Sunday, January 02, 2005

Just a little over two months ago, former Sarcoxie minister Donald Peckham pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory sodomy in connection with sexual activity with underaged boys. Peckham stood in a Jasper County courtroom and admitted his crimes. Peckham was sentenced to seven years on second degree sodomy count and 15 years on the first degree sodomy count, with the sentences to run concurrently.
Apparently, a little time behind bars has made Peckham reconsider that plea. On Dec. 22, Peckham filed a motion in Jasper County Circuit Court to have his sentence thrown out. Five days later, one day before Peckham's 72nd birthday, the court ruled that the taxpayers will fund his efforts by allowing Peckham to file as a pauper, meaning that a public defender will help him prepare his case.
This means I owe the Joplin Globe an apology since I criticized the newspaper a few days ago for mentioning Peckham in its page-one feature on ongoing stories that are continuing into the new year. The Globe story indicated the effect of Peckham's illegal activities on his church, the Jubilee Christian Fellowship Church in Sarcoxie. would be a story it would be watching in 2005. I suggested the church should be left alone.
It appears that it is Don Peckham who wants to continue the process of dragging his former church through the mud. The Globe's extensive research into the story showed that this is not the first time the former minister has put his own needs before the needs of others. Globe reporting uncovered allegations of similar problems at several Methodist churches in Kansas dating back three decades.
Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney Dean Dankelson told The Globe his office was investigating 12 possible sexual abuse victims.
The Globe broke with its usual pattern and posted the news just after midnight Friday that KODE and KSNF had been removed from Cable One. Oddly enough, the information was available from a Google News search, but not on the Globe's website. I don't know enough about the technical ins and outs to know if that had anything to do with the fact that the story was posted on Dec. 32nd, according to its original incarnation on the web.
That being the case, perhaps the Globe overlooked a bigger story since these cable TV flaps come and go, but this appeared to be the first recorded instance of a December 32nd.
The mistake was corrected by the time the story actually appeared on the Globe website.
Despite the many antennas Cable One gave out so viewers would not be deprived of KODE and KSNF, I would imagine that a substantial majority of viewers are no longer receiving those two stations. I briefly considered stopping at the cable office last week and standing in line, but after considerable reflection, I started wondering why I should put myself out for these two stations.
Yes, I will miss "Law and Order" on NBC (the other two Law and Order shows, which I also watch on a regular basis, are rerun a few days later on the USA Network) and "Boston Legal." I wouldn't mind watching the college football championship game in a few days and it will be hard to do without "Nightline." I have been in the habit of turning on the TV in the morning to KODE's morning show, though I recently turned to KSNF, but I will have no problems whatsoever watching KOAM' s morning program.
I wonder how many other viewers will also sample KOAM's local programming. I am sure viewers who did not get an antenna or a satellite system will not miss the middle-of-the-day infomercials that have become so prevalent on KODE and KSNF since Nexstar began running both companies.
Since I am apologizing to the Globe today, I might as well add KSNF to the list, at least I believe this was on KSNF. A few days ago, I wrote about KOAM's superior coverage of the incident at the Barry County Courthouse in Cassville, in which a man ran over a deputy, then was shot. KOAM had a camera crew and reporter there and offered excellent coverage of the event. The Nexstar management saved money by not sending a crew there, meaning that neither KSNF or KODE would have coverage of the event. But why do you need to have in-person coverage (which is so highly overrated) when you can do what KSNF (or KODE, I get them mixed up these days) did and run a picture of a gun overlaid on a map of Missouri with Cassville highlighted.
Now that's gripping television!

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