News page layout and design

At the Tomball Potpourri, not only was I tasked with writing stories and taking photos to accompany the stories, but I also designed the interior news pages using QuarkXPress and Adobe Photoshop.

Here are the page I designed for the March 7, 2007 issue.

I was in charge of writing all headlines, sizing the photographs and creating graphics to accompany the stories.

layout work
My layout work on the March 7, 2007 issue of the Tomball Potpourri.

Download the PDF of my March 7, 2007 layout design.

Tomball Potpourri page layout

This is a news page I designed for the Tomball/Magnolia Potpourri.

Tomball Potpourri news page layout
From the Feb. 7, 2007 issue of The Tomball Potpourri.

I’m particularly proud of the design of the table that lists the FFA award winners, the headlines I wrote for the FFA story and the column of photos and the photo I snapped of City Council member David Quinn.

News layout
This screen capture of the page design captures the three elements I'm most proud of.

This page was designed using Adobe Photoshop and QuarkXPress.

Boy, 10, could face felony charges for messing with fire alarm

A story I wrote about a fifth grade student who was arrested on facing felony charges after a neighborhood friend dared him to touch a fire alarm at school appears in today’s Tomball Potpourri.

First Casey Harmeier story
I wrote a story about Casey Harmeier, 10, who was arrested on the orders of a Tomball principal.

Before my story ran, we shared it with ABC Channel 13, who covered the story. Houston Community Newspapers has a partnership with the local television news station. After my story ran, local Houston Chronicle columnist Rick Casey also began writing about the case.

Here is the first four paragraphs of the story.

A Tomball student was arrested Oct. 25 for allegedly setting off a fire alarm at his intermediate school.

“I need you to teach these boys a lesson,” is what 10-year-old Beckendorf Intermediate School student Casey Harmeier said he heard his principal tell a Tomball Police Department officer after the boy admitted to pulling a fire alarm at the school. The boy said he did it after being dared to remove the plastic cover of the
alarm by a neighborhood friend.

Tomball Independent School District spokesperson Staci Stanfield confirmed the boy was arrested, but speaking on behalf of Beckendorf Intermediate School Principal Delores Guidry, she said Guidry told her she did not make the remarks Harmeier alleges.

After questioning the fifth grade student and others who were present when the incident happened Oct. 25, TPD Officer Paul Overcast arrested Harmeier and took him to the Tomball jail where his parents later picked him up.

Download a PDF of the story.

School official arrested in sting

Today, the Tomball Potpourri published an article I wrote about my former high school principal, Michael McWhirter, who was arrested during an undercover sting operation at a local park for trying to pay for sex.

My photo of the bird-watching enclosure where McWhirter was arrested accompanies the story.

This article ran in the March 29, 2006 issue of The Tomball Potpourri.

Here is the first three paragraphs of the story:

An administrative employee and former high school principal in the Tomball Independent School District has resigned after being arrested for soliciting prostitution on March 15. The arrest was part of an undercover sex sting conducted during Spring Break by the Tomball Police Department at a city park in an effort to reduce reported public sex acts.

Spring resident Michael McWhirter, 57, was arrested at Theis Attaway Park in Tomball after striking up a conversation with a male undercover officer. McWhirter allegedly solicited sexual favors in exchange for a “small amount of money,” according to TPD Sgt. Gary Hammond. The undercover officer was wearing a wire and the conversation was captured on audio tape, but Hammond would not reveal the amount of money McWhirter offered the undercover officer.

McWhirter was arrested at 3:12 p.m. March 15 and shortly after being booked at the department, a $500 bail was posted on his behalf. According to a TPD press release, McWhirter was charged with solicitation of prostitution, a Class B misdemeanor, and charges were accepted by the office of Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal. If convicted, McWhirter faces a maximum of six months in the county jail.

Kids offer touchy topic

A story I wrote about Congressman Kevin Brady reading to a first grade class two weeks after being arrested on drunken driving charges appears in today’s Magnolia Potpourri newspaper.

It was first published in the Oct. 27, 2005 issue of the Conroe Courier, a daily paper that is part of the Houston Community Newspapers group of suburban Houston papers.

Kevin Brady reads to first graders
This story details how first graders told a local Congressman, who two weeks earlier was arrested on drunken driving charges, that they'd like to see a law that prevents their parents from consuming too much alcohol.

Here are the first five paragraphs of the story:

Last week when Magnolia’s Congressman Kevin Brady asked Stephanie Orlando’s Magnolia Elementary School class what law they would like to see passed if they were president, one student said he’d like to see a law that would prevent people from doing “dumb things.”

“Well, that’s a big job,” Brady, a Republican, responded. “I’m sure I fall in that category myself sometimes.”

Brady, who was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol after a South Dakota alumni party Oct. 7, was visiting the class Oct. 24 to read a 1996 book called “House Mouse, Senate Mouse,” by Peter and Cheryl Shaw Barnes. The book informs young readers of the legislative process and shows how a bill becomes a law.

Though Brady didn’t mention his DUI arrest to the first graders, many students said they would like to see laws that prevent people from drinking alcohol.

One young student said her parents drink too much beer, too often.

“That’s a good idea, it would probably help,” Brady said.

Download a PDF of the story.