Reporting a PGA Golf Tournament

Deborah Kriegshauser with Hale Irwin.

NCRA member Deborah Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CRC, CLVS, shares a memory of one of her most unusual jobs.

JCR | When and where was the job?

DK | I was asked to caption media interviews of the Senior PGA Golf Tournament players at the Boone Valley (Members Only) Golf Course in Augusta, Mo., in 2000.

JCR | What made the job unique?

DK | It was literally the middle of nowhere. They couldn’t find any freelancer who would accept the job as they were not wanting to pay in cash but, instead, provide four tournament passes to the four-day event, which included celebrity golf tournaments with the PGA players before the big tournament began. In doing so, I personally got to meet Arnold Palmer, along with Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Chi-Chi Rodríguez, and many big-name players. As they came off the golf course each day, they would be interviewed individually, and I would report the interview and provided instantaneous transcripts to the media folks for their use in their articles and TV programs. 

JCR | Did anything else make the job memorable?

Kriegshauser with golfer Larry Nelson

DK | I would be there until dark, but the family and friends who used my tournament passes ended up winning all these attendance ticket prizes that the sponsors were giving away. They were sometimes the only ones left in the area, waiting on me to get done. They walked away with Adirondack chairs, coolers, you name it. It was a pretty awesome experience.

I have a pole flag that all the PGA players signed. It is very special to me. I’ve been told it’s worth a lot of money, especially with all the players who have passed away, including Arnold Palmer.

Deborah Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CRC, CLVS, is an official reporter in Dallas, Texas.

Hearing aids might be the key to my RPR

Callie Sajdera

By Callie Sajdera

My hearing problems were a huge challenge for me. I have been irritated and upset because I am constantly asking “what” to people all the time or asking them to please repeat themselves or just not answering. I have severe ringing in my ears, and it has affected the way I feel about getting up and going to work on any day. I noticed the ringing more prominently when I was in school. I have become a pretty good lip reader and a very context-focused person.

I decided to go get treatment when my boyfriend, Matt Moss, was helping me scope a rather large transcript that I needed help with. He suggested to me that maybe I have a really difficult time hearing women’s voices and that I should try to get my ears checked. He wasn’t wrong. I already knew that I struggled hearing women’s voices over men, and it was also difficult for me to comprehend fast-speaking people.

My official diagnosis was tinnitus (which I was already aware of) and moderately severe irreversible hearing loss. This came as a shock because now they can do several things to help improve people’s hearing, such as cochlear implants and so on. The doctor sent me straight next door to the hearing aid specialist and told me to start there. He didn’t really tell me he could do anything for me, although he is concerned that I am so young with such significant loss. I asked for a copy of my audiogram and the results showed that on the speaking scale I went from “normal range” straight down to “moderately severe hearing loss.” There really was no middle ground.

I was disheartened by the fact that I am 26 years old and needed to get hearing aids. I was nervous that people would see them and that it would be obvious. Not only was I concerned about the physical hearing aid, they are a small fortune. Getting my hearing aids have been the most life-changing thing I’ve done in my whole life. I never knew what I was missing out on because I could never hear it in the first place. With my hearing aids, I can listen to conversations and tune in without asking anyone to repeat what they said or try to piece it together on my own. They are so small, and they match my hair color so no one can even tell.

My practice and everyday work life have improved tenfold. I could instantly tell that my hearing was a huge barrier for me, and now that it is resolved, I feel like I can take on anything that work throws at me. I am in a practice club that has seen my frustrations with getting several 94 percent scores on my RPR speed legs. I have started practicing with over-the-ear headphones that cover my hearing aids, and I am so amazed with the progress already, and it’s been a week!

I am registered again for my RPR coming up in March. I already have the written leg, just need to get the speeds down. I have registered for all three tests (180, 200, and 225) to take this time around, and I am hoping to seal the deal on at least one of them! I am very positive and optimistic that it will happen for me this time. My ultimate goal for getting my full RPR is by the end of this year or sooner. Ideally, I’d love to get it before the NCRA Convention, so I can finally get an RPR sticker to put on my name badge!

I know a lot of students and working reporters have and do struggle with tinnitus. It is a huge barrier, especially in our career. I just want to add that barriers come in all shapes and sizes, but if you love what you do, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to constantly improve.

Callie Sajdera is an official reporter with the Denver District Court in Denver, Colo.

New Professional Profile: Tatelyn Noda

Tatelyn Noda, RPR

My name is Tatelyn Noda, RPR, and I am an official court reporter for the First Judicial Circuit of Alabama. I graduated from Prince Institute in Montgomery, Ala., in 2014 and worked briefly in Alabama as a freelance reporter before moving to Miami, Fla. I continued in freelance until I accepted an officialship in August of 2018.

JCR | How did you hear about court reporting and what made you choose that career path?

TN | My mom had a friend who freelanced, and she mentioned it to me in the seventh grade. At the start of my eighth-grade year, my parents and I toured Prince Institute. I fell in love with the profession. I immediately started college after finishing high school and never looked back. I could never sufficiently repay my mom for guiding me in the right direction and for always being by my side through college, freelancing, and official reporting. 

