Jul 1, 2010

Police officer hit her during May Day violence, pubradio reporter testifies

A pubradio reporter testified Wednesday (June 30) about being hit by a police officer during a violent May Day event three years ago, according to Courthouse News Service, a nationwide news service for lawyers and the media based in Pasadena, Calif. Patricia Nazario of KPCC in Pasadena told the court she had hidden behind a tree to call her editor when a police officer stabbed his baton to the right side of her back. Nazario asked him why he did so, the officer said, "Shut up, move!" then hit her just above her knee, knocking her down, she testified. She said the cellphone she was using to talk to her boss went flying over her head. In a later video deposition, former LAPD Chief William Bratton said the police officers violated the LAPD media policy and used unreasonable force toward the reporters. The judge told the jury the trial should be concluded by the July 4 holiday.

OETA dismisses three on-air news staffers due to state budget cuts

Oklahoma Educational Television Authority has dropped three longtime on-air news personalities due to state budget cuts, reports the Oklahoman. News anchors Gerry Bonds and George Tomek and weatherman Ross Dixon, "who have won numerous awards and combined for nearly 45 years of experience with OETA," the paper notes, left after Wednesday's (June 30) 6:30 p.m. Oklahoma News Report. John McCarroll, OETA exec director, said a $994,000 drop in the 2010 fiscal budget by the Legislature, added to $725,000 additional cuts this year, prompted the changes. He said their salaries "are a big part of that $994,000 that we're going to be able to divert to other things." But Bonds — "stunned" by her termination — said the three are contract and not full-time employees and that their departures will "hardly make a dent" in that number. "Our combined compensation — George's, Ross' and mine — does not even reflect 10 percent of that figure,” she said. In addition to the terminations, OETA has placed five of its locally produced shows on hiatus: Oklahoma City Metro, Tulsa Times, State of Creativity, The People's Business and Legislative Week.