World, meet Colton Matthew Herman!

Ryan Herman’s little boy was born yesterday at 7:05 p.m. Colton Matthew Herman was 7 pounds, 13.8 ounces and 20.5 inches tall. Here’s the first photo of Baby Hermanator:

Click on the photo for a better view. Please join me in sending congratulations to Ryan and Jaclyn!

Also, Justin “The Kid” Hill is covering for Herman over the next two weeks, so if you have any suggestions or ideas, hit him up at

World, meet Alana Yuvonne Carter!

I’m proud to announce a dear friend of mine — award-winning Free Press photographer Janet Sutton Carter — has given birth to a beautiful and healthy little girl named Alana Yuvonne Carter. Little Alana was 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 inches long when she jumped into the world at 11:03 a.m. today.

Here’s her first modeling assignment:

Congratulations to Janet and her lovely husband Carlon. Please join me in congratulating the new mama and daddy!

Congratulations to B.J. and Jessica Murphy!

That’s right — Kinston Mayor (and FOB) B.J. Murphy and his wife Jessica have brought a new baby into the world!

Kathryn Lane Murphy was born at 12:16 p.m., weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 20 and 1/4 inch long. Here’s a photo from the proud daddy:

(Click on the photo for a better look at the bundle o’ joy)

Congratulations to the mayor and his wife!

Morning News Report; Nov. 9, 2011

Here’s a king-sized MNR, since I was Election Boy yesterday; speaking of which, I’m going to have a separate blog post on all the local results after this not-so-little ditty…


In the wake of the disgusting Jerry Sandusky situation at Penn State, Nittany Lions football coach Joe Paterno is probably preparing for his final home game of his legendary career in Happy Valley.

My take: Honestly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened quicker than this.

It’s this simple — JoePa was told nine years ago that his close friend and assistant coach of four decades RAPED A 10-YEAR-OLD BOY IN A LOCKER-ROOM SHOWER ON HIS FREAKING CAMPUS. Process that for a second.

Now put yourself in JoePa’s position: what kept him from beating the dogsh*t out of Sandusky? Protecting his own job? Disbelief? Fear? There is NOTHING that should’ve kept Paterno from reporting this to law enforcement … NOTHING. Even if his supervisors threatened him, he should’ve gone to the police with this. And honestly now, who has been king at Penn State for 50 years?

Another disgusting thing that has come from this whole mess — and believe me, there’s more than a normal person can digest here — was the way PSU students and fans gathered on Paterno’s lawn last night and serenaded him with cheers and tears. They should’ve been there with pitchforks and torches.


Two days ago here on this very blog, we debated whether we’d run photos of that idiot streaker in The Free Press or on who ruined the halftime salute to the military at Saturday’s ECU-Southern Miss game in Greenville.

Well … the ECU student newspaper trumped us all — the East Carolinian published three unblurred photos on the front of yesterday’s edition and online.

My take: All I have to say about this is that wouldn’t fly in Kinston. I held a newsroom discussion about this Monday and it was about 75-25 to run blurred photos.

But unblurred photos? Eh, no.

Am I slamming the East Carolinian? Absolutely not. College newspapers are a bit more liberal than family publications such as your Daily Free Press. It was a gutsy (albeit, stupid) move that’s going to probably bite someone in the ass. Pun intended. But I respect the paper’s student editors for making the decision — they’re certainly getting the buzz they were trying to get.


A 45-year-old woman — and reality TV “star” — is going to have her 20th baby.

My take: Normally wouldn’t be the kind of story I’d post here, except for this hilarious nugget — the best sports talk host in the world (Steve Czaban, listen to him on Yahoo Sports Radio or on your Tune-In app from 6-9 a.m. every day) had this line: “Ms. Duggars, your uterus isn’t a clown car.”

Gold, Jerry, gold.


The GOP front-runner for president in 2012, Herman Cain, is being attacked left and right on sexual harassment charges. He is fighting back and says he’s staying in the race.

My take: Only Cain and his accusers know the truth about these charges. Until I see some real proof (i.e., photos, tapes, etc.), it’s going to be hard to convince me these allegations are true.

One thing I will agree with Cain with is this, from a campaign email sent to his supporters:

“… the emphasis on ‘gaffes,’ gotcha questions and time devoted to trivial nonsense – and everyone knows the process only became further detached from relevance this week as the media published anonymous, ancient, vague personal allegations against me.

Once this kind of nonsense starts, the media’s rules say you have to act in a certain way.”

And he’s right. In this age of TMZ and gotcha journalism, this is what is going to continue to happen. I blame Richard Nixon.


One of boxing’s all-time greats, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, died of liver cancer on Monday at the age of 67.

My take: Admittedly, his time in the sun was before I was cognizant of sports — and boxing — but he was a heck of a boxer and man. To put up with the junk Muhammad Ali threw at him proved that.


A few days late, but worthy of a note here — after wrecking a fellow driver during a caution period in a truck race Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR bad boy Kyle Busch found himself in the pits for Saturday and Sunday’s races. He was also fined $50,000 and placed on probation for the rest of the season.

