It's Called Karma - 07/09/14

   Hendersonville is a beautiful little city with bustling growth and a gorgeous lake.  However, over the past year, a lack of oversight in city government has overshadowed all that is right there.

    After 10 months of a Waste Watch investigation,  Fox 17 is getting action.  I am happy to report, the taxpayers of Hendersonville and city workers who were wronged... are finally getting the vindication and respect they deserve.  Over the last week, the public works director was fired for among other things retaliating against employees who brought safety violations to his attention.  Both men sued.  Here are links to those previous reports.
Whistleblower Lawsuit 1 
Whistleblower Lawsuit 2

  Also, over the last week, the Tennessee Occupational Safety Hazard Administration or TOSHA, has finished its investigation and reported at last night's Board of Alderman meeting, "On the surface it appears this allegation is true."  With that, Alderman instructed the mayor to rehire those guys and several more who were demoted, ridiculed, forced out, etc...  for reporting safety violations or questioning anything whatsoever in the public works department.  The city is offering them their jobs back, some of them with back pay, in hopes they'll drop their lawsuits.  One man, who was wrongly fired, had to sell his vehicle and many of his assets just to eat. 

    You know what really gets me....  During all of this, while the then public works director was refusing to do the right thing and fix safety violations... he was also allegedly using the city credit card to buy himself new shirts, pants and hats.  That Waste Watch investigative piece can be viewed here.
Jerry Horton's Credit Card Use

   Again, the city was also, by many accounts misusing state street aid to buy nice new vehicles for a few administrators to drive.  That Waste Watch can be seen here.
State Street Aid    

     I wasn't the only one investigating misspending, abuse of power and retaliation against workers who reported safety concerns.  It started with one phone call from one brave person which resulted in one investigative report.  Then one lead to another lead to another.  Before I knew it, I had done about 8 investigative pieces on this one city alone.  I want to say though, it took many of us coming from many different directions to get action.  Fellow reporter Tena Lee at Hendersonville Star News and  Neil Siders at Everything Hendersonville got the ball rolling and were so helpful to me along the way.  There were and are several responsible and concerned aldermen including (but not limited to)  Arlene Cunningham, Mark Skidmore and Rosa Long whose hearts are in the right place.   Several more grassroots movements like Sumner United For Responsible Government and proactive citizens like Donna DeSopo, Ken Jakes and Kurt Riley deserve a lot of credit too.  And let's not forget the brave, brave employees who had the guts to speak up in the first place and call me or the other reporters... even when their jobs were on the line.  There are many more anonymous sources who I'm indebted to for loads and loads of information that the city of Hendersonville administrators refused to provide, hid and stonewalled on.   Thank you.  You know who you are and you've done something great for your fellow coworkers and the citizenry as a whole. 

  Tonight (Wed July 9,)  I have yet one more Waste Watch report on Hendersonville summing up all of this. I hope you'll tune in at 9.

    Those elected to serve should do just that.....  it's pretty simple and the truth will always prevail.   Here's a previous blog on the subject.  Repeaters vs Reporters


  



 

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Last Update on August 28, 2015 14:37 GMT

RICK SPRINGFIELD-YOUR BUTT IS FINE WITH US

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Rock musician Rick Springfield was a big hit at the opening day of the 2015 New York State Fair. So was his tush.

The singer best known for his 1981 No. 1 hit "Jessie's Girl" had been sued by a New York woman who said she suffered serious head injuries when Springfield's buttocks hit her after he fell off the stage during a concert at the suburban Syracuse fairgrounds in 2004.

In January, he won the seven-year legal battle when a state Supreme Court judge in Syracuse said the performer didn't injure the concert-goer.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that during last night's performance Springfield, who turned 66 Sunday, thanked fans for supporting him during the trial. One fan held up a sign that read: "`'Rick your butt can fall on me anytime."

PREGNANT METEOROLOGIST GIVES BIRTH TO TWINS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A Philadelphia meteorologist who went online to fight back against "haters" critical of her pregnant appearance has given birth to twin girls.

KYW-TV says Katie Fehlinger (FEH'-lin-jer) went into labor after her morning shift Tuesday and delivered the girls Wednesday afternoon.

Parker Janice was born at 12:58 p.m. She weighed 4 pounds, 15 ounces. Kaeden Faye arrived a minute later, weighing 3 pounds, 12 ounces

Fehlinger shot back at critics last week in a Facebook post, attracting national attention and support from thousands of people.

She wrote that the industry makes her an easy target for criticism. But she said it crosses the line to post "nastygrams" about pregnant women.

Fehlinger, a Lehigh Valley native, has been with the station since 2011.

WOMAN TICKETED FOR BREAST FEEDING WHILE DRIVING

SEATTLE (AP) -- A 43-year-old Washington woman was given a $136 ticket this week for breast-feeding while driving.

The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/nxbX7D ) the woman was pulled over on Interstate 5 around 7 p.m. Wednesday after someone called 911 to report a child sitting in a driver's lap.

State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis says that when the trooper approached the car, he could tell that the woman was breast-feeding.

The woman admitted she was breast feeding and had done it before because her 1-year-old son screams uncontrollably when he's hungry.

Francis says they had a talk about safety and parental responsibility and the officer issued a ticket for child-restraint violation.

Court records show the woman has a history of driving infractions, including using a cellphone while driving, speeding and following too closely.

NEBRASKA LOTTERY- SCRATCH AND SNIFF

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Even if it isn't a winner -- a Nebraska lottery ticket could still give you a good whiff.

The Nebraska Lottery says it will be selling Sriracha-scented scratch tickets as part of a new $2 scratch game.

It's called Hot Sriracha, and each ticket contains a scent replicating that of the famous Asian sauce. The game offers three $15,000 top prizes and a total of more than $468,000 in cash prizes.

Acting Nebraska Lottery director Jill Marshall says in a news release that lottery officials think the new game "is the first Sriracha-scented scratch game ever made."

Lottery spokesman Neil Watson said Thursday that tickets are being distributed and may be purchased wherever they're offered.

POLICE TO COMPILE FREQUENT-DRUNKARD LIST

AURORA, Illinois (AP) -- The police department in an Illinois city is going to compile a "habitual drunkard" list to help fight public intoxication.

Aurora Police Department Sgt. Tom McNamara says the list will have "certain clientele" whom police and fire departments see regularly. The (Aurora) Beacon-News reports (http://trib.in/1IhxoVp ) that includes people whom police and fire personnel transport six times or more in a 120-day period.

The City Council approved keeping the list this week as part of an overhaul to city liquor laws. Aurora is west of Chicago.

Police say the goal is public safety. Those on the list won't be able to purchase liquor in Aurora and local businesses are expected to comply.

Authorities say they got the idea from Madison, Wisconsin, which has a similar policy.

 
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