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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chances

It seems everything in life, and especially the news business, involves calculated risks.

Let's take Monday, for example.

Wallenpaupack Area schools re-opened after being closed for three days due to the Eric Frein search.  30 per cent of the students stayed home, and I assume they did that with the okay of their parents.

Police seem to believe Frein is in a small, but wooded area at the Pike/Monroe County line.  Those police also believe Wallenpaupack Area students are safe.  The school district brought in extra security as a precaution.

I was there.  It looked safe to me.

But, you never know.

Would I want my children there?  If I was a student, would I want to stay home?

I tried to put myself in their shoes when I was doing the story Monday.  I have to admit, it would have been a tough call.

Speaking of tough calls, to do the Wallenpaupack Area story Monday, a photographer and I had to leave the immediate search zone.  We drove around the Canadensis area.  I just didn't get the feeling that anything big was about to pop.  I was comfortable leaving town for a little while, and the Wallenpaupack Area story was an important one-- one I really wanted to do.  If Frein was captured while I was away, I really would have heard about it.  You weigh the options and make your choice.  In this case, it was the right one.

Tuesday, I was about to leave Barrett Township to do the re-opening of most Pocono Mountain schools, another story I lobbied to do.  Again, we made the rounds in the area before departing, and noticed a lot more police activity.  Plus, it was happening much earlier in the day.  It didn't feel right in the gut.  I called producers and the WNEP assignment desk and said I shouldn't leave the area.  Ryan Leckey and Corey Burns handled the school story.  It worked out well.  We got everything covered and hit all the right notes on our Tuesday noon broadcast.

Some risks are worth taking, while others require pumping the brakes a bit.

The trick is to know the difference.