tony gonzalez journalist
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Online portfolio and blog by Tony Gonzalez, family issues reporter for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. I married my high school sweetheart, Katie, a designer and bookbinder. I like juggling, maps, baseball, and bullmastiffs.

Two years at The Tennessean, July 2011 to present. Three years reporting and editing at The News Virginian, 2008 to 2011. Editor of college and high school newspapers. Internships at The Star Tribune, The Detroit News, and The Toledo Free Press. Chips Quinn Scholar 2007.

Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors 2012 statewide Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting, as well as the Freedom of Information award, for Department of Children's Services project.

Gannett company-wide award 2012 for Watchdog Journalism

Associated Press Managing Editors 2010 International Perspective First Place for "The Borders Within," as well as Public Service Honorable Mention for investigation into troubled children's psychiatric hospital

2009 and 2010 winner, with staff, of the Virginia Press Association's highest award: the Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service.

Virginia Press Association 2008, 2009, and 2010 awards for crime, investigative, breaking news, and feature writing

2011 Robert Novak Fellow

Michigan Collegiate Press Association "Journalist of the Year" 2008

Chips Quinn Scholar, Class of 2007

Civil Rights Project DCS project
Borders Within Multimedia
Saturday, January 06, 2007
News Virginian archive
:: Suspects drew attention with antics
STAUNTON — Two Staunton men charged with killing a former roommate caught the attention of police in distinct ways before and after the crime.

Police charged one with beating a chihuahua puppy five days before a turkey hunter found Michael Ryan Tolsdorf, 20, dead near the West Virginia state line. The other suspect called 911 two weeks after the body was identified to report that he’d been hit in the head with a shovel by another man.

That led police to a car they subsequently searched over suspicions of links to a string of area break-ins. Two weeks later, Justin M. Bindel, 21, tossed a can out of the window of a white 2000 Chevrolet Lumina in Jacksonville, Fla.

And the strange saga ended.

The license plate number on the Lumina owned by Brian P. Bingham, 21, matched the one on the car police searched in Staunton. And the pair inside the car, Bingham and Bindel, matched the suspects wanted in Tolsdorf’s killing.

Court records reviewed by The News Virginian paint the timeline, much of it coming to light after Bingham made the 911 call to report that he’d been hit with a shovel by Matthew Giovine, of Staunton. ...

:: Anatomy of a chas
Waynesboro police began an internal investigation Tuesday into a 12-minute chase that has witnesses across the city talking about gunshots, squealing tires and mangled police cruisers.

Police used a Taser on Monday to subdue Ian D. Kasdan, 26, of Harrisonburg, after he led police through neighborhoods and into the Kate Collins Middle School parking lot.

Police fired two shots at the wheels of Kasdan’s 1989 Toyota Camry station wagon before ramming it on Ivy Street. Police estimated cruiser damage at $13,000. Three officers were injured. ...
:: Policy violated

:: Lost and found and 'No wrong turns'
AUGUSTA SPRINGS — Two West Virginia children missing in George Washington National Forest spent Sunday night huddled beneath leaves in a creek bed worrying about “night beasts” but “snuggled up” for warmth.

Zen Ezra Phelan Darby, 8, and Khari Dawn Hatfield, 11, heard a helicopter thundering above the treetops, but no shouts from the rescuers who traversed the heavily wooded and steep terrain throughout the night.

They were found still walking that creek bed Monday afternoon, almost 22 hours after going missing, moving deeper into the woods and carrying a pocket full of “wooly worms,” a spider sack and a leaf with a “neat” spore on it. ...

:: 'We're alive' and On Solid Foundation folo
CRIMORA - Her hair singed and her hands blackened from a dig through ashes in search of her wedding ring, Liz Fisher, wife of Augusta County Sheriff Randy Fisher, walked through the family’s charred home Monday afternoon, worrying more about the fatigue of the clean-up crew than where she will spend her coming days. ...

:: The High's Ice Cream Murders
Forty-one years after two young women were gunned down in a Staunton ice cream shop, a prosecutor said Monday police are preparing for an arrest, ending decades of anguish for the victims’ families.

A woman has confessed to killing Constance Hevener, 19, and her sister-in-law, Carolyn Perry, 20, on April 11, 1967, according to a former Staunton police detective who previously worked the case and a distant relative of one of the victims who has investigated the case.

Authorities neither would comment on that claim nor name a suspect, but Staunton police Chief Jim Williams said new information has spurred investigators to reopen the case. ...

Covering the cold case:
1. Fresh information
2. Arrest looms
3. Families speak
4. Closure
5. Charge dropped against other suspect
6. Hearing delayed
7. Suspect dies
8. Hidden Truth
9. State police called
10. Gun tests negative

:: Sheriff connected to stabbing
A weekend stabbing in a field near Crimora was the latest black mark on a property where teens frequently trespass, party and vandalize farm equipment, farmers and neighbors said Wednesday.

“There’s just non-stop traffic in and out of there,” said Andy King, who lives in the 1700 block of Rockfish Road, where it intersects with Robert Turk Lane.

Early Saturday, a party in the field turned violent. Nathaniel Dofflemyer, 20, of Verona, stabbed Dustin P. Lauterback, 19, of Waynesboro, according to court records. Lauterback since has returned home.

That incident riled Larry Shiflett, who has farmed nearly 20 years on land he rents from J.B. Yount. Shiflett said he repeatedly has asked authorities to monitor for trespassers. He also speaks regularly with Sheriff Randy Fisher, who lives nearby and maintains some of Yount’s land.

