Why did the turtle cross the road?

road turtleI am not chicken to bring up this age old question.  Especially when I have photographic evidence.  I was cruising around Turner this afternoon, looking for a feature photo.  I had an assignment to photograph some old guys putting flags on the poles for the 4th of July festivities this weekend.  They finished early, so twernt nothing to shoot. I had an hour to burn until my next assignment, so I did what I do so often.  Cruise, explore and look for stuff to shoot.

I was winding my way around an old road that led to nowhere, and spotted this fellow in the middle.  Didn’t want the answer to the question of why did he cross the road to be…..to get splattered.  So, I decided to take my “lunch break” from work at that moment.  Because, if I was working, I could never interfere with the situation.  A photojournalist does not manipulate situations.  They don’t get involved.  So, I was just being “nature boy” as a fellow colleague once ordained me.  I stopped the car and watched him crawl from the side of the road with the little brook to the pond across the street.

As I got closer, I noticed two slimy black nodes on his back, curling up into a ball.  So, I realized why he was crossing the road. To get the damn leaches off his back and leave them behind.turtle leach

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Last years Next bike

batesBIKE1Walking my faithful friend Allie most every day for the past 11 years through Bates College, I  often notice gradual changes in the scenery.  I also take note of some things that don’t.   There are more skateboards on the college campus these days, and the bicycles that are around, are nothing to write home about.  Basic modes of transportation sleep on a variety of bike racks scattered here and there throughout the campus. Last year I began to notice this bicycle that never moved all summer.  I surmised it was left by a graduating senior, or perhaps one on a semester abroad.  As winter approached, I would periodically whip out my smart phone and take a photo.  It’s been over a year now and I have a feeling the owner no long longs for their Next ride.batesBIKE7batesBIKE9batesBIKE3

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Manipulated and file eagles

Contrasty EagleI was shooting families frolicking in Tripp Lake earlier this week.Fun in the summer sun at Tripp Lake in Poland  We needed a feature photo as none of the stories the reporters were working on had potential for good art.  I spotted an eagle being chased off by smaller birds and pointed it out.  Two women with their children began talking about eagles, and how this one is always around.  He flew over and I took a photo.  I only had my zoom, so, without the 400 with the extension, it wouldn’t be good enough to publish.  When I was going through the photos, trying to figure out which cute kid photo was the best, I came across the eagle photo again.  I cropped it hard vertical, just as it would fit in our Facebook banner, but it still wasn’t good enough.  I then opened up the Levels in Photoshop and cranked the shadows and highlights to their maximum and created something really cool.  But it could never run in the newspaper, too much manipulation.  But it was a cool image and I wanted to share.  So I was going to post it to my facebook page, but I should have left hours earlier, so I logged off and went home to walk the dog and play Cinderella.  The day would have a happy ending as I ended up with my bride on the porch, IPA in hand.

When I came across the altered eagle image later in the week, today, I again pondered tossing it out on the web.  I played around with the levels again, and still wasn’t overly impressed, Contrasty Eaglebut something tugged at me. I set aside the eagle idea and got to work on processing other assignments I didn’t get to earlier in the week.  While looking for a file photo for another story,  I again came across eagle photos I had shot in the past, and said, “it’s not throwback Thursday, but let’s make it Eagle Saturday.”  What? I might by flying off the handle here.  It might be a soar spot for you, or you might think I have flown the coup, but I am on a wing and a prayer that people might flock to my blog if I post more often.  Perhaps I am just a little flighty and my head is in the clouds, but I’m gonna leave the nest and flap my wings with this blog thing.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal State game warden Dave Chabot is all smiles as he waits for wildlife rehabilitator Sheri Gee to come transport this mature bald eagle to the Avian Haven in Freedom.  The bird was caught in a trap that was legally set in a field off Church Street in Leeds Tuesday afternoon.  Bob Scott from Leeds was watching eagles feed on the deer carcas from his home next to the field when he noticed this one was stuck on something.  He called Chabot who responded and discovered that the trap had done just what it was designed to do, trap animals of prey.  The trap was set for coyote and fox, but it is not uncommon for birds to also fall victim of the device that is designed to clamp around the paws or toe of an animal of prey.  As is usually the case, the bird was only caught on the talons and appeared to be unharmed.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal
State game warden Dave Chabot is all smiles as he waits for wildlife rehabilitator Sheri Gee to come transport this mature bald eagle to the Avian Haven in Freedom. The bird was caught in a trap that was legally set in a field off Church Street in Leeds Tuesday afternoon. Bob Scott from Leeds was watching eagles feed on the deer carcas from his home next to the field when he noticed this one was stuck on something. He called Chabot who responded and discovered that the trap had done just what it was designed to do, trap animals of prey. The trap was set for coyote and fox, but it is not uncommon for birds to also fall victim of the device that is designed to clamp around the paws or toe of an animal of prey. As is usually the case, the bird was only caught on the talons and appeared to be unharmed.

