Fill-in anchoring at News 4

On Sunday I fill-in anchored at News 4 for the first time! I anchored Weekend WakeUp! from 6 am to 7:30 am.

At my first TV job in Northern Maine, I was morning anchor for just under a year. At WAGM-TV, I produced my whole newscast. In small markets like Presque Isle, Maine (market 205) it is very common to have one person crews who fulfill multiple roles. Buffalo is a mid-size market (market 53) so newsrooms in this market are much more well equipped with plenty of staff members.

On Sunday I worked closely with the morning producer to get the show on the air. Before the show I spend time reading scripts, looking up information for stories, writing teases, and making any phone calls as needed for breaking news. I posted a couple of clips of the show on my Facebook news page, http://www.facebook.com/angelacontv

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Speaking to students at Canisius College

Through the Buffalo Broadcasters peer to peer program, I was asked to speak before a journalism class at Canisius College. I made a powerpoint presentation with different clips of my stories, and gave them a good look at what a day in the industry is like for reporters and multimedia journalists. I also told them about how I got into TV news.

My journey in the industry started well over a decade ago. Before I was even 15, I walked into my local cable access station in Salem, Massachusetts where I grew up and asked how I could get involved. That summer I hosted Salem’s best pizza night, the Ice-cream Scooperbowl, and a Triathlon. I also did the same the following summer and the summer after that. These segments aired on Channel 3 and 12, our local cable access channels.

In high school, I took TV Studios classes, wrote for the school newspaper and became the editor, and I also said the morning announcements. I studied Broadcast Journalism at Suffolk University, and did as many internships in the industry as I could. I interned at WHDH-TV in Boston, NECN (now NBC Boston), Dirty Water TV on NESN, and a social media internship. I networked and made connections at each of these places. Before I graduated college, I was hired as a Production Assistant at WHDH-TV. By the time I had my degree, I became a morning news writer for the TV station.

I worked very hard to get my first position as a full time TV news reporter. I worked with voice coaches, and also shadowed reporters and worked with photographers who helped shoot my video reel. After applying to positions for more then 6 months on TVjobs.com, I got my first full time position on-air at WAGM-TV, Market 205 in Presque Isle, Maine. The rest is history.

My best advice to students is to be WILLING to put the time in, start small, and have patience. Don’t be afraid of the time it will take you to achieve your goal, because the time will pass you by either way. Also, enjoy the ride 🙂

Ice skating at Canalside

A couple of weeks ago, I was LIVE on the Ice at Canalside to preview the grand opening of the 4th winter season. Between public ice skating, ice bikes, pond hockey and more there’s plenty of fun to be had there all season long. I’m no professional ice skater, but it was fun to pretend and try out some moves on LIVE TV!

Check it out:

Lewiston Library Ghosts

Do you believe in ghosts? Whether you believe or not, strange things that have happened at the Lewiston Public Library (in Lewiston, NY) may make you wonder. With the help of some ghost hunting gadgets and paranormal investigator Tim Shaw, I went there to see for myself! (It gave me goose bumps!) Check it out:

On the surface the Lewiston Public Library appears ordinary. But inside there’s been peculiar activity, and believed to be lingering spirits.

“I’m not sure what it is here, but I’ve been here about 16 years and when I first started I definitely felt certain things especially when I’m alone in here,” said Michelle Kratts, Librarian.

Using an EMF meter Paranormal Investigator Tim Shaw has witnessed strange activity first hand in the children’s section of the library.

“The lights just glowed blue. It was just heavy duty blue and that means there were some kind of EMF field building and then the temperature dropped almost 10 degrees. I put my hand in there to check the meter and when I put it in there it felt like cotton candy and I pulled it right out,” said Tim Shaw, Paranormal Investigator.

With the help of some ghost detecting gadgets, Tim Shaw scanned the library in search of energies.

“We’re picking up some stray EMF now. Now we don’t know if we’re picking up something that may be a wire, or something of that nature natural, or a spirit personality,” said Shaw.

Library staff and guests too, have experienced strange activities.

“They saw a shadow figure walk by and kind of walk into the wall, and that was several people at the same time seeing the same thing,” said Kratts.

No one knows for sure whether ghosts actually exist or not, but several people say that by the book shelves they’ve seen people disappear into thin air.

“We have had ghost hunters come here and they’ve had EVP’s or voice recordings that are pretty terrifying,” said Kratts.

No one can answer why these things happen at the library, but Native American artifacts on the wal that could be from a burial site may have something to do with it.

“A lot of the traditions say that if you disturb a burial site, the spirit will wander. Could that affect it? Absolutely,” said Shaw.

 

Emceeing Parent Network of WNY 30th Anniversary Gala

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I had a great time emceeing The Parent Network of WNY‘s 30th anniversary Gala Thursday night at the Hotel Henry! A portion of the money raised will go towards the development of a sensory room for kids with autism. This hit close to home for me, because my brother Polyvios is on the autism spectrum.

A lot of children with autism are sensitive to certain sounds, sight or touch. Growing up (and even now at age 26) my brother has always been sensitive to loud noises and confrontations. That’s why the idea of a sensory room is so cool, because it’s tailored to people like my brother. It’s a special place that manages sensory intake through things like special lighting and music. That’s why I was so happy to support this event, because I think it’d benefit many children with autism in Western New York.

