FOX10 News

Tropical Wave More Defined

August 13th, 2013 at 9:28 pm by under FOX10 News, FOX10 Stormtracker Weather

tropics_quickmapA Tropical Wave now in the western Caribbean Sea is heading west-northwest towards the southern Gulf of Mexico. Upper level winds are gradually becoming more favorable for development. The National Hurricane Center is saying the system hgas a 30% probability of development in the next two days, and 40% chance of development by the weekend. Several of the models bring the moisture of the system towards the northen Gulf by the weekend. The upper environemnt is not supportive of a major storm, but the system could organize into a named tropical storm. The next name on the list is “Erin.”

Good luck Marcus!

August 7th, 2013 at 7:57 pm by under FOX10 News, Uncategorized

One of our veteran photojournalists, Marcus Powe, left FOX10 to take a job with the Mobile County Public School system.  We will miss his 20 years of experience, but we know our loss will be the gain of his new students at Leflore!

a b d photo 1 photo 2

Lost messages

July 29th, 2013 at 8:15 pm by under FOX10 News, Uncategorized
Pope Francis answers reporters questions during a news conference aboard the papal flight on the journey back from Brazil, Monday, July 29, 2013. Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis was much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten. Francis' remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil. (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

Pope Francis answers reporters questions during a news conference aboard the papal flight on the journey back from Brazil, Monday, July 29, 2013.  Francis’ remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil. (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

In an attempt to find a headline for Pope Francis’ news conference aboard his return flight to Rome from Brazil, reporters mangled the message.

I don’t really blame them; I don’t think it was intentional. But I do believe that when dealing with theology, it’s important to understand context and nuance; these were lacking in most of the reports I read.

The reporters traveling with the Pope (or the editors back home) missed what he actually said, and in this age of instant news that ricochets around the world with the speed of Twitter, the misinterpretation wound up spreading like an out of control virus.

Father Jonathan Morris, who is a Fox News contributor, put it this way:

“….unfortunately, if you were reading the headlines from some media outlets, you would have learned just one thing. As the Huffington Post put it: “Breakthrough: Pope OK with Gays.”

This is the worst coverage of a religious story I have seen to date.

Let’s begin with the fact that the pope has always been ‘OK’ with homosexuals. In fact, by the demands of his own religion he is required to be much more than just ‘OK.’ The Christian faith teaches that every person is endowed by God with an inviolable dignity and therefore deserves our unconditional respect and love.

A section of an Associated Press report also got the story very wrong. Summarizing the pope’s comments on homosexuals in the priesthood, the AP reported: ‘Francis was much more conciliatory [than Pope Benedict], saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.’

Pope Francis didn’t say that, and the report is wrong on so many levels.

First of all, it suggests that being gay itself, is a sin. What Pope Francis really said, in response to a reporter’s question about homosexual priests who are living a celibate life was this: ‘If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?’

Pope Francis simply and compassionately reiterated Biblical teaching. The Bible and the Catholic Church have never taught that it is a ‘sin’ to be homosexual. They teach it is a sin to have homosexual sex because it goes against the laws of God’s nature, specifically his plan for human sexuality.

When Pope Francis says ‘who am I to judge’ he is saying—and I think we need to hear more of this from religious leaders—that active homosexuals deserve the same kindness, love, and mercy that all of us sinners would hope to receive from God and from others.

We don’t make judgments about anyone’s personal worth—God has already done that when he created us out of love.”

I have always been a proponent of “beat reporting” – employing journalists who specialize in a particular subject. John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter is an excellent example of someone who deeply understands his subject. Rocco Palmo, who writes a blog called Whispers in the Loggia, is another. In the days when networks made extensive use of beat reporters, Winston Burdett of CBS was a master of religious reporting in Rome.

Assigning reporters who know a little bit about a lot of things doesn’t do our industry, or the public, any favors.

Hurricane Preparedness Day in Foley

July 27th, 2013 at 3:04 pm by under FOX10 News, FOX10 Stormtracker Weather, Uncategorized

We had fun greeting folks at the Hurricane Preparedness Day at the Home Depot in Foley!







This was Thursday

July 25th, 2013 at 11:28 pm by under FOX10 News, Uncategorized

Snapper Season Extended

May 23rd, 2013 at 5:14 pm by under FOX10 News, Jason Smith - FOX10 Outdoors


A Mobile landmark prepares to close

May 22nd, 2013 at 7:52 pm by under FOX10 News, Uncategorized

I confirmed tonight that the Bienville Club in downtown Mobile is preparing to close and take with it, a piece of contemporary Mobile history.

