Monday, February 28, 2011

Wolfrum promoted to Herald sports editor

Meet our new sports editor: Timothy R. Wolfrum.

Tim launched his weekly column today: "Going Deep."
You may already recognize his byline -- Tim most recently covered city and county government for the Bradenton Herald.

Tim joined us in 2006 from Ohio, where he was sports editor at three small newspapers in communities much like Bradenton.

And, just as in Ohio, he plans to focus our sports coverage on local issues, games, events and trends that readers can’t find anywhere else.

And he'll also keep a healthy sampling of all the state and national sports -- no small task, but he has the passion to accomplish that.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Check out Oscar galleries, Tweets tonight

If you plan to watch the 83rd Annual Academy Awards tonight, a copy of today's A&E section is required reading -- and a great scorecard during the gala. Features Editor Jana Morreale crafted the cover with a piece by Laremy Legel of that presents "Should wins" and "Will wins" for the key categories.

Tonight, will post gallery after gallery, live from the red carpet.

And on Twitter, editor Morreale will Tweet live about film and fashions at

And the winner is...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Photographer captures Rye Preserve's beauty

By now, many of you are following our latest photo gallery series, "Our Parks."

This week's entry by photographer Tiffany Tompkins-Condie is just as beautiful as the other entries. She explores Rye Preserve in Parrish, a nearly pristine 145 acres along the Manatee River that reporter Richard Dymond visited Sunday for this accompanying story.

Click here for the entire series, which Web Developer William Winter has crafted for a lasting resource on

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Say a prayer for Sister Nora

Reaction to Vin Mannix's coverage today on the outrageous beating of Sister Nora Brick has been swift and furious.

The 81-year-old nun, reknowned for her acts of kindness throughout the community, was beaten so badly that she has been hospitalized. As the news spread, well-wishers have swamped Manatee Memorial Hospital with cards, flowers and gifts -- so many that the hospital is turning people away. Hundreds of people at the Manatee Community Foundation's annual Spirit of Manatee Awards luncheon today bowed their heads in prayer for Sister Nora. And we heard from newspapers as far away as Ireland, with requests for photos from The Irish Sun on Bishops Square in Dublin.

Metro Editor Marc Masferrer posted this informative blog yesterday, explaining why we named a victim in this instance. It was a decision made only after much discussion, as he notes. Based on the outpouring of care as a result, the decision proved sound.

Tiffany Tompkins-Condie's photo illustrates only the beginning donations at Stillpoint House of Prayer, where Sister Nora Brick prays.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Herald reporter wins top McClatchy award

Duane Marsteller, the Herald’s database/investigative reporter, has won a prestigious McClatchy Co. President’s Award for his 2010 investigative reporting of Manatee Rural Health.

McClatchy, our parent company, owns 30 daily newspapers, and Duane's work was up against entries from all of them. McClatchy presented a total of 11 awards for work done in 2010, detailed here in this press release.
Here's how the President's Awards were described by Anders Gyllenhaal, vice president of news, in seeking nominations last month:
"The President’s Award, now in its 12th year, is distinctive in several ways. It honors the highest quality work from across our newsrooms, from public service campaigns to special sections to online projects to visual work. There aren’t specific categories, so instead the judges review all entries for work that stands out for its quality and impact. That means you are competing not so much against other papers, or with newsrooms of differing sizes, but with the high standards the award has set over the years."

Here is what the judges said of the Herald’s coverage of Manatee Rural Health:
“This is a great example of accountability journalism that revamped the way this agency was run. They’ve stayed on this story as only a dedicated newspaper can, which has served their readers and taxpayers well.”

But the most telling comment came from Duane after the awards were announced last week. In an email thanking everyone for their kudos, he wrote:
I'm not one to be big on awards (just ask Joan), but I am honored by this one because of the level of competition involved. I'm also proud that the series led to reforms within Rural Health that, I hope, make it a better agency and improve the services to the people it serves. That, to me, is the true reward.

Friday, February 11, 2011

When stories have a national appeal

It's always a bit of a thrill when reporters see their story picked up in other news venues across the United States. Our focus here at the Herald is 99.9999 percent local, but there's a lot of news here that catches national attention (and not just Balloon Boy's dad!).

One sure bet is the entertainment field, and features writer Wade Tatangelo has had a winning streak in the past few weeks. Today, he captures an interview with "Glee" star Jane Lynch, who with her wife, Lara Embry, has donated $15,000 to Palmetto High School's new rowing team. How's that for local?!

And in the past month, Wade has made a splash with these interviews -- seen first on and in the Bradenton Herald, then picked up by web sites and newspapers from the LATimes to Kansas City Star:

His interview with The Band Perry, seen here on the Lexington Herald-Leader's entertainment web site.

His interview with Regis Philbin -- just as Philbin was announcing his retirement -- appearing in several publications including the Kansas City Star.

His pre-Super Bowl story on Fergie and the Black-Eyed Peas, which appeared here in the Los Angeles Times.

And still my favorite, as we blogged earlier, his great Bill Cosby phone interview for this feature.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Legislators meet with Herald news staff

With barely a month left before the Florida Legislature opens the 2011 regular session on March 8, Manatee County's delegates met last week with us at the Bradenton Herald. They carved almost two hours out of their day to talk about what they see as the most pressing issues facing them this session, and about the key bills they have drafted.

The group included freshmen Reps. Greg Steube and Jim Boyd, and veteran Sens. Nancy Detert and Mike Bennett (who declared that wrinkles have value), along with Rep. Darryl Rouson, the sole elected Democrat at the table.

Representing the Herald were Editorial Page Editor Chris Wille, reporters Sara Kennedy and Grace Gagliano, Metro Editor Marc Masferrer, photojournalist Grant Jefferies (who produced this gallery) and myself. No question was off-limits, but our main goal was to gain a baseline for our expectations from this year's session.

And the expectations are high, as outlined in Kennedy's story today. With record unemployment and a burgeoning state budget, employment initiatives and cutting the state’s expenses topped everyone’s list. And the fact that those two aren't logical bedfellows escaped no one.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

First to bring you high school signing news

Our sports writers and staff photojournalists were out early today, making sure visitors got all the high school news first -- pretty much in real time as players signed at Southeast, Manatee and Palmetto high schools.

Writers John Lembo, Jason Dill and Alan Dell worked with online editors Marc Masferrer and William Winter to get the news posted. Stay tuned throughout the day for updates, both on the home page and through this one-stop shopping click: VIDELA/
From left, Southeast High School football players Boe Brand, Terran Williams and Dyron Speight take the spotlight