Big story finally appears during my short week

This was a relatively quiet week for me.

Pedro and I went to New York, Sunday into Monday. He already had the Monday off and I needed a break to clear my head after juggling several stories at once. Besides, I hadn’t been to New York in more than a year, since Feb., 2018.

The big story I referred to in the headline of this post was actually from the interview I drove to Quakertown to do on March 4 — and this is the April 12 issue.

It was going to be about Alli-Beth Shinberg’s military experience as a tie-in to President Trump’s transgender military ban, but I didn’t say so at the time. In fact, I wouldn’t have said anything if I knew it was going to take so long to run!

Since then, we’ve run stories with details on the ban, about lawsuits trying to stop it, and the House resolution condemning it.

Unfortunately, nothing worked and service members are going to get kicked out so I profiled My Brother’s House, which is a charity dedicated to providing housing for all military veterans in need, and also helped Alli-Beth.

I’ve mentioned there hardly ever being enough space in newspapers. The article couldn’t tell Alli’s whole story but you don’t see any of her pictures, either, so here they are:

They actually added two of the pictures online after I complained, since I attached four pictures to the email in which I also attached the Word document with the story!

I also wrote about the Mormons — make that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — changing its mind and allowing the children of LGBT couples to be baptized under certain conditions. It’s hard to understand why they or their parents would want them to be part of the Church (I’m following its style guide), but similarities could be made to Orthodox Jews, Catholics and others. In fact, editor Denise wrote about one example in last week’s editorial. Let’s just say I learned a lot, tracing major ups and downs on LGBT people, couples and their children.

I also wrote a story on health human connections. I got the idea from a newsletter an old acquaintance puts out weekly, but it turned into a profile of Action Wellness’ Buddy Program, in which volunteers reach out to local people living with various chronic illnesses to provide emotional support, companionship, and socialization.

Of course, I also mentioned five benefits of relationships: reduced anxiety and depression, a stronger immune system, better fitness, a healthier heart and longer life. Details when the story gets printed next week.

And finally, as in last, I was asked at the last moment to do Street Talk, which I hadn’t done in a few weeks, since my fall. (Editor Denise told me there was a long story about why it was up to me, and I can’t wait to hear it!)

Anyway, the question I came up with was an easy one: “Should ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett pay the city of Chicago more than $130,000 to cover overtime costs of investigating?” (It actually followed-up my March 1 question, “Should ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett serve time in prison if he’s convicted of a hate-crime hoax?”)

This was well after the charges against him for the alleged hate crime attack were dropped, but before the city sued for an undisclosed amount, and who knows what’ll happen when the new mayor takes office?

Plus, I got to meet new editor Jess and we both got to take a look at the new Facebook analytics.

Check out the big surge in Engagement! That’s pretty much it for a shortened week.

Click here to return to the PGN, 2019: Reporter, Copy Editor, Social Media Specialist page.

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