As his journalism career winds down, Morehead State Public Radio’s Dan Conti has written a book that chronicles his more than three decades as a broadcaster and revisits some of the stories he covered, wrote about and researched in later years.
Conti’s book “A Reporter’s Notebook and Other Stuff” by is a retrospective on big events, plus a few reflections on influential childhood experiences.
“I came to Morehead State in October of 1999. I did not know a soul. My father helped me move into my apartment and I took him to the Eagles' football game on Saturday against Valparaiso. I asked the young woman at the ticket window if she had any seats near the 50-yard line. She said, ‘I believe we do, sir’ and dropped them in my hand. Then she flashed a broad smile and with just a smidgen of a Southern accent, she added, ‘Now if you don't like those you come right back here and I'll get you some different ones.’ That's the way I was always treated in Morehead, which I had never even heard of six months earlier. It is a wonderful place with a big heart. May it always be so,” said Conti.
He will close out his career as a news reporter, anchor and producer at MSPR, June 30, after serving in that post for the past 11 years. He also was its general manager from 1999-2003.
Prior to coming to Morehead, the veteran broadcaster worked as a journalist in Oxford, Ohio, Middletown, Ohio, and Decatur, Indiana. In addition, he taught high school for two years in the Lakota School District in West Chester, Ohio.
Conti has won more than 35 news reporting awards from the Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky Associated Press.
The book examines a wide range of stories from a satanic murder to a tragic plane crash to the controversy over same sex marriage in Morehead and its impact on the Commonwealth’s 2015 gubernatorial election. Many of the accounts include personal observations, sometimes humorous in nature, and offer new perspectives on events that happened decades ago.
The collection includes the saga of John Lee Fryman, a self-proclaimed devil-worshipper from Fairfield, Ohio, who murdered a waitress and then was nearly killed himself during a prison riot, a survivor’s memories of the 1967 TWA jetliner crash in northern Kentucky that killed 70 people, and the defiance by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage and how it shaped Kentucky’s political landscape.
There also are stories about Conti’s coverage of the Ku Klux Klan in Ohio, the life-altering experience of an Ashland police officer wounded in the line of duty who found a second calling as an elected official. In addition, there is a remembrance of the day presidential candidate John F. Kennedy made a campaign stop in the author’s Pennsylvania hometown.
The book is available with color or black and white pictures at the Jesse Stuart Foundation’s Appalachian Bookstore in Ashland, Holbrook Drugs in Morehead and several other locations around the area, including the Rowan County Public Library.
The book is offered online at http://www.areportersnotebook.net