Global Edmonton staff members share their most memorable stories of 2015
EDMONTON — From the Alberta NDP winning a landslide victory in the spring election to a little girl whose day as a superhero captured hearts across the country, journalists have seen a little bit of everything this year.
To mark the end of 2015, we asked the staff members at Global Edmonton to share the story that resonated most with them this past year.
Kevin Karius – Sports anchor/reporter
Being on the field moments after the trophy presentation was thrilling. The most notable part was seeing QB Mike Reilly with longtime Eskimos Equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak – who never goes on camera – enjoy a special moment, one that only Global caught.
Watch below: Special moment between Eskimos’ Mike Reilly and Dwayne Mandrusiak
Jennifer Crosby – Anchor
No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, one party rocketing from a handful of seats to form a majority government is huge – as is the end of a 40+ year dynasty.
It is not only the huge shift, but also how the new government’s policies continue to prompt vigorous and frequent debate. Did voters make the right call? Do they have regrets? How should the NDP carry out its mandate? And as we’ve seen with the headlines this week about the finance minister, how much of the party’s election platform might have to be put on hold?
For similar reasons surrounding big change after years of political dominance, I’d say the election of the Trudeau Liberals is my runner-up story of the year.
Watch below: Notley’s NDP sweeps to victory
Su-Ling Goh – Health reporter
The story that stuck with me the most in 2015 thankfully had a happy ending. It started in late 2014 when we met Tammy McLash, a young mom of twins who needed a stem cell transplant to save her life. The video of those toddlers running to their masked, frail mommy in the hospital was heartbreaking.
In January 2015, Tammy received her stem cell transplant, after countless people signed up to donate on onematch.ca. Seeing Tammy recently – happy, healthy and so grateful – reminded me of the power of not only the human spirit, but of the human body. Many of us have the ability to save a life, via gifts that cost no money: stem cells and blood.
Watch below: Su-Ling Goh catches up with the McLash family nearly one year after her stem cell transplant
Kent Morrison – Reporter/anchor
The idea of this story is not unique. Small town water towers and grain elevators have been coming down like this years. What makes this story so memorable for me is how special it was for the people of Edson and how everyone I work with recognized that. As the town gathered to watch the tower fall, I watched our videographer Geoff Stickle do everything he could to capture every element.
The key to telling the story for me was having a microphone on the people actually pulling it down, it was such an important part of the storytelling and it was all Geoff’s idea.
On the way back to Edmonton, we planned out how to tell the story the right way and once we got it back, our editor Scott Bobyak put his magic touch on top. It took a team to take down the tower and it took a team to tell the story too.
Watch below: Historic Edson water tower comes crashing down
Quinn Ohler – Reporter/anchor
You hear every side of this story when you are in the media. One of my first days back as a reporter I was sent to the airport for a homecoming of a family that had never been to Edmonton before.
After years of running from the regime, and then ISIS, the exhausted family of five walked through the doors of the Edmonton International Airport and finally felt safe.
On the other side, their family had never had family in Canada before, and now the kids had cousins and an aunt and uncle. The raw emotion when the family walked through the door was indescribable.
Watch below: Syrian family welcomed to Edmonton
Fletcher Kent – Reporter
Fletcher had two picks for the most memorable stories of 2015, the first being Connor McDavid craze in Edmonton
Rarely does one person have such an effect on an entire city. Connor McDavid has only played a dozen hockey games so far. However, in those games he has shown why he is a “generational player.”
The McDavid effect, as it has come to be known, isn’t limited to the on-ice product. Earlier this spring, his arrival dominated nearly every conversation in Edmonton. Before McDavid had even set foot in Edmonton, he had been dubbed, “McJesus.”
Fans took days off work and crammed into tiny arenas to watch McDavid scrimmage with other rookies. The Oilers had to move a pre-season game against the U of A Golden Bears to Rexall because so many people wanted to see McDavid.
Connor McDavid single handedly lifted the spirits of a whole city.
Watch below: ‘I don’t believe it’: Oilers fans react to winning the NHL draft lottery
Fletcher’s second pick is the provincial election this past spring
The May provincial election is my vote for the single biggest story of 2015. All elections are monumental but this one was even more significant. After more than 40 years of successive PC governments, Albertans voted for a new-look legislature. The NDP swept to power and I was fortunate enough to be able to cover the story.
I spent election night at NDP headquarters. I distinctly remember stepping outside after a long night. Some very excited NDP supporters who had been celebrating for several hours now were candidly talking with one another. They said even a year ago, they never would have thought they would be around to witness such a monumental change. No matter your politics, the 2015 election was historical. Only three other times in Alberta history have voters chosen to switch governing parties. We saw it happen.
