Updated: May 29
The Community Focus Update
Date: May 28th, 2021
Note: This is a working document information may change.
Apologies to the aforementioned. In the newscast Brent Davis is misnamed and mispronounced as "Brett Davis" due to auto correct. William "BJ" Jacobberger is unknowingly mispronounced by the anchor. In future newscasts we will ensure the proper usage.
Currently a reference to a current court case involving a minor was mentioned and we unknowingly included it. The affected parties notified us and were given an apology, and assured we will edit this part out. We are awaiting their reply. During this time we will contact our legal liaison at The Society of Professional Journalists an organization in which we are members to ensure we took the proper steps. Once cleared we will reupload the new edited video.
To learn more about ethical journalism and the standards we strive for visit the link.
(PPT Video/Chroma Key)
-:60 Opener/Lower third (Mike)
(One shot) (Zoom in)
Mike: Welcome to our 56th episode of the Community Focus Update.adlib..the good, the bad, the ugly of Fairland..
Anyway before we dive into what's going on around Ottawa County let's talk about our sponsors.
-Kdawg Online Auction
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-Extreme Gaming Mike: In addition to video games, Extreme Gaming at 1915 North Main in Miami is now offering movie rentals! Each Tuesday is New Release day and with over twelve hundred titles in stock, there’s something for everyone! To learn more give Extreme Gaming a call at 918-542-7529. On the phone or in person be sure to thank them for sponsoring the Community Focus Update!
Mike: If you’d like to advertise or be a sponsor of The Community Focus Update it’s only $10 an episode during the covid-19 pandemic. Email me at Michael at Woodruff Media Management dot com with the Word “advertising” in the subject line.
#1 (One shot/Video/Photos)
Fairland Trustee Decides Status of Their Own and Police Department Hiring Practices
Mike: At a special meeting on Tuesday May 25th, Fairland Board of Trustees discussed two items that have been points of contention: the lack of attendance of Board of Trustee meetings by William “BJ” Jacobberger between June 16th and October 15th of last year and the hiring practices of the police department. Here's a summary of that discussion..
-Discussion by Kelly Shelton, Brett Davis -Question by Trevor Berger
-Admission by William “BJ” Jacobberger
Mike: Moments later the board discussed the hiring practices of the police department which was the result of this comment by Trustee Brett Davis at a special meeting on Monday May 17th.
-Fairland Board of Trustees Special Meeting 5/17/21 https://www.facebook.com/392963220757083/videos/800346197259624
Mike: The next morning Mr. Davis went to Fairland Townhall to research previous board of Trustees minutes while there he also discussed the matter further with Mayor John Finnell. Here’s the recording of the audio of that discussion, both parties agreed to be recorded. We were made aware of this audio a few days before this special meeting by a third party who asked to remain anonymous and Mayor Finnell provided it after the meeting.
-Audio regarding Fairland Police Chief Aaron Richardson being named crooked by Mr. Davis and Defended by Mayor Finnell.
Mike: We did reach out to Mr. Davis in regard to the accusation of the police chief being labeled a “crook” and was told “No Comment”.
-Video of documents and photos of officers.
Mike: In documents provided by the town of Fairland this comment and the previous admonishment of Chief Richardson by Mr. Davis was in reference to the minutes of June 30th 2020 in which a temporary officer Holli McDaniel who also worked for The Ottawa County police Department. approached the board of trustees to address unfounded rumors about her service. Additional information and support was then given by law enforcement colleagues to include members of Ottawa County Sheriff's Department. After Officer McDaniels issue was recorded, Police Chief Richardson commented. Members of the sheriff's department also gave support. Within 30 minutes of the opening prayer a motion to enter executive session was made by Trustee, at the time, Lisa Jewett and seconded by “BJ” Jacobberger. Mayor John Finnell, and trustees Lisa Jewett, Brent David, “BJ” Jacobberger, and Kelli Shelton all voted in the affirmative and met behind closed doors to discuss the employment of Chief Richardson. One hour later, the board returned to open session. Mr. Davis motioned to take no further action concerning the police chief and it was seconded by the Mayor. Every board member voted in the positive.
Mike: Upon reviewing the documentation, I did an extensive netsearch of Officer McDaniel and Chief Richardson.
