Bless your heart: She’s just like you, only funnier

March 02, 2017
I learned everything I need to know about living in The South from my best friend in Charlotte, Ansley, and Celia Rivenbark. The former introduced me to the latter via “Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And other Southern Endearments” and “We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier.” Y’all know there is a culture learning curve when you move from the North to the South. And this Ohioan is probably still adjusting. Notice my use of ‘y’all.’ “I'd sooner wear white shoes in February, drink unsweetened tea, and eat Miracle Whip instead of Duke's than utter the words 'you guys'.” Celia once wrote. Today, Celia emceed the Communities in Schools of the Cape Fear luncheon and fashion show and I could hear the crowd roaring as she shared ...
A steelworker’s daughter

February 08, 2017
This is the Steelworkers' Memorial in Steubenville, Ohio. My dad worked as a steelworker for 45 years. For years, he volunteered to help with the memorial’s upkeep, weeding & mowing, picking up litter. We stopped to look at it while in Ohio last week, looks like someone else took over that responsibility. This monument stirs up so many thoughts & emotions for me. I remember getting my very first tour inside what was once Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel. It was both fascinating and frightening to see where my dad worked. High stairs. Hot, molten steel. Dust, graphite and more in the air. I think about all the years he spent doing that dangerous job so my parents could help me go to college and have a better life. I think about all the sacrifices they made. It makes ...
Roasting Jock Brandis

March 05, 2016

Roast Jock Brandis. 

'But I’ve never even met Jock,' I thought. 'Won’t people think it rude? What if he doesn’t think it’s funny? What if no one laughs?’ 

All those thoughts were running through my mind as I was preparing to emcee the Full Belly Feast, a charity event that supports the group that Jock started after making a promise to a woman in Mali, who had bloody hands from shelling peanuts to make money. The promise: he’d come up with a better, faster way to do this. The solution: The Universal Nut Sheller, which shells 125 pounds of peanuts in just one hour. And that’s how Full Belly was born.

When my husband ...


February 16, 2016

“Develop thick skin.”

That was my response when I recently met an aspiring young journalist for coffee.

She was writing a paper for a class and asked me what advice I would give to future journalists.

Case in point - a message I received via Facebook after changing my hairstyle.

Last week, my stylist, Elisha at Blush Haus of Beaute, suggested a new look: the “long bob” or lob. 

I heard a ton of compliments from colleagues, friends and viewers. Even without the validation from others, I ...

Very superstitious

January 02, 2016
I am superstitious. There. I admitted it. I’ll wear the same outfit to watch the Steelers play every Sunday…down to my socks. If they lose, I’ll switch things up. I’ll make my husband switch places with me on the couch if the other team takes the lead...or leave the room altogether. But at no point during the year is my superstitious nature at its highest than around the New Year. Here are some of the traditions I follow: Coins in shoes This is supposed to bring you prosperity. My family has been doing this since I can remember. The shoes go out on New Year's Eve and come in before sunset on New Year's Day. I used to put out my oldest, dingiest shoes – because they were to be outside in the elements all night. Now, I’ve taken to putting out ...

December 31, 2015
The New Year is a time to look back and look ahead. In 2015, I learned to walk again, we opened a new business, Sona Wellness​, I helped to launch a new newscast, First at Four, on WECT News​ and my mom joined us here at the coast. When I reflect on the year that was, although it was not easy at all, Brian Parke​ and I worked hard and good things happened. 2016 holds so much promise. I'm focusing on getting strong & healthy again as I continue to recover from my injury. Luckily, I have Sona Wellness to go to and the fabulous pilates, yoga and barre instructors to help me along the way. I'm excited to see our business grow in the New Year. I look forward to growing our 4 p.m. newscast in 2016, with the help of my ...
Hitting the reset button

October 31, 2015

A year ago today, I was wheeled into surgery for my broken leg. Dr. Neil MacIntyre, my surgeon, told us it would take a full year to recover from my injuries. So, we’ve been talking about this date for a while now. October 31: the day we hit the reset button after a really tough year.

I thought I would narrow it down to a few things I’ve learned over the past year (I’m all about the number four now since I’m anchoring the 4 pm newscast!).

I’m so lucky: I married such a wonderful man, who took such amazing care of me while I was unable to walk on my own. On top of that, Brian and I have a wonderful family and we’re ...


September 14, 2015

Big day today! We launch WECT News First at Four. It will be Wilmington’s and Southeastern North Carolina’s first 4 PM newscast. I'm thrilled to be hosting the show with Patrick Ellis and Lauren Rautenkranz bringing you the forecast. 

The very talented Jessica Player is our producer. She's been working for weeks to set up stories so we have something unique to tell you about every day. 

The show will be a mix of the biggest local news stories of the day, community events, live interviews, lifestyle stories, weather, traffic and more. Our News Director, Scott Saxton, wants the show to be different then any other newscast on our station right now. It will have a different ...


August 27, 2015

Many in our newsroom were shaken by the senseless murders of two bright, young journalists: reporter Alison Parker, 24, and photographer Adam Ward, 27. It hits so close to home. 

My news feed is filled with posts from friends and former colleagues who were close with these two. My heart breaks for those who knew and loved them.

For those of us who work in this business, it is easy to put ourselves in their shoes, which is why I think so many are having a hard time grappling with this. We see tragedy every day in news. We all deal with that in our own way.

But today, we are all Alison and Adam. We’ve all been young and hungry. ...


August 18, 2015

Every year, we compile our best work at the station for consideration for Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas (RTDNAC) awards.

As I went through some of our newscasts from the past year, it’s been a great reminder of how far I’ve come since my injury in October.

My surgeon, Dr. Neil MacIntyre, said it would take a full year to heal. I’m more than 10 months out from the big break. While I finally ditched the cane, I’m still recovering. If you see me out and about, you may notice I have a limp. But I’m still getting better and stronger every day.  

It’s still hard for me to believe everything that ...