Meet the CBS12 News Team
J. Israel Balderas - Anchor - Weekends / Reporter
J. Israel Balderas is an award-winning weekend anchor and reporter. He joined the CBS 12 News team in 2013. As a 20-year news veteran, Balderas is also a licensed attorney who received a Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. Hes also a graduate of Oral Roberts University.
Balderas has reported from all over the country. Most recently, he was an anchor/reporter with the FOX TV station in Charlotte, N.C. where he was awarded Anchor of the Year by the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas. Prior to that, hes also worked for other local TV stations in Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee.
But it was in Washington, D.C. where he spent the bulk of his journalism career. There, Balderas worked for several news organizations, including the Associated Press Television News, Reuters and the Fox News Channel, where he produced for Special Report with Brit Hume and Fox News Sunday.
During his time covering the Beltway, he reported on major national events, including the investigation and impeachment of President Bill Clintons alleged wrongdoing that involved the Monica Lewinsky affair. Balderas also covered the 2000 presidential race and its contested results. Then a year later, he spent the day at the Pentagon on 9/11. In fact, he was one of a handful of journalists allowed to see the damage, caused by the terrorists, from inside the building on that Tuesday evening.
While working as a journalist in the nations capital, Balderas also attended law school as an evening student. His legal experience included working at the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. District Court Senior Judge Royce Lamberth and the telecommunications law firm of Cole, Raywid & Braverman. Balderas also published a law journal article that involves communications law and practice.
Not only did Balderas grow up on the border town of El Paso, Texas, but he also worked as a morning anchor and reporter for the local FOX TV station now owned by Sinclair Broadcasting. While there, he reported on the increase of the Mexican drug cartel violence along the border in Juarez, MX, as well as other issues impacting the national immigration reform debate.
Balderas lives in Northern Palm Beach County with his wife and newborn daughter. Hes also a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. If you have newstips, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Kathleen Walter - Investigative Reporter
Kathleen Walter joined the CBS 12 News team as an investigative reporter who has a wealth of experience under her belt.
An Emmy Award-nominated and nationally recognized anchor/correspondent, Kathleen has interviewed some of the worlds most influential people, broken many of South Florida's biggest stories and through her investigative work, helped thousands of folks in Palm Beach County and on the Treasure Coast.
Kathleen is also a noted political analyst who earned national recognition for her exclusive, one-on-one interviews with hundreds of world leaders, heads-of-state, and lawmakers at the federal, state and local level including U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; President Vicente Fox of Mexico and President Jose Maria Aznar of Spain; former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton; all the 2012 GOP presidential candidates including Gov. Mitt Romney; ambassadors, presidential cabinet members, and military leaders; key figures in the U.S. Congress and governors. In advance of the 2012 presidential election, she covered the Republican National Convention in Tampa and the presidential debate at Lynn University.
A Florida native, her first glimpse of the television news business came at an early age and occurred right here at CBS 12 when, at the age of six, she accompanied her father on a trip to the station. He was dropping off a thank-you gift to the news team who profiled his work in a CBS 12 report. Kathleen took one look at CBS 12 and was hooked!
Kathleen graduated magna cum laude from Florida Atlantic University with an M.A. in Political Science. She holds a B.A. in English from Smith College, one of the Seven Sisters, located in Northampton, Massachusetts.
When shes not chasing breaking news or covering the stories that impact you the most, you will probably find Kathleen at a baseball field somewhere (if you do see her, say hi); shes a proud mom of an aspiring baseball player. A resident of Jupiter, KW is a competitive open water swimmer, pianist and art collector who, when she actually has spare time, enjoys soaking up South Florida's tropical, laid-back vibe with family and her many friends.
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Liz Quirantes - Anchor - 5pm / 6pm / 11pm
Liz Quirantes anchors the 5, 6 and 11 pm newscasts for CBS 12, and is very active in the community. Supporting childrens' causes is something Liz is passionate about, and she was recently awarded the "Media Advocate Award" from Florida's Children First for her work to raise awareness of foster care and adoption for children who need families. Liz is very involved with "Forever Family," a non-profit charity that finds homes for children in foster care. Each Tuesday, Liz features a foster child during the 5pm newscast on CBS 12. Those reports have generated hundreds of calls and resulted in many adoptions.
Her passion for children is why she accepted a position on the board of directors for ChildNet, which manages the child welfare system in Broward and Palm Beach counties and protects abused, abandoned and neglected children.
