Saturday, January 24, 2015

How Greed and Corruption Destroyed the Joplin Tornado Recovery

I will stake my reputation on Wallace-Bajjali.

Who said that?

If you guessed former Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr, you would be absolutely correct.

Should East Middle School students been put into a warehouse school for nearly three years?

Those who read the Turner Report regularly know that a federal report showed that the old East Middle School suffered only minor damage (except for the auditorium and gymnasium) and could have been ready by the August 17, 2011, deadline. However, there was also another option, a much more suitable building, near the East site that was offered to the Joplin R-8 School District and would have only cost a dollar instead of the $36,000 a month it cost to rent the warehouse.

With Wallace-Bajjali skipping town and people on the Joplin Globe Facebook site wondering if anyone is ever going to tell the story of what has happened to Joplin since the tornado and how the feel-good story of people who were helping themselves and not looking for government handouts turned into a multi-million dollar story of elected officials, administrators, and non-elected business leaders raiding the taxpayer's coffers, I am happy to note once again that the story is going to be told.

"Silver Lining from a Funnel Cloud" was the inappropriate way former Joplin R-8 Assistant Superintendent Angie Besendorfer referred to the changes that the school district was able to make following the tornado. She has used that phrase over and over again, including in front of teachers just three days after the storm.

She isn't the only one who saw an opportunity arise out of the rubble, but her phrase was the title I selected for my new book- Silver Lining from a Funnel Cloud, with the subtitle How Greed and Corruption Destroyed the Joplin Tornado Recovery.

The book uses primary and secondary sources, court records, government documents, and the first person accounts given by some of those whose names have been tied to the tornado recovery since the beginning to tell the story of what has happened to Joplin from May 22, 2011, to the present.

A sneak preview of the first 50 pages of the book in e-book format will be provided approximately February 20 to those who are current subscribers to the Turner Report (referring to those who have paid the $30 fee for an annual subscription or those who have the old $10 quarterly subscriptions) for subscriptions. Current subscribers who make a donation of $20 will receive the paperback when it is published, which will be shortly after the City of Joplin's state audit is released. That is expected  to occur around the end of March or the beginning of April.

Anyone making a donation of $50 or more to the Turner Report, will receive the 50-page preview in February and a signed copy of the book once it is published. Those who are already subscribers and who donate $20, which will be the cost of the book, will receive a signed copy of the paperback.

Those who do not wish to use credit cards and PayPal can mail their subscriptions or donations to 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin, MO 64801.

And as always, further developments in the city of Joplin and in the Joplin R-8 School District can be followed on the Turner Report.
Those wishing to make donations should use the top button, while those subscribing can use the bottom button. Thanks.

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Anonymous said...

Randy, is the book going to be on Amazon once you publish?

Randy said...

Yes, it will be.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Turner,

All this time you have been exposing the truth using documents and court reports, and you have endured the scorn of Joplin's corrupt elite and their blind followers. Some of us knew you were right, and we also were scorned here. But the truth will out, as it has now. I hope you sell thousands of books. I know I will buy one. Thank you for what you have done to inform the city and the patrons of the R8 School District. They owe you much more than the price of a book, but that's a start.

Anonymous said...

I agree 9:16 totally. Will info from audit be in book. Can't wait. Hope everyone in joplin buys one for sure. I will be happy to donate one to Obama. Lol

Anonymous said...

Maybe that should say the "Green Lining" after a tornado. LOL