Wednesday, February 21, 2018




Answer Line: Sheriff says East Mountain clerks' response not a crime

Jan. 6, 2018 at 12:02 a.m.


QUESTION: I appreciated the summary on the East Mountain public records story but was wondering if the employees who appear to have deliberately sabotaged the computer records are being held to any accountability? They ended up costing the city more money to get that situation resolved.

ANSWER: The issue as I understand it is that the two city employees had submitted resignations early in 2017 but were asked to leave before their resignation was effective. Then, city officials couldn't access the computers because they were password protected and, according to previous News-Journal articles, the passwords had been changed.

I spoke to Upshur County Sheriff Larry Webb this week who told me no criminal violation had occurred. The staff members were fired, then asked to provide their passwords after city officials discovered they couldn't access the computers. They wouldn't, but Webb said that's not a crime.

Q: Can you tell me who writes the Fishing Report published Thursdays and where they get their information?

A: J.P. Greeson has been editor since 1998 of what starts off as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Weekly Fishing Report. He told me the report is compiled by him, Mark Perry, Kendal Hemphill and Bink Grimes using a combination of local contacts and Internet sources. Greeson also operates the Texas Fishing Forum and Texas Hunting Forum web sites.

"The Texas Fishing Forum (texasfishingforum.com) is one of our best Internet sources for reports and creating new local contacts," he said.

The Associated Press circulates the weekly report as part of its service to member newspapers.

Q: We entered a contest through A/C Contractors to try to win a free furnace. They ran an ad for several weeks in the Longview News-Journal promoting the contest looking for the oldest-running furnace/AC in the area. The person with the oldest unit would receive a new unit. We haven't seen anything about the winner.

A: Have you seen the photo the company posted on Facebook this week? I had made a couple of inquires by phone and Facebook when the company let me know that on Wednesday it had posted a picture of the winners, "Mr. and Mrs. Everett." A/C Contractors told me it was not announcing the age of the unit that won the "Oldest Furnace Contest." (I recognized the winner, though, as Ralph Everett, who once worked as an operations clerk for the Longview Police Department. Congratulations Mr. Everett!)

Q: I've watched Georgia play football several times this year. When the team comes on to the field one player has a very heavy chain. It looks like it's about 5 or 6 feet long over his shoulder. What does this represent? I saw it just a minute ago when they played Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.

A: I found your answer in various newspaper articles. Basically, it symbolizes the strength the defensive line has when it's working as a unit. So it's about unity, and it was introduced during spring training by defensive line coach Tray Scott. I found this explanation by defensive tackle Tyler Clark in a story published in The Telegraph, the newspaper in Macon, Georgia:

"The chain means all of us together," Clark said. "If someone is not with us on the defensive line, like having a bad practice, the chain is broken. When the chain is together, it means that everybody is working."

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

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