Confessions of a KTVU Intern: An Attempted Kidnapping

Spring break has been very busy for me. Many people spend their spring break doing something fun like going on vacation, or getting some downtime to themselves. I’ve been doing something I think is fun — spending time in the newsroom. On Tuesday I had the opportunity to go out in the filed with Allie Rasmus. I’ve been waiting for the right day to go out with her for quite a while, and Tuesday was the day.

I started my morning off early and was actually at the station for the morning news. Most people don’t think about it, but while there are different reporters for the morning shift, there is a whole other staff! I got to meet a bunch of new and different people who was a lot of fun.

When Allie came in for her shift she let me know that today we would be covering new footage that the Oakland Police was releasing to the public in hopes that they would be able to catch a man who attempted to kidnap a 9-year-old girl.

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Photo credit: KTVU staff

On March 25th the girl was playing in her front yard around 6:30pm when a man approached her and grabbed her in a “bear hug-like” manner. He began touching her inappropriately, and tried to carry her away from her home. The girl screamed. This allerted her family and neighbors who ran to her aid. This scared the man who fled on foot.There is concern that this attempted kidnapping is linked to a similar incident in November. A 14-year-old girl was attacked in the same fashion by a man matching the description in the recent case. He is possibly said to be the getaway driver in this case as the man who attacked her tried to push her into a waiting car. She was able to fight the man off, run home, and tell her parents what happened to her.

Oakland Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

Above you will find a package that I put together with the video that we collected and an interview with Johnna Watson, a representitive from the Oakland Police Department. This was definitely a learning experience for me. It felt great to go out in the field, work on the story, and then edit it together for a final product. Just another day as a KTVU intern.

KTVU’s coverage: Oakland police seek attempted kidnapping suspect

Confessions of a KTVU Intern: A Brother’s Gift

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Photo Credit: KTVU.com

On Friday my girlfriend and I had the opportunity to be a part of a very special story. Colin McFadden, 5, was adopted from Vietnam at 14 months to a family from Nevada. A few years ago his family found out that he had a rare disorder that could only be cured by a bone marrow transplant.

His family contacted the adoption agency in Vietnam to see if it was possible to find any of Colin’s family members. The adoption agency did their best and found that Colin had a brother, Tho Van Luong, and that he was Colin’s perfect match.

While Luong wanted to help his brother he was dealing with a crisis of his own. His own son was diagnosed to have a tumor, and his family could not pay for the operation. The McFadden’s offered to pay for his son’s operation, but Luong said that they should save the money for Colin. They gave Luong the money anyway. As Colin’s nephew, they felt it was a small cost to help save both of the children.

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Up left: My-Hang & Jana Katsuyama. Up Right: My-Hang at the news desk. Bottom left: Jana interviews Colin and his sister. Bottom right: My-Hang & Sherae in the field.

With the $600 operation paid for and Luong’s son well and back in school he made the long journey from Vietnam to San Francisco. He had never traveled on a plane before, and was very nervous for the 14 hour trip that spanned over 14,000 miles. Though, when he arrived at San Francisco International Airport he said that he was “not nervous about the operation, or wouldn’t have traveled to America.”

Luong will be in the US for a month and undergo much preparation for the operation including dental work to minimize the chance of infection. On April 9th the family will travel back to California from Nevada to begin the process of Colin’s bone marrow transplant at Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

This, while very different, was not an unfamiliar feeling for my girlfriend who immigrated to the US from Vietnam when she was just 5 years old. Her family came in a group of about seven to SFO from the Saigon  area in the early 90’s. She was very happy to be able to help Luong communicate with Colin for their first meeting.

This story is one that neither of us will ever forget. When I started my internship with KTVU I had no idea that I would be able to witness something so personal and special, but it made a lot of sense. That is what the news is all about. You have the ability to tell the stories of others at the best and worst or even most inspiring times of their lives. I am truly looking forward to my career in news and the opportunity to tell many stories like this one in the future.

To watch the full story visit KTVU.com: Brother flies from Vietnam to help save young brother’s life.

ABC 7 KGO coverage: Bone marrow donor travels to SF to help adopted brother.

Sherae Reports: The Princess Project

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Last October I met with Brenna Murphy, the Vice President of The Princess Project. The Princess Project is an organization that provides prom dresses for girls who could otherwise not afford it. They service the Bay Area and continue to make girl’s dream of being a princess come true.

You can listen to my interview with Murphy below.