Liz also serves as a member of the board of directors for AVDA, which promotes violence-free relationships and social change by offering alternative choices to end violence and domestic abuse.
Liz also served for 10-years as a board member of the H.O.P.E. Project, which provided low-cost mammography to the under served and uninsured women of Palm Beach and Martin counties. Funded solely by grants and donations, Liz was instrumental in fundraising that allowed the mobile, mammography van to go digital.
Another project Liz is involved with is Making Strides Against Breast Cancer donating her time at many local events, serving as emcee for fundraisers, including the annual walks for thousands of people, as well as producing stories about breast cancer, both inspiring and educational.
Her awards have been many. Most recently, Liz was nominated for a 2013 Women in Leadership Award by Executive Women of the Palm Beaches. She was also honored as a Palm Beach Achiever and graced the debut cover of Palm Beach Woman Magazine. She was named a 2010 Hispanic Woman of Distinction for South Florida, given the Women in Power award from the National Council of Jewish Women and the Community Leadership award from Delta Kappa Gamma.
Liz an advocate for education, and since 2002 has hosted the annual William T. Dwyer Awards for Excellence in Education at the Kravis Center, working closely with the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County.
Liz was also thrilled to win the first place trophy in the 2010 Dancing for the Stars Ballroom Dance Competition benefiting the Kravis Centers S*T*A*R Series. She has participated and donated her time every year since then, as a dancer again, and then as emcee for the event, helping raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the program.
A graduate of the University of Miami, she holds a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a Masters Degree in Telecommunication. Liz and her husband Craig are the proud parents of son Casey and daughter Emma. Liz joined CBS 12 in 1991.
John Discepolo - Anchor - 5pm / 530pm / 6pm / 10pm CW34 / 11pm
John Discepolo joined the CBS 12 News Team in September 2012, as co-anchor of CBS 12 News at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
He also anchors the CBS 12 News at 10 on the CW 34.
Discepolo comes to West Palm Beach from KOMO-TV in Seattle, where he was a weekend news anchor noted for excelling in live news coverage since 2010.
A Massachusetts native, Discepolo anchored sports for nearly a decade in New York at WCBS-TV and WNYW-TV, where he also served as sideline reporter for the NFL's New York Jets and New York Giants.
Prior to his arrival in the big apple, John was the weekend anchor at KDFW Fox 4 in Dallas for three years. During his time in the Lone Star State, he traveled with the Cowboys, and served as the pre-game host for the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars. He also covered high school football, and even turned a couple of laps covering NASCAR as well.
Discepolo arrived in Texas from a brief one-year stint at WRGB Channel 6 in Albany, NY. While in Albany his focus was on Division I college hockey and high school athletes.
Discepolo's first taste of New York came in 1996, when he was hired to be the weekend sports anchor for News 12 Westchester. Among the many stories he covered, he was best known for his weekly "Team of the Week" special. Discepolo is a graduate of Hofstra University where he played football as a kicker and punter for the Division I-AA Pride, and played with former New York Jets player Wayne Chrebet.
In his spare time, John loves to travel, play hockey, and is passionate about home construction, design, RVs and airplanes.
Stephanie Watson - Anchor - 530pm / 10pm CW34
Stephanie Watson joined CBS12 News in December 2012. She anchors the 5:30 p.m. weeknight newscasts and reports for the 11 p.m.
She also anchors the CBS 12 News at 10 on the CW 34.
Watson also leads our "Stephanie Solves It" news segment. If you've been cheated or had the runaround, email Stephanie at email@example.com and she'll look into it.
Watson comes to West Palm Beach from the CBS station KDKA TV in Pittsburgh, where she was an anchor/reporter for five years.
Watson is no stranger to South Florida. In 2004-2006, She was the morning/noon anchor at WBBH/NBC 2 in Fort Myers covering six major hurricanes in 2004, including a direct hit from Hurricane Charley (CAT 4). That was only to be surpassed by the following year in which she found herself covering the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history -- including another direct hit from Hurricane Wilma making landfall as a CAT 3 storm.
Watson got her start in the news broadcasting business as an anchor at KBMT in Beaumont, Texas. She received "Outstanding Media Coverage of Crime Victims' Issues" for Hardin County, Texas.
She also has an entertainment news background, having worked behind the scenes in Los Angeles as a segment producer for shows like Extra and Hard Copy, and was the talent coordinator for "1999 Emmy Awards Pre-Show."
