We did some amazing work in August.
Lillian Thomas works 24/7, so it’s no surprise that she made it down to Washington Boulevard in time to snap this tremendous photo of the Aug. 28 flood. This photo is worth the proverbial thousand words.
No one but Torsten Ove could have written our gripping Aug. 5 obit on mobster Eugene “Nick the Blade” Gesuale (who didn’t earn that sobriquet for his ice skating). Torsten has spent years reporting on the Pittsburgh underworld, and his knowledge, law enforcement contacts and writing skill all combined for an entertaining and memorable sendoff for Gesuale.
Here are the first three graphs:
“Nick the Blade” died last week after he suffered a heart attack at a Florida bar while drinking his usual pinot grigio.
For Eugene Gesuale, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound East Liberty drug dealer for the Mafia once seen on surveillance snorting cocaine with one hand and urinating off a balcony with the other, it was a refined way to go at age 73.
“I was surprised he was nursing such a girly drink,” said Roger Greenbank, the retired FBI agent who helped send him to federal prison for 28 years during the Mafia crackdown of the 1980s. “Would have thought something more macho would have been his style.”
The editor of the Guild-Gazette remembers his days as a West Zone intern sitting near Karen Kane, her right foot tapping impatiently while she bore into some reluctant soul on the other end of the phone. Her intense interviewing produced great details, and years later, she’s still cramming her stories full of them. Consider her Aug. 5 takeout on the Homewood girl whose body was identified after 50 years, her Aug, 25 story on the sad case of juvenile lifer Jeffrey Cristina and her Sept. 1. piece on the murder-suicide involving an abused woman and her estranged husband.
Karen drove home the human element of these stories with unusually candid and expansive comments from police and prosecutors involved in the cases. Really solid work.
Good beat reporters notice patterns and trends. They gather string, knowing they’ll knit something with it one day. They put two and two together and come up with great projects.
Which brings us to Liz Navratil. Her observations about crimes committed by probation and parole violators led to a yearlong investigation and her series, “Missing Fugitives.” It was a riveting look at a national problem that had escaped national attention.
The series included great editing, videography, photography, graphics and presentation. Lillian Thomas, Andrew Rush, Ben Howard and Zach Tanner all had a hand in that.
This is not a comprehensive list of the outstanding work our members did in August. There isn’t space for that. We do, however, want to make shout-outs a regular feature of the newsletter and we want to cover as many newsroom departments as possible. So when you notice good work, please let us know.
A hearty welcome back to Bill Schackner, who has rejoined us after a long convalescence. Bill, if you need a paper, one of us will be happy to go and get it for you.
Congratulations to Daniel Moore, who has made the move from associate to permanent staffer. He’s done incredible work on many business-related subjects in his two years here. Keeping him was a no-brainer.
Congratulations also to Lacretia Wimbley, who joined us as a summer intern on the desk and is staying on with a second internship. We’re delighted to have you with us.
Monthly Guild raffle
Congratulations to Jill Daly, who won the raffle of a $50 movie gift card donated by two Guild members. This month, with football season upon us, let’s raffle a Steelers gift card. To enter, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 5. Put “Steelers” in the subject line.
The Guild continues negotiating a contract for about 130 full-time professors at Point Park University. This is a remarkable opportunity to bolster the size and strength of our Local. While negotiations got off to a slow start, the University in recent talks has shown an increased desire to compromise and get the job done. Below are links to two stories and an editorial about negotiations that appeared in The Globe, the Point Park student-run newspaper. We believe the exposure in The Globe helped to give the University a needed nudge.
Point Park University’s full-time faculty members begin the 2016-17 school year without a contract after making little progress with the university in about 10 negotiating sessions since Mar. 17. Full-time faculty members voted in June 2004 to unionize and join the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh/Communications Workers of America. The university initially refused to bargain with…
Reacting to a summer of stalled negotiations with Point Park University’s administration, full-time faculty members wore stickers Monday in an organized effort to move the collective bargaining process forward for their first union contract. Full-time faculty members wore one of two separate stickers, which were distributed by the union steering committee, throughout the day. The…