Maryville (MO): Shame on You

Although Nodaway County Missouri and its county seat, Maryville, are over a thousand miles from my home in Montana, I grew up in the area and know it well. In fact, at one time I moved to a town about an hour from Maryville and I can personally attest to the fact that outsiders are not treated too kindly.

I was shocked (and later I was just ticked off) when I read about the recent events in the little town of around 12,000 in northwestern Missouri involving Melinda Coleman and her family.

The Kansas City Star has the story HERE.

This all happened in 2012. To recap, two girls age 13 and 14 were spending the night with each other at the Coleman home and were texting boys. They came up with a plan and sneaked out of their home at 1:00 in the morning. They went to a party where a high school senior (age 17) and another boy had sex with them after getting them drunk. A third boy recorded the act.

After the encounter they brought the girls back to their house and left the 14 year old outside passed out on the front steps in freezing temperatures. Melinda Coleman found her daughter (Daisy) when she heard something scratching on the door. She was almost frozen.

The Star reports, “Interviews and evidence initially supported the felony and misdemeanor charges that followed. Yet, two months later, the Nodaway County prosecutor dropped the felony cases against the youths, one the grandson of a longtime area political figure.”

Online threats started with many in the town turning against the Coleman family. One kid made a t-shirt saying the boy leads Daisy 1-0. The Coleman’s oldest son was booed (at home) when he took to the wrestling mat for a match. Melinda Coleman lost her job. The family had suffered a tremendous loss a few years before when their husband and father (a medical doctor) was killed in an automobile accident. The family moved to Maryville after the accident.

The harassment became too much and the family moved away from Maryville and back to the town of Albany where they first moved from.

Then their vacant house in Maryville burned to the ground.  Continue reading

Taking Care of Our Own

Every day thousands of people put their lives on the line to protect us while working as firefighters and police officers. They are there for us in our time of need. Sadly, some will leave home today and never return.

These heroes need to know that if they don’t return home, someone will have their back.

Several weeks ago 19 men who were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots based in Prescott, Arizona, died while fighting wildfires in Arizona. We mourned with their families about this tragic loss of life. Out here in the west we know all too well about the summer wildfires and the devastation they can do. We also know these fires can kill.

During this tragedy the last thing a family member of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew needs is the runaround over survivor benefits, but that is exactly what the widow of crew member Andrew Ashcraft is getting from the city officials in Prescott.   Continue reading

Dear Dallas: Only You Can Stop the Madness

With just a few hours before the tip-off of the NBA Finals I, along with several (shall I say million) other fans, want to see the Dallas Mavericks put an end to the Miami Heat’s run (purchase) of an NBA Championship.

It may be too late.  I was pulling for the Heat to lose in the first round and then I would have loved to hear the cries of “They are a bust” rolling in from around the country.  But they did not lose.  They also beat my Boston Celtics and made them look old during the Eastern Conference semifinals.

So here we are just a few months after Jame$, Bo$h and Wade decided to $tick together to win an NBA Champion$hip and they are only four games away from succeeding and doing irreparable harm to the NBA.

Somewhere Jordan, Bird, and Magic are thinking “What if we…?”

If the Miami Heat succeed in winning the championship, we can look forward to seeing several trios of players putting together packages to sell – we may see it happen in Middle School, High School and College, too.

Full Disclosure:  During my eighth grade intramural basketball draft, I told two really good players to go home and I would put their names on the draft board and draft them – a package deal.  We won the eighth grade intramural championship that year because nobody knew these players were good – so they did not draft them.  I always felt bad about that just as James, Bosh and Wade will if they win the NBA Championship.

We’ll also probably end up seeing some of these “great players” start their own cable/satellite channel to sell their deal (a la The Decision) because ESPN received some big ratings for the show (and lost some credibility).

It was self-serving to say the least and LeBron made Clevelanders cry…and forget Elway.

So Dallas, it is up to you to put an end to this madness.

I’ll be cheering for Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and the boys to win it all.  I want to see little Jose Barea slice and dice through the Miami players and be like a piece of jello when cornered. I want to see Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic rain threes like a thunderstorm on the Texas Plains.

And yes, I want to see Dallas owner Mark Cuban get his ring.

I also want to see Clevelanders smile…

The 2010-11 NBA Finals airs on ABC starting tonight at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time.


As I wrote about in July of 2010, doesn’t the United States Government have more important things to do than try to prosecute Lance Armstrong – who won some bicycle races?

Federal attorneys do know that our government is broke, don’t they?

I still think there are more important things (like real criminals) to go after than someone who rides a bike, hits or throws a baseball, or even tries to get a few favors for appointing a U.S. Senator (The Rod Blagojevich trial cost taxpayers millions and now the government is getting a do-over because Blagojevich was convicted on only 1 of 23 counts).   Good grief.

In fact, it’s asinine.  The quality of people running and working in our U.S Attorneys offices and at the U.S. Department of Justice must be at an all-time low. Continue reading

Amanda Knox

I happened to catch CNN’s “Murder Abroad: The Amanda Knox Story” last night. Knox was the University of Washington student who studied abroad in Italy. She is now serving a 26 year sentence in Italy for the murder of her roommate. I had read a little about Knox off and on over the past few years, but the CNN story tied it altogether.

You can read the story from CNN HERE.

First of all, Amanda Knox is not a murderer. Continue reading