Saturday, June 23, 2018

Why I want the Joplin Globe to succeed, plus top Turner Report/Inside Joplin posts for the week

When I wrote my farewell to Joplin Globe Publisher Michael Beatty earlier this week, some of my commenters took the opportunity to attack me because I have a deep-seated grudge against the Globe or because the Globe doesn't pay any attention to this little blog.

First of all, I am not going to be modest. The Globe pays attention to what I am writing about. I am not so full of myself that I believe they are obsessed with my blog or that it is important to them, but the people at the Globe do pay attention to the Turner Report.

And I pay attention to the Globe.

For decades, I read the Globe in the morning and as I have noted before, when I was in high school, I paid Alan Oxendine 15 cents every afternoon for a copy of the Joplin News-Herald.

For a long time, I could count on spending a considerable amount of time each Sunday morning with the Globe.

That, sadly, is no longer the case.

While I still read and enjoy Wally Kennedy's page two column and can find some interesting AP stories, there is little to admire about the rest of the publication.

I open the newspaper every Sunday, every day for that matter, hoping that it will offer me a window of what is going on in the Joplin area. At times, it does, but those times have become fewer and fewer as the years have passed.

I have loved newspapers for as long as I remember and I want the Joplin Globe to a be a giant that serves the community, offers in-depth coverage no matter who may be offended and throws the cookie-cutter feature stories, columnists who believe their families should be the center of attention and the Rush Limbaugh/Fox News pretensions of Geoff Caldwell.

As I want the Globe to succeed, so would I like to see newspapers like the Carthage Press and the Neosho Daily News returned to ownership that actually cared about newspapers.

While the dearth of quality local journalism has opened the door for a one-man operation like the Turner Report/Inside Joplin to carve out a niche, I would still give anything to have the Joplin Globe, the Neosho Daily News and the Carthage Press return to being newspapers and not media products.

As some commenters, including those who spoke up for me, pointed out, the Turner Report is not a newspaper.

In this current media climate, I would love to see a quality weekly created to tackle this market, but it probably cannot be done any more. With the consolidation of newspapers, there is almost no place to get one printed.

I would love to have the opportunity to take on that kind of project in a digital format, with a handful of reporters, columnists who know the community and know how to write about it and a dedication to news as a public service and to the concept of journalists serving in a watchdog capacity.

That is unlikely to happen, but I can provide a news operation that offers news, commentary and investigative reporting and an outlet for people who want to comment on the matters that affect them. Add free obituaries, a considerable amount of records material, bulletin board items and coverage of crime and courts and the Turner Report/Inside Joplin offers just what I have promised- an alternative news source for the Joplin area.

Glance through the items in this week's Top 10 most visited posts on the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries and you will see some items that have not been available from any other source, some highly readable posts and a news service that keeps on delivering, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.

Thanks to those of you who have contributed to this news operation, through word of mouth, sharing posts, making comments, providing news tips and documents, paying for subscriptions or making contributions.

The Top 10 lists with links to each of the posts can be found below the PayPal buttons. If you have yet to make a contribution this year or take out a subscription, please consider doing so, either by using the buttons or by sending your contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin MO 64804.

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Help the Turner Report/Inside Joplin continue to provide a much-needed alternative news source for the Joplin area. If you feel this independent news operation benefits you and this area, please consider taking a subscription or making a contribution of any amount by using the PayPal buttons below or by mailing a contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin, MO 64801

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The Turner Report

1. Joplin High School assistant principal resigns, follows Eggleston to Seneca

2. Drunk driver sentenced to prison for killing Joplin girl, Neosho man arrested for DWI

3. Probable cause: 34-year-old Carthage man shaved, video nude underage girl, then locked himself in bedroom

4. Alba man charged with assault after allegedly beating girlfriend on I-49

5. Neosho man with four previous drunk driving convictions charged with DWI

6. Hawley: McCaskill wants illegals in U. S. no questions asked, allow them to use children as human shields

7. Wagner: America is safer today thanks to Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un

8. My fond farewell to Joplin Globe Publisher Michael Beatty

9. Hartzler: I am glad Trump addressed issue of children being separated from their parents; Obama did it, too

10. Jason Smith: Because of Trump tax cuts, people everywhere are optimistic about their future

Inside Joplin

1. Five Joplin residents arrested following SWAT team search warrant execution at 221 North Walnut

2. Carthage teen airlifted to Mercy Springfield after being run over by a dump truck

3. Carl Junction Police searching for porch package thief

4. Joplin man arrested following drive-by shooting, pursuit from Joplin to Labette County

5. Joplin teen held on $150,000 cash only bond for drive-by shooting at 406 N. Pearl

6. Joplin Police arrest Carthage woman with stolen car, drugs in her bra

7. Joplin Police Department searching for armed, dangerous teen wanted on 10 felony counts of assault, armed criminal action

8. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

9. Jasper residents arrested, drug operation uncovered

10. Newton County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Lindsey Dieckhoff

2. Sue Mailes

3. Dave Yen

4. Hunter Calderon

5. Sonny Medley

6. Earline Spence

7. Grace McCoy

8. Angie Hoffman

9. Ellen Henderson

10. Jewel Vonier

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One week from today- Saturday, June 30, I will join three other area authors for a signing from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Neosho Public Library. It will be the first signing for my new book Newton County Memories, which will be available along with Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud, along with my other books and Turner Report t-shirts. If you can't make it, you can order the books at Amazon.com.


Jason Smith; Because of Trump, tax cuts people everywhere are optimistic about their future

(From Eighth District Congressman Jason Smith)

Jobs are open, wages are up, unemployment is down, and Americans are optimistic about the future. The country has come a long way in the six months since President Trump signed historic tax cuts, which I was proud to send to his desk. The best is yet to come, but the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is doing wonders for the pocketbooks and paychecks in Southern Missouri. That’s because the new tax code prioritizes farmers, families, and workers first – removing the Washington roadblocks that have held them back from success for too long.

The status-quo tax code was punishing for the working families of Missouri and led to grim economic conditions. Stagnant wages, minimal growth, and a lack of jobs made it increasingly harder to make it in America. Hard working Southern Missouri farmers and families had to spend hundreds of hours a year just trying to figure out how much money to send to Washington. They weren’t alone, 90 percent of taxpayers nationwide had to pay someone or use computer software to figure out their taxes for them under the old, unnecessarily complicated tax code.

The new tax code has completely flipped the priority from Washington-first to families and workers first. A family of four making up to $55k doesn’t owe any federal income taxes and can keep their hard-earned money instead of sending it to Washington. The expanded child tax credit Ivanka Trump and I helped write into the law makes it easier to support a family. And the Trump Administration will soon be rolling out new postcard-style 1040 forms so you can spend more time on the farm, with your family, or doing anything else other than figuring out your taxes.

Now that American businesses and workers can compete on the world stage, the results are going to keep coming in. Workers everywhere received pay raises in February when the IRS began withholding less money out of their paychecks because of the new tax law, and some businesses are taking it a step further. In Missouri we’ve seen businesses like Tyson Foods in Dexter reward employees with $1,000 bonuses, or U.S. Bancorp with operations in Willow Springs announcing that 60,000 employees will receive bonuses and wage hikes. Across the country four million Americans have now received bonuses or wage hikes.

The long-term economic security and stability will allow businesses everywhere to invest in their employees and in our communities. Even President Obama publicly acknowledged the tax rates had to come down so America could compete, and with Donald Trump in the White House we finally have a President who is willing to do something about it. Two out of three jobs in this country come directly from a small business. Now that they have room to breathe, a million jobs have been created and there’s now more jobs open than people looking for them.

As a result of all this, the economy is moving again and people everywhere are optimistic about their futures. I don’t come from a wealthy family, so it means a great deal to me that the lowest-income households are increasingly more confident about their future and their chance to make it in America. This week it was reported food stamp enrollment fell to an eight-year low because people are finding quality jobs and a booming economy is lifting people out of poverty.

The new tax code is a historic win for Missouri and the country, but the work isn’t over. The Senate’s arcane filibuster rules narrowed the tax bill last year, so there’s work to be done to fine tune the law to benefit Missouri’s middle-class. When Ivanka and I worked on the tax bill we successfully included an expanded child tax credit for families, but it couldn’t be permanent because of Senate procedure and obstruction. I’ve authored the Permanent Tax Relief for Working Families Act to make this credit permanent. While the House of Representatives voted to fully repeal the awful death tax, liberal Senators have stopped the Senate from doing the same. I’m working with President Trump to repeal the estate tax that hits family farmers hard, because death should not be a taxable event. I want to know how the new tax code is working for you. Drop me a note at JasonSmith.House.Gov and let me know your take on the tax cuts, six months after President Trump signed them into law.

