I'm a writer for hire, with a strong background in journalism, narrative storytelling and investigation.
I previously covered government and politics at the Knoxville News Sentinel, one of Tennessee's largest newspapers and a member of the USA Today network.
I've been doing journalism in some form since about 2000, when I became editor of The Appalachian as an undergrad at Appalachian State University. That led to paid internships at the Watauga Democrat and The Charlotte Observer.
After graduation, I worked a restaurant gig for a couple months before being hired full time at the Mooresville Tribune in July 2003. From there I went to the Danville Register & Bee in Southside Virginia for a while and then joined the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., the state's 3rd largest paper. They put me in the bureau, then made me a region reporter, county reporter and eventually a general assignment reporter in sports. I joined the Knoxville News Sentinel in December 2011 as the city reporter and picked up the county beat a couple years later.
Some work I've done:
Investigated the student death during a track tryout at N.C. A&T; found the tryout was unofficial, NCAA rules were broken and uncovered an email sent to coaches asking them to avoid an NCAA-required test that could have prevented the death, to save money. APSE recognized the work among its top 10 for investigative reporting in consecutive years.
Showed where golf courses were receiving tax breaks designed for agriculture and open space in Tennessee. Got the breaks removed.
Investigated nonprofits, state institutions, local governments, groups and individuals on numerous spot news and project stories.
Coordinated and led a community-based group of citizens to provide commentary on the 2008 election online and in print over two months.
Found illegalities in proposed economic development policy.
Covered presidents, senators and presidential candidates as part of press pools, 1-on-1 interviews and other arrangements during rallies and other settings.
The ACC Men's Basketball tournament (that's a kid's dream if you grew up in N.C.)
Recognition and awards for above work, and others:
2016, Horace V. Wells Jr. Community Service Award, East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists - E-911 purchasing scandal
2015, Second Quarter, Journal Media, Best of Journal Winner: Real-Time Reporting, staff, same-sex marriage coverage
2014, Tennessee AP Broadcasters and Media Editors, first place, daily deadline reporting, staff, 'Every parent's nightmare'
2011 and 2010 Associated Press Sports Editors, Investigative Reporting, Top 10, all circulation divisions
2011 Duke University Green/Rossiter Award for Distinguished Newspaper Work in Higher Education, 2nd place
2011 North Carolina Press Association, Sports News Reporting, 1st place - death of N.C. A&T student at track tryout
2011 APSE, Breaking News, 1st place
2010 NCPA, Sports News Reporting, 2nd place
2010 and 2009 News & Record, Landmark Award, sports writing, 1st place
2005 Virginia Press Association, Second Place, informational graphics