A hometown kid who made good — and is still making good, very good — was the subject of an email I got from Faye Dennis of Burlington and tops the February emailbag. Faye’s a Frank Haith fan. Me too.
Here it goes.
I may have missed any updates on Coach Haith’s outstanding season withMissouri. Being from our county, I would like to read more of him as they are doing super great. As Bobby Knight says super good guards. This week’s SI has mentioned him as their selection Coach of the Year.
Thank you, Faye
MY TAKE: I first met Frank Haith about, oh, 20-some years ago when he was a student at Elon just trying to hang out with the team and learn all he could from the coaching staff. From my standpoint it’s been a joy to watch him succeed at all his stops, including assistant stints at Elon and Wake Forest then the head coaching gig at Miemi. Now he has a top 10 team at Mizzou. Our sports guys have tried to post any stories they see about Frank that move over the national sports wire by the Associated Press or McClatchy News Service — and not just the ones about the scandal at Miami and what occurred there under his watch, an investigation he is, by all accounts, cooperating with fully. I’m also following Missouri newspapers on Twitter and Frank — although Frank doesn’t tweet very often. Sad to say there is a fake Frank Haith Twitter page. It’s not very complimentary.
We’ll try to keep up with Frank and his Tigers in the NCAA Tournament.
By the way, I like stories about hometown kids who make good. It’s my favorite thing to put in the newspaper.
Is that a sports term?
On the front page of (a February) Sports section, I found a word that I am not familiar with. That word is “percision.” It is in the headline of the story by Adam Lawson about the Cummings boys basketball team’s win over Jordan-Matthews. Is this merely a misspelling or am I just not knowledgeable about new words?
MY TAKE: There is no such word, and I think Mr. Larson is well aware of it. People like to get in a dig now and then. It’s what we’re here for, really.
Adam Lawson himself alerted me to the mistake online — and it was fixed. It was too late to correct in our print edition. Adam himself didn’t make the error. Writers don’t usually put in the headlines.
I’ll vouch for our sports staff. They put in long days and tons of hours. Sometimes they make a a mistake in the rush to get the pages out on time. An unfathomable amount of work is done in their department between 10:30 p.m. and deadline time at 12:15 a.m. And when they do make a mistake in a head, they always feel awful afterward.
Mugging the mugs
Our new online Alamance County Clink feature has tons of fans and some detractors. I posted earlier about how popular the mugs of those in the Alamance County Jail are with readers — two week ago we had an all-time record for page views in a week with more than 930,000. Here are two opposing takes on publishing the mugs.
First, the pro-mug point of view.
Just have to tell you it is simply SHAMEFUL how much my friends and I are enjoying the daily mugshots posted on FB! **The snarky headlines are the best!**
I just wish you could follow up with a “whatever happened to … “ feature in the paper. Even criminals want their 15 minutes, right? I bet it would be even hotter than the Sunday weddings and engagements!
Now the con, er-uh, make that against-mugs point of view.
Have you considered how many innocent people’s pictures you are posting and POSSIBILITY of ruining there lives?
MY TAKE: I have a love-hate relationship with publishing the mugs. As Mr. Allred correctly points out, because people are arrested is not proof of guilt. That’s for a court to decide, not the newspaper or a website. Some are charged with relatively minor offenses and are now being subjected to possible ridicule or ruin as a result of publishing the photos.
That’s why I’m very opposed to print publication. Ultimately that won’t be my call, but I should have a substantial say in whether we do so or not. I believe the publisher is on my side on this one.
On the pro side of printing crime mugs, if we don’t someone else will — and in some cases already are. It’s a poor business decision on our part to simply ignore them completely. I can live with online publication.
More on Frances and Tom
Every so often I try to update readers about the status of Tom Woody, husband of longtime Times-News columnist and newsroom go-to administrator Frances Woody. She remains out looking out for Tom who’s still at Duke Hospital where he’s doggedly battling esophageal cancer. It’s been a horror show for them both. I know Tom had surgery on Tuesday to try and relieve fluid in his lungs. I haven’t been able to speak to Frances about Tom’s health after the procedure. We hear from one of their daughters that he came through the surgery as well as could be expected — but prayers are in order for those so inclined.
Meanwhile, Frances’ many fans and friends are clamoring for information.
Frances Woody is a columnist of delight and YKW (Tom Woody) is the main man in their love story. May God bless them very specially now. Please let them know we readers thank them for sharing a love story to which we can relate and have missed these lastmonths. Thanks to the Times-News editor for giving this update. We continue to send prayers.
