Hometown: Pleasant Hill, Missouri
College: University of Kansas
Other Journalism Experience: Evening anchor and reporter in Wilmington North Carolina and Springfield, Missouri: WWAY, KYTV, KSPR, WECT
Started at WISC-TV in: June 2013
Google Plus: +MichelleLiTV
What is your favorite part about living in Madison?
Hands down, the people. Not only are people genuinely kind, there are a lot of big thinkers here. I’ve lived in some beautiful or friendly places, but Madison really does have it all.
What is the biggest news story that you've covered?
I’ve covered hurricanes, tornadoes and a considerable amount of breaking news, but I think the story that left the biggest impact on me was a severe ice storm in Missouri in 2007. My home was without power for nearly two weeks, and there were others who were in the dark longer. That ice storm left a lot of people in serious trouble for an extended amount of time. People were trapped in their homes, and some were even killed because of car crashes, bad falls or generator accidents. Eventually, I had to sleep in the newsroom with many of my co-workers. Other people lived in shelters. Unlike a tornado, this weather event dragged on and created a dismal situation. It taught me a lot about the real value of electricity, transportation and the immediate impact of local news.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Writing is therapeutic for me. I’ve had a blog since 2006 and enjoy sharing experiences, big and small. I also like to craft and cook.
What is the funniest thing that's ever happened to you?
Funny things happen daily. Let’s start with my first in Madison – A college student flashed me on day 1.
What is your favorite place to vacation?
I love Hawaii. Unless you’ve been there, you may not get it. I had to go there for a convention, but had a completely different vision in my head before we went. Hawaii is so diverse because of the fusion that’s happened over time. We liked it so much that we got married in downtown Honolulu two years later.
Who is your hero and why?
I know this is a typical answer from folks, but my family members are really my heroes. My mom and dad have been married for more than 40 years, and they sacrificed so much to make sure I finished college. I realize now how fortunate I have been to have two loving parents. My husband also supports me more than most. Without him, I wouldn’t be in Madison or continuing my career as a journalist. He is also a pretty smart guy, and I admire his patience.
What was your favorite band when you were in high school?
Red Hot Chili Peppers – a big group of us packed a U-Haul with a couple of couches and drove to Kansas City to watch them play. We then sneaked onto the floor and I rode the crowd. How I made it beyond age 16 is a miracle.
What is your favorite sport to play or watch?
College basketball. My husband says it’s going to be baseball.
If you could possess one superhuman power, what would it be?
Invisibility. That’s something you could use everyday. I’ve thought about this one a lot.
What are you really bad at that you'd love to be great at?
Golf. I don’t know how to play very well, and I never seem to have time to get better. It’s on my bucket list.
What is your most memorable travel experience?
I really enjoyed traveling to South Korea with my husband during the first year of our marriage. We actually had a traditional Korean wedding with my sister and her Wisconsite husband. And if that wasn’t enough, we spent 8 hours traveling through the DMZ, where the North and South borders meet. Bill Clinton once described the DMZ as the scariest place on Earth. You have to sign a waiver that releases responsibility if you get maimed or killed during your visit.
What is your favorite tradition around the holidays?
I love to cook, but I don’t always make time for it. The holiday season gives me a great reason to get in the kitchen and cook for my family. We also recently started getting out for Black Friday, which is just good people-watching.
Where were you when September 11, 2001 occurred?
I was working as the news director for a college radio station in Kansas. I remember hearing about the first plane and thinking it was just a coincidence. It was devastating on so many levels and changed the world we lived in.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
My husband gives wonderful advice. He’s always telling me to do my best and stop worrying about other people. It’s not always easy, but when I focus on what I can control, I have the best outcome. It’s a good goal to set each day.