Friday, August 07, 2009

7 AUG 09: Ar-rain-ment

One of my favorite words to say in Spanish is the word for liquid: "liquido." It's pronounced like "leaky dough" - which you might get if a tube of chocolate chip cookie dough developed a hole in it.

Leaky conditions are a headache these days at the old Russell County Courthouse. WTVM showed pictures Thursday of stains and holes on the second-floor ceiling. For a change, a "courthouse leak" has nothing to do with gossip about a county commissioner....

We noted here in May that Russell County Commissioner Cattie Epps had publicly mentioned the problem with a leaky courthouse roof [12 May]. Summertime "popcorn showers" obviously don't help matters. And you know things are bad when judges check the weather radar before a court hearing [True!].

Two Russell County judges confirmed the roof at what's now called the "Judicial Center" has leaked for years. And what's even more amazing is this - the files of court records aren't absorbent enough to hold back all the moisture.

Judge Albert Johnson says not only does the old courthouse have a leaky roof, but "mold and mildew are hanging from the light fixtures." Of course, this means criminals using an insanity defense have to be treated with extra care....

The judges admit they've put buckets in courtrooms on rainy days, because of the leaks. It's only a matter of time before a judge or a prosecutor takes the next step -- and orders a suspect to test the harshness of waterboarding.

Russell County Commissioners have allocated about two million dollars to fix the leaky roof, and make other improvements in the Judicial Center. But that work has yet to start. Apparently the commissioners had to be sure they were completely satisfied with their new building....

Commission Chair Mervin Dudley assures the repair work on the old Russell County Courthouse will begin in October. In the meantime, court hearings may continue to have rain buckets - and judges will keep rolling their eyes when attorneys point to the ceiling, and compare the holes to their opponent's case.

(There's one other advantage to those rain buckets, of course. They're perfect for dumping rejected defense motions.)

As for the other big roof leak in Russell County: the Chattahoochee Valley Community College library now has been closed nearly two months. The CVCC web site had no details Thursday night on when it might reopen -- but this would be great practice for students who want to build Habitat for Humanity homes over spring break next year.

-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you might not expect. People from around the world are visiting "On the Flop!" <--

E-MAIL UPDATE: The Muscogee County school parent who wrote us about Verification Day Thursday sent an update late Wednesday, which we never saw until Thursday....

Richard..before you include an earlier e-mail about portables at a school let me P.S.that e-mail..the portables got power about dark today...just did skim by..I didn't want you to print something that had been corrected...

So much for my theory, then. I wondered if that portable classroom was going to be displayed around the city over the next six weeks, before the school sales tax vote.

There's more school news, in our review of other Thursday news items....

+ The Ledger-Enquirer web site confirmed Susan Bryant was named Principal of the Year by the Georgia P.T.A. Yes, the same Susan Bryant who received a one-year suspension for her actions at Columbus High School. Wouldn't it be fun to see Bryant and Phyllis Jones campaign together for the school board next year?

+ WLTZ took a look around the new Freshman Academy at Phenix City Central High School. A recent postal mail to us claimed a lot of money was spent on "athletic related facilities." Yet the TV report showed classrooms with "smart boards" and two fancy new science labs, so that should.... oh wait. Can ninth-graders use those labs to make steroids?

(Did I read it right - Phenix City teachers held a "Worship and Fellowship Celebration" at the Freshman Academy? Well, I guess it's legal for teachers to do that. But if any child walked in, the speakers would have to change their speeches in a hurry to mention evolution.)

+ Rep. Sanford Bishop talked with WRBL from Iraq. He's visiting the Persian Gulf region with a Congressional delegation -- and how inspiring to see Bishop is doing advance preparations for the Third Brigade.

+ Atlanta talk show host Neal Boortz was elected to the Radio Hall of Fame. If you thought he sounded like a pompous know-it-all before....

+ Instant Message to the Columbus State University housing office: You already have the Cougar Village Apartments. Are you hurrying to beat ABC's fall TV lineup, by adding a complex called "Cougar Town"?

SCHEDULED THIS WEEKEND: A tale of two very different middle-aged single men....

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