Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Inescapable Cuteness

I am often accused of taking pictures of cute kids. Well. Guilty. I'm off for a week of travel, covering the entire spectrum of life: seeing a new baby, attending a funeral, and going to a wedding. See you next week.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How I feel

Long weekend of sports. Exhausted after lots of excitement.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Here are just a few of the photos from the last story in the election series, on immigration. We followed one man in the middle of the deportation process, and were allowed into the jail and to the home of his family. The access was unreal. There are a few photos of family life I won't publish here until everyone is safely out of the country. The five-part series was a tremendous effort on the part of our team in the newsroom, and this story is the best of the five. We've never covered immigration like this, and Mike Morris and I had never done quite so serious a story. Working with with Mike was a real privilege-- we were a true team, reporting together and talking out all of the gray areas of this story (and there are many.) I will post the PDFs of the layout so people can get a better idea of what these images look like for our readers. Until then, it's on to football and volleyball all day long.

Through the glass of the visiting booth, Marco Vanegas tries, in the short time he has, to parent his youngest son Jesse, checking in about school work. "My sons are legal residents, and when they're older they could petition to have me stay in the country," says Vanegas. "But when do you think they need me more: now or then?"

Turning down Main Street in Jasper on route to the courthouse, Vanegas surveys the city. Away from his family for nearly four months, Vanegas has no idea when he will be deported.

His father's hat resting beside him on the bed, Jesse Vanegas, 5, has been listless all day since visiting his father in jail where he awaits deportation. "It was harder this Saturday," said Norma, "because now they say he won't be out until January."

In what has become a familiar walk, Marco Vanegas approaches a waiting car in the basement of the Dubois County Jail on his way to a court hearing. On any given day in Dubois County, an average of 15 inmates are held for deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Sister Mary Judith Fleig explains the court proceedings to Norma, who grows increasingly frustrated with the protracted deportation process. Norma has difficulty understanding why the state won't simply deport her husband, so that she and her sons can follow him to Mexico, rather than wait for his sentencing to be completed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Sectionals. Fans. I'm completely caught up in the excitement.

Eddie Adams: Sporting Life Part One

Oh, the Eddie Adams Workshop. One of my assignments was to hang with the 4-wheeling crew pictured here. What a blast. Driving fast through New York forests, breaking down, waiting around, bullshitting. I'm finally going through my take from the weekend, so expect more from the other assignments. And check out the Hot Pink Team's gallery on Sports Illustrated.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Healthcare: Part Four

Her are a few of the images from the fourth of my five Saturday Features about election issues. This is a story about the Cox family of Holland, Indiana, who juggle employer-provided insurance and government assistance to meet the healthcare needs of their four children.

Marissa, one of the Cox triplets, has her height measured by x at the WIC office in Jasper. Because they were born premature and are growing at a slower rate, the triplets are eligible for periodic checkups to evaluate their progress.

All four Cox children have allergies, and are dosed with Zyrtec. Though the medicine can be purchased over-the-counter, Medicaid will cover it if it is prescribed, but only in the liquid form. Makayla takes her medicine as Marissa waits her turn.

Jaycia talks about her difficulties at her mainstream middle school with her roommate Tara from the Indianapolis School for the Blind, which she attends for a week each month. Her parents credit the school with their evolved approach to parenting a child with a disability. "We used to keep her sheltered," says Jaycia's mother, Tonya, "but now we let her do whatever she wants, because we know that tomorrow she could wake up blind. We want her to live as ordinary a life as possible."

Marissa pours water on her sister Makenzie's hair as Makayla waits her turn during bathtime at the Cox household.

At a recent eye exam, the opthamologist checks Jaycia's eyes for any change in pressure related to her glaucoma. Born with congenital cataracts, Jaycia has undergone 15 surgeries, and has subsequently developed galucoma, which may eventually lead to blindness. The opthamologist discovered calcium deposits on Jaycia's eyes, which had made wearing contacts painful and may require additional surgeries to remove.

Jaycia gets fitted for new eyeglasses nearly ever six months, because her prescription changes so frequently. Her father Gene's insurance through work covers one pair of glasses a year, and Medicaid covers the other pair.

Jaycia calms her cranky younger sister Makenzie in the moments before dinner time. Like Jaycia, Makenzie was born with congenital cataracts, though at age three she has required only one pair of glasses. Even amidst the chaos of pre-dinner preparations, their sister Makayla rests on the chair beside them.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Home again, and for longer

Four days at the Eddie Adams workshop in Jeffersonville, NY took me as far as I've ever gone with no sleep, little food and constant shooting. It was kind of the exact opposite of The Herald, though underneath the chaos and intensity, the fundamentals are the same. After four grueling days, I found myself back in Indiana, feature hunting in Birdseye. It's like letting out a deep breath.

Oh, and they've asked me to stay on for another six months. By next June, I will have been here for thirteen months-- the perpetual Herald intern. Cheezy as it is, I'm honored. This newsroom is a joy to work in.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Band Districts

One long day of photographing local marching bands. Sunburn. Bratwurst. Aaron Copeland. So many more pictures, but these will do for now.