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A Warm Welcome to Charleston

Members of the Charleston band Front Page, including Glen Dean Cecil, center, and other musicians jam together in the shade of a tree during the Vandalia Gathering, Saturday, May 23, 2015, at the West Virginia State Capitol Complex in Charleston. 


As many of you know I kissed my internship hopping days goodbye when I moved from Flint, Michigan, to Charleston, West Virginia, in mid-May to begin working for The Charleston Gazette on May 19. With two weeks under my belt, I wanted to share some photos from various daily assignments and a couple (at the end) from a quick visit to see family on the eastern side of the state during Memorial Day weekend. 

St. Albans resident Zach Nichols, 16, plays music as other attendees relax in the shade during the 39th annual Vandalia Gathering, Saturday, May 23, 2015, on the West Virginia State Capitol Complex grounds in Charleston. 

 

The West Virginia State Capitol building is reflected from a window of the Culture Center during the 39th annual Vandalia Gathering, Saturday, May 23, 2015, at the West Virginia State Capitol Complex in Charleston. 

Ruthlawn Elementary first grade students Olivia Jamerson, left, and Kenneth Straley, right, use their exercise ball chairs to do a quick activity with their classmates, Friday, May 22, 2015, inside their classroom in South Charleston. During class, their teacher Bev Stern makes them take a break to do exercises every twenty minutes. 

Cinderella greets Julia Ferguson, 2, (center), and her older sister Jenna Ferguson, 4, before posing for a photo with both of them during the Fairy Tales & Fables event held at the Clay Center on Saturday. Kids got the chance to meet “princesses” such as Alice of Alice in Wonderland, Pocahontas, Rapunzel and Elsa of Frozen.

Huntington resident George Anne Paden accepted a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of her late husband Alfred Nelson Paden in honor of his service in the Civil Air Patrol during World War II at the West Virginia State Cultural Center in Charleston, Saturday afternoon, May 30. Before Alfred passed away at age 90 in July 2014, he was the oldest living Lt. Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol of West Virginia. 

Christian Casingal plots his best course of action on the green of hole 14 during the 96th annual West Virginia Amateur Golf Tournament at the Greenbrier golf club, Friday afternoon, May 29. Casingal, an 18-year-old Charleston native, finished in second place at the tournament. 

A Charleston police officer looks around the taped-off area for more evidence during an on-going investigation of a shooting that took place in the Lee Street parking garage beside the Charleston Town Center in downtown Charleston, Wednesday afternoon, May 27. One man was shot, but is in good condition. 

Macee greets the new pigs my family brought home during Memorial Day Weekend on Sunday, May 24. 

Grandma Ruth helps Pappy Merl get out of his chair after a quiet breakfast on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. 

Farewell Flinternship

Water protestor Nayyirah Shariff, left, guards the crosswalk as a line of other protestors walk by including Gladyes Williamson, center, who carried a jug of discolored water with her, as they chant loudly and walk the streets of downtown Flint on April 25, 2015, which marks the one year anniversary of the City of Flint switch from using Detroit water to using Flint River water. Flint residents of all ages gathered outside Flint City Hall, located on S. Saginaw Street, with signs, t-shirts, and megaphones before walking throughout many streets downtown to voice their concerns with the public. 


I had to bid Flint an earlier than expected farewell a few weeks ago after accepting a full-time job at the Charleston Gazette in Charleston, West Virginia. I am incredibly grateful for the new opportunity, but I'll openly admit I miss Flint dearly. Here are some images from the last several weeks of my internship at The Flint Journal. 

Water protestors hold up colorful signs and chant loudly as they walk through downtown Flint on April 25, 2015, which marks the one year anniversary of the City of Flint switch from using Detroit water to using Flint River water. Flint residents of all ages gathered outside Flint City Hall, located on S. Saginaw Street, with signs, t-shirts, and megaphones before walking throughout many streets downtown to voice their concerns with the public.

The Swartz Creek girls soccer team warm up on the field before the start of the second half on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, at Flint Kearsley High School in Flint. 

