Monday, June 29, 2015
Updates on Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud, new retail outlets coming
I had a great time talking about the book and hearing stories and taking questions about Joplin's city government and the Joplin R-8 School District.
I told two stories that were slightly embarrassing to me, both of which should damage any reputation I might have as an investigative reporter.
The first one I have mentioned previously on the blog. Chad Hayworth, publisher of the Newton County News, called me about an investigation his newspaper was doing about the superintendent of the Seneca school district. who as it turns out had been accepting $5,000 a month from a company he recommended to his district. Hayworth told me that the superintendent had put nothing about his extra pay on his Missouri Ethics Commission disclosure form.
That stunned me. Until that very moment, I had no idea that superintendents and chief financial officers of school districts had to disclose their outside income.
Some investigative reporter.
The other story was about a key point in Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud where MODOT, after coming under criticism, especially from City Manager Mark Rohr, about closing its Joplin location, announced that it was giving the building to the R-8 School District to use as a school and that MODOT employees were happy that it was going to be used as a school. On the same day that announcement was made, the school district issued a news release saying the MODOT building would be used to house administration 9and, of course, Bright Futures).
I would love to say that I uncovered this information through brilliant investigative work. I actually found it on the Turner Report and did not even know it was there. It was a MODOT video I had posted. Apparently, I did not pay attention to the whole thing because I would have remembered that. The school that would likely have been placed in the MODOT building was East , which instead, was forced to be in a warehouse in a far cotner of the district, next door to an aromatic dog food factory.
Tomorrow, I will deliver copies of Silver Lining to Changing Hands Book Shoppe in Joplin and Pat's Books in Carthage. The book is already available at Always Buying Books in Joplin and is available in paperback and e-book formats from Amazon.com, which you can access through the links below.