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CIETC, Brooke’s Blog and Helping a Guard Soldier

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Good Morning!

Brooke took us all to the gym this morning. Her video blog is her post baby workout. First, kudos to her for the work it takes to get back in shape. I let her talk about her success. Second, BIG kudos for letting us look in on the workout and taking up the topic. It’s something most of us deal with whether we had a baby or not. Some of us men look like we’re expecting if we don’t get to the gym enough. I’m not sure I want a camera following me to my workout.

The Video blog is coming… Kelly our web producer will have it up a little later this morning.
If you didn’t catch it… I talked about my effort to lose those last few pounds I gained when I was pregnant with my son Evan. I gained about 35 pounds which I hear is normal, but it has been hard getting the last few pounds off even thought it has been 9 months. (Maybe it has something to do with the chips I was eating from Vendoland) Anyway, I started working out with a trainer at Gym/FX in downtown Des Moines. Kayla Bender is awesome and she doesn’t let me slack. It’s an hour of hard cardio and strength training that I wouldn’t do on my own. I have just 9 pounds left to go and my goal is to be back to the old Brooke by June. The other part of the weight loss program which I didn’t get into on the video is calorie managment. That’s code for dieting! Actually, there’s a program on-line called MyApex that helps you log your calories based on what you eat. I am staying under 1,500 every day. It actually hasn’t been too bad and I am not one for dieting so that is saying something. I will keep you updated on my progress.

To the news:

This is what we’ve been talking about for a while. Archie Brooks took the stand and admitted he and former CIETC CEO Ramona Cunningham had an affair. He also admitted he’d signed off on pay raises for execs AFTER he and Ramona had sex. After Archie testified we heard from his brother, who was a CIETC employee. Now lets just put aside the obvious problems with a government agency employing the guy who’s brother is the Board Chairman….this guy testified he was part of a group that went one more than 100 trips to Iowa Casinos while they were on the clock for the jobs agency. He also testified that the people who got these bonuses were untouchable. They weren’t ever going to get fired. My question is, who else knew. It looks like CIETC was a place where government officials had their family and friends hired to pick up a paycheck and not do a lot of work. I want to know who else in local , State or federal government knew about this and had their friends taken care of.

It’s funny to see some of the emails we get after severe weather coverage and I thought I’d share some of them. Some of you thought our coverage of the tornadoes last night was “over the top”. Ed was on for a long time yesterday afternoon giving people the information about the warnings. I thought about it as I watched, sun streaming through my front window. There were going to be some people upset because the tornado didn’t matter to them.
like this viewer:
Way way to over blown with sunny skys here in Des Moines but storms elsewhere. Don’t know what your viewer percentage is in the effected area but it was obviously much smaller then the balance of your viewers.

Just making sure I understand: The amount of time we take to cover life threatening weather should be balanced against how many lives we might potentially lose?
I’m trying to work out a matrix with Jeopardy’s importance on one side balanced against a number of people hurt or killed on the other. I’m having trouble calculating how much the the importance of double jeopardy ups the stakes for the game show.(read thick sarcasm here)
I think the importance for all of us goes up when the weather is at our front door. We don’t make a distinction that Moravia is less important than West Des Moines.
Another viewer shared this:

I tuned in to watch Jeopardy, but the entire 30 minute show was preempted by Wilson’s weather. I saw there was a tornado warning in southern Iowa, but that doesn’t justify it. I noticed channels 8 and 5 were showing the warnings at the bottom of the screen without preempting their scheduled shows. WHO-TV could do the same thing; you don’t have to go wall to wall for a simple weather warning.

I can only say we don’t leave it to other news organizations to make our decision about severe weather coverage. We cover severe weather.
There were tornado warnings coming out as these storms moved through. Ed and the rest of our team do the best they can to cover the weather appropriately.
I guess the thing that strikes me here is the emails that weigh the importance of a game show with telling people about a tornado. Is that a question you want us asking next time the storm is coming to your front door?
And just to prove, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, here’s a complaint from a viewer in southeast Iowa:

I always get a little upset by your coverage during severe weather situations because I live in southeast Iowa. I understand that the majority of your viewers live in Des Moines, but it is like we are in an isolated little corner of your viewing area, and you really dont give a hoot about us. Severe weather can still be in the area, but if it moves just to the east it is out of the viewing area and it is forgotten about. Many of your viewers have family who live, work, or travel to eastern Iowa, so please try to cover the storms as they move off to the east. They dont just disappear when they leave your precious “metro”

Feel free to weigh in.

Helping a Guard Soldier
This took on dual meaning this morning after the family of a soldier killed in Iraq called. They’ll be having funeral services here in Des Moines this morning for Major Stuart Wolfer. His wife is from the area. It looks like we’re going to be able to help her record and save the funeral service so her children can see it when they grow up. Mrs Wolfer has three young girls. It’s the least we can do for that family.
An Iowa guard soldier had to come home from Kosovo because his family lost everything in a house fire. We said we’d put information up so people can donate to a fund set up for the family to relocate. here it is:


Anyone else impressed with Zach Johnson’s first round at the Masters? He’s in the hunt. That’s all you can ask.