 Wildlife Rehabilitator Sherri Gee releases this adult male bald eagle back into the wild Saturday afternoon in a field near where it was accidentally trapped on Tuesday in Leeds, Maine.  A neighbor to the field spotted the eagle in distress and called a game warden.  After it was freed from the trap, it was taken to Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine where it was checked over and given a clean bill of health.  In the background is Charlie Todd from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife who transported the bird from Avian Haven.

Wildlife Rehabilitator Sherri Gee releases this adult male bald eagle back into the wild Saturday afternoon in a field near where it was accidentally trapped on Tuesday in Leeds, Maine. A neighbor to the field spotted the eagle in distress and called a game warden. After it was freed from the trap, it was taken to Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine where it was checked over and given a clean bill of health. In the background is Charlie Todd from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife who transported the bird from Avian Haven.

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A pair of bald eagles wait out a driving, freezing rain on a branch overhanging the Androscoggin River next to Gulf Island Dam in Lewiston.

EaglesENTANGLED

Someone driving on River Road in Auburn noticed a pair of eagles fighting in the air. They locked talons and cartwheeled to the ground. They stopped and found the pair, locked in a death grip in the middle of a stream. They called police, who called a wildlife expert. They arrived just after I did and took a towel and threw it over them. Just before the towel landed, they broke apart and flew/hopped away. They stared each other down and dried their wings for another 15 minutes before flying off in different directions. It was surmised that the older male was defending his territory from a young intruder.

A bald eagle soars over the Androscoggin River between Lewiston and Auburn as Tuesday afternoon's strong wind unfurls the American Flag in Bonney Park in Auburn.

A bald eagle soars over the Androscoggin River between Lewiston and Auburn as Tuesday afternoon’s strong wind unfurls the American Flag in Bonney Park in Auburn.

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Russ and Isaiah’s Excellent Adventure to North Carolina

A wet and soggy start at 4:30 am.  Thanks to my son Kevin for pulling an all nighter and dropping us off at the airport. Breezed through security and were bored waiting to board.  I in airport2 Not sure if Captain Kirk was having trouble with his tribbles or the fact that Spock is gone, but the Priceline negotiator sent us to Detroit for our connection to North Carolina.Portland from air  Go figure, but the price was good and the flights went off without a hitch and we are sitting in our hotel room before 2:00.  Russ N I in planeIsaiah in roomHeading over to the track in a bit to register and meet up with the other standout Maine athlete, Kate Hall.

Really glad we are here early to get acclimated with the heat and humidity…..Gonna hit 90 today.

Thank you again for everyone in the community that pitched in and donated to our GoFundMe page so we could come.

Just got to the stadium and it is pretty impressive.

20150619_170548Immediately met up with fellow Maineah Kate Hall, warming up for her race tomorrow.

