PALOUSE, Washington (STPNS) -- After producing one issue of The Boomerang and distasteful phone conversations with Palouse Mayor Michael Echanove, new editor Larry Jensen decided he would go back to freelance writing for area publications, including this newspaper and others. LuJane Nisse will be stepping back into the editor position appointing Steve McGehee to handle any ?hard news? that comes up in Palouse.
A news story about the town?s newly hired policeman (unedited version reprinted in this edition of the paper), Brian Dentler?s possible use of excessive physical force on a local woman who was walking her dog outside the city limits triggered the mayor?s Sunday evening conversation with Jensen in which he said he was not an honest man and threatened lawsuits before hanging up. Jensen had received a couple of calls from the mayor prior to the Aug. 7 issue of the newspaper complaining that one of the newspaper?s reporters had called and asked him questions about an incident involving a young Palouse officer. He told Jensen The Boomerang was the only newspaper that ever bothers him. Jensen was taken by surprise by the angry conversation Sunday, following the circulation of the Aug. 7 issue as Jensen said he had dramatically edited McGehee?s article about the assault attempting to assuage the mayor?s previous verbal attacks on editors and reporters when anything is printed putting the city in any kind of critical light.
Referring to other attacks, Nisse said, ?The mayor has called me on several occasions yelling expletives, calling me names, tossing out threats. I don?t know what prompts a person to act in such an immature manner and it certainly makes me question his stability. Up to now, I thought it was a major personality conflict between him and me, but this attack on Larry has me wondering further. When the mayor called to say he would no longer support the local newspaper, I felt that made a statement far beyond financial.?
Community newspapers are charged with being ?watchdogs of the community? by the Constitution of the United States, reporting the news, favorable or unfavorable, to citizens.
?Attempts to stifle the news by anyone puts us back into the age of total governmental control. It goes against everything our forefathers fought for in this country,? Nisse said. ?We always attempt to give a fair and accurate account of both sides of all issues; although in the past several years we?ve been unable to get any civil comments reflecting the city officials? perspective of some incidents we report.?
Nisse went on to say, the newspaper would continue to do everything it can to report both sides of all issues but as long as the mayor is the only spokesman for the city and remains mute, that may prove to be an impossible task. ?In any case, the news will be reported,? Nisse vowed.
© 2013 The Boomerang
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