The city of Columbus is featured in the June edition of Georgia Trend magazine, with the magazine taking a look at tourism, education and the military's influence and importance to the area.
Titled "Columbus: Shoring Up the Economy," the piece focuses on the city's attractions -- which now include whitewater and zip lining -- along with job creation programs, a downtown or "Uptown" picking up steam, and efforts to protect Fort Benning from future military cuts.
Columbus Visitors Bureau President and CEO Peter Bowden is pictured in the online version of the story, with zip liners and cityscape behind him.
"What happened with whitewater happened quicker than we anticipated," he tells Georgia Trend. "Now we need to determine how to cultivate this new market, not only for adventure seekers, but also for spectators."
Bowden says folks watching people do adventurous activities outnumber the doers about 10 to one. That, to us in Chatterland, sounds like a problem. Everyone should hop off their couches and grab a kayak or climb the zip-line tower for a thrill. And have some fun out there!
If you live on the west side of the Chattahoochee River, you know there's a divide in the town similar to that of Alabama and Auburn fans.
In east Alabama you're either Smiths Station or Central. You have to pick. And often, you're just born that way. You don't get a decision.
In the baseball world, after Central lost to Smiths Station, the pendulum swung back in the Red Devils' favor after they hired renowned baseball coach Bobby Howard. Then the Panthers took the lead by winning the first Class 7A state championship.
And how did Smiths Station celebrate?
By putting a billboard smack in the middle of one of the most popular intersections in Phenix City. If you drive by the Publix at the Summerville and Pierce roads intersection, you'll find the Panthers on the new digital billboard.
Smiths Station 2, Central 1.
We'll continue to keep score, so stay tuned.
Many of you may remember a couple of weeks ago when Mike Owen's Ledger Inquirer column motivated a small army of good-hearted helpers to swarm over an elderly woman's yard in Sears Woods, cutting her overgrown grass and shrubs. It caused quite a stir on Face-book.
And apparently it did not go unnoticed at the Government Center. Among the many proclamations and resolutions presented Tuesday evening at Columbus Council's monthly proclamations meeting was one declaring the day "Sears Woods Yard Crew Day."
A well deserved distinction.
You know there can't be Chatter without more drama from the school board
Monday's called meeting of the Muscogee County School Board showed another example of the fractured relationship between District 8 representative Frank Myers, who joined the board five months ago, and superintendent David Lewis, who was hired from Polk County, Fla., two years ago:
Myers left early from the board's Feb. 28 retreat to campaign against the administration's request to renew the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
Myers: "I cut out after an hour."
Lewis: "Actually, 30 minutes."
Myers: "I'm sorry. Did somebody say something?"
Myers: "I asked for one simple document, and Miss (Pat) Hugley Green (the board's vice chairwoman and District 1 representative) made sure that I knew I already had that document in my materials, and I said I didn't know where it is because I hadn't been a board member for very long. I was assured that day I would get that document. It took six more requests and 41 days before I got that document. So when I hear people up here talking about, 'Well, we just can't wait to give you the document and give you all the information you need as a board,' that is baloney. When we don't have the information as your board members, guess what, the people we represent, they might as well live in China, because they're not getting represented. It's the superintendent's job to carry out the policy that the board puts together, and that ain't how this district is working."
District 4 representative Naomi Buckner: "I think the superintendent should address you sometimes, because you rant on and on about what he's not doing and what he told you 41 days ago and he said this. I think Dr. Lewis should address the comments that you make."
Myers: "Our school system is broken, and I'm trying to help fix it, and, Naomi, if what I have to say up here hurts somebody's feelings or whatever, I'm sorry, but I'm going to tell the truth as long as I'm a board member."
Buckner: "When you say things like you requested something 41 days ago and nobody gave it to you, I think that should be addressed, because surely you should get information that you requested and nobody should keep it from you 41 days. So I think the superintendent needs to address those things."
Lewis: "Let me be real clear. I am directed by the board, not by individuals on the board. I will certainly work to and provide information to the ability of the staff and the timeliness of the staff and so on, but there are things we are trying to do to operate the district and function as a district and there are things that take priority. That said, I will always respond to the direction of the board, and the board is five of nine. That is the direction. And I will certainly be glad to respond to individuals and try to work through issues, but, as far as responding, there is a professional way and an unprofessional way to do that."
Myers: "So what the superintendent just said is that, unless I get five people to agree with me that I'm entitled to some information, I can go jump in a lake."
Lewis "No, sir, that's not what I said."
Myers: "You said you respond to the board. I've got news for you. We may end up having to test this, because I am not going to sit here for 3½ more years and put up with what I absolutely and completely told the truth about. Folks, a member of the public could have gotten the information I asked for in three days under the Open Records Act, and I had to wait 41. What is wrong with that picture?"
It sure isn't pretty.