This Just In: June 25 - July 2 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

This Just In: June 25 - July 2 

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Pole Stars

Summary: A Jeannette woman clings to a utility pole after an overflowing creek pummels her with waist-high water. Reporter: David Highfield, KDKA Channel 2 Airtime: 2 minutes, 29 seconds on June 19 Visuals: * Highfield, somewhere out there in the dark, setting up his daytime story for the 11 p.m. newscast. * A group of elderly witnesses congregated at a picnic table. Highlights: * When Highfield reports, that 18-year-old Chastity White "was holding on for nearly 45 minutes. ... Now, the fire department tried to get to her, but was unable to. One man did try to help and stayed with her. She doesn't know his name." * When White recounts getting her foot caught on something as she tried to wade through what was, at the time, just a few inches of water: "I was petrified. ... [T]hen I got hit by the current, and by that time and I was looking to my right and saw these two yellow vans covered with water." * When White tells us that as the water rose, "Some kid came out of nowhere and ... we got my ankle loose and he was trying to direct me and he like got me up against the pole." * When Highfield remarks, "She thinks [the stranger's] name is Tony." * These comments from senior citizens living in nearby Jeannette Manor: "It was moving so fast, water was everywhere! You could hear it! That was scary!" "You could hear them hollerin' and talkin' and hear cryin'." "Yeah, they was out there with rafts. They couldn't control the rafts." * When White says the stranger "ended up telling me he couldn't swim ... and I'm, 'Wow, that's really brave for someone who doesn't know how to swim.'" * When White offers this message to her rescuer: "I want to say thank you and I love you, you're awesome." * When Highfield wraps, "So how did Chastity and this guy finally get free? Well, firefighters were there yelling instructions, threw a rope to them but that didn't work, eventually her brother showed up. He made his way through the water, put a life jacket on her, and then once the water receded just a little bit, he was able to walk her to safety." What We Learned: Never underestimate the power of a giant pole. Unanswered Question: Has the fire department hired White's brother yet? News Value: 6. Good news! White's rescuer, Tony, later turned up, and the KDKA cameras were there (can you believe it?) for the reunion. After White talks about her recurring nightmares, Paul Martino asks, "Could there be a romance blossoming here?" They both laugh. Martino then asks, "And where would they go on a date?" Chastity jokes, "Our pole." Tony responds, "I don't know about the pole. I'm really not a big fan of water."



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