Pat Summitt, legendary former coach of Lady Vols, dies at 64

pat-summitt

Pat Summitt, who won eight national championships as head coach of the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team and had more wins than any NCAA college basketball coach in history when she was forced to retire at age 59 because of a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, died June 28 at a senior living home in Knoxville. She was 64.

She died of complications from the disease, said family spokeswoman Erin Freeman.

Ms. Summitt unexpectedly became coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols when she was 22 and, over a 38-year career, formed a dynasty seldom matched in any college sport. She was the first college basketball coach, male or female, to reach 1,000 victories in a career.


My obituary of Summitt ran A1 in The Washington Post on June 29, and was syndicated nationally.

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Erik Martin helped make Reddit huge, then he left. What’s next for an Internet master?

Erik Martin left his position as general manager of Reddit, one of the world’s largest Web sites, a few months ago. Now, the Brooklyn resident ponders his future. (Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post)

Erik Martin left his position as general manager of Reddit, one of the world’s largest Web sites, a few months ago. Now, the Brooklyn resident ponders his future. (Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post)

A day before he was to speak at Harvard, Erik Martin was walking his 5-year-old mutt, Mog, down a few Brooklyn streets to a park.

Martin is in roomy blue jeans that fall over faded blue Nike sneakers. A few weeks ago, he was managing Reddit, one of the largest Web sites in the world. Now, he’s unemployed.

The longtime manager of one of the world’s most successful start-up Internet companies leans down to bag Mog’s droppings. The next day, he’ll speak on a panel about journalism for social change at the Igniting Innovation Summit on Social Entrepreneurship in Cambridge.

Time magazine named Martin to its list of the most influential people in the world in 2012, when Reddit was less than a fifth of its current size. The site, said to be valued at $500 million, boasted more than 174 million unique visitors in September 2014, just weeks before Martin announced his resignation as general manager on Oct. 13.

“If the Web’s most powerful images are the ones that go viral, then Erik Martin oversees the most infectious petri dish around,” Time said of Martin in 2012. “Since its founding in 2005, the site has avoided the influence of corporate brands and self-promoting celebrities, instead favoring the sometimes questionable taste du jour of its hive mind.”

Martin’s transition from Reddit could reflect future generations of entrepreneurs with varying interests as the Internet enters its “second generation,” a time when young people coming into the workplace have had access to the Internet for their entire lives. His leadership at Reddit helped shape the model of Internet freedom we experience today.

“ ‘A.D.D.’ is a very good term to describe what is going on in the Internet world,” says Kathleen Allen, a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California, about tech entrepreneurs. “Even if they make it big, they tend to start something new. It’s a lifestyle sort of thing.”

So what’s the next step for Martin, a 37-year-old barbecue-loving, early-’90s rap connoisseur and media guru considered an expert on communication in the digital age?

“It’s called Assholes on Demand,” he says with a slight giggle.

It’s called Assholes on Demand.

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared on page C1 of The Washington Post.

DC Ferguson/ Marion Barry Live Coverage

After a grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, protests erupted across the country. For two weeks, I was tasked with following the gatherings, both the planned and unplanned. I fed remote reporting feeds to reporters at The Post‘s headquarters. Some of those stories can be found here and here.

About the same time, DC lost one of its most polarizing politicians, Marion Barry. Barry was beloved by DC’s black community, so the two events proximity to one another couldn’t be ignored. It was an emotional time.

I documented the protests as well as the city’s reaction to Barry’s death, on my Twitter and Vine accounts. Here’s a summary of the social media work I did for these stories.

DC Ferguson:

Marion Barry:

In Ward 8, vigil for Marion Barry moves from mourning to celebrating

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Dana Hall, center, lights a candle during a vigil along Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE as people gathered to remember the life of former mayor Marion Barry on Nov. 23. Barry died early that same day. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Though it could be days before an official memorial honors former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, impromptu gatherings in Anacostia brought hundreds of residents together Sunday evening to dance, sing, shout and pray.

A candlelight vigil began shortly after sunset Sunday at Anacostia’s Big Chair and picked up steam as it went along.

