Archive for May, 2008

What do you think about the Vioxx Decision?
May 29, 2008

      Update: Houston attorney Mark Lanier says he will appeal the decision
     By now, you have probably heard that appeals courts In Texas and New Jersey have  tossed out verdicts against drug maker Merck, related to several lawsuits involving the once popular painkiller Vioxx.
     Here in Texas, it was the 14th court of appeals that reversed a $26 million jury verdict that was awarded to Carol Ernst in August of 2005. Her husband Robert suffered a fatal heart problem related to a blood clot. A Brazoria County jury that heard the case believed  Mr. Ernst’s death was caused by Vioxx. 
     This morning I had the chance to talk to Carol by phone. She was at work and had a difficult time staying composed.  Needless to say she feels let down by the judicial system.
      “Anyone who sat through that trial and listened to, and saw what was presented…as evidence, in an unbiased manner, would find that Vioxx was responsible for my husband’s death, and not only his but so many other people.” Carol told me.
      I am scheduled to interview Houston attorney Mark Lanier who represented Carol.
      When we talked earlier he told me that he felt like the court’s decision was a “swift kick I the gut.”
      So what is the next step for Mark and his client? Did the appeals court make a fair and just ruling?
       I would love to hear what you think about this story.
       Make sure you tune in to Local 2 News at 5 to hear the rest of the story.

Today Is a Holiday, but the News Must Go On!
May 26, 2008

On this Memorial Day, we pause to remember and pay our respects to those who gave their lives for our great country.

And while most people are enjoying the day off to attend a memorial service, spend the day at the beach or enjoy a backyard  BBQ, you will notice the news goes on as scheduled here at Channel 2!

Everyone is working hard behind the scenes or in front of the camera to keep you informed.

Today I am working on a story about an attempted sexual assault that happened in the Falcon Point Neighborhood Center Park, in Katy, Fort Bend County.

 A fifteen year old girl was attacked on the playground by a man who pulled down her shorts.

Its a great area, and we met a lot of friendly residents who are surprised this happened in their community. Obviously they hope the suspect is captured as soon as possible.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s department released the composite sketch of the suspect.

Unfortunately, because of the holiday, no one was available to give us an on camera interview.  The media spokeswoman has the day off, and I even called Sheriff Milton Wright at home, and on his cell phone (sorry Sheriff – but the news must go on!!!!)

Anyway, I think its important for us to work together to inform the public about this crime.

So if you recognize the suspect please call the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department!




Hello and welcome to my blog!
May 22, 2008

Hello  everyone and thanks for reading my very first post of  “On the Beat with Mary Benton”

I’m really excited about this opportunity to blog on

The plan is for me to write about all of the big stories that I cover everyday (education, elections, and exciting events in our community)

And, of course, the breaking news (jury verdicts in big trials, murders and fires)

I am what we call in the TV news business, a “general assignments” reporter. 

In my opinion, that means I have to “generally” know something about everything: tax hikes, the west nile virus, the price of a gallon of  gas, the evacuation plan for the next big hurricane, the names of elected officials (and if I’m really lucky, their cells phones numbers in case we need to call them late at night) 

Here’s the plan: in addition to keeping you updated on important stories during the day, I  want to take you on a behind the scenes journey in the news business.  

I want to answer the questions many of you often ask me:   

Why did you cover that story? 

What was it like to meet and/or interview that person? 

Why does your boss make you do that?

How come you did a live shot in the rain without an umbrella?

So don’t forget to check in everyday, send me your questions and comments, and together we’ll experience what its like to be “on the beat!”