Throughout November, NewsChannel 11 is celebrating 25 years of Karin McCay and Abner Euresti anchoring together. They share with us in their own words the stories that have shaped their individual careers.
You may best recognize him sitting at the anchor desk, but Abner Euresti's reporting in the field knows no boundaries. He's been to Austin dozens of times, New York City to interview NBC Nightly News anchor, Brian Williams. He's also been to Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Orlando. However, his most memorable story takes him back to the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, where he reported what he saw firsthand.
"You hear this a lot from reporters who are at scenes of devastation but it was like a movie because we saw body after body after body being pulled from the rubble," remembered Abner.
An exact death toll is still a mystery, but it's estimated 35,000 people died. As crews searched for bodies through rubble of 412 collapsed buildings, Abner said he didn't realize what was happening.
"But then I realized these were bodies and they were all just laid out on the ground, I mean hundreds of bodies and they were pulling more, just body after body and I couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe what we were seeing."
Abner stayed in Mexico City for three days, and they would be three of the most vivid days of his career.
Few other reporters can say their assignments include interviewing five presidents. "That's one of the neat things about this job is you're able to do things like that and you get paid for it," Abner said smiling.
Current President, George W. leaves the most lasting impression. Abner first covered him during the 1978 congressional election, which he lost, but throughout his journey to the White House, the President has always remembered Abner.
"I always thought if he gets elected, the President of the United States will know me, if he sees me, he'll know my name. I just thought that was really neat."
Abner has also covered many of Lubbock's monumental issues, such as when Lubbock schools were desegregated and when a federal judge ruled the old Lubbock County Jail unconstitutional.
"Those are really interesting stories to cover at the time, then looking back, you see how it changed so much," said Abner.
Now we move onto Karin McCay, who's won nearly 30 awards for her medical reporting. You may know Karin for 'HealthWise', which airs weekdays at five and ten, but Karin didn't set out to be a medical reporter until the story, "Minor Moms." It was her first medical story, a five part series on young mothers that aired in February 1984. That story earned Karin her first award.
"I was shocked," said Karin. "In fact, one of the judges called me personally to tell me I won and I was just ecstatic and I couldn't believe it. Then they said, 'Why don't you do medial reporting all the time."
So she did. One of Karin's favorite pieces is "Trying or Dying to Quit," which won five awards, including an Emmy nomination. Karin offered a hundred dollars a piece to nine teens if they could stop smoking for one month. "I wore a pager in case they needed some support and one time I took my son, who was eight at the time, to a movie and the pager went off and he said, 'Hurry, mommy, a smoker needs you."
All nine teens were unsuccessful, but the message wasn't. The documentary is now on a list of recommended videos for the nation's public schools.
Karin loves to recreate scenes. She most remembers the story of Lubbock doctor, Mark Scioli, who won the Physician of the Year award. Dr. Scioli was accidentally shot in the back in high school and went through nine months of physical therapy before he could walk again. Karin recreated the gunshot and the moment he stepped out of his wheelchair at his high school graduation as his mother described it. The story won two awards.
"That was something I'll never forget," said Karin, "It was so emotional."
And something we will never forget is the years of coverage Karin and Abner have given us reporting news as it's happened over the last 25 years, and hopefully, will continue to do so in the future.