'One of the only journalistic pit bulls on the Internet' -- Matt Welch
From Cookeville, Tenn. -- Home of LitigationFest 2001® For more info, see our Commerce and Tourism pages

[No bull]

Hold on to your pitchforks . . . 
Didn't City Attorney Mike O'Mara run for DA?
Mike O'Mara: DA
Power! Money! Vanity!
Keanu Reeves discusses character's dilemma
1.1 MB .mov file, click here,
8.4MB .mov trailer here

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his
soul?  -- Matthew 16:26 

Putnam County's watchdog press

News of official corruption, abuse of authority, civil rights violations and outright theft from Cookeville and Putnam County, Tennessee

A Watchdog for All Seasons A watchdog for all seasons
'I've got your eggs right here.'

         Sick of Bill Gibson's methamphetamine district? Need extra cash for your water bill?
U.S. Offers up to $2 Million for Information About Drug Traffickers
Bypass the corrupt Drug Task Force and make some real money.
Turn in the drug traffickers who are being protected under the Abston-Gibson umbrella
The U.S. Department of State is offering rewards of up to $2 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of major drug traffickers, or for information that helps law enforcement authorities seize major drug shipments. If you provide information about illegal drug trafficking, your information will be treated confidentially and your identity will be protected. Don't let your children be the next jailhouse suicides or arson victims. More

Cookeville employees' goof off at work page
City Attorney T. Michael O'Mara's pay increased from 35,953.50 in 1998, to $62,133.35 in 2000, but 
Bogus legal bills don't bug Cookeville's city manager

Does your
pet have rabies?
With cases up 9% over last year, county health officials urge vaccinations

Southern cooking 
has always held a special place in the minds — and stomachs — of many who have had the pleasure of tasting the regional cuisine. Alexander Smalls, father of “Southern revival cooking” and owner of the acclaimed Cafe Beulah, shares some of his favorite dishes of the South. Check out the recipes below.
Great Southern Cooking
The punk of the Upper Cumberland
Welcome to Cookeville government, home of the Shipley gang.
(They say who the press is. No, really, Thomas Jefferson of one of them must have given them permission, or else how could they?)
Give us your change or we'll annex you and shut off your utilities, and you freeze to death the sheriff'll make it look like suicide, he might as well threaten.

Cookeville hits Baxter 
with 7.3 % water rate hike

"Our own costs for services and demands upon our system now requires a price increase," Cookeville Water Czar Ronnie Kelly writes to Mayor Jeff Wilhite
-- Usage figures

State-funded false advertising?
Chamber of Commerce lists member restaurants; nine are threatened with closure for state health violations. 
'We don't promote, just list them,' says Eldon Leslie, chamber president-- Story

Any restaurant that has the same critical item twice in a row receives a "Warning letter" if it scores below 80 on the inspection, explains Jimmy Ashburn, and environmentalist with the Tennessee Department of health. 
"This does not mean that is is dirty or unsafe," he says. "It is simply a warning to not let that violation happen again. If a restaurant has the same critical violation three times in a row and their score on the third inspection is below 70 their permit can be revoked and they can be closed for 24 hours and have to clean up the restaurant and pass another inspection before reopening. So a warning letter is generated on the second violation as a preliminary to possible revocation. However, if their score is not below 70 on the third inspection the revocation procedure is not acted upon. At this time it is policy not to send a 'warning letter' to any establishment unless the score on their inspection is below 80."

Should city taxes support an organization like the chamber that 'lists' but doesn't 'promote' dirty establishments, and has no standard of performance?
What should web site visitors think about other claims made by the Chamber if there is no minimum standard of performance or quality?
City of Cookeville government food outlet gets state revocation notice for health violations
Despite more and more resources going to DA Bill Gibson's Drug Task Force,
a story on recent drug busts does not include even one by the DTF. Story
If you hate regulation, you'll love the Cookeville political climate:
  • Move your toxins and meth labs to Putnam County, Tenn.
  • Under investigation by the TBI? No problem!
  • Our friends get away with murder, our critics are destroyed and . . .
  • We're insured by the Tennessee Municipal League!
Move your environmentally insensitive business to Cookeville, Tenn. 
Check the map at right to locate fresh land to spoil. [Hurry, it's going faster than we can deal with.] Then, add your site to our Local Links pages below.
Where to get sick in Putnam County
You don't have to go to Love Canal to benefit from environmental neglect. Click here for a detailed look at toxic Putnam County sites.
Where to get poisoned in Putnam County
State threatens to shut down more than 20 food outlets -- including one run by the City of Cookeville -- for health violations. 
We name them here.

EPA-identified pollution sites in Putnam County
It's OK. We understand
Make your mistakes in Cookeville like they do in city government
'Everyone makes mistakes,' financial director says 
'Corrected' salary records show some Cookeville government managers make $10,000 more than the city first disclosed in response to a request for current salary levels. In some cases, that's a 20% mistake and it was a mistake made by an employee paid more than $42,000 a year. Compare salaries with your co-workers. 

State Health Department threatens Cookeville government, 20 other food preparers with permit revocation over low restaurant inspection scores 
City's financial desperation leads to more legal woes

Cookeville's electric service, already the cause of one federal lawsuit, could be in for another shock -- Story 
Tennessee Supreme Court remands Robert Fahey vs. Fabien Eldridge & Eldridge Auto Sales, Inc. - M1999-00500-SC-R11-CV

The primary issue presented in this case is whether the Court of Appeals erred in finding that the defendants waived all issues on appeal by failing to specifically state these issues in their motions for a new trial. View
Other local lawsuits of interest
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