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I'm an Emmy Award Winning meteorologist at Fox 61 in Hartford. For the latest forecast updates (and fun stuff too, like food and family pics), please follow me on Facebook, twitter and instagram. I look forward to interacting with you there!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

FOX61 and Hartford Courant Merging!

Hot off the presses...FOX61 will be sharing a roof with the Hartford Courant by the end of the year. This will make us the largest print/broadcast news-gathering
operation in Connecticut.

Here's the really exciting stuff (at least for me)...FOX61 will be going high-def from a new state-of-the-art, studio constructed in the Courant newsroom. We also plan to expand news at WTIC-TV, adding a noon and a 6 p.m. news broadcast.

Bottom-line, we'll have more resources and more man-power to cover stories in Connecticut. This comes at a time that our competition is downsizing.

In this economy advertising sales have plummeted. I know this as a fact, ALL the television stations in the Hartford market are suffering. On top of that, more and more people are turning to the internet for their news which makes ad-sales even more challenging. This merger will provide a more efficient one-stop shop allowing an advertiser's message to be seen on print, broadcast and online media. Basically, advertisers get more bang for their buck. Our combined media properties will reach 91% of the Hartford market and 79 % of Connecticut each week so advertisers will get lots of exposure.

I know what you're thinking...why should I care about ad-sales?? You should care if you like watching local news or reading the local paper. Because if ad-sales dry up for long enough, say 'bye bye' to local news outlets.

The Vice President of Tribune AND FOX61's General Manager Rich Graziano, has been named Publisher of the Courant effective immediately.

I feel really proud (and they don't pay me to say this) to be a part of this new team. I admit I was scared when our parent company Tribune filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But it seems that Tribune has a lot of faith in us.

Our goal is be moved into the Courant by Sept. 30th. From what I hear, they're just starting work on the new set now. So it seems like a stretch to be ready to put on a newscast by November but we'll see. Our company is full of surprises lately!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Traffic Training Today

Learning the traffic computer system was easy. Most people find that the hardest part about traffic reporting. I, on the other hand, am more scared to learn the roads in Connecticut! We all rely way too much on GPS systems these days, I'm guilty of it myself. Not to mention I just moved here. Well, if I'm bad at traffic..I always have my degree in meteorology after all ;)

By the way...It may end up being 60 degrees on Friday! WOO HOO I hope that ends up panning out. i am ready to break out the bicycle and check out some Connecticut trails. Know any good ones?

Branford Turf Wars

Part 1:


Part 2:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Agriculture Cuts Worry Farmers

Farming is hard labor, and most farmers are doing it for free. Without money from the government, farmers are spending money to grow food. A lot of people farm because it's their passion. But they can barely make ends meet. I hope something changes in the future because as farmer Kathleen Dunai tells us "it's really important to put a face with the person who's growing your food." Buy local!

On another note, this stand-up was so hard to shoot because the wind kept blowing my hair all over the place (in my face). You can tell I'm trying to talk as fast as I can before it happens again.

Health Report: Partial Knee Replacement

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Victim Of Chimp Attack Files Lawsuit

The victim, Charla Nash, DID NOT HAVE HEALTH insurance. So when Nash sues for $50-million, she may actually need half that money to pay for medical bills. But can Sandra Herold, the chimps owner really fork up millions of dollars? Even if she owns four properties in Stamford...I doubt it. I guess we'll find out during the April 13th hearing.

Here's some "inside" information! I went to Sandra Herold's house today and the gate was locked with a new security system installed. A Stamford Cop told me off the record that Inside Edition was creeping around in her backyard! Clearly, they were trespassing. Some other reporters were speculating that Nash had a PHYSICAL relationship with the chimp (Travis)! When Herold said she "slept" with Travis, I believe some people took that a little too literally. Come on! No wonder she will not answer questions anymore! Before reporters hype up their story, maybe they should get the facts before they ruin people's lives. Herold has enough on her plate knowing that her pet mauled and nearly killed one of her good friends.


If you want to help Nash's family by donating or if you want updates on her progress at the Cleveland Clinic, click here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wilcox Pleads Guilty In Connection With Deadly Avon Mountain Truck Accident

Wilcox seemed defeated in court today. He declined to speak in court or with us after. The whole story was just sad to cover. No one really wins in a court case like this. I hope the victims feel some closure.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tweet Tweet! I'm Twittering!

