Thursday, July 15, 2010

15 JUL 10: Just Did It?

Airline service increases in Columbus today, as American Eagle begins flights to Dallas-Fort Worth. Don't be surprised if Tony Adams is on one of the first flights -- since he suddenly has free time for traveling, and maybe even some recruiting.

The Columbus Mayor and City Manager suspended Parks and Recreation Director Tony Adams with pay Wednesday, and revealed the "Rec-Gate" investigation is now criminal in nature. Well, I should clarify that - since so far, no one is accused of stealing animals from Oxbow Meadows.

Tony Adams was suspended as e-mails surfaced from several years ago, suggesting either he or the Innovative Sports Program had a contract with Nike. WRBL was shown one 2007 e-mail, where Adams mentions renewing a contract for the Georgia Blazers basketball team. Yet one key question remains unanswered - shoes or uniforms?

The Ledger-Enquirer website posted a different 2006 e-mail from a Nike manager. It includes Tony Adams on a mailing list, reminding everyone of a deadline "to receive products detailed in the contract...." But of course, mass e-mailings really don't prove anything. Ask anyone who received spam from Hong Kong, claiming they'd won a Kia.

An assistant city attorney says the new evidence was discovered by doing an e-mail search for the words "Nike" and "contract." Uh-oh - this could explain why the Parks Department audit is now a criminal investigation. Police also may have searched for "Wetherington" and "dictator."

Mayor Jim Wetherington declared he's "very disturbed" by the news that Tony Adams may have had a contract arrangement with Nike. After all, there were all those denials in recent days - but then again, good basketball coaches teach players how to fake out their opponents.

But do you see a problem with these new revelations? City officials have repeated the process of the original Parks Department audit, which brought plenty of criticism. The e-mails were given to news reporters, instead of waiting for police to finish their investigation. Have you noticed Richland officials can keep these things quiet for months?

Attorney Stacey Jackson repeated to WTVM his original claim from several days ago: there's NO contract between Nike and the city of Columbus. Note that wording - because it leaves open the possibility that Tony Adams and other city employees cut their own deals. Some of us remember when Columbus police officers did that, simply to make a living.

Fellow attorney Don Jackson told WLTZ the Parks Department probe was "a criminal investigation from day one." He says the city called it an administrative investigation to deny employees "their constitutional rights." If that's true, shouldn't the Columbus Tea Party be holding rallies alongside the NAACP - for once?

The "Jackson Two" add Columbus Police investigators have yet to interview Tony Adams. If that ever happens, I assume his attorneys will be present - and they may tell the basketball coach to run play number five. You know, as in taking the fifth amendment....

Media reports emphasized at this point, no one in the Parks Department has been charged with a crime. We'll see which happens first -- Tony Adams being charged, or the city auditor being sued for defamation of character.

-> Monday night marked our best night of live poker in almost a year. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

BLOG UPDATE: If you went to bed early -- no, Columbus did NOT come up Wednesday night on the NBC "Tonight Show." There was speculation Jay Leno's monologue might mention the "Gumball Bandit" case, because his staff called WLTZ for details about it. My warning to Leno against stealing Tuesday's jokes here apparently worked.

Phenix City Police believe suspect Tyrone Love even went gumball grabbing across the river. He's suspected in a break-in at 4 Pizza Pirates on U.S. 431 - and if those pirates didn't nab him on the spot, at least one of them ought to walk the plank.

Tyrone Love is due in Recorder's Court this morning, facing charges for this strange series of burglaries. We'll see if supporters join him in court, and announce an effort to pay his defense bills. You know, a Gumball Rally....

E-MAIL UPDATE: A reader sends an unusual leftover item from the Alabama Primary Runoff....

Lee County Voters were surprised Tuesday at the Senior Center where they vote not just because they saw others there to vote, but all the Asphalt paving to the "Lee County Recreation Fields".

We are not talking about enough asphalt to drive up to the Senior Center people, We are Talking asphalt is everywhere. A little was put down when you drive onto the property of the Ball fields/Senior center/County road, a little was put down on a parking pad across from the center, a little more was put down a parking pad for the first ball field, a little bit more was put down on the far side of the second Ball Field and yes - a little more was put down for another parking pad that seems,well, for all to enjoy the view of grass growing - not everyone's grass looks dead.

This leads me to think that this is not all funny to ones that live in the county on dirt roads - there are some that have to drive their scooters up and down the dirt to get around - you know - can't stay in the house all day long watchin' tv. Some actually use their scooters carrying the grocery's they bought, some use their scooters to go around , and around, and a round, and around 'till their batteries give out- then i guess they push 'em or call for help to be pushed - remember, were in Alabama here.

Sources on this matter has me baffled, The Lee County Commission seems to have asked or requested the Highway Department to put off work on normal Dirt roads and do some in kind services and work some "Dirt Roads" in Lee County to have ready for Surfacing, The Highway Department seems to have Contracted out the Surfacing at the request of the city of "Smiths Station" by way of the Lee County Commission and Lee County Highway Department and was done and payment of jus under $237.000 is in the works to the Lee County Highway Department. Since this work was done on County property/ county roads - no bids were in order by the city of "Smiths Station" and the work was carried out with no media coverage. The County Commission has decided that when the current Approved Dirt Road list is done that there will NOT BE ANYMORE dirt road list made up for a long time. To me - this is just wrong.

What is missing are the Scooter racin' signs - come on - that much asphalt has to have some racin' on it and there is a lot or room for scooter racin'. How about the start of East Alabama Senior's Scooter Racin' Series- every other Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to noon - run what ya brung. Cannot leave out the local law enforcement on this one, they will need to patrol the scene on scooters too, would not be fair to let them use the full size -gas powered patrol cars to chase down and apprehend scooter violators. There are plenty of scooters in the community, jus look at all the vehicles with the racks on the back.

You have to have some humor on this because when you tell people of what is actually happening - they will tell ya that you are jus making all of it up and go mind your own business. Please help us

Our reader may be on to something here. Who needs NASCAR in East Alabama when you can hold the Smiths Station 500? That would be in yards, not miles....

The Lee County government website shows there's an official Dirt Road Paving Program. If scooter riders need their road paved, they should contact the county commissioner. Until then, I'd think Phenix City or Opelika tire stores would be happy to adjust the scooters to operate more like ATV's.

Since this reader didn't comment on the election, I will in Wednesday's quick wrap-up....

+ Georgia gubernatorial candidate Eric Johnson campaigned at the Cannon Brew Pub. Johnson talked about suing the federal government, about enforcing immigration laws. Does this mean Georgia Republicans really don't care about health care reform anymore?

+ Alabama gubernatorial candidates Robert Bentley and Ron Sparks promised NOT to run negative campaign ads about each other. They don't have to do it, of course - because education and gambling lobbies will run the ads for them.

+ Atlanta's baseball team traded two players to Toronto for shortstop Alex Gonzalez. This is a nice gesture for Bobby Cox's final season -- bringing in a player from that other team he managed, that most people seem to forget now.

+ Instant Message to all Columbus news media: Somebody has to ask it - why did it take almost three months for the Richland stun gun incident to become a news story? And why did the Atlanta Journal-Constitution have the story first, including the police tape? Is the economy so tight that you can't drive south of Fort Benning these days?

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