Chattahoochee Chatter: All's well that ends well in PC?

June 25, 2014 

Remember that Phenix City Board of Education personnel hearing two weeks ago? The one that was conducted in public at the request of Marcy Sherfield, the black executive administrative assistant for personnel and student services, so she could air her objection to the decision of Rod Hinton, the white interim superintendent, who transferred her to an assistant principal's position at Central High School?

The one in which Sherfield called a "demotion" and Hinton called "good for her and a better fit for talent we have here"? The one in which the Community Concerned Clergy, a group of black ministers, attended and monitored in the wake of the dismissal of black Central High football coach Woodrow Lowe? The one in which the board voted 4-3 along racial lines to uphold Hinton's decision?

Well, it turns out the June 10 hullabaloo was for naught -- because on the same day, the Selma City School Board hired Sherfield to be that system's human resources director, starting July 1.

And that's where former Phenix City superintendent Larry DiChiara, whom the board inexplicably and unanimously voted Nov. 26 to buy out, is acting superintendent for the state's intervention team.

What a wonderful world!

•••

In a recent interview with Edward Callaway, the chief executive officer of Callaway Gardens was asked a point blank question: Has the Walt Disney Company or another theme park outfit approached him about buying or managing the nature resort in Pine Mountain, Ga., just north of Columbus?

His simple answer was no.

"But we would talk to Disney," Callaway acknowledged. "What's important to us is the wholesome family experience."

Of course, Disney operates world-famous theme parks in Florida and California. And it is about as family-oriented as an entertainment attraction gets.

Then the CEO was queried further. Would he be open to a major ride at Callaway Gardens, such as a roller-coaster or water park, considering the current goal is to drum up excitement for the 62-year-old resort?

"I don't have anything like that on the drawing boards," he confided, "although I would talk to anybody that wanted to do something like that. If it fit us, why wouldn't we attract somebody and do something interesting?"

That said, only time will tell if the gardens might someday become a unique blend of those seeking quiet inspiration and adrenaline junkies out for a thrill. Until then, the whitewater course in downtown Columbus will have to suffice locally.

•••

Shaw High School junior Logan Sullivan was looking for work this summer but was not having much luck.

He needed to get the word out about what he was offering, but the flyers he distributed were unsuccessful.

So, he went in a different direction.

His grandfather owns A Portable Sign Company on Warm Springs Road and Sullivan got a portable sign that he placed in an empty lot on the Warm Springs Connector.

It reads: 16 year old student looking for work. cut grass, labor, etc. 706-987-0436.

"It has worked. I get three or four calls a day," he said. But some people don't read the sign well.

"They call and ask if I am hiring," he said.

•••

Veterans of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division met soldiers currently assigned at Fort Benning and took part in a luncheon at the Society of the 3rd Infantry Division's 95th annual reunion.

Almost 80 veterans and their spouses gathered at the Gibson Dining Facility at Kelley Hill on June 20 as the group toured the installation during a three-day reunion.

The group included veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Gulf War.

After the luncheon, the old Dog Face Soldiers visited the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment's China Room, the only museum in the Department of the Army that's maintained at the battalion level.

Whitney Mullen, who served with the 15th Infantry Regiment as a rifleman during World War II, said the visit to the museum was a way to reconnect to his past experiences.

"I've been to quite a few reunions and each year the number of participants dwindles down, but it's still a great experience," said Mullen of Vineland, N.J.

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