JEFFERSON CITY – A Cole County/Jefferson City government report issued Monday says more than 600 buildings were destroyed or damaged during the May 22, 2019 tornado that hit the capital city.
The total includes 516 residences, 82 commercial structures, and 30 government buildings. The tornado hit Jefferson City late at night after it began near Eldon, Mo., traveling 32 miles before ending its devastating path of destruction. Although many residents suffered injuries, no lives were lost during the F-3 tornado.
JEFFERSON CITY – It’s a mess. That’s the obvious consensus as water from a major flooding event slowly retreat. On Tuesday, government employees joined private contractors north of the Missouri River, where damage to roads, businesses, and the airport continue to be assessed.
As of Tuesday afternoon, much of the Jefferson City Memorial Airport remained flooded. A truck was making a futile effort to blade water from the main runway and workers were busy gutting the water-soaked remains of the first floor of a flying service building.
West of the airport, crews were working on the few dry patches of a flooded Cedar City Drive. The MFA Agri Services grounds remained inaccessible due to high water. Parks and trails were also closed.
The National Weather Service on Wednesday predicted the Missouri River to fall from a mark of 30 feet (major flooding) on June 14 to 27 feet (moderate flooding) on June 20.
JEFFERSON CITY – Riders in the annual coast-to-coast bicycle race known as Race Across America (RAAM) are rolling through central Missouri this week. Considered to be one of the toughest road races in North America, RAAM riders compete against each other in solo and teams trying to be the first to ride from Oceanside, Calif. to Annapolis, Md.
Riders from more than 35 countries attempt the 3,000-mile course each year. Successful bikers can complete the course in less than two weeks. On Tuesday, the Clarion’s drone photographed cyclist Philip Amhof as he pedaled along U.S. 50 in Gasconade County. Amhof, 39, of Switzerland, left California June 11, covering about 2,000 miles in a week and suffering desert heat, mountains, and severe weather.
RAAM began 36 years ago and has been a popular challenge for amateurs and professional bikers. Many raise money and awareness for charities.
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- The annual True Blue Awards took place on Monday, April 29 2019 in Richardson Auditorium. The event highlights the best of LU’s athletics. The following is a list of winners:
2018-2019 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Samantha Van Dort
Women’s Indoor Track
Women’s Outdoor Track
Men’s Indoor Track
Men’s Outdoor Track
2018-2019 True Blue Athlete
Women’s Indoor Track
Women’s Outdoor Track
Men’s Indoor Track
Men’s Outdoor Track
2018-2019 Donor of the Year
2018-2019 Training Room Award
2018-2019 Sports Performance Athlete of the Year
2018-2019 Athlete of the Year
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Lincoln sophomore Camryn Pryor was named to the All-MIAA second team while junior Jordan Lawson was selected as an All-MIAA honorable mention, as the conference office announced its All-MIAA softball team on Wednesday (May 1).
Pryor, who was honored for her play at first base, shattered Lincoln’s single-season hitting record with 60 hits on the season. Pryor hit .392 for the year and .407 against NCAA Division II opponents while finishing the season with 20 RBI and 19 runs scored. Pryor, who posted the MIAA’s seventh-best batting average while tying for ninth in the league in total hits, had eight doubles, three home runs and a triple, and compiled an on-base percentage of .409. As a fielder, Pryor made 188 putouts and ended the year with a .985 fielding percentage.
This is the third All-MIAA honorable mention award for Lawson, an outfielder who hit .312 for the season and led the Blue Tigers with 24 runs scored. Lawson finished second on the team with 48 hits, including 10 doubles, two triples and a pair of home runs, and recorded an on-base percentage of .361. Lawson additionally led the Blue Tigers with a .991 fielding percentage, making 95 putouts and 18 assists.
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The end of the spring 2019 regular semester schedule ends Friday, May 3 and final exams begin Monday, May 6. Students will be cramming and scrambling as they prepare for the last exams of the semester.
