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A week on NewsOK: Charles Barkley, Wanda Jackson, Martin Luther King Day … and more

by Alan Herzberger Modified: April 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm •  Published: January 21, 2011

It was a busy week on NewsOK. We covered a lot of stories that are just bad news, but we also told a lot of uplifting tales, shared some great stuff from the past and talked to some of our best customers.

  • Maisy Root - photo by Jim Beckel
    Maisy Root - photo by Jim Beckel

    Sonya Colberg has been quite the star reporter this week. She kicked off last weekend with a terrific feature on a 2-year-old adopted girl who has gone through reconstructive facial surgery at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center. The story brought out the best in our commenters. Said Jimmy of Oklahoma City: “The doctors at Children’s Hospital are awesome!!! Blessings to Maisy, family and caregivers!” Said Robert of Oklahoma City: “Parents, surgeons, enablers, you will be blessed by the Great Physician.” It was a great read. It had great photos. And it had a great video component. It told a great story. That’s the kind of story we like in our News and Information Center.

  • But Sonya wasn’t done last week. She also told the story of Scott Badgett, an associate pastor at Chisholm Heights Baptist Church in Mustang, who saved a woman’s life with CPR at a church luncheon. Again, this story is told very well with her writing, but it we are helped in understanding the significance with a video component as well. And the comments? Well here’s one from Angela in OKC: “AWESOME!!! As a nurse and CPR instructor I feel it is very important for EVERYONE to learn CPR. One day it could be a loved one or your child, you don’t want to look back and say what if I could have done something to help?
  • I wrote last week about our new Personality pages. We added another one this week. You can now follow Carla Hinton, who covers the religion community in Oklahoma better than anyone else. Follow her on Facebook, on Twitter, on her blog — or just follow her new page on NewsOK that has everything. We welcome Carla to the personality list.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day was Monday. We did a video in 2010 that was so much fun that we brought it back into the spotlight this week. It is fun … just watch it below.
  • In the “you can’t make this stuff up” category, I bring you our most popular story on the site this week: Nurse loses license for 20 years over sex with hospice patient. We featured this story on the website for most of the day on Sunday. It received a lot of traffic then, but it continued to grow all week after being featured and shared on and then being linked to from the Drudge Report website.
  • Our most-viewed video this week has been the police report about Oklahoma City police Sgt. Maurice Anthony Martinez. He was arrested Wednesday on complaints of lewd acts with a child under 16 and forcible sodomy. That was a popular article, as well. You can read more here.
  • Charles Barkley spoke directly to Jenni Carlson on Tuesday night. Jenni was openly asking when Charles would make good on his old promise to visit Oklahoma City. Barkley answered her on Wednesdy night, as Darnell Mayberry detailed in his blog post. Said Charles: “Well, you know what? Jenni, you are a hundred percent correct. Now that you’ve got my good friend Scott Brooks there, and the great Maurice Cheeks, who I played with in Philly, I’ve got to come to Oklahoma City?” Jenni blogged about it as well, promising to serve as a tour guide for Barkley. It’s good stuff.
  • Entertainment writer Brandy McDonnell has the most-trafficked blog on NewsOK. She has for years now. Sunday night was a good example of why her blog is so popular. Brandy blogged the Golden Globe Awards live, providing instant insight and analysis of the big show. But just a day later, Brandy posted some colorful reviews of the concert she covered at Oklahoma City Arena. The posts were full of photos and links, plus her thoughts about George Strait, Reba McEntire and Lee Ann Womack. I’ll admit it. I’m a country music fan. And I appreciate Brandy’s posts and updates and photos on the concerts that come through town.
  • James Lankford is going to Washington … so based on our Washington Bureau reporter Chris Casteel’s recommendation, we enhanced our James Lankford topics page to showcase all the articles, videos and blogs we’ve produced about Lankford’s rise from relative obscurity to real-life Congressman.
  • Wanda Jackson was in the news quite a bit this week, with
  • I spent some quality time at the original O’Connell’s during my time at the University of Oklahoma. I even visited the locale with an old friend in December because we had heard the rumor that it was closing. (It was the oldest rumor in the history of rumors, but we believed it this time.) It turns out … it was true. I learned on NewsOK this week that there will be an auction of all the memorabilia that lines the walls at the establishment. My friend wanted a photo that he’s in (don’t get too worked up; it was the back of his head). All I need are memories. They’re much cheaper.
  • I talked to a subscriber of The Oklahoman this week. She wanted to know one simple question about our new TV Weekly magazine that we are offering for those who want it. It’s replacing the TV book we’ve had in the Sunday newspaper for years. Some people aren’t happy about this change, but they usually understand the results of supply and demand. The caller’s question … will we have a TV grid in the newspaper each day (it’s in the Life section)? The answer … Yes. We certainly will.
  • I talked to another NewsOK user that wanted to see older listings of our death listings. I pointed the person to our database display of all death listings, but that wasn’t satisfactory. Why? Because it couldn’t be printed out. Interesting point. We didn’t think of that. Well … we still have both options right now. You can browse our death listings in a sortable database (preferable, I hope, for most online users) or you can view the daily articles we produce.
  • Weather blogger Bryan Painter was spot on with his predictions of the big weather event this week. He, of course, commends the National Weather Service folks in Norman. Bryan told me on Wednesday (through his blog) to expect a thin sheet of ice on the roads on Thursday morning, but that it would be safe driving by late morning. He was on the job with live weather updates on NewsOK by 5 a.m. Thursday, and he logged off at about 10 a.m. What did we have? A thin sheet of ice on Thursday morning, but it was safe on the roads by late morning. Thanks for the updates, Bryan.

Look for another series of updates on the site next week. But don’t let these blog posts discourage you from browsing NewsOK every day. It’s worth it.

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by Alan Herzberger
Digital Managing Editor
Alan Herzberger is the Digital Managing Editor for and The Oklahoman. He focuses on content within OPUBCO Communications Group’s variety of digital products. He’s been with The Oklahoman since 1997, when he joined the sports...
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