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- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
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Inquirer on Latoyia Figueroa and blogs
Richard Cranium, at the All Spin Zone, is reaching celebrity status. And, his efforts to get attention to the search for Latoyia Figueroa are producing real, tangible results, both from the media, and from the the Philly police. It is amazing.
The Inquirer had the story on their front page today, discussing the search for the woman, the new found media attention (including theirs), and the efforts of bloggers like Richard.
First, the media:
Late last week, Philadelphia police briefed reporters about the missing woman. But little coverage ensued.
So on Tuesday, Blair, thinking the case deserved more attention, dispatched a pointed e-mail to Nancy Grace, host of a nightly show on CNN Headline News. Grace's show has given constant coverage to the case of Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teenager missing in Aruba.
The e-mail read: "Latoyia Figueroa is still missing after 8 days. And as tragic as the Natalee Holloway case might be, Natalee doesn't have a 7-year-old child wondering where she is, nor was Natalee... 5 months pregnant."
Blair also mentioned that the 24-year-old West Philadelphia woman was not white, did not have blond hair, and was not scheduled to get married last weekend - a reference to Jennifer Wilbanks, the so-called runaway bride whose disappearance dominated media reports earlier this year.
After Blair posted the e-mail on his site, two things happened. He sent the message out to a number of other Web sites, several of which posted it, generating a lot of supportive comment. And the e-mail to Grace got noticed by a CNN producer, who was spurred into action.
The results were immediate and dramatic.
And, how it is being played out with Philly police:
Whether increased publicity helps resolve missing-persons cases is another question. Asked if the publicity around the Figueroa case was putting more pressure on police here, Vanore replied: "I don't feel any pressure. We're going to do our job no matter what happens."
As officers, aided by a cadaver dog and a helicopter, did their work yesterday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson said, "Our intentions are to cover every single inch of this park until we're satisfied there's nothing in the park."
Last night, Homicide Unit detectives were interviewing Figueroa's boyfriend, whose name was not released.
The Inquirer did not cover the Figueroa case until yesterday, publishing a story about community leaders calling for help in finding her.
By way of explanation, deputy managing editor Carl H. Lavin noted that cases of missing adults are not rare. The FBI currently lists 48,000 missing-persons nationally.
Understandably, the police do not want to make it seem like their work is in any way media driven. But, while it certainly could happen under the radar, I really do not recall seeing any sort of similar search previously. Richard, and his advocacy for Latoyia, a missing, pregant mother (non-white division) have been dramatically effective. Kudos to him, and hopefully, we will get some sort of good news about Latoyia.