Friday, March 5, 2010

Bedell story brings the media

The town has been buzzing with media from around the region, the state and the nation since last night's news broke that the man who shot security personnel at the Pentagon was from Hollister. From KCBA television crews camped outside the gate at Ridgemark, the country club where John Patrick Bedell apparently lived, to the massive CNN satellite truck parked on Fourth Street near the county courthouse, our quiet town hasn't seen such media activity in some time. KGO of San Francisco called the Free Lance newsroom requesting an interview with the editor, KRON-4 from The City sent a truck down here, trying to find a place to park near the local media outlets. Sheriff Curtis Hill gave two press conferences: one at 12:30 and another at 3 to accommodate the East Coast media's 6 p.m. newscast needs. In the combined Free Lance/Pinnacle newsroom, the story had the staff scrambling since last night. From calls to sources to a visit by Bedell's brother, who dropped off a family statement, to research on the Internet, it was the kind of breaking news that just doesn't happen around here very much. Hollister typically is in the news for one of three things: earthquakes, bikers or some sort of tragedy, which, thankfully doesn't happen too often. The national media will move from the story over the next 24 hours, as that's how the news cycle runs. Locally, Hollister's newspapers will continue to follow the story as they prepare next week's editions, looking to dig a little deeper into the life and motivations of a troubled man that by all accounts came from a loving family.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Family time ... shocking

This just in: Within 10 minutes, my entire four-person family will be together under the same roof, eating dinner together and then sitting in front of the fireplace on a chilly, rainy night. Not front-page news stuff, but news nonetheless. With a freshman playing high school baseball (read: practices or games every day but Sunday, even when it's raining) and an eighth-grader winding up his school and travel basketball seasons and beginning his spring league baseball season and with Dad coaching all of the eighth-grader's teams, nights like these are rare and therefore special. My boys don't know what to do with themselves when they aren't busy, though nights like these are cherished in our family. Spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner; all four of us settling on the couch in front of the fire for some American Idol; it's the modern version of Leave it to Beaver. Enough writing, it's family time.