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 November 21, 2014 10:07 GMT

WEIRD WEATHER

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- With much of the nation digging out from snowstorms -- you might figure Anchorage, Alaska, must be buried. But folks in Alaska's biggest city are asking where's the snow? As a large swath of the Lower 48 shivers, Anchorage is unseasonably warm. The little snow that has fallen has already melted. Not so in western New York, where Buffalo is being buried. There's so much snow on the ground, the NFL has decided to move the Bills' home game against the Jets. The game had been scheduled for Sunday in the Buffalo area, but will be played Monday night in Detroit. The Lions are at New England Sunday.

UNCLAIMED LOTTERY PRIZE

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A lucky $1 million Powerball winner could soon turn very unlucky. Virginia Lottery officials say the clock is ticking on a winning ticket sold for the June 21 drawing. The ticket hasn't been turned in yet. It will expire at the close of business on Dec. 18 if the jackpot isn't claimed. Virginia Lottery officials note winning tickets are only good for 180 days after the drawing.

CENTENARIAN-FIRST OCEAN VISIT

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (AP) -- Ruby Holt has seen a lot in her more than 100 years. But one thing she never saw was the ocean -- at least not until this month. Holt got a chance to go to the beach, visiting the Gulf coast in Alabama. The trip was made possible by Brookdale Senior Living Solutions, where Holt lives in Columbia, Tennessee, and the Wish of a Lifetime organization. Holt says she had always heard about how wonderful the ocean is and wanted to see for herself. She got a chance to walk across the white sand with a little help and dip her feet into the cool Gulf waters. Holt turns 101 Dec. 13.

GIANT NUTCRACKER

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) -- It's nuts! A giant nutcracker will be the centerpiece of the annual holiday festival near Roseburg, Ore. Toby Johnson created the monster cracker using a chain saw. It will stand more than 40 feet tall and the nut-crushing power comes from a motor. Cranes are being used to assemble the nutcracker at the site of the festival, which opens Sunday. Sponsors tell The News-Review they're sending documentation to the Guinness people to earn a world's record for the biggest nutcracker.

 
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