DENVER - The 7NEWS Team shares their favorite stories of 2012.
Ana Cabrera: Children Battle Rare Allergy to the Cold
One of my most memorable stories this year was about the Colorado children who are allergic to the cold. The Frankenfeld children have a rare, life-threatening condition, called Cold Urticaria, that causes them to have an allergic reaction to cold temperatures. It is so serious, 8-year-old Taylor started going into anaphylactic shock after walking under an air-conditioning vent. After airing this story, I received some incredible messages, thanking 7NEWS for raising awareness about this condition. One mother even said our story may have helped save her daughter’s life. As a journalist, it feels really good to know you're making a difference. That’s what this job is all about!
Mike Landess: Thankful for Chloe
Mine is the story Major King did on Chloe, a little girl born with no jaw that aired on Thanksgiving. Her family's love and her little spirit really resonate in light of recent events and the season. For all the sad stories we report on parents and children in a given year, this one gives hope and a reminder that the human spirit is a powerful thing!
Major King: High Park Fire, CSU Stadium, 'Raising Chloe'
The two biggest stories up north, for me, were the fires -- especially the High Park Fire -- and the contentious proposal by CSU to try to build an on-campus stadium. However, my favorite story was the one I produced for Thanksgiving, "Raising Chloe."
Matt Makens: Investigating the Deadly Lower North Fork Fire
My most memorable story from the past year was not a positive one. It was the investigative work following the Lower North Fork Fire. For me, the tragedy of the elderly couple losing their lives stemming from what seemed to be human error was difficult to take. My 7NEWS colleagues (I am tremendously proud to call them that), Marshall Zelinger and Amanda Kost, reached my "soft spot" through intense research/investigation presented to me in a humanized, personal way. Their work not only reached me on that sad level, but it enraged my anger toward wanting answers, wanting accountability and wanting attention given to the tragedy so that future similar cases could be prevented. To me, the perfect piece is one that draws me in emotionally and then demands a reaction from me. This work had all that!
Molly Hendrickson: Honoring First-responders to Aurora theater shooting
After looking over the stories I reported on the last year, I think my favorite was the Aurora first-responders story. I did two months after the theater shooting. We interviewed some of the first-responders and got their perspective one month later. Photojournalist James Dougherty did a good job editing the piece and it was interesting to hear about some of the lasting effects the shooting had on the people who were first to the scene and their perspective on the shooting and how it's changed the way the community views the Aurora Police.
Arran Andersen: Brandon Stokley & Son
The feature I did on Brandon and Cameron Stokley for the John Fox Show. Brandon Stokely’s 8-year-old son, Cameron, has 57 jerseys, including many of his father's. Cameron talked about some of the autographs he's acquired while following his father to work and also chatted about his trip to the Super Bowl.
Marshall Zelinger: The Lower North Fork Fire investigation
I say this with a heavy heart, but the most MEANINGFUL story I was a part of this year, without a doubt, is the Lower North Fork Fire investigation. I still vividly remember driving to Fort Collins to report on a story about an encounter caught on cell phone video, when I was called back to the Metro Area to join the team coverage of the Lower North Fork fire. That began a stretch of 23 straight work days reporting and uncovering information about the fire, how it started and the response. Over the next six weeks, with my friend and colleague, Amanda Kost, we would work tirelessly to uncover what went right and what went wrong. We gained the trust of families who lost everything; the family of Sam and Linda Lucas and the family of Ann Appel. We met with victims who lost all their belongings, just to learn the state is legislatively limited in its responsibility. We found flaws in the original prescribed burn and the emergency response. Through our reporting, policies have or are in the process of changing. Because of our 30-minute investigation, lawmakers fast-tracked two pieces of legislation to help the recovery efforts for the victims. It's a story that continues to impact me professionally and personally, even after the calendar changes to 2013.
Marc Stewart: Aurora Theater Shooting -- Providing Accurate Information
The Aurora shooting: As soon as I went on to Twitter -- and saw the pictures and accounts from people on the scene -- I knew this was serious and big. Social media became the initial eyes and ears, until I could make it to the scene. It also stressed the importance of our job as news people to get the information right and clear up the rumors that were floating in cyberspace. While the accounts were emotional online, the intensity of the scene was overwhelming. It’s hard to watch people cry…young men and women and their parents.
Maureen McCann: Reporting Live on High Park Fire
Although catastrophic and devastating, I'd say the story that comes to mind first was the High Park fire. From a meteorologist's perspective, it was interesting to get close to the fire zone with StormTracker7 and determine the hyper-local weather conditions that were affecting the fire. This was my first real experience reporting live from a wildfire, so it's something I will always remember. I learned so much about this type of disaster by witnessing it firsthand, and through the lengthy coverage that we included in our shows. That said, I hope Colorado never has to endure something of that magnitude again!