Friday, April 15, 2005

A meeting vital to workers at Joplin's EaglePicher plant will take place 10:30 a.m. (CDT) today in U. S. Bankruptcy Court in Cincinnati, Ohio.
At that time, Judge J. Vincent Aug will determine whether the company's proposal to continue paying its workers while going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy will be approved.
EaglePicher is also asking to be allowed to continue paying other worker benefits.
An order is expected to be issued today and sent by Federal Express to EaglePicher, the office of the United States Trustee for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, and EaglePicher's 50 largest debtors, among others.
EaglePicher filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday.
Former O'Sullivan Industries official Gary Reed Blankenship of Neosho, entered a not guilty plea Thursday in Newton County Circuit Court to charges of possession of pornography and enticement of a child.
Blankenship was arrested following an Internet sting conducted by Diamond police officer Jim Murray, one of several the former police chief has done over the past couple of years.
If Blankenship is guilty, and he hasn't had his day in court yet, it boggles the mind how a supposedly intelligent man could get caught in this kind of sting.
The publicity surrounding Murray's activities and the out-of-state perverts he has nabbed has been plentiful. Apparently, either Blankenship had deluded himself into thinking he would not be caught, or he was so obsessed with underaged girls that he didn't pay attention to anything else, including the news reports of Murray's exploits.
Whatever, there was a certain comfort in knowing that the perverts Murray was putting out of business were all from places like Michigan and Ohio. Knowing they may be next door is a lot scarier.
Blankenship resigned from his top post at O'Sullivan Industries shortly after his arrest. I was told by numerous company sources right after the arrest that there were O'Sullivan officials who had information that Blankenship was looking at pornographic materials on at least one company computer.
I am curious. Have any steps been taken to deal with the people who knew about this. Did anyone make an effort to pass this information along to higher officials so a stop could be put to Blankenship's activities, and have any changes been made in company computer use policies since the arrest? Drop me a line at or leave a post on this blog.
If anyone is anywhere near the Sane Mule Motorcycle Shop tomorrow at about 3:30 or 3:45 p.m., Natural Disaster will play for about an hour. That will mark the start of a pretty busy next few months for our group, which plays rock and country from the 1950s and 1960s.
Today's Joplin Globe features an article on page 5A about changes the Joplin R-8 Board of Education is considering in its annual graduation ceremony. The changes have a potential of affecting hundreds of students in a positive way.
Naturally, that story was relegated to an inside page, while the non-story about the shouting match between the family of a newly-elected R-8 board member and a PTO president is placed on page one for the second straight day.
The Globe seems to have a mistaken notion of what is important to R-8 taxpayers, who make up a sizable portion of its readership.

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