Holly sophomore Samantha Love, center, and her teammates rake the field after playing a double header against Clio on Monday, April 27, 2015, at Holly High School in Holly. The Bronchos lost 21-4 in Game 1 that was stopped because of the five-run mercy rule, and pulled within striking distance in Game 2 before losing 15-7 in a full seven innings. 

Dressed as the Green Lantern, first-grader Luke Raquepaw, 7, watches the dads v.s. kids baseball game on May 1, 2015, also referred to as Super Hero Day at Saint Pius X Catholic School in Flint. Raquepaw's grandparents won a bid during the the Charger Derby Day auction, a school fundraiser, to allow him to dress up and step in to help run the school for the day.

Talise Campbell, 10, center, and her older cousin Ja-Naea Proctor, 12,  right, shoot some hoops on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, as their parents sit outside to talk and watch them play in Flint.

A young girl eats food at the cookout before the Flint Public Art Project's first Neighborhood Art Parade of the year on Thursday, April 30, 2015, starting at Sarvis Park in Civic Heights in Flint. Participants of all ages met at Sarvis Park at 5:30 p.m., to eat food before lining up for the parade that started after 6 p.m. The Nightfire Drumline provided a beat for parade participants to march to as they walked a mile through the Civic Heights neighborhood.

                                                 

Fire Chief John Ringwelski, 53, sits at his desk on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, during his second to last day of work at the Flint Township Fire Station 1 off of Reuben Street. Ringwelski, who became fire chief in 2009, will turn in his radio and uniform in at the end of his work day on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, as he begins retirement. When asked what he planned to do with his retirement Ringwelski explained that he plans to travel, especially overseas, and stay active through various sports and hobbies."I'm going to go buy some street clothes because I won't be wearing a uniform every day," he added. 

Burton police investigate the scene of a motorcycle crash that happened shortly after 11 p.m. on April 26, 2015, near the corner of the Lapeer and Belsay in Burton. Two men attempted to pass a a car and crashed separately. Both were taken to Hurley Medical Center and are listed in critical condition.

Flushing High School senior Jadera Perdue, center, reacts excitedly with friends as she is announced prom queen on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at the Riverfront Banquet Center in downtown Flint. 

Elmer Knopf Learning Center, a special education school, held a prom for students in the cafeteria from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2015, in Flint. The Hollywood themed prom had an estimated 170 students attend, the highest attendance they have had over the years.

 

Mt. Morris High School senior Crystanna Stacy reacts excitedly as she is named prom queen on Friday, May 1, 2015, at Signature Chop House in Flushing. After the initial shock and emotions set-in, Stacy said "this is the greatest thing ever, I almost cried." The "Paris Dream" themed prom had an estimated 168 students in attendance.

A performer waits backstage during the opening show of "Sincerely: the Musical Odyssey of an Original Moonglow" on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the New McCree Theatre – located in the old Flint Powers Catholic High School building – in Flint. The show, written and produced by Charles H. Winfrey, will run at various times from May 7 through May 30, 2015. 

Shayla Blade, right, gets her make up done by her sister Jameelah Brewer, center, in the girls dressing room before preforming as Diana Ross from the Supremes during Act II in the opening show of "Sincerely: the Musical Odyssey of an Original Moonglow" on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the New McCree Theatre, located in the old Flint Powers Catholic School building, in Flint. The show, written and produced by Charles H. Winfrey, will run at various times from May 7 through May 30, 2015. 

Dancers of all ages and styles warm-up before the Berston Banger dance competition began on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the Berston Fieldhouse, where Creative Expressions Dance Studio is located, in Flint. A pool of 32 competitors were cut down to 16 and performed in dance battles to determine a 2015 winner. The winner received $300 and the runner-up received $100. 

Toni Williams, 43, shows her tattoo that symbolizes "Faith, Life, and Love" and her fight with breast cancer on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at her home in Flint. The tattoo covers a scar that she received from the port, a small disc made of plastic about the size of a quarter that sat right under her skin, which was used to help administer chemotherapy medicine to her body.

