Sunday, December 28, 2008

Josh's primary class


The biggest challenge I had in class was making sure they didn't lean back in their chairs. I told them I am going to take these photos to the bishop.




Today was my last Sunday to teach this primary class. They are switching the teachers around, and we will have new kids next Sunday. Only two of my kids, Byron Hurren and Justin White, were at church today. We have been studying the Book of Mormon all year. Today were were also in charge of sharing time (all the kids combined).
I get a younger age next Sunday, the 8-year-olds.



Saturday, December 27, 2008

Youngblood's make a stop in Florence








Leigh, Kelsey, Harrison, and Hunter just left to go to Ally's house in Dallas. It was great to have some family down around Christmas. I hate working during the holidays. We had a pizza party last night, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast from McDonald's this morning. I love my family!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My new nickname is RAMBO!


On Saturday, I had my company Christmas party in Huntsville. Each year they put together a blooper video with mistakes or funny things we have done during the year. These two images were included in the reel. One of the operations directors kept yelling out Rambo when one of the images would come on. He says that is my new nickname because I always do stand-ups with weapons. I have a good friend at Guns-N-Such in downtown Florence who always lets me use his guns for my stories. So for now on . . . call me RAMBO!

A viewer baked me a cake

I was telling the ladies over at the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Office (the office besides ours) how I love coconut cake. Debbie Wilson, the director of the office, told a relative who I had meet one time, and she decided to bake me a cake. I was so surprised. I just the first piece right now, and it was delicious. If you want a piece I have a lot left over!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Josh survives knife attack


This is the ACTUAL knife!

This week has been very SLOW in the news business. One exciting event was when I was attacked by a knife (well actually my new company car was attacked). I was out on a story about a 15-year-old boy who had run away (don't worry - he was found), when a couple of the volunteers told me I had a knife in my tire. I didn't believe them until I looked down and saw this small steak knife sticking out of my front tire. Luckily it was in their side ways, so for now the air is not leaking out. I am just glad I survived my first knife attack!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's snowing in Alabama!




The massive storm system made its way to Alabama today. It rained all day, but then around 4:30 the temperature dropped enough to make it SNOW! I was the only reporter in the Valley to report LIVE in the snow. You can check out my reports at www.waff.com


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sweet Home Alabama - Josh is home!



Here are some of my photos from my trip to Texas/Louisiana. I got home at 10 o'clock last night. It was a great trip, very restful. When I got to Nacogdoches, TX on Thursday, Mama cooked me a great Thanksgiving dinner: chicken, dressing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. It tasted sooooooooo good. On Friday, Ally and her family drove down from Dallas. We went to the live nativity at the church. It really got me in the Christmas spirit. On Saturday, Mama and I went to Natchitoches, LA to the Christmas Festival. We saw the parade, and stayed around for the fireworks. They were awesome as usual. On Sunday, we had church and then the first presidency Christmas devotional. The ward also had a potluck dinner beforehand. Mom made her famous lasagna. On Monday, I put up the Christmas lights at the homestead, and I flew home. Great trip!
While on my vacation, I was asked my my executive director to anchor the 5 and 10 newscasts on January 3rd. I said yes! It will be a great experience, so make sure to watch!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

If you need me, I am at the HOMESTEAD

My flight was good this morning. I got up at 4:30 AM, and arrived in Shreveport, LA at 10:52 AM. Mama was waiting out front to get me. We arrived in Nacogdoches, TX just a few minutes later.

I am on vacation, so LEAVE ME ALONE! I will update with photos when I am done with my vacation. Have a nice day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm coming HOME!

Only one day of work to go before I am flying home to Texas. It has been a full year since I have been back to the homestead. I am excited about seeing and being with family. I hope we can have another Thanksgiving dinner.

Work has been going great this week. Usually it is hard to please the producers with story ideas, but they have liked everything I have thrown their way. I did a great story Monday with some international students from India at the University of North Alabama. Several of them lived close to where the terrorist attacks happened.

We got some snow yesterday. I came down really hard for about 10 minutes, but it didn't stick. I did get one stand-up in with snow falling on me.

That's about all for now. Goodnight!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's a combination of milk, tuna, powdered cheese, and noodles

Today after church I felt like cooking. I opened my kitchen cabinet and pulled out a box of mac and cheese. I also found some noodles Ginger had left when she had visited. I also decided to throw in a can of tuna to top it off. When I put it all together, it made a delicious single guy's casserole. Yum!

