Blog : June 2012
Character limits expanded »

For those of you who weren't able to make today's roundtable, we announced that we are increasing the number of characters allowed in the text of iReport posts.

A lot of you have been telling us that the 4,000 character limit was not enough for you to get your points across on iReport. Because of that, we have decided to double the character limit to 8,000 words. Your voice has been heard!

As always, we invite your feedback about all aspects of the iReport site, and we hope to see you at the next roundtable on July 26.

Posted by:
 
hhanks
// June 28, 2012
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Posted in: community
iReport roundtable: Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET »


The roundtable is back! This one is going to be very special.

We expect to have several iReport award recipients and nominees in attendance. We also hope to hear feedback from many of you who were either present or watching from afar this past weekend. We all enjoyed the chance to meet and speak with all of you, and thank you for your contributions to iReport. We'd love to hear your thoughts about this weekend.

We also have an announcement to make, and we'd like to introduce you to a new member of the iReport team.

We've taken a bit of a summer break but the roundtables will continue on a monthly basis (with another roundtable coming July 26).

We hope you can join us today at 2:30 p.m. ET here on the iReport blog. See you then.

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hhanks
// June 28, 2012
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Soap stars, wild critters, 'klutz moments' at Daytime Emmys »


Soap superfans Jason Spitzer and Bren Coombs of Soap Opera Socialite had the amazing opportunity to iReport on the red carpet and in the press room for the Daytime Emmys, which took place on Saturday, and aired on HLN. Spitzer, who has blogged for HLNTV.com interviewed several of the stars (both human and animal) that night, while Coombs took charge of the camera.

Coombs wrote this blog post about their most memorable moments of the day:

Jason and I had a great time iReporting for CNN on the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys on Saturday! Here are our top eight Daytime Emmys Most Memorable Moments, in chronological order.

1. Erika Slezak, the six-time Emmy winner from “One Life To Live" - Jason’s favorite soap opera - stopped on the red carpet to chat with us, the pinnacle of our interviews. Erika and Jason joked about Erika’s character Victoria Lord’s alter-egos making an appearance on “General Hospital” to shake things up. We really enjoyed talking to Erika. She was gracious and had a great sense of humor, which made us love her even more than we already did.

2. If you want to make a memorable first impression, try knocking over your camera tri-pod, dropping your phone, and tripping on your dress while trying to get down from a platform.  That is exactly what happened when I tried to quickly get down from my videoing position to take a photo with Elizabeth Hendrickson ("The Young And The Restless") on the red carpet. Even if Liz does manage to forget me almost face-planting at her feet, I won’t.

3. Furry creatures and creepy-crawlers were all around. Elmo won an Emmy, Oscar the Grouch presented with Anderson Cooper, Debbie Gibson had some sort of woodland creature clinging to her, and there was a live cockroach loose on the stage.  Not to mention, on the red carpet, we watched Melissa Claire Egan nearly lose an eye to a porcupine quill and saw everyone eyeing the potential shoe opportunities in the alligator’s skin: things we won’t soon forget.  This year’s entertainment was definitely something different and brought with it childhood nostalgia.

4. Anthony Geary, General Hospital’s Luke Spencer, won his seventh Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.” This year’s win breaks the record for the most Daytime Emmy wins by an actor, which Tony previously shared with Erika Slezak, Justin Deas, and Rosie O’Donnell.  Maybe his character’s son, Lucky, has something to do with his winning streak?

5. Heather Tom, from The Bold And The Beautiful, became the first actor to win in all three actor categories, winning “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series” after previously winning in the Supporting category for The Bold And The Beautiful, and twice in the Younger Actress category for The Young And The Restless.  The pregnant actress said her son was doing backflips over her achievement.  Imagine the “where were you when” story he’s going to have!

6. The Queen of Daytime herself, Susan Lucci, took time to visit the press room after she presented, being the only presenter to do so, which we appreciated and found impressive. When I told Susan that the fans on Facebook and Twitter were very excited about the newly announced pick-up of her show Devious Maids, she was very humbled and appreciative to the fans for their support.

7. Not only does Frank Valentini (“General Hospital”) know how to run a show, he also knows how to throw a great party! While the CBS after party wrapped fairly early, the ABC after party went on well into the early morning. The majority of the "General Hospital" cast and crew were there, as well as many familiar faces from "All My Children" and "One Life To Live." The great DJ and open bar didn’t hurt, either.

