What a thrill it is to be back in the Show Me State! My news career has taken me all over the country, and it’s long been my ambition to get back to my Missouri roots. I couldn’t be happier to do so with FOX-4.

I am a native of a small Mississippi River town, Elsberry, just north of St. Louis. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism and psychology minor from Webster University-St. Louis in 2006, and completed my Master of Arts in Communications Management through Webster’s online school in 2011.

After finishing undergraduate work, I started my television career as a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor with KHQA in Quincy, Ill. I even filled in as a weathercaster a time or two.

Following a year in the Land of Lincoln, I headed to Tornado Alley in central Kansas to head up the Great Bend bureau for KSN-TV, where storm chasing was a frequent occurrence. During my time in the Sunflower State, I was recognized several times by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.

I then swept off to Iowa in 2010 and spent three years as a reporter/fill-in anchor for KWWL in Waterloo, where my work included covering a slew of presidential candidate visits, more storm chasing, the “farm beat” and an extensive investigation into synthetic drug dealings, which ultimately led to criminal prosecution of a local store owner. I also successfully got a national food chain to change its advertising to remove a negative reference to Iowa.

In 2013, I made a big change of pace leaving the wheat and corn fields of the Midwest for the mountains of West Virginia as a reporter and weekend anchor/producer for WCHS/WVAH in Charleston. During my time in the Mountain State, I also became the chief education reporter, wrote a successful blog and spearheaded a community initiative getting high school dropouts back on the path to a diploma. In July 2015, I was ready to leave behind snow storms for year-round sunshine as a reporter at ABC Action News in Tampa.

My husband Floyd, our son Drake, puggle Aleah and I are now proud to call Kansas City home–a community we often visited growing up, and where we have friends and family.

When I’m not chasing down the news, you might catch me outside running. I frequently compete in 5K races and have done a few triathlons. I’m also involved with my local church and Habitat for Humanity. Because apparently that’s not enough, I’m a certified Zumba instructor and dabble in portrait photography.

When I’m not busy with all of that, I love to travel, spend time with family, and catch up on St. Louis sports. We are huge Cardinals and Blues fans. (And following the bitter departure of the Rams, you might convince us to be Chiefs fans now!)

We like to say the Red Birds follow our life’s big moments–winning World Series championships the year we got married and again the year our son was born.

My job is to be a voice for you, and I welcome your input and suggestions for stories. I look forward to hearing from you!

Recent Articles
  • Blue Springs family shaken after shots fired within inches of driver in possible road rage incident

    BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Police are investigating a possible case of road rage in Blue Springs that ended with bullets coming within inches of a driver. The victim was driving along Adam’s Dairy Road when a car beside him seemed to try to start a race. Someone in that car ended up firing shots, hitting the victim’s SUV. “He got off work about 1:30 a.m. and come home, just trying to relax and unwind and realized he needed dog food, […]

  • Mo. Supreme Court hears arguments in case of inmate who claims innocence in 1996 double murder

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Ricky Kidd, a Jackson County inmate convicted in a 1996 double murder. Kidd has maintained his innocence for 21 years, and on Wednesday sought to get DNA testing in the case, hoping that new evidence would exonerate him. The court did not issue a ruling on Wednesday, but one is expected in the next 30 to 90 days. A key matter at stake is where a […]

  • Jackson Co. Jail inmate charged with brutally beating guard, who is now fighting for his life, just hours before Thanksgiving

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Jackson County correctional officer is fighting for his life after a vicious attack inside the jail late Wednesday night. According to court records, 20-year-old Johnny R. Dunlap was in Pod C of the Jackson County Detention Center late Wednesday when he assaulted an on-duty corrections officer.  The officer was listed in critical condition after suffering injuries, including fractured facial and nasal bones. Surveillance video and witness statements revealed the defendant assaulted the corrections officer with […]

  • ‘Scooter gang’ of teens stealing property from Kansas City homes and cars has residents frustrated

