Usually, when you plan to spend a good chunk of your money on a major purchase - a home, a car, a boat - you have to sign a contract before you can move in, drive away or float down a river.

In the business world, contracts are essential for agreements and to buy and sell. That's why we are so puzzled about how there is no contract for the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority criminal justice academy project. 

After we filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see the contract, an EDA official told us this week that a contract with a private investor who was supposed to finance up to $8 million for the project could not be found, or does not exist. That is astonishing! The EDA has spent $540,269 on that project.  If there is no contract - well, who does business that way? And if there is such a document, where did it go - stolen during a break-in at the EDA office? To quote Lewis Carroll's Alice in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland": "Curiouser and curiouser!"

Meanwhile, the audit of EDA books continues.