A (sometimes) tongue in cheek review of the news published this week regarding Wise County.
Normally posted every Sunday around 6:00 p.m.
For the week ending 6/3/00:
The Story The Decatur School Board eliminates the homestead tax exemption. Superintendent J.D. Kennedy said "I would not make this recommendation without also recommending a decrease in the tax rate".
News worthiness (on a scale of 0 to 5) ****
The Spin Jeff Jones argues in a letter to the editor that (1) even with a tax rate reduction, a resident's tax bill will still be higher than last year because of the elimination of the homestead exemption, and (2) the tax rate will "go right back up" in the future.

The Story County Commissioners approved paying a wireless phone bill of $205.01 for Brandon Richardson. County Auditor Ann McCuiston said the county is liable for the bill due to contract reasons.
News worthiness **
The Spin Since the Commissioners obviously questioned whether they were obligated to pay the bill, the next question is: who is Brandon Richardson?

The Story Taxpayer revolt has begun. Our "Line of the Week" Award comes from Decatur's H.D. Boswell's letter to the editor when he described "Chief Appraiser" Mickey Hand.
News worthiness ***
The Spin "I love [him] like he was my back-sliding son, but he treats the homeowners of Wise County with all the compassion of a loan shark for the Mafia".

The Story Wise County unemployment rate falls from 2.8% in 1999 to 2.1% in 2000. 
News worthiness **
The Spin Translation: "I wonder where our waitress is?"

The Story Messenger's Thursday Headline: "Teen Drowns in Black Creek Lake". Advertisement in Sunday's paper: "Come enjoy the Kids All-America Fishing Derby [at] Black Creek Lake".
News worthiness **
The Spin Very dark.

The Story Florence and Sam Green are offered $50,000 for their land by the State of Texas which intends to take their property for the widening of Highway 380. Previous work on the highway by the State had already caused their property line to be "barely 20 feet off [the highway]".
News worthiness *
The Spin Do you think the State has the nerve to argue: "What do you expect when your property is 20 feet off of the highway?"

The Story Roy Eaton writes how, in this complex business and government atmosphere, you have to be careful in taking a person "at his word". As an example, he noted "a state official" who back-tracked on a concession he made to group of Decatur business leaders even though he assured them he was a "man of his word".
News worthiness **
The Spin Who was it?

See something in the local papers that struck you funny?  Then suggest a topic for The Spin.

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