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Newton County, Missouri the way it used to be. My new book Newton County Memories features stories about the people and places that I knew and the events that occurred in the 1960s through 1980s. The book is available in paperback and e-book formats at the Amazon links below or you can order a signed copy by sending $17 (postage included) to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin MO 64801

Friday, June 22, 2018

Neosho man with four previous drunk driving convictions charged with DWI

A 1:15 p.m. Monday arraignment has been scheduled for William Creller, 53, Neosho, charged with felony driving while intoxicated as a prior offender.

The probable cause statement says Creller has four previous DWI convictions.

The Joplin Police stopped Creller at 25th and Main June 9.

In the probable cause statement, Corporal K. Jones wrote that he stopped Creller after "I observed (him) commit multiple traffic violations indicative of an intoxicated driver. Upon contact with the driver, William Creller, I observed that he had bloodshot, watery eyes. I asked him to exit the vehicle and could smell the overwhelming odor of intoxicants coming from his breath. He was very uneasy on his feet and was staggering."

After giving Creller field sobriety tests, Jones placed him under arrest.

Creller consented to a breath test, which showed his blood alcohol content at 0.219, according to the statement.

Creller was also cited for driving while revoked.

Probable cause: 34-year-old Carthage man shaved, videoed nude underage girl, then locked himself in bedroom

A Carthage man is being held in the Jasper County Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond after being arrested on two counts of statutory sodomy Tuesday.

Jerad Cyler Adams, 34, entered a not guilty plea during a video arraignment Thursday in Jasper County Circuit Court.

According to the probable cause statement, on one of the counts Adams allegedly walked in on an underage girl showering, made her bend over, shaved part of her body, then would not allow her to put her clothes on after she got out of the shower. all of the while using his cell phone to record a video.

After obtaining the images, the probable cause statement said, "he went to his bedroom and locked the door."

Adams' next hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 11.


Alba man charged with assault after allegedly beating girlfriend on I-49

An Alba man accused of beating his girlfriend on I-49 pleaded not guilty Thursday during a video arraignment in Jasper County Circuit Court.

According to the probable cause statement, a witness told a Jasper County Sheriff's Office deputy that Alexander Shivar, 27, punched a woman, knocking her off her feet and then took off walking.

The woman said Shivar hit her several times in the head while she was driving from the Carthage Wal-Mart to I-49 and that she may have lost consciousness at one point. She had bruises on her face and her forehead was swollen.

The probable cause statement indicates Shivar was located at the Carthage Wal-Mart, where he provided the deputy with false identification and said his name was Colton Cummings.

Shivar said he did not hit his girlfriend.

Shivar is being held on $7,500 bond. Judge Joseph Hensley appointed a public defender for him and the next hearing will be July 11.

Billy Long: Right to Try law increases access to life-saving treatments

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

Over the past several years, 39 states have passed Right to Try laws, with Missouri being the third state to do so. These laws allow terminally ill patients, who have exhausted all other options, access to potential life-saving treatments that are not yet available to the public.

Before Right to Try laws were passed, patients were left with few options, including clinical trials. A sad example of this is the number of cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials, which is less than 5 percent. Another option was the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) compassionate use application process, which allows individuals to access treatments not yet approved by the FDA. What was intended to help patients access life-saving treatments turned into a process that was both expensive and time-consuming. Due to the complicated process, only about 1,200 people make it through each year.

Right to Try laws aim to help with this problem by expanding terminally ill patients’ access to investigational drugs not yet approved by the FDA. Last October, the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which I hold a seat on, held a hearing examining patient access to investigational drugs. This hearing was used to look at the FDA’s compassionate use application process, and legislation, such as Right to Try, that would build upon the FDA’s work and expand access even more for patients who have exhausted all other options.

In May, both the House of Representatives and Senate passed S. 204, the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017. Soon after, President Trump signed the bill into law. S. 204 gives terminally ill patients expanded access to unapproved drugs through their doctors. This bill saves money and time for patients who sometimes have very little of either.

Along with increasing access to investigational drugs, S. 204 also has a number of provisions that protect patients. It ensures patients provide informed consent to use investigational drugs, guards patients from manufacturers who intentionally mislabel drugs and requires manufacturers to release annual reports on drugs that have not yet been approved.

After months of bipartisan work, terminally ill patients across the country will finally have more than just a few options. These men and women who are facing some of the toughest circumstances will now have a say in the care they receive. Moving forward, I plan to build on our work and continue to increase access and options to life-saving treatments.

Parson signs first bills as governor

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Today, Governor Parson signed his first bills as the Governor of Missouri. He signed into law HB 1831, HB 2101, SB 593, SB 594, and SB 782.