Since it opened in 1967, it was THE site for power lunches, featuring downtown business leaders.  On the rare occasions I went there (always as the guest of a member), there were never any checks presented, just a receipt that the member signed.  The late TV General Manager C.P. Persons had a favorite lunch of boiled, peeled shrimp, and the waiter knew that.   It was a good choice.

The view was, and is, spectacular.  Diners could look south down the Mobile River, north for miles and east to the USS Alabama and beyond.  It was the closest you could get to heaven in Mobile, until the new RSA Tower was completed.


HiQ season wraps up

March 12th, 2013 at 3:47 pm by under FOX10 News, Uncategorized
The 2013 Alabama HiQ champions

The 2013 Alabama HiQ champions

Another HiQ academic season is over with Davidson High School victorious.  Click here to see the championship match, thanks to the Mobile County Public School system.

I told the audience who attended the championship at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza that I enjoy being in the company of those who strive to excel, and all the students who compete in HiQ certainly qualify.

I also appreciated the fact that Mobile County’s superintendent, Martha Peek took the time at the end of her day to come to the match, and so did the principals of all 3 schools who competed, Baker, Davidson and McGill-Toolen Catholic.

This was my 25th year asking the questions and over that time, I’ve noticed a distinction between those schools that succeed in HiQ and those who don’t.

All the schools who do well generally fill the auditorium or gym where we have the matches.  Some even invite middle school students to try to recruit prospects.   Those schools that traditionally do poorly usually only invite a few students to attend or even in some cases, do not allow any students to witness the matches.  It’s hard for the students and for me to get pumped up about a competition that takes place in an empty auditorium. (For the record, I have never had a problem with crowd control.  One focused stare toward noisy students is usually all it takes!)

A major reason for the competition is to recognize gifted students as role models.

Here’s my question.  What does it say to students when you fill the auditorium for football signing day, but show no support for academic achievement?

To me, the answer is a sad one.


Faces of Humility

February 11th, 2013 at 4:03 pm by under FOX10 News, Uncategorized

Some things stick with you.

  • I learned President Kennedy had been shot when I was leaving class in elementary school.
  • I found out Pope John Paul I died while I was living in an apartment on Dauphin Street.
  • The news of Pope John Paul II’s death reached me as I got off an airplane in Madrid.

I will always remember I heard about Pope Benedict’s resignation the first thing on a Monday morning.

Granted, this Pope is 85 years old, having been elected Pope at an age that most people are enjoying their retirement. Lately, when approaching the altar at St. Peter’s Basilica, he used a moving platform rather than walk the 100 yards down the center aisle. Late last year, people who spent time with the pontiff said they found him weak and too tired to engage with what they were saying.

But his predecessor, John Paul II, suffered from trembling hands and slurred speech, an inability to walk or hold his head up, and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease for years and still held the job until he died at the age of 84.

Perhaps this Pope realized he didn’t want his pontificate to end like that. Perhaps there is some underlying personal, medical reason for which we may never know.

Maybe the last two Popes represent different faces of humility. Pope John Paul II, despite displaying symptoms that would have given a lesser person reason to withdraw from public life, purposely used his appearance to show respect for life until the moment of natural death. Pope Benedict, knowing he could have occupied the position for life, in humility chose to renounce the papal throne, to open the way for someone else. As he put it:

… in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.







HRT means business

February 6th, 2013 at 1:25 pm by under FOX10 News, Uncategorized

Thanks to a Twitter friend, I read a new version of what happened during the successful rescue of 5 year old Ethan in Midland City this week.  The story highlighted the work the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, known as HRT.  They train to go into, what appear to be impossible situations, and rescue the innocent while, in FBI terms, stopping the threat.

I had my own experience with the Team during a visit to Quantico, Virginia with FBI sniper Charlie Spaht.   I was in the Washington area with Charlie to do some stories about FBI training.  While Charlie was visiting his favorite gunsmith at Quantico, he asked me to wait for him outside the HRT headquarters, which was just a short walk from where we were.

I strolled there, enjoying the view when, out of nowhere, a voice boomed out, “LEAVE THIS AREA”.

I addressed what sounded like the Voice of God telling Him I had clearance and was asked to meet another agent there, when I heard:


I left.

I told Charlie about this later and he just laughed and said, “They mean business”.

It’s clear from what happened in Midland City, they know their business, too.