(From July 23, 2013)
During that time, I posted stories about speaking engagements by such local notables as City Manager Mark Rohr, Fire Chief Mitch Randles, Emergency Director Kent Stammer, and Joplin R-8 Assistant Superintendent Angie Besendorfer.
I made it a practice when I knew about these speaking engagements to run the stories before, then to check afterwards and see if there were any articles or YouTube videos and to post them or links to them, also.
A few months after the tornado, I received an e-mail from Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff politely asking me not to run any more posts before his speaking engagements because he "had received threats" and he was "worried" about his family.
I never asked about the nature of those threats and I have never heard anything about them since. At that point, I stopped running posts before the speaking engagements, though I continued to follow the practice of publicizing the speeches of other officials before and after they occurred and I publicized Dr. Huff's speeches afterward, whenever possible.
I wonder now if the superintendent's e-mail had more to do with the revelation in the Joplin Schools Watch blog that he is paid $8,000 per speech through the Washington Speakers Bureau. I would imagine not, though, since there is absolutely nothing illegal about doing that and I am sure Dr. Huff would want everyone to know that he is spreading the word of Joplin nationwide.
Since I assume whatever threats were being made against Dr. Huff and/or his family have dissipated over the past couple of years, I will try to let Turner Report readers know when he, or any other Joplin official, tells the story of our city and our schools.
It is great to see the spirit of Joplin being spread across the nation.