8. At the ABC after party, the coveted "General Hospital" Emmy statuette was working the room, posing for photographs and shaking hands.  I was lucky enough to make the award’s dance card, posing for a photo that immediately made it onto Facebook as my profile picture. “I would like to thank…”

It was a memorable evening, to say the least! We are so glad we were able to share our experience with everyone through iReport.

Check out more of their red carpet adventures here!

Posted by:
 
hhanks
// June 25, 2012
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Posted in: stories
iReport Awards weekend: Thank you! »

Thank you to everyone -- iReporters, special guests, and CNN staffers alike -- who were part of the CNN iReport Awards weekend in Atlanta. We have dreamed about hosting a real-life conference and celebration with iReporters for years now, and to witness it become a reality was indescribably awesome. We only hope that this year's attendees learned as much from the sessions as we learned from them. It was so inspiring to hear everyone's ideas and enthusiasm about iReport and the future of citizen journalism.

 

For those of you who missed the action, you can check out a recap of the day on our Awards weekend live blog, and learn more about the 2nd Annual iReport Awards recipients on CNN.com. We'll also be hosting a special edition of the iReport roundtable here on the blog this Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET to answer any questions you may have about the event and share some of our favorite moments from the weekend.

 

Congrats to the Award recipients, nominees, and everyone who was part of this magical weekend. We're already looking forward to next year's iReport Awards, and can't wait to make it even better.

Posted by:
 
katie
// June 25, 2012
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Fiery protests and calm poses: Best of iReport this week »

From commemorating the summer solstice with grand celebrations in some parts of the world to protests igniting in Egypt, we recap the best of iReport this week.

 

Radiohead stage collapses

 

 

Radiohead postponed a part of their upcoming European tour after a stage collapsed in Toronto last Saturday, killing the band's drum technician. The area was guarded by police, but iReporter Gary Jones’ wife was able to capture images of the scene. “Amazingly, one of the guards let my wife snap photos... no one else was allowed,” Jones said.

 

Solstice sun salutations take over

 

 

For the celebration of the summer solstice on Wednesday, thousands of yoga enthusiasts took to Times Square. The all-day yoga fest transformed one of the world’s busiest cities into a wellspring for mind, body and spirit. “It was amazing to see all these people doing yoga. I might want to try it myself,” said Rachel Cauvin.

 

Pride marches on in Croatia

 

 

While Croatia is largely a conservative society, according to iReporter Ivan Klindic, the turn out for the pride parade this year was huge. This year around 4,000 people streamed into Zagreb for the parade – a marked increase as compared to last year’s 1,500.

 

Protesters contest military rule in Egypt

 

 

After a court verdict dissolved the Egyptian parliament, security forces were deployed around the parliament building as thousands of demonstrators gathered on Tuesday in uproar. Ahmed Raafat was in the middle of it all as people chanted slogans like “down with military rule.” They were protesting the decision of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces taking over legislative power.

 

Fire topples San Francisco pier

 

 

Chris Bright saw black smoke rising from San Francisco’s Pier 29 and rushed to see what was going on. He captured this video of the four-alarm fire from across the street. “The fire department got there pretty quickly with about five to six trucks. They seemed to be doing a good job of handling it,” he said. Authorities say the warehouse fire caused substantial damage to the pier.

 

Is news happening where you are, or do you have an opinion you'd like to share? You could be part of next week's Best of iReport. Share your story here.

Posted by:
 
Anika3
// June 22, 2012
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Posted in: week_in_ireport
The iReport Awards weekend is here! »

CNN Center

 

 

The first-ever iReport Awards weekend kicks off Friday and we are really excited to welcome iReporters from all over to CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

The weekend is going to be packed with hands-on seminars, panel discussions with CNN staffers and industry leaders, and, of course, the CNN iReport Awards ceremony.

 

We want the entire iReport community to be a part of the experience, even though it would be impossible to have everyone here in person. We will be blogging all weekend, streaming live video of the sessions, and sharing real-time social media updates from the iReport Awards. You can keep up with all of the buzz by following the hashtag #iReportAwards on Instagram and Twitter.

 

On Twitter, you can also follow our iReport Awards list.

 

We'll post links to the live video stream on Saturday, but here's the schedule so you'll know when to watch.

