Tag Archives: texas

Peyton & Peyton go to Prom

Peyton & Peyton Go to Prom from Kat Duncan on Vimeo.

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Baby Rescued from Home Explosion

Yesterday we arrived at a local neighborhood where a fire call had been toned out and then canceled. We were told there was no fire, but an explosion. After going door to door and talking to neighbors in nearby neighborhoods, we were hearing many first hand accounts of the scene. We learned that a two story home exploded suddenly Wednesday morning. Most of the surrounding homes were severely damaged and homes within a few miles were shaken and windows shattered by the force of the blast. After seeing the scene, it seemed like nothing less than a miracle that the baby not only survived the blast, but was found by firefighters under four feet of debris within 15 minutes of their arrival and transported to the hospital. After being evaluated by the hospital we were told she had some bruises but that was about it. Amazing. It was bittersweet, knowing that the infant, Parker Singer, 4 1/2 months, survived while her mother did not. We knew that a family had lost their loved one and that the baby had lost her mother.  It was a tough thing to cover and witness and I watched as our reporters did it with compassion and professionalism. They made me proud to have them there with me.

Today we don’t know much more, but the investigation is ongoing. Here are a few shots from yesterday.

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A ranger from the Department of Public Safety maps the scene of an explosion that destroyed a two story home near the intersection of Oak Colony and Whispering Oaks drives in Victoria County early Wednesday morning. Debris was hanging from the surrounding trees and littered throughout the neighborhood. 10-12 surrounding homes were severely damaged.

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Mary Helen Barrick, left, is comforted near the scene of an explosion that destroyed a two story home near the intersection of Oak Colony and Whispering Oaks drives in Victoria County early Wednesday morning. Her daughter Haley Singer, 26, died in the explosion but her granddaughter, Parker Singer, 4 1/2 months, was rescued by firefighters when they heard her crying under four feet of debris when they arrived on scene. She was rescued and transported to DeTar Hospital, accompanied by her father Travis Singer. Fire Chief Taner Drake said the firefighters were “true heroes” for their efforts and rescue of baby Parker.

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A ranger from the Department of Public Safety carefully navigates through the scene of an explosion that destroyed a two story home near the intersection of Oak Colony and Whispering Oaks drives in Victoria County early Wednesday morning. They were mapping the scene as part of the ongoing investigation into the cause of the explosion.

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A welcome flag sits among the debris at the scene of an explosion that destroyed a two story home near the intersection of Oak Colony and Whispering Oaks drives in Victoria County early Wednesday morning.

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Paddling down the highway

Today I was driving to a house fire (wondering how anything could burn in a thunderstorm…) and these adventurous people were paddling down a drainage ditch along the highway.  I immediately pulled over to the side of the road and ventured out into the storm to get their photo. Truckers were honking and they were waving to drivers as they went by.

Later when we were all dry, I was able to talk with them a bit and they said that after they put the canoe away they did a little boogie boarding in the ditch as well. I’m sad I missed that, but I’m glad I happened upon them while they were out there.

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(left to right) Jenni Boren, 24, Hank Pahmiyer, 23, and Kc Boren, 22, of Victoria, wave to a honking trucker as they paddle in the rain along 87 during the storm in Victoria. “The water was there and it was inviting.Truckers would honk at us as they went by and give their approval, everyone else probably thought we were nuts.” Kc said. “We’re having a monopoly party the rest of the day.” he added.

 

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(left to right) Jenni Boren, 24, Hank Pahmiyer, 23, and Kc Boren, 22, of Victoria, paddle in the roadside ditch along 87 during the storm in Victoria. “It was spur of the moment but we do odd stuff in various weather conditions. We’ve done paddling before, we also went boogie boarding and skim boarding in the ditch when we were done with the canoe.” Kc said.

 

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(front to back) Kc Boren, 22, Hank Pahmiyer, 23, and Jenni Boren, 24, of Victoria, paddle their canoe in the rain along 87 during the storm in Victoria.

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That time of year again

Graduates walk into the Victoria Fine Arts Center for the graduation ceremony Saturday.

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Shattered Dreams

Last week I covered a Shattered Dreams event at one of the local high schools. Shattered Dreams is a two day program designed to educate students about the danger of drinking and driving. A mock accident is set up that is modeled after a real accident situation that occurred in this area. The students are set into the staged accident scene and are treated, transported and dealt with by local firefighters, police and other emergency personnel.

As a journalist who actually covers awful car accidents regularly in this area, I was a little disturbed by the experience because it was so easy to imagine it being real. I could see myself covering this very accident, listening to these kids crying and watching the hurt ones flown off.  It was not hard for me to imagine at all, especially after the fatal accidents I’ve covered here. On the other hand, I’m not sure how much it actually touched our local students.  I could see some of them definitely didn’t seem to care, they were texting and playing games and talking.

