My job with a pipeline company requires me to travel during the week, so I like to spend quality time with my family when I am home on the weekends.Yesterday (Sunday, Feb. 9) was a beautiful day after what seemed to be months of bad weather. I took my two daughters to what I thought to be a public county recreation park for some softball infield and batting cage practice. This park is called Turner Lake Park, and it is located behind the Kmart Shopping Center. When I got there the four fields already had girls’ softball games in progress. I thought this was strange as it was the first of February in the middle of winter. I asked a woman at the field’s entrance how long were they going to play, and she told me probably until dark. I asked her if my daughter’s could use one of the batting cages since they were empty? She said no, that one of the teams might need them. I got irritated and told her I was going to use it anyway since I deemed it to be public property. Here is where I got a "SHOCKER." She told me I could not even go on the fields, because they had them leased every weekend until the end of November. My family and most of the parents (with children) in Newton County pay property taxes, and I assume our taxes pay for this park. I was confused and asked her who in Newton County leased the Park? She was vague and said it was some association outside of Newton County. She said only the umpires were there, and they didn’t know. I moved my family from DeKalb County to Newton County eight years ago to get away from corruption and this type of shenanigans. This has the appearance of a sweetheart deal or money under the table. I read in the local papers where Baxter Corp. employees did not wish to locate in Newton County. I can certainly understand why. The Newton County School System has one of the lowest rankings in the U.S., crime and drugs are rampant in Covington, and local children cannot even play in publicly-owned ballparks. I have asked my neighbors who is in charge of these fields, and I was told it was Mr. Daniel Stone with the Snapping Shoals Electric Co. I am sending a copy of this letter to: Baxter Corp., One Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, Il 60015-4625, Attn: Personnel Mgr., also to the Snapping Shoals Electric Co.