JCR | What is your next career goal?

TN | I’m currently practicing daily for the RMR and CRR. After that, on to the RDR!

JCR | When you’re not behind your steno machine, what do you do with your free time?

TN | My husband, Carlos, and I spend all of our free time with our boys: Harrison, Everett, and Walker. We enjoy traveling, visiting family, and renovating our historical home.

JCR | How has being involved with state or national associations benefitted you?

TN | Being involved with your state and national association is key to creating long-lasting friendships within our industry. Being involved has kept me up to date on topics and advances surrounding our profession and has even helped me implement new techniques in the way that I write.

JCR | Tell us about your favorite depo and/or location you’ve worked.

TN | My favorite job was a deposition of a very well-known restaurateur. I had absolutely no idea who the deponent was until I scoped the file. Looking back, he was so humble and just an overall nice person. I will never forget that deposition. My favorite location? The Florida Keys! I would never turn down an opportunity to write in paradise! I’d always make sure to stop by and pick up a key lime pie before heading back to Miami.

JCR | After freelancing for a couple of years, what was something you had to get used to when working in your role as an official?

TN | I had to get used to the criminal testimony and domestic matters. Before becoming an official, I only dealt with civil matters. Going from white-collar disagreements to crime scene photos took a little getting used to.

JCR | Who is your mentor, and how have they helped you along the way?

TN | Renda Cornick is my steno hero. She’s a phenomenal writer, reporter, wife, mom, and friend. She never passes up an opportunity to cheer me on in my career and in my personal life. As a newer reporter, she has really been an inspiration to me.

Janet Russo has helped shape me into the reporter I am today. She took me under her wing and has taught me so much. She always made time for me when I had a question and would always look over any work I was unsure of. I am forever thankful — and grateful — for all of the time and knowledge she has shared with me.

Rhonda Hall-Breuwet, RDR, CRR, a freelancer in Lakeland, Fla., has always been there for me when it comes to all things reporting, especially Florida reporting and realtime. She really pushed me to get my certifications and has always helped me whenever needed. I dream of being on her realtime level. She is a phenomenal reporter!

JCR | Any advice for students?

TN | Strive for perfection, but please know that no one is perfect. Learn your software, retain a seasoned accountant, always be professional, and start testing for certifications as soon as possible. Be nice to everyone you meet and always wear a smile!

In NCRA member’s sixth mystery novel, legal secretary Jamie Winters is at it again

Jamie Winters, a legal secretary and amateur sleuth, is at it again in Death by Diamonds, the recent installment of a mystery series authored by NCRA member Kelly Nasuti, RMR, CRR, CRC. The latest installment, released Feb. 25, marks the sixth mystery by Nasuti, a full-time captioner who writes under the pen name Kelly Rey. The novel is published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.

In this latest crime novel, Winters realizes that diamonds are not always a girl’s best friend when a dead body shows up on her boyfriend Curt’s patio … with a pocket full of diamonds! The dead woman was an old college friend of Curt’s, and the deeper Winter digs, the more it appears someone was out to get her. With the help of her teenage sidekick, Maizy, Winters tries to determine if Amber, the dead woman, was an innocent victim or a jewel thief. And as the case leads them to a shady pawnshop and its shadier staff, Winters realizes no one is whom they appear to be, and everyone is a suspect. Was it the wannabe-mobster owner, his long-suffering wife, his spoiled daughter, the gold-obsessed clerk, or the inscrutable security guard? Or possibly it was the owner’s hired muscle nicknamed the Disposer … who just may dispose of Winters and Maizy. One thing is for sure: The killer will stop at nothing to reclaim those diamonds, and if she isn’t careful, Winters could just be the next target in the way!

Nasuti said she has written stories ever since she could write. What keeps her motived is that writing has always been a constant for her and “a source of both absolute joy and teeth-gnashing frustration at various times. At this point, writing about Jamie and Maizy and company is like revisiting old eccentric friends. And while I have other projects lined up, I’m really fortunate to be able to keep dipping into their lives and relating their latest adventure.”

Motion for Murder, Nasuti’s first mystery novel released in 2014, introduced readers to Winters in a story laced with humor, wit, a dose of romance, and a murder. In Nasuti’s second novel, Motion for Malice, Winters solves the murder of Dorcas Beeber, a psychic medium who was found dead from an apparent blow to the head by her own crystal ball.

Winters tracks down clues to solve the murder of Kay Culverson, a low-budget cable talk show host who is found dead in her office in Motion for Madness, the third novel in the series. In Motion for Mischief, Nasuti’s fourth novel, Winters solves the murder of Oxnard Thorpe, the Adult Diaper King of New Jersey and one of her firm’s most important clients, after he is found dead in the swimming pool of his sprawling mansion on his wedding night.

In A Playboy in Peril,  Winters has never heard of Virtual Waste, a local New Jersey Pinelands area band, until their drummer is murdered backstage at a show and Winters’ teenaged sidekick, Maizy, sees the killer. While Winters’ landlord, Curt, fills in with the band, Winters and Maizy must deal with the victim’s disgruntled bandmates, discarded groupies, an ex-Marine bouncer, an unhinged Einstein look-alike, an emotionally overwrought agent, an ill-tempered giant, and even the Jersey Devil, as they track down the killer before Maizy becomes the next victim.

