Associated Press

My top stories for The Associated Press: 2002-2005

Photo: The Associated Press staff in Tennessee in 2003

By Bobby Ross Jr.

Some of my best and/or favorite stories for The Associated Press between 2002 and 2005:

Presidential campaign 

President Bush caps final day of 2004 campaign with Dallas rally (reporting from Dallas)

Crawford, Texas, rallies behind President Bush after hometown paper endorses John Kerry (reporting from Crawford, Texas)

People of faith ask: How would Jesus vote in 2004 presidential election? (reporting from Austin, Texas)

Dallas visit offers Bush chance to appeal to Catholics (reporting from Dallas)

AP exclusive: Son of late officer and others question Bush memos attributed to his dad (reporting from Dallas)

Former Texas House speaker says he’s ‘ashamed’ for helping Bush get into National Guard (reporting from Dallas)

AP enterprise: A rarity in Bush country: Voters split on presidential race (reporting from Daingerfield, Texas)

Texans fight for popular votes in Bush’s home state (reporting from Plano, Texas)



AP enterprise: American boy and his church share faith, friendship with Mexican orphans (reporting from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico)

AP enterprise: Children of Holocaust survivors find each other, and find answers (reporting from Southlake, Texas)

AP enterprise: 25 years later, passions still strong on Southern Baptists’ conservative takeover (reporting from Houston)

AP enterprise: Payout in Lutheran abuse case totals $69 million (reporting from Marshall, Texas)

AP enterprise: Megachurches put on megaproductions for the Christmas story (reporting from Plano, Texas)

Opening of Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion’ movie draws crowds across the nation (reporting from Plano, Texas)

Texas priest ‘unlikely leader’ in Episcopal conservatives’ fight against gay bishop (reporting from Plano, Texas)

From TV sermons to book, pastor Joel Osteen’s influence grows with flock (reporting from Houston)

AP enterprise: For Texas couple, caring for Sudanese ‘heart kid’ life-changing (reporting from Lubbock, Texas)

San Antonio archbishop steps into role as leading Hispanic cleric in the United States (reporting from San Antonio)

‘SoupMan’ offers food and hope to the homeless in Dallas (reporting from Dallas)

No doughnuts on Sunday? Churches confront nutrition, fitness (reporting from Grapevine, Texas)

During Gospel Music Week, Christian music reigns in Nashville bars, nightspots (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Excommunicated Jehovah’s Witnesses speak out on church’s handling of child abuse victims (reporting from Tullahoma, Tenn.)

Breaking news

AP exclusive: Condemned Tennessee inmate says government, military control his mind (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

AP enterprise: 5-year-old’s torture, beating death brings questions (reporting from Chattanooga, Tenn.)

Police: Shooting deaths of four, including two high school football players, not random (reporting from McKinney, Texas)

Texas town prepares for long day of funerals after eight senior citizens killed in church bus crash (reporting from Eldorado, Texas)

Iraq war

Reaction as U.S. launches strike on Iraq shows nation still divided on war (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Iraq war opponents hold rallies across Tennessee (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Fallen Marine — first Tennessean killed in Iraq war — ‘laid down his life for his friend’ (reporting from Gallatin, Tenn.)

AP enterprise: Patriotism, sense of duty bind WWII veteran, son killed in Iraq (reporting from Corpus Christi, Texas)

AP exclusive: Woman who lost father in Iraq loses husband, too (reporting from Dallas)

Christian groups eager to help in Iraq, but critics wary their aim is conversion (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

JFK assassination

• Kennedy assassination still stirs memories, debate 40 years later (reporting from Dallas)

• Historians see similarities, differences in Kennedy, Bush (reporting from Dallas)

• Experts: Presidency more difficult after Kennedy (reporting from Dallas)


• Some dare to ask: Does Texas need an income tax? (reporting from Dallas)

 Sin taxes: Political genius or unstable way to fund schools? (reporting from Dallas)

• Future president? Three Tennessee politicians play prominent national roles (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

• Donning camouflage, scoping out doves, Senate candidates campaign with guns blazing (reporting from Kingston Springs, Tenn.)

Tennessee lottery

Lottery advocates, foes debate impact on education (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Tennessee lottery supporters look to Georgia as model (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Moral issue or not? Tennessee voters to decide whether to legalize state lottery (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Victorious Tennessee lottery backers ponder next step (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Tennessee hoping to soon keep lottery dollars at home (reporting from Franklin, Ky.)

Dub it Lottery 101: Tennessee officials seek tips on lottery startup (reporting from Atlanta)

On Georgia bus trip, Tennessee lawmakers discover the business of a lottery (reporting from Atlanta)


• AP enterprise: Click and buy: Internet becomes hot place for used car sales (reporting from Arlington, Texas)

• AP exclusive: Forgotten stock account helps Tennessee man reunite homeless woman, family (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Child Protective Services

AP enterprise: Funding a key issue in Texas’ child protection crisis (reporting from Austin, Texas)

AP enterprise: Keeping children safe is a fast-paced, high-stress job (reporting from San Antonio)


AP enterprise: Schools learning new four-letter word: Mold blamed for illnesses, lawsuits and millions in maintenance (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Sept. 11 anniversary

AP enterprise: Post-attack volunteerism: Lasting trend or a blip? (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Tennesseans transformed by terrorist attacks (reporting from Nashville, Tenn.)

Small-town Tennessee volunteers help ‘fellow man’ after New York attacks (reporting from Smyrna, Tenn.)


Amid basketball scandal, Baylor tries to return to normalcy (reporting from Waco, Texas)

Dennehy case reopens wounds for Baylor basketball program (reporting from Waco, Texas)

AP exclusive: Car dealer says Baylor coach helped missing player find SUV (reporting from West, Texas)

Player’s disappearance another blow for nation’s largest Baptist university (reporting from Waco, Texas)

After 25 seasons, life as Texas Rangers baseball announcer still thrills Eric Nadel (reporting from Arlington, Texas)

In fight over proposed Cowboys stadium, some ask: Where’s Jerry? (reporting from Arlington, Texas)

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