How did we get here? A look back on Seattle’s tunnel machine Bertha
I wrote and produced an online timeline in WordPress, using photos and video, to show the tumultuous history of tunnel-boring machine Bertha’s dig underneath downtown Seattle. I divided the piece by chapters and collaborated departments across the newsroom to create the multimedia display.
After the timeline’s publication, I interviewed with KING5 News, a Seattle TV station, about the machine’s successes and failures. Here is the video clip.
Editors at the D.C.-based news outlet, U.S. News & World Report, tapped me to write a piece analyzing Washington state’s ranking in a “Best States” dataset, which measured states on a variety of metrics, such as higher education and health care. Here is the story.
Love you, hate your politics: Readers share post-election Thanksgiving plans
Over the course of a week, I fielded responses from families, couples and friends who felt torn after Donald Trump’s presidential victory, some of whom were concerned about potentially volatile holiday gatherings. (Here is the online package. And here is the print A1 page and inside spread.)
The package followed a similar piece before the election, in which people said their relationships were split over the Hillary Clinton and Trump campaigns.
Live updates from the presidential debate (Oct. 2016)
I have reshaped how The Seattle Times approaches developing stories by leading a push to incorporate live online feeds. This is an example of how I pieced together analysis and commentary during a presidential debate, while fielding information from reporters at watching parties.
Bellevue School District seeks to fire football coach Goncharoff over scandal (May 2016)
After a Seattle Times investigation in 2015, an official with the Bellevue School District’s human-resources department notified coach Butch Goncharoff that the district was planning to terminate him.
Black owner burns KKK robe left at the shop she now plans to sell
A white man left a bag containing a Ku Klux Klan-style robe at Leona Coakley-Spring’s Redmond consignment store, traumatizing her for months. Residents and community leaders quickly rallied behind the store owner, gatherings that fueled talks across Seattle’s Eastside community on racially-charged harassment.
For the online package, I helped conduct an on-camera interview and worked closely with the visual department to help produce a video.
‘I was one of the lucky ones’: The struggle to get guns out of domestic abusers’ hands (May 2016)
Courtney Weaver, an advocate against domestic violence, helped put a face to a 2014 law at the Washington state Legislature to require offenders with protective orders against them to surrender their guns. But two years later, despite the law change, authorities said too many abusers still had access to weapons, posing huge risks to victims and raising a need for better enforcement of the law.
This story grew from my investigation into King County’s new push to improve enforcement of Washington’s law. After I learned places elsewhere face the same struggle, I expanded the story’s focus.
#ManInTree: Why it went viral (March 2016)
A man stayed overnight in a downtown Seattle tree, attracting the attention of fans and reporters from across the country, including The New York Times.
My story aims to examine the phenomenon and serve as an aggregated display of the mania.
When Seattle cops start wearing body cams, who can watch all of that footage? (February, 2016)
Like departments nationwide, the Seattle Police Department has struggled to come up with possible solutions for meeting public requests for body-camera video. Washington state Legislators proposed a measure, which eventually became law, to add new privacy protections so that video of murder victims, private homes, sex crimes and other sensitive images captured by the cameras is not publicly available.
The story became extra newsworthy after Seattle police in February killed Che Taylor, creating momentum for community members who said his death was yet another in a series of senseless killings of blacks by white cops.
Seattle neighborhoods hire private security amid ‘blatant lawlessness’
Hundreds of residents in north Seattle neighborhoods (Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia and Fremont) hosted rallies over crime and police response near their homes and businesses, some of whom hired private security officers for extra patrols.
For the story, I analyzed Seattle police crime data to compare neighborhoods and people’s perceptions with the reported numbers. Also, I contributed reporting for the story’s graphic, which shows crime rates over time.
Formerly homeless, outreach leader tells how he escaped
Richard McAdams uses his story of escaping homelessness to try to get others out, too, through Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission’s Search & Rescue program. The outreach effort reaches an average 2,100 people monthly, or about 75 percent of the number of estimated people in Seattle without shelter.
The story grew in importance after Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine declared states of emergency to address the area’s homeless problem, promising shelter beds and aid for prevention and outreach programs.
SPD releases dramatic video, details in fatal shooting of carjacker (December 2015)
I gathered dash-cam video and new details on a man who led Seattle police on a chase through the city, firing gunshots at officers and carjacking three vehicles.
Police released the information at 10 p.m., 30 minutes before print press time. I still met deadline, and I followed the investigation days afterward, as well.
WWU police arrest 19-year-old student in racist-threats case
Western Washington University police arrested a 19-year-old student on suspicion of malicious harassment, a felony, in connection with threats made to students of color on a social-media app. I followed the story days before the arrest, as well.
STAR TRIBUNE: Minnesota health officials prep for dog flu (April 2015)
Minnesota dog owners, pet day care operators and veterinarians prepared for the spread of a fatal dog flu that swept across the Midwest.
The piece included a video, which I helped produce.
STAR TRIBUNE: Minnesota graduation rates are up, but 2020 goal will be a steep climb (February 2015)
I helped organize and analyze datasets to report Minnesota’s 2014 graduation rates, a project that included interviews with district officials and gathering information for graphics.
STAR TRIBUNE: Homeless shelters tied to worship spaces
Minneapolis officials looked to scrap a decades-old law that required emergency homeless shelters to be housed in places of worship.
The piece ran as the newspaper’s A1 centerpiece.
MINNESOTA DAILY: 2015 SXSW
I covered the music portion of the 29th annual, six-day South by Southwest Music festival for a package that ran in the newspaper’s Arts and Entertainment section.
The piece captured the festival’s corporate mania and growth, while describing my personal musical highlights.
Photo by Amanda Snyder / The Minnesota Daily.
MINNESOTA DAILY: Gymnastics coaches out after harassment claim (September 2014)
A husband-wife coaching pair at the University of Minnesota resigned amid school and federal investigations into their conduct with gymnasts.
I began investigating the story by conducting interviews with former and current athletes, and then I unraveled it by questioning school officials.
The Associated Collegiate Press chose the story as a finalist for 2014 News Story of the Year. It received an honorable mention.
Photo by Amanda Snyder / The Minnesota Daily.
MINNESOTA DAILY: Obama rallies Twin Cities for ‘year of action’ (February 2014)
President Barack Obama took over the Union Depot in St. Paul, rallying support for a plan to fund a transportation improvements.
I covered the event, both for online and print packages, and helped produce an interactive web graphic.
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