The news of David Royce Ford's sentencing made the news in places as far flung as Montana, Chattanooga, San Antonio, Nashville, Boston and, of course, Memphis. But I didn't see anything in the local weekly. Maybe it was too late for that week's edition.
Who is he and what is he to you, you ask? Just another person committing embezzlement, money laundering, and income tax evasion. Stealing GOVERNMENT money. I don't know anything about Mr. Ford, except that he happens to be Black, and was in charge of the Ripley Housing Authority, the provider of low and middle income housing around these parts for seniors, the disabled, and those in need.
So the next question is, "What the hell was he thinking?" Take a look at the charges and note the amount of money. David Royce Ford Was he on drugs? Taking a temporary leave of his senses? I would say that with the wide distribution of the press release (really, outside the state of TN, who cares) that the government is sending a hard-hitting message.
U.S. District Attorney, Edward Stanton, III, continued his enforcement of the drug laws in these parts by also announcing the arrests of 19 people from Henning and Ripley on federal drug conspiracy charges. This, as a result of a federal drug raid, or sweep, the previous week. Approximately a week before that raid, a total of 110 law enforcement officers arrested 10 men on the same charges. One was already in jail in Texas. Of course, these raids had people talking and whispering. "They (the agents) were eating at Emily's." "I saw the tv vans all over the city." Or, "I saw the police cars at...." "The feds are in town."
The ages of the defendants ranged from mid-twenties to 46. No young'ns in this group. Bearing names such as "Killer," "8-Ball," "Dirt," "White Boy," and more. Some of them were clear appellations of their given names but "Danky"? Here's the question: Will this throw a wrench in the thriving drug traffic? And when are they going to swoop down on some of the meth labs?
Not to be outdone, there was the crowning of the Tomato Festival royalty. Didn't know that there were so many divisions in the pageant. The Little Mr. and Miss Tomato Babes; Little Mr. and Miss Tiny Tots; Little Miss Lauderdale County; Lauderdale County Jr. Miss; Miss Lauderdale County Pre-Teen; Miss Lauderdale County Teen and, of course, Miss Lauderdale County. I guess that means Miss Lauderdale County is no longer a teen. Not a dark face to be seen.
Keys to the city were given to a set of twins who celebrated their 90th birthday. I just asked BFF if her mother got one. An announcement of the August election for the county seats and a pithy announcement that very few cast votes in the city election. Shameful, I tell you. And a lot of other details of interest only to those in this area.
I suppose that given the amount of mayhem and viciousness in today's world, I should be thankful for the respite given through reading the town's weekly papers. But I sure could do with sifting through a hard copy of The Washington Post.
Be Safe. Be Blessed.