Watson has a passion for community service and throughout her career involved in numerous charities -- most recently the Alzheimer's Association. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and participating in anything athletic, spending time with family & friends, traveling and watching sports.
Watson graduated from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Communications. She was born in Dallas and grew up in the Orange County, Calif., area.
Suzanne Boyd - Anchor - CBS 12 News This Morning / Noon
Suzanne Boyd is co-anchor of CBS12 News This Morning with Eric Roby.
Suzanne grew up in a farming family in Monticello, a small town outside of Tallahassee. In fact, Monticello is so small, it has no traffic lights, no movie theatre and only one major grocery store. So, after leaving high school, where Suzanne graduated with only 19 people, she decided to head off to the big town of Gainesville and the University of Florida. She got her bachelor of science degree in broadcast journalism in 1995, then got her first TV reporting job at SNN6 in Sarasota.
Suzanne had always wanted to live in South Florida and finally got here in 1998 when she landed a reporting gig at CBS12. She has won three Associated Press Awards for her reporting and helped launch the CBS12 I-TEAM.
Suzanne loves Gator football, crossword puzzles and running. Suzanne lives with her two children in beautiful Delray Beach.
Eric Roby - Anchor - CBS 12 News This Morning / Noon
Eric Roby joined the CBS12 team in December 2001. He anchors the CBS12 This Morning on WPEC CBS12.
Eric came to Florida from Davenport, Iowa, where he was weekend anchor at WQAD, an ABC affiliate, for two and a half years. Before heading west, Eric was an anchor/reporter in Salisbury, Md., at WBOC, a CBS affiliate.
He grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where most of his family still lives. Eric is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. While attending classes Eric became the general manager of the campus TV station. He was also a freelance producer on Capitol Hill for Washington News Network, a news cooperative service. Eric also spent time overseas working as a production assistant for NBC in London.
Over the years Eric has earned numerous awards for his investigations and breaking news coverage.
Ben Becker - Reporter
Ben Becker is CBS 12's political reporter. His responsibilities include reporting on the economy, tracking public/political corruption, corporate fraud and wrongdoing jeopardizing public health and safety.
Becker came to CBS12 from ESPN in Bristol, Conn., where he was an anchor on ESPN. Becker hosted various programs, including the weekday afternoon Hot List, the weeknight Pregame, Gametime, Postgame and The Blitz.
Prior to ESPN, Becker served as sports director and anchor at WPTV in West Palm Beach. Becker also was a Sports Anchor and Reporter at WINK in Fort Myers, Fla., and sports director and anchor at KDRV in Medford, Ore. He began his career as a sports producer at WJLA in Washington, D.C.
Becker graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from American University in Washington, D.C.
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Kai Jackson - Special Correspondent
Kai Jackson is a veteran journalist with more than 27 years of experience covering local, national and international news as well as stories for affiliate and network television news.He's currently a national correspondent for Sinclair Broadcast Group. Previously he was an anchor and reporter for 20 years at WJZ-TV in Baltimore.He's covered some of the biggest stories of our day including the September 11th attack on America.
Jackson is the co-founder of a film company called DocYourmentary dedicated to telling unusual and untold stories of people and history.
He's a member of several professional organizations including; The Society of Professional JournalistsThe National Association of Black JournalistsThe International Documentary AssociationKappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Kai received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from South Carolina State College. He received a Masters Degree in Film from American University.Kai is an avid gardener and reader and practices Shotokan Karate. He and his wife live in Maryland with their two daughters.
John Matthews - Chief Meteorologist
John Matthews is Chief Meteorologist for WPEC-CBS12's StormTrac Weather Team. He is an associate member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association.
John is the "dean" of local television meteorologists -- having joined the CBS 12 staff in May 1976. Prior to that, he worked at WDIV TV 4 in Detroit.
John's broadcasts can be seen on CBS 12 at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
A native of Detroit, he attended Ferris State College in Michigan, and graduated from the Mississippi State University as a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist. He is also certified in meteorology by the National Weather Association.
John enjoys snow skiing, travel and woodworking, and entertaining the newsroom with his German language abilities. He and his wife have two daughters.
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Jeff Berardelli - Meteorologist
Jeff Berardelli joined CBS12 in September 2013 as Weather Expert for the StormTrac Weather Team. He can been seen weekdays during the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. news. In addition, for the past 10 years Jeff has contributed to CBS News as a weather expert for The CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning.