JEFFERSON CITY- A representative from the Missouri Attorney General’s office visited LU’s campus Friday morning. Casey Lawrence, director of Sunshine Law Compliance and Records Management, explained her job and fielded questions from professor Will Sites’ JOU 370 public relations class. Lawrence covered a number of topics, including her education and the path she took to get to her position. She completed an internship and worked as an analyst before assuming her current position within the state’s top law enforcement office. She also explained the Sunshine Law, which establishes that certain government data and documents be available upon reasonable request – something that journalism students need to understand before entering the field. Lawrence answered questions concerning the request protocol for obtaining documents, consequences of violating the law, and the distinction between documents that are legally open (or closed) to journalists. Some documents, such as personnel, health records, litigation, and real estate may be closed to the public. She also assured students that a journalism degree could be a gateway to many state jobs that require communication, like record keeping or analysis. Most states have some variation on the Sunshine Law. More information on it can be found through the Missouri Attorney General’s website at https://ago.mo.gov/
JEFFERSON CITY -The Marching Musical Storm had Dwight T. Reed Stadium rocking as the 2019 spring game commenced. The Blue team won 43-40 with standout performances from Ja’Juan Chambers and Vontavious Thacker. This was a chance for the Blue Tiger Nation to watch their new team.
The offensive and defensive sides for the Blue Tigers were led by LU’s assistants while head coach Steven Smith oversaw the scrimmage. Coach Smith was proud of his team’s effort and emphasized to them, “We have to be mentally strong to win games.”
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – President Woolfolk announced on Friday that commencement exercises for the May 2019 graduates will take place at Dwight T. Reed Stadium, returning to a tradition that was replaced in 2017 when graduation was moved to the LINC. Students have been advocating for the switch.
May graduation will take place at 10 a.m. on May 11, 2019. More information coming soon in the Clarion News.
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The Lincoln University football team is back to the grind! Before practice began, I interviewed Hasan Muhammad-Rogers, a junior free safety from Chicago, about the upcoming season. “This spring we have been focusing on playing mistake-free football and competing at a high level to put together a good season,” said Rogers.
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Students enjoyed a beautiful Wednesday on the quad enjoying the annual Ag Club Petting Zoo. Katahdin sheep, shorthorn cattle, and royal palm turkeys were among the four-legged and feathered animals on display. Visitors were encouraged to touch and interact with the non-human participants, many of which are important to Missouri agriculture.
JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) held its annual event Wednesday in the Capitol rotunda. The goal was to advocate for legislation aiding the department’s current and future preservation plans.
The day’s event included several displays on the third floor rotunda showcasing the MDC’s efforts throughout the state. Department professionals answered questions on topics such as wild bird rehabilitation and other issues relevant to the public enjoyment of wildlife and the outdoors. A bald eagle was part of a live demonstration of Missouri’s wide array of wildlife.
Conservation bills being considered in the legislature this session cover the department’s budget, taxes, land grants, and rules on animals born in captivity.
HERMANN – Relentless rain and melting snow in the Upper Midwest is bringing the curious to the banks of the Missouri River. In this Gasconade County community known for its deep German heritage and the wine that followed it, the early spring focus is on the rising river that has always been respected, never tamed.
Upstream in the northwest corner of the Show-Me-State, a state of emergency is providing relief to Missouri River communities long under the mighty wrath and current of the Big Muddy. Both town and country have recently been destroyed by this longest river in America. Not thanks to climate change or politics, but by record snowfall and the rains that are melting it. The river’s rise – like many slow-moving natural disasters – is a magnet to locals and not-so-locals alike.
“This is a beautiful river, but it has to be respected,” said Ron Holman, a tourist from Indiana watching the river at Hermann’s riverfront park. “I’ve always been in love with the Missouri (River).” Monday afternoon, he was curious about the river’s future rise-and-fall trend.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) watches and reports the official river gauge, used by tugboats and others making a living on the Missouri. Locals look at long-established landmarks – boat ramps, railroad tracks, parking lots – and generations of experience.
