Chattahoochee Chatter: Nothing like wearing white to a funeral

May 23, 2013 

Let's start this run through Chatterland in the Columbus Government Center.

Robert Wadkins, Muscogee County's chief public defender, appeared before Columbus Council Tuesday morning to appeal the budget cuts his department is being asked to make. Wearing a lightweight suit made for summer in the South, he addressed the councilors:

"I want to apologize to this august body. This morning I put this light-colored suit on, even though I knew I was going to attend the funeral of my budget. I know you're supposed to wear more somber clothes to a funeral, so I apologize."

That drew some laughs from members of the budget review committee. Then Wadkins continued:

"But I'm going to have two of my best lawyers get up here and see if they can't resurrect that budget in a few minutes."

•••

With school winding down, most high school students look forward to that time of the year when the yearbooks are passed out.

Some schools host signing parties and teachers allow students to pass them around. It's usually a joyous occasion.

Imagine the horror the yearbook adviser at Central-Phenix City High School must have experienced when the Red Devils' annuals arrived.

The binder reads "2013 --- CENTRAL HIGH SHCOOL --- VOL. 83"

Woops! School is misspelled!

But, hey, look at the bright side. We bet Jay Leno and his gang will get a hold of it for a late night TV blip.

•••

With whitewater opening in a few days, one of our journalists witnessed a new downtown attraction.

Drunk men fighting!

Go to ledger-enquirer.com for pictures.

One Ledger-Enquirer employee was waiting on their salad in the Country's drive-thru when they witnessed a fight in the Broadway median.

According to our "eye witness" and a police report, David Oakley was wearing a black T-shirt. He squared off with James Graff. They tangled for a bit, but eventually Oakley delivered a punishing punch that put them both on the ground. The reporter then witnessed Oakley kick the other several times.

A handful of people broke up the fight.

Both were heavily intoxicated, according to the report. Graff told officers he had no explanation as to what happened. He was taken to The Medial Center for a small laceration to the left side of his head.

Officers were later contacted by a Phenix City Piggly Wiggly employee about an intoxicated man. Turns out it was Oakley.

Oakley said he and Graff are friends and he had no clue why Graff attacked him. Officers said Oakley had visible abrasions to his shoulders and noted his clothes were torn.

No charges were filed.

We've all been to minor league baseball games where they do "Sumo Wrestling" between innings. No word from the whitewater people if this is their take on that sport.

•••

South Columbus Concerned Citizens is ready to reach a wider audience.

The organization led by president Owen Ditchfield, working since 1980 to improve the quality of life in south Columbus, now has a website.

Those who go to www.scccolumbusga.org will be able to find information about what is happening on the south side of town. There is a calendar of events, a blog, appearance award winners and information about new businesses and construction.

"What is good for south Columbus is good for all of Columbus," said Ditchfield.

With the website, the organization hopes to draw more interest from young people.

"Some of our members don't even have a computer," he said.

Those members will still get the newsletter.

Jonnell Minefee created the new site.

•••

Now, for a little good news from the schools.

Here's a science project that could have far reaching implications:

Priyanka Parikh, a sixth-grader at Blackmon Road Middle School, was among the students honored during Monday night's Muscogee County School Board meeting. She placed second in the state in the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair in the medicine and health category. The title of her project was "Which soft drink causes the most enamel erosion in a 15-day time period?"

Keith Seifert, the school district's secondary education director, wondered aloud whether he should ask the question that probably was on the mind of everyone in the room.

He did.

The answer: Coca-Cola.

"There goes our grant from Coca-Cola," Seifert said as the crowd joined him in a good chuckle.

OK, so we thought it was good news.

Have a good Memorial Day weekend, and remember the real reason many of us have Monday off.

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