Religion, faith have played large role in area’s storm recovery (April 23, 2011)
On April 16, 2011, an F3 tornado ripped through Sanford, killing two people and damaging more than 450 structures including the collapse of a Lowe’s Home Improvement store. These are two of the stories I covered in the week after the tornado hit, the first about cleanup efforts in one of the most heavily-damaged areas and the second about the role of faith in the county’s recovery.
TUSKEGEE AIRMAN: Goldston man recalls aviation experiences (Feb. 19, 2012)
A profile of William Hicks, a 91-year-old Goldston resident who served as a Tuskegee Airman during World War II. He joined the military in 1942 at age 20, determined to serve a segregated country where the majority didn’t view him as a hero. Today, he is celebrated as one of the country’s first black aviators.
A story about the HBO documentary “Wartorn 1861-2010,” which examines the effects of PTSD on soldiers from the Civil War through the Iraq War. One soldier featured in the documentary is Jason Scheuerman, whose father, Army veteran Chris Scheuerman, has spent the years since his son’s death fighting for greater awareness about PTSD.
Curiosity the drive behind Head of the Class plan (Sept. 5, 2010)
These stories detail the Head of Class Project, an incentive-based education initiative that annually rewards the staff of the highest-performing elementary school, from the principal to the custodians. The first story is about the project’s unveiling, and the second is a profile of the cousins who created the formula used to measure each school’s success.
Petition calls for ban on gas chambers for animals (June 23, 2010)
Animal Control shuts down gas chamber, proposing tethering law (Sept. 29, 2010)
These stories focus on the Lee County Animal Shelter’s decision to switch from euthanasia via gas chamber to euthanasia by injection, widely considered by animal activists to be the more humane option. The first story details a petition to shut down the gas chamber, and the second story is about Animal Control’s decision to shut the chamber down. The second story also addresses tethering limitations proposed by the Board of Health.
Families adjust to hardship of job loss (Sept. 26, 2010)
This story explores the value of a job through two families, one in which the father went from having a job to being laid off and one in which the father went from being unemployed to getting a job. The story details the emotional toll of unemployment, the adjustments each family had to make to their lifestyles and what they learned from the experience.
Officials: To Improve SLHS, stability is key (Aug. 8, 2010)
A story about Southern Lee High School, Lee County’s only school not to achieve growth in the 2009-2010 year. The story examines the school’s high teacher turnover, and the new principal’s plan to turn the school’s struggles around.
Evergreen releases final audit (March 15, 2012)
During the spring budget sessions, the Board of Commissioners voted that a performance audit be conducted of the school system and county departments to review operational and financial efficiency. This story outlines the results of the final audit and includes reactions from members of both boards.