“I wouldn’t worry about it just yet,” said one older man watching the water from the riverfront park. “Not yet.”
On Monday, the folks at NOAA reported the river to be in moderate flood at 28 feet. The river has a few more feet to rise before things get serious. For now, life goes on in Hermann and other communities downstream towards Washington and beyond. The forecast, it seems, calls for sitting by the river, watching the Big Muddy roll on and on and on.
A car became engulfed in flames at about 1 p.m. Monday near Dunklin and Lee streets, blocking traffic to the Dawson Hall and Page Library parking lots. Jefferson City fire and police blocked the scene until about 1:45 p.m.
The car appeared to suffer severe damage. No injuries were reported. (Photo by Ashton Greene/Clarion News)
SULLIVAN, Mo. – Last week’s closing of a Franklin County Steak ‘n Shake adds to a growing list of more than 30 restaurants the chain has shuttered since January due to poor performance and a shift in ownership strategy. About one-third of the closings have occurred in the St. Louis region, including Ballwin, Chesterfield, Ellisville, St. Ann, and Maryland Heights.
According to published news reports, Steak ‘n Shake has about 600 locations, with about 200 being owned by franchisees. The Indianapolis-based company announced last August that it plans to sell the remaining 400 under a franchisor-franchisee agreement. The Sullivan store is corporate-owned and could reopen if a new ownership agreement is reached.
The company says its plan is to sell corporate locations under an agreement similar to other chain restaurants. The idea is to turn Steak ‘n Shake into an owner-manager model, with a local franchisee owning and focusing on only one restaurant. The plan calls for company-owned restaurants to be sold to franchisees for $10,000 each, with profits being split and the property/equipment leased from Steak ‘n Shake.
In a 2018 letter to shareholders, parent corporate owner Sardar Biglari of Biglari Hodlings said recent times have been rough for Steak ‘n Shake. “For the past three years, we have been in decline, with same-store sales below the average for the industry,” wrote Biglari.
The company acknowledges that the current interior kitchen design and management style was unprepared for a significant shift from quick-serve family dining to drive-thru, which now accounts for slightly more than half of all revenue. Future plans include new equipment, quicker drive-thru service, and improved customer relations.
The closed locations will presumably remain inactive until new ownership agreements are reached. Efforts to reach a Steak ‘n Shake spokesperson were unsuccessful.
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – On Saturday, March 23, students highlighted their skills as entrepreneurs at the Young Business Expo held in Jason Gym. Both students and alumni attended the event, selling their goods and services and testing their mettle as business owners.
The range of products included clothing, cosmetics, and personal training. The students are serious enough about their products to include unique logos and business cards.
,Whether attending school or already graduated, the entrepreneurs are motivated and ready for the professional marketplace. Not just in the goods they provide, but in bringing a positive message to the world at large. Exhibiting his “New True” clothing line, entrepreneur Brandon Hunter hopes to promote a positive image of self-love for his customers.
“There’s two parts to my business,” Hunter said. “There’s ‘New True’ media and “New True” clothing. The clothing is based on self-love, letting yourself know you’re important, and being true to yourself.” That is what Hunter believes his clothing line is all about – being a new you everyday by learning from past mistakes and being true to who you are.
While others agree with Hunter, some have decided to take a more introspective approach. Professionally known as Renzo Scorsaize, the former Lincoln student set out to creating a clothing line with his brand GUDPPL (good people). After graduation, Scorsaize decided to invest his time into fashion – something he’s always felt passionate about.
Other entrepreneurs at the expo brought their own touches to their businesses. With many already dedicated to beauty services, it was important for each to find their voice. Tailer Bevly spotlighted Gwen’s Dollhouse, a boutique selling clothing and accessories and named in honor of her grandmother, who passed away during Christmas. According to Bevly, it was her grandmother that inspired her to never give up and to always pursue her dreams.
