Chattahoochee Chatter: Judge Joyner restores order in dispute

January 1, 2014 

It was a case of conflicting stories in Columbus Recorder's Court earlier this week, when half a dozen people came before Judge Michael Joyner to try and explain why they were all charged with disorderly conduct over the same dispute.

According to testimony, people fought while other people reported that they were being beaten when they were not.

There was a mysterious issue about bath tissue.

"There was no peace until (the officers) brought some people downtown," the judge said.

The hearing took almost 20 minutes, as each of the defendants and several witnesses spoke.

Judge Joyner was patient throughout, if only to save the state court judge from having to go through the same stories.

He said he would dispose of the matter himself, and sentenced everyone to 90 days probation.

•••

During the Dec. 19 meeting of the Phenix City Board of Education, interim superintendent Rod Hinton reported about his transition efforts.

"Good people like the people sitting in this room are teaching me daily processes and routines," he said. "We've changed some, and I've adjusted a lot. We're trying to find ways to get better every day. It goes from big things to small things."

Then he gave an example.

"We figured out in the coffee room this morning that you had to lean over the ice machine to get to the coffee pot," Hinton said. "But if we just moved it to the other side of the sink, it works a lot better and it looks a lot nicer."

After folks busted out in laughter, Hinton added, "That might sound obscure, but we're looking at every little thing we do and asking if there's a better way to do it."

Maybe he could find a better way than the courtroom for the board and outgoing superintendent Larry DiChiara to resolve their dispute.

•••

With a new year, CCSC Inc. is seeking volunteers for its tutorial program at Lonnie Jackson Academy/Rothschild Leadership Academy in Columbus.

The program at 4601 Buena Vista Road resumes from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 11 and continues every Saturday until April 26 for this school year. The free sessions in the cafeteria help students in grades 1-12 with math, reading and other subjects.

The nonprofit organization is looking for teachers, para-professionals, college graduates, high school students, military personnel, parents and other community and business organizations.

For information, call Tresa Hart-Williams at 706-315-8847 or Lonya Jackson-Sarden at 706-315-9844.

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