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I spent it with the Herron Family. This is the second year I have spent it at their house. They are a family in the ward who don't eat sugar. I was really craving a sugary dessert, but I had to do with out. I had a good time. We played kick the can and around the world (ping pong) after dinner.

It was also a busy movie weekend for me. I saw three movies: Four Christmases (bad movie, don't see it), Australia (good movie, but it's 3 hours long), and Transporter 3.

In just 3 days I will be having another vacation - heading to Texas. This will be my final vacation for the year. I have to work on Christmas and New Years Day. I am excited about going to the Natchitoches Christmas Festival and seeing my parents.

Today in my primary class we had mission themed lesson. We watched Called To Serve (if you haven't watched it lately, I would recommend renting from your ward library) and we looked at my mission scrap book. We also wrote letters to the elder serving in our ward.

I am getting a little hungry -- CASSEROLE TIME!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Josh's new baby





Here are some photos of my new car. It is a Mercury Mountaineer. It's black, with leather seats, plus plenty of room for my gear (tripod, and camera). It is not the smoothest ride -- It feels like I am driving a suburban, but it is 100% better than my purple car. I kind of miss not everyone knowing who I am - It doesn't have any logos on it, but now I can honk and cut people off and my boss won't get a call.
I am now taking names for my car . . . if you have one you want to submit, please reply to this post. Thanks!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Josh gets a new car

Say goodbye to my purple WAFF 48 Ford Taurus. On Monday, I will be getting a black mountaineer. I am very happy about the change because my current work car is about to fall apart. It is vibrating, the passenger side door won't lock, and the truck is leaking water (plus the back tail light is busted out). It will be nice to have a dependable vehicle. I took this photo Friday, so I will always remember my year driving around in the purple machine.

Josh and a Chinook


On Friday, I did a story about the ROTC cadets at the University of North Alabama in Florence going on a training mission. They took the cadets to the training in this Chinook helicopter. I thought it was cool, so I got a bystander to take my photo.

Emmy Update

No Emmy this year! Our station did get three nominations, so that is good news. WAFF was the only station in Huntsville to get any nominations. Maybe next year!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Emmy nominations this FRIDAY!

Emmy nominations are this Friday! I am up for one category: LIVE BREAKING NEWS. It is when I was first on the scene in February, when a tornado killed several people in Lawrence County. It is very RARE that our station gets a nomination, so don't hold your breath. Our area covers several larger markets including Nashville and Charlotte.

I will keep you posted, and we will celebrate if the unimaginable happens. (Wouldn't it sound good to be an Emmy-nominated reporter??)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Josh arrested after police chase

Just kidding . . . I know you won't read my blog unless I put something catchy in the title.

This week has been boring, so its been hard to write anything. I woke up at 5 this morning and did a spin class. I was really tired, and didn't feel like getting up . . . but it was worth it. You have so much energy after you are finished.

Last night I went to institute. We are having a big Christmas activity on December 13th. A progressive dinner, plus everyone has to dress up in tacky Christmas apparel. It should be fun. A girl who was just baptized is the new single adult rep and she wants to have more activities.

Not this Sunday, but next, I have to speak in the Booneville, Mississippi Ward. They asked the stake YM presidency to speak during sacrament. I have to talk about how parents can prepare their sons for missions.

I am on-call this weekend, so I have to be on stand-by if anything major happens. It ruins the whole weekend, you feel like you can't do anything. Work has been boring this week. Today I did a story about a Florence man building a tepee, and how the courthouse is moving offices - very boring!

The new James Bond movie is coming out this weekend, it should be really good. Hope everyone has a great weekend! I am free for Thanksgiving, so if anyone has an empty chair close to Alabama, let me know.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Josh helps the youth create a video

This weekend there was a stake youth activity. Each ward or branch was assigned a standard, and they had to make a small video about that standard. I helped the Florence Ward Youth do theirs. They were assigned gratitude. I did the video and editing. They posted it on youtube, so everyone can watch it.

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGl__Ozw8Fg

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Josh participates in the Russellville Veteran's Day Parade

We had to duck tape our signs to the side of the beetle
(luckily none of the paint came off).
This is Cheryl Bradford, she is the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, and the person responsible for the parade.

