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WKTV says farewell to engineer Fred Latus after more than four decades of work

By Tom Coyne

UTICA - Thursday was a sad day here at NEWSChannel 2, as we say goodbye to one of our best friends - Fred Latus. Fred has been behind the scenes, as an engineer, since 1963.

June of 1963. Normally we'd tell you who was president - it was Kennedy - or how much a gallon of gas cost. You could almost fill your tank for $3.36.

For this story, all you need to know is that most of you watched WKTV in black and white. Fred Latus Jr. joined the WKTV staff.

Over the next 43 plus years, Fred has worked as an engineer to bring our programs to you home. When asked about the biggest change he'd seen over those years Fred spoke true engineer.

"I guess, satellites, digital...the integrated circuit," he said.

Fred has been here to bring you some of the biggest historical events to take place since '63. The Kennedy assassinations, both World Trade Center attacks. Any one that stands out?

"The pope being shot is another," he said. "That sticks out in my mind for another reason. Because Tom Brokaw reported on it at at seven o'clock in the morning on the Today Show. I went home and there he was in the square in Rome, Italy on the 6:30 p.m. news. And I was thinking, not only do we transmit news fast...we transmit people fast from site to site to make sure things get covered."

When his shift ends Thursday, so too will Fred's work here at WKTV. He goes home to his wife, Ellen, his dogs Jax and Willow, and his toy - a 1972 Lotus Europa.

We'll miss him and, even though you might not know it, you will too.

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