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Amy Houck
WHRO Public Media
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WHRO Public Media Welcomes Mechelle Hankerson and Sam Turken to the WHRO Newsroom–
Hankerson and Turken’s first day is Monday, January 27, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. (December 11, 2019) – WHRO Public Media is pleased to welcome two full-time reporters to the newly formed WHRO Newsroom.  They will be joining WHRO Public Media News Director Rebeccca Feldhaus Adams who is leading the local journalism initiative.

“Mechelle and Sam bring impressive journalistic experiences with compatible skills and personalities.  We are so thrilled to have them join us,” said Feldhaus Adams.

 Mechelle Hankerson is a Virginia Beach native who has spent her career in print and digital media. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, she became a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. She returned home to The Virginian-Pilot in 2016 to cover Virginia Beach where she spent most of her time there diving into storm water systems and how the city deals with recurrent flooding. In 2018, she went to Richmond to help launch The Virginia Mercury, a nonprofit news site covering state politics. Mechelle has two dogs, Moose and Bernie, that she often talks about.

Sam Turken joins WHRO Public Media after working as a freelance audio reporter and producer in Miami for the past year and a half. Sam has primarily reported for WLRN — South Florida’s NPR station — and has also contributed for Marketplace, NPR and podcasts by Gimlet and Wondery. He has covered a range of issues including sea level rise in South Florida, the impact of Venezuela’s ongoing political instability on Miami’s Venezuelan community and the investigation of the Parkland school shooting in February 2018. He also helped lead WLRN’s coverage of the multiple Florida election recounts in 2018.   Sam enjoys covering social justice and economic issues, including poverty and public housing. One of his WLRN feature stories looked at the oversupply of luxury condos in Downtown Miami while the city struggles with an affordable housing shortage. A Miami Beach native, Sam graduated from Duke University where he studied journalism, public policy and history.

“We’re so excited to bring local journalism to WHRO Public Media. We feel the region is in need of this type of reporting and look forward to bringing high-quality, local stories to our region, ” said Heather Mazzoni, Chief Content Officer for WHRO Public Media.

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About WHRO: Since its founding in 1961 to support education, WHRO has employed creativity and technology to serve the residents of southeast Virginia inits mission to educate, inform and entertain viewers and listeners of WHRO’s four television and six radio stations. Owned by 21 southeastern Virginia school divisions, WHRO proudly delivers online educational and new media services to 286,000 students and 25,000 educators per month. To learn more, visit www.whro.org.