Friday, January 06, 2012
Fires, salt flats, and meteors: The best of iReport this week

iReporters all over the map made us proud this week, taking us to the scene of big news stories and beautiful vistas.


Here are five iReports you shouldn’t miss:


Arsons put L.A. on edge


Los Angeles was terrorized with a rash of car and building fires over the weekend, and iReporter Zack Whitford was up listening to the police scanners early Monday when he heard about another incident. At around 2 a.m., the freelance photojournalist shot this photo series of firefighters responding to the blaze in West Hollywood. Harry Burkhart, 24, was later arrested in connection with the arson spree.


Watching 100 meteors


Photographer and stargazer Renata Arpasova, from Swindon, United Kingdom, clenched her tripod in the gusting winds Wednesday to document the early morning Quadrantid meteor shower. She was rewarded with the sight of 100 meteors charging across her sky, feeling “sheer excitement with every single one of them,” and used Photoshop to blend 19 photos into this image.


Stunning salt flats


Of the dozens of countries iReporter and traveler Neal Piper has visited in the past five years, his trip to Bolivia’s salt flats in late December stands out as possibly “the most amazing place I've ever been,” he said. Looking at his images, we can understand why. Piper’s on a journey to find out what “Living the Dream” means in every country in the world. He’s heading to the Amazon rainforest next.


Iowa surprise


Tuesday night’s Iowa caucuses kicked off the GOP's 2012 presidential season, and Cedar Falls Times editor Anelia K. Dimitrova took us inside the UNI-Dome to watch caucus-goers in Black Hawk County speaking up for their candidate of choice. In her opinion, Rick Santorum earned his surprise second-place finish: "When I saw him in town last week, he was on his 355th face-to-face meeting with Iowans.” On the other hand, caucus winner Mitt Romney “collected his  entitlement vote.”


Nigerians offer first glimpse of protests


Before most news agencies had cameras on the scene of fuel protests in Nigeria, locals were using iReport to tell the world their story. We received more than 200 iReports from Abuja to Lagos, and heard personal stories from those affected. Pharmacist Boma Tai was one of several Nigerians who took a moment to post his account of the unrest. Protester Alex Omamuli told us the price of fuel has more than doubled.


Think you have a story to share? Check out our assignment desk for ideas, or submit your own view of the news.

January 6, 2012

5 amazing iReports. I'd have a near impossible time trying to pick the best. These were all exceptional for different but very good reasons. I defy anyone, anywhere to show you anything better in terms of reporting. All 5 of you take a deep bow, you deserve it!

Much Metta


January 6, 2012
Click to view theoilman's profile

I think going to those salt flats in Bolivia just got added to my bucket list.  wow.

January 7, 2012
Click to view JherryPhons's profile

The stunning salt flats report is incomparable, one of a kind. A very beautiful place.  I like the way it was photographed.  Amazing.

January 7, 2012
Click to view moro66's profile

I think the fuel protests in Nigeria can't be seen in isolation from what's been happening in the Arab World and Europe. True, we are now told of some kind of recovery (and job creation) in the US, Germany... but there just are more people than any economy can deliver. The point of saturation is being reached almost everywhere. I guess we'll see more of such reports in the future.

January 8, 2012
Click to view moro66's profile

Thank you GI's!


The sea round a boat is like a wolf around a goat.

Death scares us all, be we from Tehran or Montreal.

We screamed and you heard our scream.

You rushed to turn the nightmare into a nice dream.

Foe or hero, we say to you: BRAVO!

Great in our eyes you'll remain, O GI's!

We'd lay down our arms and fall into your arms.

We'd be your shield in the battlefield.

But –alas– that'll remain a dream

However hard you and we may scream.

Our folks back in the land can only barricade behind rock and sand.

They can only see the hate and the gun.

If only they could see the love and the fun.

They would then stop all military drills

And throw away every weapon that kills!


January 8, 2012
Click to view curtismitche's profile

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.

January 9, 2012
Click to view RomaniaScene's profile

Arsonists are some of the most despicable criminals.  They have no conscience about the danger that they put others in, especially the firefighters who dedicate their lives to serving others.  A supreme waste of energy and resources, not to mention the possibility of injury or death to a public servant or civilian. Great report, Zack.  

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