There's nothing that says work on a new store is moving along steadily quite like a building permit for a sprinkler system.
For Chatterland fans of the clothing retailer H&M, that is the case, with a $20,000 permit taken out April 16 by Fuller Fire and Safety at 3131 Manchester Expressway. That's the address for none other than Peachtree Mall, which has invited the Swedish retailer H&M - short for Hennes & Mauritz - to set up shop adjacent to Victoria's Secret.
Of course, $20,000 for the sprinklers is a drop in the bucket compared to the $1.5 million permit taken out last October to build out the 21,217-square-foot space required for H&M.
The popular retailer, which has said it expects to open this fall, just in time for -- you guessed it -- the holiday shopping season, is busy preparing other stores for openings across the U.S. as part of a major expansion.
And yet another clothing retailer, Forever 21, is on an even faster track, with its sprinkler permit obtained in late February as work progresses toward a summer opening in the old f.y.e. store space.
And all of you out there in Chatterland know how time flies. In a blink of an eye, the newcomers will be bustling with shoppers.
When in doubt, report, right?
An emergency situation was reported at Fort Benning Wednesday afternoon via its Facebook page. The original message said, "An emergency situation is ongoing at the Warrior Transition Battalion. Fort Benning officials have secured the area and all personnel have been safely evacuated as a precautionary measure. "
The post was updated later in the day to say the situation had been cleared. What caused the fuss?
"A soldier who asked for help with a battery jump misidentified part of the electrical system within the assisting person's vehicle. "
Maybe this was a simple connecting red and black situation?
Some Facebook commenters were happy the soldier was "better safe than sorry," but another poked fun at the situation: "Best to leave any intelligent troubleshooting to Airmen "
During the Muscogee County School Board meeting Monday night, Columbus Councilor Judy Thomas, the chairwoman of the Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation, put in perspective the previous week's news about Kim Lester being named a finalist for the Georgia Teacher of the Year award.
Lester teaches writing and language arts in grades 4-5 at the St. Elmo Center for the Gifted. She taught fifth grade at Britt David Magnet Academy when she won the Muscogee County School District 2013 Teacher of the Year award. The foundation conducts the program.
"I want you to be aware that in the last five years, Muscogee County has had two of our teachers of the year place in the top 10 of the state," Thomas told the board. "There are over 100,000 in the state of Georgia, and Muscogee County twice in five years has had one of the top 10. One of them happens to be here with us tonight."
That happened to be Northside assistant principal Christine Hull, who happens to be Thomas' niece. Hull's last name was Powell when she became the MCSD Teacher of the Year in 2009 and taught journalism, art history and literature, then was named a state finalist in 2011.
"I think this says something," Thomas continued. "It sends a tremendous message to our community about the quality of teachers that we have in Muscogee County. I know that you share that. What they're doing for our kids is just remarkable."
The district's history of teacher of the year state finalists doesn't stop there. As the L-E mentioned in last week's article, the MCSD 2000 Teacher of the Year, Janice Hudson, now retired, was a science teacher at Columbus High School when she was named a state finalist in 2002. We got that info from the foundation. Then we got more info from loyal readers.
Columbus High School science teacher Chris Spraggins was the MCSD Teacher of the Year in 2006, and he was named a state finalist in 2008.
Although the foundation's list of MCSD teachers of the year dates back to 1978, and the Georgia Teacher of the Year website lists winners since 1971, we confirmed that retired MCSD music director George Corradino was named the district's Teacher of the Year in November 1969, when he was band and orchestra director at Hardaway High School -- and a week later became one of the state's two runners-up.
Which begs the question: Why does it take two years to decide the state winner now?
Anyway, no MCSD teacher has won the state award, so here's hoping Lester will bring home the top honor from the May 8 ceremony in Atlanta, the day after the 2015 MCSD Teacher of the Year will be announced at the foundation's annual gala -- where we hope to see you helping the district honor the 56 excellent teachers nominated by their peers.
The $35 tickets for the glittering event (6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner and program) in the Columbus Convention & Trade Center have been on sale at the Springer Opera House Box Office. The deadline is Friday.