Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Photography Internship

From Top to Bottom:
1. Emily Dudash, sophomore at Regina High School from Mayfield Village hugs Caroline Tyler, freshman at Regina High School from Lyndhurst during the last day of school.  Regina High School is closing its doors because enrollment numbers have been down over the past years and cannot operate next year with low enrollment.  
2. Kids participate in the Oreo Cookie Licking Contest held by The Simon Kidgits Club at Great Lakes Mall last Saturday.  
3. Andrew Cervelli 11, on the left and Louie Pearson 6, work on a word search puzzle before the "Book Buddies" weekly summer program on Thursday at the Perry Public Library.
4. Diana Hudson Kresnye, left, holding the coffee table, works with other volunteers from the 2010 YMCA Dream House project to rearrange the great room before the entertainment system was installed.
5. Firefighters tackle a fire located at Frankie's and Dylan's Auto Repair on Twinbrook Rd. in Mentor on Saturday. 

Hello everyone, my name is Chris Langer and I am the summer photo intern at the News-Herald.  I am currently a fourth year at Rochester Institute of Technology studying to be a photojournalist.  I have one more year left before I graduate.  I grew up in Russell Township and attended West Geauga Highschool Class of 2007.  I started photography only a couple years and became interested in photojournalism as a major only recently.  This summer experience has given me the opportunity to learn what it is like to be a professional working photographer, how a daily newspaper operates and the challenges newspapers face everyday.

I started a month ago and I absolutely love photographing this community.  I have been photographing everything from breaking news all the way up to eating contests.  I have seen the aftermath of a house explosion and how it affects the community.  I get to witness daily life in various environments whether it be library reading sessions to picking fresh cherries.  It has been a great opportunity to experience other people’s lives  in the community and be able to photograph them.  As the summer progresses, I will post images from various assignments that I find interesting.

Over the next two months, Shannon (the other intern in the newsroom) and I will be teaming up together in various assignments for the rest of the summer.  We plan on giving the readers a behind-the-scenes look into what goes on here at the News-Herald and while on assignment.  I hope you continue to watch this blog as the summer continues and get to see what our experiences are like here at the News-Herald.

Pictured above was a small sampling of the work I have produced at the News-Herald.  

Chris Langer, Photo Intern

Shannon Hard at Work

No, it's not the most flattering picture.  But hey, that thing was heavy and it was hot that day!

We're having technical difficulties with the video, in the meantime check out this video of Jordan:

--Shannon Bowens, Intern

Behind the Scenes: Jordan Tropf's Story

Hey everyone!  Yesterday Chris (the photo intern) and I went to the home of Jordan Tropf in Gates Mills to interview him about his upcoming departure for his first year at the U.S. Naval Academy.  Jordan is a really motivated guy who's excited to go to Annapolis and start his education.  He was also very patient, graciously posing for photos for quite awhile while we dealt with changing light and shifting shadows.  While I held equipment so the portrait would be properly lit, Chris lurked in the bushes in front of Jordan's house to get just the right shot of him near the American flag.  Check out the video to see Chris in action, and look out for pictures of me helping out coming soon!  Jordan's story will be run tomorrow; be sure to take a look.
--Shannon Bowens, Intern

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Internship Adventures at the News-Herald

Hey readers!  My name is Shannon and I'm interning here at the News-Herald this summer.  This upcoming school year I will be a senior at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.  I am double-majoring in English and Film Studies, and will graduate in May 2011.  I graduated from Willoughby South High in 2007 and have lived in Willoughby all my life.
So far at the paper, I've been lucky enough to cover lots of interesting events, including the strawberry shortcake eating contest at the Kirtland Kiwanis Strawberry Festival and a tele-town hall between President Obama and residents of Menorah Park in Beechwood.  On Tuesday I even had the opportunity to cover an event held in recognition of Cleveland's Korean War vets during which the Ambassador to the U.S. from South Korea, Han Duk-soo, gave a speech.  I have a few more fun features stories coming in the near future, so look out for those and more updates on my behind-the-scenes exploits!
--Shannon Bowens, Intern

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Restitution may be sought for gas spill's wildlife damages

The Ohio Division of Wildlife continues to tabulate the number of dead fish and wildlife that die due ti the 8,200 gallon gasoline spill into a channel of 101-acre Punderson Lake in Newbury Township.

When a full account is known - possibly by Thursday - the Wildlife Division will assess whether it will ask for financial restitution of the losses, an agency official said.

Making matters difficult to assess just how many fish and wildlife were killed by the spill - which occurred Saturday - is the heavy amount of aquatic vegetation found in the channel.

So far the agency has collected two garter snakes, one water snake, two Eastern painted turtles, one musk turtle, one snapping turtle and one muskrat.

Fish also have been recovered including a number of small sunfish, a few small largemouth bass, and one 14-inch bullhead worth about $7, said Rick Louttit, the Wildlife Division's agent in charge of the investigation.

The to-date fish kill total amounts to around $26, though the snakes, turtles and muskrats may be worth as much as $20 each, Louttit said.

"We need to see if there are any more dead fish or animals and then we'll make a determination on whether to seek restitution but a lot of agencies are involved and they might each seek restitution for the clean-up costs," Louttit said.