This is me and Christie Ileto, she is the other reporter who works in the Shoals.


This is right before we headed off to be in the parade.
I bought the American flags for us to wave.
Here are a few photos of the Russellville Veteran's Day Parade that happened today at 2. We got the pink and white VW Beetle to ride in. Russellville is about 30 minutes south of Florence in Franklin County. The crowd wasn't very big, but it was a lot of fun.



Friday, November 7, 2008

Josh makes huge investment

Barrack Obama is our 44th president. I got this copy of Newsweek, so in about 200 years it might be worth something (maybe millions). I will keep it in a safe until then.

This week has flown by. I don't know where the time is going. When I was younger, I never thought about getting older, now it seems to be happening too quickly.

Tomorrow I will ride in my first parade as a TV personality. Christie (the other Shoals reporter) and I are riding in the Russellville Veterans Day Parade at 2. They got us a Firebird convertible to ride in. It should be a lot of fun.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Josh votes in historic election

This is me signing up to vote.

Filling out the ballot.

I wonder who I am going to vote for?

I finally make my decision.
Either way it goes tonight, it will be a historic election. Either the first African-American President or the first female vice-president will be elected. It felt good to be part of American history. I was assigned to vote at Harlan Elementary in Florence, AL. If you want to see my election coverage, visit www.waff.com. I hope everyone got to vote.

GO MCCAIN/PALIN!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I get to go HOME!

This week (with the help of mom and dad) I got plane tickets to fly home in December. I will be back in Nacogdoches December 4th through December 8th. This will be my Christmas vacation since I probably have to work Christmas Day. It will be a fun, quick trip.

Today is going to be interesting. I am going to meet my NEW news director - Mimi Strawn. She started 2 weeks ago, and today she is coming to visit the Shoals Bureau. I will fill you in on how that goes later.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Josh adds a new addition to his family



When I went to Wal-Mart on Saturday, I told myself not to do it. When I first walked in, I saw a box of pumpkins on sale for $3.50. I was thinking, why do I need a pumpkin? I dug through the box, and none of them seemed like a winner, so I moved on to the dairy section. I finished getting my groceries, and on the way to the check-out counter, there was another big box of pumpkins. I said, not again. I looked down, and there he was, a perfect pumpkin looking for a good home. I brought him home, and put him on my basement front porch. Today after church, I got a black marker and added his features. I just hope no one steals him, and tosses him in the road. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Josh is registered

I finally did it . . . . I am registered to vote in Alabama. Friday was the final day to register, so I got myself down to the Lauderdale County Courthouse and signed up. I had been meaning to for awhile, but procrastinated till the last second. I feel this election is going to be very historic. Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I went to my FIRST coon dog funeral




Today was another first for me: I attended my FIRST coon dog funeral. The Coon Dog Cemetery is located in Colbert County (in the middle of nowhere). Back in 1937, a man buried a coon dog there, and it just had a ripple effect from there. Now, more than 200 coon dogs are buried there. They say its the only cemetery of its kind in the WORLD.
A couple from Pennsylvania drove all the way down with their dead dog to bury it. His name was The Merchant. He actually died a year ago, but when the owners found out about this special cemetery, they dug him up and brought him down.
It is something that could only happen in ALABAMA! If you come and visit, I will take you there.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Guilty as charged

The Tall Grass Trial is finally over. I felt like I was on an episode of Law and Order. I was called by the D.A.'s office to take the stand, the judge swore me in, and I had to testify. It was crazy. They played my story I did more than 10 times. After 5 witnesses, the judge gave her ruling - GUILTY. He was charged with 3rd degree assault, and has to pay a $250 fine. He has a suspended sentence for 2 years, if he gets into trouble he could face 6 months in jail. It's just a misdemeanor. The trial lasted for a couple of hours. I am just glad it's over!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Josh's is served

Tomorrow I head to court for the second time. I finally got a subpoena in the mail, it was just a copy from the court clerk. I actually never got served. If you forgot, I have to be a witness in an assault case where a man beat up his neighbor for having tall grass. I caught it all on tape. I have to be in court at 11 AM. The case was rescheduled because last time they did not remember to bring the video evidence. I will give an update on how it goes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Josh is getting married

Just kidding . . . just needed a catchy line to get you to read my blog.

