Darius Rucker joins student on stage during Wando High School talent show

frankieI’m gonna work like I don’t need the money

I’m gonna laugh like I’m not afraid to cry

I’m gonna dance like nobody’s watching

I’m gonna love while I still got the time

‘While I still got the time’ – Darius Rucker

There was lots of laughing, dancing and love at the Wando High School talent show Wednesday night when Rucker joined 16-year-old Frankie Antonelli on stage during the student’s rendition of Rucker’s song.

The moment was especially touching because Antonelli has Down Syndrome. His mom Debbie, a woman’s basketball analyst who often appears on ESPN and other networks, tweeted that Frankie hasn’t let anything stop him. Continue reading

Before I die I want to: Charleston chalkboard transcends chalk, social media

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Ashley Bell

It started as a class assignment and evolved into something more.

College of Charleston students Ashley Bell and Kristin Angles were given a two-week challenge as part of their communication class.

Inspired by this TED Talk, they woke up early on the morning of Friday, Oct. 17 and used chalk on a temporary black wall at King and Mary streets to pose a question: “Before I die I want to …”

They drew lines on the wall for people to fill in their answers with chalk they left at the wall. Continue reading

Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines still speaking her mind 10 years later

dixiechicksRS

My first and only article for Rolling Stone. No link, though. Anyone who says the Internet is forever never tried to find a link from 10 years ago. Update! Link found. Click on the pic.

I was a reporter for The Greenville News 10 years ago when the Dixie Chicks came to town for their first U.S. concert since lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”

It may not seem like much now since it’s apparently become OK to insult the president here, there and everywhere but at the time, as war loomed with Iraq, it really offended many in the patriotic country music audience. Radio stations stopped playing their music. People drove heavy machinery over piles of their CDS (those things before MP3 players).

The atmosphere was crazy in Greenville as “fans” protested outside what was the Bil-Lo Arena for days and the band was in hiding because their lives had been threatened.

Myself and members of the media from all over the world were there to listen to what the chicksETprotesters said as the band itself steered clear, except to appear nude on Entertainment Weekly that very same week to protest censorship.

Many critics predicted they’d be booed off the stage but 15,000 true fans were in the audience and drowned out any boos.

“If you’re here to boo we welcome that because we welcome freedom of speech,” Maines told the crowd. Continue reading

Adrenaline rush: Coast Guard in Charleston makes some cool YouTube videos

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Rescue of an injured fisherman: June 20, 2011. Click photo to see video.

Not only does the Coast Guard jump out of helicopters, swim in ice-cold waters and rescue you when you’ve sailed into a tropical storm — they make some sweet videos.

Coast Guard Sector Charleston has posted a handful of their rescues on to YouTube from this year alone. I’ve collected some of the best and posted them here for your daily dose of adrenaline, but first check out this well-produced video they shot showing a day in the life at the Charleston base:

Helicopter footage after a boat struck the Charleston Jetties earlier this year: Continue reading

When social media breaks badly – anchor’s tweet backfires

evanstweet

Philadelphia news anchor Joyce Evans quickly found herself the subject of ridicule and animosity Sunday night after she posted the above Tweet comparing a shooting that left six wounded to the television show “Breaking Bad.”

See the Storify below to follow the immediate negative reaction and how she tried to handle it, by telling people they didn’t get the point.

It would have probably been best to apologize and let it die as now the reaction is Continue reading

Do you want journalists to be reporters or advocates?

WCBD-News 2 reporter Rebecca Ryan Collett posted this publicly on her Facebook page today in reference to the controversial custody dispute over Baby Veronica.

collette

While most of the comments among her Facebook friends was positive, media blogger Jim Romenesko pointed out that one reader told her to ‘just report.’ Make sure you read the comments on that post.

Update: Rebecca later explained her post a little bit more on Twitter: Continue reading

Upper Deck Tavern uses social media to nab vandals

It was just before closing time at the Upper Deck Tavern early Sunday when, according to a police report, a woman grabbed a fire extinguisher and set it off in the tavern as she and a friend went down the steps and out the door.

Staff immediately checked their security footage and while they thought they knew who the woman was, they didn’t recognize the accomplice, according to the police report they filed.

Tavern owner Ken Newman posted their pictures on Facebook just hours after it happened, along with a plea for his friends to help identify the women. Continue reading

Subtweeting schadenfreude: Some times it’s better to keep thoughts to yourself

It can be awfully tempting at times to share thoughts on social media that you might not otherwise share, or shouldn’t share.

Shortly after news broke this morning of WCIV sports anchor John Nugent’s arrest for DUI, one of his competitors tweeted what appears a thinly veiled comment about the incident.

Wow…karma catches up with some people, doesn’t it? — Andy Pruitt (@AndyPruittLive5)

That tweet has since been deleted but there’s more. Continue reading

In their own words: Two Charleston bloggers tackle deeply personal issues

It’s hard to know what to say when someone you know is dealing with something life-altering. You want to be there for them but if you haven’t experienced it yourself it’s difficult to know how to help.

That’s why I wanted to bring to your attention to Heather Solos at Home Ec 101 and Christina Orso at Hungry Meets Healthy, two local bloggers who both interrupted regular programming on their respective blogs to tell very personal stories.

Heather’s sister, Laura, died days after she shot herself.

Heather, who stood vigil around her sister’s hospital bed, later took to her blog and told the story of her sister, the agony and comfort of waiting with friends and family at the hospital and later told us how we can help people who are enduring something similar.

I was only at that hospital for 5 days, but lifetimes were lived. People don’t age overnight, they age as they wait for news, they age as they struggle with choices. I am a thousand years older than I was on Thursday morning at 5:14am.

Christina’s story

Many people around Charleston had heard about a guy named Nathaniel Tyler, a homeless man whom police had ultimately charged with raping five women in the downtown area. The details of each case were awful.

It wasn’t until Christina told her story on her health and fitness blog that many of her friends Continue reading