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Nov. 22, 2007

Missed Ad, Mysterious Man Keeps Reporting Interesting

by David Howell

We might yet get to use our recently-acquired 1978 Secret Service forms. It identifies what notes to take when a bomb threat is phoned in. The forms had been left in the bottom drawer of a surplus desk we obtained from a nearby government entity as we were outfitting our new Herald office.

Maybe we can make it through the beer election at the Herald without a bomb threat, but we have received a piece of hate mail targeting a Herald reporter.

This comes as several contentious issues remain hot topics in Water Valley and Yalobusha County. Down at the Herald, our job is to publish each week while accurately reporting the facts. Our job is to inform the reader, who then forms his or her own opinion.

In addition to serious issues, a bigger component is the valuable community news we receive each week to publish. These include the three most important events in any person’s life – a birth announcement, engagement and obituary. Community news also covers many other topics – a wide mix of ingredients.

And it is inevitable that we will leave an ingredient out by accident.

Last week, we failed to publish an ad placed by First Baptist Church urging Yalobushians to vote against legalizing beer on December 11. It was an honest mistake,  but once the paper is printed  it is irreversible.

As always, when an error is made we like to correct it in the following week’s Herald and follow up with an apology to the church for our negligence. We understand the importance of this issue and regret the error.

The most embarrassing part of this story is that this is the second time this has happened.

On a more humorous note, we have another ad published in this week’s edition which has created interest in recent weeks.

Off and on since last year, we have had an occasional ad placed on behalf of Y.A.B.A.L. (Yalobushians Against Beer And Liquor.)

Our policy for placement of any political ad is including the name of the person who is placing the ad in the paper. The Y.A.B.A.L. ad has been placed on behalf of J.B. Honnecutt.

Each time the ad is placed, it is dropped off by a neighbor, who this week identified himself. The only problem is, we were unable to get contact information for Honnecutt.

As the story was told to us, Honnecutt stays in Cossar State Park, apparently in a camper, and works in Memphis. The only problem is that several interested readers have not been able to locate Mr. Honnecutt. They have checked Internet sources, phone books, and public records at the county courthouses with no luck.

Members of the Yalobusha Progressive Association have a theory that county-line beer stores could be fronting the advertising money under a fictitious name.

Mr. Honnecutt also has attracted the attention of the anti-beer group. Rev. Keith Stevens reported that his church was unable to locate Mr. Honnecutt.

I guess we will keep our handy little forms from 1978 by each desk. Check here, the form reads, if the caller’s voice is calm, slow, loud, normal, or raspy.

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