Prior to joining CBS12, Jeff worked as a meteorologist for CBS in Miami from 2007-2013. He was also adjunct professor of meteorology at the University of Miami. Before Miami, Jeff spent 4 years working for WCBS-TV in New York City. Prior to NYC, Jeff spent 6 years in Tampa as a meteorologist for CBS WTSP-TV and Bay News 9.
Jeff obtained his meteorology degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in 1997. But his love for weather can be traced all the way back to the age of three. Jeff is active in several South Florida charities including the Board of Director's of the Children's Cancer Caring Center (CCCC). The CCCC provides free cancer care for children from families of limited means. The CCCC is a local South Florida charity and was founded nearly 50 years ago.
When Jeff is not weathering the storms, you'll likely find him on the water. He enjoys fishing, diving and kayaking. He lives with his better half, wife Christy, and his "thunder buddy" dog General. Feel free to email Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Facebook.
Chris Farrell - Meteorologist
Chris Farrell has been granted the Seal of Approval by the American Meteorological Society for the CBS12 StormTrac Weather Team. Chris Farrell's entire 25-year weather career has been right here in South Florida. Chris began his weather career in 1983 with WTVX Channel 34 in Fort Pierce.
He began work with CBS12 in June 1990. His weather broadcasts can be seen on "CBS12 News This Morning" from 4:30-7 AM weekdays and again on CBS12 at noon. His CBS12 weather forecasts can also be heard weekday mornings on Palm Beach County radio stations WIRK 107.9, WMBX 102.3 and WEAT Sunny 104.3. On the Treasure Coast AM 1590 WPSL in Port St. Lucie, AM 1450 WSTU in Stuart, in Vero Beach WGYL The Breeze 93.7 and AM stations WOSN, WTTB and WJKD. Chris is active in local Humane Society's and can be seen featuring a Pet-Of-The-Day from local animal shelters during the noon news on weekdays.
Born in Oxford, Miss., Chris was raised in both Gainesville and Key Biscayne, Fla. He served three years in the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery. He graduated with a BS from the University of Florida and a minor in meteorology. Then he received his Meteorology Certification from Mississippi State University in 1992. Chris has earned the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Seal of Approval. He has flown on two National Hurricane Center hurricane missions, covering Tropical Storms Elena in 1985 and Floyd in 1990.
Chris lives in Palm Beach County. He has two cats... Sammi and Pee-Wee and two love birds Corky and Naples. He plays tennis, golf and surfs when the waves aren't too big! Chris has run the Palm Beach County Half Marathon every year since its beginning and will again this year too! Occasionally he goes fishing, but seldom does any catching! If you see him on the golf course... come say hi!
Michael Ehrenberg - Meteorologist
Michael earned his Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) Seal in December 2007. This is an upgrade to the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Seal of Approval.
Michael joined CBS 12 in June 1999 for the weekend editions of CBS 12 at 6, 6:30 and 11 PM. He fills in for John Matthews and Chris Farrell when they are away. He also produces and broadcasts stories related to the weather. Michael also enjoys appearing at schools to teach kids about weather and careers in meteorology and broadcasting. He also enjoys conducting Hurricane Preparedness Seminars.
Michael started his weather career in 1989 at ION Weather, a weather consulting firm, in his native New Jersey. In 1994 he was hired by the National Weather Service in Miami.
He learned about hurricanes and tropical meteorology from specialists at the National Hurricane Center, which is co-located with the National Weather Service. He moved to the West Palm Beach area and began his television career at WPBF Channel 25 in 1996. He attended Rutgers University and received his Master of Science Degree in the field of Meteorology. His favorite activities include: water skiing, tennis, reading, the beach and researching the Internet. Michael loves to talk about the weather and welcomes questions at any time!
Craig Gold - Meteorologist
Whether it's breaking weather, or breaking news, Craig Gold has that rare "Jack of All Trades" ability to cover both!
Craig has been a meteorologist and reporter since 2003 having spent much of his time right here in the sunshine state. Needless to say, a dream come true having spent much of his childhood "geeking out" watching the weather channel in his Long Island, NY, home.
After completing his undergraduate work at the University of Miami and then earning his meteorology credentials from Mississippi State University, it was off into the real world to start his broadcasting career!
His first few gigs in Panama City and Tallahassee had him covering some of the most devastating hurricanes our country has ever seen, but it wasn't long after that he traded those in for tornadoes in Kansas for 3-plus years.