 

10:15 a.m. ET -- Smartphones – Smart storytelling, led by Victor Hernandez

 

11 a.m. ET -- Creating Powerful Photographic Narratives, with Turner photographers Barbara Griffin, Michael Kochman, David Holloway and Shana Darnell

 

1:30 p.m. ET -- Vimeo Video School, led by Vimeo’s Andrea Allen and CNN’s Brandon Ancil

 

2:45 p.m. ET -- Telling Stories, Telling Truths, with CNN’s Jan Winburn, Moni Basu and John Sutter

 

And be sure to join us on Thurdsay, June 28, for a special edition of our iReport roundtable. We will be talking about everything we learned over the weekend.

Posted by:
 
davidw
// June 21, 2012
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Posted in: ireport_awards
A record-breaking weekend »

When Nik Wallenda walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls on Friday, he walked into history, and an enormous crowd was there to witness it.

Wallenda went 18,000 feet in 25 minutes, making him the first person in recent history to make the daredevil tightrope walk. Allison Perfetti is one of those who won’t soon forget seeing it.

“Nik waved to the crowd and blew kisses, got up on the wire and crossed his fingers, and never wavered,” explained Perfetti, who lives in Lewiston, New York.

“He stopped and kneeled with a few feet to go and ran the rest of the way to the Canadian side.”

Perfetti got a photo of Wallenda making the record-breaking walk, with her eight-year-old daughter looking on.

Alex Brown was visiting from Denver, Colorado,to witness the big moment as well.

He got a wide shot showing the tremendous length that Wallenda had to walk to get from one side to the other.

“We were watching him on the America side and to to see him disappear on the America side was spectacular,” he said.

Wallenda’s walk was not the only world record featured on iReport this weekend. In the grand tradition of the “world’s tallest cat,” Tony Perri caught a memorable moment on Imperial Beach in California, involving a world record that’s more of the canine variety.

“Everyone cheered loudly when the world record was set for most dogs surfing on one surfboard,” said Perri.

Yes, you read that right: a father and daughter's pups broke a world record on Saturday, just in time for Father’s Day, at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition.

“People were thrilled to see dogs surf.  They were very audible, cheering on the pups and giving them encouragement,” he said.

The dogs tried twice and wiped out, but the third time was the charm. “They caught a wave and rode it for ten seconds.”

Perri captured it all on video for iReport. He said footage of the event will be sent to the Guinness Book of World records for official documentation, and there’s a good chance they will attempt to break the record (or records – they believe that three were broken - "most amount of dogs surfing on one board at one time, "most amount of dogs surfing on one board at one time with a human" and "most amount of dogs surfing on one board at one time with two humans") once again when the event happens again next year.

Whether you’ve witnessed a daring feat or an offbeat occasion, we’d love to see more of these world record attempts on iReport. Upload your photos or video here, and check out more images of these record breaking moments here and here.

Posted by:
 
hhanks
// June 18, 2012
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Posted in: stories
Festivities, floods and the Fort Collins blaze: The best of iReport this week »

From efforts to quell the Colorado blaze to Mother Nature’s barrage of baseball-size hail, your stories were exceptional this week. Check out the best and the undiscovered below.

 

Heroic efforts take flight in Fort Collins, Colorado

 

Wildlife photographer Victor Schendel documented a helicopter crew scrambling to contain the High Park fire on Monday as it engulfed tens of thousands of acres in northern Colorado. He describes the pilots’ efforts to safeguard residential communities as “absolutely heroic.”

 

Cannonball! Hail pelts pool

 

This week, we welcomed former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Hannah Jones to the iReport community. Her first iReport was this video of a hailstorm that pummeled Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday and created a flooded chaos around her swimming pool.

 

Flooding in Pensacola, Florida

 

As waters rose on the streets of Pensacola, Florida, iReporter Randy Hamilton photographed stranded drivers trying to rescue their flooded vehicles. The flooding resulted from a torrential downpour of rain on June 9.

 

Warsaw Fan Zone mania

 

Film director Joe Vogt photographed thousands of high-spirited Polish fans in Warsaw supporting their country in the opening match of the Euro 2012 soccer championship. Poland and Greece tied 1-1.

 

Mongolia commemorates Gautama Buddha

 

Lanterns took flight in Ulaanbaatar City, Mongolia, for Vesak, an annual Buddhist festival commemorating the birthday, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha. iReporter Onon Batchuluun documented the floating lanterns after a gathering of storytelling, prayer and meditation.

 

Is news happening where you are, or do you have an opinion you'd like to share? You could be part of next week's Best of iReport. Share your story here.

