In Rochester, New York this weekend:
Two teenagers charged with shoplifting. Apparently this was a shoplifting “conspiracy”. Over $200 worth of merchandise was involved.
There was a barn fire and some trucks were damaged. See here. And here. And here. And here. One truck reportedly might be a “total loss”. This could wind up involving an insurance company, not to mention some paperwork.
A vehicle went down an embankment and into a pond. A woman was injured. This story has been breathlessly updated and followed closely to make sure we don’t miss any important new developments, such as the vehicle being retrieved from the pond.
A circuit breaker tripped in a school causing a loss of electrical power. This was learned after an exhaustive investigation of all relevant “on-off” switches and electrical outlets where appliances of various kinds might be connected to a power source. Once these less dramatic causes of a “power outage” were eliminated, the investigation centered on far more serious potential causes – such as fuses and circuit breakers – and from there the crisis was quickly and favorably ameliorated. It appears no one was injured in the incident, although several students were sent home early and possibly referred to “grief counselors”. When asked if janitorial overtime, paperwork, additional training or other costs might be involved in preventing similar future tragedies, school officials had no comment.
As usual, we can thank our heroic “first responders” for the safe resolution of all of these extremely tense situations.
An important observation about “journalism” must be made here. As you can see, newsworthiness is not just about the amount of money involved. Not at all. Sometimes very large amounts of money attend some incident or other, but the story lacks a clearly identifiable villain and/or hero because, for example, everyone involved went to Harvard.
Our editorial judgment in such cases is that such stories “have no legs” and do not maintain the interest of our readers. We take into account, of course, our government’s decisions not to investigate and/or prosecute further in forming this completely independent editorial judgment, and we “fact check” everything we learn. For example, if law enforcement sources report a story we run it by the relevant prosecuting attorneys before making our independent judgment as to whether or not the story is “credible”. It should go without saying that such stories are “newsworthy” by definition, since law enforcement personnel are not only invariably heroic, but they also act on behalf of all of us through our payment of taxes. They are not only heroes, they are our heroes.
Remember that it is a tough job being vigilant to provide our local population with the information they need every day as they interact with each other to better our communities.