                                                   

Roderick Graham wears his best friend Calvin McDaniels's jacket on Friday evening, May 9, 2015, during the vigil held for McDaniels in the front yard of the townhouse where he lived with his mother, Sabrina Broadnax, in Mt. Morris Township. "Calvin was a nice person. He was a true gift from God," Graham reflected. "Him being taken away from me, showed me he was a gift from God." Early Tuesday morning, May 5, police found McDaniels with a stab wound in the upper chest and he was pronounced dead at the scene. McDaniels had gotten into an altercation with his mothers ex-boyfriend Maurice Eugine Graves, 36, who allegedly stabbed him.

Sabrina Broadnax, center, is surrounded by a handful of family and friends gathered together to celebrate the life of her 25-year-old son Calvin McDaniels on Friday evening, May 9, 2015, during the vigil held in the front yard of the townhouse where they lived together in Mt. Morris Township. Early Tuesday morning, May 5, police found McDaniels with a stab wound in the upper chest and he was pronounced dead at the scene. McDaniels had gotten into an altercation with his mothers ex-boyfriend Maurice Eugine Graves, 36, who allegedly stabbed him. 

Flintern Life

Hey-o! I've been living in Flint, Michigan, for almost three months. It's crazy how quickly I've become attached to the community in Flint. It's nothing like what I expected before moving from Florida to Michigan, besides being really freakin' cold (that was a given). There is a broken beauty that blankets the community that I haven't found anywhere else I have lived. I've been having a great time learning from and working with my small photo crew: my boss, Jake May, and my internship partner-in-crime, Brittany Greeson. Here are a variety of single images I have taken on at The Flint Journal so far: 

Mr. Taco Brooks and Miss Ghia Huffman pose for photos at the alter after saying "I do" in the Pooch Nuptials Royal wedding on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, at the Humane Society of Genesee County in Burton. The ceremony was held at 1 p.m. with a reception of cake and punch following immediately after.

The New Lothrop Hornets faces the Lake Fenton Blue Devils during a wrestling match on Wednesday evening, Feb. 4, 2015, at Lake Fenton High School in Linden.

Families take advantage of the sunny evening on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, while sledding at Elms Road Park in Swartz Creek.

Left: Captain Peter Alexander poses for a portrait in honor of the Genesee County Firefighter of the Year Award on Thursday, March 19, 2015, at the Grand Blanc Fire Station in Grand Blanc. Captain Alexander will receive his 2014 Genesee County 'Firefighter of the Year' Award during the Genesee County Association of Fire Chiefs annual Installation of Officers banquet on Saturday March 21, 2015, at the Brookwood Banquet center in Burton. 

Right: Adrian Torres, 7, dressed up as a little leprechaun during "Show Your Irish" Day on Saturday, March 14, 2015, at the Davison Farmers Market in Davison. 

Holly senior Jillian Clark, 17, right, receives a kiss from her mother, Dawn Clark, after being crowned the school's 2015 Snow Queen on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, before the varsity boys basketball game against Fenton in the gymnasium. Clark, who will be attending Grand Valley State University in the fall, is the caption of the varsity dance team. 

Twelve contestants participate in a taco eating contest on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at Poco Loco Mexican Cafe in Burton. The contestants were tasked with eating as many medium shell tacos as they could in five minutes. Chris Ascencio, center, the 2014 taco eating champion, attempted to defend his title by eating the filling first and then the shells. Although Ascencio was close, Pakone Mireles, no pictured, beat him by eating 13 tacos within the small time limit. 

Flint Firefighters work to contain a structure fire that spread from the kitchen in the back of a house on Wednesday night, Feb. 4, 2015, in the 600 block of Alma near the corner of College street in Flint. The fire was knocked down quickly, but there was significant smoke damage. Flint Police Sgt. Dave Bigelow said one person has been taken into custody in connection with the fire, suspecting that a disagreement between the homeowner, Catarra Lewis, and the suspect may have led to the blaze.       

                             

Adam Mays, an artist and Flint resident, protests the condition of the Flint water system at Fifth and Saginaw in Downtown Flint, Michigan, with a few handfuls of other protestors, Tuesday afternoon, January 13, 2015.