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — They’re speeding on scooters and stealing whatever they can. Some residents say the “scooter gang” has been at it for nearly two years and has hit as many as nine Kansas City neighborhoods. Now, mounting evidence might actually get these kids caught. A group of contractors were busy doing a backyard makeover for Melissa Batz this week when they heard something strange. There were four children cruising the neighborhood on two mopeds, and they had spotted them. […]

  • Advocates for people with disabilities say KC abuse case isn’t uncommon, but should serve as a lesson

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City woman is charged with abusing a mentally ill patient. The case is disturbing, but also offers valuable lessons about what you should consider before finding a caregiver for a loved one. Rachelle Pinkins is out of jail on bond, facing two counts of abusing a disabled person. But those who work with the disabled say sadly, this kind of case is not uncommon. “Anybody who has a inkling of suspicion should check it […]

  • City’s Animal Control dept. flooded with neglect and abuse calls, but ten officers stretched thin

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new audit finds serious flaws with Kansas City’s animal control department. It comes two years after a FOX-4 Problem Solver investigation into concerns over the city’s response to animal abuse and neglect cases, and outcry from animal rights groups. From the moment Kansas City animal control officer Virginia Fleming starts her day, the calls don’t stop coming. Residents in one neighborhood she visited Thursday complained about two dogs getting loose through a fence. One of […]

  • 44-year-old man killed in Merriam after arguing with driver who dropped him off at home

    MERRIAM, Kan. —  Police in Merriam are trying to piece together what led up to a deadly shooting early Thursday morning at 67th and Mastin, where Santos Thompson, 44, was gunned down after he was dropped off at his home. Thompson’s family says he went on a date Wednesday night but never made it home.  He was found steps away from the door, after he was dropped-off at their house. Family members think the person who dropped off Thompson may […]

  • His life cut short, loved ones remember legacy of teen gunned down in KCMO before he left for college

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Friends and family of 18-year-old Roosevelt Cooper gathered for a prayer vigil Friday, near the place he was killed in Kansas City Thursday. Then teen had just gotten a haircut and was heading to his college dorm in Springfield when he was killed. Police say gunfire was exchanged with two men, who are still on the loose. Friends, family and loved ones are now reflecting on his life and paying tribute to his memory. Roosevelt Cooper […]

  • Missouri State Fair discusses ride safety in wake of deadly Ohio accident

    SEDALIA, Mo. — A lot of families also look forward to all the fun fair rides.  But after a deadly ride accident at the Ohio State Fair this summer, some have questioned just how safe the attractions are.  It turns out the state is taking that issue more seriously now than ever. There’s loud music and plenty of screaming at the state fair carnival.  The rides are a favorite attraction for Shelly Schwebach and her two sons. “I love rides.  […]

  • KCPD promotes from within, 29-year veteran Major Rick Smith selected as next chief

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 29-year veteran of the Kansas City Police force is getting a big promotion.  Major Rick Smith currently heads up Central Patrol Division.  In August, he will become chief. “We are proud to announce that the board selected Major Rick Smith to be the next Chief of Police of Kansas City, Missouri,” said Leland Shurin, Kansas City Police Board president. Just from the sheer amount of applause in the room after the announcement was made, it […]

  • Cleaning up and drying out begin after gushing waters swamp apartments, homes in Grandview

    GRANDVIEW, Mo. — Several neighborhoods in Grandview are in clean-up mode after being inundated with water Thursday morning. Heaps of mud and water seeped inside more than 30 apartment homes near River Oaks Golf Club. In the shadows of the early morning, neighborhoods near Merrywood Circle turned into a full-fledged river. “Wow, this is crazy,” one neighbor said in a cell phone recording. In the light of day, neighbors waking up to mayhem. Cassandra Fickel’s neighbor came to her house […]

  • While Jackson County says protocol was followed, inmate’s family says jail was negligent in death

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — FOX 4 is learning more about a Jackson County jail inmate who died only a few hours after being taken into custody. The county says the correct procedures were followed, but others accuse the jail of negligence. “How the hell did you die handcuffed to a chair?” Ashely Degraffenreid asked. Ashley Degraffenreid is still stunned that her ex-husband and father of her 12-year-old daughter is dead. Richard Degraffenreid, 35, was arrested on a parole violation late […]