The Real Paul Jones

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Date: 9/13/2005

Stroms to help Storm-orphaned Animals

Chapel Hill Town Council member Bill Strom and his wife, Independent reporter, Jenn Strom are on their way to assist in animal rescue in Mississippi and Louisiana. They write about their decision to go down and help and they include a list of needs in the letter below:

Dear friends, colleagues, family members and fellow animal lovers,

After two agonizing weeks of watching the devastation Hurricane Katrina has wreaked on the Gulf Coast, Jen and I want to contribute to the recovery efforts in a hands-on way. One thing we have experience in and resources for is caring for rescued companion animals.

We are undertaking a supply and volunteer mission, working with Independent Animal Rescue, a Triangle-wide nonprofit organization we have been involved with for many years. It’s a gigantic effort to shelter several thousand displaced animals indefinitely while they recover from their ordeal and await reunions with their families or adoption. Next Friday, Sept. 23, we will set off in our camper to deliver supplies and contribute our elbow grease-walking and feeding dogs, constructing shelters, taking photos-whatever and wherever help is needed most. We are planning to head for Tylertown, Miss., where the Humane Society of Louisiana and several national organizations have set up a makeshift shelter to house and care for hundreds of animals still arriving from storm-ravaged towns in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as many turned away from other temporary shelters that are full.

The rescue folks are sustaining themselves and their charges in very primitive conditions. Their list of needs is long and changes from day to day, and we’re asking for your help in fulfilling it. For current info and more particulars, visit the Humane Society of Louisiana’s website at, which is updated regularly. Here’s a snapshot as of today:

  1. Monetary donations (to buy gas, food and other ongoing supplies as needs change–the most useful resource in this ever-changing situation)
  2. Hot-weather survival/camping gear such as: tents, tarps, insect repellent, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, batteries, bungee cords, flashlights, solar showers, water bottles, walkie-talkie two-way radios
  3. Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks for people
  4. Portable, collapsible metal pet crates of all sizes, particularly large ones
  5. Treats and toys for dogs, cats, birds and small mammals, especially chew toys and rawhides for dogs
  6. Cat litter
  7. Leashes, collars, harnesses
  8. Food and water bowls
  9. Large towels
  10. Veterinary medicines and supplies
  11. Waterproof storage bins
  12. Fencing and building materials

Donations are tax-deductible through Independent Animal Rescue, a 501(c)3 organization ( Mail checks (made out to IAR) to IAR, c/o Bill and Jennifer Strom, PO Box 2252, Chapel Hill, NC 27515. To donate goods, please email us at or to arrange drop-off (we are still working on sites). If you can help us, step up now; we depart in just 10 days!

Thanks for your support on this mission, and we look forward to telling you lots of “happy endings” stories when we get back!

Jen and Bill

Philip Meyer Journalism Award

A great award in honor of a great guy was just announced!

Philip Meyer Journalism Award

The National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, a joint program of IRE and the Missouri School of Journalism; the Knight Chair in Journalism at Arizona State University; and IRE are proud to introduce the Philip Meyer Journalism Award, a contest to recognize the best journalism done using social science research methods.

The awards are in honor of Philip Meyer, Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Meyer is the author of Precision Journalism, the seminal 1972 book (and subsequent editions) that focused growing numbers of journalists on the idea of using social science methods to do better journalism. He pioneered in using survey research as a reporter for Knight Ridder newspapers to explore the causes of race riots in the 1960s.

Three awards will be given annually – a first, second and third place – to recognize the best work using techniques that are part of precision journalism, computer-assisted reporting and social science research.

The contest also helps identify the techniques and resources used to complete each story. Entries are placed in the IRE Resource Center, allowing members to learn from each other.

It’s important to note that Philip Meyer Journalism Award is unique in its efforts to avoid conflicts of interest. Work that included any significant role by a member of the IRE Board of Directors or an IRE contest judge may not be entered in the contest. This often represents a significant sacrifice on the part of the individual — and sometimes an entire newsroom. The IRE membership appreciates this devotion to the values of the organization.

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