night of our local rodeo. It was exceptional to be on the grounds with the photographers and capture Samantha Chytka’s big moment. Then was the awards ceremony — I did not realize how many awards were in one pageant! I got a sound byte from Chytka as she left, but since was rushed to beat traffic by her hosts, the tape recorder didn’t capture her voice so well. She took her first official interviews Thursday morning, so after playing the byte Ben and I decided I should use the chance to try again. The time spent on the unexpected second interview meant not getting my pictures on our website, but alas it is a radio station and photojournalism is an aside. Plus it’s a bonus for portfolio-work!
Meanwhile local news has not slowed down for NebraskaLand Days. I got to spend one morning just covering an all-night fire close to our second station in McCook, Neb. By the time one firefighter was able to interview, they’d gotten back from their recall to the 100-acre blaze. Between the all nighter area firefighters pulled and the phone call that it had started up later in the morning, the extinguishing took about 15 hours. Then, on the opposite end of state near another of our stations in Alliance, Neb., a man walked into a pharmacy and took a hostage, resulting in a shoot-out with police and SWAT team. He ended up being killed after shooting his escaped hostages and a couple of police officers. It turns out he confessed to killing another man in midst of the crossfire.
On top of ALL that, Ben is going out of town this weekend and won’t be in on Monday. Aside from reporting, my week has been spent making sure I have production things DOWN and that I’m ready to solely do the news department for one day. Three newscasts and Ag news for our country stations! I learned the very tedious process of reporting, editing and loading six (!) Newscasts between two stations, Thursday. Four hours later I was DRAINED. Friday was better and about half the time. Ready or not, here we go! Luck and prayers needed!