It was in 2009 that Craig left wheat fields of Kansas for the beaches of South Florida to join the CBS12 team.
If he's not tracking the weather or on assignment covering a local story, chances are you'll find him "attempting" to work on his tan at the beach, on the golf course , or cheering on his alma mater -- the Miami Hurricanes. This New Yorker also loves his favorite hockey team, the New York Rangers!
If you have a weather-related question, a story idea or you just want to say hi, do not hesitate to shoot him an e-mail!
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Matt Lincoln - Sports Director
Matt Lincoln joined CBS 12 as the Sports Director in March of 2013. Matt caught the sportscasting bug growing up in Southeastern Massachusetts, deep in the heart of Red Sox Nation. He received his broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University, where he covered Carmelo Anthonys run to the National Championship.
Matts first television stop was KTVE in Monroe, Louisiana " he then moved on to stints at WBTW in Myrtle Beach, SC and WWBT in Richmond, VA.
Matt has a bunch of family in Florida, and has been traveling to the Sunshine State since he was very young. Matt and his wife live in Palm Beach Gardens with their dog, Josie. In the few hours a week that he is not at work, you can find Matt leaving extra large divots on golf courses, and slicing tee shots into trees all over South Florida.
Matt also stays busy working with the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County, as one of the chairs of the annual golf fundraising event. To find out Whats Lincoln Thinkin, click here.
John Evenson - Sports Anchor / Reporter
John Evenson joined CBS12 News in February of 2013 as a sports anchor/reporter.
Evenson comes to West Palm Beach from WTVH and WSTM in Syracuse, N.Y., where he was the sports director since 2006.
Evenson began his sports broadcasting career in his hometown of Toronto, Canada, working for Global Television, and eventually earned the position Sports Director at CITY-TV in Winnipeg. His Sports Director duties on Syracuse saw him cover several NCAA Tournaments with Syracuse Orange basketball team, bowl games with the Orange Football team. He also produced an award-winning special on the New York Yankees.
His most memorable interviews have been with Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter and Bob Costas.
Evenson graduated from York University as an English major, and has a degree in broadcast journalism.
In his spare time, John loves to travel, play sports, keep in shape and is very passionate about music.
Peter Schaller - Reporter
Peter Schaller has been a reporter for CBS 12 News since May 2009. In January 2010, he was on scene as local police broke big news. They had just captured Paul Michael Merhige, the man accused of killing four family members in Jupiter on Thanksgiving Day in 2009. Peter believes that this job carries the responsibility to inform, educate and connect with people living in South Florida.
Peter was born in New York, where most of his family still lives today. He started his career interning with WBNG-TV, the number one television station in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania. Next, Peter anchored and reported for KREX-TV in Grand Junction, Colo. His investigative reporting on oil and gas wastewater pits, and their effects on local families, helped change Colorado law. The governor invited the people profiled in his exclusive series to the signing of the "buffer zone" law, and now these toxic pits will never go in anyone's backyard. He also reported on wildfires, snowstorms, plane crashes and the 2008 presidential campaign. Peter also covered the fire that destroyed the KREX-TV building in 2008, and he got his hands dirty as the station rebuilt from the ground up.
He's happy to now be in sunny Florida, trading mountains for beaches, aspens for palm trees. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Binghamton University. Like any New Yorker, he loves to hear what's on your mind. Connect with him through Facebook, Twitter, or good old fashioned e-mail.
Michael Buczyner - Reporter
Michael Buczyner is an Emmy Award winning journalist who joined the CBS12 News team in July of 2013.
Michael was raised in Weston, Fla., and is thrilled to call South Florida home once again. Michael is a proud graduate of The University of Missouri School of Journalsim (Go Tigers!) Prior to joining the CBS12 News family, Michael worked in Miami, Fla.; Augusta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; and Atlanta, Ga.
Michael's background is in investigative journalism. He has received several Associated Press Awards for his in-depth investigative stories. The National Capital Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Michael in 2009 with an Emmy Award for his reporting on the "Making of a Marine."
When he's not at work, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. Michael is a foodie and is constantly searching for the best bbq and delis in South Florida. When he's not on the hunt for great food, he enjoys playing golf and relaxing at the beach.
Al Pefley - Reporter
Al Pefley is a general assignment reporter for WPEC CBS 12. He was born in Austin, Minn. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Iowa State University, and a Master of Arts degree in Journalism-Mass Communication from the University of Florida.
