All posts by lesbowen

Campaign funding: interactive graphics

As we approached the off-year primary election in the spring of 2014, the reporting staff at The World in Coos Bay, Oregon, began looking for interesting ways to cover the races. We had started experimenting with interactive graphics (I created a simple funding timeline to accompany a reporter’s story.) and we thought this tool would be useful to show our readers where campaign funds came from and where they went. I worked with a reporter to obtain the necessary data from the Oregon Secretary of State website and we used the publicly available Tableau Public software to make connections within the data. This tool allowed us to sort through more than 5,000 rows of financial data to present it in a condensed, easy-to-navigate format.

One candidate, who ended up losing the election after her opponent out-fundraised her 7-1, tweeted …

This is a three-part graphics series. Please use the page navigation below.

DeFazio: Country will survive shutdown

When the U.S. government shut down in the fall of 2013, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D- Oregon, was among the more vocal critics of Republican lawmakers as the cause of the shutdown. This was a quick piece following an interview with the congressman.

By Les Bowen for The World
Oct. 1, 2013   |   1:00 PM   |   Original source

[C]ongressman Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, called the federal government shutdown Tuesday a “phony crisis,” and blamed the far-right wing of House Republicans for the failure of Congress to pass an appropriations bill. Continue reading DeFazio: Country will survive shutdown

Livingston County DA contest

Livingston County, N.Y., had one of the most interesting primary contests in 2012 as two candidates vied for the GOP nomination into the general election. Coverage of this race started with my colleagues at a larger daily paper, but when this story broke wide open our news team opted to assign coverage to me; although I typically ran on a weekly news cycle, my office was geographically closer and given the speed at which this story progressed my proximity proved critical in staying with this story.

Eric Schiener responds to questions from reporters following Wednesday's hearing in Rochester, where 7th District Supreme Court Judge John Ark ruled that Schiener will remain tied with opponent Steve Sessler.
Eric Schiener responds to questions from reporters following Wednesday’s hearing in Rochester, where 7th District Supreme Court Judge John Ark ruled that Schiener will remain tied with opponent Steve Sessler.

This is a multipart series that ran over a period of several weeks. Please use the page navigation below.

High bidder at Steel Blossoms Auction

Our newspaper was one of several businesses that supported a charity auction for the local Red Cross chapter. This video is of the high bid during the event. I shot this with my mobile phone, which limited some capabilities, but it did the job.

By Les Bowen for Genesee Country Express   |   June 4, 2012   |   Original source not available


Greg O’Connell was the high bidder at the Steel Blossoms auction Saturday night at the Moose Club in Dansville. The piece drawing the highest price at the auction was “Daisy” by AJ Smith (Dansville), Donald Ladue (Avon), Bradley Scism (Avon), Brett Diener (Livonia) and Justin Forkner (Avon).

Big sendoff: National Guard unit deploys to Kuwait

I was invited to the deployment ceremony of a military unit from the area. The challenge once I arrived was finding the local voices within the communities I serve. That piece could have turned out better, but overall I was pleased with the outcome.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul speaks with Staff Sgt. Steven Cleveland and his wife, Sherry, both of Clarence.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul speaks with Staff Sgt. Steven Cleveland and his wife, Sherry, both of Clarence.
By Les Bowen for Genesee Country Express   |   Feb. 2, 2012   |   Original source

[S]eventy-five soldiers, their friends and family joined Saturday afternoon in a departure ceremony at the New York State Armory in Geneseo. New York Army National Guard’s Company A, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment.

The group is part of a the full company that heads first to a two-month training in Mississippi before continuing to Kuwait for a one-year tour of duty.

Command Sgt. Maj. David Oliver noted the history of Company A, responding to protect government installations after 9/11 and leading military efforts in New York City in 2004 and 2005, Arizona in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2007. Continue reading Big sendoff: National Guard unit deploys to Kuwait