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Another shooting at Virginia Tech

December 8, 2011 1:50:30 PM PST
It just seemed impossible. Another shooting at Virginia Tech? No way.


Two people are dead - one of them is a cop.

Students told us - via Twitter and Facebook - that they were in lockdown and were scared for much of the afternoon.

The second person is likely the gunman; whether he was shot by the cop or took his own life - that we still don't know yet. We'll have the latest tonight at 11.

We're also following another developing story - this one in Delaware, where a scandal is brewing at the Dover Air Base. Nearly a thousand body parts of 274 U.S. soldiers - recovered from battlefields abroad ? were basically thrown away at a dump in Virginia after they arrived at Dover between 2004 and 2008. So who are these soldiers? And what in the world does the Pentagon say to their grieving families? The Air Force is set to address the scandal, early this evening, and we'll have the story, at 11.

We'll also hear the testimony of former U.S. Senator and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine today - as he gave his side of the story before the House Agriculture Committee about the collapse of his financial firm, MF Global.

$1.2 billion of clients' money is missing and various agencies and panels are looking into whether the funds were used to pay for MF Global's own expenses. That's a big no-no.

Mr. Corzine, who many believed would plead the Fifth Amendment, talked a lot - although he insisted he had no idea what happened to the missing funds. And he said he didn't know the funds were missing until it was discovered later - after the company he headed went bankrupt.

By the way, he's reportedly the first person to have been a U.S. Senator to be subpoenaed since 1908.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

And finally, a personal story that's dramatically affected my life. It happened when I was about 7. We had a dog - Fanny was her name. A beautiful standard Poodle - big and smart and gentle. Fanny was our family's dog - but the truth is she was really my mom's. The two were inseparable, and there was never a doubt who Fanny was devoted to the most.

One day, Fanny decided to hop the fence. Go find her, my mother instructed me. But that meant going into the garage to get my bike and lifting what for a little kid was a gynormous and often-stuck door. It was hard, and so I didn't do it.

An hour later my mom asked me if I had found Fanny, and I told her I didn't go because the garage door was too heavy.

She stared at me.


I turned, and I went outside and opened the door.

I rode my bike just a couple of blocks before I saw Fanny, lying on the side of a busy street. Motionless. Just lying there.

As I knelt over her, sobbing, a woman came up to me and told me she had dragged Fanny to the side after a driver hit her - and just kept going.

The details of what happened next are a bit fuzzy, except that I remember clearly my mom's face when I raced into the house, crying uncontrollably, and told her that Fanny was dead.

My mom was devastated.

And so was I.

This tale of Fanny has affected me all of my life. If I hadn't been lazy, Fanny would not have been killed. That was my takeaway lesson from all this.

And all these years later, whenever I think - even for a nanosecond - of putting something off - somehow Fanny's image pops into my mind, and I do whatever task is at hand.

There's no shortage of descriptions people who know me have for me. Many of them are not complimentary. But no one can say I'm lazy. And Fanny's the reason - at least in my mind.

I'm not sure whether I momentarily forgot the lesson of Fanny a couple of weeks ago, when I was opening the trap doors into our basement, and thought I could get away with walking down the stairs by opening just one of the two doors.

It was stupid, stupid, stupid. At least that was my thinking when I tried to slither sideways, missed a couple of stairs, and twisted my knee.

Tomorrow, I go in the hospital to fix it.

And I'll be thinking of Fanny as they put me under. I'm sure there are many who think her death isn't the reason I recoil at the notion of being lazy or putting off any task.

But for me, one of the rare times I tried to cut a corner - by not fully opening the basement doors - well, it just proves my lifelong belief that laziness causes problems. Fanny's death when I was a kid. And a shredded knee late last month.

All of which is a long way of saying I'll be out of the office tomorrow, and this column will resume on Monday.


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