Watch below: The moment victory was declared at NDP headquarters
Michael Fulmes – News director
When we think of memorable stories from the past year, we often go to the larger, more notable stories that captured our attention. They’re the obvious and are certainly noteworthy. But there is one story that I believe made us all take pause.
Mable Tooke, a six-year-old girl battling cancer, had one wish – to become “Spider-Man” for a day. And what a day it was! As SpiderMable, she captured the hearts of everyone and her story was truly an inspiration to everyone. It will continue to stand as one of the more memorable local stories we have ever done.
Watch below: SpiderMable saves Edmonton from the evil Mysterio
Kerry Powell – Managing editor
Our newsroom got a tip in January that a two-week-old baby had died after he was turned away from an Edmonton walk-in clinic because his parents couldn’t pay a $40 fee. Reporter Kendra Slugoski spent months working to confirm the details, track down the family and persuade them to tell their story.
“I hope it doesn’t happen to anybody else,” the mother, Jessica Knife, told Kendra in May. “That’s why I’m doing this interview: at least justice for my baby, being turned away like nobody should be turned away, especially babies.”
Spurred by Kendra’s story, Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman ordered her department to review standards and procedures at private clinics. She also asked the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta to look into the death.
Watch below: Edmonton clinic turns away sick baby over $40 fee
Luke Coley – Control room director
I would suggest the death of EPS Const. Daniel Woodall and the overwhelming support from the community is my most memorable story of 2015.
It’s never easy to see an officer killed in the line of duty doing his everyday job. The first responders go to work every day and there is a risk every day that something could happen.
It was amazing to see the support for the EPS in the city from all the Blue Ribbons to the procession and funeral. Having numerous friends and family in first responder line of work, it definitely hit home with me and that is why I think it is most memorable event of 2015.
Watch below: Edmonton pays tribute to Const. Daniel Woodall
Wes Rosa – Videographer
Then-premier Jim Prentice came under fire in March for blaming citizens for the province’s fiscal situation, saying Albertans need only “look in the mirror” to see what led to the $7-billion shortfall. Provincial affairs reporter Tom Vernon and videographer Geoff Stickle looked for a creative way to tell the story.
It could have been a really average, run-of-the-mill story. But they said: “What could we do here that’s different and that we haven’t done a thousand times?” So, they found a mirror at an antique store, waited for a guy to stick his face in it, and then built the story around that. Just because they were a little creative, it turned out pretty great.
Watch below: Alberta’s premier facing fire storm after ‘look in the mirror’ comments
Ashley Wiebe – Morning News producer
My most memorable story from this year is unfortunately the death of Const. Daniel Woodall. There isn’t one particular aspect of the story – just the entire enormity of it all.
From a work perspective, to see how things unfolded on our end and the team effort that it took to bring the story to our viewers from the moment it happened, the next morning and the days after was incredible. Working overnight to ensure our viewers had the most up-to-date information when they woke up was one of my harder shifts.
When the mayor began to cry during his news conference the next day is when I finally cracked and stopped being a ‘news person’ for a minute and let it all sink in and I also started to cry.
To see the community come together in such an amazing way was fantastic too. It was so nice to see everyone rally and come together for each other, the Woodall family and our police in general, who don’t always get the respect they deserve.
I have an EPS friend who was working that night. I didn’t talk to him until a few days later but he said how much the support meant to him and all of them.
Ted Bauer – Assignment editor
This one may be too obvious, but for me, I will always remember this night.
I wasn’t working that night, having done the election prep earlier in the day and was scheduled to be back early in the morning the next day. My partner and I sat at home waiting and watching the results.
The problem was the Calgary Flames were also playing a game in the NHL playoffs and I was flipping back and forth waiting for the results to roll in. They started to come in a little after 8:30 p.m. and were what we all sort of expected. The PCs jumped to an early lead followed by the NDP. Then the PCs got another bump and I figured this was it – yet another PC win.
However, two minutes later a flash came across Global’s coverage that a well-known Edmonton PC MLA who uses social media a lot was headed for defeat. I looked at my partner and said, ‘It’s over. The PC reign, done.’ If that MLA was going to lose his seat then no one was safe. And it rang true: goodbye 44-year PC reign, May 5, 2015.
Erin Land – HR advisor
I loved Fletcher Kent’s series on mental health this year. I think he did an amazing job capturing different angles and showcasing the different perspectives.
Watch below: Edmonton-area mom demands better mental health care after teen daughter’s suicide
What was your most memorable story of 2015? Leave it in the comments section below.
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