“Our top objective is to move Missouri forward. Today, by signing these bills into law, we are headed the right direction. The legislature should be proud of the work that was done this year. Many significant bills were passed during this very productive session,” said Governor Parson.

The following bills were signed today:

HB 1831 – Changes the laws regarding the sales tax holiday that occurs in early August by adding an exemption for disposable diapers

HB 2101 – Specifies that guardian ad litem fees shall not be automatically waived in certain civil actions

SB 593 – Enacts provisions relating to financial solvency of insurance companies

SB 594 – Exempts certain types of commercial insurance lines from filing requirements with respect to rates, rate plans, modifications, and manuals



SB 782 – Modifies provisions relating to the Department of Natural Resources

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Parson meets with Trump, Pence to discuss infrastructure, workforce development


(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Today, Governor Parson attended a working lunch with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to discuss best practices and lay out Missouri’s top priorities, including infrastructure and workforce development.

“In order for Missouri to move forward, we must work together to address major issues, including infrastructure and workforce development,” said Governor Mike Parson. “I appreciate President Trump’s commitment and invitation to play a role in strengthening State and Federal government partnerships. It’s important that we discuss best practices to tackle shared challenges and priorities. In order to continue our strong economic growth, we must address our infrastructure needs, ensure our workforce is ready, and remove job-killing regulations.”

Governor Parson also met with Secretary Alexander Acosta, U.S. Department of Labor; Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S. Department of Transportation; senior officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce; and the Small Business Administration. Governors from eight states joined the lunch, including Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Hartzler: Farm Bill offers historic changes in work requirements for SNAP program

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) made the following statement upon the House’s passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

“Missouri farmers work hard every day to feed the world, and they need the certainty that this farm bill provides. This bill ensures the American consumer continues to enjoy the safest, most abundant food supply in the world by strengthening safeguards and improving public/private risk management programs that are vital to American agriculture. In addition, the Farm Bill makes significant investments in rural broadband, promotes trade, invests in research and development, and expands conservation acreage.

“This bill contains historic improvements to the SNAP program to help recipients break the cycle of poverty by improving work opportunities for able-bodied adults receiving federal nutrition assistance. This bill promotes work and individual success while empowering those dependent on government assistance. These common-sense improvements will reduce unemployment and help people move from dependency to independence and self-sufficiency,” said Hartzler.

Specifically, the Farm Bill:

Maintains crop insurance and reauthorizes and strengthens Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs.
Streamlines existing work requirements for able-bodied SNAP recipients, providing them with work training to increase SNAP recipients’ opportunities and help them move from government assistance to a good paying job.
Expands access to working land programs, increases acreage for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) ground to 29 million acres, and includes language Rep. Hartzler authored to allow grazing on CRP lands.
Authorizes substantial funding for the expansion of rural broadband.
Establishes new programs to protect the health of the nation’s livestock.
Improves assistance for specialty crops and reduces fraud in organic imports.
Helps beginning farmers and ranchers establish themselves in agriculture.

The Senate is expected to take up their version of the Farm Bill next week.

My fond farewell to Joplin Globe Publisher MIchael Beatty

It is almost the one-year anniversary of the last issue of the Joplin Regional Business Journal and this is the first mention I have made of that newspaper's demise.

While the Journal occasionally offered some insight into the Joplin business community, it was better known for its stunts like honoring Joplin businesswomen or influential Joplin area people under age 40- any excuse to sell advertising, hold a banquet and sell blocks of tickets to companies that naturally wanted to support their employees who had been nominated.

I debated for a long while whether I should write something about the newspaper closing. I wrote about the Joplin Daily, which lasted only one year, far less time than JRBJ. I wrote about the demise of the other Joplin weekly business newspaper whose name I don't recall.

Finally, I decided not to do it.

My reasoning- the newspaper passed without leaving a footprint. You can make the argument, and it is a legitimate one, that the loss of any newspaper is a loss to all of us because it is one less news source in a time when we so desperately need news sources.

I never was sure we needed the Joplin Regional Business Journal. After all, what was the Business Journal  but a newspaper dedicated to providing fealty to the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce and we already had one of those.

The Joplin Globe.

If any official with the Joplin Globe has helped turn the newspaper into a house organ for the Chamber and the entrenched powers in the city it has been Publisher Michael Beatty, whose impending departure was announced on page one of the Monday Globe.

