Chattahoochee Chatter: A speech that may inspire all of us

July 31, 2013 

Here in Chatterland, it is less than a week before most Columbus school children report back to class.

Let's start this week with some words of wisdom from Ronie Collins, chief academic officer for the Muscogee County School District. The former Britt David principal could be a preacher or motivational speaker whenever she wants to give up the education gig.

Here's an example of her inspirational way with words during orientation for the district's new teachers Monday: "I really don't believe in coincidences. I really don't. I believe in God-incidences. So every single solitary child is not in your room by accident. They are there for a reason. And they have been placed in your care, and you are ultimately responsible. And here comes the hard test of self-assessment: Am I doing everything I possibly can for those children? It's a hard job. You'll work like crazy. But it's the best job you'll ever have."



Yeah, it's a combination of information and promotion.

But considering the Kia Optima is assembled less than an hour north of Columbus in West Point, Ga., employing about 3,000 people in the region -- on top of several thousand parts suppliers in the area -- we'll take it.

With that said, on Tuesday named the 2013 Optima the "most affordable midsize sedan" on the market. The criteria included features available on a vehicle, along with the estimated five-year fuel cost.

For instance, an automatic transmission, cruise control, a USB connection, Bluetooth, power windows, power driver's seat and a rearview camera were mandatory to make the cut by The Kia Optima had them all with its "Convenience Plus Package."

The tested price of $23,225, plus the $9,750 it is expected to cost at the gas pump over five years, put the Optima's total consumer cost at $32,975. That's more than $3,000 lower than the average midsize sedan in the review.

Close behind the Optima was the 2013 Nissan Altima SV at a total cost of $33,620, followed by the 2013 Honda Accord Sport ($33,980), the 2014 Mazda5 Touring ($34,490) and the 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid LX ($34,650).

It's worth noting the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant off Interstate 85 in Troup County recently passed the mile

stone of 1 million vehicles assembled since opening in late 2009. The facility also makes the Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe.

So, with that, we in Chatterland think got this one right. Congrats, Kia! Keep that motor revved up.


Soldiers with the 316th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Benning spent the last week completing a face lift to the Columbus home of a decorated Korean War veteran.

"It's amazing," said Charles Farrell, son of retired Master Sgt. Vincent Farrell and Louise Farrell. "It's almost like a show house."

Coordinated through Sam Rhodes Sr., president of Warrior Outreach, soldiers put the finishing touches inside and outside the home at 508 Claradon Ave. at noon Wednesday. Soldiers completed landscaping, painting and pressure washing the home. They also filled in cracked walls, installed a new door bell and Home Depot pitched in with new light fixtures, the son said.

Charles Farrell said his parents have lived in the home for more than 50 years, but his father, 85, is disabled and unable to do minor repairs to the home.

The retired sergeant was recognized for his actions twice during the Korean War. He was serving with 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division on April 25, 1953, near Kumhwa, Korea, when a patrol unknowingly moved into a minefield. Without regard for his safety, Farrell rushed through trenches to reach the trapped patrol. He carefully disconnected trip wires as he crawled along the path. He assisted a wounded man to his feet and guided the patrol to a safe area.

About three weeks later on May 16, 1953, Farrell received the Bronze Star with Valor for actions after his unit came under enemy mortar fire. A round exploded close to the platoon's ammunition bunker, detonating a case of grenades inside the bunker.

Farrell removed burning cases of ammunition and remained in the bunker to extinguish the fire that would seriously wound other soldiers.

Thanks for your service, Master Sgt. Farrell.

We'll end this edition of Chatter with a salute.

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