Prior to joining CBS 12 in 1989, Al was a reporter at television stations in Cedar Rapids, Tampa, Louisville and Jacksonville. He enjoys running, rollerblading and golf. In 1992 he ran in the New York City Marathon; and then the Walt Disney World Marathon in 1994 and 1995. He also took part in the Chicago Marathon in 1998. He has also participated in a number of long distance bicycle races, including rides that crossed the entire state of Florida in 1992 and 1998.
Al is single and resides in Palm Beach County.
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Chuck Weber - Reporter
Chuck Weber is a general assignment reporter for WPEC CBS 12. Weber grew up on a farm in Northeastern Indiana, and graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Telecommunications and German.
Chuck joined CBS 12 in 1981. In 1987, CBS 12 named Chuck environmental reporter, the first ever in South Florida. He currently covers courts and a full range of stories as a general assignment reporter.
Chuck co-produced half-hour documentaries and special reports on topics including Lake Okeechobee, recycling and the Florida Trail. He won an Emmy Award nomination in 1991 for his documentary "Recycling: The Unbroken Circle."
Chuck's hobbies include bird watching and architecture. He volunteers as a field trip leader and has helped organize charity events.
Chuck is single and resides in West Palm Beach.
Michele Wright - Traffic Reporter
Michele Wright is an award-winning anchor, reporter and multimedia journalist. She joined the team in August 2010 as the morning traffic anchor, feature reporter, web producer and fill-in news anchor. Before WPEC, she worked in Orlando at Orange & Vision Television as the main anchor of several shows. Prior to that, she worked for WTLV-12 as a freelance reporter and as the morning traffic anchor and feature reporter at WJXT-TV Jacksonville.
A native of Florida, Michele graduated from Florida State University with a double major in Political Science and Communications and a minor in French. In Tallahassee, she was a public service advisor for the Honorable Senator Connie Mack. She is a former NFL Cheerleader (Jacksonville Jaguar ROAR) and active member of the NFL Alumnae Cheerleaders Association and Professional Cheerleaders Association. Michele's father is a minister and her mother is a veteran nurse who inspired her to always give back to the community with charities, organizations and worthwhile causes. Michele adopted Gandhi's famous quote as her daily motto: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
If you or someone you know has an event, organization, charity or business that is making a difference, she wants to hear from you!
Gary Widom - Feature Reporter
Whether he is getting knocked around by a bunch of roller derby girls, challenging a competitive eater or jumping into a pool on the set of Vanilla Ice's new reality show, Gary Widom is CBS 12's feature reporter.
Gary is a product of South Florida. He grew up in Broward County and graduated with a Bachelor's from Florida Atlantic University.
During his college years (all 7 of them), Gary worked as a DJ at Wild 95.5, Power 96 and 97.9 WRMF, using his nick name Fletch.
Gary became a TV reporter in 2004, coming to CBS 12 from WTVJ NBC 6, Miami, where he was a freelance general assignment reporter. Before that, he worked as a reporter in the Fort Myers/ Naples, and Gainesville/ Ocala areas winning multiple Florida Associated Press Awards for reporting and photography.
Gary is always looking for that fun, interesting and exciting story. You can also follow Gary and everything he's doing at the station on Facebook and Twitter.
Lauren Hills - Reporter
Lauren Hills joined the CBS12 News team in November 2011 as a general assignment reporter.
Lauren was born in Houston, Texas, but moved to West Palm Beach when she was about 5 and grew up here. She attended Cardinal Newman High School and Wellington High School, where she graduated in 2000. Lauren earned a college basketball scholarship to West Liberty State College outside of Wheeling, W.Va., and played there for three years before transferring to the University of Florida to pursue broadcast journalism, a field she's wanted to be in since she was about 12.
She majored in telecommunications and reported for UF's campus TV and radio stations, graduated in 2005, and landed her first job in TV in a small market in Morgantown, W.Va. She reported for WBOY 12 News for two years before heading south and reporting for NBC 17 News in Raleigh, N.C., for three years. Lauren is very excited to now be reporting for CBS12 News in the area where she grew up and loves!
Lauren is a big fan of the Gators and Mountaineers, and tries to catch a game whenever she can. When she's not reporting, you can find her running (two half-marathons under her belt!), reading, and traveling (at least, she's trying to do more of that!).
