Nov 10 2007

I stumbled upon this report of an interesting case in today's KNS.


At the end of Friday's hearing, the Roseburghs presented Judge David Duggan of Blount County General Sessions court with sworn statements in which they asked the judge to order the arrests of Assistant District Attorney Clinton Frazier, Circuit Court Judge W. Dale Young and three members of the state agriculture department staff on myriad charges ranging from false imprisonment and kidnapping to suborning perjury, stalking, extortion, making false statements in official documents, official oppression, retaliation for past actions, civil-rights intimidation and more.

This couple and their grand jury ( adventures? ) in Blount county over selling plants is really interesting. If you can skip the religious comments and issues around the case it is really fascinating. Duggan declined by the way.

So, the case is one issue. The other is why am I reading this in the KNS and not in the Daily Times? What is going on down there? Are yee all 'Judged' out on us or what?

They probably didn't think

They probably didn't think it was newsworthy. I tend to agree. More sad than anything.

The KNS never misses an opportunity to make surrounding communities seem more backwoods than Knoxville. Maybe overcompensating for some self-esteem issues because they have commissioners named Lumpy and Scooby who behave pretty much like their names sound.

Notice how it was the front page feature of the Local section? I'm surprised Jamie Satterfield didn't write it (with apologies to Robert Wilson).

I like Robert Wilson

He is very much a nice guy to chat with. Always pleasant to say hello and correspond..... As for the flowers, well I bought my flowers from for a few years. They used to sell thier flowers at thier house on the corner behind the old food city building. Then had some problems because of horn and plenty complaining. So they moved down the street to raise them on a vacant lot. But I will have to agree with them. What's the difference then going way down past the county line on 411 and see the 365 days a year tag sales? There are alot of other things that should have caught eyes and ears of the county. But growing and selling flowers is bad. Maybe it was the traffic? maybe they were getting repeat customers and buying more then the store down the road? Having to get a liscence to sell maybe? But for all honestly, even growing hay and straw the government is taking that to the extreme. I thought the flowers helped beautify the house. My opinion.

Wright Article Retraction? Very Hot at The DT!!!!

Business Editor Rick Laney of The Maryville Daily Times called to notify Kathy Wright that The Maryville Daily Times MANAGEMENT (i.e. F. Max Crotser) is retracting the Kathy Wright story in its morning edition on Nov. 11, 2007. Rick told his editors that out of "personal obligation," he would be contacting Kathy so that she would not be blind-sighted by the retraction coming from The Daily Times MANAGEMENT. Rick Laney has told the editors of The Maryville Daily Times that he believes in the story, believes it is well-documented and does not believe there is reason for a retraction.

Mr. Laney further informed KW that the retraction coming from The Maryville Daily Times MANAGEMENT is not because of errors in Rick's story, but because of the threat of a lawsuit involving a group of lawyers-James C. Wright and the firm Butler, Vines, and Babb. In fact, on Friday, November 9, 2007, Rick Laney personally walked over and put directly into the hands of Attorney Carl McDonald of the Law Firm of Goddard and Gamble (who represent The Maryville Daily Times) court records and documents received from yours truly-attorney Thomas F. Mabry- including a Motion for Summary Judgment, a Knox County Grand Jury Indictment, a True Bill evidencing and documenting facts of abuse against Kathy Wright by James C. Wright, and court transcripts of the Order of Protection hearing; documents which were and are present in the Wright file and which Order of Protection (including the abuse allegations since there were present in the file) were heard before Judge W. Dale Young.

Rick Laney is not associated with the retraction in any form or fashion. The Law firm of Goddard and Gamble who represent the Maryville Daily Times publicly endorsed Judge W. Dale Young by placing an ad in the DT during the last election.

The documents mentioned in this comment exist in my file at my office as Kathy Wright's court file was copied in its entirety and all documents available for review if someone can tell me how to post them on this site.

Thomas F. Mabry
P. O. Box 52385
Knoxville, TN 37950

Fax 1-888-215-3119
Phone 1-865-271-9224

What? And I just bought a subscription!!

