A series of stories exposing the deadly working conditions correctional officers face in federal prisons, particularly the United States Penitentiary at Canaan in Pennsylvania, where an inmate ambushed and murdered an officer on Feb. 25, 2013. Soon after the killing, The Citizens’ Voice set out to examine the dangers federal correctional officers face; the staffing, budget cuts and administrative resistance that have increased the risk of violence; and the remedies being implemented to prevent another death.
Listen to Mike’s recent appearances on the public radio program “Here & Now” reporting on the Penn State child-sex abuse scandal.
“Here & Now,” WBUR/PRI .: December 13, 2011
Mike joins host Robin Young by telephone from Bellefonte, Pa. to discuss the latest in the child-sex abuse case against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. The five-minute report, delivered off-the-cuff after Sandusky abruptly waived his preliminary hearing, led the noon broadcast. (Listen)
“Here & Now,” WBUR/PRI .: December 17, 2011
Mike joins host Robin Young by telephone from Harrisburg, Pa. for a brief update on testimony in a preliminary hearing for two Penn State administrators accused of covering up child-sex abuse against against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. The report led the noon broadcast, setting up an in-depth story on more allegations of abuse at the university. (Listen)
As rumors swirled about Joe Paterno’s health, Mike confirmed the former coach’s condition had worsened and that his wife was summoning friends to say a last goodbye. CBS, ESPN and other outlets picked up the story, citing Mike’s reporting and thousands retweeted his posts on Twitter.
JUNE 10, 2012 | The last will and testament is supposed to be the final word on a person’s life, wealth and material assets. In almost all cases the documents become public records, on file at the local courthouse for anyone to see. In June, I discovered Joe Paterno’s will was, curiously, not among them. The Associated Press and newspapers across the country picked up the story. After the article appeared, the parent company of The Citizens’ Voice filed a court action pressuring the Paterno family to release the will and have a judge overturn an unusual court order that had sealed the matter.
THE CITIZENS’ VOICE, OCT. 9, 2011 | The rain won’t stop. For 36 hours, the torrents of another strong tropical system pound the Northeast, soaking already sodden ground, swelling creeks and sending shivers of unease through Susquehanna River communities haunted by the record flooding of four decades past.
SEPTEMBER 2011 | The Susquehanna River surged to a record crest of 42.66 feet in Wilkes-Barre, inflicting unprecedented stress on the Luzerne County levee system and devastating flooding on communities not guarded by the floodwalls.
THE CITIZENS’ VOICE, AUGUST 7, 2011 | Paul Kanjorski won’t quit. He can’t. Not now. Though, now might be the perfect time to give up, retire, head south and spend the rest of his days sipping cocktails poolside. But, that isn’t Paul Kanjorski. Not at the ripe young age of 74. Not after more than a quarter-century in perpetual motion as the elected Representative and anointed standard-bearer for the idiosyncratic conservative Democratic ideals of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
JAN. 15, 2013 | So far this year, I broke major developments in a hit-and-run crash that killed a five-year-old; covered the latest turn in the Jerry Sandusky case; chronicled a whirlwind day of victory and defeat for a teenager accused of killing his great-grandfather; and revealed a secret criminal investigation into a county official accused of illegally recording telephone calls.
WVIA-TV | Each month, Mike hosts “State of Pennsylvania,” a regional version of “Meet the Press” on WVIA-TV. The hour-long show features reporters from newspapers across the region discussing the latest news and issues affecting the region and giving insights into how they decide what makes a worthwhile story.
THE CITIZENS VOICE, MAY 6, 2012 | This wasn’t like him. Michael J. Kerkowski wouldn’t just disappear without telling anyone. His children were expecting him to pick them up from day care, after all. And, his girlfriend, Tammy Fassett, promised his parents that they would stop over and see the brand-new television set — the same set that still flickers and flashes in his mother’s living room a decade later.