Saturday, October 05, 2019

My apology for a horrific mistake I made, thoughts on new Highway Patrol policy, plus this week's most visited posts

When I make errors I try to admit them and correct them as quickly as possible.

Sometimes those errors are minor ones and cause few problems and people do not even realize they had been made before they are corrected.

Every once in a while, I make an error that could cause considerable damage and that is what happened with the post that was the most visited post this week on the Turner Report.

The post concerned a Carterville man who was charged with making a terroristic threat when he said he would shoot the city's water clerk in the head after a dispute about a shutoff notice.

I typed the probable cause statement on the post and then edited it to remove the names of the water clerk and the social worker who called Carterville City Hall in an effort to see what could be done about the situation. The threat was made after that conversation ended. When the man left the social worker's office, the social worker called 911 to report the threat.

The post was made late in the evening and the next day I was in Lamar much of the day doing some research at the Barton County Historical Society Museum, so I was not checking my e-mail or the blog comments.

When I returned to Joplin, I discovered that while my intention was to remove every mention of the social worker's name, I had missed the first instance in which it was used in the probable cause statement, creating a possibility that the man could find her and retaliate for turning him in.

I received an e-mail and a blog comment about that, both of them rightly upset I had posted her name.

I was horrified to discover my error and quickly removed the mention, hoping that it would be better late than never.

There is no excuse for me not making absolutely certain the social worker's name was removed from the post.

I am genuinely sorry for my error and will work to make sure it does not happen again.

Highway Patrol policy on not naming juveniles in accident reports

While I am in favor of keeping information such as witnesses' names out of posts, I cannot agree with other efforts to remove names from the public record.

The Missouri Highway Patrol has implemented a new policy in which it does not list the names of juveniles who are involved in traffic accidents.

I understand the reasoning behind not listing the names in criminal cases, but this is entirely different.

As a case in point, consider this week's most visited Inside Joplin post, published earlier today, on a traffic accident in which a 16-year-old Carthage boy, unnamed due to the new policy, was killed, and another seriously injured.

While I am sure, it did not take long for the names of those boys to be revealed through social media. When you post the news that a 16-year-old Carthage boy was killed and a 15-year-old Carthage boy seriously injured, you have a lot of people who know Carthage teens who wonder if it might have been them.

You also increase the odds that social media, which often finds a way to warp the truth, will get the story wrong. An official Highway Patrol report, even though even those sometimes contain errors, provides basic information.

Making this information public could forewarn people who might see the relatives of the dead boy or the injured one and keep them for inadvertently saying something that could be hurtful.

It also could help people begin considering what they do to help the loved ones and friends of the two boys.

The new Highway Patrol policy is an overreach and needs to be changed, but probably will not be.

Thanks for your support

Thanks to those who have contributed to the Turner Report/Inside Joplin. Your support is much appreciated. Contributions or subscriptions can be made at the PayPal buttons below or by sending your contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. A, Joplin MO 64801.

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Book event at McDonald County Library in Pineville

I will be at the McDonald County Library's Pineville branch at 808 Bailey Road along with other regional authors 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday for the iWrite Celebration.

I will have copies of Lost Angels: The Murders of Rowan Ford and Doug Ringler and the Joplin tornado books, as well as a few of my other titles available.

The Turner Report

1. Probable cause: Carterville man, upset with his bill, threatens to shoot city water clerk in the head

2. R-8 Board reaches "separation agreement" with Joplin High School business teacher/coach

3. Sarcoxie woman who handed sex offender a condom, watched as he raped 13-year-old, sentenced to seven years in prison

4. Separation agreement: Joplin R-8 taxpayers pay a year's salary to teacher removed from classroom

5. Crossdressing meth user, tortured dog among this week's top Turner Report/Inside Joplin posts

6. Plea agreement: Former Newton County deputy to spend seven years in prison for causing blunt trauma to 2-month-old

7. Joplin man pleads guilty in federal court to marijuana manufacturing, weapons charges

8. Sarcoxie man, already under indictment on meth trafficking, weapons charges, indicted for sexually exploiting a child

9. Applications to interfere in Empire District rate hike request must be filed by November 1

10. Former KODE anchors finalists for Emmy Awards

Inside Joplin

1, Carthage teen killed, another seriously injured in crash on Harmony Road

2. Carl Junction Police: Do you know this woman?

3. Parsons man shoots seven-year-old daughter to death in murder-suicide

4. Liberal 11-year-old injured in UTV accident

5. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

6. U. S. Bankruptcy Court Petitions-Joplin

7. Jasper Police arrest crossdressing man in cemetery on meth, marijuana charges

8. Carthage Police: Do you know who these women are?

9. Meth, handgun confiscated, four arrested after SWAT serves warrant on Carl Junction home

10. Jasper County Marriage Licenses September 25-October 4

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Treaver Vanderpool

2. Cody Wolf

3. Randy Buzzard

4. Jerry Starkweather

5. Michelle Hatton

6. Corey Hailey

7. Jane Tripp

8. Josh Bullard

9. Rose Hall

10. Cheryl Poindexter

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