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Tell us we can't ...

May 22, 2008 - Lee Smith
Someone left me a phone message today (Thursday, May 22) saying the Sentinel WILL NOT print any more stories about the plowing up of a century-old cemetery near Ceylon. The only thing we can print, they said, is an apology to those who did the plowing. Well. The caller didn't leave her name, so I couldn't respond directly. Our response was in the Friday, May 23, newspaper. Namely the top story on page one, dealing with the cemetery story. Just tell us — or any newspaper — that we CAN'T do something. See how well it works. Of course, we didn't print the story just for spite. It was a follow-up to a smaller story that appeared Thursday. This one, by staffer Jennifer Brookens, included all the details and was fair, featuring both sides of the story, including comments from those who had their ancestors' tombstones removed and those who did the plowing. It remains to be seen whether the sheriff's department is going to write up any charges in the case. As for the caller's comments, we get this type of bluster now and then. Jennifer has to deal with most of it because she covers court cases, and sometimes potential cases. All we can say is back off. We're not changing our ways. We print articles involving cases that are gross misdemeanors and felonies. We do so because readers are interested and because our coverage serves as a monitoring of the court system. Citizens can't know what that system is like if they can't read about it.


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