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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HEALTH
7:35 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Long after Cancer Is Gone, Treatment Continues

A new study from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital shows that 98 percent of childhood cancer survivors will have chronic lifetime medical problems.
Credit Christopher Blank

In the United States, cancer is still the leading cause of death by disease for children between the ages of 1 and 14. And while childhood cancer is no longer a death sentence for most of the 10,000 annual cases, surviving it comes with a trade-off later in life.

After extensive screening of about 1,700 adult survivors of childhood cancer, researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis discovered that nearly all of them -- 98 percent – had at least one chronic health condition.

Key points of the study include:

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FOOD
10:21 am
Fri June 7, 2013

A Day to Celebrate the Doughnut

The case at Gibson's Donuts on Mt. Moriah is where diets go to die.
Credit Christopher Blank

A warning to readers: this web posting of today’s WKNO radio story on National Doughnut Day can be dangerous to your waistline.

It includes graphic depictions of sugar-coated confections, including a delicious maple sugar-glazed doughnut with bacon sprinkles.

But before we completely savage your diet, let’s remember how National Doughnut Day started.

During World War I, Salvation Army volunteers went to France to help cook for soldiers in the trenches. Doughnuts were easy to mass produce.

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News and Features
11:26 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Delta to "De-hub" Memphis

Credit Delta Air Lines


On Tuesday, June 5, Delta Air Lines announced that the Atlanta-based carrier will slash more than 40 percent of its service to Memphis International Airport by September.

Details:

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SPORTING LIFE
7:00 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Grinding's Over; Grits Are Still Good

May 27, 2013 – Face painter Shun Stotts, proprietor of Parties with Pizzazz, was hired by the Grizzlies to decorate fans such as Terrihanna Ingram outside the FedExForum during the playoffs. She said the high-profile job has led to additional business.
Credit Christopher Blank

It was ten minutes before the Memorial Day Grizzlies game against the San Antonio Spurs, and outside the FedExForum visitors were being urged to “believe.”

Believe, Memphis, that the team would come back after three straight losses and win the   Western Conference Finals. Everyone was sure this was going to happen.

In case you missed the game, it did not end with a blue Bear doing a victory dance on top of the Alamo.

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Mid-South Features
5:08 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Shiloh Re-Enactment Shows Sights and Sounds of War

Union Soldiers wait to march onto the field at a re-enactment of the Battle of Shiloh on March 31, 2012.
Photo by Christopher Blank

On April 6th, 150 years ago, the epic Civil War battle of Shiloh took place along the Tennessee River, 22 miles north of Corinth Mississippi.

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