The Bulletin was barred from attending a municipal court hearing this morning regarding a Sept. 26 house party held at 1431 Center St. which resulted in tickets of 35 minors for underage drinking, 20 of whom are Emporia State students or athletes. The Bulletin was denied access to the in-person hearing due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Lyon County, although nearly all 35 minors are scheduled to attend this afternoon’s hearing.
A Bulletin reporter was told by a municipal clerk, Mike Henderson, there is no in-person access for the public or press to view the hearing nor have provisions been made for streaming or other remote access.
“The pandemic has been going on since March, there should have been some protocols previously put in place for when court does get busy like this. It’s important for not only the press, but also the public because this isn’t one of those things that can be held in secret,” said Margaret Mellott, Editor-in-Chief of The Bulletin. “There has to be some other provision provided, whether that be streaming or some other way...People still have a right to information and to know what’s going on in our courts.”