Internal report to UPI employees circa 1992 from former UPI executive Steve Geimann:
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Sullivan Hurt on Sarajevo Assignment
The bitter war in Yugoslavia finally hit UPI, hard.
Correspondent Kevin Sullivan of Sarajevo, Bosnia, was seriously injured Monday when an armored car in which he was riding hit a obscured landmine, sending him, Reuters correspondent Hugh Pain and Reuters photographer Corrine Difka scrambling for cover.
Kevin's legs were broken. His feet shattered. Doctors at a military field hospital set his bones, wrapped his legs in plaster and sent him and the others to Zagreb, Croatia, home of the U.N. officials in the country.
By week's end, UPI flew his brother, Gerry, from Glasgow, Scotland, to Zagreb to be with his brother, and to accompany him on a flight back home.
While recovering, Sullivan wrote a story that moved Jan. 29, detailing what happened as the three journalists drove into Gornji Vakuf Monday morning.
"Pitch-pine Tirolian style chalets burned. Shell shattered buildings in empty streets formed a familiar and deolate Bosnian tableau. A dead dog lay near the solid twin-spired Catholic church. A large shell-hole stood out in the slim white minaret of down-town mosque.
"Gornji Vakuf was eerily quiet. Halfway along a narrow, debris strewn side street near the river, the press Landrover exploded. The vehicle jolted upward. A flash. A very loud bang. The cabin filled with smoke. The doors blown off.
"The speed of destruction was remarkable. A land-mine takes less than a second to reduce a $30,000 armored vehicle to a pile ofirregular metal.
"The three occupants clambered out, each with injuries to the foot and legs. Small-arms fire opened up nearby followed by explosions."
Sullivan, with a broken leg and bones shattered in both feet, lay on the pavement 5 feet from the Landrover, 3 feet from another, exploded anti-tank mine.
"Inside a shelter Sullivan was given a paracetamol tablet to ease the pain of his broken leg. Bosnian troops were solicitous towards the three foreign journalists, but they had seen injuries many times more serious.
"An hour later UN troops from the light engineering factory arrived to evacuate the foreigners to the UN field hospital in Vitez. Just as the journalists had dipped in to the every-day misery of the Bosnian conflict, they were able to duck out aided by helpful neutral troops, familiar accents, a well-equipped military clinic, and, three days later, an evacuation plane to Zagreb."
"Monday was quiet in Gornji Vakuf. The volume of shelling and small-arms fire declined, in line with the previous evening's ceasefire. The destruction of a press car and the relatively minor injuries sustained by three foreign journalists barely rate a mention in the Bosnian catalogue of carnage."
Kevin is mending. In true Unipresser spirit, he told London he'd rather return to Saravejo instead of going home. He and his brother are booked on a plane to Scotland Saturday. He will rest and recover before tackling his next challenge, which could be Saravejo.
N-E-W Company Update
Representatives of UPI's owners report progress developing a formal business plan to support the company's rebuilding.
As you recall, UPI managers met in mid-December with people from London and Saudia Arabia, to discuss the future of the company. Results of these discussions will be included in the plan.
Final work will involve decisions by UPI directors, who will discuss, approve or modify proposals made by management. These decisions are expected during the next month.
After deliberations are completed, a formal plan will be adopted and put into effect. Then, we will have a direction, and commitment and will move from a day-to-day operations to a long-term plan.
O-L-D Company Update
The slow pace of resolving o-l-d UPI is heading toward the finish line.
A federal judge in New York City Tuesday will review court documents on the vacation pay earned from Jan. 1 through June 27, 1992 - prior to the sale of the company. He is expected to approve the payments.
Checks will be prepared and signed as soon as the judge approves the orders. If your timesheet file is up to date, you will get a check after the judge's approval; if it is incomplete, your check will be cut and mailed once the file is completed and after the judge's approval. More details are in nwh102.
Doing daybooks may seem like drudge work, but occassionally housekeeping pays off.
Last week, as Regional Editor Marcy Kreiter in Chicago was doing her usual week-ahead compilation of daybooks in the 13-state Central Division, she first noticed a State of the State message scheduled Jan. 26 in Wisconsin.
A day later, a budget unveiling was scheduled in Minnesota. Then a daybook entry materialized in Indiana - another State of the State message set for the same day.
Before the week was over, governors of Ohio and Michigan also had scheduled State of the State messages for Jan. 26 and Illinois' governor had his Jan. 27.
The result was a 500-word roundup showing that the states are facing the same problems and focusing on correcting the same money-eating programs. A slimmed-down version, emphasizing the across-the-board push for fiscal reforms, moved nationally as a UniStyle.
The midwest daybook moves daily, listing scheduled events for the week ahead. Every region should have one.
Florida Team Nails 2 Stories
UPI in Florida was first to come up with the complete stories - and identities - of people involved in two shooting incidents.
On Wednesday, regional photo editor Bill Cranford in Atlanta provided first word to Miami of a shooting at a restaurant in a Tampa office building.
A disgruntled former employee walked into a cafeteria and opened fire on Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. executives as thof those thought to have died was revived while another victim died at a hospital, keeping the count at three dead. Police spokesmen at varwo or three wounded, and so did we. But we were consistent in sticking with the confirmed three dead, while some other media rolled back and forth.
While virelse was reporting the gunman killed himself in his rental car, Tobin learned he actually had walked into a park and with a final sense of irony shot himself of a Frisbee golf course.
UPI also had the first official word of the victims' identities and what their jobs were at Fireman's Fund. Tobin persuaded the como give him the information and then moved it at 8:25 p.m. as soon as Tampa police confirmed the victim's families had all been notified. Rox stories in non-UPI morning did not have the names or job descriptions.
We also had first word of the identity of a high-ranking Venezuelan diplomat killed in a Miami robbery asnds walked up to a house for a dinner party.
Tobin got details of the Tuesday night shooting from Miami police Wednesday morning, but police had not yet rele the victim. Tobin kept checking with the Venezuelan Consulate and persistence paid off. He was first to learn the victim was Jesus Delgado, 47, second-rankinnezuela's Paris embassy who was attached to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. We had the name and brief background11:15 a.m. - while Rox-only all-news Miami radio station WINZ was still saying more than three hours later that the victim had not yet been identified.
Heads to NASA
Former UPI Audio reporter Rob Navias has been named the new director of broadcasting at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, beginningas will oversee NASA Select TV among his many duties. Since leaving UPI, Navias has worked for CBS Radio.
UPI returned this week to KRLD Texas State Network, the largest radio news operation in Texas. After a trial of our report, KRLD News Director Rick Ericson picked UPI over Reuters as an alternate. Credit should go to Regional Sales Manager Jim Tandy and all the UPI crew who backed up Tandy and stayed alert during the trial just before Christmas.
Now that Clinton is in office, UPI awaits inauguration of Harihar Krishnan, the vindaloo curry master from Madras, as president of the Indian community in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
More than 4,000 are expected at the gala India Nite function where he will make his thundering inaugural ansion to his new post comes on the weekend before his 23rd anniversary as a Unipresser.
Hari, a leader in building India Association of North Texas, was eles acclamation by the entire community, regarded as one of most properous, forward-looking ethnic communities in the D-FW area, enjoying power and influence enFirst Lady Indira Krishnan, and First Daughters Jayshree and Shobhana, are especially happy since the job will keep the president out of the Krishnan householmore peace of mind. We all wish Hari the best of luck.
State University of New York at Albany junior Pam Resnick has joined the Albany bure The Queens, N.Y., native will lend a hand covering Gov. Mario Cuomo, the Legislature and news in upstate New York.