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Chicago Tribune reporter who grew up in Overland Park reflects on JCC shooting

Mitch Smith, a Chicago Tribune reporter who graduated from Blue Valley High School, wrote a story this week reflecting on Sunday’s fatal triple shooting in Overland Park.

“On Facebook and Twitter, my friends and former teachers mourned the loss of life, told stories about Reat and repeated variations on the line you always hear when an act of hate interrupts the most normal of days in the most normal of places: “I never thought it could happen here,” wrote Smith, a 2009 graduate of Blue Valley High. Continue reading

Jeff City woman apologizes for stealing money meant for newspaper in the ’60s

Here’s a fun tale from the Milwaukee area: a woman who grew up in Waukesha, Wis., and now lives in Jefferson City, sent the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel a check for $5.

Her reason?

When she was a child, she took a pile of quarters from a pile of Sunday papers outside a convenience store. She thought they were there for the taking. Years later, the innocent theft ate at her conscience. To make amends, she sent the J-S a check.

Read the story here.

Family of KCTV reporter whose mother was killed in car chase hires lawyer to investigate death

The family of Graciela Olivas, who was killed as KCK cops pursued a suspect, has hired a law firm to investigate her death, and the role of the police department and General Motors may have had in it. Olivas was the mother of KCTV reporter Sandra Olivas.

Christopher Stewart was charged with murder after his car allegedly struck Graciela Olivas’ car in February.

The family hired the firm after another car chase involving KCK ended in an 8-year-old girl’s death. The family also alleges the airbags in Olivas’ car, which is part of a GM recall, did not deploy.

Award season is upon us

Clear off the mantles! KC’s news organizations are winning recognition for their work. The latest:

The Star’s Eric Adler won the Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award for his story “Life of the Party,” which details how a terminal cancer patient said goodbye to the world (the story is no longer available on The Star’s site, but can be found here.)

The Star’s Dugan Arnett, Darryl Levings, Mike Fannin, Steve Shirk and Kathy Lu were finalists for the IRE Awards for their reporting on the Maryville sex assault scandal that caught national attention.

KSHB’s investigative powerhouse was also a runner-up for an IRE Award for their story, “Trail of Dirty Deeds,” which investigated widespread real estate fraud in the Kansas City area.

The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Tim Carpenter and Celia Llopas-Jensen were awarded the Victor Murdock Award by the Kansas Press Association for their reporting on the policies of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

The Star’s Miriam Pepper was given the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award by the KPA.

The Lawrence Journal-World won 35 awards from the KPA; The Star took home a bunch, too.


KCUR, KCPT form partnership

Kansas City’s two public media entities are joining forces. KCUR and KCPT announced their partnership last week.

The two organizations will collaborate on agriculture stories, as part of KCUR’s Harvest Public Media project. Also in the fold is the Kansas Health Institute, which will contribute health reporting.

Continue reading

Former LJWorld editor Bill Mayer dies

Bill Mayer, who worked for the Lawrence Journal-World from 1950 to 2010, died Thursday. He was 88.

Mayer, a navigator on a World War II Army bomber, served in numerous capacities at the Journal-World, including managing editor and executive editor. He wrote a sports column published in the paper for 60 years, until his formal retirement in 2010. Continue reading