The Scott County Watchdog Website Has Been Updated

Posted in the Waldron Forum

First Prev
of 4
Next Last
Editor

Siloam Springs, AR

#1 Feb 11, 2010
The Scott County Watchdog.com Has Been Updated. Please Visit Our Site @: www.thescottcountywatchdog.com

This Weekís Top Local Stories Are:
Local Man Crashes Truck Into Creek
Texas Man Killed In Car Wreck On Highway 71
Waldron Pizza Hut Damaged In Crash
Hospitality Tax Collections Down 13.2% In Fort Smith, Van Buren
Waldron School Board January 11 2010 Regular Meeting Minutes
Drug Suspect Says Layoff Led To Marijuana Sales
Former Sebastian County Jailer Sentenced In Sex Crime
Arkansas Revenue Spending Plan Stalls In Senate
Group Ready To Push Sunday Liquor, Beer Sales In Fort Smith

This Weekís Top National Stories Are:
Feds Push For Tracking Cell Phones
Georgia Boy, 11, Shot In The Head While Sleeping
NYC Manhole Explosion Reportedly Sends Ball of Flames Into Building
Taliban, Marines Exchange Fire As Major Battle Looms
Jobs Bill Could Be A Bust, Experts Warn
Tapes Reveal John Edwards Discussing Scheme and Mistress Complaining, Ex-Aide Says
Iran Is Now A "Nuclear State" Says Ahmadinejad
Job Openings Plunged By One-Quarter Last Year
Poll: 75% Of Americans "Angry" At Government
Obama Hits Lowest Approval Ratings Yet
Glenn Beck: "President Obama's Unsustainable Budgets"
Dennis McCaslin

Fort Smith, AR

#2 Feb 13, 2010
Gentlemen,

I am the editor of the Mansfield Citizen and the interim news reporter for the Waldron News, and I resent your assertions in your most recent online edition that the Waldron News may in some way have intentionally kept the news of Mike Ross' visit to the area "secret" for some nefarious reasons.

As you have well documented, the last editor of the newspaper is no longer with our company and in the interim, I have been appointed to keep the news side going until the company hires his replacement.

From the time Mr. Faber was let go until now, I have been playing catch-up in an effort to get my bearings on an area that I have had little previous connection with. At first, I thought that maybe notification of Mr. Faber's visit to the area had merely fallen through the cracks, so I investigated to be sure.

I double checked with the office personnel to make sure that we were not informed of the meeting by ANYONE prior to Mr. Billings being summoned to the meeting approximately 30-40 minutes before it started and they tell me that we can find no record of any type of previous notification. As you often do in your "articles" you implied a conspiracy in that The News deliberately withheld the information of the scheduled visit from the public, and we take exception of your printing false information in order to promote your anti-Scott County agenda.

For obvious reasons, I don't read your website generally, but I have been alerted on a couple of occasions that you have reprinted articles virtually verbatim from both the Waldron News and the Mansfield Citizen. We would ask if you intend to continue to blatantly plagarize our content, the least you could do is give us credit as the original source of the material.

The reproduction of the picture from the Waldron News concerning Mr. Ross visit to Waldron is also the unauthorized use of copyrighted material and again, we would ask that you refrain from the practice in the future.

I also found your "survey" interesting in that 15% of the respondents blamed The News for no notification. That was 15% of 185% of the respondents. How in the world does one get 185% response to a survey?

While I find your journalistic approach lacking and somewhat devoid of any true service in the assimilation and circulation of anything that approaches real news, I am a stern and staunch supporter of the First Amendment and in that regard realize that your website falls under the protections guaranteed by the Constitution.

But freedom of the press does not extend to the intentional misrepresentation of facts or allow you to violate copyright laws in your effort to sensationalize the news in your one-sided and myopic attacks and I would urge you to review your practices in the future.

If you wish to reprint this letter in your "letters to the editor" section, feel free to do so. Just spell my name right.

Good luck in your future endeavors.

