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The Scoop: Big story hits on lazy day

You never know when the next big Warren County news story is going to hit that captivates the world. For me, that story struck Sunday just as I was positioning myself on the sofa with a big bag of cheese puffs to watch the 49ers/ Falcons game.
Then Cupcake called with the late-breaking news. “I just saw two emergency vehicles speeding down to Riverfront Park,” she told me. “They were both towing boats.”
Emergency vehicles and boats are never a promising sign so I leapt into action. Grabbing a paper towel to wipe the orange cheese puff residue off my fingers, I headed for the river.
I soon discovered the news most of us have heard by now. There was a boat dangling over the edge of the dam at Pepper Branch Park with two fishermen onboard. With gushing water and a boat teetering dangerously close to the falls, it made for spectacular pictures.
After uploading what I thought was the best picture onto our website Sunday afternoon, it was just a matter of hours before the calls came pouring in from news agencies across the world seeking permission to use the photo.
As of Thursday afternoon, I’ve received requests from around 10 media outlets seeking to use the picture. They include The Picture magazine in Australia, The Daily Mail in Britain, The New York Daily News, The Weather Channel, ABC News in New York, and three of the four Nashville TV stations.
I never would have thought the story of two fishermen getting stuck on a dam would command so much attention. I have to go all the way back to Pamela Rogers and Mary Winkler to find stories which have generated so much interest, with Winkler even getting to appear on Oprah.
I had a chance to chat with fisherman Greg Cherry yesterday to ask him about all the hoopla that’s followed his now-famous expedition on the Barren Fork River. It was Greg and his brother Gary who were trapped on the boat for three hours while emergency workers devised a plan to rescue them.
Thankfully, Greg was taking the incident in good humor.
“I’m waiting for Ellen DeGeneres to call next,” he said. “All the Nashville stations called except for Channel 4 and I did an interview with ABC News in New York. I didn’t see it, but somebody told me we were even on ‘Good Morning America.’”
Since I had Greg on the phone, I had to ask him what was the worst part about dangling on the edge of a dam for three hours.
“It was the boredom mainly,” said Greg. “We were just sitting there with nothing to do.”
They may have been bored, but there’s no denying the fact their picture has generated worldwide excitement. It goes to show you never know when the next big story may hit, even on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.


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