Here we go -
- A hearing begins tomorrow for a 10-year-old boy accused of raping his sister. I know a lot of people will jump up and say, “How horrible! That deviant should be locked away for the rest of his life!” Well, problem is, I got it on good account that the boy is a Ritalin victim who has been pumped full of the drug after his mother made him act up in an attempt to keep her husband from being deployed.
The boy’s grandmother is here in Jacksonville all the way from Oregon trying to get the court to just give the kid to her to raise.¬†Does the kid stand a better chance of making it with his grandma than growing up a ward of the¬†state?
- A local cop accused of some mischief was found not guilty this week. I will be writing a story about it Thursday. Part of the¬†judge’s ruling is odd, I think. We will talk about that after the story comes out.
- Jacksonville City Councilman Jerome Willingham’s appeal of¬†last year’s¬†contempt of court ruling has been¬†upheld by the N.C. Appeals Court. While he was claiming he could not¬†afford to pay child support, he was¬†spending money at Red Lobster, Travelocity and¬†the dating service E Harmony.
I¬†hand it to him for responding to my questions about it.¬†A lot of people in his position duck and cover. The newspaper is holding the story for print, but I will link to it when it is online.
- Speaking of responding, Bob Coxe proved to be a class act by calling me back the other day to talk about his State Bar reprimand. Coxe said the Bar handled it right. Compare, if you will,¬†that to Willingham saying he was framed by the SBI and that is why he was disbarred.
- Molly wrote an excellent article about the Board of Health and animal control. Read it here.¬†Neighbors are now complaining about a¬†house out near Richlands with more than 20 dogs.
People who like good writing, pay attention to the first few sentences of the story. That is what I like to call a “stacked lead.”¬†Whenever a story¬†has several¬†things going on, good reporters will let the reader know the most important point of each subject by stacking lead sentences¬†at the top of the¬†article. Daily News publisher Elliott¬†Potter taught me how to do that a few years ago and I taught¬†Molly and she uses it very effectively.¬†Stacking leads is very useful in political¬†or government stories where their are several conflicting points of view.
My point? Molly is awesome!
- The Dowsing murder trial continues. It is hard¬†keeping up with it and every thing else going on in Onslow County. I have to¬†pop in and out, but never fear, I am hitting the high notes. I don’t need¬†to listen to a person from the phone company explain how cell phones are tracked. I have heard that before. I am looking forward to the juice – I want to see JPD detective Dave Kaderbek take¬†the stand. I will link to the most recent article when it is posted.
- Surf City Mayor Zander Guy has been appointed to the N.C. ABC Board. No surprise there.
I won’t call it cronyism because Guy is no one’s crony. Zander is one of the smartest people I have ever known. He helped me tremendously when I was starting out as a reporter in the Topsail area.
But I also remember what Golden Corral guru and fired N.C. Board of Transportation member Louis Sewell told me after getting in trouble for funneling¬†state funds toward projects that benefited his properties.
He said whoever helps a politician get elected gets the board seats. Plain and simple. And you won’t find a bigger supporter of Gov. Bev Perdue¬†than Zander Guy.
And yes, I know he got in trouble years ago for some real estate thing, but he was pardoned so I won’t bring it up.
- Here’s a headline you won’t read in the newspaper:
“Freedom Communications, Inc., parent company to¬†The Daily¬†News, filed for bankruptcy Sept. 1 on the eve of owning $28 million in a class action law suit.”
But that’s what happened.¬†The Orange County Register – or Freedom’s albatross as it is known in California – settled a¬†civil suit with¬†employees suing under the Labor-Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
The payment deadline was at the end of the month, but as the bankruptcy paperwork states, “contingent settlement in amount of $28,900,000 was terminated upon commencement of these chapter 11 cases.”
Some¬†insiders say the newspaper¬†will be better off if the Freedom yoke is lifted, but with local decisions like giving¬†some guy¬†off the street permission to¬†haul off¬†scrap metal (which he sold to a junkyard for $600), I don’t know.
Man, I could have used that $600…
I ain’t being holier-than-thou. I admit I got some bills. I am trying desperately to convince the Federal government to give me a pass on my student loans, so I ain’t knocking a corporation that owes money. But Freedom owes a lot of money.
Debtors include JPMorgan Chase Bank for $770 million; several media companies like Warner Bros. Entertainment; just about every major paper¬†supplier in North America;¬†Nielson Media Research; Monster Inc. (thought we were partnering with them?);¬†and The Associated Press.
- The wife of a man who called me a smuck a few weeks ago came to the newspaper Wednesday begging for my help. Being as magnanimous as I am, I listened to her. Then after relating¬†a mind-blowing story that would rock a local lawyer’s world, the woman¬†calls back and says forget it, she doesn’t want my help. So I am left with knowledge I can’t use because she wouldn’t let me copy documents she has. Geez, lady, your husband only called me a smuck. You treated me like one.
I think that about sums up my day.