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Rainout rumor came from 'wrong end of the horse'

Special Needs Baseball founder Donnie Jones tosses a pitch during a game. Special Needs Baseball founder Donnie Jones tosses a pitch during a game.

Donnie Jones took the microphone at a meeting of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners on Monday to set the record straight about a Special Needs Baseball rainout two weeks ago.


"A lot of y'all got calls about it," said Jones, who founded Special Needs Baseball for handicapped children and adults three years ago. "I got about 15 the next day."
A Facebook posting by the relative of a league player falsely claimed that Henderson County had forced Jones to cancel the game.
"He was blaming everybody in the county, anything to do with the county government — commissioners, parks and recreation — blaming everyone for canceling the ballgame for the special needs kids on June 14th.
"As I told everybody I talked to then, I'm the one that canceled those games," Jones said. "I know the conditions, I know what kids I've got going out there, and what they can do and what conditions they can handle," he said.
"He kept blaming parks and rec, saying they would not let us on the field. That has never been the case. Parks and recreation has worked with us in any way they can, commissioners have been super about supporting this program. We didn't start any of this uproar.
"Most of you know who it is. I don't know what his problem is. I appreciate all y'all have done and everything that (Recreation Director) Tim (Hopkin) and his crew have done. They have never told us we couldn't do anything."
Board Chairman Charlie Messer and Commissioner Michael Edney thanked Jones for his service.
"I've been out there quite a few times and it's amazing what these kids can do," Messer said.
In an interview after the meeting, Jones said he spent most of a day following the Saturday rainout taking calls from misled Special Needs supporters.
"WLOS called and wanted to do a story and I told them there is no story," he said. "All morning that Monday I was on the phone and I didn't know what it was about for the longest time." Only when a friend showed him the Facebook posting later that day did he realize what had happened.
"The information came from the wrong end of the horse," he said.