Thursday, December 29, 2016

Diamond sex scandal, Blasters lawsuit, my triple bypass vacation among top April 2016 posts

In April 2016, I did something I probably should have done a long time ago.

I have never really taken a vacation. While I was teaching, even on my breaks, I was either attending seminars allegedly designed to benefit the education Joplin R-8 and Diamond R-4 students were receiving, or I was working on my books and my blogs.

While I was working at the Carthage Press and the Lamar Democrat, I was notorious for continuing to cover some events while I was on my vacation and sneaking in almost every night after everyone had gone home and working on some new project or another that I wanted to implement when I was back on my regular schedule.

A psychiatrist would probably have a field day with the way I have used my vacations. I always said it was because I loved what I did so much.. I was lucky enough for 36 years to be able to go to work every day at a job I love, whether it was in education or in journalism. So that is one explanation.

Of course, there was always the fear that no matter how much I believed I had accomplished working in newspapers or in schools that when I was gone, people would suddenly realize how easy it was to get along without me.

And when I start looking into that, I start thinking about another part of my work record. For the first 26 years I worked, through my entire time in newspapers and my four years at Diamond Middle School, I never missed a day of work, not one day. I had to leave early one day in 1979, when I was the editor of the Lockwood Luminary-Golden City Herald, but otherwise I did not miss a day until I was hospitalized right before Christmas 2003 during my first year at Joplin South Middle School. I only missed one day that time. Though I was encouraged by the principal to take the week before Christmas off, I was hospitalized Thursday night and was back to work Monday morning.

After that, I only missed three more days- when I had a pacemaker implanted in 2011.

Four days in 36 years. I prefer to think of it as a strong work ethic, but who knows? When people miss work, business goes on. The Carthage Press, Lamar Democrat, and Newton County News have all continued to publish without my contributions, and not one child lost out on an education when I left the Diamond and Joplin schools.

So in April 2016, nearly 39 years after I started working for the Newton County News, I finally took a real vacation from work.

For one week, I did not work on the Turner Report, Inside Joplin, Inside Joplin Obituaries. or on one of my books.

I got away from it all.

I finally did what people had been telling me to do for years, but even then I screwed it up.

I spent most of that week flat on my back, not allowed to sit up and have much movement of any kind, as the doctors at the Heart Institute at Freeman prepared me for triple bypass surgery after I suffered a mild heart attack.

For a full seven days, there were no posts on any of my blogs....and life went on as usual.

Yes, there were many people, and I appreciate them all, who were concerned and wanted to know why I had vanished off the face of the earth and why the blogs were not being updated, but life continued. No one missed a beat just because there was no alternative news source to the Joplin Globe.
Hopefully, that will not happen again any time soon.

Despite that, the month of April 2016 was a busy one for the Turner Report, including my April 29 account of why I had missed that week.

The month also featured plenty of news that appeared first on this blog and in some cases, did not appear at all elsewhere.

That included a wrongful death lawsuit involving an accident that killed a Diamond teenager, a sex scandal and criminal charges against a member of the Diamond R-4 Board of Education, a breach of contract suit against the Joplin Blasters, and plenty of R-8 news.

And that is just the stories that made the Top 10.

Among those that did not reach the top, Joplin Mayor Michael Seibert's claim that there was nothing wrong with the process that brought Wallace Bajjali to Joplin and a complete examination through public records of the sale of Empire District Electric Company to a foreign firm,

Once again, as with the posts on January, February, and March's top stories, there are PayPal buttons below if you believe the work that is done on the Turner Report, Inside Joplin, and Inside Joplin Obituaries deserves your financial support in any amount. For those who would prefer not to use PayPal or a credit card, you can send your contributions to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G., Joplin, MO. 64801.

The Top 10 for April, a couple of extras, and the links to  Wednesday's posts for January, February, and March are posted below.

1. Parents of Diamond teen killed in accident file wrongful death lawsuit

2. Diamond School Board member charged with statutory rape

3. Seven Joplin R-8 teachers resign, one retires

4. Affidavit: Diamond Board member had sex with teen twice at his home

5. Fired R-8 employee's attorney to get a crack at Tina Smith

6. My open heart surgery and a few announcements

7. Joplin R-8 Board accepts 16 resignations, hires 4 teachers

8. Breach of contract lawsuit filed against Joplin Blasters

9. R-8 Board hires Ridder for second year, does not renew four certified contracts

10. Parents upset about R-8 attorney's romance with supeirntendent

And some extras:

Seibert: There was nothing wrong with the way Wallace Bajjali was selected

Anatomy of a merger: SEC document details Empire District Electric sale

From yesterday:

Threats of school shooting, superintendent's love affair top March 2016 posts

Resignation of two R-8 principals, memories of T. J. Bowman top February 2016 posts

KOAM departure, Zach Williams protest, $3.5 million lawsuit among top January 2016 posts

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Anonymous said...

Obsess about the R-8 much?

Randy said...

I write about it and a lot of people read it. What's your problem?

Anonymous said...

The majority of your posts are about the R-8, with many of them having sarcastic or purposely slanted headlines. A blind man could see your fixation with the School District. I wonder, how many articles you did about the R-8 when you were working there? I’m sure it was considerably less, even though you claim to be an “investigative reporter”. Essentially your blog consists of your so called reporting on the R-8 and copying and pasting press releases from the City of Joplin or from Jeff City.

It's very entertaining..