Much like when we print accident photos and we hope that the image helps someone to buckle up, or pull over when they’re tired or put down their phone, I hope that this helps someone think twice too. It was definitely intense enough to make a lasting impression.

Sarah Warner lays on the hood of the car as one of the injured individuals while students watch the staged car crash during Shattered Dreams at Victoria West High School.

Chase Bennett undergoes a sobriety test during Shattered Dreams at Victoria West High School. Chase played the drunk driver in the black truck who was arrested and put into a police car after causing the accident.

 

Danielle Alvarez lays in a pool of blood as the ‘dead on scene’ individual involved in the mock car accident during Shattered Dreams at Victoria West High School. Her body was covered up and then taken away in a hearse at the end of Thursday’s staged car crash.

Chase Bennett, left, and Isabel Fuentez, right, sit on the ground crying as they watch individuals taken out of the staged car crash and transported during Shattered Dreams at Victoria West High School.

 

An injury on Sarah Warner’s arm as part of the staged car crash during Shattered Dreams at Victoria West High School.

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Olive planting

Luz Maria walks down one of many rows to place the paper boxes that protect the new olive trees that are being planted at the Welch farm in Victoria. JonAnn and Jackie Welch are starting their olive farm on 100 acres of land with 60,000 trees. It will be three years before their crop can be harvested.

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Via Crusis

Veronica, played by Socorro Davila, wipes the face of Jesus, played by Father Alfonso Serna, at the sixth station during Via Crusis, or Stations of the Cross, which ended at Holy Trinity Chapel/Capilla de la Santisima Trinidad in Victoria.

 

Jesus, played by Father Alfonso Serna, is crucified during Via Crusis, or Stations of the Cross, which ended at Holy Trinity Chapel/Capilla de la Santisima Trinidad in Victoria.

 

Jesus, played by Father Alfonso Serna, carries the cross during Via Crusis, or Stations of the Cross, which ended at Holy Trinity Chapel/Capilla de la Santisima Trinidad in Victoria.

 

Felice Medrano cries as one of the weeping women during Via Crusis, or Stations of the Cross, which ended at Holy Trinity Chapel/Capilla de la Santisima Trinidad in Victoria.

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The Goats of Riverside

Terry Hatfield, 63, walks through areas his goats have cleared already at Riverside Park in Victoria. Hatfield had 25 goats with him in the park that day to eat brush and weeds along the river in Grover’s Bend.

 

A goat reaches for leaves higher up around Grover’s Bend in Riverside Park in Victoria. Hatfield, the owner of the goats, said they are quite agile and will climb up trees and over obstacles to get to tasty parts they want to eat.

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Taking Flight

Today I covered Bloomington High School’s participation in the Fly Forward Challenge at Calhoun Air Center at the Victoria Regional Airport. Days like this make me even more baffled about why newspapers would cut their photo staff. We had this package as our front page centerpiece, which I wrote, shot and produced a slideshow for! Talk about multitasking.

(left to right) Estella Aguirre, 17, Elizabeth Arredondo, 17, Cynthia Resendez, 18, Ariana Ortiz, 17, Samantha Oritz, 18, and Brittany Wallace, 18, of Bloomington High School, wait their turn to fly in the Eurocopter EC120 at the Calhoun Air Center at Victoria Regional Airport. Women of all ages were invited to experience free flights in a helicopter or plane as part of the Fly it Forward challenge during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.

Estella Aguirre, 17, is secured into the front seat of the Eurocopter EC120 by Pilot Dianna Stranger, left, and Erin Cude, Chief Flight Instructor, right, at the Calhoun Air Center at Victoria Regional Airport.

Cynthia Resendez, 18, prepares for takeoff in the front seat of the Eurocopter EC120 at the Calhoun Air Center at Victoria Regional Airport. Pilot Dianna Stranger, right, sat and helped her buckle in for the flight. Stranger was one of three pilots with the Calhoun Air Center who were giving women of all ages free flights to spread the love of aviation.

Elizabeth Arredondo, 17, laughs as she buckles up in the back seat of the Eurocopter EC120 at the Calhoun Air Center at Victoria Regional Airport. Elizabeth was nervous because of her fear of heights but was excited for the experience. “I don’t know when I’ll have another chance to do something like this.” she said.

Here is the little slideshow I did:

Here is the story I wrote to go with it.

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Prescribed Burn

Last week I photographed a prescribed burn that occurred in order to kill invasive grasses and encourage native brush to grow in an effort to preserve the prairies of Texas. Here are a few images from the day.

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