Answer Man: What happened to KMOV's Laurie Waters?

News-DemocratMay 2, 2014 

BND

Whatever became of Laurie Waters, the former reporter and news anchor at KMOV-TV, Channel 4? -- Cecil Williams, of Granite City

She must have left quite an impression on you, because she has not been on the air since March 29, 2012, her final day at KMOV.

Of course, she apparently has that effect on people. Allen Cohen, then president of the station, called her the "nicest person imaginable." Former fellow anchor Larry Conners gave her this final tearful salute: "I want to take a moment to honor one of our best reporters and anchors. In 23 years at Channel 4, Laurie helped set the standard for good, solid, ethical reporting."

Four months later, she took over as marketing and communications manager of the YWCA Metro St. Louis, the post she still holds. (Unfortunately, she is on vacation, so she wasn't available to give her former fans a shout-out.)

A graduate of the College of Charleston, the 1989 Emmy winner for a groundbreaking series on domestic violence started her TV career here in 1980 in an entry-level position at KPLR-TV, Channel 11. She also has been a longtime board member of the St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired as well as a member of the Community Service Public Relations Council.

Now, see how many of these blasts from the past you remember: Kara Kaswell (KMOV) is now a video production specialist for Webcast Resource; Anne Steffens (KMOV) heads Steffens Communications in St. Louis after five years as chief communications officer for the St. Louis Archdiocese; Kasey Joyce (KSDK) has become a principal at Cultivation Capital in charge of technology investments; and Ashley Yarchin (KSDK) is now an art history/interior design student in New York.

I don't live in your area, but I'm looking for an obituary for a distant relative in the St. Clair County area. The name is Dietrich Herman and it was in the O'Fallon Progress on Nov. 20, 1941. -- A.H.

If you send me your snail-mail address, I'll be glad to send you a copy of the obituary of this retired farmer, who moved here from Wittmund, Germany, and eventually became a Lebanon Township highway commissioner for 16 years. In fact, I'll send not only the O'Fallon obit but throw in the ones from the News-Democrat and Daily Advocate as well.

FYI: Although he dominated the headlines, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling didn't have a lock on insensitivity this past week.

In a story with a local tie, Jahmel Binion, of Madison Heights, Michigan, has ecotodermal dysplasia. As is characteristic of the disorder, Binion has missing and malformed teeth and abnormal hair growth.

But after posting a "selfie" of himself on social media, Binion quickly wound up the subject of a number of cruel comments, including some from pro basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, rapper Waka Flocka Flame (Juanquin Malphurs) and Utah Jazz player Trey Burke, according to Mary Fete, the executive director of the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias in Mascoutah.

"I was kind of hurt because I've always looked up to (Shaq)," Binion told the New York Post. "So I was, like, why are you making fun of me? He is supposed to be a role model."

After the story went viral, Shaq called Binion to apologize and later tweeted: "Made a new friend today when I called and apologized to Jahmel Binion. Great dude. #alwayslearning#mybadcuz." Burke and Malphurs apologized as well, according to WJBK-TV in Detroit.

Binion quickly created a "Hug Don't Judge" anti-bullying awareness campaign. Fete urged all people with ED to post selfies of themselves. To read Fete's open letter to Shaq, go to www.nfed.com.

Pass it on: If you have broken or outdated TVs and computers in your attic, put this on your calendar: The Belleville Kiwanis Club is teaming up with J&C E-Recycling to offer an electronics recycling day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 10 at Rural King, 2801 N. Illinois St., Swansea.

They'll take just about anything with a plug along with all batteries and holiday lights. The only charge will be for TVs -- $5-$15 depending on size. In addition, they'll also be looking for donations of wearable old shoes for the Shoeman Water Project, which digs wells in areas needing potable water.

And, if you weren't aware, RNA Worldwide at 5921 Gateway Industrial Drive off Frank Scott Parkway South accepts drop-offs of similar materials from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. TVs are free. For complete information, see www.rnaworldwide.com.

Today's trivia

What scripted, prime-time TV show has aired the most episodes?

Answer to Thursday's trivia: For centuries, travelers made their way from Switzerland to Italy across the treacherous Great St. Bernard Pass, named for the 10th-century priest who established a monastery and hospice at the highest point of the pass in A.D. 962. There, the monks began acquiring large dogs as guardians and companions -- and eventually for search and rescue on the pass that is always snow-covered and prone to avalanches. The most famous was Barry, who is said to have rescued 40 people from 1800-1810. As a result they were called Hospice Dogs or Barry Dogs until the late 1800s, when they became known as Saint Bernards.

Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or rschlueter@bnd.com or call 618-239-2465.

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