The newsroom emergency scanners crackled to life this morning with 3 letters that got the newsroom hopping....and pulled me away from an edit session scheduled to last most of the day.
W__M__D. They couldn't be found in Iraq, but the Greensboro Fire department had been dispatched to a local financial institution for a possible discovery of said three letters. An unknown white powder, inside a deposit bag that contained a local restuarant's deposit.
I arrived at the bank as backup. My colleague Matt Jensen was already roaming the perimeter looking for new angles from which to document the brick establishment surrounded by fire, rescue and hazmat apparatus. My colleauge Eric White was working all the angles related to getting sound on tape....Interviews....the information our viewers need to understand what is happening.
A News and Record Photographer was also staking out the joint, large lenses and a portable scanner in tow. His fellow wordsmith roaming the scene also looking for answers.
There wasn't much time to waste, it was all happening in the 11 o'clock a.m. hour. I grabbed the keys from Jensen and set up the live truck in anticipation of a Live Shot at noon. Matt jumped in the truck and edited a 30 second collage of the firefighters entering the building and EMS bosses scurrying for answers.
Eric had enough answers of his own just before noon to go to air with the story. Some flour (as in the kind used to make biscuits) had apparently gotten into the area of the money and ultimately made it's way to the bank. That was it. Period. No W_M_D. No biological agents. No Danger.
The Live Shot was off. The story turned into just a quick mention at noon. Eric and Matt were on their way back to their previous assignment. I was going to lunch, and then to finish editing that story you may have seen being promo'ed for Sunday.
Before I took off though I talked to an old buddy of mine, Chris Roseboro. Today he was one of the first firefighters in the building. He used to work with us at Fox 8, he has been on Fear Factor and now he is now employed by the Greenboro Fire Department.
Now he gets to play Fear Factor everytime the crackling box of emergency notification comes to life.