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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Interview with Heather Parker

How many of you watch your local news? If you're like me & are fed up with the national media, the local news is a great way to stay up-to-date without the gory stories & blatant bias (from both sides).

Here in Monroe, we have two stations that broadcast the 10:00 news - KNOE, the CBS affiliate; and KTVE, the NBC affiliate. I actually know some folks from both stations, and I enjoy flipping back & forth on commercial breaks.

One of KTVE's primetime stars is Heather Parker. She's teamed up with fellow Crimson Tide alum Rudy Williams and they make a great pair. They have good chemistry on-air & they feed off each other well. Each newscast, you can always count on some ad-libbing, and they do a good job of keeping it easygoing and fun for viewers.

When I requested an interview with Ms. Parker, she was very kind and gracious, and I knew I wanted to feature her on my site. Besides being a class act, she has a passion for animals and even has a weekly segment on the news called "Heather's Pet Project". I asked her about her love for animals; her football loyalties; and more in the interview below.

My thanks to Heather for allowing me the chance to interview her, and be sure to check out the Heather's Pet Project archives here at myarklamiss.com.


Q: Was become a newscaster always something you wanted to do? As a child and teenager, what were your career goals?
A: As a child I wanted to be a police officer. Later, I wanted to be a ballerina, a horse trainer, then a journalist. I've always loved being active! In high school, one of my favorite teachers (my English teacher) was very encouraging. In the beginning, my focus was newspaper, it only turned to broadcast after my sophomore year of college.

Q: Just by looking at your Facebook page or “Heather’s Pet Project” on the news, you obviously care deeply about animals and their protection. Why is that?
A: I spent a lot of time with my grandmother growing up, and she loved cats. My uncle loved all animals, especially dogs. I got my love for horses from my father, we used to trail ride on the weekends together. Animals have always been a part of my life and have gotten me through some very tough times. I think that as human beings, it's our responsibility to help those that cannot help themselves.

Q: As an Alabama graduate but living in LSU country, were you torn on who to root for during the big game or was it “Roll Tide!” all the way?
A: I root for LSU all the way, except for when they are playing my alma mater! That's a tough game to watch, especially with my husband - he paces a lot! haha I love college football, but I don't take it so seriously that I can't congratulate whichever team wins. The world will keep spinning either way!

Q: Who is your hero and/or news-casting inspiration?
A: I am a product of numerous people that have inspired me and many that continue to do so. The ones that deserve the 'hero' status in my book are the ones that I know or have known personally and have had a positive effect on me. They include my immediate family, who raised me in a God-fearing and loving environment, my husband, teachers, coworkers, bosses, fellow animal rescuers -- and animals. My pets/rescues are the perfect examples of God's creatures showing unconditional love on a daily basis.

Q: When you’re not at work in front of the cameras, what do you like to do for fun?
A: Believe it or not, animal rescue is really what I do in my extra time, and I love doing it. Giant breeds are my focus and I work with rescues in numerous states to network molosser breeds to get them to safety. They can be an intimidating breed if you don't speak/read their language - especially in a shelter situation when you don't know their history. I've been blessed with some very knowledgeable mentors and friends that have taught me a lot over the past 7 years I've been involved. I also volunteer with The Delta Humane Society, we are based in Richland Parish. I feel strongly in focusing much of my efforts at home. The majority of the giants that I rescue actually come from across the state of Louisiana.

Q: If you were given the opportunity to sit down, talk to, and have dinner with any three people from history, who would they be and why?
A:
  • Jesus
  • Mother Teresa
  • Jane Goodall 
The lives of these people encompass love, giving and understanding. I believe them to be very wise, gentle and kind ~ people that would inspire me to be better and work harder.

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