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Man Found Guilty of Attacking WGEM Crew in February

The Quincy Herald-Whig said it took a jury 55 minutes to find Roger Parker guilty of felony aggravated battery in a public place, felony intimidation and a misdemeanor charge of resisting a peace officer after a two day trial. He faces between two and five years in prison.

Parker disrupted a live broadcast by WGEM in the area of Seventh and Lind for the 10 p.m. newscast on Feb. 27. WGEM reporter Jenny Dreasler and cameraman Ben Neisen both testified that Parker was verbally abusive toward them before they went on air. Both said Parker threatened their lives and threatened to break Neisen’s camera.

Dreasler was doing a story about junk littering the area, and the shot was to focus on a vacant lot in the area, both Dreasler and Neisen said.

Parker testified that he calmly asked Dreasler and Neisen not to film his property. He told the pair he was “going to (expletive) up the broadcast.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones showed video of the broadcast, which showed a man dressed in a puffy orange winter coat blocking the camera. The man turned around and then grabbed the camera. The video stopped after several seconds, and the live broadcast was cut short.

Dreasler nearly broke down on the stand while testifying Monday afternoon.

“I was honestly scared for my life,” she said.

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Kristen Hamilton Named ND at KHQA

Kristen Hamilton has been hired as the news director for KHQA, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s CBS affiliate in Quincy, Ill.

Rick Gevers reports in his weekly newsletter that Hamilton comes from WXIN in Indianapolis, where she is the content manager. She replaces Nora Baldner, who has been KHQA news director for four years.

Les Sachs to Retire After 35 Years at WGEM

Anchor Les Sachs is set to retire later this spring, after 35 years with WGEM.

Sachs first joined WGEM–an NBC-affiliate that covers the tri-states area of western Illinois, northeastern Missouri, and southeastern Iowa–in 1973.  After rising through the ranks at WGEM, Sachs left the station in 1989. He returned in ’93 and has been there ever since.

“Les has always been there, in good times and challenging times, for so many people.  He’s been that trusted resource,” WGEM news director Chad Mahoney said.  “Les genuinely cares about the community and people sense that.  That’s why he has been so successful for so many years.” Read more

Management Changes at KHQA: Baldner Succeeding Sowers as News Director

KHQA announced today that executive news director, and longtime anchor, Carol Sowers has been named vice president of public affairs and Nora Baldner (left) is taking over as news director.

Sowers, who has been with the CBS-affiliate since 1985, will continue anchoring KHQA’s evening newscasts in addition to handling public affairs programming, community outreach, and special projects for the station. Sowers has been KHQA’s news director since 1996.

KHQA, which serves the Tri-States area of western Illinois, northeastern Missouri, and southeastern Iowa, hired Baldner last August as managing editor. Previously, Baldner worked as an assignment editor for rival station WGEM and also hosted the NBC-affiliate’s morning show for over a decade.

“Nora has a distinguished record in journalism and community involvement, along with a wealth of experience covering news in the Tri-State area,” Sowers said when Baldner joined the station last year. “She will be a strong leader as we reshape local news for the future.”