Nasuti, who is an official USA Today bestselling author, said she has no set number of books she plans to write in the series but plans to keep on writing as long as people are reading them.

Along with the Jamie Winters series, she’s also been co-authoring the Marty Hudson mysteries with New York Times bestselling author Gemma Halliday. The second Marty Hudson mystery, Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diva, was released in late 2018.

Nasuti, who has been a court reporter since 1983, operated as Regional Reporting Inc. until 2005 when she joined VITAC. Nasuti is also a member of Sisters in Crime, a group that promotes the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.

All of Nasuti’s books are available in e-book format for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. They are also available in paperback at Amazon.comCreateSpace.com, and other online retailers.

Former NCRA member Richard C. Guinta passes away

The Manchester Ink reported on Feb. 11 that former NCRA member and court reporting firm owner Richard C. Guinta of Brookline, N.H., passed away on Feb. 9.

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Listen to ‘Confessions of a Stenographer’ now

By Heidi Renner

Shaunise Day

NCRA Member and student Shaunise Day from Oakland, Calif., has started a podcast. Confessions of a Stenographer. The first two episodes are out, and the show is a mix of information, fun, and encouragement for the steno community. Day said she has been thinking about the idea for a while.

“In 2018, I made a list of all of the steno goals that I would create later on after being certified, and I had no idea I was sitting on a lot of good ideas that the profession could use now,” Day said. “I decided to move some of my goals ahead of schedule and bring them to life. On social media, we discuss plenty of great topics that everyone in the profession could use. After discovering that I had way too many screenshots of valuable information, I thought about all of the reporters and others who are in the profession who aren’t on social media and could benefit from the topics just as well. A steno podcast would be the perfect platform to keep us all engaged and informed. “

Her guest on the first episode is Mike Hensley, RDR, a freelancer in Dublin, Calif. Hensley recounted how he got into the profession and what he is working on now.

“It was so fun working with Shaunise on this project. When you hear her speak, you can’t help but feel the energy and happiness she conveys,” Hensley said. “She’s also a very gracious podcast hostess. I think it’s really exciting that there are more opportunities to share the word about stenography through current methods such as podcasts. I’m eager to see how this endeavor evolves!”

Day said about her first guest: “I decided to start with someone who I’ve worked with on seminar sessions and someone I knew who would do an excellent job, and it was only right to have someone from my home state of California. Mike Hensley is a new professional who has been reporting for four years. He has done the unthinkable with his little time as a new professional. He is the definition of setting high goals and executing them.”

You can find the podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify, Sound Cloud, and iHeart Radio.

“Shaunise’s infectious attitude and love for the court reporting profession shine through in this podcast,” said listener Melissa Clark, an NCRA member and freelancer from Greencastle, Pa. “Her first guest, Mike Hensley, is amazing. He is at the top of the steno industry and still reaching for the stars. Just listening to all that he has accomplished in just a short period of time gave me the jolt I needed to push even harder. His impressive résumé speaks volumes, and he is extremely motivating. Their conversation was enthusiastic, enlightening, informative, and encouraging. It doesn’t matter if you are a new reporter or have been reporting for years and years, there is something to be learned from this podcast.”

The second episode features Joe Strickland, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelancer in Washington D.C. Strickland, a former official reporter with the U.S. House of Representatives, talked with Day about how he became a stenographer, what it’s like to work on Capitol Hill, and why he values his time at the NCRA Conference & Expo.

Day said it took time to set up the podcast because she wanted a platform that was easy to access.

“I thought since 99 percent of us have cellphones, why not run it through simple channels that everyone can access right from their smartphones. We discuss so many great topics on social media and not everyone is on social media, but everyone pretty much has a smartphone. For those who take social media breaks, you still have a platform to stay connected to steno.”

 Day said she plans on always having at least one guest and sometimes two. Other segments she plans on keeping are steno news and trivia. She is planning on two episodes a month.

Day said she hopes the podcast will “keep as many of us connected, encouraged, informed, and motivated about stenography. This podcast was created for all of us. Whatever it takes to strengthen our profession and help others, I’m all for it.”

NCRA member highlighted in South Dakota story

SiouxFalls.Business highlighted NCRA member Pat Beck, RMR, and her daughter, Paige Franzen, in a Jan. 6 story about the shortage of court reporters in Sioux Falls, S.D.

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NCRA member shares wellness tips

NCRA member Donna Linton, RMR, a freelance court reporter from Ashburn, Va., shared her self-care tips in a wellness piece posted by The Washington Post on Dec. 30.

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Local court reporter earns certification

The Suffolk News-Herald posted a press release on Dec. 12 issued by NCRA on behalf of member Beth Chandler, Chesapeake, Va., announcing her recent earning of her Registered Professional Reporter (RPR).

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Federal court reporter achieves highest certification

The Macomb Daily posted a press release on Dec. 11 issued by NCRA announcing that Christin E. Russell, RDR, CRR, of Ortonville, Mich., earned the Registered Diplomate Reporter certification.

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