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Terre Haute

Charges Dropped Against WTHI Meteorologist Pulled Over for DWI

orpurt_wthiKevin Orpurt, meteorologist for Terre Haute, IN, CBS station WTHI, won’t face criminal charges after being arrested October 25.

The Terre Haute Tribune Star reports, Orpurt was facing two class-A misdemeanors: driving while intoxicated and endangering a person and criminal recklessness with a vehicle and one class-D felony: resisting law enforcement with a vehicle.

On its website, WTHI said Opurt was involved in an accident that eventually led to his arrest.

Vigo County prosecutor Terry Modesitt told WTHI, “It was determined there was not any alcohol in his system and now valid prescriptions have been presented to our office that supports  what drugs were found in his system,” Modesitt added. “It all comes down to making sure you get it right because someone’s career and life’s at stake here and you do not want to charge and prosecute someone.. if the evidence changes.. and now you may not be able to prove a crime was committed.”

Modesitt also told the Tribune Star Orpurt didn’t get any special treatment because he’s on TV. Orpurt started working at WTHI in 1982.

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WTHI Reporter Charged With Domestic Battery

WTHI reports Jon Swaner, a reporter for the Terre Haute, IN, CBS affiliate, has been charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

The station seemed to be headed for a bit of a firestrom after viewers noticed the station had posted a story about the upcoming court appearance of Swaner, but then took it down. The station has since reported the story on its 5:00 p.m. news and has reposted the story to its website.

According to WTHI, preliminary charges of misdemeanor domestic battery have been filed against Swaner after he and his wife reportedly got into an argument Friday.

WTHI said when police arrived, Swaner’s wife had blood on her face and cut over her eye.  Both Swaner and his wife told police she was injured after running into a door. The station said the judge in the case is not allowing contact between the couple. Swaner is due back in court Thursday. Read more

Mark Allen Retiring From WTHI in Terre Haute

Mark Allen is retiring from WTHI, the Fox and CBS affiliate in Terre Haute, Ind. He has worked at the station since 1990, anchoring the 6, 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

“They (WTHI-TV) take the business so seriously and I have really enjoyed the fact that they are involved in the community,” Allen told The Terre Haute Tribune-Star. “That is not always the case, especially for TV stations.”

Also retiring from WTHI is local sales manager Jim Swander. WTHI honored the pair with a party Thursday night.

The Tribune-Star reports Mike Cleff, an anchor at WLFI in West Layfayette, Ind., will take Allen’s place at the anchor desk.

WTWO Knocked Off the Air By Lightning Strike

Terre Haute NBC affiliate WTWO was knocked off the air last night by a severe lightning strike, according to a statement on the station’s website.

The station returned to the air around 11 a.m. Tuesday after being out for approximately 17 hours. WTWO directed viewers to sister station WAWV, the ABC affiliate in Terre Haute, during the signal disruption.

“WTWO’s signal has now been repaired. Thank you for your patience after we suffered a lightening strike yesterday,” the station wrote on Facebook. [h/t NewsBlues]

Terre Haute’s WTHI Gets New Home and New Look

After more than fifty years in its old home WTHI, Terre Haute’s CBS and FOX affiliate, will move into a modern new facility this weekend.

“The new digital television station is a commitment to our community, viewers and advertisers.  We are also very pleased to be part of the ongoing revitalization of downtown Terre Haute,”  Todd Weber, vice president and general manager of WTHI said in a statement.  “WTHI-TV has long been a fixture in the landscape of downtown and we felt it was important to remain there.  LIN Media supported us in that decision.”

Weber told TVSpy the station will broadcast from the old building at 918 Ohio street for the last time Friday night and begin broadcasting from its new building Saturday morning.  The official HD launch will be Monday, though viewers will be able to see the station in HD beginning with Saturday’s 11 p.m. newscast.  You can view pictures of the construction on the new building after the jump. Read more

Master Control Operator Opens Fire at WTWO

Ken Bolinger, a master control operator who was recently fired by WTWO in Terre Haute, IN, was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly opened fire at the station around 4 a.m. Saturday.

Bolinger, 24, was taken into custody Saturday afternoon after police responded to reports of gunfire at the station. According to his Facebook page, Bolinger, who goes by his middle name Trey, worked as master control operator at WTWO from June 21, 2011 to March 26, 2012.

He was apparently terminated from his job for bringing a gun to work. Read more

VIDEO: WTWO Camera Operator Proposes to Girlfriend During Newscast

It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without someone proposing on-air. In this case, that someone was a WTWO production assistant named Zach, who popped the question to his girlfriend during the Terre Haute NBC-affiliate’s late newscast on Tuesday.

Terre Haute’s WFXW Gets New Call Letters, 5 p.m. News As Part of Affiliation Swap

Mission Broadcasting’s WFXW will debut new call letters and an expanded newscast as the station undergoes a switch from the Fox affiliate to the ABC affiliate in Terre Haute on September 1.

The station, which is operated by Nexstar Broadcasting under a shared services agreement with WTWO, the market NBC affiliate, will be rebranded as WAWV. The planned changes in the programming lineup include an additional broadcast at 5 p.m., which will be anchored by Tom McClanahan. ABC’s primetime lineup will also displace the station’s 10 p.m. newscast, which WAWV plans to make available to viewers streaming on the web. According to the station, this will be the first online newscast in Terre Haute.

The station’s Fox affiliation was dropped in June after Nexstar and Fox failed to come to an agreement over the programming fees Fox is demanding from its affiliates; shortly thereafter, Nexstar announced the station would become an ABC affiliate. Terre Haute has not had an ABC affiliate for more than 16 years. The Terre Haute station becomes the second Nexstar-operated station, after KOZL in Springfield, MO, that will undergo a rebranding effort after losing its Fox affiliation.