Ellen Lawrence, Hawfields Child Care, Mebane
Thank you for your update on Tom Woody. I am sure they want their privacy, but there are loyal readers who are very concerned about Tom and Frances and miss her greatly!
MY TAKE: When I know more, readers will know more. Please keep them in your thoughts.
The Open Forum should be more selective
A reader takes us to task for publishing a letter they feel isn’t up to standard.
The letter published in the Open Forum on Feb. 16 was full of unsubstantiated allegations. That is the polite way to say the writer was uninformed. President Obama has expelled more illegal immigrants that Bush had in eight years. Acorn is not registering illegal immigrants. There may be groups doing this but the local registrars will be able to stop any illegitimate applications for voting rights. The border patrol is currently sending back border crossers, and taking them well intoMexicoto prevent their re-entry, which has been a problem.
I enjoy the comments of fellow citizens, but I believe your paper has a responsibility to stop any publication of complete falsehoods. Opinion is not something that can be proved or disproved. But when someone states such outlandish factual information, it is your responsibility to at least fact check it for some accuracy before you misinform the reader.
MY TAKE: I understand Ms. Muller’s point and we do delete a ton of objectionable and false statements from many of our letters prior to publication — or we spike the letter entirely. I’m sure we miss a few on both sides, though. But it’s also an Open Forum and one that should be opinionated. I try to include as many different points of view as possible. It wouldn’t be right for the forum to be too exclusive.
And, I’ve found, with a multitude of media sources today there are several different varieties of truth — much like the old cereal variety packs your mom used to buy. Can’t say I believe that to be a positive thing.
No lead-in really necessary here. Read on.
I am sending this email hoping that something can be resolved with the continuance of me receiving WET NEWSPAPERS!!!!!!!!! This has happened three times in the last week; have you ever tried to read a wet newspaper? Not a very pleasant experience; pages with not come apart, you end up with black all over your hands, clothes and even furniture. I tried calling your newspaper to express my dissatisfaction only to get a recording saying ‘call cannot be completed because of high Internet usage’ or something of that nature; and after calling about five times or more someone answers the phone; you try to get help to resolve the problem only to be told that was not their department and then are switched over to someone else and all you get is a recording. Now, how unhappy do you think I am right at this moment with the Times News????? I do not know who the carrier is for my area but someone needs to express to them the need for your subscribers to receive a dry newspaper.
I am already so dissatisfied with your paper because of the coverage (or lack of) your writers show to the Duke basketball team. It seems no matter how good Duke is playing your writers always have to insert their negative comments regarding Duke even when they win the game. When UNC wins, they get BIG SPLASHY pictures on the front page and write ups on several pages of the sports section; if Duke wins they are lucky to get just what your people feel has to be printed even though it is probably thru gritted teeth by your writers who are so obviously Tar Heel fans. This hardly seems fair to me; not all residents in this area are UNC fans.
Can you tell I am really unhappy with the Times News. Don’t bother trying to get me another newspaper today or even any other day when my paper is wet; it just adds to my dislike for your paper and encourages me to cancel my subscription.
You have a nice day.
MY TAKE: Whew!
On the subject of wet newspapers, one big problem is that the carriers aren’t actually employees of the Times-News. They are independent contractors. As such, we can merely suggest what they might do to better protect newspapers from the rain. We offer suggestions, it is the carrier who makes the final call. Todd Benz, who heads our circulation and reader development department, though, is aware of the issue and will continue to impress upon carriers the importance of getting our subscribers a newspaper they can actually read.
We all apologize for any problems you are having in this area.
As for the criticism of the sports staff I can honestly say that the complaints we get about coverage of UNC and Duke is about even — or perhaps a few more from UNC. I wrote to Ms. Tyre and told her that most often Tar Heels fans think we lean toward Duke. In a situation where one team defeats another there will always be some hard feelings among the strongest fans.
I also reminded Ms. Tyre that when Duke beat UNC at the buzzer in the first game we ran a huge photo and a big headline. This past Sunday we did the same when UNC defeated Duke in the regular season rematch. Sports editor Bob Sutton also reminded me that the previous Sunday he ran Duke and Carolina stories side by side so they would have exactly the same play.
On this issue, I’m convinced, we’ll never make both sides happy.
Pretty much like Democrats and Republicans.