The Parade of homes is this weekend
Here’s a link to more information

OK gotta go get some shuteye…but watch this noon. We’re going to try to hook up with the International Space Station and talk to Iowa native Peggy Whitson! We’ll see if we can make it happen.

Have a good weekend


  • Doug

    Patrick,You are right on about the people who are complaining about the preempting of Jeopardy. My mother lives in Seymour and I was VERY interested. The lack of compassion by my fellow Iowans is appalling! I guess their mother should have raised them better.In those small towns and rural areas in Iowa, there is little in the way of information. Most don’t have access to the internet, and they rely heavily on TV and Radio to warn them of incoming bad weather. Concerned more for their own entertainment than the lives of others.Who are spoiled city folk!

  • IAgal

    I can see both sides of this, but I have to agree with Pat and the first blogger. I feel that it is more important to cover storms. It would even be more understandable for a viewer to get upset by the coverage if it interrupted Prime Time TV, but early evening game shows…? I admit I get frustrated when my show is interrupted by weather that is nowhere close to our area. But I tell myself that if the storms were HERE, I would definitely want you to interrupt and tell me about it. Even yesterday evening I found myself wondering why you weren’t coming on to tell us about the storms in our area, when the tornado warning came across the screen. Like your third letter on the blog, I found myself questioning if it was b/c we live in southern Iowa and not in the metro. However, I feel that MOST of the time when it comes to weather you do a great job of covering the storms, no matter where in Iowa it is.As the first blogger pointed out, several viewers (and not just us small town/rural Iowans) rely solely on your coverage b/c they do not have Internet at home. For those of us who ARE fortunate enough to have that ability to check online, it is still nice to have the coverage on the TV as an alert in case you didn’t realize just how threatening the weather is. Thanks for the coverage of the storms…no matter whose programming it disturbs! I think it would be great to see Zach Johnson win the Masters again. But as I told my husband, I just hope he can continue to make a good performance. GO ZACH!!

  • Steve

    I think having Ed on TV trying to warn people to take shelter, or exercise caution is laughable, at best. I mean, who wouldn’t rather watch Alex Trebek say “oooh, sorry” or “right you are” 32 times in one show? Here’s another idea, how about WHO covers Des Moines metro area items ONLY, and these other stupid small towns can start up their own tv stations. If paltry little things like potentially not dying is so important to people, then let them solve their own problems.Oh, while we are at it, WHO TV needs to consult me prior to interrupting any programming. I am available via cell phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.So to the person who wrote “Way way to over blown with sunny skys here in Des Moines but storms elsewhere. Don’t know what your viewer percentage is in the effected area but it was obviously much smaller then the balance of your viewers”, allow me to help…Pat and Brooke (preferrably Brooke, she easy on the eyes), when can you run a story on how we, as viewers in the metro area, can get our collective heads out of our tails and start thinking outside of our own interests for a minute?And with that, I end my sarcasm-laden response.

  • fm

    I live in a rural town and very much appriciate all the severe weather coverage that WHO does. When my children went to Univ of Ia, I would call ahead to let them know severe weather was coming, as they did not always have the tv or radio on. I think some people just are couch=potatoes and do not have a life outside of themselves.Keep up the good work, we do appreciate all the long hours and work you do, all of you.

  • Patrick Dix

    Thanks for the support folks…I don’t mean to be nasty about this but we’re just trying to do our job. On a mich lighter note…Cool intercview from the Noon news. We talked to The International Space Station! Iowan Peggy Whitson is the Commander on ISS and joined us for a few minutes. Talk about a tough interview to do from a technical standpoint… The delay getting our audio to space is brutal. The mic they were sharing didn’t work right… still it’s a thrill to talk to Whitson.PWD

  • Lisa

    I agree with Doug – many small towns do not have up-to-date warning sirens or signals, so they do rely on TV. Keep up the great work, weather team!!I also want to commend Brooke for having the guts to have her workout routine shown on the air! Good for you – and I must say I think you look GREAT for having a baby 9 months ago! You can tell that you are working out by looking at the promo pieces you taped when you came back, and looking at you today – you look great either way, but you can see a difference in your face!! Congrats!!

  • JeffSC

    Patrick–I would be willing to bet that ANY of these people who complained about their precious Jeopardy show being preempted, would change their tune if they had friends or loved ones in the affected towns! Come on people!! Give me a BREAK! If you are obsessed with Jeopardy THAT much, PLAY THE VIDEO GAME and let these people do the jobs they are paid to do, which is to keep us informed!Great job news and weather team!

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