Ultimately the expo was an exercise in what young people could do to contribute to the market in both commerce and positivity. “Get addicted to bettering yourself,” says the expo’s personal trainer Kat Langley. With that in mind, each entrepreneur made sure that they brought their offerings were both inspiring and practical.
QUINCY, Ill. – The Lincoln softball team notched 14 hits, including three by Jordan Lawson, but Quincy prevailed in a pair of games on Wednesday (March 27). The Hawks won the first game, 10-3, and took the second game, 9-1.
The Blue Tigers struck first in the opener, bringing in three runs in the third inning on three hits. Gabi McGinty and Paige Parker led the frame off with consecutive hits, and an error allowed Lawson to safely get on board and load the bases. That set up Camryn Pryor, who provided the third hit of the inning with a single into center field, bringing home McGinty for a 1-0 Lincoln lead. Rachael Balke drove in Parker with a ground-out in the next at-bat, and another QU error allowed Lawson to score for a 3-0 LU advantage.
Quincy (13-13) answered with a two-out rally in the bottom half of the third, taking the lead with six runs on seven hits. The Blue Tigers had a base runner in each of the next three innings, including two in the sixth, courtesy of base hits by Tori Nienhueser and McGinty, but the Hawks held on for the win.
Bekah Kirker also had two hits for LU in the opener while Lawson had one, and Shannon Greene struck out two Quincy batters in a complete game performance inside the circle. Pryor led the Lincoln defense with seven putouts, and Mykenzie Livesay provided four assists while Kirker and Parker finished with two apiece.
In the second game, Trista Heavin hit her second homerun of the season, as well as her second in the past five days, in the fifth inning to put Lincoln (4-26) on the scoreboard. The Blue Tigers had six hits in the contest, including singles by Lawson and Pryor in the opening inning. Lawson went 2-for-3 at the plate with another base hit in the top of the third.
Livesay and Emily Williams also had hits, and Hannah Hennessy struck out a pair of Hawk batters in the circle. Pryor had four putouts to lead the LU defense while Nienhueser recorded two assists.
The Blue Tigers are scheduled to travel to Maryville, Mo. on Friday (March 29) to play a double-header against Northwest Missouri, with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. CDT.
Malik Henry, Landon Bernskoetter, and Cameron Gerber/Clarion News staff
JEFFERSON CITY – More rain, more flooding. That’s the gist of a significant late-week rain event that will impact area rivers already swollen from upstream precipitation and melting snow.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday issued numerous flood warnings and advisories for the Missouri River at Jefferson City and the Osage River at the Mari-Osa campground at the U.S. 50 bridge near the Cole-Osage county line.
The warnings/advisories are based on expected river crests due to upstream action and rain forecasted through the weekend. Many area tributaries – including the Moreau River – may rise near flood stage during the next few days. If the anticipated heavy rains enter the area, the Moreau River may rise by at least 10 feet by Saturday afternoon.
The Missouri River is expected to rise to about 26 feet on Saturday, which is within the moderate flooding stage. Residents and property owners affected by flooding should stay tuned to local weather radio stations and the NOAA website.
(Drone photos/photography by Malik Henry, Landon Bernskoetter, and Cameron Gerber of the Clarion News staff)
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – LU President Dr. Jerald Woolfolk on Thursday was host to the second Presidential Lecture Series event held in the Scruggs University Center Ballroom. The series welcomed a very popular political figure and TV commentator.
Donna Brazile, a well-known political strategist, campaign manager, and author was the featured guest of the night. She spoke about her stint as head of the Democratic National Committee, working on CNN, and her recent decision to become a FOX news contributor. Brazile, a native of Louisiana, is a graduate of Louisiana State University.
