Chattahoochee Chatter: Pins depicting a grounds crew get past Little League censors

August 7, 2013 

Let's get this Chatter started with our last little nugget from Warner Robins, Ga.

And don't worry, our neighbors to the east, Chuck Williams is out of the office!

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At the Little League Southeast complex in Warner Robins, Ga., where the Columbus Northern all-stars played in the region tournament, the gift shop has a collection of pins on the wall. They aren't just any kind of pins; they are collector items representing participating teams through the years.

One of those pins is especially unusual -- and surprisingly got by the Little League censors: Emblazoned on the pin depicting a grounds crew member from Michigan in 1991: "S--- Bagger."

By the way, at that tournament, we were delighted to see Columbus Council critic Paul Olson, grandfather of Northern all-star Zach Foster. Unlike his contentious persona at council meetings, Olson was on his best behavior and didn't come close to being ejected.

We also were impressed with the entire Northern team, led by manager Randy Morris. Despite expectations of a third Little League World Series appearance since 2006, the Georgia champions lost their first two pool-play games and were eliminated from region title contention, but the players and coaches remained classy during postgame interviews.

And they bounced back to win their final two games and finish the tourney a respectable 2-2. So they represented our city and state well on and off the field.

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At first glance Tuesday, the day before the 2013-14 school year started, it looked like the workers cutting the grass at Hardaway High did a sloppy job around the band practice area. Upon closer inspection, and after talking with one of the workers, they clearly did a smart job.

They left the grass shin high 10 yards apart to mimic a football field. It must have saved someone the trouble and expense of lining the field. Mark

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Pastor Steven Gregg said Wednesday that teachers need to be shown some love, and that is what the congregation at Trinity United Methodist Church in Phenix City is going to do Sunday.

For the third consecutive year, a special worship service will be held to honor educators, and Phenix City's chief educator, Superintendent Larry DiChiara, will be the guest speaker.

What Gregg called an "elaborate reception" will follow the 10:55 a.m. service on "Teacher Appreciation Sunday."

The church is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 16th Street.

Though most of the teachers who have shown up in the past have been from Phenix City, those from Columbus are invited as well, Gregg said. There will be special seating for teachers and their families. Business casual dress will be considered appropriate.

Gregg said the service is

"an effort to convey a message of heartfelt gratitude and offer a bit of encouragement to those tireless men and women who invest so much in our young ones."

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The DISH Network's dispute between Raycom Media enters its second week today.

It was at the close of business July 31 that customers of the satellite TV provider were blocked from viewing Columbus stations WTVM, the ABC affiliate, and WXTX, which brings Fox programming to the local market.

The rub is a contract stalemate, with DISH saying Raycom wants to charge it too much to put its stations' signals on the satellite network. WTVM (Channel 9) is owned by Raycom, while WXTX (Channel 54) is owned by American Spirit Media and operated by Raycom as part of a service agreement.

For the moment, it's a war of words.

"DISH is ready to sign a deal right now if Raycom will match the words in the contract with its message to viewers," DISH director of programming Sruta Vootukuru stated Tuesday. "Raycom has publicly told its viewers that they are willing to give DISH the same deal as other providers. All we're asking is for Raycom to put that on paper and we're ready to sign the deal now."

WTVM, in an advertisement Wednesday, hit home with the message that DISH customers are missing its news and weather reports, along with ABC programming and (in a few weeks) some college football games.

"You should get what you are paying for," said WTVM, advising DISH customers to call the company at 1-800-823-4929 and voice their opinion. "Ask them for a rebate!"

We in Chatterland can only hope it will all be resolved before "Dancing With the Stars" kicks off its new season in September.

Stay tuned.

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