Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Manatee's parks: new photo galleries

We launched "Our Parks" this week on Bradenton.com and in the Herald -- a nature lover's dream, we hope.

I asked Metro Editor Marc Masferrer for three words to help craft an intro. His choices: pastoral, rustic, wild.

That's the essence of our photojournalists' project at Bradenton.com/ourparks/:
Manatee County offers dozens of wildlife habitats, rustic parks and pastoral gems of nature. Here, Bradenton Herald’s photojournalists will take you on a virtual tour through these havens.

Our first entry: Grant Jefferies' spectacular 40+ images from Emerson Point Preserve, a 365-acre preserve at the tip of Snead Island in western Palmetto. Here is one of my favorites: An osprey is perched high atop a tree at Emerson Point Preserve.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Season of giving finds plenty of need

One glance at Bradenton.com makes it clear: This needs to be the season of giving. And this was before new (higher) unemployment numbers came out today .

Here's a sampling:
-- Southern Manatee Fire Rescue is asking the community to help the family of six who lost almost everything in a house fire. Reporter Beth Burger's coverage brought calls offering that help almost immediately.

As told in this story and photos by reporter Paradise Afshar and photographer Paul Videla, Kingdom Life Christian Church and the Bradenton Police Department helped 100 families in the third annual Honoring the Badge -- a shopping spree that helps kids in need, and helps build a much-needed bod between officers and our community's youth.

-- Southeast High students created a special Christmas for developmentally disabled youngsters attending Manasota ARC, as chronicled in reporter Angeline Taylor's story here.

-- Downtown Bradenton merchants and non-profits have organized a charity drive to help people in need -- and their four-legged friends.

Here at the Herald, HR director Holley Pauley organized a drive for the Community Coalition on Homelessness in Bradenton. Hearty piles of donations were stacked in our conference room this morning. Here's a list to keep handy -- all year.

Here are a few items that are desperately needed.

Dog food/treats – The shelter is completely out of dog food.
Children’s clothing all sizes boys/girls
Baby diapers
Small bottles of Shampoo
Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
Lip balm
Small stationery kit with notepaper, envelopes, pen, stamps
Comb, hairbrush, and small hand mirror
Soap and washcloth
Disposable razors
Warm gloves
Underwear all sizes (male/female/children)
Warm socks
Knit caps
Blankets and sleeping bags (can be used if recently washed)
Non perishable snack foods
Deck of cards or small games
Hand can openers
Duffle bags (easy to carry)

Recycled clothing items
Tops and jeans of all sizes
Sweaters and jackets
Shoes in good condition

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bradenton.com is giving away an iPad

Does your Christmas wish list include an iPad? Sign up for any or all of our newsletters and you could win an iPad from Bradenton.com.

Dozens of you have already entered for a chance to win. The countdown is at nine days. The deadline to sign up: 12:01 a.m. Dec. 23.

Click here for the details.

To register to become a member of Bradenton.com, go here:

If you already subscribe, now's a good time to update your account:

You're already in for the random drawing, but who knows? It might improve your odds. Click on the Newsletters link in the right column to add email newsletter subscriptions.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Live, from Manatee vs. St. Thomas Aquinas

Live, from tonight's Manatee vs. St. Thomas Aquinas game:

Sports reporter Alan Dell will be sending live updates right from the field in Fort Lauderdale. (The fun has already started, as you can see from this gallery as the Canes left at noon.)

You can check out these updates on our sports home page (http://www.bradenton.com/sports)
On Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/BradentonSports)
On our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/BradentonHeraldNews).

You'll also find updates on our Sports Blogs:

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m., so join us online and you won’t miss a thing during the game.

-- Joan

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Editor's multitasking all in a night's work

Today's story on the arrest of Willie Lee Shannon, an Ellenton resident, in a 20-year-old cold case out of Las Vegas is a great opportunity to highlight how much newsroom jobs have changed.

You'll notice the byline: Brent Conklin. Notice the photo credit as well: Brent Conklin. What most of you don't know: Who was the Night Metro Editor? Brent Conklin.

Brent's evening, albeit a bit more hectic than others, really wasn't out of the ordinary anymore. We got the tip on the story late Tuesday afternoon, when our night cop reporter Paradise Afshar was already covering the ceremonial cutting of the metal beam from Ground Zero. Southern Manatee Fire Rescue is transforming the 3,000-pound beam into a 9/11 monument here in Bradenton.

So Brent picked up a reporter's notebook and a camera and headed to Shannon's neighborhood, looking for leads and background information on the suspect. He spent the rest of the night tracking down the story from Manatee and Las Vegas law enforcement officials. He found the online story by the Las Vegas Sun, and called the editors there. He posted the story and photo to Bradenton.com, updating throughout the night. He wrote the 1A story for today's editions, and shared it out to the Sun.

And Brent still was the night editor, editing all the late copy, proofing all the pages and setting up coverage for today.

In his nitenote, Brent humbly wrote:

"Phew. It was a wild night with writing that Shannon story and having to read two stories each from Paradise and Beth, and Lembo’s MANATEE story. Apologies in advance if any typo(s) got through."

And my Bradenton Herald was still on my driveway by at least 5:30 a.m., when I first checked.


-- Joan

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Did 'Noles get cheated? Watch this video

Congratulations to the Manatee Hurricanes, the top-ranked team in Class 5A, as they beat Palm Bay Bayside 35-32 to secure a date in Fort Lauderdale next week with St. Thomas Aquinas. But what has ended up even more a talker is the Southeast Noles' 28-21 loss to South Fort Myers in the Class 3A-Region 3 championship game.

Our coverage was superb, from John Lembo's detail-packed game story on the 'Canes winning march to the state semifinals, to Alan Dell's deadline story on everyone questioning that last-minute call against Noles' Antonio Ray.

Did he catch the ball for a touchdown? You decide, thanks to this video, courtesy of the Fort Myers News-Press.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Herald's Cookie Exchange starts today

Get ready to give your sweet tooth a workout.

We launched our yummy Cookie Exchange today, heralding the arrival -- already!! -- of December. You can post your favorite recipe to this searchable database, or find a new one as others share. As of this writing, there are already 23 recipes to peruse.

And if you sign up for our Taste newsletter, you'll get a new recipe every day between now and Christmas.

An added bonus this year: The Herald's own Down-Home Cook Diann Greene will be showcased twice by Publix in Bradenton, demonstrating holiday cookie recipes:
9-11 a.m. Dec. 8 at Beachway Plaza Publix, 7310 Manatee Ave. W.
9-11 a.m. Dec. 15 at Lakewood Ranch Gateway Publix, 1755 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

Read more in Diann's column today.