Since they were young enough to know my phone number by heart, they have called or texted me with news tips.
'Dad - what's happening in the park? Traffic's blocked!' Or, 'Dad - bad accident in Midtown. Just happened. A couple of ambulances.'
And then there was the most frightening call: 'Dad, a guy with a gun a block away. Holy s*$%!' And then I heard, through my son's phone, the sound of gunshots. He was ok, but he ran like the wind away from the scene. And it shook him up.
I've always praised my young Clark Kent and Lois Lane for their power of observation, and their understanding that their father is in the news business, and appreciates updates and tips when news breaks.
Last night, my oldest daughter, in town on fall break from college, texted another tip. This time, the subway at Times Square was shutdown. Cops everywhere, she said, and no one could get into the station.
I'll call the newsroom and find out what's happening, I said.
Turns out - my daughter saw it happen before anyone else knew about it, and her tip alerted us. We were first on the scene.
Like so many of these scares, it was nothing. Some suspicious package - discovered and then found to be nothing.
Another call-out-the-troops and flail your arms in the air about nothing story.
But this time - turns out to be different, because we find out today that the suitcase that was left on the mezzanine level of the Times Square subway, while it didn't contain a bomb, it did contain a threatening note about another Sept. 11-type of attack and what are described as threatening drawings. The subway was shut down for about 2 hours.
Charges are now expected to be brought against the person who left the briefcase - it was apparently a hoax, but not very funny - and the headline here is that cops know who the guy is!
Speaking of Clark Kent - reports today say that he's resigned from The Daily Planet, railing about mega-corporations taking over newspapers. He's apparently going into the blogging business.
Talk about times changing, right?
The point of all this, as prelude to our 11 p.m. newscast, is that news breaks all the time, and we'll have any breaking news of the night, at 11.
We do know that there's going to be the third and final Presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida tonight, starting at 9 p.m. And you can see the face-off between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, right here on Ch. 7 or we'll be streaming it live on 7 Online. Plus our political reporter Dave Evans will have highlights, at 11. We're also bringing some folks into the studio, to gauge their reactions to the debate. Our Jeff Pegues is with them and he'll have their take on the foreign policy debate, at 11.
Meteorologist Lee Goldberg will also have his AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers will have the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.
Subscribe to my page on Facebook at facebook.com/billritter.wabc.
Follow my tweets at www.twitter.com/billritter7.