Posted by: stein0726 // June 15, 2012
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Posted in: week_in_ireport
Did dismemberment suspect make iReport cameo? »

Sometimes, an iReport makes the news long after it is posted. The most recent example is perhaps one of the strangest we've seen.

 

Everybody is curious about a Canadian porn actor named Luka Magnotta. He's a suspect in the killing and mutilation of a university student and police are looking into a possible link in the dismemberment of a California man.

 

Magnotta was arrested June 4 in a Berlin Internet cafe. He is awaiting extradition to Canada to face first-degree murder charges.

 

The Atlantic Wire published an article looking into various unconfirmed references on the Internet. One of the anecdotes they highlighted was dug up from CNN iReport.

 

The unconfirmed photo - showing a man sitting in a car - was posted by user benjamins88, who claims to be from Denver. The iReport, which was posted in July 2011, says the man shown is "model Luka Magnotta." The writer indicates that he spoke to Magnotta at a Ferrari convention in Miami that month. The same photo is posted on a Flickr account with the username Luka Magnotta Male Model 2011.

 

It's important to note that we haven't verified any details about the image, as attempts to reach the submitter have been unsuccessful. In the text of the iReport, the writer explains that Magnotta "said he agrees with everything the Tea Party is doing and hopes Obama will not be re-elected."

 

The iReport includes text that is attributed to Magnotta: "When I was a kid, zoos used to stage a grisly display of anarchy and mess called the chimpanzees' tea party. Whilst such entertainments could hardly be described as tragic, it does nonetheless invoke Marx's observation that history repeats itself; the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

 

As unusual as this appears, it isn't the first time we've seen an iReport surface in the news long after it was posted.

 

You may remember the Balloon Boy hoax back in 2009, in which a man named Richard Heene claimed that his 6-year-old son was a stowaway in a balloon flying up in the air. The nation watched agape, but alas.

 

We found out that Heene had a profile on CNN iReport and had shared a few stories prior to the incident. Most notably, a couple of submissions showed his family recording video of storm damage after Hurricane Gustav in Houma, Louisiana.

 

These are just a couple examples of the many kinds of stories to be found on CNN iReport. What's your take on the Magnotta saga and Balloon Boy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Posted by:
 
nsaidi
// June 13, 2012
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Posted in: stories
iReport is looking for a fall 2012 intern »

Calling all college and university students! We're looking for a fall intern to join our team at the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

The full-time, paid internship lasts about 12 weeks and is open to college students currently enrolled in school. Course credit is available, and preference is given to candidates who have previously contributed to CNN iReport.

 

One lucky intern will work with iReport's editorial team helping lead CNN's user-generated news platform, participatory media, and community efforts. In addition to vetting iReports, producing content, and helping with brainstorming and editorial planning, interns will also have the opportunity to learn from a host of CNN professionals in various departments. (If you want to learn more, just ask Jake, our current summer intern, how awesome the opportunity is.)

 

Interested? Go here for more details and to formally apply.

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katie
// June 14, 2012
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Watching and waiting as fire spreads »

Phillip Genest did not have the best day on Friday.

He went camping in Argentina Canyon, in Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico.

“All still seemed well until later on in the afternoon,” he said. “We started seeing what looked like clouds billowing above the trees on the ridge above us but soon found them to be smoke!”

Phillip and company high-tailed it out of there as they witnessed one of several wildfires hitting Colorado and New Mexico. They quickly left the campground only to see the fire coming down from the ridge close to where their camp was located.

Meanwhile, in northern Colorado, over 40,000 acres have burned, leaving one dead thus far on Tuesday.

At least 100 fire engines and 34 crews are expected to battle the fire in the coming days.

Tiffanie Brewer and Chris White captured images of the fire on Saturday in Fort Collins, Colorado. On Monday, Brewer told us, “Many people have had to evacuate, leaving everything behind.”

Graham Long was able to show the fire’s progression from the vantage point of his home in Laporte, Colorado, by creating a time-lapse video.

“I checked the local news and saw the report of a fire 15 miles west of town, growing quickly,” he said.

“Late in the evening, the hills had an eerie red glow, and I wanted to see if I could capture it with my DSLR.  The wind at the time was steady but slow to the north, but around midnight started to pick up and move to the south.  Since Sunday morning, the town of Laporte has been thick with smoke and some ash (so much that they moved the evacuation center from Laporte to Loveland.)”

The fire was even visible as far away as Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Sunday. That’s when Jacob Zumo took this extraordinary image.

