EDITORIAL: Can you Handle the Truth?! Attacks May Bring an End to RNRF
EDITORIAL: By Tom Lemons
If you haven’t noticed by now, Journalists and Reporters have joined the ranks of Lawyers and Judges as being the most hated and least trusted professionals in America. On one side you have the Main Stream Media, like CNN, MSNBC, and CBS who pander to the whims of political correctness and exude unambiguous disdain for all-things Conservative, especially for their arch nemesis, President Donald Trump. On the other side you have FOX News and a handful of popular radio hosts who refuse to join the anti-trump train and lean more towards Conservative values.
Locally, RNRF has fallen into the category of “Trump Like” media, not because we publish right-wing opinionated articles or even claim to be an overtly conservative publication, but because we aren’t afraid to speak the truth, no matter whose toes we step on. Well, that journalistic integrity can sometimes lead to boycotts, defamation campaigns, harassing emails, phone call, texts, and in some cases public assaults. But what is more disturbing, is when politicians, government officials, and anyone with influence and deep pockets, abuse their power, in an effort to silence a “pesky reporter” for doing their job. But that’s exactly what this lone reporter and owner of the controversial RNRF is experiencing today, and unfortunately, it’s beginning to take its toll.
It all started around 2015, when RNRF began receiving several complaints from women who stayed at Dawn Center, a local “non-profit” domestic violence facility. Complaints ranged from drug abuse, thefts, violence, child abuse, prostitution, fraud, and even roach and rodent infestations. But every time RNRF inquired about the issues with administrators, they never returned our calls. We attempted to contact Dawn Center Board members like, President Sheriff Al Nienhuis, Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, and more recently, Commissioner John Allocco’s wife, board member, Randi Allocco, but they all refused to respond. RELATED ARTICLE
For the last two years, RNRF gathered evidence from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which proved nearly everything that was being alleged by women and former employees of Dawn Center. But even after presenting the evidence to administrators again, we still received no response. What we did receive was a barrage of social media attacks, slander campaigns, harassing emails and even an interrogation of a former domestic violence victim.
Last year, former occupant Ashley Weider stood in front of the Board of County Commissioners, where she revealed all the previously mentioned allegations and named Sheriff Al Nienhuis as the “Ring Leader.” That infuriated Nienhuis, which prompted an unsolicited visit by one of his cronies, Detective Shawn Galarza, who interrogated Weider for nearly an hour, with the sole intent of trying to find out who sent her to speak out against the Sheriff. Galarza said, not verbatim, If Tom Lemons or County Commissioner Steve Champion put you up to this? And if you are lying, we will have to take you to jail. (Follow this link for audio of that shocking interview).
But that’s not all, inside the Dawn Center facility there is a large poster of me [Tom Lemons], warning occupants that I am dangerous and to contact the Sheriff’s Office if they ever see me in the area. Despite my former attorney’s demands to remove the poster, Dawn Center Administrators, and Board Members, which includes Sheriff Nienhuis, the requests went unanswered and the poster remains today.
Prior to having knowledge of Rep. Blaise Ingoglia’s close affiliation with Dawn Center, who also happens to be the Chairman of the Florida Republican Party, RNRF and Ingoglia scheduled a private meeting to discuss a $250,000 investment opportunity to help grow RNRF. I met with Ingoglia at his associate’s office, and Marilyn Pearson-Adams of Century 21 Alliance Realty, on August 15th to discuss the terms of our potential agreement. Unfortunately, the context of our “confidential” discussion had nothing to do with investment; instead, it was nothing more than threats and intimidation, that If I didn’t stop investigating Dawn Center and the Sheriff, my business would suffer the consiquences. The meeting ended shortly after I refused and explained that I could not be ‘Bought.” And boy did I pay the price.
Over the last two years, RNRF’s advertisers have been subjected to numerous anonymous calls from associates of Dawn Center, who claim I [Tom Lemons] has a history of “beating women,” and that they should immediately stop advertising with RNRF. Some took heed to their warning and others didn’t. They go on to suggest that I am convicted felon, which I am most certianly not. The “divorce” history is a private situation that snowballed into criminal charges, nearly 10 years ago. I will be discussing those very personal and heartbreaking experiences in my monthly newsletter, which is available with a paid subscription. The details of the RNRF Newsletter are forthcoming.
But the situation is getting much worse and in their desperation to prevent exposure of their alleged unethical and criminal activity, the powers-that-be have kicked their efforts up a few notches.
I have a very good relationship with dozens of local law enforcement officers. For the most part, they respect the job I do, and I have great respect for their daily sacrifices. Because of that close comradery, many of them share information with me about personal problems, complaints about the Sheriff, and more recently, warnings that I “should watch my back.” Not 100% sure if that warning meant I should beware of physical attacks or if they might be conjuring false criminal allegations. Well, it turns out, at least for now, that a contrived criminal charge might be in the works. I don’t want to reveal the details of what those allegations might be, because it could jeopardize the integrity of my sources, but I’ve contacted the appropriate State and Federal Law Enforcement agencies to make them aware of the situation. So, don’t be surprised if a mugshot of Tom Lemons appears on your local news channel in the near future – let’s hope not.
Many of you already know that my son is facing a homicide charge for an incident that occurred a few years ago in Brooksville. I’ve been advised not to discuss any of the details of that case and I intend on abiding by recommendation, however, there is one element of the situation that I must divulge at this time because I believe it is clear evidence that Sheriff Al Nienhuis is abusing his power, in an attempt to hurt my family for exposing his iniquitous behavior. Again, I will go into more detail during next month’s RNRF Newsletter. One thing to keep in mind about my son’s charges, there is and has never been a similar case tried in Hernando, Florida, or anywhere in the United States – It is completely circumstantial. Here are some details into the allegations against Dawn Center and Sheriff Al Nienhuis. (Follow this story for more details)
For the last decade, RNRF has reported unadulterated, uncensored, uncontrolled news to the citizens of Hernando, Pasco, and Citrus Counties. We have paid a heavy price for being the only news source to tell the truth but we think the public deserves it, regardless of the suffering we endure. We have always depended solely on advertising revenue to cover operation expenses but because of the boycott efforts prescribed and executed by Neinhuis and his political associates, RNRF has suffered financial loss that could bring an end to RNRF.
We have never asked our viewers to contribute, but because we have grown to become one of the largest news sources in our region, we now must ask our viewers to step up and help RNRF hurdle our adversaries – those who want to bring an end to transparency.
If you want to support your fastest and most dependable local news source, please consider and annual subscription of at least $24.00 per year. Otherwise out local government and political power brokers will force you to follow their “state run media,” making Real News, Old News.
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