Life in the Valley of Riches

Over the past few months, I have had a number of people approach me asking if or why I have a problem with cannabis growers. A few times it has become physical because I don’t back down from anything. I think the fact that I am all fight and no flight does not always serve me well.
Apparently, the convicted felon who caused Laura and I to be handcuffed for seven hours has been telling people that I turned him into the police, which is patently false. It’s not a stretch to wonder how a guy who only spent 30 days under house arrest for his crimes is more likely to have been the one who has turned other growers in.
Since this is becoming the norm, I have decided that I really shouldn’t wear my I.V. News gear in public or be out past dark. This saddens me that some people in our community feel the need to make threats to my safety. That some people cannot act like adults and accept the fact they did something wrong which caused them to be in the newspaper.
In my 13 years here in the Valley, I have had my building spray-painted, rocks thrown through the windows and two gun shots into the building.
I would like to think that I am special, but sadly being a reporter remains a dangerous, and too often deadly profession. More often than not, the murder of a journalist is unresolved.
This year so far there has been one: Dylan Lyons was shot and killed while covering a murder scene Feb. 22 in Pine Hills, Fla.
Jeff German of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was covering corrupt Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles was stabbed to death early in September 2022.
In April 2021, Aviva Okeson-Haberman, an investigative political reporter for NPR, was killed by a bullet that entered her apartment through a window in Saint Louis, Mo.
I could go on and on but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the 2018 Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis that killed four journalists and a sales associate in the Gazette’s office. The suspect, Jarrod Ramos, had held a grudge against the newspaper since it published a story about his guilty plea in a criminal harassment case in 2011.
The fact that illegal cannabis growers are upset about what we cover in the paper and are trying to silence me, only makes me more resolved in providing you the news that happens, regardless of the chance I will upset illegal growers.
After all, I am only doing my job. A job that I am proud to do. Regardless of how the public views the profession, what we do is important and I have no plans to stop until I am six feet under.
I would like to apologize for the lack of local news in this issue. With the holiday it was hard to get a hold of people.
Thank you for picking up this week’s paper. Enjoy! ~djm