Flint Kearsley head coach Luther Brown sheds a few tears as he tells his team how proud he is after winning the  MHSAA Division 2 Team Wrestling Regionals on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, at Linden High School in Linden. After a close match, Flint Kearsley beat Ortionville-Brandon by one point, 37-36.

Michigan State police work with Grand Blanc City and Township police as they respond to barricaded gunman at the 1000 block of Edgewater Trail near Baldwin Road on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, in Grand Blanc Township. The suspect was taken into custody around 9:30 p.m. and no injuries were reported. 

Lake Fenton resident Lee Asbel, 32, shows off his ice fishing tip-up and explains how it works on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, while standing on the frozen lake in Fenton. An avid outdoorsman, Asbel hates wasting a day inside even when the wind chill caused temperatures to dip below -25 degrees on Sunday afternoon.  "I was watching the news and got tired of being depressed," he said. "So I had to come out here." 

Jake May, chief photographer at the Flint Journal (as well as a great boss, friend and left shark), cooling off in the freshly fallen snow on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015 after watching the Super Bowl at our apartment complex in Flint. Weather service reports that areas around Genesee County accumulated between 8-11 inches of snow during a continual snow fall that lasted from early Sunday morning through early Monday morning. 

Snow geese and a large group of ducks gather together in the icy water as the temperature drops on Monday evening, Feb. 2, 2015, at Bennett Lake in Fenton Township.

"Eat snow! Eat snow!" said Joseph Brown, 7, as he bent down to shove a snow ball in his little brother Kaleb's face while soaking up some sunshine on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, outside their home in Flint. The weather was partial cloudy with temperatures reaching the high thirties on Friday, which lead the Brown family outside to play in the snow. 

William Dover, who goes by Bill, celebrates his retirement with family, friends and fellow employees on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, after working at Dover & Company, a third generation family owned business, for over 50 years in Flint. Dover's grandfather Wilfred C. Dover founded the company, originally a coal, mason supplies and feed store before beginning to sell garage doors in 1946. Then Dover's father Wilfred "Jack" Dover took over before handing the business over to Bill. 

Members of the dynamic vocal group Heartbeats L.O.S. perform for a nearly sold out crowd on Friday evening, Jan. 23, 2015, at the New McCree Theatre – located at the old Flint Powers Catholic High School building – in Flint. This was the first show that was filled to the brim with people after the theatre's move from its old home at 5005 Cloverlawn – also known as the former Urban League building – in September 2014.

The Heartbeats musicians wait for their cue to play music behind the curtain for the dynamic vocal group Heartbeats L.O.S. during their nearly sold out performance on Friday evening, Jan. 23, 2015, at the New McCree Theatre – located at the old Flint Powers Catholic High School building – in Flint. 

Pauline Dobis celebrates her 100th birthday with students and faculty of Mott College Transitions School of Cosmetology Careers Salon on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, at MCC in Flint. Dobis, a 46-year client of Transitions, turns 100 on Sunday, January 25, 2015. She has a standing appointment on Thursday's at 11:30 a.m. for a wash and style. Dobis lost her left eye due to surviving cancer over 20 years ago. She says she strives to "live a happy life with no enemies," which she thinks has contributed to living as long as she has. 

Clarissa Ruffin, 2, right, colors in her princess coloring book on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, with her mother, Ashley Liddell-Ruffin and older brother, Clarence Ruffin, 5, at their home in Flint. Clarissa is one of the the ambassadors for Hurley Medical Center's Annual Benefit Ball. In May of last year, Clarissa was admitted to Hurley for 27 days with severe pneumonia. After having surgery on her lungs, she had to relearn how to walk and has recovered well. 

The Mott Campus Clowns head back to the classroom after getting group photos taken on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, in the Regional Technology Center/M-TEC building at Mott Community College in Flint. After getting dressed and taking photos, the clown troupe had two performances at the International Academy of Flint and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint on Friday afternoon. They will also be traveling out of the area for an Alternative Spring Break service trip to Philadelphia from March 7-15.