Dennis McCaslin
Mansfield Citizen/Waldron News
Tanya

Clarksville, AR

#3 Feb 13, 2010
Way to go Dennis!
Fed Up

Fort Smith, AR

#4 Feb 14, 2010
That guy just spanked ya'lls pathetic asses......
Dennis McCaslin

Fort Smith, AR

#5 Feb 14, 2010
"From the time Mr. Faber was let go until now, I have been playing catch-up in an effort to get my bearings on an area that I have had little previous connection with. At first, I thought that maybe notification of Mr. Faber's visit to the area had merely fallen through the cracks, so I investigated to be sure."

That should have read ..."Mr. Ross' visit to the area..."
The Editor Part 1

Siloam Springs, AR

#6 Feb 15, 2010
To Dennis McCaslin,
To address the issues you stated in your post,
We did not state that the Waldron News intentionally held back that Mike Ross (Not Mr. Faber) was coming to Waldron. If you go back and read the ENTIRE article, you can see we stated, "In fact, we checked back as far as the January 6, 2010 edition of the Waldron News just to be sure, and we couldn't find any notice or ad telling about Mr. Ross's visit. However, the Waldron News said on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 that they were informed about the February 1st Meeting only 30 minutes before it happened."
We also put it again in bold red type: "According to a source at the Waldron News, Scott County Elected Officials called them only 30 minutes before Mr. Ross had arrived for his meeting, and they claim they were not told by anyone to advertise the meeting in the Waldron News."
SO YOU OBVIOUSLY NEED TO GO BACK AND RE-READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.
We do not copy word for word anything the Waldron News has written. We get copies of the same police reports that you do. In fact, we have beaten you to the punch on several local stories by at least a week, including:
---Thermos Closing
---Napa Closing
---The Corner Mart Closing
In fact, your former editor copied two of our stories almost EXACTLY word for word, and we ran those stories one week before your paper did.
And we covered stories you did't even touch, inluding The Parks Store Robbery and The Changes in Tyson's Insurance Coverage. So how can we be copying you word for word when we run stories at least a week ahead of you or stories you don't even bother to investigate?
As for the survey, we only counted the 85% who blamed the courthouse personel, not the ones that blamed you. We don't care what you get blamed for.
We do not misrepresent facts, we can back up everything we publish on the news sections. The Editors View and the letters to the editor are opinion and op ed pieces, as someone who is in your postion should know by now.
The Editor Part 2

Siloam Springs, AR

#7 Feb 15, 2010
I would also urge you to check your facts before publishing Paid Classified Public Notices that contain wrong information. The Waldron News put in a paid classified public notice about the Watchdog.com that was not true a few months back. Your paper was notified about those errors but said that it would not correct them, and if we wanted them corrected, we would have to payor a classified ad to have those corrected. I don't think so. We wouldn't post anything in your "paper" paid or free. We know that the Waldron News is having financial difficulties, but it is just good journalism to correct your own mistakes.
And I seem to remember that you printed some information about a Waldron business man that were untrue about the time he was arrested. It is a fact that he contacted you and asked you to retract the information, and even though he proved what was written in the Waldron News was not contained in any police report your paper refused. It was a hack job meant to discredit his name.
Heres some free advice. We don't bow to pressure from any politicians. Unlike the Waldron News did in it's recent reactions to an article written by a former member of your staff. See, we do not depend on cash from County Govt. like you so obviously do. They cannot tell us who to fire or not fire. We don't have to bow to sponsors because we don't have to, so corrupt elected officials can't tell us who to fire or hire, what stories to print or not to print, what letters to the editor we can publish and not offend them and their delicate feelings. We print the TRUTH and we print the letters we get from real people, not puppets of the county or city officials.
And isn't it a conflict of interest to have someone who works for the county to work, even part time, for your newspaper? Melinda Cooper left the Waldron News last summer and now works in the new jail. Isn't it inappropriate that she is now working part time for the Waldron News?
By the way, our online service is free, so we don't charge.
The Editor Part 1

Siloam Springs, AR

#8 Feb 15, 2010
To Dennis McCaslin,

To address the issues you stated in your post,

We did not state that the Waldron News intentionally held back that Mike Ross (Not Mr. Faber) was coming to Waldron. If you go back and read the ENTIRE article, you can see we stated, "In fact, we checked back as far as the January 6, 2010 edition of the Waldron News just to be sure, and we couldn't find any notice or ad telling about Mr. Ross's visit. However, the Waldron News said on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 that they were informed about the February 1st Meeting only 30 minutes before it happened."

