Eureka Springs resident reaches out to major news networks on SWEPCO project
Not one to take the view of some local officials that the proposed SWEPCO transmission line slated to run through Carroll County is "not a city matter," Eureka Springs resident and restaurateur Teresa DeVito has been contacting major news outlets and celebrities, trying to shine a wider spotlight on the fight to get the project stopped.
DeVito is wife of Eureka Springs alderman James DeVito, who has drafted a resolution with the City Council opposing all alternate routes in the Eureka Springs area. She said Monday she contacted on Facebook all the major news agencies that had message capability.
She provided a link to the Lovely County Citizen's April 25 editorial.
"I went so far as to say, 'Please read this short editorial. The Natural State is in crisis. We are desperate for an investigative story," an emotional DeVito said. "Please reach out to us. Come see Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We will pay your rooms and feed you at our restaurant. The entire town and surrounding areas need a voice. Please consider looking into this."
She said she sent messages to ABC, Nightline, CNN and other outlets.
She also "tweeted" President Bill Clinton, who has just joined Twitter.
DeVito said she knows Julia Butterfly Hill, famous for occupying a Northern California redwood to save it from destruction by a logging company. Hill agreed to put a link on her Facebook page to Save the Ozarks, an organization dedicated to getting the transmission line stopped.
Within four hours of sending out her messages, DeVito got a personal response back from CNN, she said.
"They said hi, thanks for sending this story, and we will be sure and pass it along to our newsroom for possible investigation and coverage," DeVito said. "I thanked them for their rapid response."
She said she sent them links to local videos of residents Doug Stowe and Pat Costner, speaking about the potential impacts on their land if the transmission line goes through, and a photo taken by Jeremy Mason-McGraw of how the line might affect the White River near Inspiration Point, the "home of world-class fly fishing."
"I'm not going to stop," DeVito said. "I'll be doing another message round to people, anybody that has an Arkansas connection. You never know."