Catching up on newer folks in the local media, Kristina Zverjako started with Local15 News at the beginning of the year and has been primarily covering Baldwin County since.

Zverjako’s background includes the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State, as well as the ABC affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif. And it also includes Tallinn, Estonia where she was born and lived up until finishing fifth grade. She says she was able to pick up English quickly, but there are times it’s still a little tricky doing the news in her second language.

“Before moving to America, I would have never imagined having a career as a TV journalist. For some reason, English came easy to me. I spoke fluently and without an accent within a year of moving to the States,” she said. “But this doesn’t mean that I don’t have my moments of ‘what does that word mean?’ or when my accent slips out. It is not unusual for me to turn to my coworkers or friends and ask them for help finding a specific word or phrase that I might be thinking of in Russian. I guess you can call my Russian heritage my ‘hidden talent.’

Despite being a long way from both her U.S. and Russian homes, Zverjako says the move to Alabama has been one she’s enjoyed, primarily because of the famed friendliness of our locals.

“Moving to the Gulf Coast has been one of the best experiences so far in my life. The actual process of moving was actually pretty easy — my whole life fit inside my little Nissan Sentra. I have never looked back since coming out here… Everybody told me about Southern hospitality, but people here take it to the next level!” she said.

Patrick back after illness

WKRG’s sports director Randy Patrick returned to the airwaves April 7 after a lengthy illness that has kept him at home for more than three months.

Lagniappe has received plenty of calls wanting to know where the man who has won 11 Nappies in a row for favorite sportscaster has been. Randy told us in late February that he’d been “quite ill” but was on the mend.

At the time he was aiming for a mid-March return, but it obviously took a bit longer. Here’s wishing Randy good health and a happy return.

New set

Randy’s return will coincide with a new set that should debut next week. The update is reportedly the first in more than a decade and staffers are excited about it. No word yet on exactly what day it will debut.

The record stops

The Mobile Record, a small publication that catered primarily to carrying legal advertising from the county and city has called it quits. No word yet as to why, but it was one of the local publications deemed eligible to carry such advertising.