We also put it again in bold red type: "According to a source at the Waldron News, Scott County Elected Officials called them only 30 minutes before Mr. Ross had arrived for his meeting, and they claim they were not told by anyone to advertise the meeting in the Waldron News."

SO YOU OBVIOUSLY NEED TO GO BACK AND RE-READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.

We do not copy word for word anything the Waldron News has written. We get copies of the same police reports that you do. In fact, we have beaten you to the punch on several local stories by at least a week, including:
---Thermos Closing
---Napa Closing
---The Corner Mart Closing

In fact, your former editor copied two of our stories almost EXACTLY word for word, and we ran those stories one week before your paper did.

And we covered stories you did't even touch, inluding The Parks Store Robbery and The Changes in Tyson's Insurance Coverage. So how can we be copying you word for word when we run stories at least a week ahead of you or stories you don't even bother to investigate?

As for the survey, we only counted the 85% who blamed the courthouse personel, not the ones that blamed you. We don't care what you get blamed for.
The Editor Par t2

Siloam Springs, AR

#9 Feb 15, 2010
We do not misrepresent facts, we can back up everything we publish on the news sections. The Editors View and the letters to the editor are opinion and op ed pieces, as someone who is in your postion should know by now.

I would also urge you to check your facts before publishing Paid Classified Public Notices that contain wrong information. The Waldron News put in a paid classified public notice about the Watchdog.com that was not true a few months back. Your paper was notified about those errors but said that it would not correct them, and if we wanted them corrected, we would have to payor a classified ad to have those corrected. I don't think so. We wouldn't post anything in your "paper" paid or free. We know that the Waldron News is having financial difficulties, but it is just good journalism to correct your own mistakes.

And I seem to remember that you printed some information about a Waldron business man that were untrue about the time he was arrested. It is a fact that he contacted you and asked you to retract the information, and even though he proved what was written in the Waldron News was not contained in any police report your paper refused. It was a hack job meant to discredit his name.

Heres some free advice. We don't bow to pressure from any politicians. Unlike the Waldron News did in it's recent reactions to an article written by a former member of your staff. See, we do not depend on cash from County Govt. like you so obviously do. They cannot tell us who to fire or not fire. We don't have to bow to sponsors because we don't have to, so corrupt elected officials can't tell us who to fire or hire, what stories to print or not to print, what letters to the editor we can publish and not offend them and their delicate feelings. We print the TRUTH and we print the letters we get from real people, not puppets of the county or city officials.

And isn't it a conflict of interest to have someone who works for the county to work, even part time, for your newspaper? Melinda Cooper left the Waldron News last summer and now works in the new jail. Isn't it inappropriate that she is now working part time for the Waldron News?

By the way, our online service is free, so we don't charge.
The Editor Part 2

Siloam Springs, AR

#10 Feb 15, 2010
We do not misrepresent facts, we can back up everything we publish on the news sections. The Editors View and the letters to the editor are opinion and op ed pieces, as someone who is in your postion should know by now.

I would also urge you to check your facts before publishing Paid Classified Public Notices that contain wrong information. The Waldron News put in a paid classified public notice about the Watchdog.com that was not true a few months back. Your paper was notified about those errors but said that it would not correct them, and if we wanted them corrected, we would have to payor a classified ad to have those corrected. I don't think so. We wouldn't post anything in your "paper" paid or free. We know that the Waldron News is having financial difficulties, but it is just good journalism to correct your own mistakes.

And I seem to remember that you printed some information about a Waldron business man that were untrue about the time he was arrested. It is a fact that he contacted you and asked you to retract the information, and even though he proved what was written in the Waldron News was not contained in any police report your paper refused. It was a hack job meant to discredit his name.

Heres some free advice. We don't bow to pressure from any politicians. Unlike the Waldron News did in it's recent reactions to an article written by a former member of your staff. See, we do not depend on cash from County Govt. like you so obviously do. They cannot tell us who to fire or not fire. We don't have to bow to sponsors because we don't have to, so corrupt elected officials can't tell us who to fire or hire, what stories to print or not to print, what letters to the editor we can publish and not offend them and their delicate feelings. We print the TRUTH and we print the letters we get from real people, not puppets of the county or city officials.

