Monday, March 03, 2008

Small town news...

Back in college I worked for KTEL Radio in mighty Walla Walla. KTEL was a country station, spinning authentic 45s of the greatest Country hits of the mid-80s and earlier (not being a country fan I stuck to the standard hit rotation and routinely threw in Ray Stevens, Jerry Reed, and cross-over acts like the Eagles and CCR). As the youngest member of the air staff by far (I was all of 19 at the time) I also drew the crappiest shift: 6 to noon Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Part of the weekend routine was to stop off at the Police station on the way in and pick up the overnight Police Blotter. Then once I got to the station I'd call the two local hospitals and find out who, if anyone, croaked over night. These would then go, along with various national news stories torn (literally) off the AP wire printer, in to the morning's 10-minute news casts, also known as the most terrifying part of my morning.
Why terrifying, you ask? Well, the average listener of KTEL was, as far as I could tell, 80 years old and awake at 5:30 listening to KTEL to find out how many of their friends were still alive. So the "Weekend Deathwatch", as I came to call it, was high-pressure. Because 19-year-olds don't know how to pronounce everyone's names. And when they get Aunt Millie Sasperilly's name wrong, Ida Mae Sasperilly will call in and complain. But don't think that the Police Blotter part was any easier...I got reamed once for saying that "a car hit a bicycle at the corner of 2nd and Alder..." because clearly I, a bike rider, was assigning blame to the car. Far better to say "a car and a bicycle collided..."
Anyhow, now that I do a canned, voice-tracked radio show that airs 200 miles from my house, I'm far better at reading AP news stories (although thanks to the Internets I no longer have to tear anything...). But I do miss the police blotter. Which is why I was happy to stumble across this, from the Flathead Beacon. Nothing like small-town crimes...a few choice entries:
8:41 a.m. A cat crawled under a Willow Glen resident's porch after a car hit it.

4:54 p.m. A 14-year-old girl needed counseling by deputies after she threw a fit and threw her food all over the kitchen floor.

5:14 p.m. Two Coram residents got into a fight over a saw.

6:10 p.m. A woman called in because her 16-year-daughter was threatening to remove her nose ring. (I'm not sure if this means the girl was going to pull out Mom's nose ring or her own...)

No comments: