Farewell to Ford, Sad Anniversary in Altoona, Almost Amish

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Good Afternoon, morning fans!

Sorry, blog-readers, but I got very busy this morning and am getting the blog off to a late start!

By now you’ve probably heard the main headlines of the day:

Gerald Ford Dies at 93
Dubbed the “accidental” president because he was never elected, he passed away peacefully in California. I admit that my generation is probably more ignorant than we should be of his contributions – his presidency began the year I was born and ended less than 3 years later. It was nice to hear members of both political parties complimenting Ford’s ability to unite, and to restore faith to the injured presidency after the Watergate scandal.

Sad anniversary in Altoona
This is the story that kept me so busy this morning. It was one year ago that Annamarie Rittman was hit and killed as she walked into work at the Altoona Lowe’s store. A vigil is planned for 7pm at the Altoona cemetary.

I was anchoring the night the news broke that the suspect – Justin Pollard – had been charged with first degree murder. I was confused as probably many people were when police said the two had no connection, but the crime was murder, implying intent. It seems baffling why someone would *intentionally kill a stranger. We can only speculate about what is shown on segments of surveillance video that haven’t been released to the public. Pollard’s trial has been delayed until January.

Today I put together a piece from an interview with Rittman’s sister. She described the family’s pain, and shared some uncanny moments from the night before Annamarie died. (She repeatedly hugged her sister, and even made a comment about getting out of the street so they wouldn’t be hit by a car.) The family is asking for prayers.

We made the call to wake up photojournalist Roger Riley to get video of this crash scene in Story County. It sounded like a serious crash and it was. The passenger (no seatbelt) thrown and in critical condition, driver (with seatbelt – not injured) charged with serious injury by vehicle – alcohol is believed to be involved. This seems like an important double-message in time for the New Year’s holiday – don’t drive after drinking, and buckle up.

New Year’s Yuck?
The forecast for NY eve is looking rainy at best, maybe freezing rain or snow. What’s up with that? Bummer! I’m planning to be in the Windy City again, having a kid-free night out with my hubby and our close friends who have an overnight sitter for their 1-year-old TWINS. Talk about a bunch of people who need a night with a bunch of champagne and no responsibility! I just hope we get to and from our destination without too much trouble!

Any of you have big New Year’s plans? Which parties in the DM area are the most fun?

Almost Amish
I have decided I would not like to be Amish. They don’t use dishwashers. I am miserable without mine. It’s been deader than a doornail for a couple weeks now.

Does it seem ironic to you that I had a repairman coming to look at my new-ish Maytag dishwasher the same day Maytag made news headlines by announcing they were bringing back “Ol’ Lonely” – the bored Maytag repairman in the ads claiming he had nothing to fix.

You know something funny? There really is no Maytag repairman! They subcontract their warranty repairs! Ol’ Lonely is a phony. We got referred to some other appliance maker, who told us we needed a part, which should be ready in a week to 10 days! That feels like a pretty long sentence to an Amish-style kitchen.

Of course I have lived without a dishwasher in the past, and know it’s not the end of the world, but I sure will give that repairman a big hug when he shows up -whoever he is!

Heather’s Morning Buzz!
I thought you should meet the genious behind our morning show lately – this is Heather, our stellar new producer! She works all night long to make sure our show makes sense! (And she actually keeps her sense of humor in spite of the tough work and weird hours!) She’s holding up a mug I got her for Xmas – you can’t really tell, but it says “The Morning Buzz.” Couldn’t pass that up. It has some corny little bees flying around on it… how clever. (groan)

I left Gramma (my mom) in charge of the little ones today – Ian’s out of town coaching some young drummers! I hope Mom hasn’t spoiled the little “angels” totally rotten! I’m grateful for her help, and hopeful that they haven’t let her see their naughty side. (she still thinks they’re pretty perfect and I’d hate to let her down.)

See y’all in the morning!


  • Anonymous

    That is OK Trisha on the busy part. It amazes me how you guys find time everyday to write in a blog, which I think is very cool that you guys keep the blog up daily during the week. I always look forward to you guys writing in it.

  • Becky

    Anonynous is right Trisha…take a breather, girl..Patrick said we might see him walking around the malls this week. If I do see him, I’ll tell him to get back to work for ya!!!

  • Anonymous

    I want to know what you think about Drew Tate’s Iowa comments. Personally, I think he’s been so horrible this year with all the tamtrum-throwing that he’d better just stay in Texas. We and the corn are just fine without him.

  • Heather R.

    Trish, I went to school with Justin Pollard, I am not going to even get going on that subject. Not to mention the fact he doesnt live more than 5000 feet away from me either. Also, Drew Tate’s comments, we’ll I was a little befounded when I heard them this morning. We didn’t bark on him for his bad seasons now did we? If I were Ferentz I would make him apologize to his fans. If I ever see him in Iowa City I will walk up and kick him. He’s stupid. I used to be a HUGE fan but now I am very ashamed to have ever been a fan of Drew Tates. Ugh! That ruined my day! Now that I’m done ranting and raving! Have a good day Trish and Fellow Bloggers!Good News casts today!

  • Anonymous

    Where can I find the Story County crash footage on the WHO TV website? I’m not in Iowa today and can’t see the broadcasts from where I am. I know the guys involved, and need to see this for myself

  • Trisha Shepherd

    Thanks for all the great comments! I’m glad you guys appreciate the daily entries here – I really enjoy doing it, it’s just a matter of squeezing in the time amidst all the other behind-the-scenes news duties.About Drew Tate’s comments – while he is right that Iowa has no pro teams so there is more focus on college sports, I was a bit taken aback by his comments about the “news” coverage being nothing but news about the “corn stalks.” I guess it’s all a matter of perspective, but as someone who’s lived in much larger cities, even I recognize that the Des Moines area has an awful lot going on! (especially with political news, it’s unbelievable the attention our state gets because of the caucuses) It seems to me that any public figure – athletes included – should be careful not to bite the hand that feeds him. Of course, everyone is free to say whatever they want, but the question is, how wise is it to really say EVERYTHING that runs through your brain when it may offend your loyal fans? We were thinking perhaps he didn’t expect that comment to reach Iowa, since he made the remarks to a Texas news crew. Finally – I don’t think the Story County footage is on our website right now. I will check tomorrow and see if we can put it on 13 Raw – the video was mainly of the truck upside down in the road, and squad cars at the scene. Sorry to hear someone you know was involved in this ugly crash.More tomorrow!Trisha

  • Anonymous

    I am very, very surprized that no one has had a story about all the spousal abuse in the Ritman household and the Divorce that was in the works when she was killed.There is many that think Pollard was paid to do what he did. Considering some of the medical conditions his family members have he might be motivated to sacrifice his life for finacial security for his family.

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