Some notes from around and about the Mirror newsroom to help keep you abreast of what we're doing and what we're trying to do:
Tragedy is the most difficult thing to cover for a newspaper.
Though a report must be filed, reporters have been known to gather facts with tears in their eyes, particularly in cases such as the one last week when 5-year-old Payne Gerrick was hit and killed by a car after running onto Fairway Drive in Altoona.
One of our most sympathetic writers, Amanda Clegg, found herself on the assignment.
"Going to the scene where other human beings are experiencing the most heart-wrenching, painful life moments is extremely difficult," Clegg said. "My heart goes out to those people, and collecting facts in those moments is the hardest part of my job."
Clegg met with family members and secured a picture of young Payne, thus helping to put a face on the tragedy.
One of the ways our Web site complements the paper is through the comment section on news stories. Payne's death has brought out a lot of comforting sympathy from extended family and friends of the Logan Hills community.
Such as this from someone writing under the handle of ''Powef4.''
It reads: "No one deserves to lose a child. I knew of Payne. I did not know him personally, but my three children did, and they are devastated. Last month they spent a day with him at Chuck E Cheese. The lady across the street babysat him. He would always yell 'hi' to the kids and wave at them when he was over there. Every time I was outside when Bre would drop him off, I would hear him yell, 'Bye, Mom, I love you.'''
Worthy 'park' bench
Speaking of loving acts, a 1957-58 English class at Roosevelt Junior High reunited for a wonderful gesture to honor their former teacher, Kae Parks.
Of the class' 39 members, 27 convened last weekend to unveil a granite bench at Penn State Altoona in honor of Parks. Some of the students came from all over the country.
This might not have been stop-the-press news, but it was the kind of feel-good story that readers enjoy.
I know Parks because she shared an office with my former adviser/mentor/ pal Ron Hoover for many years.
And that alone should qualify her for an engraved bench!
If you haven't had a chance to check out the multimedia package on the recent return of former Curve great Adam Hyzdu to Blair County Ballpark, please do so while it's still on our Web homepage.
Cory Giger, with the help of videographer J.D. Cavrich and technical guru Nick Recchia, captured every angle of Hyzdu's visit.
It's an example of the versatility of today's journalist and the different ways altoonamirror.com can serve readers.
Here's hoping you're appreciating the contributions of freelance cartoonist Bill Bettwy.
The Altoona native has turned in some classics lately, including the ones aimed at the Blair County commissioners and the Claysburg-area police.
I'm betting former Mirror legend Tom Gibb, who passed away five years ago July 4, is smiling.
Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.His blog, "once a sports guy," also can be found on altoonamirror.com.