Brazile became the first African-American woman to head a presidential campaign when hired by Democrat Al Gore during the 2000 race against George W. Bush – the one decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The lecture series are focused on preparing students to reshape the American society as the future leaders of tomorrow by listening and receiving valuable tools from well-known scholars, entertainers, politicians, authors, motivational speakers, and activists.
Brazile is a firm believer in civic responsibility and education.
“Think about serving on a national level,”said Brazile. “This is your time. Why you? Because there’s no one better. Why now? Because tomorrow’s not soon enough.”
KIRKSVILLE – Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday outlined his plans for a restructuring of the state government during an event held in Kirksville. Parson’s statements echo and expand upon comments made during his State of the State address in January.
Parson has made it his mission to increase efficiency and
productivity via a fundamental restructure. He has already made headway on his
goals, making changes to the Department of Economic Development as well as to
Parson’s concerns stem from Missouri’s reported lag in
economic growth. “We must do a better job clearly identifying expectations and
priorities and ensure our agencies are structured in the best ways to meet the
goals,” said Parson during his presentation.
Parson has made strides to move agencies around, like moving
workforce development operations to join with those of education.
His administration has thus far encouraged trade education
and cooperation between schools and local businesses in readying the next
generation of the Missouri workforce. He has shown great support for
apprenticeships as well as secondary education.
More changes and restructuring expected to follow. Parson is
currently in his first legislative session as governor.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Lincoln bowling team finished sixth at the MIAA Championship, held at Andy B’s on Saturday (March 23).
Lincoln entered with the sixth seed in the tournament, and faced third-seeded Maryville in the first round. LU fell to the Saints, 751-620.
In the second round of the double-elimination tourney, LU faced Drury, the fourth seed in the tournament. The match was a very closely contested battle, but the Blue Tigers fell in that round by a final score of 873-834. Both matches were Baker play.
The Blue Tigers wrapped up their fourth-ever season of bowling, and for the first time had three athletes make the All-MIAA team. Nina Theroff was a second team selection while Dominique Lee and DiaMone Lewis were each named honorable mention.
“To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” – Frederick Douglass, 1860.
Trump on Thursday signed an executive order aimed at ensuring free speech on
the campuses of public colleges and universities. Offending institutions may
face the loss of federal grant funding.
the guise of speech codes, safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities
have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the
voices of great young Americans like those here today,” Trump said at
the signing ceremony.
Protecting and promoting free speech has the been the cornerstone of First Amendment rights since its 1791 birth and litigated in many landmark Supreme Court cases, including Gitlow (1925), Tinker (1969), Cohen (1971), and Kuhlmeier (1988). Each one of our journalism students studies the aforementioned cases, especially Tinker and Kuhlmeier, and seems to grasp the realities of speech suppression – on campus and beyond.
The 1971 case Tinker v. Des Moines continues to guide the courts when viewing student rights in public schools. In Tinker, a few students silently protested the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands at school. The students were suspended because the administration feared the armbands would lead to disruption. However, nobody complained – no disruption.
The lower courts concluded that their symbolic speech was not protected. In a 7-2 opinion, the Supreme Court reversed, noting that symbolic speech is protected on public school properties – unless it’s significantly disruptive. The Tinker Test says peaceful religious, political, and symbolic speech must be allowed on public school properties.
The Tinker decision has held for nearly 50 years. Students do not lose their First Amendment rights just because the forum is a public campus. My students seem to be in unison regarding the concept of a university being a home to the marketplace of ideas. Courts have acknowledged that public schools are unique institutions because laws require that we provide access to academics and that we must do so in a safe environment. Seems fair enough.
have also recognized that the “safe environment” must also include polarizing commentary
from controversial speakers, campus newspapers, artistic expression, and
outspoken professors. In the public forum, there must be no lines drawn to
favor one over the other. Equal access. Period.
remarks concerning the dangers of “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” can be
linked to recent events up the road at Mizzou, when a now-disgraced (and
subsequently removed) university professor advocated the violent removal of
media from a public campus event – including a student-reporter. Although the
racially charged incident at Mizzou was a pivotal moment for that institution –
and certainly led to changes – I don’t see any reason to believe that a charged
atmosphere exists at LU.
