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Chatter: Columbus Cottonmouths, Columbus Hospice help fulfill patient's dream

They do more than fight.

Recently, the Columbus Cottonmouths made a Columbus Hospice patient's dream come true.

Bob Theriault expressed a desire to attend a Cottonmouths game but did not think he could because of his weak condition and that he can no longer walk.

Columbus Hospice physician Chris Thompson called team owner Wanda Amos to see if she could help.

Theriault was transported to the hockey game by ambulance, and when he arrived, Amos gave him a team jersey and an autographed hockey stick. She provided hospitality seats for Theriault and family members. The team also took a photo with Theriault.

A Columbus Hospice official said Theriault called the experience "awesome" and that he was so excited when he got back, he couldn't sleep.

Whether you believe in global warming or not, let's face it, weather plays a major role in our everyday lives and we talk about it routinely. And there is a big shot of cold weather headed toward Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley on Friday into this weekend.

And, yes, this is a little sooner than normal for below-freezing temperatures; it looks to be a low of 30 degrees Friday night. The average low this time of year is the mid-40s.

But this is not that unusual when you look at the record books. November is filled with record temps below 30 degrees, including a plunge to 20 degrees on Nov. 15, 1969, according to the Weather Underground website.

In fact, it was on Nov. 25, 1950, a couple of days after Thanksgiving, that the temperatures bottomed out at a bone-chilling 10 degrees, setting an all-time record. The following day that year, a low of 21 set another record.

So, yeah, it's going to be very cold this weekend, but certainly no "Polar Vortex." Still, it might be a good idea to break out the proverbial longjohns and throw another log or two on the fire. And hope this cold snap isn't a harbinger of frigid things to come this winter in Chatterland. Brrrrrrrrrr!

The Muscogee County School Board's work session was finishing Monday evening, and members were enjoying trying on the mini mortar boards they received to celebrate the school district's improved graduation rate, but District 2 representative John Wells wanted to talk about one student in particular at risk of being left behind.

"Mr. Chairman, I'd like to make a comment about something a little more serious, if I can," Wells said. "This past week, I was standing on the sidewalk texting in a certain area of town, and a young male drove up to me on a bicycle and asked me for a quarter. He looked like he was school age. He told me he did indeed go to a local high school and he was a junior there. I said, 'Why are you out?' He said, 'Well, I skipped school last Friday, so they suspended me for three days, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.'

"I was flabbergasted. I mean, that just hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm thinking to myself, OK, we've got a kid who skipped school. He wants to be out. So we send him home for three days. It's almost impossible for someone this late in the semester as a junior and a kid who probably already is behind to be suspended or out of school for four days and get zeros, I don't see how that kid can make it. I was talking to the superintendent earlier today, and I said, 'Our only product in this whole entire school district -- we don't make rugs and sell them, and we don't do a lot of other things. We produce one thing, and that's a diploma to a child walking across the stage and put it in their hands and get them ready for this world.' My thinking is that particular student is not going to make this semester, and I think it's just the worst thing we can do, to sentence that kid out of school for three days and almost guarantee that he's not going to get a diploma or at least not make this semester. I tell you, I was just overwhelmed by it. "

The work session adjourned without superintendent David Lewis or any other official in attendance responding to Wells' complaint.

Tuesday, a scout from Chatterland emailed Lewis several questions about Wells' complaint. The superintendent replied, "As you know, we are off today for the holiday, and I am unable to verify the information or provide a response until tomorrow. Given my schedule tomorrow, it is likely this will be referred to staff for review and follow-up. Thank you for understanding."

Wednesday, the district's communications director Valerie Fuller said in an email, "We're still in the process of trying to determine the facts. We will follow up."