Unlike the Joplin Regional Business Journal, Beatty has left a footprint on the community, In the eight years since he arrived from Baltimore, Beatty has overseen a newspaper that has consistently missed the biggest stories to hit the Joplin community or twisted them beyond recognition.

Instead of being a watchdog for the readers and communities, Michael Beatty's Globe planted itself firmly in the corner of whoever was in power at the time.

Beatty's Globe featured an editorial page that weighed in on important issues when they affected other communities, but ignored those same issues when they touched home.

Following are a few examples of how the Joplin Globe has chosen to serve its readership in the eight years since Michael Beatty arrived.

The Joplin Tornado

At a time when Joplin needed an aggressive watchdog more than ever, the Globe was missing in action.

Information that the Salvation Army had spent little of the thousands it had received following the tornado in the community in the first years after the tornado was reported first in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch- after it had been taken to the Globe, which chose not to look into it.

It was a Kansas City Star investigation that revealed just how susceptible to high winds the Home Depot building was. The Globe was told of us this first.

The Globe served its readership well with its reporting on the effect of the tornado on citizens and on the bulletin board journalism aspect, but when it came to keeping an eye on how our government is operating, it felt woefully short and did not make much of an effort.

Wallace Bajjali

Along the same lines, the Globe turned a blind eye as former Chamber President Rob O'Brian, former City Manager Mark Rohr and other city leaders, elected and unelected decided we needed a master developer (we didn't), allowed the developer they wanted to write the requirements for the job and then overlooked a background full of bankruptcies and fraud accusations.

For months, the only mention of Wallace Bajjali's troubled background in the Globe was an assertion by Rohr at a City Council meeting that there was nothing to worry about and that the kind of problems Wallace Bajjali had were the kind that all developers ran into.

A cursory check of David Wallace's background would have saved the city money and valuable time, but since this was someone Rohr, O'Brian, Mike Woolston, Mike Seibert and the CART team wanted, that check was apparently never made, and if it was, it was conveniently placed on a back shelf.

It wasn't the Kansas City Star or the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that reported on this one. The Turner Report documented some of Wallace Bajjali's bankruptcies, fraud accusations and stiff SEC fine for misleading investors in April 2012, even before the City Council voted to hire the Texas con artists.

State audits and the Loraine Report

Thousands of Joplin residents signed petitions for state audits of the city and school district, Immediately after the results of those audits were issued, the Globe covered the audits, offered even more space to criticism of those audits and never hit hard on the significant problems that were uncovered.

The same approach was taken with the Loraine Report, submitted to the Joplin City Council by Osage Beach attorney Thomas Loraine. The investigation was originally called for by Councilman Mike Woolston to address allegations that Councilman Bill Scearce was involved in wrongdoing. At the suggestion of Councilman Ben Rosenberg, the investigator was also asked to look into Woolston's dealings with Wallace Bajjali and land that was being bought and then flipped.

The Lorraine report cleared Scearce, which was not the result the Globe had hoped for. The Lorraine interviews provided a roadmap for the state auditors who uncovered much suspicious and apparently illegal activity.

Unfortunately for Joplin taxpayers, the Globe had no interest in following up on that story or on the mysterious assertions by current judge and former Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney Dean Dankelson that he had never received information from State Auditor Nicole Galloway, which seems odd since no one else has ever complained about the state auditor not delivering information she says she has delivered.

Embarrassing information only printed once

The early report of Mark Rohr's statement that Wallace Bajjali's problems were nothing to worry about, the one-shot revelation that Dankelson never received any materials from the state auditor and the first mention- totally from City Council meeting coverage- that Woolston was involved in questionable activities with Wallace Bajjali and developer Charles Kuehn are all examples of a Joplin Globe trademark.

When something is a bit uncomfortable for city leaders, the Globe will often mention it only once, so it can say the subject was addressed, and then forgets about it.

A master developer with a history of fraud accusations and bankruptcies, allegations that taxpayer money was being spent to benefit developers in a land-flipping scheme and a failure by the prosecuting attorney and law enforcement to act on a state auditor's recommendations should have been the series of multiple articles and sternly-worded editorials about the public's right to know.

It would be easy to dismiss this criticism by saying it is simply the Globe's way of doing business, except that it is not.

The Globe combined multiple articles and hard-hitting editorials in its coverage of former Jasper County Public Administrator Rita Hunter.

Of course, Rita Hunter is not connected to any of the newspaper's sacred cows.

Embarrassing information never printed

It took about two years for the Globe to reveal that Joplin Police officers responded to a 911 call at Mark Rohr's house in which his daughter claimed Rohr was beating her pregnant mother.