Trump’s order makes this professor wonder: Do we really need a presidential order concerning free speech on the Lincoln University campus?
Before I answer, it should be duly noted that during my five years at Lincoln University I have confronted the issue surrounding free speech on campus. In 2014, members of the Westboro Baptist Church arrived on campus to spew their hate for soldiers, LGBTQ, and just about every group that we strive to protect.
Just a few
yards from my MLK Hall classroom about a dozen sheriff deputies – supported by
Jefferson City and LU police – stayed alert protecting the noisy Westboro protestors
from local retaliation and the lawsuits it would bring. The so-called
Kansas-based church funds its agenda of hate by suing municipalities and others
that restrict their speech. My students took photos and reported the scene – a
great teaching and learning experience. It was a tense few hours, but in the
end nobody from LU tried to stop them. Free speech won the day, not Westboro.
That’s an important point.
The problem is that
many Americans – young and old – don’t know what “free speech” means,
as guaranteed by the First Amendment and defined by the Supreme Court.
Journalists and TV commentators frequently say that hate speech is not
protected. It is. I rarely hear anyone talk about “fighting
words” and the defining court cases (Brandenburg, Cohen, et al.), or
public school censorship cases (Kuhlmeier, Morse, etc.). Until we know what
we’re talking about, our argumentative GPS will never steer us towards the
marketplace of ideas.
In 1957 the U.S.
Supreme Court decided a landmark case involving public university professor
Paul Sweezy and his lectures concerning Marxism and socialism. Sweezy, under
pressure by state investigators and school officials, declined to provide
information about his views and classroom material. In a plurality opinion by
Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Court held that Sweezy’s lectures may not be
politically and academically palatable, but they are protected.
“The essentiality of
freedom in the community of American universities is almost self-evident,” wrote
Warren in the Sweezy decision. “Scholarship cannot flourish in an atmosphere of
suspicion and distrust. Teachers and students must always remain free to
inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding,
otherwise our civilization will stagnate and die.”
President Trump, you
don’t need to monitor the schoolhouse free-speech gate. We’ll keep it open on
our own, thank you.
(Will Sites, assistant professor of journalism at Lincoln University, teaches news reporting and writing, media law, journalism history, public relations, investigative reporting, and drone journalism. He is the adviser to the Clarion News, the oldest HBCU campus newspaper in the U.S.)
An unusually hard winter along the middle Mississippi River valley creates an interesting opportunity for drone journalism. LU assistant professor of journalism and licensed drone pilot Will Sites flew Blue Tiger 1 over a frozen Mississippi River at Grafton, Illinois – just upstream from St. Louis.
(Sites teaches drone journalism at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.)
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY-The university has welcomed a lot of new administration this school year, including Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Marcus Chanay. Chanay started his career in higher education in 2001 at Jackson State University as a specialist in program development. In 2004, he became the dean of the Division of Student Life. In 2008, Chanay served as the vice president for Student Life and as an assistant professor of higher education. He held that position until 2014. Chanay then moved to Hawkins, Texas for his most recent position as vice president for Student Affairs at Jarvis Christian College. The roles that Chanay has held in leadership also align with Lincoln’s vision to serve as a university believing in diversity and embracing the learning environment. He has led initiatives that cater to a diverse student body, which includes the Jackson State University Veteran’s Center, which helped veteran students, active military students, and their families. As a college student, Chanay never thought that he would end up working in higher education. He attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), where he was originally a pre-med major before switching to broadcast journalism. “The following semester I was put into an Intro to Mass Communications class,” said Chanay during a recent interview. That’s when he developed a love for journalism. While attending UAPB, Chanay learned to do commercials, work the switchboard, and many other things. At UAPB, Chanay put together four professional sports shows and worked on his portfolio, which led to an internship and work at ESPN. Although he gained a lot of experience at the sports network, it led him down a different career path. “During that time I realized broadcasting wasn’t something that I wanted to do,” Chanay said, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world.” He began taking education courses as a backup plan while also doing radio and play-by-play recaps of the football team. He eventually started teaching at a local high school. What Chanay appreciated most about his time at UAPB was the hands-on experience and the options the school offered for journalism students. “We had a mass communication club, a weekly newspaper, and yearbook. Students could be involved with one, if not all three,” said Chanay. Chanay has a B.A. in Mass Communications with minors in education and business, a Master’s in Education Administration, and a Ph.D. in Urban Education. Chanay officially started his position at Lincoln University on July 1, 2018.