Not much is going on in Florence, AL. There hasn't been much exciting news, and it's getting dark early. I hate the dark thing because I feel like going to bed right after work.

Today I did a story about gas prices in the Shoals. We pay 30 cents more than the surrounding areas. If you want to know why we pay more then you have to go to www.waff.com

I had lunch with my little brother today. I was running late, and almost missed lunch. We had backed chicken, instant mashed potatoes, and green beans. It was gross. I always had to bring my lunch when I was a kid, so it's fun eating in the cafeteria. I gave Brian a copy of one of the photos I took. Amber helped my get a 5X7 of one. He really like it. He was showing all his classmates and his teacher.

After work, I went to the YMCA and worked out. I did some weights and swam a little bit. If you don't work out, you should, it makes you feel so good. It still hard to go.

Hope everybody has a great rest of the week. It's almost over!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Josh's Little Brother




For the past 4 weeks I have been participating in the Lunch Buddies Program with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Shoals. Each Tuesday I go to Weeden Elementary in Florence, Al and eat lunch with Brian Dickinson. He is a 1st grader there. It has been a great experience. Brian is a great kid. We get along really well. Today was neat because before I left he gave me a big hug. I can tell he really enjoys me visiting him. I think all of his classmates are jealous he has a 'Big Brother'. If you can squeeze it into your schedule . . . I would really encourage you do sign up!


Josh at work


This is where all the magic happens. I write my stories at my computer, and then head over to the editing maching. I don't think this everyday, but I have the BEST job in the world!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Look what Amber gave me!


When I got home from work today, I checked my mailbox, and I had a letter from Amber. She sent me a John McCain sticker. How cool! I don't know if I want to put it on my car because it will leave all that sticky stuff. I am still deciding. Thanks Amber!
I just got back from doing my laundry. I go to a laundromat just up the road from me. The place has a lot of downsides, but tonight I got a good laugh.
I put my clothes in a dryer, and the dryer started making this weird noise. It was working so, I didn't do anything. While I was waiting, a washer started making a loud noise. The attendant came out, and said that washer always does that. Then she noticed my dryer, she came over and kicked it. It stopped making the noise. She says each washer and dryer have their own character. It was funny . . . you had to be there!
I am going to go watch the vice president debate. I hope Governor Palin does good. She makes me nervous. VOTE MCCAIN!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My talk was horrible

On Friday night, Brother Ward (the first counselor in the bishopric) called and asked if I would give a talk today. The topic: Sustaining church leaders. I usually don't write out a talk, but just write out topics I want to talk about. I found a great article on lds.org about ways you can sustain your leaders. I centered my talk around that. Before getting into that, I shared to church leaders who meant a lot to me - Joseph Smith and Gordon B. Hinckley. Then I shared the points from the article, and closed with encouraging everyone to go to conference. I was nervous, and had a little sweat building up on my forehead. I was glad when it was over.

Another story from Florence is making national news. A 21-year-old Florence woman went missing in Knoxville, TN a week ago. Today investigators found a body. It is a really sad story. I interviewed her teacher and senior classmate last week. Here is an update about the story:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=5900975&page=1

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Court Update

The court hearing has been delayed. For some reason the video of the fight was MISSING. The trial has been moved to October 17 at 11 AM. It was very strange being in the same room with the people I did the story with. I was so ready for it to be over.

In other news . . . if you hadn't heard a foot was found in the front yard of a families home here in the Shoals. I had an exclusive interview with the family who found it yesterday. Today forensic tests came back . . . and it was a BEAR FOOT! There are no bears in this area, so it is very interesting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Josh goes to court

Tomorrow I testify in my first-ever court case. It starts at 9 in the morning. If you remember back . . . on June 11, I was doing a story about neighbors upset about tall grass. I caught a neighbor beating up the other neighbor. It was all on tape. Now I have to testify to what I saw. It should be interesting. The family involved was not happy when I showed the assault on TV. I will give you an update after court.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Josh's professional photo shoot











On Friday, I did a great story about Tommy Arthur with Mary John Davis. Her sister, Virginia Webb, was also there. She is a professional photographer from Chattanooga, TN. During our interview she kept taking pictures. She just sent me some, they turned out great! This is a snapshot in what I do everyday. I hope you like them!