WIAT CBS 42 in Birmingham, Alabama Oct. 13, 2017.

An officer down, pieces of a roller coaster and tongue twisters: Just another day in the life at CBS 42 in Birmingham

Friday, Oct. 13

2 p.m., WIAT, CBS 42, Birmingham, Alabama

At WIAT CBS 42 in Birmingham, it’s fitting that a Talladega Superspeedway popcorn maker sits, oil and salt on top, at the ready. I cannot imagine anything more Southern than seeing this in my home city. It’s also fitting that no one has time to make or eat any today. Overnight a Homewood Police Department officer was shot. Today the Department is holding a press conference about the shooting.

I am at WIAT on my road trip to shadow reporter Stephon Dingle all day. Last summer, he was kind enough to work with the students in the Multicultural Journalism Workshop at the University of Alabama, a program I direct. But I first met him when he reporter a story about my father graduating from college. I appreciated the time that he took and his approach to talking with my parents.

I chose Dingle to hassle all day, because I love that he is able to teach while he works. Also he’s funny, and doesn’t mind me tagging along. So we headed to the Homewood Police Department.

After the press conference Dingle edited and tracked his story. This was one of my favorite parts because who doesn’t love a soundproof room? I’m not saying that after Stephon left the room that I didn’t belt out a song from the Broadway show Hamilton. I’m not saying that at all.

We then headed out to the Homewood Police Department to get ready for his live shot during the 5 p.m. newscast, where I learned some fun tongue twisters that I still can’t say. It should be noted that it was an unseasonably hot day in Alabama for October, and it felt more like summer.

“I thought my face was going to melt off,” Dingle told me after his live stand up.

Like every newsroom CBS 42 had quirky items, but my favorite were pieces of the Georgia Cyclone roller coaster (RIP) from Six Flags in Atlanta.

Footnote: As of this writing, Dingle has moved on to a station in Louisville, Kentucky. I already miss seeing him on TV.

Next up in the #followmylede series, Southern Fried Sports at Tide 102.9 FM.

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