Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 24, 2018

TV reporter likes ‘small-town flaps’

By Linda Wenger
Linda Wenger

I was enjoying a quiet hour in the Washington Public Library, Thursday afternoon. I was upstairs in the nonfiction stacks where I was doing some historical research about the Civil War. I saw Dave Franzman and a cameraman from KCRG in Cedar Rapids come upstairs and go into one of the small conference rooms in the back.
Here at The Journal, we were hearing from townspeople that KCRG was in town, by the courthouse, so after 15 minutes or so, I decided to go knock on the door and introduce myself to Franzman. He wasn’t much of a gentleman. He barely took his eyes off of his computer.
I told him my name and that I work for The Journal, the local newspaper, and I didn’t get the professional courtesy of a handshake.
He told me he was here because of our story earlier this week about the county attorney’s conflict of interest problem with the board of supervisors.
“We like small-town flaps,” Franzman said. “We’ve talked to everyone but the county attorney, who’s in a trial.”
This might seem like a small-town flap to KCRG and some Cedar Rapidians, but this matters more to us. These men make decisions that affect all of us in this “small town” and in Washington County.
I’ve never met a TV reporter who didn’t look down his or her nose at “small town” newspaper reporters. I guess KCRG wouldn’t have the kind of story they like about a “small-town flap” without this newspaper. I guess they like three-day-old stories that are beginning to smell like rotten fish.
KCRG likes to come to our small town when some of us are at our worst. That’s easier than realizing you’re sitting in a small-town library that is second to none in even a big town like Cedar Rapids.
Look at our square across the street from the library — at our Centennial Fountain and our 21st century bandstand where the Municipal Band performs every week in the summer. I hope you saw the Farmers Market. It should be the envy of any of the vendors at NewBo City Market.
You may be here because of our “small-town flap,” but I live here and I work here. I’ve gone to the doctor and dentist here. My daughter was born here in the Washington County Hospital.
I get to cover stories like the Washington County Fair and the 4-H program that works with about 400 youth and their families. I work in a small town that has a YMCA and a community theater and other attractions that make this small town a wonderful place to live and work.