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Two elite runners with their elite coaches….ok, well, two elite runners and one elite coach….and a coach like, father like, and big time fan.
20150619_165658Saturday was a relaxing day for us, getting adjusted to the climate.  Sunny one minute, pouring rain the next.  The rain was a relief after the incredibly high humidity and the temperature in the mid 90’s.  Just as Kate Hall was about to run her 100m, the skies opened up.  It was a good showing for the dynamo from Casco, winning a broKate Hall, center, a Lake Region High School graduate, crosses the finish line in third place during a downpour, just behind the winnter, Jayla Kirkland, on her left, and second place Twanisha Terry, second from left, during Saturday's 100 m race at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina.After an early dinner, we hit the hay and I got hit in the head with a pillow a few minutes later.  I warned Isaiah that I snored, bad, he knows from the walls shaking in his room that abuts me and Ann’s, but he falls asleep with his TV on, so it has never been a problem.  But I armed him with a couple extra pillows for ammo to toss at me if I was sawing wood a little loud.  Once again the Priceline negotiator misled me.  The photos of the hotel room had a partition between the bedroom and the living area with the sofa couch.  Was hoping that was enough of a buffer, but not.  I woke and tossed it back for future use, but fortunately he fell asleep and there were no more incidents.  Isaiah at Nationals
Up early-ish and prepped the uniform.  We shopped last night for some funk orange sox to match his spikes.  “Gotta make a statement and stand out.”  After watching every other runner Saturday wearing spandex, there was no way I was going to be the only one to be wearing his baggy running shorts from his LHS uniform.  After chasing the pink line through Greensboro, listening to monotone Mary sending us here and there via Hertz GPS. We finally found a Dick’s Sporting Goods and found something that would work.  However, there was no thought of trading in his Lewiston jersey for something fancy.  Lewiston PRIDE.  He will wear it forever.  Probably never wear a Lewiston jersey in another race again, but the grit and determination, work ethic and drive are something that will be with Isaiah forever.  From the Montello track, basketball at the Armory, and Fly football at the LAP football field, basketball everywhere and running here, there and everywhere laid the foundation.  He is proud of his roots and his community, one who came together to send him here. He will never forget that.

Sunday morning we got to the Stadium early.  No rain predicted today, but it would be a scorcher.  We found some shade in the shadow of a light stancion and watched some races.  It was an impressive sight.  I began to feel insecure.  Did we do everything we could to prepare I.  Most had coaches and personal trainers with them.  Ridged training routines, strict diets, top notch everything.  Thought about that for a few seconds and set it aside.  Heart, soul and determination  is far more important than all that fancy stuff.  I knew he would do well, and it will be just the beginning.  Isaiah at Nationals Isaiah at NationalsIt was time for him to go warm up and I gave him some sage advice.  Some top notch coaching if I say so myself.  “Good luck, kick ass.”  I was not sure who was more nervous, but I was his usual calm and cool, confident.  When the gun went off and I took off in the lead, I had a good feeling.  He led all the way until the back stretch.  I looked at the time and it was where we wanted to be, so I thought this was good as he would be pushed and might run a faster race.  Sure enough he dug deep and pulled ahead in the final yards to win his heat.  The time stood until the final heat where two runners beat his time.  We all wondered how he wold have done if he was in the final heat with those top runners.  But a bronze medal, personal best and new state of Maine record is mighty fine.  With the training he will be getting at Penn State, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be breaking records and wowing us all in the future.  Everyone who has had the good fortune of having Isaiah in their lives will be sad to see him leave our “village, ” but we will all be cheering him on and thanking him for touching our hearts.  Isaiah at NationalsIsaiah at NationalsIsaiah at Nationals

Isaiah at NationalsIsaiah at NationalsIsaiah at NationalsIsaiah at NationalsIsaiah at NationalsIsaiah at NationalsIsaiah at Nationals

Isaiah Harris wins bronze at the 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor at A&T Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina on Sunday Jun 21, 2015Isaiah Harris wins bronze at the 2015 New Balance Nationals Outdoor at A&T Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina on Sunday Jun 21, 2015

No sooner than Isaiah stepped down from the podium, another Maine athlete, Kate Hall, made history.  Breaking a record that stood for nearly four decades, she broke the national record in the final jump in the long jump competition.  One of the first to congratulate her was, of course, Isaiah.  I was so proud to hear everyone talking about the athletes from Maine that stole the show.  Wicked proud of both of them and good luck in the future.

