Archive for April, 2009

Swine Flu = H1N1 Flu
April 30, 2009

We are making a big change tonight on the news. The government and international health organizations are changing the name of “swine flu” to its medical name: “H1N1 flu.”  So, we at Action News are also changing the name.  Don’t get confused… it’s the same thing.

Biden Suggests Avoiding Plane Travel
April 30, 2009

It’s hard to know just how serious this swine flu is. This morning Vice President Joe Biden said during an interview that he’d suggest avoiding plane travel and subway travel because being in a confined space is not a good idea. I have a trip planned with the kids next month (in the U-S).  I’m wondering what to do. Any thoughts? Are any of you changing your vacation plans now?

Click here to watch Mr. Biden’s interview.

Swine Flu Economic Impact
April 28, 2009

This just came over through the Associated Press. The economic impact estimate of swine flu in Mexico: 

MEXICO CITY (AP) – A leading business group estimates that canceled events and closure of movie theaters, night clubs, museums and other establishments to prevent the spread of swine flu is costing Mexico City at least 777 million pesos ($57 million) a day.

Click here to follow the latest news on swine flu.

Swine Flu / Pittsburgh Area
April 28, 2009

We’re just getting word that there is a suspected case of swine flu in Allegheny County. I thought while this story continues to develop I’d post some information for you on prevention and treatment. 

Click here for the Center for Disease Control’s website for lots of helpful information on swine flu.

Stolen Scooter
April 28, 2009

I’m writing a story right now about an 85 year old woman whose electric scooter was stolen. Her name is Betty Keefer and she has a lot of trouble getting around.  She says on March 11th a man came up to her place in Jeannette, Westmoreland County and took it.. saying he was going to change the oil and bring it back.  He never returned it. He did leave a note with his name (if it’s his real name). His first name is Frank.. and the last is not legible but looks like McGinniz. He was driving a tan colored vehicle and looked “sloppy.”  

 If you have any information on this called Trooper Fagan at 724-832-3288.

The Mona Lisa and Gisele
April 28, 2009

I subscribe to Vanity Fair. Great articles. This interesting article  in the most recent magazine talks about the theft of the Mona Lisa in 1911. It explains how there was a crime behind the crime… and something much deeper than the simple stealing of the icon from inside the Louvre. Click here to read the entire article.  I highly recommend it.


   OK…. but here’s why I’m mentioning this.  

   The front cover of this month’s Vanity Fair is the beautiful Gisele wearing next to nothing.


My 8 year old daughter was more than surprised when she saw it and asked me why I was reading this magazine. Does this have to be the cover?  It would be much easier to rip off the front cover and throw it away than to explain this to Ally.  (no offense to Gisele…. I think it would be funny to see her posing like the Mona Lisa instead LOL ). 

  Finally, a note to say thank you to everyone who’s clicked on my Twitter page.  You can find me here:   I’m still learning the system but I see hundreds of you have checked it out.  If you sign up for your own FREE Twitter page you can “follow” me and many others and then all of the updates of the people you’re following will get sent straight to your page so you’ll have one-stop shopping and you won’t have to click around to a lot of different Twitter pages.  Also, I can click to follow you… and see what you’re up to. It’s a fun way to connect. : )

New Book / Pillars of the Earth
April 27, 2009

The latest book I’m reading is a suggestion from Jon Greiner’s wife, Susan.  She passed along Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  


   Here’s a review:

Here, Follett sets the thrillers aside for a long, steady story about building a cathedral in 12th-century England. Bloodthirsty or adventure-crazed Follett readers will be frustrated, but anyone who has ever been moved by the splendors of a fine church will sink right into this highly detailed but fast-moving historical work – a novel about the people and skills needed to put up an eye-popping cathedral in the very unsettled days just before the ascension of Henry II. The cathedral is the brainchild of Philip, prior of the monastery at Kingsbridge, and Tom, an itinerant master mason. Philip, shrewd and ambitious but genuinely devout, sees it as a sign of divine agreement when his decrepit old cathedral burns on the night that Tom and his starving family show up seeking shelter. Actually, it’s Tom’s clever stepson Jack who has stepped in to carry out God’s will by secretly torching the cathedral attic, but the effect is the same. Tom gets the commission to start the rebuilding – which is what he has wanted to do more than anything in his life. Meanwhile, however, the work is complicated greatly by local politics. There is a loathsome baron and his family who have usurped the local earldom and allied themselves with the powerful, cynical bishop – who is himself sinfully jealous of Philip’s cathedral. There are the dispossessed heirs to earldom, a beautiful girl and her bellicose brother, both sworn to root out the usurpers. And there is the mysterious Ellen, Tom’s second wife, who witnessed an ancient treachery that haunts the bishop, the priory, and the vile would-be earl. The great work is set back, and Tom is killed in a raid by the rivals. It falls to young Jack to finish the work. Thriller writing turns out to be pretty good training, since Follett’s history moves like a fast freight train. Details are plenty, but they support rather than smother. It’s all quite entertaining and memorable. (Kirkus Reviews)

Twitter With Me
April 25, 2009

I just joined Twitter.… and I’m inviting you to join me there.   It’s so easy and it’s FREE! (You may have seen it on Oprah)  I’m using it to tell you what I’m working on throughout the day and to give you the head’s up on some of the stories that will air on Action News. I’m hoping you’ll see what I’m working on and give me suggestions throughout the day or tips that can add to my story.

