Author Archives: Sarah Cantey

Born to Wear Blue

Born To Wear Blue from Sarah Cantey on Vimeo.

Web version on Tucson News Now: http://bit.ly/Tsq6c2 

It was nearly five months ago that a Nogales firefighter fell victim to a hit and run accident. But, a children’s book dedicated to Sterling Lytle is keeping his memory alive.

Lytle was the victim of a hit and run on June 28. A week later his family made the tough decision to take him off of life support.

Family and friends describe his fun and easy going personality. His step father, Casey Barcelo said, “He would never say no. He was always helpful.”

“Sterling was a volunteer. He was born to wear blue,” said Patty Vallance. “Born to Wear Blue” is the title of the children’s book that Patty wrote. Proceeds benefit the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation, a nonprofit serving the needs of local firefighters. The foundation owns all the book’s property rights and rights to reproduce.

Lytle volunteered as a firefighter for Helmet Peak and was employed with Nogales Fire since November 2011.  “It wasn’t a job. It was what we did. It was who we were. That is what he lived for,” said Lytle’s friend Kevin Chaffee.

The first edition of “Born to Wear Blue” was dedicated to Sterling, a decision for which his family and friends could not thank Patty enough.

“When she began going through the process of letting us go through it page by page, it really hit close to home. And really showed us that that book was about Sterling even though it wasn’t written about Sterling,” said Aftin Chaffee.

The book was inspired by three consecutive nights of riding along with local firefighters.

“I came home and it was 1 o’clock in the morning. And I was just processing what a glimpse into their world that I had been given. And the book poured out of me in 10 minutes,” Vallance said.

Life lessons are taught, flipping through the pages, like how to call 911. It also shows children what it means to be a firefighter.

“When a grown up does a job, work is what they do. For firefighters, work is who they are,” she said.

“They do the right thing, no matter how tough. Because doing the right thing is still right when it’s rough. They grow up to be firefighters, that’s what they do. Ready to rescue, save me and save you,” Vallance reads her favorite lines, words in a story creating a new chapter of Sterling’s legacy.

For more information on “Born to Wear Blue” visit: http://borntowearblue.org/

The Powers of Social Media: Loughner Sentencing

People can talk down to Twitter and Facebook all they want. But, today I had a firsthand experience on just how useful these tools have become in the journalism world. For the first time…maybe not ever, but definitely in Tucson… a federal judge allowed media to tweet from a federal courtroom. It just so happened to be the Jared Loughner sentencing, the man convicted for the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting in Tucson.

Typically a place where no cameras, audio recording, or photographs are allowed, our reporters sore thumbs from texting/tweeting replaced a sore hand from taking too many notes. Following the Twitter feeds like a hawk, I compiled a story with the play-by-play of what was going on inside the courtroom. When the sentence came down, I got the story out as quick as possible. I was even told that our app-push beat all local news outlets, CNN, and national networks. My story even got picked up by Breaking News:

And while I agree that no one cares about the “What I Ate for Breakfast” tweets, it is times like these that I see first hand how social media is changing the game in this industry. Here is my story: http://bit.ly/Uyfu8D

Breaking the news: Daily Wildcat Article Raises Eyebrows

Tonight I had the opportunity to ‘play’ reporter…and of course I took it. It all started with a viewer tip on Facebook about a controversial comic regarding homosexuality printed in the University of Arizona’s daily newspaper, the Arizona Daily Wildcat. The editor-in-chief issued an apology on their website, so the problem then became getting our hands on the printed version. This all happened at 9:30 p.m. so the pressure was on to break the news on the 10 p.m. newscast. With the green light from the executive producer, a photographer and I bolted down to the journalism school. I knew this would be the only spot on campus most likely to have the copy. After business hours the building is locked to CatCard access only, so luckily that wasn’t an issue. Turns out the comic ran in an old issue, so it required digging through a trashcan…literally…to get our hands on it. But sure enough I found it and we were able to be the FIRST ones to break the news on-air, online, AND on social media. What a rewarding feeling!

Here is the link to the story: http://bit.ly/Xraxlu

Daily Wildcat Controversy from Sarah Cantey on Vimeo.

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And not to mention the story is BLOWING up the Tucson News Now Facebook page and giving us numerous new likes (probably hitting a younger demographic that wants to join the conversation)

The following day, as anticipated, the story had gone viral. It even made it to the Huffington Post! Two reporters at the station advanced it in the morning and through out the day. I was even able to get in contact with the cartoonist and interviewed him as well as a UA journalism ethics professor. Cannot thank the executive producer and assistant content director enough for trusting me with the camera equipment, all to myself.  What a day…what a story… it’s this rush that reaffirms my love for this profession.

Controversy over euthanized DPS K9

Today I had the task of putting together an update on a story that outraged many in Tucson. Tucson News Now received a letter giving a much different account to the events leading up to a Department of Public Safety K9’s death. Here is a link to the story which includes a PDF of the letter as well as ‘related links’ to the previous stories on Officer Lankow and his K9 Jeg: http://bit.ly/NqMBt7

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This story always generates a lot of comment on Facebook:

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Isabel Celis coverage

When Isabel Celis went missing on April 20, 2012, I worked extensively on the coverage of this international story. Part of the multimedia coverage included scanning through more than 550 pages of documents, as well as making them accessible to our viewers on a digital platform. Here is the link to the story I put together, complete with PDFs of the original documents.