NEW YORK – In 2014 Blake Ralling transferred from Mississippi Valley State to Lincoln University, with the intention of playing basketball and pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism. Over the next year, the Atlanta native achieved both, graduating with honors. Soon after, Ralling moved to Europe, where he played basketball for one season in Cambrai, France, just two hours north of Paris. After playing basketball, he became a coach and trainer.
Ralling’s interest in journalism stems from his love of playing basketball and just sports in general. He knew what it was like to be a player, but he wanted to experience the professional and reporting side of the sports world. Academically and professionally, Ralling wanted more.
He applied to graduate school and is now in New York, attending the prestigious Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for his master’s degree. Although it has been a few years since he has been in a classroom, Ralling says his appreciation for journalism has grown.
“I have a better understanding for the art of journalism,” says Ralling. “Being in the era of Trump, you have to be smart in how you deliver messages and your message has to be 100 percent accurate. With Trump running rampant with the fake news movement, journalists must be able to convey a clear and concise delivery and message.”
Ralling gives some sound advice about getting into the journalism field and applying for grad school. “The field of journalism is tough to enter and applying for grad school can be tough as well,” Ralling says. “But you must be relentless when it comes to both – always follow-up, apply yourself, and watch the news.”
He says that a great journalist always knows what’s going on and that it’s important to be relentless and aggressive.
“Don’t be nervous – be open and optimistic.”
(A sample of Ralling’s graduate school video work is below)
JEFFERSON CITY – Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce’s October 2017 decision that former Cole County prosecutor Mark Richardson “knowingly and purposefully violated the Sunshine Law” was upheld recently by the Missouri Court of Appeals in Kansas City. Joyce ordered Richardson to pay a total of $36,170 to Aaron Malin, the plaintiff in the 2015 lawsuit.
Malin, a researcher for Show-Me Cannabis, was denied open-record information by the Cole County prosecutor’s office. Richardson was defeated during the last year’s August primary.
The violation of the Sunshine Law was a point of contention in the most recent round of prosecuting attorney elections. Locke Thompson succeeded Richardson as prosecutor on Jan. 1, 2019. In a statement to the Jefferson City News Tribune, he said “I obviously made a point during the election that I thought Mark violated the Sunshine Law in this case, and the Western District made it clear with their ruling.”
When asked his perspective, Malin told the News Tribune “It’s really important that government agencies are held accountable, especially law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices. If they don’t comply with the Sunshine Law, they should be taken to court. Hopefully this is a deterrent so other agencies will be warned and see that this law will be enforced.”
Malin’s case is based on a time period when Malin made Sunshine Law requests to Richardson’s office. The appeals court found that “On each occasion, (Richardson) responded with general objections to the records requests, sometimes untimely, and indicated that the request was too burdensome and the task of searching for any responsive documents simply would not be performed; further, (Richardson) stated his conclusions without confirming or denying the existence of the records you requested.”
Failure to comply resulted in Richardson receiving a $12,100 fine and paying Malin’s attorney fees.