Chatthoochee Chatter: Hollywood stunt drivers tackle Cut Bait

June 12, 2013 

So, how do a bunch of Hollywood stunt drivers spend a down day in Columbus?

Those here filming "Need for Speed" last week found an unexpected weather day on Friday. Not able to crash cars on the 13th Street bridge, these daredevils took to the challenges just below the span.

They spent the late afternoon hours tackling Cut Bait, a rapid that has been flipping rafts at a pace quicker than the Hollywood folks have been flipping expensive sports cars.

They went through the rapid with Whitewater Express guides several times. But that wasn't all of the thrill. Some of the stunt guys spent a little time swimming through the churning water.

One of the guides said it was a lot of fun on the river. Word is they also left a pretty nice tip and took the guides through their gourmet dinner spread. Not a bad day to be a river guide.

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If you don't absorb one other piece of information this summer, just remember -- this next item could be a lifesaver.

It's a serious, yet playful event at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Columbus State University's $23 million Student Recreation Center. The school is taking part in the "World's Largest Swimming Lesson," one of about 30 pool facilities in Georgia participating.

The fourth annual global event aims to create awareness for the need to learn to swim so that you or someone you love doesn't drown, either in a pool, a lake or the ocean.

CSU aquatics coordinator Koby Garick is expecting about 40 swimmers between the ages of 1 and 14, along with their families, to take part in the swimming lesson. This is the second year CSU has participated.

The possibility of setting a Guinness World Record aside -- that's the fun aspect of this -- the swimming lesson could ultimately prevent many heartbreaking tragedies.

A stark statistic: Each day about 10 people die from accidental drownings in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

CSU expects Tuesday's swimming lesson to last about an hour. Participants should arrive as early as 10 a.m., Garick said, and come dressed to swim.

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The Muscogee County School Board will vote Monday to approve as surplus the real estate at 435 21st Street that most recently was home to the Rose Hill Center, an alternative school.

If the vote is approved, the board will also be giving interim Superintendent John Phillips the authorization to sell the property in accordance with board policy. The school district has several buildings that are no longer needed for educational purposes, and the board must declare them surplus before they may be sold.

Concerning the 21st Street property, Phillips gave the board good news at a work session this past Monday. He said he has already heard from someone very interested in purchasing the property.

Many such properties sit for years without a buyer and fall into disrepair. Just ask the Inquirer!

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