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Reporter receives award for video confession

Well, even though I’m the worst blogger in the short history of bloggers I thought I’d try to get in here and post something.‬

After writing a story about the Naples Daily News staff’s coverage of the investigation into the violent murder of a mother and her five children, I’ve been following the case of Mesac Damas, husband and father of the victims and the man charged with their deaths.‬‪

In 2009, Stephen Beardsley, with camera rolling, simply asked Damas if he killed his wife and children. Surprisingly, Damas answered, “Yes, I did.” The confession was recorded as Damas was being extradited from Haiti, where he had fled after allegedly committing the crimes. Beardsley had followed the story to the island with fellow Daily News staffer, photographer  Lexey Swall.‬‪

Beardsley won a first place award for breaking news video in the 2010 Florida Society of News Editors journalism competition. The Naples staff won first place for online breaking news for its coverage of the Damas tragedy. Swall also won first place for a non-deadline video for an unrelated story.‬‪

You can read the background of how Beardsley obtained the confession from Damas here: http://escrippsnews.scrippsnet.com/articles/399-suspected-murderer-makes-confession-to-naples-pair (Apologies, my embedded links aren’t working today.) The Naples Daily News continues coverage of Damas’s case at naplesnews.com/damas.

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I’m something you don’t see every day: A person under 80 who walks around with oxygen everywhere she goes. I have Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder which, with the help of my stubborn refusal to go to the doctor, caused some pretty deep damage to my lungs. My lack of breath slowed me down for a while, but I'm back to adventuring - just with Gus, my little oxygen tank, in tow. This year's goal is to complete the 52 Hike Challenge and get myself into a healthier state of being. Join me on my quest to become oxygen free!

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