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INVESTIGATING NEPA July 1, 2017

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THREE DIFFERENT GOOD BYES




Clay LePard left WNEP this week for a reporter position with the CBS TV station in Orlando.He joins our former colleague at WNEP Matt Petrillo, and my former teammate at WTSP in Tampa, Ginger Gadsden.
Clay was at WNEP for about two and a half years, and made his mark.He showed a great deal of insight and leadership in reporting AND helping put together team coverage on that rogue weather blimp that floated across parts of our viewing area in 2015, and the flash flooding in Sullivan and Lycoming counties last year.Those were some of this station’s best days in news, or as a former news director once said, “we made epic television.”
He was an innovator, a unique individual, knew instinctively how to incorporate social media with news, and was the only person I’ve ever worked with that had a prep school education from the North Shore of Massachusetts (like me,) and then a degree from Syracuse University.It is not a reach to say he will make a difference in the Orla…

INVESTIGATING NEPA June 18, 2017

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INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING THIS WEEK

Covering the story on the serial bank robber, the man who has now held up 12 banks, brings a challenge.We need to continue to cover this aggressively, but we also need to be careful that we do not romanticize this dangerous man.We got our first look at the robber via a composite sketch when someone, according to the FBI got a look at him before he put on his mask, then went into the NBT Branch in Eynon, and ran out the back door.The surveillance video within my story Thursday, shows his boldest and most disturbing hold up yet.



You won’t get the gist of the danger of what happened earlier this month at the bank because NBT asked that the faces of its workers in the bank be blurred out.The bank’s decision is understandable and done out of respect for its workers who were terrified.I happened to see the unblurred version, and it showed a situation that could leave emotional scars with everyone in the bank.Everyone had the robber’s pistol pointed at them a…

INVESTIGATING NEPA JUNE 11, 2017

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INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING THIS WEEK


Like most states, Pennsylvania is aggressively pursuing its tax collections.But where should the agencies collecting on behalf of the state draw the line between getting tough and backing off.This week, our investigative reporting showed a case where collection efforts appear to be going too far.

93-year-old Martha Katchur of St. Clair in Schuylkill County is the type of person people in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania point to with pride.She has always been a hard-working woman beginning with her teenaged years, when she made dynamite and blasting caps at a plant near Tamaqua.Shortly after the war she married, had kids, and to help with the family finances, she opened a funnel cake business.Martha was a regular at the Hometown Farmers Market, and a few other local fairs in the area.Her husband handled the family finances.And by all accounts, the couple paid their state taxes every year since the late 1940s. Except 1987.Possibly.In a letter from th…

INVESTIGATING NEPA JUNE 4, 2017

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JUNE IS HERE



          I spent the latter half of the week working on two Newswatch 16 investigations in Schuylkill County, which should air in the coming week.Some of the communities in what we know as “The Skook” are beautiful this time of year and the countryside drives were pleasant.Some have called these communities “bleak,” and all are reminders of coal’s strong past, and murky future.But the investigation will be worth your watch, and in these communities people still take pride in where they are from, even if the populations are dwindling.I did have one story I did in Luzerne county this week I’d like to mention.


I work every year on Memorial Day, partly out of respect for those who fought and died.Since most of my work involves calling and sometimes confronting people on matters they’d rather not discuss, Memorial Day is the one day of the year where I can truly come in peace, even if the subject is the sacrifice of war.It was nice to profile the Brogans of Avoca here.Jim Broga…