Hats off to The Star for a fine Sunday paper. The front page consisted of three “enterprise” stories, that is, not breaking news but stories reported and written over a period of days or weeks and focus on a person or development that has been in the news.
Two sports-age stories — one on new Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and the other on Royals’ outfielder Alex Gordon — contributed to an overall excellent print edition.
A closer look at the front-page stories…
:: The Sunday “centerpiece,” by Rick Montgomery, was about the so-called Neo Luddites, those who eschew cellphones, iPads, computers and the like. Montgomery built the story around a man named Jeffrey Ruckman, a Kansas City composer who writes his scores by hand.
The only caveat on this story is that it trailed off at the end because it failed to return to Ruckman, whose personality Montgomery did a good job of developing in print, at the very end.
:: Another story, by Tony Rizzo, told the tale of Kansas Citian Odessa Brown, who got away with a murder in Muskogee, OK, but later confessed to it while serving time for a second murder. Her conscience got to her, and she seemingly has turned her life around in prison.
The only problem I had with this story is that it failed, as far as I can tell, to say how old Brown is. Because she graduated from high school in 1983, I figure she is about 47…But, as a wise editor once warned me, never make the reader do the math.
:: In the third story, Karen Dillon put the microscope on the dysfunctions of the Gardner, KS, city government. It involves the city’s loss of a huge intermodal freight hub (Edgerton stepped in and annexed the property), a mayor and interim city administrator who are openly defying the Kansas Open Meetings Law and a councilman whose goal is to drive the mayor crazy.
Dillon is The Star’s environmental reporter, but she combines her knowledge of that field with a great talent for investigative reporting. It was good to see her on something besides asbestos and polluted water.
Finally, JimmyCsays sends out heartfelt congratulations to The Star’s Mike DeArmond, who retired Saturday after a 40-year career at the paper, almost all of it on the Sports Desk. He has covered University of Missouri athletics the last 20 years.
An opinionated and tenacious person, DeArmond once challenged former Royals’ outfielder Amos Otis to a fight after Otis got lippy with him for no good reason. After DeArmond made it clear he wasn’t going to let Otis mess with him, the two got along just fine.
DeArmond has certainly earned his sheet cake and pizza party. Good luck, Mike!