Casco's Kate Hall flies though the air during Sunday's long jump at the New Balance Nationals Track & Field competiton in Greensboro, N.C.  After a 3rd place finish in the 100 meter race on Saturday, she set a new national record that has stood for nearly 4 decades and is in the top 10 jumps in the world this year.

Casco’s Kate Hall flies though the air during Sunday’s long jump at the New Balance Nationals Track & Field competiton in Greensboro, N.C. After a 3rd place finish in the 100 meter race on Saturday, she set a new national record that has stood for nearly 4 decades and is in the top 10 jumps in the world this year.

Isaiah at Nationals

New Balance Outdoor NatioanlsKate I and I

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Remembering the fallen, and scorned this Memorial Day

I still get goosebumps when I think about the story my son told me about his experience walking through the airport about a year ago.  Today, the hair on the back of my neck stood up when I heard the story of a Vietnam Veteran at the Memorial Day Celebration in Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston.  RYANrefueling2015My son Ryan, an air refueling specialist in the Air Force, was transferring to another base during his training with a group marching through the airport in Denver to a connecting flight.  Somebody stood up and started clapping. By the time they were half way to their terminal, nearly everyone in that part of the airport was standing, clapping and cheering.  I was so proud when I heard the story. Proud to be an American. Proud that my fellow Americans recognized what they are doing, and showing their respect.  It was nothing like that for Butch Millette.  butchMillette, now living in Lewiston,  was a combat medic in Vietnam, riding a helicopter to battle, jumping out to save the lives of his fellow soldiers.  He saved many, but could never save them all.  Those memories still haunt him.  While the politicians, dignitaries and others were gathering at the top of Veterans Memorial Park, preparing to give their speeches, I noticed two people at the waters edge, kneeling in front of the memorial stone set in place after the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall had visited.  It was a windy morning, cold and bitter.  I was already emotional, I get that way at these things. I can’t help it.  As I watched the pair, all alone in their thoughts, a big gust of wind blew in my face, causing the first tear to drip down my cheek.  I fought back more, but it was a lost cause when the music started playing.  I looked over to the couple. It appeared he was shaking. His wife grabbed his hand.  At that moment, I caught the eye of a rugged, middle aged man standing next to me.  He was watching me and had a knowing look on his face.  I got a chill. It wasn’t from the cold.  He looked over to the couple kneeling and looked back at me.  I did not recognize him.  Never in the past 35 plus years of covering events had I seen him.  His face was unique, weathered and kinda sad looking.  Somebody I would remember for sure if I had run into him in the past. He wore no uniform, but had a small pin on his worn jacket.  It was a triangle with a bunch of stars.  I looked at it and he looked at me.  I actually felt myself shiver.  It was surreal.  He looked back to the couple and I picked up my camera and zoomed in.  I shot a few photos, but was too far away.  I looked back over to the stranger, but he was gone, just like that.  I felt another sensation.  Not a chill, something like you get when you look down from a tall building, or go over a big dip in the road.  I felt compelled to get a better photo of the couple and needed to talk to them to find out their story.  I moved closer and made some better images.  I did not want to disturb them, so I kept an eye on them and walked back to where the speeches were starting. The star spangled banner was playing.  I noticed an old friend I have known for years in the line of dignitaries look up.  Willie Danforth pointed and everyone else looked up. eagle A big, beautiful, bald eagle was flying overhead just as the song was ending.  Like it was scripted. Another chill went up my spine.  I looked for the couple and noticed them walking away and rushed over to talk to them.  I have read, watched movies and even talked to some Vietnam veterans in the past.  But nothing could have prepared me for the raw emotion Butch Millette conveyed.  He talked about the pain that still lingers.  Losing his best friend.  He didn’t give details, but those I am sure replay in his dreams regularly.  He said too many died “over there” …..too many he said a few times.  And then he talked about the worst part.  Coming home.  It was with such sadness.  He gave credit to his wife, an army veteran herself, for giving him support and helping him through the difficult times.  It was at that moment I thought about my son’s experiences.  Having people pay his bill when he is in uniform, or shaking his hand and thanking him.  The smiles and respect he gets. At that moment I thought about how it must have been for Butch.  Fighting for his country.  Watching his friends die.  And then to come home to such hatred.  Instead of cheers and smiles, Vietnam vets came home to jeers and spit in the face.  Never before or since have our troops been treated so badly, disrespected and ridiculed.  It does not matter if you think we should have been over there, or for that matter, in any theater of conflict now or in the past.  Those who fight for our freedom deserve our utmost respect and admiration.  We live in the greatest country on earth.  No matter if you agree or disagree with where the politicians send them, our troops answer the call.  It is why the United States of America has the life, liberty and freedoms we often take for granted.  Let us not take our troops for granted, and the sacrifices they make, let alone the horrors many carry with them long after they leave the military.  Let’s all  thank them whenever you can.  Especially those who fought in Vietnam.Vietnam vet salute

