Bill Riales, WKRG

Bill Riales


Mobile, AL, United States

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Past articles by Bill:

Special Education requires patience and lots of love

Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — We try not to stir things up too much in Bridget Burrell’s special education classroom at Collier Elementary. But we did want to make sure people know— “…and you are a Golden Apple Award winner.”“Thank you…” Burrell teaches special needs students–and she’s been doing it for the past twenty-seven years. “Just […] → Read More

Sisters are teachers with classrooms just steps from apart

IRVINGTON, Ala. (WKRG) — We met Anna Booth Elementary teachers Shannon Otto and Christa Reynoso just seconds apart to award their Golden Apples. Ms. Reynoso teaches fourth grade. Her sister, Ms. Otto, teaches fifth grade. They are sisters, but to student Angelina Swann, they are a blessing. “They’re my favorite teachers, they just take more […] → Read More

Wild Weasels helped change U.S. approach to air warfare

Spanish Fort, Ala. (WKRG) — Art Oken became a commissioned officer out of ROTC in college in the 1960’s. Trained as an aircraft navigator and in electronic warfare, he was soon sent to Vietnam. “As the war got underway–the air campaign in southeast Asia, the attrition, the fighter attrition was unacceptable–and that’s an understatement,” he […] → Read More

Stars of ‘Jesus Revolution’ talk to WKRG News 5

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Joel Courtney and Anna Grace Barlow spent some time on the Gulf Coast last year in production for ‘Jesus Revolution,‘ a film based on a book by Greg Laurie. The premise is about a seemingly counter-culture movement toward Christianity in southern California in the late sixties. ‘Fraser’ star Kelsey Grammer is […] → Read More

Teacher says spirituality and education go hand in hand in her classroom

Fairhope, Ala. (WKRG) — One of her third graders said Ms. Kearney helps us when we make mistakes. And that’s just scratching the surface of what Melanie Kearny does for her students. Kearney said, “It is such a blessing to be able to teach third graders and here at Bayshore Christian School to just share […] → Read More

Spanish Fort teacher leads students to discover on their own

Spanish Fort, Ala. (WKRG) — Talk about immersing yourself in a role—Jo Anne Theodore at Spanish Fort Elementary is dressed as1920’s garb in order to educate her students about that era. What’s surprising about that—she’s a science teacher. “At sixth grade we work together, really closely together on our curriculum and so as our social […] → Read More

She was enrolled at Christ the King when she was in second grade, now she teaches there

DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — The second graders love coming to class at Daphne’s Christ the King School. And that’s largely because of their teacher Briana Buttarazzi whom they call Ms. B. “I went to this school and I actually started in second grade here and so it’s very special to be here,” she said. “I’ve been teaching […] → Read More

Long time third-grade teacher is this week’s Golden Apple Award winner

Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — Many, many people may recognize Erica Dunn from their own experience within the Mobile County Public School system. Dunn has been teaching third grade for the past twenty-nine years. “I had jury duty a couple of years ago and ran into one of my old students….” “And he was the judge…” […] → Read More

Family support leads to outstanding Golden Apple winner

Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — Daphnie Milton doesn’t have to look any further than her immediate family and her students to find the support she needs to be an outstanding teacher. So, before we meet this 6-year veteran teacher, you might be interested to hear some of the things her nominators have to say about her. […] → Read More

Mississippi State Coach Mike Leach dies

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mississippi State announced this morning the passing of head football coach Mike Leach. Leach had been in critical condition at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson since suffering what was described as a massive heart attack over the weekend. He was 61. The university said Leach died last night […] → Read More

America in Bloom competition gives Brewton a boost

BREWTON, Ala. (WKRG) — In every corner of town, you can see plants, flowers, and lots of little details the city adds to beautify Brewton. It’s part of a program called America in Bloom. It’s also a competition. There’s been a storm in Brewton — a floral storm — and it’s been going on since […] → Read More

‘Money grows on trees and in trees’: Brewton timber industry

BREWTON, Ala. (WKRG) — Brewton was incorporated in 1885. Years before that, Thomas R. Miller established a sawmill there that set the stage for a boom in Brewton. Since then, timber has been king. “Money grows on trees and in trees, and if it wasn’t for trees Brewton wouldn’t exist,” says Pat Reeves. Reeves has […] → Read More

Creating bonds that last a long time

Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — Teachers often create bonds with their students that last for many years. And that’s the case for this week’s Golden Apple Award winner who now teaches at one school–but is remembered by one parent for when she taught at another school. Nikki Barnickel is now a teacher at St. Paul’s Episcopal […] → Read More

In-person teaching is important so you can see if they get it

Semmes, Ala. (WKRG) — We had her nominators, also her students, present this Golden Apple to Nicole Landry. The 20-year veteran history teacher—just like all teachers we’ve ever spoken with–says it’s her students that motivate her to return to the classroom day after day. “Always—they feed me with their energy,” she says. “They are always […] → Read More

Golden Apple winner says he’s not going anywhere, ever…ever…ever!

SEMMES, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s been a few years since Tony Guardalabene (pronounced: Qualabean) found his way to Semmes Middle School. It happened after Hurricane Katrina devastated his home in New Orleans. “Taught and coached in New Orleans. And everything we had was destroyed. And we came to Mobile–decided to stay–and they’ve been very welcoming […] → Read More

First grade is the best grade–just ask a first-grade teacher

Daphne, Ala. (WKRG) — Another first for our Golden Apple team as we caught up with Terrie Weinacker at lunch. Weinacker is in her 31st year as a teacher. At Daphne East Elementary she teaches first-graders, and she believes it’s the best grade to teach. “The kids bring such variety and they bring their own […] → Read More

Korean War Vet from Mobile is a member of the Chosin Few

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Horace ‘Bubba’ Jackson is one of the Chosin Few. They are the Marines who survived nearly overwhelming Chinese attacks at the battle of the Chosin Reservoir in what is now North Korea. “About 10 days of pretty bad stuff — but I didn’t know we were surrounded by 10 Chinese divisions […] → Read More

She was a school volunteer, then decided to become a teacher

Elsanor, Ala. (WKRG) — Prisca Pugh said she became a volunteer at Elsanor School, then decided to become a teacher. She’s been at it now for 13 years. “You know, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do when I grew up–and then I just came and started volunteering at this school. And I […] → Read More

The entire school turns out for this Golden Apple Award

Loxley, Ala. (WKRG) — We may have led Mandey Shiver to believe that the entire population of Loxley Elementary School already knew about her Golden Apple Award. We were just teasing a little since all 480 students were let out of class to watch her receive her Golden Apple. The second-grade teacher has been an […] → Read More

Golden Apple winner has music in her blood

Spanish Fort, Ala. (WKRG) — A rousing and loud reception for our Golden Apple team as we presented Spanish Fort Middle band director Natalie Hughes with the award. She’s been a band director for seventeen years, and you might say music is in her blood. “Yes, my brother and my dad are both band directors. […] → Read More