And isn't it a conflict of interest to have someone who works for the county to work, even part time, for your newspaper? Melinda Cooper left the Waldron News last summer and now works in the new jail. Isn't it inappropriate that she is now working part time for the Waldron News?

By the way, our online service is free, so we don't charge
To Fed

Siloam Springs, AR

#11 Feb 15, 2010
I bet you dream about some guy doing that to you, don't you?
To Tanya

Siloam Springs, AR

#12 Feb 15, 2010
It figures that having the sheriff for a relative, you would post. Can't wait til the 2010 elections! Its time for a change.
Bruce

Siloam Springs, AR

#13 Feb 15, 2010
I think that the pressure is getting to the waldron news. Hundreds of people are reading the watchdog, but the waldron news stands are always full of papers. Its all about the money and they are losing it and readers.
The Editor

Siloam Springs, AR

#14 Feb 15, 2010
Sorry for the double posting for some reason the board locked up and ran the posts twice. It was not intended.
Dennis McCaslin

Fort Smith, AR

#15 Feb 15, 2010
Let me address the issues that you addressed in adressing my issues....

"We did not state that the Waldron News intentionally held back that Mike Ross (Not Mr. Faber) was coming to Waldron. If you go back and read the ENTIRE article, you can see we stated, "In fact, we checked back as far as the January 6, 2010 edition of the Waldron News just to be sure, and we couldn't find any notice or ad telling about Mr. Ross's visit. However, the Waldron News said on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 that they were informed about the February 1st Meeting only 30 minutes before it happened."
We also put it again in bold red type: "According to a source at the Waldron News, Scott County Elected Officials called them only 30 minutes before Mr. Ross had arrived for his meeting, and they claim they were not told by anyone to advertise the meeting in the Waldron News."

You "couldn't find any notice". We "claimed" we were not told by anyone.

Sounds like accusations to me.

"We do not copy word for word anything the Waldron News has written. We get copies of the same police reports that you do. In fact, we have beaten you to the punch on several local stories by at least a week, including:
---Thermos Closing
---Napa Closing
---The Corner Mart Closing"

I beg to differ on you copying our articles. I've been in this business a long time and I know the difference between articles written from the "same police report".

Obviously, "publishing" in the middle of the week gives you an advantage of catching news in the dead period from when our paper comes out until the next issue. I can't fix that.For example, you had a little blurb and some pics on the Pizza Hut incident, even thought I was actually there and have a story with pics coming out this week.

"In fact, your former editor copied two of our stories almost EXACTLY word for word, and we ran those stories one week before your paper did."

Former editor is the key phrase here. I can't be responsible for his past transgressions nor would I want to be.

"And we covered stories you did't even touch, inluding The Parks Store Robbery and The Changes in Tyson's Insurance Coverage. So how can we be copying you word for word when we run stories at least a week ahead of you or stories you don't even bother to investigate?"

Obviously several stories have slipped through the cracks in the past few months. Your contention that we are somehow in cahoots with the Judge and sheriff has been hard for me to take because we are having trouble getting them to trust us enough to give us even the most basic information.

"As for the survey, we only counted the 85% who blamed the courthouse personel, not the ones that blamed you. We don't care what you get blamed for."

So again it's obvious that you have an agenda with the people who run the county and their polices and your entire purpose is to attack and vilify those people while only telling one side of the story. That's your right. Knock yourself out. Go for it, Just don't try to cloak your obsession under a "news" umbrella.

"We do not misrepresent facts, we can back up everything we publish on the news sections. The Editors View and the letters to the editor are opinion and op ed pieces, as someone who is in your postion should know by now."