Jana Eschbach - Reporter
With a decade of experience covering the Treasure Coast, Jana Eschbach knows the region inside and out. She covers Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Martin counties. Dedicated to local community coverage from politics to business to agriculture, with her experience, Jana is often exclusive in the region. Jana enterprises and breaks stories daily, while uncovering in-depth I-Team investigations that create change in our region. Honored for Overall Individual Excellence and Team Coverage by the Associated Press 2005 and in 2003, Jana is a seasoned journalist.
During the 2 years Jana left CBS12 in 2009, she was an Executive Media and Marketing Consultant through her own company and for a large healthcare corporation as well. But news was her true calling, and she returned in January 2012.
Prior to her tenure at CBS12, Jana also worked at WZVN TV ABC 7 in Fort Myers/Naples, and was also a Multimedia Journalist at Florida's News Channel. She began her career in news at the The White House Press Office and in production at WUSA in Washington, D.C.
She is a graduate of the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class 29, a program that takes upcoming leaders and introduces them to every major company and organization in the region over a 12-month period. Jana graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, from the College of Journalism.
Jana lives in Martin County, and is often seen on Facebook with her triplet nieces and nephew. An avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, she was born in raised in Boyertown, Pennsylvania.
Joshua Repp - Reporter
Josh Repp joined CBS12 as a reporter in April 2012. He graduated from UCF journalism school in 2010, after which he headed to the Deep South for his first reporting job at WTVY-TV, the CBS affiliate in Dothan, Ala. Highlights include covering the Tuscaloosa tornado aftermath in which he spent several days without electricity, sifting through rubble, and talking to countless families who shared their amazing stories of survival.
Repp left Alabama and headed to Fort Myers at NBC 2 and ABC 7. He covered breaking news for the two separate, simultaneous newscasts.
Repp's career includes reporting, shooting, editing and anchoring. His journalism has earned multiple Associated Press honors.
Originally hailing from Boca Raton, Josh is happy to call South Florida home again.
If you have a story idea for Josh, please drop him a line.
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Thomas Forester - Reporter
Thomas Forester joined CBS12 News in January 2013 as a general assignment reporter, which is something new for him. He has spent most of his career as a sports anchor/reporter and welcomes the daily challenges of making the transition to the world of news.
He attended the University of Maine on a basketball scholarship and earned a bachelors degree in education.
As expected, Thomas loves living in South Florida, and when hes not working,
you can find him sampling the diversity of music, food and culture that South Florida has to offer.
If you have a story idea for Thomas please drop him a line.
Sheila Gray - Special Correspondent
Special Correspondent Sheila Gray reports on issues affecting women and families in Sinclair Broadcast Groups Family 411 reports.
Sheila is a native of Columbus, Ohio and studied at the prestigious Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
She began her career in Charleston, West Virginia, eventually being named the 6 & 11 p.m. anchor at WSAZ-TV. She was recognized by the West Virginia Associated Press for her reporting.
Sheilas next stop was Cincinnati, Ohio, where she co-hosted the Fox 19 Morning News.
She is happy that her alarm is no longer sounding at 2:30 a.m. and is looking forward to this new chapter in her career, and a new broadcasting family with Sinclair.
Sheila and her husband Ric are the parents of four children, Kasey, Kari, Katie, and Kari.
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Kristine Frazao - Reporter
Kristine Frazao is an Emmy award winning journalist, with more than a decade of on-air experience. As the National Correspondent for Sinclair Broadcast Group, Kristine
reports on the top political stories of the day along with investigative reports on government waste, fraud and abuse.
Prior to joining the Sinclair news team, Kristine was the White House Correspondent for RT America. She covered the 2010 and 2012 elections both on the road and in Washington, and anchored nightly newscasts on RT for three years as well. Also during her time at RT, she reported extensively on the impact of hydraulic fracturing or fracking in Pennsylvania, as well as the tragic rate of teen suicide on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Kristine was born and raised in San Diego, CA, where she also worked for four years as a general assignment reporter, working for the Fox affiliate (XETV) as well as the NBC affiliate (KNSD) where she received an Emmy for coverage of the Wildfires of 2007.
She got her on-air start working in beautiful Savannah, GA at WJCL/WTGS, where she worked as the political reporter, covering City Council and County Commission. She also traveled to Gulfport, Mississippi to cover the damage and devastation from Hurricane Katrina.
Kristine loves living in the Washington, DC. area and covering politics. She spends her free time traveling, reading and going on adventures with her black lab , Chomsky.
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