Remembering Richard Threlkeld

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

January 13, 2012 1:06:23 PM PST
He was a familiar fixture on the evening news, covering some of the most important stories of the late 20th Century, and his style - from his voice to his writing to his on-camera presence, provided an authoritative reassurance at a time when respect for authority had eroded and Americans needed more than a little reassurance.

Richard Threlkeld died this morning in Amagansett on Long Island. His mini-Cooper collided with a propane tanker, and the 74-year-old Threlkeld had no chance.

He made his name at CBS News, then came to ABC News in the 1980s, and then returned to CBS until he retired in 1999.

For young journalists who came of age when Threlkeld was at the top of his game, he was someone to be admired. It's so sad that now he's someone to be mourned.

So as we prepare our newscast for 11 p.m., we think of Richard Threlkeld and his family, including his wife Betsy Aaron, a longtime reporter for CBS, ABC and CNN.

Life's short.

Now to our 11 p.m. newscast.

The new president of Penn State is in Manhattan tonight, meeting with alumni and trying to start things anew after the child sex abuse scandal that saw some university officials criminally charged and the reputation of the institution left virtually in ruins. We'll have reaction.

The Marines have stepped up their investigation into the video showing four Marine snipers urinating over the bodies of Taliban terrorists. This one is different than the investigation into possible criminal charge; this one is looking at the bigger picture - the culture of the Corps that allowed this to happen. It's in keeping with many of the comments you all made about my column yesterday, and we thank you for your views.

Quite a kerfuffle in Hoboken and it's a fascinating look at how the quest for public safety can collide with tradition. The Mayor of Hoboken has now cancelled the city's traditional St. Patrick's Day Parade - on the first Saturday in March, a 25-year tradition - because in the words of the Mayor, "the events surrounding (the parade) dishonor the true meaning of the day. Residents and business owners suffer significant property damage, and crime spikes to unacceptable levels, parents are afraid to let their children play outside, and many residents simply feel forced to leave town or close their businesses for the day."

Instead, the Mayor wants the parade on a weeknight, when fewer people are expected to show up and when the situation is less likely to get out of hand. The committee that organizes the parade now says if it can't have the parade on Saturday, then the parade won't happen.

And our Nina Pineda tonight has the story of an 88-year-old woman with dementia and in a terrible jam. Her dentures were locked in her dentist's office; she couldn't get them because the dentist had been evicted from his office by his landlord. She couldn't chew, and was on a liquid diet, basically wasting away. That's when she called Nina for an emergency appointment and got 7 On Your Side.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather chilly forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports, including a preview of the Giants' playoff game against the Packers this Sunday. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.


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