Marion Merchants paid Bill & Essie’s BBQ to feed city, sheriff’s office, and Record employees lunch Tuesday.
The idea, co-owner Megan Jones said, was for everyone to take a moment after the city made international news Aug. 11 when Police Chief Gideon Cody executed search warrants at the newspaper, its co-owners’ home, and Vice Mayor Ruth Herbel’s home, seizing computer equipment and cell phones.
The raids thrust the city into a spotlight regarding freedom of the press.
Hot links, pulled pork, beans, and coleslaw likely won’t heal a community, but at least a lot of people who haven’t had much sleep got to eat.
Most city employees enjoyed their food at the Marion Community Center. Administrator Brogan Jones, clerk Janet Robinson, municipal court clerk Sandy Scheele, and community enrichment director Margo Yates ate together.
Public works employees’ trucks lined parking spots outside city hall.
The Joneses also dropped off meals at the police station, the sheriff’s office, and the Record office.
Undersheriff Larry Starkey let a reporter back to the room where deputies Aaron Christner and Bruce Burke were enjoying a plate.
“Do you want some food?” Starkey offered the reporter.