Tuesday, July 06, 2010

6 JUL 10: Me and Mrs. Jones

Do a Bing search for Phyllis Jones's name, and you'll find plenty of items commending her work as a grade school principal. You have to hunt a while to find the problem which put her in the news most recently. Damon Evans can only hope search engines will be that kind to him, the next time he looks for work....

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: With her Georgia teaching certificate no longer suspended, former Rigdon Road School principal Phyllis Jones tells your blog she's toying with the idea of returning to school work -- not as a principal, but a superintendent. It's like being pushed onto the fire escape, to climb the stairway of promotion.

The Macon County, Alabama School Board fired its superintendent last Wednesday. Phyllis Jones knew about the opening, because she mentioned the job over the weekend without my bringing it up. Maybe Jones was trying to show a "retired" educator still is more connected with school scuttlebutt than I am.

"I'm thinking about it," Phyllis Jones said about applying for Macon County Superintendent. "I might decide I want to do that." Or then again, maybe not -- as she quickly added with a laugh: "I'd have to go to work every day."

Phyllis Jones says she's currently retired from education, "and I'm enjoying it thoroughly." I tried to bring up the circumstances some say led to her sudden retirement - the suspension of her Georgia teaching certificate for a year, after questions about Rigdon Road book fair money [29 May 09]. But Jones deflected such questions, like she was waving a spanking paddle.

While Phyllis Jones was barred for a year from working with Georgia public schools, she simply crossed the state line. Jones says she serves part-time at Chattahoochee Valley Community College, helping with the orientation of new students. It's a bit like her old job - but she's changed from a focus on A-B-C's to A-C-T's.

"I'm doing just fine," Phyllis Jones says about her retirement. She told us at the Liberty Theatre two years ago [10 Nov 08] she wanted to enjoy things such as pro wrestling matches. "We had a ball," Jones told me about attending one of those. Hopefully she didn't throw that ball into the ring to get someone disqualified.

Phyllis Jones said with a laugh she's working on "all these things on my bucket list." I was reminded while reviewing our 2008 blog post that she was 80 pages into writing a book. The only Phyllis Jones to have a book for sale online right now is a college professor in Florida - and she obviously didn't major in English....

Phyllis Jones promised to let me know if she applies for the Macon County Superintendent's job. But you might want to look for her at the Liberty Theatre Labor Day weekend -- as I'm told a tribute is planned then to the late Lena Horne. If Jones sings a duet with Dee Armstrong, that clearly will be another "bucket
list" item accomplished.

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

BLOG UPDATE: Amazingly, the "Rec-Gate" revelations did not take Independence Day weekend off. WRBL reported Monday night the release of the Parks and Recreation audit violated four-year-old city rules, because Columbus Council didn't get a copy. The budget for copy paper must have been tight, as the last fiscal year ended.

Mayor Pro Tem Evelyn Turner Pugh said city audits are supposed to be released "concurrently" to Columbus Council, as well as the mayor. That didn't happen with the Parks Department audit - unless someone thought the wife of Ledger-Enquirer reporter Chuck Williams was a Councilor. No, Cathy Williams serves on the School Board....

Columbus Council returns from a two-week break, for an afternoon meeting today. But it's "Proclamation Day," with the only agenda items involving things such as honors for a doctor and youth baseball players. In a major surprise, there's NO proclamation honoring executive assistant Judy Thomas or wishing her the best in her campaign.

Campaign items begin our review of Monday's news....

+ Mayoral candidate Zeph Baker opened his campaign headquarters on Eighth Street. He did it with a motorcade which started on Macon Road -- which is quite a change from a few years ago, when that would have been more like a civil rights march.

+ Alabama gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne made an appearance in Auburn. He talked about the need to "take our country back," through votes not only in November but in 2012. So a vote to elect Byrne Governor may be a vote to put him back on the campaign trail, running for President.

+ The Associated Press reported Victoryland owner Milton McGregor donated $1.9 million to Alabama primary candidates. Do you think he tried his classic line on any candidates: "Come join me; you can be a winner, too"?

+ Columbus Police told WTVM the Jumbo China restaurant on Wynnton Road was burglarized, by someone who escaped on a bicycle. This must be an older burglar -- because his getaway reminded me a lot of how Beijing looked in the 1970s.

+ Damon Evans officially resigned as University of Georgia Athletic Director. Even though he leaves under a drunk driving scandal, he'll receive a $100,000 "longevity bonus." Well, check that - Evans's wife might receive that, if she files for divorce.

(A blog reader sent us this comment on the Damon Evans case: "The arresting officer said that the AD had the panties of the woman riding with him in his lap. Could the officer tell that they weren't his by his 'panty lyin'?'")

+ Instant Message to Lindy's Sports: I noticed the cover of your Southeastern Conference football annual - with the title, "DAWGS OF DISCIPLINE." Auburn and Georgia Tech fans probably will sell it out, for the wrong reasons.

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