Thursday, January 13, 2011

13 JAN 11: To the Next Level

It was a numbers game I simply HAD to play Wednesday night. Out of 2,501 previous blog posts, the name "Isaiah Hugley" appears in 132 of them. The name "Hurtsboro" has appeared in 239. When a little Russell County town is mentioned nearly twice as much as the Columbus City Manager, is he that successful or is Hurtsboro that bad?

Hurtsboro made the news again Wednesday - but this time, it was NOT because of an e-mail sent to me. The incoming Russell County Sheriff announced he'll open a precinct in the town next week. In fact, Heath Taylor will set it up one day after taking office - almost like Sheriff Tommy Boswell forgot Hurtsboro existed.

Heath Taylor announced plans for the Hurtsboro precinct at Wednesday's Russell County Commission meeting. He told WTVM criminals may be drawn to the town because it's located 30 miles from the Sheriff's Office. Hmmmm -- maybe that explains why the Columbus Police Chief lives in Upatoi.

The announcement comes in the wake of sheriff's deputies intervening in Hurtsboro on New Year's Eve, after a disturbance involving a police officer [5 Jan]. Hurtsboro has four paid police officers -- so losing one could require the others to patrol both sides of Main Street at the same time.

The news report did not explain where a Russell County Sheriff's Office precinct would be set up in Hurtsboro. But of course, the cynics would say there are plenty of empty storefronts to choose from....

The idea of opening a sheriff's precinct in Hurtsboro sounded vaguely familiar. Yet a search of the blog archives Wednesday night found no mention of it here. You can find a petition drive for intervention by Alabama Governor Bob Riley - and if one of the Hurtsboro criminals had set up slot machines, that might have happened.

Heath Taylor's announcement about Hurtsboro obviously led me to watch the InBox closely Wednesday night. But our deadline passed with NO e-mail from former Constable Robert Schweiger. I sincerely hope he didn't pass out in his living room in shock.

I would think Robert Schweiger is thrilled with what Heath Taylor is planning. A Sheriff's Office precinct could make Hurtsboro a safer place. And it could be the first step toward Schweiger's real goal - a Russell County takeover, with the town ceasing to exist. The bronze statue of Schweiger probably wouldn't go up until long after he's gone....

Back at the county commission meeting, outgoing Sheriff Tommy Boswell was presented a farewell plaque. He'll take part in Heath Taylor's inauguration Monday, then head into retirement. And unlike what happens when Phenix City officials leave their positions, I don't expect Boswell to sue anybody.

With no more college football to hype, a few other stories found their way to the news buffet Wednesday:

+ The high temperature in Columbus was a meager 37 degrees F. While Muscogee County schools reopened, Atlanta remains so icy that schools are closed today for the fourth day in a row. If the Thrashers hockey team doesn't set up neighborhood games by this weekend, a golden opportunity for self-promotion will be gone.

+ Columbus Police told the Ledger-Enquirer someone has stolen 37 chairs from Al's Schnitzel House on Victory Drive in the last two weeks. Will the person who invited the neighborhood to his BCS Championship viewing party please bring them back?

+ Skippers Seafood on Buena Vista Road offered a ten-percent discount to Carver High School fans, because the school made Annual Yearly Progress. The business's owner organized last week's Chamber of Commerce protest - so members of the Chamber board may face a 20-percent markup.

+ WTVM reported Walgreens opened a new store at Moon Road and Veterans Parkway. OK, that's nice - but where's the new store somewhere south of Buena Vista Road? Are the drugstores inside Fort Benning really that much better?

+ Fort Benning hosted an unusual town hall meeting on Facebook, focusing on base realignment. I'm waiting for word of how many people logged onto this discussion - and how many Fort Knox families used the occasion to change their profiles to a Benning logo.

+ Georgia Governor Nathan Deal presented his "State of the State" address. The new governor showed compassion on people outside the state Capitol and across metro Atlanta - by proposing a freeze on hiring statewide.

+ Miss Alabama won a preliminary event at the Miss America pageant. Ashley Davis of Dothan won in the "health and fitness" category. Oh no -- I can see the Cammy Cam Juice endorsement deal coming now....

+ Roundball Night in Dixieland (tm) found Georgia's men vacuumed by Vanderbilt 73-66. While almost everyone was focused on Auburn football, the Bulldogs had their longest winning streak in 28 years and snuck into the top 25. If you can't duplicate it in public, few people will believe you did it in private.

+ Instant Message to Dr. Pepper: Did anyone tell you Phenix City has a Wal-Mart SuperCenter? You could display the BCS Championship trophy there, without crossing the state line into Georgia - and risking Bulldog fans spitting on it for four hours.

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