This Just In: May 23 - 30 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Fast and the Furious

Summary: A "Target 11 Investigation" on aggressive drivers. Station: WPXI Channel 11 Reporter: Karen Welles When it Aired: May 17 Running Time: 3 minutes, 52 seconds Visuals: Sundry film of aggressive driving. Highlights: * When Welles invites you to "take a ride" with her and says, "They are accidents waiting to happen: aggressive drivers, speeders, tailgaters, weavers. Red-light and stop-sign runners. And they're blamed for more than half of the killer crashes in Pennsylvania." * When Welles reports, "PennDOT says it's so bad, officials have adopted a 'Smooth Operator' campaign where local and state police target certain roads that have a high incident rate of aggressive-driving crashes and deaths. In the first wave of the crackdown back in March, more than 16,000 drivers were cited or arrested, specifically for aggressive-driving behaviors." * When Welles reveals, "Here are some of the roadways in Allegheny County where you're more likely to run into aggressive drivers, based on the number of crashes they caused between 2001 and 2005. Route 51 in Pittsburgh: 349 crashes. Route 19 in McCandless: 312. ... In most cases, the drivers were going too fast for conditions." * When Welles advises, "The next 'Smooth Operator' crackdown is scheduled July 1 through the seventh. On our Web site, you can find a list of roads that will be targeted ... and you'll also find a test you can take to see if you're an aggressive driver." What We Learned: Aggressive driving is all the rage! Unanswered Question: Is there anyone who stays anywhere near the speed limit on any road? News Value: 5. Kudos to Welles for calling them "crashes," and not "accidents." While it doesn't take an "investigation" to find aggressive drivers, and it's no surprise where they're found most frequently, the information Welles presents is worth noting.

Our Boat Runneth Over

Summary: An East Vandergrift couple's romantic getaway turns into an adventure! Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Jennifer Miele When it Aired: May 16 Running Time: 1 minute, 48 seconds Visuals: * A black-and-white scenic mountain photograph of Alaska, with the tagline, "Vandergrift, Westmoreland County." * The couple, as they're interviewed while snuggling on the loveseat in their home. Highlights: * When Miele relays, "[The couple] say their Alaskan cruise was a dream come true, but a nightmare happened smack in the middle of the night." * When Mr. Husband describes the incident: "It lasted for like, you know, 20 seconds ... everything's bein' stretched, ripped, whatever." * When Miele explains, "Their ship hit land after veering off course to avoid some high winds. The ship was taking on water, so the [couple] got dressed and headed for the main deck." * When the wife says, "I was hoping that it was something minor, and that ... our cruise, somehow, some way, was still goin' to go on." * When Miele interjects, "And it did, only on a Coast Guard rescue boat that took them to shore." * When Ms. Wife says, "When we were disembarking, the crew members were handing us our blankets, our duvets, um, to cover up with." * When Miele gives us this sweet little detail: "But before they left the cruise ship, Dave went back to his cabin to get his wedding ring. After all, they were on their honeymoon, a vacation they'd put off a year after their wedding." * When Miele wraps, "The [couple] say [the cruise line] is reimbursing them for the cruise and paying for another one. They plan to head back to Alaska this summer." What We Learned: Never question the importance of a duvet. Unanswered Question: Are they reimbursing the other passengers and paying for them to have another cruise, too? News Value: 1. Sorry, the Titanic story was slightly more gripping; but on the upside, fear is supposed to heat up romance!

Please Bear With Us

Summary: A followup to an initial report of a local black-bear spotting. Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: Don Cannon When it Aired: May 20 Running Time: 52 seconds Visuals: * A graphic over Cannon's shoulder of a vicious, tooth-baring bear! * Neighbors examining a large, green, barrel-shaped trap. Highlights: * Cannon's announcement: "One city in Fayette County is breathing a sigh of relief now that a black bear has been captured. The bear has been tearing up garbage cans and bird-feeders in South Connellsville these last few days. Police say, and people say, the black bear weighs almost 400 pounds and was wandering awfully close to homes." * When a Game Commission officer says, "The only time they come around houses is because ... somebody's feeding them. Almost in every case, somebody is feeding them." * When Cannon ends, "This is not the first time South Connellsville has had a visit from a black bear. Last year, people spotted a 200-pound black bear roaming the same neighborhoods." What We Learned: DON'T FEED THE BEARS! Unanswered Question: Are they sure it wasn't Gov. Ed Rendell? News Value: 1. 'Tis the season for bear sightings.

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