Christopher Blank

News Director

It all started with ghost stories. Dad convinced me that spirits lurked just outside my bedroom door at night. After years of night terrors, I began listening to LPs of spooky tales, memorizing them and acting them out around campfires on those balmy winter nights in South Florida. In this way, other children would suffer as I had.
 
Naturally, this dramatic flair evolved into a prestigious four-year engagement on the high school drama circuit where my mother’s rapturous reviews provoked standing ovations also from my mother.
 
One day, while working part time as a copy clerk at the St. Petersburg Times, an editor asked me why my hair was dyed bright orange. I explained that it was because I was “an actor.” Was my future decided out of pity? Out of concern for my mental health? I cannot read minds. However, the next thing that happened is that I was made a theater critic.
 
For more than a decade, The Commercial Appeal’s readers tolerated my opinions on everything from classical music to ballet. Even WKNO-FM let me create a little club for theatergoers.
 
When this fine radio station went looking for someone to tell stories of the “news” variety, I made the argument that Memphis is a city full of great stories; no other has a richer cultural narrative. The crossroads of America is a crucible of stories from all walks of life. Also, crossroads are known for ghosts and devils, and who doesn’t love those?
 
They totally bought the argument. So now, I’m looking for great stories. What’s yours?

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EDUCATION
3:09 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Stories of Champions I: NeShante Brown

NeShante Brown teaches at Soulsville Charter School where students, so have, have a 100 percent college acceptance rate.

NeShante Brown, a founding member of the Soulsville Charter School, is the first profile in our "Stories of Champions" series.


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TEEN VIOLENCE
9:30 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Activists Look for Solutions to Teen Violence

On Sept. 16, Stevie Moore planted crosses in Foote Homes to represent loved ones lost to violence.
Credit Christopher Blank

Youth advocate Stevie Moore hopes that community leaders follow through on promises following recent teen violence.


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EDUCATION
8:00 am
Wed September 10, 2014

U.S. Education Secretary Visits Tennessee

  Arne Duncan, the U.S. Department of Education Secretary visited Tennessee on his annual bus tour of states.

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JOURNALISM
7:25 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Behind the Rape Kit Scandal

Investigative reporter Marc Perrusquia talks with WKNO about covering the Memphis Police Department's mishandling of more than 12,000 rape kits.


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MUSIC
5:30 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

A Great American Modernist Gets Jazzed

Jack Cooper rearranged eight works by Charles Ives into big band jazz tunes. A new album, "Mists: Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra" has just been released.

Loved by musicians but often overlooked by listeners, Charles Ives never made popular music. Jazz arranger Jack Cooper gives him a new groove most can agree on.


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