“I was in shock at the scale of this fire and the fact that we could see the smoke cloud so far away,” he said. “Also, I knew that this fire was near the Horsetooth Reservoir in Colorado, so there is quite a bit of wildlife that inhabits the area, so I was of course concerned about that.”

The wildfire is an ongoing story and we will continue to look for your images of this massive blaze. (At the same time, please stay safe and don’t put yourself in danger while iReporting.) Upload your photos here.

Posted by:
 
hhanks
// June 12, 2012
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Posted in: stories
5 iReports that made us say 'Wow' »

Tears, cheers and a transit to remember: Check out the best of iReport this week!

 

'I just kept thinking about the people'

 

Photographer Femi Green-Adebo lives a few blocks from the Nigerian plane crash that killed 153 people on board and at least 10 on the ground. “It was so hot, we couldn't get close because of the fire,” he said. “I just kept thinking about the people, if there was anyone in there.”

 

From excitement to defeat

 

Wisconsin’s unions began Tuesday evening with hope and energy about the promise of a governor recall. They ended the night “sullen, quiet and deflated,” said iReporter Jim Jorstad, who spent more than a year covering the recall movement in pictures.

 

A celestial connection

 

“It is unbelievable how everyone across the world can be looking at the same thing at the same time,” Katie Sykes thought, as she watched Venus pass in front of the setting sun from a rooftop in Wichita, Kansas. She snapped this photo as countless of sky-watchers across the globe did the same.

 

Straight Mormons draw tears, cheers

 

Hundreds of straight Mormons marched in the annual Salt Lake City, Utah, gay pride parade to show their love for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Photographer Katrina Anderson brought her five children with her and said, “Just because you’re Mormon doesn’t mean you hate gays.”

 

Syrian-American boy rallies for dying

 

Basil Harris Chaballout, a Syrian-American boy (second from right in the photo) from Homs, felt heartbroken about the violence there and wanted his classmates to understand the situation. "Not NEARLY ENOUGH people in the U.S. know anything about what is going on," he wrote in an email to CNN iReport. "To see children with open wounds, people on the street with split open heads, and families upon families crying and suffering just makes me want to cry when I think about it."

 

Is news happening where you are, or do you have an opinion you'd like to share? You could be part of next week's Best of iReport. Share your story here.

Posted by:
 
dsashin
// June 8, 2012
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Posted in: week_in_ireport
Jon Stewart, iReporter? »

 

During last night's intro to "The Daily Show," host Jon Stewart shared that he witnessed the first no-hitter in Mets history on Friday night. He even shot cell-phone footage of the game, which he introduced as "my iReport." Awesome.

 

Stewart's story is a great reminder that you never know when you'll witness news worth sharing -- whether it's at a sporting event or in your own neighborhood. Just remember to follow his footsteps and keep your camera close by!

 

You can watch the full "Daily Show" intro here. Unfortunately, we don't have a link to Stewart's Mets video on iReport. Maybe he got distracted as he was going to upload it?

 

Whatever the case, this is your official invite to join the site, Jon! We know you've joked about iReport in the past, but last night proves you truly love us. The feeling is mutual.

Posted by:
 
katie
// June 4, 2012
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Posted in: community
Meet Jake, our summer intern »

Starting this week, you might see a new face on the site. Our summer intern, Jake Stein, joined Team iReport yesterday.

 

Jake has been an iReport member since January 2011. We asked him to write a short bio to introduce himself to the community: 

 

Jake is a rising junior at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism as well as Barrett, the Honors College. His passion for visual storytelling led him to his previous work experience as a student reporter and videographer for the city of Phoenix’s youth and education channel, Know99 Television. Jake is the president of ASU’s student chapter of the National Press Photographers Association.

 

In addition to his experience as a photographer, he has spent time as a newscast reporter for ASU's radio station, The Blaze 1330 AM, as well as a feature story reporter for The Downtown Devil. Jake recently won a reporting trip to Brazil, where he’ll be blogging from the World Congress of Food Science and Technology in August. In his spare time, Jake enjoys camping, hiking and going on road trips in his beloved Subaru. He is honored to be working with Team iReport and looks forward to a mutually productive, enjoyable summer.

 

Be sure to say hello to Jake! We're excited to welcome him to the team.

Posted by:
 
katie
// June 5, 2012
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Posted in: community
CNN iReport Awards: Have you voted today? »

 

There's one week left to vote for the Community Choice recipient in the CNN iReport Awards, so check out the nominees and make your pick.

