The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


August 3, 2012

Let the truth be told

TARBORO — In a letter to the editor written by Princeville mayor Priscilla Everette-Oates, it is stated that I am one of seven people who are against her administration and our efforts have affected everybody in Princeville.

This absurd assumption was so far out in left field that I was not going to respond publicly, but after the Local Government Commission took over the town finances Monday, I decided to let the truth be told.

As a reporter covering the Princeville beat, my job is to inform our readers of the decisions their elected officials are making, whether I like them or not.

Yes, I am, and I proudly say, from Princeville. As a matter of fact, I still live in the extra jurisdiction territory of the town. As such, I do have a vested interest in Princeville.

However, when I sit down at my desk to write stories about my beloved community, I put on my reporter’s hat and deal only with the facts concerning the topics about which I’m writing. Those facts are ones I’ve gathered through interviews, from covering the meetings or other investigative alternatives.  

But the mayor doesn’t agree with that. On many occasions, she has accused me of biased reporting. She said I have taken the side of commissioners Ann Howell and Gwen Knight versus herself and commissioners Isabelle Purvis-Andrews and Calvin Sherrod. She says  I’m against them and I only report the “bad news” that goes on in Princeville.

Maybe she doesn’t speak the same language as I, because I haven’t heard any good news concerning Princeville politics for quite some time now. And, if there was any inkling of good news, the bad news always overshadows it.

As a reporter, my job is to get both sides of the story by all means possible. Therefore, I have formed a good relationship with Howell and Knight and they give me information whenever I ask.

On several occasions, I’ve pleaded with the mayor, Purvis-Andrews and Sherrod to establish a working relationship, also. I ask them for comments, but they don’t respond. Therefore, when stories are printed, I have comments on only one side of the story and it may appear to be biased.

What else can I do?

I email the mayor questions and she refuses to even acknowledge that she receives them. Her claim is that she is too busy and I should give her more time to respond. It appears that she runs the town like a dictator — and wants to do the same with our coverage.

It doesn’t work that way mayor. As an elected official, you are obligated to inform your citizens about the welfare of the town. One method of doing that is through the media and not the self-promoted flyers called Princeville Progress Report that you produce monthly. That’s not the American way. The American way allows independent media sources to report on and investigate government and other entities to assure that stories are not dictated by the government. Imagine President Obama releasing Progress Reports concerning the affairs of the United States. Left out of those reports would likely be  our nation’s deficit, high unemployment, health insurance issues and so on and so forth.

Coincidentally, a college professor from China, Chen Kai, visited The Daily Southerner on Tuesday. She marveled over the American way and noted that in China, newspapers are run by the government. No matter what corruption may go on in China’s government, the dictatorship does not allow newspapers to print the wrongs. Imagine that.

Kai hopes to one day start a community newspaper in China. She understands that community newspapers keep government in check. Before she left, she made a comment that made me feel good about reporting on Princeville. She said, “Community newspaper makes Democracy work.”

Wow. That was powerful.

So mayor, don’t blame me for reporting the news. I’m doing my job by assuring Democracy is working in Princeville.

(Calvin Adkins is a staff writer for The Daily Southerner and may be reached at cadkins or by calling 823-3106.)

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    On July 28, 911 was called because my husband had a bad headache. I was transferred to communications in Edgecombe County, where I spoke to a female operator. I informed her I needed Rescue because my husband had a bad headache and gave her our address and telephone number.

    September 26, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Sheriff Knight’s “guys” may have worked hard on the case concerning Melvin Ray Fox, but did they really? Probably not for the sheriff, but for someone else behind the scenes. Not condoning Mr. Fox for his crime, because he should be punished, but not necessarily in the manner of leaving behind his wife as well as his 3-, 5- 7- and 13-year-old children.

    September 10, 2013


    Concerning the Tarboro High 2013 Vikings football team: They have heart and desire. That was shown Friday night versus Washington. Just like last year’s state championship game, we got behind against a very good team. The Vikings didn’t quit even though they had several injuries throughout the game.  Right up to the last minute we had a chance  but, things didn’t go our way.

    September 5, 2013


    To the Editor:
    It appears Mr. (Garland) Shepheard is shaking up things in our fair city according to a recent Daily Southerner article. Hurrah for him. This citizen, for one, believes the status quo needs a little shake up.
    I don’t know if Mr. Shepheard is disrespectful with his words and/or
    actions at council meetings or not. I don’t attend them any longer. It isn’t that I don’t care that some residents may suggest.

    September 4, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Having just recently read the front page article in The Daily Southerner regarding Councilman Shepheard’s issues with the Tarboro town manager, I was left with more questions than answers.
    The article states that  Mr. Shepheard’s reasons for not voting in favor of extending the town manager’s contract had to do with “deplorable conditions of three town facilities, Thornton’s hiring practices and giving the council what he said was false information.” That’s it.  That’s all the information we were given.

    September 2, 2013


    To the Editor:
    So who are you Mr. Allen Dennie Jr.? I have never heard of you. I have tried to find your voter registration on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website and I can't find it.
    Somebody said that you have an impressive resume. I say and ?
    But what I find interesting is the following. Mr. Dennie the current Sheriff is the following: "The sheriff of any county should be a person who has a personal interest in the citizens that work live and visit their county,"

    August 18, 2013


    To the Editor:
    I am glad that opinions are being expressed regarding my actions at the Town Council meetings,  both by Mr. Walker and Mr. Wooten.
    It is my intention to expose the concerns expressed to me by the taxpayers of Tarboro, and when I find something that causes Tarboro not to be the Town we can all be proud of, I will speak up. I was told by people in Ward 8 when I ran for this office not to be like the rest of the Council and I expressed that to the members. The problems that exist in Tarboro should not have to be aired in public or at the Town Council Meetings and there should not be any discord.

    August 18, 2013


    To the Editor:
    I am writing out of concern about disc golf. We as a town need to consider projects that have been given to (parks and recreation director) Cheryl Gay before this disc golf came along — like a walking trail at Clark Park, repairing the bathrooms, making sure the playground equipment is up-to-date and finding out what happen to the lights on the baseball field before we find money for disc golf. The town needs to consider what we been discussing in these last couple of meetings about recreation. I would love to see the Clark Park baseball field turned into a kickball field, which is a sport that everybody knows how to play, before you consider disc golf.
    Greg Higgs,

    August 15, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Monday night at the Town Council meeting (Aug. 12, 2013), I witnessed some the most disruptive,vitriolic and asinine behavior that I’ve ever seen, in the person of (Ward 8) councilman Garland Shepheard.  For several months, his behavior has grown progressively worse and it seems to embolden him to waste my time, the time of the other council members and the time of other citizens who care enough about Tarboro to attend council meetings.

    August 15, 2013

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