The local Muncie newspaper has lost a valuable resource. Larry Riley, a local journalist, has penned his last column for the Star Press.
For decades Riley has been educating the public on local, state and sometimes national happenings. He was a true investigative journalist with a talent for writing. To be honest, at times his columns could be controversial, sometimes whimsical, sometimes boring.
The columns offered more than just insight, it gave you a wealth of information lacking in many of the articles we read today. He attended several government meetings and you would often see him visiting the local library.
He had his critics especially when he wrote about events such as the infamous city demolitions (the target of an FBI probe) or when he jogged our memories with his yearly “Famous Quotes” columns. I would venture to guess he had more fans than critics, though.
He wasn’t so arrogant to not admit he made a mistake or two. Reporting the correction usually as soon as possible normally in the next column. In one instance he had written city council person, Nora Powell, was sporting a double homestead credit. She corrected him in a letter of her own. He responded with a retraction.
Riley was also well-versed on the working of TIF districts. I remember reading his blog several years ago when he did an essay on the Mall TIF. This TIF Riley penned was how a successful TIF should function. Of course, most of it was like trying to decipher Greek to me. It was an introduction and he did not disappoint with subsequent columns over the years. So, he was an educator as well as a columnist.
He was and still is a well-respected writer. I know his columns will be missed by those interested in learning more about our local government. I hope he continues.