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Scenario: You are a reporter for the Centralcity (Texas)

Assignment: Write a news story based on the following:
Scenario: You are a reporter for the Centralcity (Texas) Daily News, an afternoon newspaper.
When you arrive at work at 7 a.m., your first duty is to call the offices of the Centralcity police
and Center County sheriff to see if “anything happened overnight.” Today, when you reached
the sheriff’s office, you learned about an accident that occurred overnight. Here are your
notes from your interview with Deputy Charlie Troothful:
 accident involved a transport truck owned by Fielding Works, a Houston-based
manufacturer of industrial solvents and other chemicals
 on its way from Houston to a toxic waste dump in Noname, Texas
 accident occurred about 2:45 a.m. (today) on I-45 near Centralcity
 a witness traveling in a car behind the truck said the truck suddenly veered onto the
shoulder and then turned over three times
 witness’ name is I. Saw It (You’ve been unable to reach him before your deadline)
 several containers of toxic chemicals on the truck ruptured when the truck overturned
 no serious injuries occurred, but the truck driver and his passenger suffered minor
abrasions and bruises
 both were taken to Central County Hospital
 no reports of any ill effects from the toxic chemicals have been reported
 no charges have been filed yet, but officers believe reckless driving and/or DUI may be filed
because they believe both the driver and passenger had been drinking and were possibly
intoxicated — officers are waiting on lab test results
 driver is Burl B. Benton, 33, of Houston, a 10-year Fielding Works’ employee, married with
two children
 the passenger is Helen A. Haven, 30, with no connection with Fielding Works that officers
could determine, single, resident of Centralcity
 teams of deputies and volunteers have walked a 5-mile radius from the accident site,
warning residents of possible dangers from the chemicals
 however, strong winds from a passing cold front dispersed the chemical fumes within a
short time and no evacuation was ordered
 the accident site itself was cleaned by the Centralcity Volunteer Fire Department within an
hour
 the sheriff (Cheryl Law) cautions anyone who was within the area of the spill who
experiences nausea, headaches, chest tightness or trouble breathing to seek medical
attention
Hospital spokesman Roberto Salud tells you:
 Benton and Haven were treated for minor injuries and released
 lab results from blood tests are not expected for 24 hours
John Smart, a spokesman for the Chemical Industry of America, tells you:
 the chemicals spilled are not generally harmful unless someone is exposed to a high
concentration of them for long periods of time
 the quick clean-up and strong winds mean residents near the spill site were not likely
exposed to high concentrations of fumes and should be OK
 he confirms the wisdom of seeking medical attention if anyone experiences symptoms
You call Fielding Works and speak to Janie Mouth, vice president for corporate
communications. She confirms:
 Benton’s been an employee for 10 years.
 He has a spotless driving record with the company.
 Haven is not an employee.
 It is against company policy for drivers to carry passengers in company vehicles.
She also tells you:
 Fielding Works has a toll-free number that anyone concerned about the accident should
call (1-800-234-5678)
 Fielding Works President & CEO John Swaggart and a team of chemical experts are on their
way to Centralcity to conduct their own investigation of the accident and to cooperate in
any way with Centralcity law enforcement
 “We regret the accident occurred and we are grateful there have been no serious injuries.
We will conduct our own investigation of this accident and we will cooperate fully with law
enforcement investigators.”
Your deadline has arrived. Write the story for today’s Centralcity News. It will probably be
the lead story, according to your news editor.
For date references in your story, the accident occurred “today” (that’s AP style). Use AP
style throughout the story.

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