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Busted by police after I shot them earlier in the day, and stuff.

A new, relaxing ring tone I am trying out aroused me from sleep at 5:55.  My dog and I shuffled onto the back steps for  her morning constitution, and I stretched my arms into the warm air, took in the green, pink and yellow of my back yard, said to myself how queer this was and

A Cabbage White Butterfly lights on a leaf in the garden of Lois and Richard Wagner on Mountain Avenue in Lewiston Wednesday morning.  Moments earlier, it was dancing in the air with another, most likely, mating.  It has one of the longest seasons of any butterfly, emerging from the chrysalis in early Spring and remaining active until the first hard freeze.  It was accidentally introduced to Quebec, Canada around 1860 and spread rapidly throughout North America.  It associates with broccoli, cauliflower, and other cabbage family plants. It is a minor pest in the home garden and is easily controlled by an application of products containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

A Cabbage White Butterfly lights on a leaf in the garden of Lois and Richard Wagner on Mountain Avenue in Lewiston Wednesday morning. Moments earlier, it was dancing in the air with another, most likely, mating. It has one of the longest seasons of any butterfly, emerging from the chrysalis in early Spring and remaining active until the first hard freeze. It was accidentally introduced to Quebec, Canada around 1860 and spread rapidly throughout North America. It associates with broccoli, cauliflower, and other cabbage family plants. It is a minor pest in the home garden and is easily controlled by an application of products containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

raised my arms, stretched, and shook with joy.  It was that feeling of not being cold and knowing I won’t be freezing my butt off for a couple months.  And I thanked God.  Sorry to say, that’s about all the religion I have these days.

Cooked up an omelet for my wife, ham and cheese one for Kevin, ham cheese and fried egg on an English muffin for Isaiah and scrambled for Chris…and some cantaloupe from yesterday. Said goodbye to my wife,  who is leaving for work until 9 or 10 tonight. and then drove Isaiah to school.  Chris went with Ann so he wouldn’t be late.  Took Kevin for his root canal and then went for a walk with my precious pup, who is now 11.  Whipped out my cel phone and shot them hanging steel for the new Bates dormitories in my old neighborhood.  Walking home I noticed a couple humming birds in a garden.  Figured I would stop there with my macro lens and try my luck, not expecting the humming birds to cooperate.  But with the colors and thousands of critters in a garden, some fill flash and patience, you’re gonna get something.  There wasn’t much, but I caught a funky looking early butterfly.  Finding out what it was would take some time later in the day. photo request

