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The Snoop 5.3.12

Tuesday was the first of May. May Day. Do you remember making May Baskets in elementary school? For some reason, I thought about that Tuesday morning while I was watching the Today Show. We would take pieces of construction paper, fold them, put a handle on them, and, voila, we had a May Basket. Then we were told about the tradition of slipping around and placing the May Basket at the doorstep of that “special” person, ringing the doorbell and running away. According to the tradition that apparently made its way to our country from Europe, if the fleeing person got caught, a kiss was exchanged.
Well, I never really got too excited about May Day for several reasons. First of all, our closest neighbors were a quarter of a mile away…and they were cousins. And no one in our neighborhood had a doorbell. Shucks! If anybody even knocked on the door you knew it was a stranger. And if they used the front door, they for sure were foreigners in our neighborhood.
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NCAA basketball is a huge media event…if you’re in the right media and if the media company is willing to give up all its rights to what it witnesses at a game.
We, at the Herald, had a brush with this a few years ago when we were told David Quackenbush at Curtis Department Store could not advertise a “March Madness” sale. It seems “March Madness” is a term now owned by the NCAA and nobody else is allowed to use it, not in advertisement, anyway.
Then a couple of weeks ago I read the reprint of an article from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette explaining that the newspaper’s reporters chose to buy tickets and cover the NCAA women’s basketball tournament from the stands rather than agree to NCAA policies.
In order to obtain media credentials, the NCAA requires news organizations to sign away control of their photographs and their video, as well as editorial control.
Wally Hall, whose Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article was recently reprinted in the Missouri Press Association Bulletin, which is distributed to MPA members, said, “This newspaper chose another route because we felt our readers deserve to have local news in their local newspaper written by local reporters without giving up what belongs to the newspaper.” Good for you, Mr. Hall.
“So”, he says, “we bought tickets and went to the NCAA Tournament as spectators with notepads and cameras.”
When approached about the NCAA policy, Hall said a tournament official basically said it is the NCAA’s event and its rules.
The fact that the teams are playing for a taxpayer-financed sports program at a taxpayer-owned facility at a taxpayer-owned university apparently makes no difference.
Hall goes on to say that this may not matter to the NCAA, but as fewer papers cover NCAA events, attendance is on the decline – by more than 20 percent at last year’s NCAA regionals.
Here in the Ozarks we might say they are getting too big for their britches.
So much for Arkansas and the NCAA. Now let’s take a look at some of our area newspapers.
The West Plains Daily Quill reported Monday that Lidia Collins, a senior at West Plains, has not missed a day of school in 13 years. She even managed to have chicken pox during Christmas break when she was in 3rd grade at Howell Valley.
The Taney County Times said Sheriff Jimmie Russell and his challengers, Steve Dalton and Kenny Edmondson, would be speaking at Fat Daddy’s Restaurant in Forsyth on April 26. The event was sponsored by the Taney County Federated Republican Women.
And the Houston Herald reported that a man was charged with assault after he threw a package of meat at an employee at Walmart.