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
Friday, June 12, 2009
Hard-luck brothers suspected in church burglaries
Stephen Bakaitis offers advice to those who struggle, as he says he and his brother do, against poverty and joblessness.

“Don’t revert back to a criminal lifestyle just to make money,” he said. “Stick through it.”

DNA matches have linked Stephen P. Bakaitis, 23, and his brother, Joshua T. Bakaitis, 21, to a string of church break-ins that rattled Waynesboro earlier this year, city police said Wednesday.

After learning of the lab results, police searched Joshua Bakaitis’ Waynesboro apartment and his brother’s tent, turning up items stolen from area churches, according to court documents.


Their story, marred by tragedy, has made its way into news pages before. The Bakaitises’ stepbrother was killed in 2007 when he was burned by a foundry wire while trying to steal copper in Radford, according to The Roanoke Times. Their father was also severely burned in the incident.

Their mother was serving a yearlong jail sentence at the time.

Work was hard to find in Radford, the brothers told The Roanoke Times, spurring a move to Waynesboro, where trouble followed.

:: Read the full story at Follow-up.

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