Post-Gazette: Legislators, staffers charged in bonus probe [with my audio]

Details of the long-rumored “Bonusgate” scandal dropped this afternoon. I helped a bit with the reporting for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story written by Dennis Roddy and was charged with cutting some audio for the paper’s Web site.

Hear Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett at his 2 P.M. news conference…

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Tom Corbett today filed charges against a dozen figures in the payroll bonus scandal, including former House Democratic Whip Michael Veon and current state Rep. Sean Ramaley.

Reports by two grand juries — one in Pittsburgh and another sitting here — laid out an array of accusations, including a conspiracy to deliver more than $1 million in state-paid bonuses to House employees who worked on political campaigns. Mr. Ramaley, 33, D-Economy, was accused of working full-time on his 2004 House campaign in Beaver County while drawing a taxpayer salary as a member of Mr. Veon’s staff.

Continue reading on Post-Gazete.com. More audio to follow.

Photo by Dennis Roddy, courtesy of the Post-Gazette.

Post-Gazette: Turnpike lease stuck in committee [with my audio]

HARRISBURG — A deal to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike “will not see the light of day,” vowed the chairman of the House Transportation Committee yesterday.

That would effectively kill Gov. Ed Rendell’s proposal to enter into a $12.8 billion, 75-year lease with a consortium comprising the Spanish multinational Abertis Infraestructuras SA and Citi Infrastructure Investors, a subsidiary of Citibank.

“There is no meaningful support among our committee members,” said committee Chairman Joseph F. Markosek, D-Monroeville. He said he has no intention of bringing it to a committee vote.

“I am putting a permanent hold on it. It will not see the light of day for as long as I am chairman.”

Hear some of Markosek’s comments above.

Read the rest on Post-Gazette.com.

Hear Rendell’s response of Markosek’s comments:

Image courtesy of Central Penn Business.

Post-Gazette: State passes budget [with my audio]

I contributed to today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report that a state budget deal was reached and signed last night.

I also cut an audio clip of Gov. Ed Rendell speaking on the budget, which the Post-Gazette put on its Web site: hooray for New Media!

Alongside Rendell is House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, and House Majority Floor Leader Bill Deweese, D-Fayette. Behind him is outgoing Budget Secretary Michael Macsh, who came with Rendell from Philadelphia.

Continue reading Post-Gazette: State passes budget [with my audio]

Last day in 3333 North Park Avenue

Today I turn over my keys to 3333 North Park Avenue in the Lower Tioga neighborhood of North Philadelphia near Temple Hospital to my landlord. I have spent better than 18 months living there. It has become the first place I could ever really call home outside of my parents’ watch. Indulge me in some photos.

I’m moving to Harrisburg, Pa. this weekend for a post-graduate internship.

Home tomorrow: Lakota picture slideshow

I HAVE BEEN IN South Dakota since last Monday, though this blog has been running on forward posts since.

I first met the group I’m visiting now back in 2006. With some other Temple University students, I did some community work in White River – a town of 600, nearly half of whom are American Indian – just north of the Lakota Rosebud reservation. See some photos of that trip below.

What jokes cross the editorial line?

april-fool.jpg

No one needs to remind a self-aware student journalist about the dangers of satire. Every April brings with it new stories of high school and college publications biting it hard after trying their hand at April Fool’s Day issues.

Most usually, the beef comes about with expectations. Young journalists try their best to be as professional as possible and then, infrequently, perhaps even just once a year, they bring out the cutting remarks and find themselves accused of libel or the sort.

So, at The Temple News, we tend to avoid such events. Still, our news blog, Broad & Cecil, remains a forum for plenty of sarcasm and editorializing. It was launched in September, having endured more than half a year without any controversy to note.

So far.

Last week, The Temple News reported on Frank Baldino, a university Board of Trustees member, whose company, Cephalon Inc., of which he is founder and CEO, is being accused of anti-competitive business practices and sued for allegedly making a deal with another pharmaceutical company delaying the production of a generic brand of his firm’s sleep-related drug Provigil.

In today’s print edition, there will be a follow up. While the story was being passed around, some staffers got to embellishing the situation. The result was a brief 20 second clip, lampooning Baldino with a mock cut-out and cartoon voice impersonation.

Continue reading What jokes cross the editorial line?

Christopher Wink reports on Bill Clinton speech

Yesterday, for The Temple News, I went with a staff photographer to the campus of the University of Pennsylvania to see former President Bill Clinton give a speech.

I wrote a quick summary, grabbed a photo and had it on our site before any other media.

Continue reading Christopher Wink reports on Bill Clinton speech

My travel videos on AOL

I spent a semester living and studying in Tokyo, Japan last fall. While there, I  blogged, photographed and videotaped my experiences for the pilot season of an online-only show by NBC called JYA, Junior Year Abroad.

I just got word from the show’s producer that it has been posted on a new NBC  digital media Web site, Hulu.com.

Through it, major media companies can license the content.

As result, today AOL has done just that, posting my videos, in addition to those of the other cast members. See it here.Check out my most popular video, chronicling my scaling Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest peak, on my own, on a whim, unprepared.