Friday, February 23, 2007

Recent Front Page Headlines

“Girl assaulted at gunpoint” reads the front page headlines of the JS yesterday. Great headline for the out of town visitor to read and take a copy of this alleged assault back to their community. Bad publicity to offset all the hard work being done by community leaders to get businesses to locate in Peoria. Good headline to make people want to move out of the community. Not a good headline when at that point the JS had only the girl’s story according to the JS reporter. A thirteen year old girl approximatly a mile away from her school at 9:45 in the A.M? Today’s also prominent article on the subject says she was tardy. Hmmm.

The Journal Star has turned more and more into the National Inquirer. Print front page headline “news” before the complete information has been verified. Really helps build up our reputation, doesn’t it?

I suspect more to this story may develop further down the road. I wasn’t aware that kids who live about a mile away from school aren’t picked up the dozens of school busses I see everyday. Why would any mother send her 13 year old daughter to school walking thru an area so secluded that the event wasn’t witnessed or her screams for help heard by someone?

I certainly have great compassion for this 13 year old grade school student no matter what the circumstances are. I plan to follow this unfortunate situation carefully but I ask school administration to advise the general public what their policy is on distances from home to school, the safety of kids walking and what circumstances must exist before a bus picks them up. Did she perhaps miss the bus?

I note that the school is increasing security around the school. Is this security going to extend out to a radius of one mile? Hmmmm.

In simple language, I don’t believe this unfortunate event and the unfortunate behavior of the “athlete” going to school for an education at the U of I are worthy of front page headlines when we are getting enough bad publicity as it is.

Hope some school board member answers my question but the potential for lawsuits may prevent them from doing so. In the meantime “thumbs down” for the JS in continuing their drive to prove this is dangerous community to live in.

Is this railway part of the rail that the park wishes to turn to trails for only a cost of $10,000.00 a year to maintain? This was the figure given Tuesday night by Board President Tim Cassidy. Doesn’t sounds reasonable as security alone will cost more than that unless the park believes the city should provide the security instead of park police.


Anonymous said...

The section of track where the alleged assault on the teenager occurred is the lower part of the Kellar Branch. If CIRY gets the contract to run the Kellar Branch they are going to use this part to service customers from approximately War Memorial to the riverfront. The spur tracks along this area will be used to store box cars, tank cars, flat cars and whatever other type of cars. They will charge storage rates for this. What it will mean is railroad cars of all types stored in people's backyards attracting children to play on them and criminals to use them for other nefarious purposes. But that is what our city council voted for last Tuesday.

pollypeoria said...

"Why would a mother send her daughter to walk to school in an area so secluded that no one could witness the attack or hear her screams?"

You say you have compassion for this girl, but then you essentially reprimand the victim's mother (why not her father?)for allowing the circumstances for the rape to occur. At one time or another, even the best and most responsible of us will find themselves vulnerable to attack.

I like to jog through Springfield Cemetary, through many stretches of my run there isn't anyone around. If I am attacked, am I to blame or the perpretrator? Should I live my life in fear and stop running there or take my chances? If I run on the side of the road in a busier area (since much of Peoria is sidewalkless) am I to blame if a car hits me?

If someone breaks into your home tonight and you don't hear him/her because you were sleeping, and then attacks you, are you partially to blame for not having an alarm system?

We are not soverign over our fates. Therefore the correct attitude to take here, Merle, is, "But for the Grace of God Go I."

Merle Widmer said...

Hi Plly,

Father, mother, guardians, all have responsibility to watch over 13 year olds. And where they walk and why a mile from school at 8:30 alone? Common sense and the luck of the "Irish" helps keep many people alive.

Tom Frazier said...

I'm sure that there is a limit to the distance one has to walk to school, and outside of that limit, the buses take over. having said that, we can only protect our children so much. I won't get into the fact that it was front page news other than people need to know that this scum is out there preying on our children. I think it is wrong to cast blame on the parents. Kids walk to school all the time. They can be abducted from the bus stop, as we all know. The public just needs to be aware of suspicious people and report them when seen. Better safe than sorry.

Ryan Johnson said...

Are you kidding? This is not front page news?

A 13 year girl is brutally assaulted...let's bury it and hope no one sees it and it happens to another teenage girl.

I know you have a grudge against the media, but that statement is ridiculous. The media's job is the report the news, not sell the area.