-Photos courtesy of Miami News-Record Mike: Public Online records indicate McDaniels’ years of service in law enforcement has been quite stellar to include aiding children of drug addicts, finding a farmer's stolen tractor, tracking and arresting armed robbers, and since 2009 McDaniel had made over 200 arrests according to The Oklahoma State Courts Network. Chief Richardson has also had a positive career in law enforcement. Aside from an incident where an arrested man claimed police brutality in a settled out of court lawsuit against Joplin police and the Jasper County sheriff’s Department where Chief Richardson was a deputy and a few small claims filed against him, Richardson’s career in law enforcement has been ongoing since graduating from Missouri Southern State University in 1991. In 2016, Richardson was appointed Police Chief of Fairland and has oversaw numerous cases a small town would face to include domestic disturbances, DUIs, property crime, juvenile delinquency, and the case that involved a 10 hour armed standoff that happened last year.
Mike: While neither record was discussed during the special meeting on Tuesday May 25th. The trustees did discuss how City Ordinance Article 5 section 1-11(C) the ordinance that allows the chief to initially hire officers then get confirmation, could possibly affect the town. Here’s that conversation.
-Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday May 25th, 2021 https://www.facebook.com/392963220757083/videos/2940886352850516
Again, town leaders opted to maintain the responsibility of the police chief to vet and appoint potential police candidates and then get them confirmed by the board of trustees.
After the break we’ll update you on another ongoing issue in Fairland, the shoplifting case against Trustee Kelli Shelton.
Here’s a list of upcoming events in Ottawa County
Ottawa County Commissioners Tuesday May 24, 1:45pm (online)
Miami G.A.R Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony Monday May 31, 9:30am
Quapaw Farmers Market Friday June 4, 2pm Afton Community wide Garage Sale June 4-5
Commerce Days June 16-19
Miami PrideFest June 19 12p-6p
Ottawa County Swine, Goat, & Sheep Jackpot June 25-26
Commercial Break (Unity of Joplin, Paid)
Mike: Welcome Back everyone.
#2 (one shot/graphic/video)
Shelton Fined for Shoplifting
-Dispatch audio (Awaiting audio from Miami PD)
Mike: On Friday afternoon February 4th, Miami police were dispatched to Integris hospital Miami in response to a possible shoplifter at the gift shop. After a brief discussion with hospital personnel, Fairland Town Parks Commissioner Kelli A. Shelton was given a citation for theft of a $50 dollar flannel shirt and released on her own recognizance with a summons for Municipal court on Tuesday February 23rd. On that day, an Entry of Appearance was filed by Mrs. Shelton’s lawyer Winston H. Connor the 2nd of Jay with a plea of not guilty.
At her second appearance before Municipal court on March 25th,
Mrs. Shelton and her lawyer asked for more time in order to gather more information. According to a follow up conversation with Miami City Attorney Ben Loring and Judge Charles Chestnut, a plea bargain was possible. If a plea agreement wasn’t agreed upon by Mrs. Shelton her next court date would be May 27th, she would then go to trial. If found guilty, Mrs. Shelton would be fined for no more than $500 plus a $60 court fee.
Mike: On May 27th, 2021 Kelli Shelton had her day in court. While we couldn’t bring our camera into the courtroom I was allowed to sit and take notes. During the meeting Mrs. Shelton was polite as the charge of shoplifting was read. While Shelton did not admit guilt or innocence her attorney did opt for a Blind Plea.
According to Google, “A blind plea is a guilty plea without a set sentence. This is different than a standard plea bargain, in which the defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney agree on a guilty plea for the accused in exchange, the prosecuting attorney recommends a lighter sentence. A blind plea is accompanied by no such agreement, thus leaving it up to the judge to sentence the defendant as he or she sees fit (within the bounds of the law). The judge still follows sentencing guidelines that give minimum and maximum penalties, according to the type of crime the defendant is charged.
In the end the max fine was split for $250 plus $60 court fees. In addition to the fine Mrs. Shelton received a deferred sentence and possible expungement of her record within 6 months due to the fact this was her first offense. Later when asked if expungement was typical of a case like this, Mr. Loring told the press that roughly 25% of offenders get this. When the sentence was passed, Judge Chestnut commented “Hopefully this will be the last of your appearances.”
