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
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Dam demolition plan divides community
The Rife-Loth Dam, built in 1907, holds back the South River between Lyndurst Road and Rife Road.

By Tony Gonzalez
The News Virginian

The owners of a century-old dam on the South River say the deteriorating structure is a dangerous liability that must be removed, but their latest proposal to demolish it has met with impassioned opposition.

During the past five years, the board of directors of the Ram Works Homeowners Association has debated whether to repair or remove the Rife-Loth Dam, built in its current form in 1907. The dam holds back the South River where it flows along Rife Road, just upstream from the Waynesboro YMCA.

Board President Chester Campbell said the panel recently decided — but has not formally voted — to remove the dam. He said the dam is a drowning and injury danger that escalates insurance costs and that rehabilitation, at a cost of $150,000 to $250,000, is at least three times as expensive as removal.

Repairs would not qualify for government grant money or be supported by environmental agencies, Campbell said.

“I exhausted any possibility that I thought we have of finding funding to restore the dam,” said Campbell, 83. “There’s nobody — no one — that hates to see that dam go worse than I do.”

Campbell’s estimate of his emotional attachment to the dam, like almost every piece of the proposal to remove it, has been contested this month, and for years. Some who live among the 72 units at Ram Works oppose removing the dam because they say it adds historic value and character, makes the property attractive for renting and selling, and for the tranquility provided by the ever-present sound of falling water.

Read part one.
Read part two.

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