For more information on the sensory room, go to https://www.throwbackthursdaywny.com

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Behind the scenes at Platter’s Chocolate Factory for National Sponge Candy Day

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Before I moved to Western New York, I had no idea what sponge candy was. It didn’t take long for it to become one of my favorite ways to eat chocolate!

It’s a square with a sponge-like consistency in the middle that’s coated in chocolate. For National Sponge Candy Day earlier this week, I got a behind the scenes look at how it’s made from start to finish at Platter’s Chocolate Factory in North Tonawanda. A pretty sweet assignment 😉

Sponge Candy was born in Western New York, and Platter’s even has a connection to the famous Lucille Ball chocolate scene!

Check out my report below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDYCAR stops by News 4 ahead of race at Watkins Glen Labor Day weekend

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“It’s just that sensation of speed when you’re standing up by the fence and you see a car coming by at 150, 200 miles an hour it’s really like nothing else in the world. The sights, the smells, and the sounds,” said Chris Banker, Watkins Glen Senior Manager Public Relations.

We got to experience all 3 this morning as we drove up and down Elmwood Ave in an INDYCAR. The two seater race car is street legal.

“It never gets old, every single city we go to it’s a different path, different route, sometimes it’s a little more intricate,” said Chase Crawford, INDY Street Legal and Show Car Programs Head Coordinator.

We went about 45 miles per hour and definitely turned a few heads as we drove down the street!

“You definitely feel like you’re going a lot faster cause we’re 2, 3 inches off the ground it makes you feel so much faster especially because it’s open wheel and you see everything going past you so fast,” said Crawford.

INDYCAR travels around the country.

“We’ll go to every single race track a week before each race. So for the past couple weeks we’ve actually gone to Pocono in Pennsylvania, we went to Gateway just last week and we actually drove to Busch Stadium on the field,” said Crawford.

INDYCAR is headed to Watkins Glen International this Labor Day weekend to do what it does best.

“It’s really a neat race weekend for us, obviously we have the big NASCAR weekend in August but this is really a fan friendly event. The INDYCAR drivers love coming out and taking pictures with fans,” said Banker.

For ticket information for this weekend’s race go to this link: http://www.theglen.com/Tickets-Events/Event-Calendar.aspx

 

Wake Up! Morning Show

I’ve always been a morning person. My first job out of college was writing news for a morning show starting in the wee hours of the morning at WHDH-TV in Boston, and at my next job at WAGM-TV in Presque Isle, Maine I anchored the morning show.  In both positions, I was waking up as early as 3 am. When it comes to working a wacky shift involving falling asleep and waking up at odd times, I’ve got some experience!

I’m thrilled that I’ve now made my way back to mornings! As of this week you can catch me on News 4 Wake Up! every weekday morning throughout the 4 and a half hours of news starting at 4:30 am. You can also catch me on News 4 at noon, and my stories usually re-air later in the evening as well. I’m live 8+ times throughout the morning.

I’ve already had a few fun days this week! On Tuesday I was live all morning from the newly opened UP! Aerial Fitness in a repurposed school. I got to try things like aerial yoga and bungee dance, all for the first time on live TV (seems like a good time to try, right?)

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On Wednesday I was live all morning for opening day at the Erie County Fair! I showed viewers cute animals, fair food, talked about ride inspection safety, and even did one of my live interviews from a carousel!

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I hope you’ll tune in to WIVB-TV weekday mornings! 🙂

Whirlpool Jet Boat & ziplining over Niagara Falls

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My family drove in from Massachusetts to Western New York visit me for the 3rd and 4th of July. In the almost 2 and a half years that I’ve lived here, I’ve always wanted to go on the Whirlpool Jet Boats in Lewiston. Now I can finally cross that off my bucket list!

It is so much fun, and we got SOAKED! It’s the perfect thing to do on a hot day. It’s a high speed ride up the Niagara River into the Niagara Gorge, through Devil’s Hole rapids, to the edge of the whirlpool and back. The boat does all kinds of tricks on the way too, like spinning around. As giant waves from the Niagara River approach the jet boat, you have just a moment to take in what’s about to hit you before you’re totally drenched! Such a blast, I highly recommend it!

Across the border in Canada, my two brothers and I also went on the zipline at Niagara Falls! It takes you over the Niagara River gorge to the Falls observation landing. What a view! You’re up about 2,200 feet traveling about 40 miles per hour, and you’re told to hold you arms out to your side. While your adrenaline is pumping you get a gorgeous view of Niagara Falls. I really enjoyed this attraction too!

 

 

 

Self Driving Cars

A lot of us remember watching “The Jetsons” and imagining what it would be like to have flying cars someday. So we’re not there quite yet, but it seems like we may possibly be on the way.

I recently did a story about self driving cars being developed through a partnership between the University at Buffalo and Carnegie Mellon University.

With an autonomous car, the driver can basically kick back and let the car do the work. The steering wheel even turns itself! The cars can detect traffic lights, and even follow speed limits. Supporters believe this technology will make the roads safer.

It could still be years before self driving cars rule the road, but could be here before you know it! Pretty interesting, check out my story for more details!

 

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