Sunday, August 21, 2016

Big changes ahead for my blogs; new book focuses spotlight on John Hacker

After a delay of several months due to health reasons, I am finally implementing some of the changes I have planned for the Turner Report and the Inside Joplin blogs.

In addition, work is progressing nicely, after the long delay, on the new book I am doing with Carthage Press Managing Editor John Hacker.

The book was well on its way and the plans for the blogs were already taking shape when I had a heart attack in April, followed by triple bypass surgery. After a relatively smooth recovery process for the first few weeks, I suffered through a few weeks when I was unable to get my blood pressure under control.

Thankfully, the doctors have reached the right combination to keep my blood pressure under control, so over the past couple of weeks I have been working to get caught up to where I want to be.

Following is a brief summary of the latest developments with my blogs and with the book.

Inside Joplin expansion

 Since Inside Joplin was launched three years ago, it has expanded to the point where it now covers a four-county area- Jasper, Newton, Barton, and McDonald. While DWI arrests and Highway Patrol accident reports have covered the entire area, much of the rest of the coverage has been limited to items about the city of Joplin (road closures, city meeting agendas, JPD arrests, fire calls etc.) Over the next several days, you will see an increase in coverage of other communities in the four-county area, including heightened coverage of city and school news. At the same time this is being done, coverage of Joplin will continue to increase.

Though I had planned on doing this much earlier, the timing now with the Joplin Globe's continuing problems and continually smaller staffs at the other newspapers in the area, there is a need for more coverage and I plan to provide it.

Inside Joplin Obituaries

Inside Joplin Obituaries was originally conceived to be just that, obituaries that were of Joplin residents or where the deceased either had a connection to Joplin, or survivors from Joplin.

From that time, it has grown to cover the same four-county area and as of this writing, has featured 3,723 obituaries.

Turner Resports

My sports blog has been close to inactive for a few months, but with the coming of football season, it is back in swing.

As in the past, I will post as much live streaming video of high school football and other events as possible, as well as coverage of state and regional teams, including the Cardinals, Royals, Chiefs, Missouri Southern, and Mizzou.

Turner Report

The Turner Report will continue to offer news and commentary about Joplin, the surrounding area, the state of Missouri, education, and politics, including more investigative reporting than you will find from any other area news source.

Extensive coverage of courts, including civil suits and criminal cases, will continue.

I hope to offer more commentary from others in the future and anyone who has a column or letter to the editor to submit, should feel free to do so.

Inside Springfield

This blog, originally started three years ago as Inside the Ozarks, returned Saturday will offer much of the same type of coverage that is offered on the Inside Joplin blog, concentrating on Springfield and Greene County.

5:41: Five Years Later

John Hacker and I originally planned to have this book published to coincide with the five-year anniversary of the Joplin Tornado.

Though I would have preferred to have had a different reason for delaying the publication, the added time has given us an opportunity to improve the book.

Despite the headline for this blog post, the spotlight will be on those who tell their stories or those who lost their lives in the tornado.

And no one is better at telling those stories than John Hacker.

While the book will feature some articles from 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado, Spirit of Hope, and Scars from the Tornado, and a reprinting of the obituaries of those who lost their lives May 22, 2011, and in the days thereafter, the book, which right now is looking to come in at slightly over 300 pages, will be mostly filled with material that has not been in our previous books.

This includes the following:

-At least 16 pages of never before published tornado photos by Hacker.

-Hacker's coverage of the tornado, both hard news and feature.

-New survivor stories

-Updates from some people whose stories were featured in 5:41 and Spirit of Hope

-Photos from the tornado recovery period over the past five years

-Hacker's extensive coverage of the affect the tornado had on the medical community, including Mercy, Freeman, and McCune-Brooks.

-Emphasis on churches that were affected by the tornado

-Documents on the Joplin Tornado that were not included in the earlier books, from a diverse group of people, including Joe Biden, Travis Tritt, Janet Napolitano, Arne Duncan, Barbara Boxer, and Billy Long,

-Donald Trump standing up for the City of Joplin

-Roy Blunt tells the world how wonderful Mike Woolston is

-Much, much more

We are hoping to have the book in Joplin by mid-October.

Turner Report/Inside Joplin contributions

Thanks to those of you who have continued to support this new type of community journalism. Thanks to you I have been able to expand coverage and keep up with the news despite my setbacks over the past few months.

Unfortunately, while the Turner Report and Inside Joplin are reaching an average of 5,000 unique visitors per day and Inside Joplin Obituaries' readership has increased to about 2,500 per day, only a small portion of the readership is paying the freight.

While the Joplin Globe's price for a one-year subscription hovers around the $200 mark, a subscription to the Turner Report/Inside Joplin is $30 a year, $3 a month, or $1 a week.

You can also contribute any amount from $1 to $10,000 (I haven't had anyone take me up on that one) depending on how much you can afford and how much you believe in the service these blogs are offering.

This can be done at the PayPal buttons below or the one on the upper right hand side of this page.

Those who prefer not to use PayPal or a credit card, can send their subscriptions or contributions to 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin, MO 64801

Current subscribers and those who subscribe or contribute prior to the publication date of 5:41: Five Years Later, will receive a special e-book preview of the book before it reaches the Joplin area. If you send your contribution or subscription through the mail, please be sure to include your e-mail address.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Payment options


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your hard work, Randy. I've really enjoyed your blogs - along with literally thousands of other people - and am glad you are expanding your work even more.
Stay healthy and keep it up!

Anonymous said...

How about some more positive news like JOMO Restaurant week etc...

Anonymous said...

So you can either pay $200 a year to have the articles and photographs of more than a dozen professional, objective journalists delivered to your doorstep daily, or you can pay $30 a year to read the slanted ramblings of an ex-teacher with an agenda and no regard for journalistic ethics. Put in that context, does it still sound like a bargain?