Click here to find me or just go to

Just click here to sign up.  Again it’s free…. and then anytime you check back on your own Twitter page  you’ll see my updates.  It’s also a great way for me to find out what our viewers are up to.   The idea is that you only have 140 characters to type what you’re doing.  So all the messages are short so it’s doesn’t take up much time.

 If you click to “follow” me (which you’ll find right under my name in the upper left) you’ll see my short updates coming to your Twitter page.   I’ll be notified that you’re following me … then I can click to follow you, too which is the cool part.    This gives you a chance to see what I’m working on and whether you have suggestions… and I can see what your interests are and it can help me cover the news in a more interesting way.

        I’ll post more about it later… but I wanted to do a quick post now for all of you who read this blog on the weekend.  Isn’t it fabulous out there?  I took the kids and a few of their friends to Heinz Field today for the Draft Day Open House. They actually got to get on the field and kick field goals! They loved it!

     Enjoy this weather and have a great weekend!

Armed Robberies in Oakland Area
April 24, 2009

Be careful at night around the Oakland/Shadyside/Squirrel Hill area. There have been about a dozen armed robberies in the past few weeks including one early this morning.  In each case two men in hooded sweatshirts come up to their victims (usually walking alone) and pull a gun.  This morning the robbers were even more aggressive than normal and beat up the victim. 

If you’re in the area and need to get somewhere and don’t want to walk alone here are two options: Call Safe Walk at 412-268-SAFE (7233) or the Escort Service at 412-268-RIDE (7433)

Baby Shaker Controversial Game
April 23, 2009

I’m working on a story on a controversial game called Baby Shaker. It launched through Apple on Monday and created such outrage Apple pulled it Wednesday. The idea is to see how long you can listen to the crying baby before shaking the phone to make it stop.

More tonight on Action News at 5.

Pictures of Saturn
April 23, 2009

This post is for my brother, David.  Click here to read the article and see more pictures.


   The new pictures of Saturn were taken by Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft.   Nasa says they show the most incredible detail yet.

Practical Joke/What’s Cookin’
April 22, 2009

This is a funny practical joke video my beautiful teenage neighbor sent me. I’m so glad no one has ever done anything like this to me! 

I’m Back/ Cooking Class/ CASA
April 21, 2009

Many of you have written in wondering what’s happened to my blogging life. Well, today, I’m back. 

I did a story last week on Twitter. I think I’ll set up an account to get news tips. Anyone out there with any Twittering advice PLEASE help me! I’m going to work on it this week and I have no idea how it’ll go. 

A charity event I helped with over the weekend emailed me this photo today.


   This is Jason Capps. He’s the owner of  Bella Sera by Greco’s in Washington County.  An even for CASA was held at his facility Friday night. We raised money for the organization which helps children through the court system …. many of their parents get in trouble with the law and the innocent children need an advocate to represent their needs in the court system. Wonderful volunteers help the scared and confused children as they try to stabilize their lives. Click here to find out more about how you can volunteer for CASA.

  Jason is also working on a project I hope to tell you more about soon.  He is hosting cooking classes live on the web. There’s a fee… and he gives you a shopping list and then you can join him live and ask him questions live… (or watch the video anytime you want).  Click here for more.

8 Year old’s Amazing Voice
April 15, 2009

This is Jackie Evancho. She’s only eight, lives in the Pittsburgh area,  and she has the voice of an angel. She was the 1st runner up in that local Kean Idol contest I told you about a few weeks ago. Enjoy!

(watching her try to adjust the mic to her size is just too cute!)  

 Since the event Jackie has been asked to sing at other local events…  not surprising.  I’m sure she’ll keep impressing Pittsburghers and in no time she’ll be impressing a national audience. 🙂

Three Honorable Men
April 12, 2009

I’ve been wanting to write something about the three officers we lost last week but there are no words to describe my horror, my heartbreak, and my respect for Officers Eric Kelly, Paul Sciullo and Stephen Mayhle. May they rest in peace.


I do want to remind you of how you can show your appreciation. 

The Fraternal Order of Police is accepting donations for the families.

Send your contributions to:

 Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union

1338 Chartiers Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA 15220.

For more information call 412-922-4800 or click here.