Wow, when I heard this morning that we lost Randy Salerno I could not believe what I was hearing. I remember him on the WGN 9 PM news out in the field reporting, and filling in as anchor. He was not your average boring, stiff newsman, he actually was a nice relief from all of that. Randy Salerno was not afraid to ask the questions we wanted to know, he was not afraid of breaking the mold of newsman, he was not afraid to joke, or be sarcastic, he was real. I did not get to watch him on the day news since I work days. I did catch Roseanne Tellez and him on the very early morning news before work every now and then. Wow, we could sure use more newsmen like him. He will be sorely missed. I really feel bad for his family, friends and coworkers, sudden deaths are hard.
CBS 2's Randy Salerno Dies In Snowmobile Accident
CHICAGO (CBS) ― We have some very sad news about someone who has helped us say good morning for a very long time in Chicago.
CBS 2 morning anchor Randy Salerno was killed late last night in a snowmobiling accident--and now criminal charges have been filed against the snowmobile's driver, Salerno's childhood friend, Scott Hirschey.
Salerno was snowmobiling with friends in Sayner, Wis., near Eagle River, late Thursday night when the snowmobile driven by Hirschey broke down. Hirschey then agreed to drive Salerno's snowmobile with Salerno riding as a passenger.
They were riding together on a 2007 model Ski-Doo, designed for just one rider. They apparently headed across Plum Lake and then struck several trees, according to a Vilas County Sheriff's Department press release. Hirschey was thrown from the snowmobile, while Salerno took the full force of the impact. Salerno was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hirschey has been charged with homicide for using a vehicle while intoxicated, and cited for operating a snowmobile while intoxicated. according to the sheriff's department. Conviction on the charge could result in a 15-year sentence and a $100,000 fine. At the scene, Hirschey reportedly refused to take a breathalyzer test.
Tim Price, a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden who investigated the crash, said the 45-year-old Salerno was riding as a passenger because Hirschey's snowmobile would not start after their group had stopped at a pub.
Price, who said he was told Thursday was the first time Salerno had ever been snowmobiling, said Hirschey and Salerno missed a trail exit off Plum Lake. The snowmobile hit an embankment and flew at least 20 feet before striking a tree.
Hirschey, 44, was airlifted to an area hospital, and Price suffered at least some broken ribs.
An autopsy is being performed Friday in Fond du Lac. It is believed that Randy died instantly after slamming into those trees.
Randy had rented the snowmobile from St. Germain rentals in Eagle River. The man who runs the firm said that it was, in his words, "a dangerous mistake" for the two men to ride on a vehicle with a seat for just one.
Salerno has been with CBS 2 since September 2004. Prior to working at CBS 2, he worked at WGN-TV (1993-2004), as anchor of the midday newscast. Previously, he served as a general assignment reporter and as the weekend morning news anchor (1994-1999).
"Randy was a talented news anchor and a major reason for our recent morning show success,'' CBS 2 President and General Manager Joe Ahern said in a statement. "But it was Randy's sense of humor and quick wit that separated him from the rest. He was a skilled journalist, trusted colleague and dear friend to many in our newsroom--especially to our morning team.''
Co-anchor Roseanne Tellez worked with Salerno for 16 years, both here at CBS and at WGN. "I just want everybody to know how lucky I feel to work with this guy, who was just so funny,'' Tellez said. "He was so smart and so talented.''
In the CBS 2 newsroom this morning, reporters, producers and photographers tearfully hugged each other and laughed as they shared their stories of working with one of Chicago's most gifted television journalists. At the same time, they all were preparing for the next newscast--a difficult, but necessary task.
"Randy had a way of walking down the hall and into the room that I'll never forget,'' CBS 2 News Director Carol Fowler said. "He took charge, always. Randy was a tough competitor as a street reporter, and a sharp wit on the anchor desk. This is a huge loss for us all.''
Before working at WGN, Salerno was a reporter and weekend anchor at WNYT-TV in Albany, N.Y. Prior to that, he worked at WMBD-TV and WHOI-TV in Peoria. He began his broadcasting career at WIFR-TV in Rockford as a general assignment reporter.
