FOOTBALL TRAGEDY

In one-week's time, two Bergen County teens died playing football, while another was seriously injured. Sean Fisher of Waldwick died suddenly during football practice running drills on a mild summer night. It was his 13th birthday. His mom was at home baking cupcakes when she got the call.

James and Shelia Fisher lost their only son due to an undetected heart condition. On Friday I covered the Sean's funeral. Sean is my son's name, and he too is an only child.

This is NOT an assignment I enjoy doing. Every news photographer I know hates having to cover funerals for obvious reasons. They are uneasy, somber, and delicate assignments. But I tell myself that this boy's life had meaning, hundreds turned out to pay respects to the young man, and by covering the funeral I am in a way paying my respects, as much as I detest being there. Here is link to video shot by my colleague Kim Mineo.

BARCLAYS COMES TO RIDGEWOOD










I spent a very busy 6 days at the Ridgewood Country Club blogging live throughout the week at The Barclays golf tournament -the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Check -out the live blog. I was posting updates throughout each day of the tourny, receiving live reports from Record reporters Andy Vasquez, Greg Mattura, Steve Adamek, and Tyson Trish.

I also posted videos and photo gallery's by Tyson and myself.

FINAL ROUND: Singh wins
Vijay Singh wins The Barclays, defeating Sergio Garcia on the 2nd playoff hole.
See photo gallery.



ROUND 3
Third round action at The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club.
Kevin Streelman soars to the top of the leader board.
See photo gallery.
See Kevin Streelman video.



ROUND 2
Last year's Barclays champion Steve Stricker takes the lead during 2nd round action at Ridgewood.
See photo gallery.
See Steve Stricker video.


ROUND 1
Little-known Hunter Mahan shoots an electrifying 62 during the opening round.
See photo gallery.
See Hunter Mahan video.


PRACTICE ROUND / PRO-AM
PGA players tee-off n the Barclays Pro-Am, the last day of practice before the start of the tour event.
See photo gallery.
See Phil Mickelson video.



TUESDAY PRACTICE ROUND
PGA players get ready for the Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus.
See photo gallery.
See Padraig Harrington video.

FUNERAL FOR A FALLEN FIREFIGHTER



Mahwah firefighter Michael Drozd, a piper with the Bergen County Firefighters Pipe Band, was laid to rest today. Last week, I posted an entry and video on this blog after he was killed in an automobile accident shortly after performing at a fundraiser for John McCain in Teaneck, which I covered. In a strange but sad coincidence, I taped the Drozd's band warming up that night, see earlier posts.

Today, there was a funeral mass and burial at the Mahwah Cemetery, hundreds of firemen from Mahwah and many of the neighboring towns lined the street between the church and cemetery. It was an honorable send off, albeit a sad and senseless loss. See full story in The Record.
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WAITING FOR McCAIN

Republican presidential candidate John McCain made his 6th visit to Jersey, attending a private fund-raiser at the Marriott at Glenpoint in Teaneck.$1,000 got you in the door, $25,ooo got you a photo with the Arizona Senator. Four hours of waiting got me nada. Not even a glimpse. I ended up using tow shots by my colleague Tyson Trish, who photographed McCain exiting a plane at the airport. McCain ducked the cameras and reporters. Protesters lined the curb, and bagpipers played outside the door waiting for the candidate to arrive -nearly two hours behind schedule.
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Sadly, Michael Drozd of the Bergen County Firefighters Pipe Band, the very band I video taped warming up outside the hotel, was killed later that night in a car crash on route 4 hours after performing at the fund raiser. The group has a strong cult-like following, known for playing pop hits such as "Louie Louie" and "Tequila."
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PGA TOUR COMES TO RIDGEWOOD CC

The PGA Tour comes to the Ridgewood Country Club August 19-24, and the course has undergone some subtle changes in preparation for The Barclays. Club pro David Reasoner takes us on a tour of the prestigious RCC pointing out some of the changes the club has made in attempt to Tiger-proof the course.

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DANGERS OF ARTIFICIAL TURF



For months now, several athletic fields in North Jersey with artificial turf have been closed because of high lead levels. Test have been conducted, questions have been raised, but no one really knows how serious the danger is. Crazy to think that kids are rolling around on lead particles, its' not exactly a new finding that lead is dangerous to kids...

Many of the fields will likely reopen in the coming weeks now that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has concluded the turf poses no health risk. In this video we talked some parents and coaches -read story by Matt Van Dusen, about how they felt about their Little Leagues playing on the artificial turf.
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