A year ago, I bought my wife Ruthie an annual pass for Florida State Parks for her birthday.

We used it approximately twice.

Part of that wasted opportunity was an early-morning work schedule that had me exhausted by the time weekends arrived, and we also welcomed an eight-week old puppy into our lives late last summer and spent the second half of the year easing Lula into exercise at Alachua County’s dog parks and on short jogs.

A year later, Lu is ready for more. …

Where do I find story ideas?

It’s the most common day-to-day and semester-to-semester inquiry from students at the Innovation News Center at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. We have a 100-seat working public media newsroom, and there are hundreds of new names, faces and ability levels each year.

The one constant among them is the difficulty of finding and pitching interesting stories. Our region of Florida in and around Gainesville offers a slower and more rural news market than the bustling south or central parts of the state, but as my colleagues and I often remind young reporters, that doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of stories waiting to be told each day. …

Last year I began playing baseball again for the first time in five summers. The team was comprised of former high school players, and we were pretty decent. Went on an 18-game winning streak at one point, lost in a best-of-three championship series.

But the part of summer I most enjoyed was our home field in Munhall, Pa. West Field was built in 1937 as a Public Works Administration project, according to Deadball Baseball, and dates to a time when the surrounding neighborhood was home to thousands of Mon Valley steel workers.

Those days are long gone, as is the presence of Josh Gibson and other Negro League legends. The Homestead Grays were one of the first teams to consistently call West Field home — “when Forbes Field was not available.” …


Ethan Magoc

News editor for WUFT News in Gainesville, Fla. | emagoc@gmail.com

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