But off to Durham I would go for my first assignment of the day.  Figured if all else failed, I could stop at the Get & Go and ask if they heard about it.  I came across the signs on a stretch of road across from the town garage.  Bunch of guys having lunch.  Nope said them all ceptin one.  “Saw a young fella this morning in a silver pickup putting them up, but that’s all I know.”  After driving out, I see just such a vehicle parked in a house just after the last sign.  Investigative journalism at it’s finest.  Couldn’t be that easy  Of course it wasn’t.  After several more barking dogs, nobody homes and a few who knew nothing, I went to my last gasp and would head back to ask at the Get & Go. Wouldn’t you know, they told me to go ask at the Get & Go.  No go at the Get & Go.

Work continues on the replacement bridge that spans the Androscoggin River between Durham and Lisbon Falls. The Maine Department of Transportation project will be completed in 2016 after the old bridge is torn down. It was built in 1936.

Work continues on the replacement bridge that spans the Androscoggin River between Durham and Lisbon Falls. The Maine Department of Transportation project will be completed in 2016 after the old bridge is torn down. It was built in 1936.

I hadn’t seen anything promising on the way to Durham for a feature photo. We needed one as this story wouldn’t work for our local section front, so I headed back to the office through Lisbon.
No sooner had I turned onto Route 9, there was this giant turkey vulture on the side of the road, within two feet of cars whipping past, tearing into some road kill.  Couldn’t believe it was so brazen.  I turned around in the next driveway and hopped out just in time to shoot him flying off after he had his fill of a……raccoon?

turkey vultureCouple miles down the road I cross the Androscoggin where construction on the new bridge is getting along.  Readers love to see big machines and construction projects, so I oblige.

I still don’t have anything good enough to anchor the local section, so I’m thinking of bagging somebody fishing, so I head to some favorite holes.  I didn’t catch any, but did find a guy looking for old bottles in the Sabattus River.

Bram Hepburn checks out an old beer bottle from Bangor that he just found on the bottom of the Sabattus River in Lisbon Wednesday afternoon.  "I'm from Elliot and had some errands to run in Augusta. When I travel, I throw my gear in the back of my truck and check out rivers along the way.  I try to pick places that have old houses along the banks."

Bram Hepburn checks out an old beer bottle from Bangor that he just found on the bottom of the Sabattus River in Lisbon Wednesday afternoon. “I’m from Elliot and had some errands to run in Augusta. When I travel, I throw my gear in the back of my truck and check out rivers along the way. I try to pick places that have old houses along the banks.”

Back at the office I started downloading my photos and Andrew, one of our IT guys, mosey’s over and we try to do some switching of permissions for our photo scheduler.  That’s a story in itself.  I have some sort of an aura about me that funks up computers.  They all love me in IT, job security and such.  They, along with cashiers at my banks, grocery strores and even WalMart are always saying: “I’ve never seen that before!” as their register or computer crashes, freezes, or does something weird.

While I am processing photos, reading a couple dozen emails and all that entails, some guidance to our intern, listening to Justin talk about the Ali-Liston tab….ad nauseam.  Phone calls, meetings and all the planning for tomorrow, the rest of the week and beyond. It’s getting close to the time I need to leave for the Auburn Police Memorial service and Mark comes over with puppy dog eyes and tells me “somebody” thinks we should post the video I shot of the signs in Durham this morning on Facebook.  I want to say I don’t have time, but it’s just quirky enough that I say what the hay, and we get a possible hit.…tune in tomorrow for more, possibly.

Police officers from the Auburn Police Department salute as taps is played by Scott Laliberte of the Maine Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Battalion, left, during Wednesday night's celebration of National Police Week at the Auburn Fallen Officers Memorial on the corner of Court and Turner Streets.

Police officers from the Auburn Police Department salute as taps is played by Scott Laliberte of the Maine Army National Guard’s 133rd Engineer Battalion, left, during Wednesday night’s celebration of National Police Week at the Auburn Fallen Officers Memorial on the corner of Court and Turner Streets.