So you, your cronies and your staff can write anything they want to about anyone regardless of the facts and when you call it a "letter to the editor" that gives you First Amendment protection? If everything you print as a "letter to the editor" is true, then you would think the writers would not be afraid to attach their names to their opinions. What's the worse that could happen? County officials retaliate, thereby giving you something else to write about?
Dennis McCaslin

Fort Smith, AR

#16 Feb 15, 2010
"I would also urge you to check your facts before publishing Paid Classified Public Notices that contain wrong information. The Waldron News put in a paid classified public notice about the Watchdog.com that was not true a few months back. Your paper was notified about those errors but said that it would not correct them, and if we wanted them corrected, we would have to payor a classified ad to have those corrected. I don't think so. We wouldn't post anything in your "paper" paid or free."

You're talking about something that I have no knowledge of. I would assume from the constant attacks you have made on The News that the office personnel is probably not going to be real cooperative when you call about anything. There again, this didn't happen on my watch."

"We know that the Waldron News is having financial difficulties, but it is just good journalism to correct your own mistakes."
I've worked for the company for five years, and my paycheck always cashes. And it's an honest living....

"And I seem to remember that you printed some information about a Waldron business man that were untrue about the time he was arrested. It is a fact that he contacted you and asked you to retract the information, and even though he proved what was written in the Waldron News was not contained in any police report your paper refused."

There again, what's with the "you" stuff. I have been contributing articles for about a month now and I haven't had to retract anything.

"It was a hack job meant to discredit his name."

Again, I'm clueless. What would "we" have an agenda to discredit anyone's name. We leave that to websites like yours.

"Heres some free advice. We don't bow to pressure from any politicians. Unlike the Waldron News did in it's recent reactions to an article written by a former member of your staff."

I assume you are implying that someone in county government had something to do with Mr. Faber being let go? As far as I know, it was just a situation that didn't work out. I really don't think there was a connection between the judge or sheriff and our employment practices.

"See, we do not depend on cash from County Govt. like you so obviously do. They cannot tell us who to fire or not fire. We don't have to bow to sponsors because we don't have to, so corrupt elected officials can't tell us who to fire or hire, what stories to print or not to print, what letters to the editor we can publish and not offend them and their delicate feelings."

So you would have no problem with us printing unsigned and unattributed letters to the editor attacking you and your staff? I have a laundry list of charges that someone sent in about you and your staff ranging from theft and fraud involving widows to terroristic threatening (and other charges). But, unlike you, since it's unsigned and the person that sent it in apparently isn't willing to go public with their allegations, I'm not going to allow the letter to be printed. That's the responsible approach to reporting the "news".

"We print the TRUTH and we print the letters we get from real people, not puppets of the county or city officials."
How about printing both sides of a story and allowing the public to decide what the "truth" is?

Again, I'n not arguing with your right to "publish" anything you want. But don't delude yourself into thinking that what you do has anything to do with reporting the news.
Dennis mccaslin

Fort Smith, AR

#17 Feb 15, 2010
"And isn't it a conflict of interest to have someone who works for the county to work, even part time, for your newspaper? Melinda Cooper left the Waldron News last summer and now works in the new jail. Isn't it inappropriate that she is now working part time for the Waldron News?"

I have worked with Ms. Cooper for over five years and have always found her to be professional and reliable. She has returned to working at The News on a part time basis, but merely as an extra staff member to help Carla with putting together the newspaper. She has no desire to report on or influence the news content of the newspaper, and when I recently asked her about securing some information for me from the jail, she flat out stated that any such action would constitute a conflict of interest that wouldn't serve the newspaper or her as a county employee any practical purpose. I WISH she were available to write some articles. I could use the help.

"By the way, our online service is free, so we don't charge."

Typically, you get what you pay for.

I notice you didn't address the publication of the "Ross trip" photo as being a violation of copyright laws. Maybe you should take the same approach to that situation as the majority of people in Scott County take towards your website, mainly, hoping if they ignore it it will just go away.

Again, I have no problem with you or your website. It's a free country and if you want to sit in the auditorium and yell "fire" all day long, that's your preogitive. But when you start talking nonsense about the Waldron News, our employees or our editorial policy, I am going to take offense and respond in kind.