My take: And this is what NASCAR deserves; it bragged about how it was bringing back old-time racing and fightin’ in the preseason and all Busch did was live up to it.

NASCAR IS A JOKE. If you’re still watching it, you’re the type of mindless sheep the quasi-sport wants in its camp. Congrats. And how long are the sponsors going to stay on board? You have to figure M&Ms are just ecstatic about their poster-boy doing this.


NBA owners have given their players until 5 p.m. to accept their latest offer — or it’s going to be even worse … allegedly.

My take:If you’re an NBA fan — and yes, I count myself among that quickly fading group — prepare yourself for a 40-game season, if we even get one at all.

The only good news to come out of this, though, is something I’ve said here before — if you thought tickets were easy to get in Charlotte before, wait until this mess is over. The Bobcats will practically be giving tickets away to get butts in the seats.


The New England Patriots cut malcontent defensive end Albert Haynesworth yesterday.

My take: Nothing much to say here other than this:


The iPod shuffle

Graceland — Paul Simon

Wait For Me — Daryl Hall & John Oates

Private Eyes — Daryl Hall & John Oates (wow … three Hall & Oates in two days?)

Elevation — U2

Zombie — The Cranberries

Deacon Blues — Steely Dan

I Look Good — Chalie Boy

Animal — Def Leppard

So Cruel — U2

Against The Wind — Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

The Hermanator is having a …

… boy! Free Press Sports Editor (and FOB) Ryan Herman and his lovely wife Jaclyn just got out of the doctor’s office in Greenville — and they’re having a boy! The due date is March 17 for the Hermans.

Congrats, Herman and Little Herman!

Also, Free Press award-winning photographer Janet S. Carter and her lovely husband Carlon Carter (a U.S. Marine who will probably snap my neck when he sees I called him “lovely) are having a little girl, who is scheduled for arrival on Planet Earth on Feb. 25. I’ve been trying to talk her out of naming her little bundle o’ joy Bryanna, but I think that’s the name Janet and Carlon have decided upon.

I kid, I kid — but congrats Stunna (Janet’s alter-ego nickname) and Carlon!

Since we’re all gambling fools at your Kinston Daily Free Press, we’re probably going to have a birthing pool. If you’re interested in details, hit my email for details.

Afternoon News Report; May 10, 2011

Sorry for the tardiness — just a lot of stuff going on. Got lots of good nuggets for you here, though…


Billy Ray Waddell, the town manager of Maysville, has announced his intent to retire after being arrested on 22 charges involving waste water management records on Friday. 

My take: And it gets worse — our Jones Post reporter Justin Hill (known as The Kid to you faithful bloggees) was kicked out of a meeting in Maysville last night when the town mayor and board went into an illegal closed meeting.

Why was it illegal? The town, by law, has to give media outlets a 48-hour notice of the meeting. Maysville NEVER contacted us – it was only by an unnamed source we found about it.

They illegally closed the meeting — WITHOUT making a motion to go into the closed portion of it. They used a Maysville town cop to kick Justin out of the meeting and then locked the door to keep him out.

And then the mayor, James Harper, tried to sneak out of the meeting through the back door before Justin and a camera crew from WCTI ABC-12 tracked him down. Even then, he “no-commented” them and sped off in his car.

What’s worse is that Justin has been on the phone all day trying to get town councilmembers to simply verify that the new interim town manager is Dale Gurganus-McCullough, the current town clerk and financial officer … who sent out the email saying she’s the new interim town manager. And not one of these elected officials will go on the record to say they voted on it, which, ironically would be illegal since it didn’t happen in open session.

If I’m a Maysville resident, I’m incensed. The people I elected to represent me don’t have the cajones to answer the questions from the press. They are conducting town business in secret. Not a very transparent — or American — town government in Maysville.


After only being re-opened for 18 months, the North Wilkesboro Speedway has closed again, this time due to lack of money.

My take: As some of you know, I grew up in Wilkes County, only 20 miles or so from the track. Some of my best high school memories come from going to qualifying on Fridays and going to a handful of races.

When Bruton Smith bought the speedway and moved its races to New Hampshire and Texas Motor Speedway in 1996, he essentially killed the Wilkes County economy. The two then-Winston Cup races brought in millions of dollars to the local economy — money that has never been replaced.

The track went into serious disrepair before Alton McBride (who, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, had some financial troubles of his own) took over about a year-and-a-half ago. But now … here we go again. At least McBride tried and I appreciate he and his group for that.

It does bug me that NASCAR doesn’t rehabilitate the track and even put a truck race there. Yet another reason for me to hate the wanna-be sport, though.


Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich has announced he will run for president in 2012.

My take: And sadly, he’s probably the best candidate the Republicans have at the moment. He has the name recognition and the political clout … but is that enough to defeat Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin for the GOP nod and then Obama for the presidency?

Is this the best the GOP has? If so, Obama is going to be pretty much a sure shot for reelection.


Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have announced their separation after 25 years of marriage.

My take: Say it ain’t so, Ah-nold!

If those crazy kids can’t make it after a quarter-century of marriage, what hope is there for the rest of us?

The iPod shuffle

Return To Innocence — Enigma

Dead And Bloated — Stone Temple Pilots

You’re Never Over — Eminem

Even The Losers — Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

All Shook Up — Elvis Presley

P.S.: Congrats to Friend of the Blog (FOB) and Kinston baseball coach Jason Wade for the birth of his daughter, Mollie Jean Wade, this morning. Coach says mom and baby — all 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 20 inches of her — are doing fine. Congratulations, my friend!

P.P.S.S.: My good friends at the Gaston Gazette picked up my column on Robin Rogers; you can read it here – and see the awesome comments folks have made about Robin. Thanks, Hunter Bretzius and the folks at the GG for sharing my feelings about my friend in your awesome paper!

Afternoon News Report; April 8, 2011


Republican and Democrats are still bickering with only hours to go before the federal government “shuts down” because of the lack of a budget deal.

My take: Does this mean I still need to file a tax return?

Seriously, though, there was concern that our country’s active duty servicemen and women would not be paid, but at least one credit union is going to advance them their salaries.  


The Kinston Indians begin their 25th and final(?) season at Grainger Stadium tonight when they host the Winston-Salem Dash.

My take: Unfortunately, I won’t be there, as I’ll be handling the PA duties for the Kinston-Farmville Central showdown tonight at Viking Field.

But I promise you this — I’m going to go to as many games as I can this season, including the ones on Saturday and Sunday. Come by and say howdy and I’ll give you a peanut or a hearty handshake.

Let’s get behind our home team, y’all — if we don’t, there’s not going to be a team here next year.


30 Rock” star Tina Fey, 40, is pregnant with her second child.

My take: Not earth-shattering news, although it may delay the beginning of shooting the fall season.

No, friends, the main reason I listed this is because Tina Fey is our hairy friend Jon Dawson’s dream girl. And this is how he dreams of her:


The iPod shuffle

Y.M.C.A. — The Village People

Crush With Eyeliner — R.E.M.

Gimme All Your Lovin’ — ZZ Top

Come Together — The Beatles

Stand – R.E.M.

Morning News Report; March 23, 2011

Jon “J-Dizzle” Dawson and I are at the Lenoir Community College Job Fair in the Sportatorium until 10:30 or 11 a.m. today; come out and see us. Already, one of our favorites, Sharon Miller, has dropped by to say hello (along with half of Kinston!). On to the MNR:


One of the most beautiful actresses — not to mention one of the best — in movie history, Elizabeth Taylor, is dead at 79.

My take: Yes, her time had passed a long time ago, but she was arguably one of the top movie screen beauties of all time. Some examples:


After a performance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” yesterday, singer Chris Brown threw a chair in his dressing room and destroyed the room. ABC won’t press charges, though.

My take: If you buy his music, you’re contributing to a convicted woman-beater. Congratulations.


Home run king Barry Bonds’ perjury trial has finally started.

My take: Finally. Hopefully, his bloated head will soon be falling asleep on a prison cot, although I wouldn’t bet on it…

The iPod shuffle

New Year’s Day — U2

Don’t Talk — 10,000 Maniacs

Doll Parts — Hole

Self Esteem — The Offspring

Straight From The Heart — Bryan Adams

P.S.: Congrats to Kinston coach/AD Wells Gulledge and his wife Dawnn, who gave birth to a 6-pound, 11-ounce, 19-inch baby boy at 4:50 p.m. yesterday. He’s named Baker Wells Gulledge and, according to Coach, mama and baby are doing great. Congratulations!

P.P.S.S.: I had the honor of meeting FOB Killdozer last night at the Kinston-Greene Central baseball game. A great guy! Thanks for supporting the blog, dude.

Welcome to the world, Colton Davis!

Congratulations to our very good friend, Dusty Davis, and his lovely wife Catelyn for the birth of their son, Colton! He arrived in the world today at 9 a.m. at 5 pounds, 1 ounce. And yes, he’s already taller than Dusty (I kid! I kid!).

Also, congratulations to faithful bloggee — and new grandpa — Jeff Howard, Catelyn’s father. Jeff sent me an e-mail this morning that said Catelyn is doing fine, but in need of a chocolate milkshake.

Again — congrats to all! Here’s a picture from Dusty –


Welcome to the world, Caroline Grace Tribula!

I was going to put this in the Morning News Report, but I figured it deserved its own blog entry — congratulations to our very good friend, J.T. Tribula, on the birth of his new daughter, Caroline Grace Tribula. She was born at 11:25 a.m. yesterday, weighed 6 1/2 pounds and was 18 inches long.

Here’s a picture of the dad and baby I just stole from his Facebook page (click on it for a better view!):


Again, congrats, J.T.! Hope to soon have you back teaching and coaching where you belong — in Lenoir County!