After court ended we reached out to City attorney Ben Loringand asked while Mrs. Shelton got a lesser fine. Two factors were noted: The hiring of a lawyer which resulted in a fee that far exceeded the maximum fine of $500 and public humiliation due to the premature release of the police cam video which was posted numerous times by the Ottawa County Inquirer, a watchdog group on Facebook. When followed up about whether Woodruff Media Management will receive the items we requested, which included 911 dispatch audio, dash cam video, and body cam video. Mr. Loring promised we’d receive the 911 dispatch audio, as for the other two Dash cam video is not installed in Miami police vehicles and officer body cam video will need to be edited to insure to comply with HIPPA guidelines since it took place in a hospital. We also reached out to Miami Police Chief Thomas Anderson about the issue and received this email.
Due to HIPPA and CJIS security issues the video for the Shelton case is not available at this time. The city of Miami and the Miami Police department will fully comply with your open records request when the redactions can be made and the privacy issues can be dealt with in accordance with established law and policy. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work on the redaction issues.
Thomas Anderson, Chief
Miami Police Dept
Mike: After the break, we’ll discuss why so much time and effort was dedicated to covering Fairland. Here’s a fact you may not know
Did you know trivia
Commercial Break (Ottawa County Farmers Market :30, Paid)
#7 (One Shot)
(Commentary on Media at Town Meetings)
Mike: Welcome Back everyone. Since the beginning of the Community Focus Update we have been bringing you news that focus on how people live and how their government works. In most cases the stories are positive and in others pretty damning. Among the damning are two comments from Fairland that have really troubled my heart not just as a local broadcaster but also as an American. The first was this in response to learning of Kelli Shelton’s crime.
-Brett Davis- “It doesn't matter, the crime didn’t take place in Fairland” third party audio quote.
Mike: The second was this by Mrs. Shelton and the agreement by Mr. Jacobberger
-Kelli Shelton- “I like to make a comment that none of the members be called out especially in front of media” quote Board of Trustees 5/25/21.
While on the surface the people who said these comments have good intentions they are ignorant to what those words represent. In the case of Mr. Davis it’s much like the tourism slogan “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” the reality is if Mrs. Shelton committed a worse crime like murder would that same thought apply? Additionally if “What happens in Miami stays in Miami” applies to Mrs. Shelton then it has to apply to Police Chief Richardson for whatever “Crookedness” he has dreamt up. That is unacceptable. As for “airing dirty laundry in front of the media”, sure rumors should not be validated by the Board of Trustees but this idea is subjective. The actions of the police chief need to be questioned, a member who was caught stealing needs to answer for it, and how trustees interact behind closed doors are important.
Sadly Mr. Davis, Mr. Jacobberger, and Mrs. Shelton does not seem to understand why the media is there. To them we’re just looking for dirt. That is far from the truth. In fact we are looking to help. We help the government and the citizens by reporting facts not fiction, we give the public perspective on what is happening by explaining why the government does certain things. Our presence keeps everyone in check, from ensuring the government follows correct procedure to deterring those in the room who want to make a spectacle of the sacredness of a public meeting. We are also a record. Unlike a paper copy of the meeting minutes that contains overall ideas and summaries a video recording contains the exact words, emotions, and context of the meeting. Lastly the media is a teacher, we report things as exactly as they happened. Government officials can look back at it and learn from their mistakes while the citizen can rest assured there is accountability long after the meeting is over.
Mike: There will be no episode for the next two weeks due to vacation. Until then please like and share this video and if you have yet, become our friend on Facebook. We’ll see you later. (Copyright 2021/fade out)
Fairland Board of Trustees Meeting Videos 2/12/21 https://www.facebook.com/392963220757083/videos/173890694353482 5/17/21 https://www.facebook.com/392963220757083/videos/800346197259624
Holli GoForth McDaniel Net Search https://www.google.com/search?q=%22holli+goforth%22+oklahoma&oq=&aqs=chrome.0.69i59i450l8.507363j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Aaron Richardson Net Search https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk01benQjprTAUNHYVWGJuweseIdIgQ:1622081088241&q=aaron+richardson,+sheriff+missouri&spell=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi8sL744ujwAhXQZc0KHaVQCycQBSgAegQIAhAw&biw=1280&bih=578
Richardson Named in 2001 Beating Case