Louttit said that restitution is typically based upon how common is the species, its size and other factors. An endangered turtle, for example, would have a higher value than one of the more common painted turtles, Louttit said.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Gas explosion doesn't shake it up

The natural gas explosion that rocked Concord Township and neighboring communities early Sunday may have demolished two homes and damaged a significant number of other dwellings but it didn't register as even a blip on Ohio's earthquake-sensing equipment.

Mike Hansen, state geologist in charge of the Ohio Seismic Network, said he received three e-mail postings regarding the explosion. Two of these posts came from Mentor and one from Painesville. Each sender wondered whether an earthquake had occurred, Hansen said.

Nope, said Hansen, following a check of the system that includes a unit in Ashtabula County's Jefferson Village and another one at Lakeland Community College. A third unit at Lake Erie College (and the closest one to the explosion) is temporarily not in use.

Hansen said that following the e-mails he checked the equipment but nothing jumped out at him beyond what is called "cultural clutter," or typical background noise generated by human activity.

"We don't usually see a response since gas explosions are air blasts and so are not typically detected. If a blast occurs in a quarry then we may detect it because that is a ground blast," Hansen said.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Visting Holden a great perk/w Flipcam video

There are several reasons why I consider myself truly blessed for being this newspaper's all things outdoors. That includes covering (besides hunting and fishing) items such as the environment, the weather, and the area's three county metroparks.

Another great perk is being able to cover from the inside out the Kirtland-based Holden Arboretum. This is one of the country largest - and leading - such institutions.

And never was I more pleased than during a tour Monday of the main campus grounds by the institution's CEO (and jazz musician, for which I am willing to forgive) Clem Hamilton and Holden's multi-tasking David Desimone who does the institution's marketing, media relations and similarly vital assignments.

The tour was with our own Janet Podolak who often writes about Holden's frilly, flowery and pretty side while I bend more toward toward the corporate, business and institutional side of things.

Anyway, you could tell that Hamilton was super excited over Holden's still-developing "A New Leaf" concept. This entity is in its infancy and developmental stages. It is intended to bring the institution further along to make it a must go-to destination. Not just for members, either.

Rather, Holden is preparing (for example) a large "Working Woods" where the now mothballed sugar bush stands. This research plot will help owners of their own private woodlots learn about the best forest management practices for their respective holdings.

Hamilton also pointed out as we used an electric golf cart to tour the grounds the area that will be known as "Home Gardens." Here, Hamilton says, will exist a large and varied sweep of land cordeoned off that will individually demonstrate the kinds of gardens that homeowners can realistically replicate.

And Hamilton gushed (rightfully so, too) over the plans for a much-expanded visitors center. This new structure will consist of about 15,000 square feet while the existing visitors center has 9,000 square feet.

"While our primary focus is on gardens we thought we needed a new visitors center, too," Hamilton said.

If there was any one specialty that Hamilton wanted to address was the creation of a child-oriented "Adventure Woods" and adjacent to the new and relocated visitors center near a revamped and refilled Corning Lake. Plans call for a "play area" that will help kids learn about plants without them even knowing they are being educated. I love this number and wish I could win the lottery to pay for it.

Another really neat idea being tossed around is what Holden is calling its "Canopy Walk." Here, a trail, bridge or other such structure will allow visitors to literally walk amongst the tree tops. How cool is that?

All of which, by the way, will be encapsulated within a deer exclosure with cattle grates on the Sperry Road access points. This way visitors to the Arboretum won't see deer-damaged plantings, keeping these pesky critters at bay.

This entire project is going to cost millions, of course. And it won't all be done overnight. We're looking at something that could a decade or maybe even a generation before all is said and done.

But the concept is do-able. And with stronger investments and more grants coming in Holden Arboretum believes it will have the financial resources in the years ahead to "get 'er done."

As a card-carrying member of the Holden Arboretum I am proud to be (even in one very small way) a part of this plan. Hopefully more people will believe the same and also become members.

The Holden Arboretum is one of Northeast Ohio's premier resources.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Friday, June 4, 2010

Doesn't fall far from tree at Orchard Hills

While working on the story about the Geauga Park District's Orchard Hills Park in Chester Township I interviewed Jim Patterson, the family patriarch.

The Pattersons owned Orchard Hills Golf Course before they sold it to the park district.

Thing is, my late grandfather - Elgie Lee - worked at the course and for Patterson. So did my late cousin, Danny Lee.

Jim Patterson told me that many of the trees planted at the golf course - and which I saw on a short tour of the park - were placed there by my late grandfather.

It was gratifying to see (and I'm sure Grandpa Lee would be proud to know) that the pines and other trees have successfully taken root and grown to maturity. Hopefully, the park district won't mow down all of them in its effort to build a new park.

On the same subject, I once kept a black bullhead that I had captured as a real tiny fellow from Mogadore Reservoir. When the bullhead got too big for my aquarium, Grandpa Lee took it for release at one of the golf course's ponds. I'd like to think that the offspring of Mugwomp (as I named the bullhead) are there yet today.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An amazing interactive graphic

CNN created an interactive graphic called Home and Away: Iraq and Afghan War Casualties. Users can view locations of the hometowns of troops as well as where they died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or limit what shows up by toggling with the range of age, home country and date of death. Or, you can view the casualties as a list.

Some screenshots including troops from our area (click to enlarge):

CNN has made a great resource and memorial for those who have fought and died defending our country and our freedom.

--Cheryl Sadler

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