Posted on

Responsibility to work, community

My Opinion
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor

A few stories last week made me think about responsibility.
One came out of Hardin, Texas, after a woman who claimed to be a psychic called police to report a mass grave that contained about a dozen bodies.
Police reacted appropriately, by checking it out. It wouldn’t be the first time the remains of a mass murderer had been found.
Thankfully, nothing was found to substantiate what the woman told them.
If only the media had taken a more cautious approach. Instead, several news sources reported that there were, indeed, dead bodies found in the town about 70 miles east of Houston. One TV network said it had a source confirming at least 20 bodies.
Has social media outlets and competition made news reporters that anxious to be first in breaking news that they would jump the gun before making sure the facts were there to substantiate the psychic’s claim?
We here at O’Bannon Publishing Co. usually have the luxury of time in gathering information and checking sources before the newspaper is printed each week.
However, there are instances when no amount of time will allow us to report ongoings in the community. That’s because no one will go on the record with us about a situation.
A prime example recently took place regarding an employee who no longer has his job. I have spoken with the person as well as those who were in a position to keep him.
Because I live in the community, I have heard many reasons about why this person is no longer employed. However, until a credible source comes forward, on the record, about what actually happened, or until the individual decides to tell his side of the story, there’s nothing for us to report. Believe me, we would be more than happy to lay any rumors to rest.
This isn’t the first time that the newspaper has been asked to get the truth out, but we don’t decide the truth; we report it, which means we have to have someone, whom we believe without a doubt, tell us the details.
I believe we also have a responsibility to praise others when appropriate. Three recent events come to mind.
One is those who helped collect money, as well as everyone who financially contributed, to this year’s WHAS Crusade for Children. Without each person doing their part, the money available to help children in need wouldn’t be as great. And whether it’s a 6-year-old girl named Hallie Shelton who decided she could sell baked goods that netted $137.45 or a large foundation, like that of Republic Bank, that steps up and gives $180,000 just so this year’s Crusade total exceeds last year’s amount, it all is appreciated by those families who benefit.
Another is those who renovated a familiar landmark in Corydon that had gone by the wayside into a place where a new generation of children can make memories. Rice Island, which was first an athletic site for schoolchildren when the school was downtown then later a place for softball/baseball league play, was known by most folks in the county. But it was abandoned about six years ago and fell into a disheveled mess.
But, along came a new group of kids, spearheaded by Matthew Paul, who was on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, who saw potential in what remained. Out of rubble came a place for the First Capital Soccer Club to offer another outlet for children to learn a sport and get some exercise while doing it.
Which brings me to the third accomplishment recently that deserves praise. That’s the DestiNation Imagination team at Lanesville Junior-Senior High School. The students ‘ Tyler Best, Rachel Butler, Vince Cecil, Michael Combs, Emily Kennedy, Joe Kissel and Lynn Schulze ‘ won first place against 60 other teams from all over the world in the Secondary Level Division.
Wow! What an accomplishment by the team coached by Rebecca Taylor.
It often seems that the world, including the media, puts sports ahead of academics. We know that a career founded on knowledge generally lasts longer than one’s body can hold up under a vigorous schedule in a sports arena.
So, hats off to the Sell It Studio team. We feel confident that each DI team member will go out into the world after high school to be responsible individuals.
It doesn’t take any psychic to know true leaders.