I would just ask that you consider what you say and imply about us in the future.
The Editor Reply part 1

Siloam Springs, AR

#18 Feb 15, 2010
Carla is the one that told our staffer that the Waldron News was only contacted 30 minutes before the Mike Ross meeting. It only took a simple phone call from one of our volunteers and she told our person that no one in the courthouse told them (the Waldron News) about the meeting prior to 30 mins before. Our staffer asked Carla what edition the Mike Ross visit announcement was in, she said "we didn't advertise it because no one in the county told us about it until 30 minutes before the meeting."

We never said you were in "cahoots" with any one political entity, but it seems to be a very common deduction by hundreds of people in this county. But you need to do your own survey. If your having problems with county officials, thatís your concern not ours. Itís nothing to us because we don't care about how you choose to interact with them. It could however, explain several of the problems your paper is experiencing.

We treat everyone equal. There has not been one story about this county where the "elected officials" have not been given the chance to give their side of the story; the fact is that the ones with something to hide refuse to reply. We don't make up those stories, they come to us. In fact there are several elected officials that come to us with stories and the evidence. You would be surprised at the ones that come to the Watchdog.com . The fact that you don't have a positive relationship with them is a failure on your part.

By the way, the Pizza Hut images and video were "real." No need for Photoshop on those, and when we asked the manager, she asked that we not post any details until they got information back from their insurance, and we honored that. The fact is when we ran the story; we were told the police report wasn't ready. Posting the pictures did not violate anything because the store was open and anyone could see. In fact, there were customers in the place taking pics on their cell phones.

It is the opinion of many in this county that less than ethical business behavior caused the demise of the only other newspaper this county had. But again, thatís opinion does not represent ours. Again, itís the point of view of the people.
The Editor Reply part 2

Siloam Springs, AR

#19 Feb 15, 2010
About your former employee, in journalism classes, it is taught that the Editor of a news firm or publication is like the captain of the ship, everything that happens is their responsibility.

Our ďcroniesĒ as you call them, are our readers and I believe you just insulted them. Thatís not good and could be the reason your paper is having problems. We started the Watchdog.com because your former editor, Ms. Cooper, refused to publish letters to the editor, and only gave one side to each story, which was alleged to be the reason for her departure. When we publish letters, we put the names if the person asks us to, as in the recent Terry Meagley and Bill Bates Letters. If they send in anonymous or ask their names to be removed, we do so because we actually live in Scott County, unlike you, and know there are repercussions for people speaking out and using their names. We protect people, and itís their right. There is no censorship on the internet.
If people donít like them or are too sensitive, they donít have to read them. Despite what the Progressives are trying to do, this is still America. If exposing corruption is wrong, then to quote the song,ďwe donít wanna be right.Ē Corruption is a disease and now people know Scott County had been infected with it for far too long. Obama loving progressives may get a tingle up their leg when he speaks, but like the 60% of Arkansans who do not agree with him or his policies, we simply get nauseous.

This will be the last response we make to your posts, because we donít have the time, inclination or desire to start a posting war with you. We have better and more important things to do like keeping our readers informed.

By the way, its almost at 34,900 hits. Quite above the 500 Hits predicted by one of the politicians you named in your post. And looking at your sales numbers, youíre right. You do get what you pay for.
The Editor

Siloam Springs, AR

#20 Feb 15, 2010
You have no idea who works for me. There are rumors yes but only rumors. And as for the people sending in things about certain people, we know who the individual is because someone at the waldron news shared the same letter with me. I refused to print it because at least four of the people named in the letter has anything whatsoever with the website, and I'm sure that those people would love nothing more than to file lawsuits against that person who is slandering and harrassing them. So if you want to print it go ahead. But be prepared for a mountain of Subpoenas and legal issues from the people named in the letter. I know two of them personally and I know they would love nothing better.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 4
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Waldron Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Poll Did you vote today? (Jun '10) 3 hr BARNEYII 30,893
Poll Should Martin Young be removed from Fire Dept a... (Oct '10) May 18 concerned tax payer 33
Nurses at Mena (Jan '09) May 14 raj 28
GWPD officer appeals trial May 7 GreenzoneCAS 1
thinking of moving to greenwood Ar from out of ... May 6 from ok 3
info on car accident May 2 cds 2
Shooting on HWY 96 (Oct '12) Apr 30 Happy 59 293
More from around the web

Waldron People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]