The Globe's editor Carol Stark, a friend of Rohr's, knew about the report, which ended up with officers determining there had been no assault after the daughter recanted her report.

That could not have been an easy decision to make, but when other things are taken into consideration, the choice on whether to report on the police call begin to lean in favor of the public's right to know.

First, Mark Rohr as city manager was the police officers' boss. In similar situations, an outside law enforcement agency (Highway Patrol, for instance) is almost always called in to investigate if only to remove any accusation of prejudice.

Later, Thomas Lorraine encouraged the City Council to listen to the 911 call when it was making its deliberations on Rohr's future. Lorraine, a former investigator for the U. S. Attorney's office, clearly thought something was amiss.

No friend to the First Amendment

The Joplin Globe under Michael Beatty's stewardship professed to be a proud defender of the First Amendment, but only when it benefited the Globe and its friends.

When the City of Joplin initially refused to make several pages of the Lorraine Report available to the public, the Globe was willing to spend money to file a legal action that it eventually won. Then it squandered most of the space covering those previously redacted pages to mounting defense of Rohr and Woolston, while spending a small amount of space detailing the allegations that were made against them.

The Globe also won full access to the depositions of the people Lorraine interviewed, but made almost no use of them. While it was laudable that the newspaper placed those documents online where they could be accessed, it also meant that only a few hundred people, or a few thousand at most, would ever look at the depositions, which included a considerable amount of damning evidence of potential wrongdoing.

Why fight for the First Amendment and the public's right to know if you do not intend to get the information to the people?

The Globe's editorial board has done the perfunctory duty of all newspaper editorial boards, fighting for freedom of student press, unless of course it happens at Missouri Southern State University.

In recent months, the Globe praised, and rightfully so, the Pittsburg High School Booster Redux for its investigation that led to the resignation of a newly hired, but unqualified, principal. Earlier, the Globe fought for student journalists at the University of Missouri.

When student journalists at MSSU fought to offer investigative and critical coverage of University President Bruce Speck and Speck retaliated, the Globe never offered a ringing endorsement of the young reporters.

When Speck eliminated access to the anonymous Southern Watch website, the Globe remained silent.

And when Speck fired Chart adviser T. R. Hanrahan, the Globe never wrote a word.

In fact, Michael Beatty encouraged Speck in his war against the First Amendment, something we would not know if not for the student journalists, who obtained an e-mail in which Beatty offered advice to Speck on how to manage the news.

The e-mail was sent to Speck in 2010, shortly after Beatty arrived and set the stage for the rest of Beatty's eight-year tenure at the Globe.

This was how the Turner Report revealed this e-mail in May 2010:

The e-mail, which was released through a freedom of information request by the one newspaper that has actually been pursuing the truth behind the controversies at the university, The Chart, also indicates that the get-tough approach of Globe reporter Greg Grisolano to the MSSU story may be the reason why other reporters are now covering the university. It was Grisolano's Freedom of Information requests that Beatty stopped, in an apparent effort to curry favor with Speck, MSSU Board of Governors member Dwight Douglas, and most likely, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce leadership, which has steadfastly stood behind Speck, Douglas, and the doomed effort to bring a medical school to Joplin. (Note: I was wrong about that one)

Beatty's love letter to Speck included the following passage:

"We wanted to do an arboretum story for Arbor Day, a story on the mansions (sic) renovation, a story on the Science Fair, of course, the Prairie Issue, and lastly on how you saved money for the university on the hiring of the two new VP's."

Beatty opens the e-mail by giving Speck the good news that the critical investigation into his presidency is apparently a thing of the past:

"You will hear that we are withdrawing our requests for your schedule, Rod's schedule, and your expenses."

After that opening, Beatty asks for the meeting with him, Carol Stark, and Speck. It looks as if access is the most important thing as far as Beatty is concerned:

"As I thought more about the issue of a spokesperson, I will share with you what I experienced in Baltimore. I was used to the spokesperson to be more of a facilitator of the organization on how the message should be controlled. Examples would be call to Rod (Surber) about a story, he knows how you want the story played out so he picks the spokesperson. This gives him/you appropriate individual time to develop the message. The process is really about controlling the message when working with the press and keeping transparency to the taxpayers."
          "I think we can find a middle ground so that all will be satisfied with the process."


Eight years have passed since Michael Beatty wrote that e-mail and it is clear that his management style, coupled with weak editorial leadership, have created today's Joplin Globe.

I wish him good luck in his new job and I hope he gets there in a hurry.