Projects with the Rockford Register Star

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School Report Cards || Kody Walsh Manhunt Timeline || 2012 Election Results || Nonprofit Wishlists || OTW Timeline

Shots Fired || Black History Month Essays || Get to Know Me || Most Wanted || 2013 Election Results || Tracking homicides in the Rock River Valley


  • School Report Cards - 9/3
    This was a custom built app using PHP, Javascript and MySQL using Illinois Board of Education standardized test score data. It uses the Tablesorter, jQuery UI and Google Maps Javascript libraries to sort, filter and display test scores. Since the state releases this data every year, we will probably see an update and some archival score information appear later this year, as well as some better sorting and filtering options.
  • Kody Walsh Manhunt Timeline - 9/9 thru 9/16
    Built using TimelineJS (a Javascript library built by the Knight News Lab), this was a neat way to display our stories coming out about Kody Walsh, an accused murderer, as a manhunt was progressing for him. Updated multiple times, daily, for several days.
  • 2012 Election Results - 11/6
    We got election results from our TV station partner, WREX. For a clean display in both the main results page and an embeddable widget, I transformed those results into a usable data feed for a front-end built using Underscore Javascript templates.
  • Nonprofit Wishlists - 11/30
    Brian Leaf had an idea to build a database of local nonprofit organizations that they could contribute to and have a wish list for public display. This was custom built using PHP, Javascript and MySQL. It was designed for simple listing and individual page display for each organization. It uses jQuery UI to assist in creating an easy to use form to fill out.
  • OTW Timeline - 12/16
    Georgette Braun covered the 29th anniversary of the On the Waterfront festival, also it's last year. Using TimelineJS again, and with assistance from Ken Michaelis' memorabilia we gave each year several slides. Users can see a neat historical look at the festival to accompany Geo's story.


  • Shots Fired - 2/3
    Jeff Kolkey put together the story about shots fired in Rockford and three maps spanning 2010-2012 using Google Fusion Tables. I combined these maps using jQuery UI to display them all on one page.
  • Black History Month Essays - February
    Using CakePHP, I built a database that students could enter essays into easily. We ran these essays in print and online through February.
  • Get To Know Me
    Using CakePHP, I built a database that people could enter profiles of themselves into with a multi-part webform. This has administrative capabilities on the administrative side, to allow editors to approve profiles, add questions and categories, and moderate all content. Previously this content was entered into a category in our content management system, but with far less organization and searchability. The entries are reverse published for the print column in the newspaper.
  • Most Wanted
    In cooperation with Rockford CrimeStoppers, I built a database (using CakePHP) of wanted felons that can be easily administered to display the most up-to-date information.
  • 2013 Election Results Coverage
    Starting with the platform I built last year for election coverage, I redid almost every aspect of how it functions on the back-end. Results are FTPed to us in XML format, and on receipt, transferred to another folder and processed using a PHP script that outputs six different JSON files as well as two separate reverse publish formatted feeds for InDesign. These files are then pushed to two separate results pages -- one for Rockford and another for Freeport -- two separate widgets and two separate reverse publish processes for the next day's paper. These JSON files are then ingested by the front end, built using Underscore templating, jQuery and several custom Javascript functions for searching and sorting.
  • Tracking homicides in the Rock River Valley
    Using data gathered over the last decade, several reporters and editors worked to clean it up and organize it in a Google Spreadsheet. From there, I used the Miso Dataset library to build a workable object in Javascript and the Tablesorter library to organize, filter, sort and otherwise manipulate and present it to the public in a way that is easily searchable and usable.