Sunday, December 9, 2012

CAUGHT IN THE WEB: I wanna write about me!

This was written for the Dec. 9, 2012 editions of The News-Herald Newspapers.

This is the final time that I will write this column

If a prediction by the ancient Mayan culture is correct, that is. I only write this column every couple of weeks due to a rotation with our other Web-centric workers here in the office. That means my next turn isn’t until after the time the Mayans have predicted the end of the world, which is scheduled for Dec. 21. But hey, if the Mayans are right, the people I didn’t buy Christmas gifts for won’t be mad at me.

Not that I buy into that doom-and-gloom scenario of the end of the world. I mean, it’s silly, right? Ah well, at least I’ll get to see my birthday (which is Thursday for any adoring readers who want to shower me in praise and well wishes).

Then again, why is a birthday something I should celebrate; it’s more an accomplishment for my mother than it was for me. I mean she did all the work, right? Maybe this year I’ll get her a gift for my birthday.

Being that this could be my last time writing this column, though, I want to write about me. I mean, normally, I like writing about you, usually, but occasionally, I wanna write about me.

When you started reading this you thought I was going to ramble on about what we did on the Web this week. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that later. But now, more about me. It’s the subject that I am the world’s foremost expert on, after all. Like did you know that I am an only child, but I have three sisters who are blood-related. Or that when I graduated from high school U.S. Sen. John Kerry was our keynote speaker?

OK, maybe you knew that last one, but did you know that I’m an avid science-fiction fan? No matter the medium. Star Wars or Star Trek? I’m not choosy; I’ll take them both.

I suppose that’s enough about me, but I reserve the right to revisit the issue if it turns out that I’m right and the Mayans were wrong. Now it’s time to talk about my co-workers and all they have brought to you this week on the Web, and, in turn, what you, the readers, have enjoyed on our website and social media accounts.

Our top stories this week include one by Alan Burdziak out of Southgate about the potential closing of three schools as early as next school year due to financial troubles facing the district. Not only was this our most popular story, but it also was one of our most commented on, both on Facebook and on, as parents, students (both current and former) and many other people weighed in on potential solutions to the problem. People also discussed problems that might arise from closing the schools. However, a decision is likely to be made quickly in order to let the planning for next year move forward as smoothly as possible.

The second most popular story blew up Wednesday morning when it was posted. More than 4,000 people read Andrea Blum’s story about Rich Pyle, who is on the truTV reality show “Hardcore Pawn,” about a Detroit pawn shop. Pyle is a Woodhaven resident and is in a band that is releasing it’s second album soon. We did not expect so many to read the story so quickly.

The next couple of popular stories, both from David Komer, came out of Taylor. A police officer, Christopher Cates, was making a routine traffic stop when the driver grabbed his shirt and attempted to drive away while dragging the officer with him. Cates was uninjured and the driver was later arrested in Wyandotte.

Komer’s second story was tragic. Thursday morning a mobile home caught fire, causing the death of a 73-year-old woman who was visiting her son. Investigators believe the fire was caused by a space heater, but the investigation is ongoing.

A story out of Riverview rounded out our top five most popular stories last week. It was written by a former News-Herald reporter and longtime contributor, David Gorgon. It was about Riverview Community Schools dedicating a tree in memory of a student who died in a car crash in Monroe County over the summer. The story wasn’t about the horrific crash, but about the beautiful dedication ceremony with family and friends that will allow Amanda James to be remembered as students and staff walk past the tree on a daily basis.

As many of you already have discovered, our high school sports coverage moved to a new website ( at the beginning of the fall season. Tens of thousands of you have moved over there to find the source of prep coverage Downriver, but now for our Twitter audience: Just this week, the sports department started a strictly prep Twitter account, and they promise to be using it as much as possible in the winter season. Follow them on Twitter @MIPrepZone_NH.

I guess until next time, I’ll see you in the inter-Web; check us out daily.

Contact Video Coordinator Dave Herndon at 1-734-246-0867 or Follow him on Facebook and @NHDaveH on Twitter.

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