Chattahoochee Chatter: Not really friends of the library

January 23, 2013 

Wow.

As a result, Donohue said, the local chapter is analyzing its operations. One change being considered is conducting its book sales on holidays. Board member David Fox asked whether the bookstore's space constraints might be limiting sales. Board member Owen Ditchfield suggested better signs to direct patrons to the library's bookstore.

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When one thinks of solid investments in a company's stock, a strong balance sheet and profits may come to mind off the bat.

But, as most any savvy investor will tell you, from quarter to quarter it's about the dividend. That's the proverbial cash on the barrel head for sinking hard-earned dollars into ownership of a company through the purchase of stock shares.

As Synovus was releasing its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings information on Tuesday, the subject came up, with a Credit Suisse research analyst asking on a conference call about the prospects for the regional bank's dividend getting healthier.

Synovus, as its investors are well aware, has paid a lone penny per share for the last few years as it has waded through loan losses and quarterly losses on its way to becoming consistently profitable again.

Tommy Prescott, Synovus chief financial officer, responded to the query, saying the company is aware of the need to raise the dividend payout and that it is exploring "sufficient runway to approach regulators at the appropriate time for a meaningful dividend." Of course, that would appear extremely unlikely to happen until the $968 million in Troubled Asset Relief Program money owed by Synovus is repaid to the federal government. Still, investors can dream of better days ahead, right?

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Lt. Col. Jose Acosta, an instructor at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, was flying high Wednesday after completing a cross country, round-trip flight from Columbus to Puerto Rico and back. The trip accounted for 30 of Acosta's required 50 hours of cross country flying for his commercial pilot rating.

A native of Puerto Rico, Acosta flew a Cessna 172 Friday from Columbus to Orlando before touching down in Puerto Rico. He returned Wednesday afternoon.

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