1. I grew up in a very small town of only 50 people near Connersville with our community services divided among 3 counties! I went to school in one county, but calling friends from school usually meant a long-distance phone call since our landline service came from another county. Electricity, as you're probably guessing, came from a third county! Despite it all, I wouldn't trade my rural roots for anything.
2. My parents probably figured I would be a wild child when, before the age of five, I had already torn the wallpaper off of their bedroom wall while in my crib and on a separate occasion, I put our family car into drive which rolled it into the garage door.
3. Also before five, I suffered a traumatic eye injury that forever changed the color of my right eye. Either a bee stung me, or a tiny object flew into my eye, which ripped out my iris and left a black hole in my hazel eye. The injury, however, somehow saved my eye from vision decline: I only wear a contact in my left eye and have no issues with my right eye where the injury took place.
4. As a young child, I would drag the large fold out map of the state of Indiana into the living room and guess the weather, followed by chasing my parents and older brother around the house where I probably annoyed them with dozens of questions using my red Fisher Price cassette recorder. This ignited my interest in news and asking questions at a young age.
5. My first live shot came during my junior year of high school, when I covered the Connersville High School intramural basketball championship game (an intense rivalry!). During my senior year, I presented the weather on the green screen, just like Chuck, Angela, Nicole, Sean, and Kelly do every day. Early in his career in Indianapolis, Sean Ash actually came to my high school to talk about forecasting the weather.
6. After high school, I went on to Franklin College in Johnson County where I majored in broadcast journalism with a minor in leadership. During my four years there, I possibly set a record of six internships at radio and TV stations across Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. That includes a semester at WTHR where I went out on several stories with Nightbeat reporter David MacAnally. It's truly a great feeling to come full circle at the station I grew up watching.
7. My six internships paid off: just a few weeks after I graduated from college, an internship coordinator became the news director in Fort Wayne and offered me my first TV job as a producer. Less than a year later, I broke into reporting and haven't looked back. One of the highlights during my time in Fort Wayne would be my two interviews with then Presidential candidate Barack Obama during Indiana's historic 2008 election. My advice to anyone looking to get into the business would be to take as many internships as possible.
8. During college I sold a little bit of everything at the Greenwood Park Mall Macy's. I was surprised at a recent story when a gentleman recognized me from selling him a suit during my college days.
9. If I didn't cover the news, I would do something in either public relations, marketing, or perhaps retail management; however, I love the variety of reporting and getting to ask questions every day.
10. Living downtown, I love being able to walk everywhere and find out something historical and interesting about the city and its many, many unique restaurants and attractions. That includes a recent run up the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to the observation deck. 362 steps to be exact, but who's counting.
11. I somehow never got on a plane for a flight until 2011. All the other trips to places, like Florida, were by car out of happenstance. In 2011, that finally came to an end as four friends and I flew to New York City – far from my rural roots!
12. Like all Hoosiers, I grew up watching the Indianapolis 500. When I moved to Louisville, Kentucky in 2010 and covered the Derby, you can imagine my surprise to see everyone dressed up -- women with big hats and men in seersucker, even paisley suits! You won't find that -- or mint juleps -- at the 500! I quickly had to adapt and find colorful outfits to the four years I covered the Derby.
13. My birthday is Christmas Eve. Everyone asks: what is that like? The short answer: it makes Christmas more special. I love the memories and traditions of celebrating my birthday and opening presents and then leaving cookies and milk out for Santa. Then the family gathers to open just one Christmas gift before heading off to bed. Having a Christmas Eve birthday also meant getting two gifts from friends and family...until I turned 18...when they somehow morphed into one.…