The Fox 25 Education Special began with an idea by Phil to focus on what was being called a ‘crisis’ with the state’s educational system. Phil, along with two other reporters for Fox 25 planned a series of reports and produced a half-hour special that combined two weeks worth of nightly news reports. The special became a rallying cry for education advocates and parents concerned about funding and control of public education. In this special, Phil edited the open, bumps and his own stories. Phil’s stories also feature much of his own videoography.
This special report began with a viewer’s concern. What seemed like an abnormally large number of people in one small community were getting sick, some getting identical forms of rare cancers. Phil began digging and found records indicating the water source for the town was contaminated with Chromium and at one point in the not-so-distant past, Uranium. Phil’s investigation took him across the country looking for examples of Chromium contamination and speaking with the experts who say Oklahoma’s water source could be at risk. This special was nominated for an Emmy award. This special features two stories Phil edited himself.
A viewer emailed Fox 25 asking for help, his former boss and a current state legislator had left him a voicemail that had him very concerned. After listening to the voicemail, Phil started his own investigation.
This report put Phil face-to-face with his fear of snakes. Going undercover at local reptile shows he found people willing to sell venomous snakes and other dangerous exotic reptiles, no questions asked. Phil takes viewers along into the dangerous world of illegal reptile sales that are happening around Oklahoma.
It is a serious problem…an invasion into Oklahoma that has farmers and ranchers declaring war. However, it is a war the state is not winning.
This investigation began with an anonymous phone call presenting a prediction about back-door deals at the state capitol that could dramatically cut the budget of the state’s environmental regulatory agency. Phil’s investigation uncovered records that detailed a relationship between an agency staffer and a state lawmaker.
Easily one of the most moving and memorable pieces Phil has worked on. Feature reporting gives Phil a break from the serious nature of covering crimes, corruption and political intrigue. This story offered even more, by showcasing a local musician’s project to show people that no matter how broken they are, no person is not able to be used.
This is the power of the Phil’s ability to continue to follow a story. Phil covered the tragic death of Kelley Chase during his training to be a police officer. As he continued to work on the story he worked to make sure the city paid the insurance benefits that were being withheld and later was there when Chase’s widow was able to meet the man who is keeping her husband’s heart beating.