“He’s known there was a problem down there,” Shiflett said. ...
:: First story, folo

:: Outside the Box
He buys barbecue sauce by the truckload and pistols by the hundreds — clothing comes by the store full — and fireworks, well, he bought the whole factory.

Bill Mikolay once sold a submarine propeller, but struggled to find a buyer for Disneyland monorail parts. When he got busy, he tossed Catholic manuscripts from 1593 in his desk drawer because a call to the Vatican didn’t help figure out who owned them.

His downtown store, which displays just 3 percent of an ever-changing inventory, offers Starbucks coffees, Nike sports gear, one Hermes purse discounted down from $38,000 and barrels of 10-cent taco mix.

If he could sell any of those things — or a shipment of 10,000 Halloween shrunken head decorations — he’d be happy for a minute, then on to the next sale.

“Any time you get in shrunken heads, it’s too many,” Mikolay said on a tour of a warehouse he uses for Main Street Discount and his eBay operation, the Freight Adoption Agency.

In the past six months, sales have doubled for Mikolay, who buys up bankrupt stores then sells their equipment — shelves, mirrors and appliances — and their products (lately from True Value, Macy’s and Hooters). A good day brings $18,000 in online sales, where the company does 80 percent of its business. ...

:: Reassessment shocks Craigsville
CRAIGSVILLE – A flood washed away John Sours’ shed, but from the empty concrete slab foundation where the structure stood he can survey the property that assessors consider increasingly valuable.

There’s a home built in 1876, a wrenched, wobbling and impassable red bridge reaching across the creek (flooding claimed a previous bridge), and two more sheds.

Across the creek, if the 74-year-old heart attack survivor felt like leaping, is a chicken coop Sours has never used. It sits on the only plateau amid a tree-filled chunk of land that rises so suddenly from the creek that Sours used to climb by clinging to branches.

He’d sell all of this .88-acre plot on the spot, he said, for its newly assessed value: $58,200. That value, up 48 percent over four years, shocked the Craigsville man when reassessed values came by mail last month.

“Somebody done made a mistake somewhere,” Sours said. “I hadn’t improved it none and the damn creek’s done taken one of my buildings. ... Can’t do nothing with the land. You can’t hardly walk up it, much less raise the taxes on it.” ...

:: Man about town dies at 64
In his “Cadillac of electric wheelchairs,” Marvin Hill Cochran logged thousands of miles and became a familiar face at Waynesboro resale shops, where he bought up clocks for his collection then kept them running set to different times.

The man about town and regular at Kroger died Monday. He was 64.

Although he had “burned through” two electric scooters during daily excursions from Springdale Apartments at 300 S. Wayne Ave., Cochran found satisfaction and long battery life in a Quickie V-100 wheelchair from Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, friends said Tuesday.

“He was always asking me to ride with him,” said Frank Johnson, who lived four floors above Cochran. “I went with him one time, but I had to turn back. His battery had more charge ... he could go more miles.” ...
 :: Team riled over altered report; Folo
:: 'That street life'
:: Agent unleashed tirade
:: 200 pages detail cruelty
:: Abuse cited at Liberty Point
:: Alert system lacking at senior apt.

:: Across the Miles I, II, III
:: Sentence tests 'soul mates'
:: Marvin H. Cochran
:: Lost freight business booms

Breaking News
:: Gunfire kills woman
:: Lost and Found; No wrong turns
:: Arrest looms in '67 murder case
:: 'We're alive'

:: Sewage leaks spur borrowing
:: City omitted licenses
:: Waynesboro's big empty boxes
:: Councilors balk at tax collector pitch
:: Board violated open gov't law

Law and Courts
:: 12-year saga ends in court:: Ex hired 'hitman'
:: Rocketry appeal heats up; Another legal blast
:: Taxidermy case tests law
:: 'People's' attorney down, out
:: Editor cites Privacy Protection Act
:: Century behind bars

:: Parents hear schools plan
:: Gap persists between girls, boys

:: Grim news shakes workers
:: Property values are booming
:: Cultivated niche
:: Developers chosen for WSH

By Topic
Accountability: Neighbor: Sheriff aware of trouble at stabbing site; Folo
Aviation: Chopper down; Pilot bruised
Bears: Desperate bears take goats
Beat: 260 N. Commerce Ave.
Blizzard: snow record, ride-along
Bridges: Big projects arrive 
Cruelty: Horses abused 1 and 2 and 3 and 4
Dam Demolition: Part 1 and Part 2

Development: Group chosen for WSH site
A beagle named 'Buddy'

Drowning: Rescuer speaks and Silver Linings

Election: Treasurer 1 and 2 and 3
Exclusive: Woman won't be tried
: Residents displaced
Fugitive: Strange, wild ride
Immigration: Across the Miles 
Love triangle: Hearing ends sordid tale

Mass Layoffs: Mohawk and Invista 
Narrative: Bat attackers go for beer
Obituary: Standard Setter
Oddity: 11-year-old driver testifies
Oddity: Bowling ball thief
Oddity: No gold at rainbow's end 
Oddity: Suspect 'foggy' from drugs
Pursuit: Anatomy of a chase; Policy violated
Records: Board suspends doctor's license
Roads: Traffic re-routed for bridge swap
Rollover crash:
Young singer killed
Search: Man found after 9 hours

Timeline: Suspects' antics drew attention
Veterans: Toyoko Belcher
VFW: Generational Divide
Water: Results 'a warning'

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