Apparently a twitter blog post is called a tweet. Hey, you learn something new everyday. I am very new to the world of twittering so here's the skinny. A person sends little messages (about a sentence or two) throughout the day. This way, people can get an idea of what you're doing between normal blog posts (like the ones you see here). I am not sure what I think about this yet..it sounds like a lot of work! BUT I'm going to give it a shot and see if there's any interest.

RachelFrank61 is my twitter username. Look me up if you're bored. Right now I have ZERO followers. But I did just start my account 2 days ago.

UPDATE: As of March 17th I now have 2 whole followers! I'm on my way up...haha.

Twitter.com

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2009












Me (Rachel Frank) & FOX61 morning news reporter Jennifer Lahmmers, I loved my green bagel!

Almost the entire FOX61 news team attended the parade in Hartford so we were out in full force! Here's something funny my station doesn't want you to know...we were giving out mardi gras beads! It was hilarious. Only one out of 10 of the beads were actually green and the rest of them had large pendants with Greek Gods attached to them. All of us in the parade were told to be liberal with the distribution because we had 600 pounds to give away! Apparently 600 pounds go fast in a crowd of bead-hungry parade-goers because we ended up running out halfway. It was a little awkward just walking and waving, especially when some people turned their backs on us once they realized our stash had run out. But other people were great to interact with and seemed like they were having a blast. Here are some pics I stole from from Sarah French's blog!


We also distributed green bagels at the parade, but people were really more interested in the beads. Here I am with FOX61 weekend news anchor Sarah French!

Nicole Jacobs, me (Rachel Frank), Jennifer Lahmers, Sarah French, John Charlton (nice legs) & Narmeen Choudhury

Meet The Entire FOX61 News Team Here!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Here's Rachel Frank with the....Traffic Report??

Hey guys thanks for checking in! I have some exciting/scary news to report. Rachel Lutzger is getting married and our traffic fill-in in unable to work all the extra days. My news director asked me if I would be willing to do traffic a few days in the beginning of April.

Let me just tell you, I don't get anywhere without my GPS. I am one of those people who would follow my GPS off a cliff if it told me to drive in that direction. So my initial reaction was 'no thank you'! But then I thought about it. It's a new exciting challenge for me. If my news director has faith in me, why not give it a shot? I may even learn a few back roads in the process! He says it's all about personality...we'll see about that! Stay tuned for exact dates...I know you'll want to laugh at me!

UConn Tuition Increase



Students asked for a tuition increase? I heard it with my own ears...and I'm still shocked. Both the undergrad and graduate schools voted YES to an 8.67% tuition increase to keep the school's programs running effectively. But can this really be the student consensus? I find it hard to believe in this economy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

UPDATE: Steel Leghold Traps May Get Banned



You may have seen my previous story: An owl was found limping down a street with a trap stuck to her foot. The bone was crushed and her leg had to be amputated. UPDATE: A month later, she had to be euthanized after her severed leg got infected. This trap was illegal because it was not padded. I spoke to a hunter who said he thought the owl accident was a setup to gain momentum for the bill proposing legislation to ban the trap. Animal rights activists say the traps are indiscriminant (meaning that they will trap anything in sight). Watch the package and let me know what you think! I commented personally on this story one time and got myself in trouble so you will not see me taking a side on this one!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lammers Vs. Lahmmers

I made a nice cameo appearance in this story singing "Summer Lovin'" except Tim sings Sandy's part and I sing John Travolta's part....Also stay tuned to the very end to see our guest judge commentary!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Playing in the Snow!

Below is a really cute story from the day after our last storm. I have one question...how do kids play in the snow all day? I used to be able to do it but now my fingers and toes get so cold I can barely play for 15 minutes! What do you think it is?


To view storm pics, click here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Frustrating Day

One of my photographers told me that he has seen the CT DOT dump excess snow into the river. I wanted to do a story on this, especially after our last storm. Snow may seem clean but it picks up all the sand, salt and oil laying on the streets...so dumping it into the river would be a major source of pollution.

Of course even though this MAY be happening, I can't get anyone to go on record confirming this. I have a couple reliable and credible sources tell me "off the record" that this happens. Again, I have not seen it myself so maybe it's not true. I hope it isn't!

If anyone in Connecticut sees a person or someone from the DOT dump snow into a river take a picture and send it to me! Thanks for listening to me rant. Ugh...I just had a bad day because I felt like I was on a wild goose chase!

DEP Guidelines On Snow Removal

LIVE SHOT Snow Storm

This hit focuses on travel delays!

LIVE SHOT Snow Storm