One of the biggest stories in Joplin education this year has been the creation of Jet 14, the Joplin R-8 School District television station. Former KODE sports anchor Bruce VonderHaar has been working with Joplin High School students to prepare for the station's debut, which took place yesterday.
This is something that very few school districts have, and obviously, Joplin is the only one in this area to have its own television station.
The station can be seen on Channel 14 on Cable One.
Perhaps that explains why the launching of Jet 14, obviously a legitimate news story, was only covered by KOAM, while KODE and KSNF, still in the midst of their feud with Cable One, did not provide any publicity whatsoever.
This wasn't a slam at the school system by the Nexstar stations. While I was at the Joplin Chamber of Commerce reception for Golden Apple nominees at Memorial Hall Tuesday night, I saw a KSN cameraman.
It is a continuation of the same kind of lack of news judgment in favor of petty personal considerations that have plagued the Nexstar stations since this battle with Cable One began late last year.
The situation has been pointed out time and again in The Turner Report. When Cable One refused to knuckle under and pay for retransmission rights to KODE and KSNF programming, pro-satellite dish statements became a staple on the local newscasts. A staged protest of Cable One, fomented by the Echostar people turned into a featured news event, without mentioning the nature of the event's origin, of course.
On one evening, while KOAM opened with a local news story, KSNF and KODE News Director Larry Young delayed the beginning of the 6 p.m. news for a Nexstar-ordered editorial ripping into the cable companies. Later, Young served as the local host (more of a Pinocchio to Duane Lammers' Geppetto) for a 30-minute infomercial for Nexstar and, of course, anti Cox and Cable One.
Nexstar officials have shown no regard whatsoever for journalistic principles. Of course, they have every right to broadcast this type of programming. They, too, are covered by the First Amendment, but when they drag the news director onto their self-serving programming and have it pitched by their newsanchors, it is a slap in the face to all of the hard-working men and women who put out their newscasts every day.
They deserve better than that.
The Missouri Supreme Court Tuesday handed down a decision backing a Jasper County jury's conviction of a Springfield drunk driver. Chad Madorie, 31, had claimed the state had not proven that it was him, and not a friend of his who was with him in the car, who was driving when his car went into a ditch. Madorie was sentenced to three years in prison as a persistent offender.
According to court records, Officer James Kelly of the Joplin Police Department was sent to an accident scene around 1 a.m. on Sept. 8, 2000. Kelly saw a 1994 Mazda Protege in the ditch, facing the road with its nose "kind of pointing straight up.'Another officer was already there, talking to Kevin Dunn, who allegedly was a passenger in the car.
Kelly saw Madorie standing off to the side and noticed that he was not steady of his feet and was "stumbling from time to time." Madorie told Kelly he had been driving north on Main when he saw his friend, Dunn, and tried to stop to give him a ride but ran into the ditch while doing so. Madorie said he had been drinking "a little bit" earlier.Kelly gave Madorie three sobriety tests, all of which Madorie failed. When they reached the police station, Kelly read Madorie his Miranda rights and the implied consent law and Madorie consented to a breathalyzer test.After the breathalyzer had been administered, Madorie told Kelly he knew he was drunk and knew he had been driving but Kelly hadn't seen the keys in the ignition so he knew he would get out of it with the help of a lawyer.A Jasper County jury found Madorie guilty after deliberating for 14 minutes on May 13, 2003. He was sentenced to three years in prison.Madorie, whose appeal was being funded by the taxpayers after he successfully appealed to the courts to file asa pauper, said his statements should not have been admitted since there was no evidence that any crime had been committed. No one had seen him behind the wheel, no one had seen him driving drunk, and Dunn, who was also at the scene was sober and could just as easily have been driving.
The Supreme Court decision said, "The facts corroborating Madorie's statements are sufficient to establish that someone operated the motor vehicle while intoxicated. His statement that he was driving before going into the ditch was corroborated by the fact that, when the first officer arrived on the scene 15 minutes after the accident, a vehicle registered to Madorie was in the ditch with its nose pointing toward the roadway and Madorie was standing next to it."
The court also noted Madorie's "watery and bloodshot eyes," and failing three sobriety tests.