He won a local Emmy Award for his work on CBS 2's 2004 broadcast of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon.
Salerno lived in Crystal Lake, the town where he grew up.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Irene, their three children, Haley, 13, Slone, 9 and Charlie 7, and their extended family at this very difficult time.
Memories have been pouring in from those who knew Salerno – either personally or just through the TV screen.
"He was a really good and funny guy… he was a good broadcaster, and there aren't that many of those around," Steve Dahl of 104.3 JACK-FM said on his show Friday morning. Salerno often worked with Gary Meier on his show on the former WCKG-FM radio. Dahl, Meier's longtime radio partner, said Randy was "very funny" on Meier's show.
Numerous CBS 2 viewers have emailed their thoughts and prayers.
"I could not believe the tragic news when I heard it on the radio. He really grew on me and I loved his humor," wrote Carol Walters. "He will be sorely missed."
"I just loved his personality... his smirk... his sarcasm," added Mary Ann Knepper. "He was just a "real guy"... in a suit!"
He always made us all laugh, and that is how we will always remember him.
Visitation will be Tuesday, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Querhammer & Flagg Funeral Home, 500 W. Terra Cotta Ave., Crystal Lake. The funeral will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 178 McHenry Ave. in Crystal Lake.
Donations can be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association at
430 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 603, Chicago, IL 60611. Identify Randy Salerno in the memo section of the check. All donations made in support of Randy will benefit Duchenne Research.
Cook state's attorney hopefuls trade barbs
By Michael Higgins | Tribune reporter
January 25, 2008
Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Fark Google Newsvine Reddit Yahoo Print Reprints Post comment Text size: Democratic Cook County state's attorney candidate Anita Alvarez accused opponent Howard Brookins Jr. on Thursday of dragging his feet on child-support obligations, but he called the attack "disgraceful" and said the dispute stemmed from bills involving a doctor not fully covered by his insurance.
The highly charged dust-up comes less than two weeks before voters will pick a Democratic nominee in the contest to replace retiring State's Atty. Richard Devine.
Citing court records, Alvarez said the former wife of Brookins, the 21st Ward alderman, had to file petitions in court at least four times since 2003 to get the payments she believed she was owed.
Alvarez and Brookins released court documents showing Nanette Comeaux Brookins filed a petition in September 2006 to force him to turn over income tax records as well as separate petitions filed in July 2006 and April 2007 seeking reimbursement for about $1,000 in medical expenses.
Brookins said in a statement that the dispute arose as a result of his former wife's decision to take their son to a doctor who was not part of their HMO. "As a result, we needed the judge to determine who was responsible for the out-of-network payments," Brookins said.
Speaking after an afternoon candidates forum, Alvarez accused Brookins of engaging in a "pattern" of financial irresponsibility that also includes a controversy about rent payments.
"He doesn't seem to accept responsibility until he's sued," said Alvarez, noting that one of the state's attorney's duties is to help collect child support.
Brookins fired back later in the day with documents appearing to back up his claim that he's fully paid up on child-support payments.
"Unfortunately, it is common for a husband and wife to have disputes when going through a divorce,' Brookins said in a statement. "It's disgraceful that my opponents have decided to bring a 9-year-old boy into their negative campaign tactics."
Nanette Brookins could not be reached for comment. The complete case file from the couple's divorce was not available Thursday from circuit clerk's office.
At the Chicago-Kent College of Law forum, Ald. Tom Allen (38th) sparred with Robert Milan, Devine's top assistant, over whether the office does enough to crack down on police officers who lie in court.
But Milan said Devine's office had prosecuted bad officers for everything from theft to perjury to first-degree murder. Milan said he had developed a training program to help prosecutors detect when one of their witnesses may be lying.
The purpose of the forum was to get the candidates' views on a report that the Criminal Justice Project of the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice issued in December on the county's justice system.
The candidates largely agreed with the report's call for more spending on specialized drug and mental health courts. The courts' purpose is to provide treatment programs to divert low-level offenders out of the more expensive jail and prison system.
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