Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Going back Generations...

It's February and that means SWEEPS. It also means I get to work on a special series of stories. The stories are always original ideas that have to be exclusive to our T.V. station. This month I worked on two stories. You can find the first one under the blog, "Pocket Paternity."

This second sweeps piece, which I'm thrilled about is called "Know my Roots." While my photographer and I were out shooting the paternity story, we discovered the same company, Sorenson Genomics helps people track their ancestry through DNA. Imagine, a small string of mitochondrial DNA, passed down from your mother has the answers to who you are. Part of you anyway...

Genetree.com is a Salt Lake City based website that claims to get people from your past (living and dead)connected. I decided to demonstrate the results and sent my DNA in to the lab. Two weeks later, I met with a Geneticist (a very impressive Dr. Scott Woodward) who was able to pin point where my great, great, great (tack a couple more "greats") grandmother was from. We went back generations...3,400 years ago to 1400 B.C. Turns out she was born somewhere between Turkey and Syria, solidifying what I've been told all along growing up. I'm Assyrian.

It was a unique opportunity to be able to share a piece of me with viewers. And after more than three years as a journalist, the word "Assyrian" finally makes it into one of my reports.

I've pasted the promotion for the story, which airs this Friday. By then, there will be a link that directs you to the two part story, which can be viewed at myfoxutah.com

UPDATE: here is part 1 & 2 of "Know your Roots" that aired and generated a lot attention from the Assyrian community! Like I said, this is just the beginning. One day, people will know who the Assyrians are.



Thursday, February 7, 2008

Investigative: Caught in the Act

It costs Utah businesses more than 34 million dollars a year and it's the fastest growing scam in the nation: workers compensation insurance fraud. Get busted and you could pay a hefty price, even spend time behind bars.

This is an investigative story about Utahns caught in the act. Catch part 1 & 2 on the link below. Clips will be posted and accessible on this blog soon.


Pocket Paternity

Do-it-yourself DNA kits could be hitting a drug store near you. They're already available in some Rite Aid stores. They're confidential and you can get results in less than a week for under 120 dollars. The maker of the "Identigene Branded Paternity Test" is Sorenson Genomics, a Salt Lake City based company in Utah.

This is a story I worked on this month for my local Fox station. You can access part 1 & 2 on the link below. I'm working on downloading the news clips so you can watch my special series stories on this blog.



If you want to access my news blog in Utah, the link is below.


I blog almost daily about the news stories I cover.

Willard's Writing on the Wall

What a political bombshell.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney suspended his campaign today. "This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose," Romney told a crowd of people at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington this morning.

His chief rival, John McCain has now sealed the Republican presidential nomination. It takes 1,191 delegates to win the nomination. At last count, McCain was leading with 707 delegates. Compare that to Romney's 294. Mike Huckabee scored 195. The writing was on the wall.

Romney's decision to leave the GOP race leaves the top man standing. The delegate hunt was going to be a mathematical impossibility for the former Massachusetts Governor. Romney was counting on winning Iowa and New Hampshire, two key states that never delivered the win he was hoping for. Super Tuesday left him with mostly small caucus states.

Romney, who is also a venture capitalist poured more than $40 million dollars of his own money into his campaign.

Romney labeled himself a Reagan-era conservative. He used 12 months of campaigning to talk about his strong family values, his opposition of abortion and gay marriage and support for tax cuts for the middle-class. But he was charged by the public and his rival, McCain as a flip-flopper. That may have been part of his downfall. John Kerry (2004) was also a so-called flip-flopper. But perhaps, what brought Romney into the spotlight to begin with is his Mormon faith. It's a topic that was not only questioned by voters, but vigorously be the media as well. Skeptics pressured Romney to explain his faith. His speech on December 6th in College Station, Texas assuaged the media, but were voters ready to accept a Mormon president?

This leaves an open discussion on religion. I found it particularly interesting since I live in Salt Lake City, the heart of Temple Square and the LDS Church. Was America, a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities ready for Romney?

Willard, by the way is Mitt Romney's first name.