Teenagers leaned on the giant legs of the chair. Babies perched on their parents’ shoulders, peering over the group of Ward 8 residents, who loved Barry so much.

Vigil organizer Damian Bascom passed around a megaphone to speakers who ranged in age from recent college graduates to seniors who remember Barry’s rise to fame.

Hector Rodriguez, 72, was among a small group of Latino residents who yelled “Viva Marion Barry!” Rodriguez worked on Barry’s cabinet when he was mayor. But he also remembered meeting Barry when he “still had his Afro.”

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared in the B section of The Washington Post.

Dashed streetcar plans spread uncertainty along Columbia Pike, Crystal City corridors

Zulkuf Gezgic, owner of Attila's Restaurant on Colombia Pike, says he doubts another project is going to come to the area any time soon. (Miles Parks/The Washington Post)

Zulkuf Gezgic, owner of Attila’s Restaurant on Colombia Pike, says he doubts another project is going to come to the area any time soon. (Miles Parks/The Washington Post)

By: Patricia Sullivan and Miles Parks

Arlington County’s abrupt cancellation of two long-planned streetcar projects on Tuesday has upended plans to redevelop the Columbia Pike and Crystal City corridors and poses new uncertainty for those interested in transforming the aging neighborhoods, say business and civic leaders.

Some property owners along the congested Columbia Pike strip are now recalculating prices at which they think they could sell, predicting softer demand from developers who had been intrigued by the creation of a trendy streetcar line. Others, however, said they were relieved to hear that the projects were canceled — because they feared streetcars would bring gentrification that could force them out.

Advocates of revitalization, meanwhile, said county leaders must quickly commit to funding other transportation improvements if they want to preserve the corridor’s potential — a commitment Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette (D) promised to make.

“The risks have risen significantly for those who want to invest,” said Takis Karantonis, executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization. “There is no credible transportation proposal in the works. So we find ourselves in limbo.”

Zulkuf Gezgic, owner of Atilla’s Restaurant on Columbia Pike, put his restaurant up for sale more than two years ago for $275,000. He is still waiting to sell and said he’d now take $220,000 if the buyer was willing to pay in cash.

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared on page B1 of The Washington Post.

Andrew Schmuhl denied bond in torture, stabbings of McLean couple

The second Springfield lawyer accused of brutally stabbing a McLean couple last week was denied bond Tuesday after new details emerged about the attack that prosecutors have described as a “torture session.”

Andrew Schmuhl, charged with two counts of malicious wounding and abduction by force, appeared at a hearing in Fairfax County.

Prosecutors say he broke into the McLean home Nov. 9 and left homeowners Leo Fisher and his wife, Susan Duncan, with life-threatening injuries. Prosecutors say Andrew Schmuhl was accompanied by his wife, Alecia, who had recently been fired by a law firm where Fisher is managing partner.

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared in the B section of The Washington Post.

To honor veterans, Mall is the stage for a flag-waving night of patriotism, music

This story was my first A1 byline in The Washington Post. I also live-Tweeted the event.

 

Here’s the story:

By: Paul Schwartzman and Miles Parks

Beneath a vast night sky and billowing red clouds, award-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson delivered a moment of harmonic splendor Tuesday night as she rang up the start of the national anthem, her soaring voice inspiring the first of many thunderous roars of applause along the Mall.

With the U.S. Capitol as its glowing, iconic backdrop, the Concert for Valorbegan as a somber and stirring tribute to generations of American veterans who sacrificed their lives and well-being through the years.

But the three-hour concert also was a rollicking showcase for a full panoply of American sound — from Rihanna’s passionate R&B to Metallica’s raging heavy metal; from Eminem’s sneering rap to Bruce Springsteen’s soothing acoustic strains. There was alt-rock from the Black Keys and country from Carrie Underwood.

“How you feel out there? The whole world is watching!” actor Jamie Foxx said as the show started at 7 p.m., leading the crowd in chants of “USA! USA!”

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared on page A1 of The Washington Post.