Summary: Can you be reimbursed by any local authority for damages sustained to your vehicle by a pothole? Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: John Shumway When it Aired: Feb. 22 Running Time: 3 minutes, 1 second Visuals: * A headline that asks, "WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?" * Shumway, brandishing a measuring tape, bending over to measure his ... pothole. Highlights: * When anchor Patrice King Brown asks Shumway who's responsible and he replies, "Mother Nature, according to the road crews. They say they can't be blamed." * When Shumway demonstrates, "Take a look at this one. This is on Boundary Street here in Panther Hollow." Shumway checks for oncoming cars and continues, "And as I lean down to measure it, we're talking about 3 inches deep on the edge. About four-and-a-half to 5 inches deep in the center. That's enough to jar loose a filling when you hit it, not to mention what it'll do to your car." * Shumway's sheer poetry: "A better predictor of spring than Punxy Phil's shadow: The potholes are blossoming -- and biting. Especially at night." * When a PennDOT spokesperson firmly avers, "PennDOT is not liable for any property damage caused by a pothole." * When Allegheny County Solicitor Mike Wojcik offers this, when asked about the county's liability: "I am not aware of any claims ... that have been paid since I've been in charge of the claims-administration process." * When Shumway reports, "In fact, only the City of Pittsburgh has paid any pothole claims recently." * When a city official explains, "[If the city] fails to correct that dangerous condition within a reasonable amount of time, we can be held liable under the state statute. ... It's very rare [that we pay]. * When Shumway reveals, "In fact, the City of Pittsburgh last year, during a mild winter, had only 18 pothole claims. One was paid. In the year before that, there were 47 pothole claims. And two were paid." What We Learned: You're shit out of luck if you want anyone to pay for damage done by potholes. Unanswered Question: Potholes that bite? News Value: 5. There's so much more I want to know about potholes ...
Let Them Eat Cookies
Summary: A Greensburg woman strikes gold at the Oscars with her baked goods. Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Andrew Stockey When it Aired: Feb. 24 Running Time: 2 minutes, 9 seconds Visuals: * The caption, "Local Goodies." * Stockey letting himself in the front door of the woman's home without knocking. Highlights: * When anchor Janelle Hall prefaces the story: "Once again the Oscars will have a Western Pennsylvania flavor. A few years ago it was Burton Morris creating the logo for the Academy Awards. Now an artist in the kitchen is creating sweet treats for Hollywood's biggest night." * When Stockey begins, "Sunday night, only one person can walk away with the Oscar prize. But for those who come up short, something that might be even better: a tasty treat found inside this home in Westmoreland County." * When the Greensburg home-based business owner -- who produces organic treats -- describes one of her cookies: "a lemon-scented shortbread with a blueberry Merlot preserve." * When the woman explains, "These [cookies] will go to the nonwinners [in] the best actor/actress category, the best picture and the host." * When Stockey reasons, "[Her] creations may end up with the runner-ups, but trust me, they are anything but a consolation prize." * Stockey, in the baker's kitchen, mmm-ing it up as he says, "My goodness! These are delicious!" * When Stockey is shown walking out of the woman's home, cookies in hand and in mouth. "These are delicious," he repeats. What We Learned: There are no losers -- only nonwinners. Unanswered Question: How to choose -- an Oscar or cookies? News Value: 6. We need more stories about interesting locals. But, even if these are the best cookies in the world, I'm sure Martin Scorsese is damned glad he didn't have any.
Beam Me Up
Summary: A quick convention-center update. Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Janelle Hall When it Aired: Feb. 24 Running Time: 18 seconds Visuals: The site of a collapse that occurred Feb. 12 in one of our city's flagship buildings. Highlights: * When Hall speaks, at her usual warp speed, "Repair work is moving along at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. Contractors expect to pour concrete Monday in the second-floor loading-dock area." * When she adds, "A new support beam is already in place, and 25 other beams have been retrofitted ... to allow for expansion in cold weather. The convention center is set to reopen on March 9." What We Learned: Don't go anywhere near the convention center. Unanswered Question: Can you repeat that once more, Janelle, like you're not on speed? News Value: 2. I'd probably feel safer if Scotty were the engineer.