If the story was true, why would they retract? I mean, would they say "We sincerely apologize for our story, which was true, but we don't want to be sued so we hereby retract it"? How would that affect the reputation (and case) of the lady the article was talking about?

Don't newspapers get threatened with lawsuits all the time? You'd think they'd shrug it off. I mean, if the DT can't take the heat, they should get out of the kitchen and go back to printing press releases from the Sherriff and whatever else "the machine" wants Blount County to believe.

The last few months, the DT has been acting like a real newspaper. I'm going to have to see this one before I'll believe it.

Flowers and Roseburghs

I suppose I have a basic disagreement with RNeal -- respectfully -- over the newsworthiness of the Roseburgh story in Saturday's News Sentinel.

First, in an effort to establish my street cred, let me say that what I am writing here is based on 38 years as a professional newspaperman, almost half of that in newsroom middle management. Among the things I learned in that time is that newsworthiness can come in more than one form.

Some things are news because they relate an event of interest, a plane crash with great loss of life, for instance, or the death of Elvis, which is probably for me the biggest story I will ever work on. I was music editor at the afternoon newspaper in Memphis 1977.

Other things are newsworthy because they relate things an informed public simply needs to know, such as a county commission making deals and decisions out of the public view.

And some stories are newsworthy simply for what has been called the "Hey, Martha factor." As in, "Hey Martha, did you see this in the newspaper?" These stories rarely have a great effect on modern culture, they do not mark a turning point for civilization and there will not be any footnotes in fututre history books about it.

I submit that my story on the Roseburghs is one of these. I further submit that anytime government comes into conflict with even one couple's religious beliefs, people may (should) want to know about it. It is not designed to somehow portray Blount Countians -- of whom I am one -- as hicks or rubes. The intent is simply to tell these people's story, accurately and as objectively as possible. I believe I have accomplished that.

As to the whole concept of newsworthiness, that is a judgment call we in the newspaper business are called on to make every day. As a matter of fact, our readers depend on us to make that call for them. Or else every story would have the same size headline and appear on the same page, which is, of course, impossible.

Will the Roseburgh's case change the course of mankind. Probably not. It will, though, probably change the life course of this couple, merely because of the way they choose to worship their God. And, yes, I think that's newsworthy.

For the record, I now cover Blount County for the News Sentinel as an independent contractor.

Robert Wilson

Robert, thanks for your

Robert, thanks for your comments. I understand and appreciate your point of view, and appreciate your coverage of Blount Co. for the KNS.

New facts have emerged that put the story and its coverage or non-coverage in a different light. Regardless, I still say the whole thing is just sad. And these people need the proper permits and certifications to conduct business, regardless of their religious beliefs, just like everybody else.


The Daily Times are a poor excuse for a paper. Don't count on any more investigative reporting. The Daily Times is obviously in with the republican crowd, had to suck the realtors %^&$# when they did an article about the real-life declining housing market, and now they chicken out with a retraction because of a threatening lawsuit. Where's the kourthouse kronicle when you need it? C'mon editors at the Daily Times, do some REAL reporting, not what others tell you to do...

No, they simply should avoid tabloid journalism.

Well, apparently the Daily Times disagreed with Mr. Laney as they cited “errors in an article.” Perhaps Mr. Laney told the paper one thing and told Ms. Wright another. I wonder if he contacted Judge Young before he ran the hit-piece about his allegedly telling an illegal alien to go home. I wonder if Mr. Laney was worried about the Judge being “blindsided.” Probably not.


This is in defense of RL not

This is in defense of RL not to start all the JY crap up again.

"I wonder if he contacted Judge Young before he ran the hit-piece about his allegedly telling an illegal alien to go home."

The judge’s statement ends with, “Mrs. Calixto is in the United States of America under the auspices of a “work visa” which has expired. She does not have any appropriate documentation which allows her to remain legally in the United States of America. Mrs. Calixto cannot establish domicile and/or residence in Tennessee because she cannot stay here legally and she must return to her home country.”


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