 

Each of the iReports nominated for the iReport Awards are outstanding examples of participatory journalism and our talented panel of judges will select the recipients in each of the six categories: Breaking news, Original Reporting, Commentary, Compelling Imagery, Interview and Personal Story.

 

The Community Choice Award recognizes the story that resonates with you, the iReport Community. Your votes will determine the recipient. You can vote once every 24 hours until Monday, June 11th.

 

We will announce the recipient on June 23 at the iReport Awards weekend.

Posted by:
 
davidw
// June 4, 2012
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Posted in: ireport_awards
‘Beryl-ing’ storms and royal stories: The best of iReport this week »

Every week iReporters from across the world upload amazing stories onto the site, and every Friday the iReport Team tries to highlight the stories that make us say "wow" or "have you seen this iReport?" From a tropical storm edging up the eastern coast of the United States, to a story that starts in a chicken factory and goes straight to Buckingham Palace, the stories this week took some interesting turns:

 

‘Beryl-ing’ through a wedding

 

Satin dresses and lace veils thrashed frantically in the wind as Tropical Storm Beryl started to make landfall during a Jacksonville, Florida, wedding. Scott Thornton captured a video of his friends, Ryan and Amanda, tying the knot, despite gusts of wind and the ominously darkening sky.

 

“Nobody got rained on,” Thornton said. “It was like perfect timing. They said I do, there was the kiss, and then, ‘Whoo!’ and we ran. The house for the reception was right behind it.”

 

Thornton decided to upload the video as a wedding present to the bride and groom. “I actually didn’t get them a wedding gift, so I felt bad. I wanted to send an iReport,” he said.

 

It’s hailing baseballs

 

Stormy weather continued throughout the week as a massive hail storm swept through Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Jeremy Battle started filming the hail storm outside his home, expecting the pieces to be the size of golf balls.

 

“As the hail intensified to three inches, near baseball size hail, I begin shouting ‘Oh my goodness’ in the video because I have never seen hail hit that size firsthand. I had to keep my back against my front door to prevent any hail from hitting me directly. It was an experience I will never forget.”

 

‘Kissing’ at the Olympics

 

As the 2012 Olympics heads underway in London, Harry Hayfield captured the “kiss” of the Olympic flame. The "kiss" is when the Olympic flame is passed from torchbearer to torchbearer.

 

Hayfield added that the tradition of passing the torch for the Olympics, otherwise known as the Olympic Torch Relay, was established during the 1930s as a way of connecting the ideals of Nazi Germany to Ancient Greeks.

 

“The fact that the 1948 London Olympics took the idea and turned it into a message of peace between nations shows that peace will always overcome war,” he said.

 

From chickens to carriages

 

James Mills sent in an iReport about how he not only met Queen Elizabeth II, but also worked for her. Mills was working at a chicken factory in Glasgow, Scotland, when he applied for a "trainee butler," he told CNN's Barry Neild.

 

When Buckingham Palace called to offer him a job, his mother thought it was a crank call.  "It's one of those jobs you never expect to hear back from, so when they called my house my mother thought it was one of my friends having a wind up. So for three days she kept telling them to piss off."

 

Eventually, Mills called the number back himself and accepted the job, and he worked for the Queen from 2002 until 2006 as a footman.

 

"The footman -- that was me -- would either walk alongside the carriage in which the queen, or visiting head of state rides, or depending on the style of carriage, the footman may ride on the back. It is my job to protect the persons inside, and also to get the carriage door open when it stops to assist the passengers in or out."

 

Everything is illuminated

 

Across America, people celebrated Memorial Day on Monday by remembering those who served the country. But Eric Raum was not in the U.S. on Memorial Day, he was in Buehring, Kuwait.

 

In Buehring, Kuwait, the United Service Organization, a nonprofit group, put together a 5k run/walk in remembrance of fallen soldiers. The run ended with 6,431 luminaries glowing softly in a vast field.  Raum said it was truly a humbling and incredibly moving sight.

 

“It was a very powerful and emotional reminder of the human impact these last 12 years have had, as well as the meaning behind the day," he said. "Many soldiers taking part are on their second, third, or more deployment, and many know first hand the faces behind those lights.”

 

Is news happening where you are, or do you have an opinion you'd like to share? You could be part of next week's Best of iReport. Share your story here.

Posted by:
 
Jareen
// June 1, 2012
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Posted in: week_in_ireport
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