I watch the Auburn Police Honor Guard try to keep in step and think how my son Ryan is just finishing his intense two week training in the Air Force to be on an elite honor guard duty that he was chosen to do for the next four months.  I was sure he and the other 5 in his group would be so much better.  When i told Ryan about it later in the night on the phone, he chuckled. And of course, in his typical humility, said that was no doubt true, his honor guard was like the JV compared to the USAF Honor Guard.  They are just a regional unit that goes to local funerals and functions, the varsity goes to the ‘big time stuff.”

Pete Phelan thinks the other photo is better and thinks we should use it on the front page.  Randy Baril just handed me a copy of the paper as I pen this, hot off the press, and I have to agree

Cherrie Bonney, wife of Auburn Police Officer Rodney “Rocky” Bonney, who was killed in the line of duty in 1981, is comforted by Auburn Police Chief Phil Crowell during Wednesday night's ceremony to honor police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty during a ceremony at the Fallen Officers Memorial on the corner of Court and Turner Streets.

Cherrie Bonney, wife of Auburn Police Officer Rodney “Rocky” Bonney, who was killed in the line of duty in 1981, is comforted by Auburn Police Chief Phil Crowell during Wednesday night’s ceremony to honor police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty during a ceremony at the Fallen Officers Memorial on the corner of Court and Turner Streets.

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The day is finally over and I head home to an empty house, but by 9:00 everyone but Ann is home and I do some chores, eat some leftovers and call my good friend Scott to see if he is up for a bike ride. Kiss my wife goodnight as she is walking in the door and I am heading out.  Scott and cruise through the streets of LA and wind up at West Pitch Park in Auburn.  It’s a beautiful overlook of the city, jutting over the falls, dry as a bone now, but at times, when the river is roaring, it’s so cool to feel the platform shake with the power of the Scroggin.  But now comes the part where I disappoint you with the climax that fizzles.  The bust is a bust.  Hope you have not been reading all this in hopes of a good cop drama, it won’t live up to the hype.  Two cops come out of nowhere and shine their lights in our faces and tell us we can’t be up here at night.   I don’t have any ID on me, but tell them I shot them earlier in the day at the ceremony and they look at me sideways  and I see some recognition.  They run our names and we come back clean.  Scott heads to his Auburn abode and I cross the bridge to my home away from home on Park Street to pen this prose.

With all that went on today, it was another gone bye without having a chance to check out a tip I got a few days ago.  A hand written letter with a big hand drawn in the middle of the paper with writing on it tells me to go down by the river, past his Aunt Minnies burnt out trailer, to the riverbank where there is a big hand chiseled into a big rock.  His mom seen it as a kid and she thinks it was done by the indians to warn them about the falls, or something.  “It’s a National Treasure.”  Gotta get to that, and some other stuff, tomorrow.

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Mystery 100

mystery001Mystery photo for December 15, 2013My first mystery photo ran in the new bsec of our Sunday edition on June 25, 2006.  400 photos later, it has grown in the space it is given in the newspaper and the amount of copy I am allowed to publish.  The basic layout has not changed.  Every Sunday, we publish a large photo of the new mystery photo and a thumbnail of the previous  week’s photo.

In the beginning, we would simply reveal where the previous week’s photo was taken and who was chosen as the winner.  After a few years of me talking up some of the stories I heard on the voice mail and email entries, I convinced the editors to allow me to print not only some background on the photo, but often when contacted to let them know they won, I would hear stories about their connection with the building, statue, monument or whatnot.  Some are really good.  I have kept them all in a folder, and a few weeks ago I went through and chose my top 100.  Mystery photo for October 7, 2012Since then, I have added more, and plan to continue when I have an interesting photo or a great story.  Take a peek at the gallery I created on my personal website by clicking on

mystery photo gallery link.

 

 

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