31 OCT 04: OCTOBER SURPRISES
Uh-oh - trouble has struck two local political races on the weekend before Election Day. Well, the residents of one Columbus neighborhood would say trouble from a political race actually struck THEM....
Columbus Police confirm a truck driven by Sheriff Ralph Johnson's teenage son hit a four-year-old girl Friday night. From there, the story gets fuzzy. Was Adam Johnson speeding? Was he attacked by people nearby? And why hasn't Robert Taylor taped a campaign commercial at the scene yet?
Several "witnesses" on Oates Avenue claimed Saturday Adam Johnson was far above the speed limit when he struck the girl. Yet the Columbus Police report says there was no indication of speeding. Perhaps your door has to come off, like it does for Ryan Newman in that TV commercial.
People on Oates Avenue noticed a Muscogee County Sheriff's Department car arriving at the scene before a police car did - and they declared Adam Johnson received favoritism. Well, hold on a second. Did they REALLY want the Sheriff's
officer to put Johnson on the ground and shoot him?
Saturday's Ledger-Enquirer suggested Adam Johnson was arrested twice before this year. We covered his arrest for marijuana and D.U.I. in May -- and he pleaded guilty in August to violating the open container law. You'd think Sheriff Johnson would have grounded his son until after November 2nd.
A Sheriff's Department spokesman responded to the complaints at an impromptu Civic Center news conference Saturday evening. He said Adam Johnson called his father the Sheriff, because members of Bethany Worship Center came out and attacked him. Apparently the Friday night service failed to focus on the "prince of peace."
The Sheriff's Department spokesman also asked why a four-year-old girl was out in the street unattended at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night. It sounds like we may have found a caller to WRCG's "TalkLine."
So we have a neighborhood blaming the Sheriff's son, and a Sheriff's Department spokesman seemingly blaming an injured girl's parents - and it's all happening less than a week before the Sheriff stands for re-election. I've seen county fairs with less spinning than this....
The collision involving the Sheriff's son actually was the second curious incident of the day. Before dawn Friday, fire erupted at the LaFayette home of Alabama Congressional Candidate Bill Fuller. Hopefully no newspaper printed a headline, "FULLER BRUSH WITH DEATH."
Bill Fuller had to jump out a second-story window to escape the fire, and broke his leg. But he checked out of a Chambers County Friday night - perhaps with new evidence of why health care costs need to be brought under control.
Aides to Bill Fuller promise he'll give a Monday morning news conference in LaFayette, and keep running for Congress. Well, with a broken leg he might be hobbling....
Aides to Bill Fuller claimed this fire was the third one at his LaFayette home in six months. In one case, campaign signs on the lawn reportedly were torched - which we have to say is a creative alternative to simply stealing them.
The Bill Fuller campaign claims in another case, an "incendiary device" was thrown on the Democrat's porch. We have NOT been able to confirm this incident - in part because many people in Chambers County don't know how to say incendiary, much less know what the word means.
Alabama fire investigators say as of now, the fire at Bill Fuller's home appears to be accidental. But he IS running for Congress, and all those explosives supposedly are missing from an Iraqi munitions base....
Bill Fuller is running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Mike Rogers. Rogers has run several TV commercials in this area, while Fuller has not. But as the TV news experts will tell you, people always are attracted to fires....
Congressman Mike Rogers issued a short statement, saying his thoughts and prayers are with opponent Bill Fuller. Well, at least for now they are - since Alabama doesn't have early voting.
Now some other quick things, before we turn out the lights for that extra hour of sleep:
+ Which well-known weathercaster informed his audience Friday night they should move their clocks AHEAD for standard time - when they should have been moved BACK one hour? We only hope this man reads his barometer better than his clocks.
+ The Lumpkin Library was closed until further notice, because a group of young people reportedly threatened a librarian with brass knuckles and a knife. Yeow - how many extra books did they want to check out?
+ The Auburn Tigers clinched the Southeastern Conference Western Division title by mashing Mississippi. We wonder if Coach Tommy Tuberville has an incentive clause in his contract for this - such as President Ed Richardson making him fire
only half his staff.
+ The Columbus Cottonmouths opened their new season in a new league, by splitting a pair of home games. They lost Saturday night to the Macon Trax - whose players are easy for music buffs to identify. There's track 1, track 2, track 3....
(Hopefully this team doesn't get caught with too many players on the ice. "Eight Trax" are SO out of style.)
+ Instant Message to the man who saw Nation of Islam members handing out literature on the Phenix City side of the 13th Street Bridge: There really was no reason to be concerned. As long as they didn't throw bean pies at cars, it's legal.
COMING MONDAY: That orange thing hanging from my mailbox.... and another blog-reader quiz (can you guess the category?)....
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