Day: March 10, 2017

“Moor” well-plotted fun in latest cozy series installment

There are many cozy mystery series out there, so when one stands out above the rest, it’s a reason to take notice. Julianna Deering’s Drew Farthering mysteries are part of a cracking fun, well-plotted series. In her recently released fifth installment, “Murder on the Moor,” Deering adds a heaping spoonful of atmosphere. The novel opens with Drew and Madeline being contacted by an old school fellow of Drew’s. Mysterious circumstances lead to a trip to the school fellow’s ancestral home. This is where the marvelous atmosphere comes into play. If the title already hasn’t given it away, the moors have a delicious Gothic flavor. Strange noises, ghostly hounds stalking moors — Deering populates her world with all of the things you’d expect to find, but with a cozy twist. She has a real talent for creating wonderfully developed characters. Her love for the genre and classic mysteries is apparent. Deering, once again, gets the 1930s setting just right, with just enough spot-on details to let one’s imagination take over. Readers would be served best by starting with the first installment in the series, “Rules of Murder,” if they wish to avoid being spoiled. The Drew Farthering series is a really wonderful tribute to the golden age of detective fiction and fans of the genre definitely should give it a shot. Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book....

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Decker: Protests are fine, but destructive tactics always are evil

For much of human history, regardless of the chosen nation’s political ideology, the human voice never has been silenced. From Russia and China to the United States and around the world — voices have risen up no matter the cost. As a minister of the Gospel, I have read the history books where Christians rose up against the religious establishment centuries ago. They became known as Protestants because they protested a series of religious injustices, and many were martyred for their stance. In keeping with the human spirit to give voice to grievances, let those who oppose President Donald Trump’s election and policies have their say. At the same time, the means by which these voices protest — I stand against. The Bible says, “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy” (Proverbs 12:20). The spirit and culture of the Trump protests resemble nothing of peace, but rather the marks of evil. The torching of cars, breaking of windows in local businesses and hurling of bricks — is evil. The intimidation of children, physical assaulting of women and spewing of vulgar-laced rants — is evil. Voices of opposition and criticism are not evil. They are helpful, providing needed checks and balances among those who hold positions of power. However, when the message of opposition is cloaked in immoral, wicked and...

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Three serious errors raises questions about dispatcher training, precision

The Cowley County consolidated 911 dispatch center came under scrutiny during a recent meeting of the City Commission of Arkansas City. After the meeting, Ark City Daily Bytes requested and inspected numerous emails, spanning more than a year and a half, from local government officials in order to verify claims made that night. The findings of this investigation are shared in this and future stories. To err is… Without complete or correct information, first responders can be left ill prepared for the circumstances they meet when performing their duties in the field. In a previous installment, Ark City Daily Bytes examined the policies of Cowley County Emergency Communications (CCEC) under which certain information was being omitted from the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software used by CCEC. (Read more at This practice is questionable, according to two attorneys’ interpretation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It also can leave first responders without vital information in the field. Errors at the dispatch level also are a concern that was highlighted in January by Arkansas City Police Chief Dan Ward. Three notable examples of dispatcher error that have taken place in the last year were chronicled in the emails obtained by Daily Bytes. Incorrect location Last November, a two-vehicle, fatality accident in the 22000 block of U.S. 77, near Strother Field, was called in to CCEC. One accident victim...

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