Friday, June 03, 2011

3 JUN 11: A Triple Double

It happened again in Columbus Thursday - another record-breaking temperature, as the high reached 100 degrees F. Maybe two days of triple-digit heat to start June will inspire summer school students to aim for perfection.

An air conditioning service company in my neighborhood apparently paid attention to the forecast for this week. It had employees working Monday, on Memorial Day. But then again, maybe these are workers from Alabama who really take Jefferson Davis's birthday seriously next Monday.

This is NOT a good time for an air conditioning service company to have a disaster. Yet WLTZ reported Comfortmasters Heating and Air on Harold Street had a fire late Wednesday, leaving about $80,000 in damage. C'mon now - is copper really more valuable at recycling centers if it smells burnt?

This also does not seem to be a good time to stage a fire drill. Yet Russell County set one up Thursday for volunteer fire departments. Crew members received training in how to put out a burning propane tank. At least the organizers could have put that tank in the shade....

The early heat wave may be leading some people to do strange things. Ed Bostic did his morning show on WRLD-FM "Boomer 95.3" Thursday from the Columbus Civic Center roof. It was a publicity stunt to spur ticket sales for this weekend's big Columbus Lions game - but it should have been sponsored in part by Coppertone.

But there's a little good news during this heat wave. For instance, four public swimming pools are open in Columbus. They'll be open this weekend - but for the last couple of years, they've been closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Former Parks Director Tony Adams may have been trying to send a message to Port Columbus all along....

On top of that, scattered thunderstorms developed around the area late Wednesday. One was strong enough to put Chattahoochee County in a severe thunderstorm warning for awhile -- and frustrate some Fort Benning soldiers, who hoped the swamp area of the basic training course finally would be dry.

Any rain would be helpful right now, as a new government report Thursday put almost all of Muscogee County in "severe drought" conditions. Why, Columbus is nearly as dry as the mayor's sense of humor....

The lack of moisture is such a concern that Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black led a group of farmers Thursday in a prayer for rain in Macon. Before you scoff at this sort of approach, please answer this question. How are the atheists doing in developing a mass cloud-seeding project?

Others may scoff at the idea that "global warming" is behind the 100-degree days in Columbus this early in June. But think back to last year, when we had temperatures in the upper 90's well after Labor Day. In fact, the only "heat" which seems to be abating is the Miami basketball team.

THE BIG BLOG QUESTION on the future of the Teenage Parenting Center ended Thursday afternoon. Ten of our 12 voters like the suggestion from Muscogee County School Superintendent Susan Andrews that the center close, to save the district money. If that happens, hopefully there will be a farewell ceremony - with a bugler playing "Taps," of course.

One voter noted during our frustratingly nonscientific poll a lot of money is spent "on mainstreaming and normalizing those with diminished mental and physical capacity. But, for this TPAC we pay for segregating demonstrably healthy young ladies." Others might argue if those ladies had utilized their "mental capacity" better, they wouldn't be teen parents now.

-> We hit it big again Thursday night at a local poker tournament. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: One of Thursday's topics put a reader in the "Euro-Zone" -- well, sort of....

Hi Richard,

You wrote: "A Government Center statement says Mayor Tomlinson received the invitation after meeting the German Consulate General in April at the National Infantry Museum. This raised one question for me right away -- did he know she's married?"

Judging by recent events in the news, it's a good thing she didn't meet the French Consulate General, as it is doubtful he would have asked if she were married or not - or even if she were willing or not.


John D

Hmmmm -- he must be referring to the charges against the former director of the International Monetary Fund. Something tells me we'll never see that Hardee's commercial claiming "It's better when it's French" again.

Let's check crimes closer to home, in our review of other Thursday headlines....

+ Columbus Police told WLTZ two owners of the Fantasy's "adult stores" have turned themselves in, on charges of selling synthetic drugs marked as bath salts. Why would an "adult store" sell bath salts in the first place? I'd think it would be sexier to fill tubs with Mr. Bubble.

(The strange twist here is that WRBL bought some of the suspicious bath salts in February. Randy Robertson with the Sheriff's Office declared then they were NOT illegal in Georgia. The state legislature passed a bill apparently banning them, but it doesn't become law until July. Is that why the Metro Narcotics Task Force chose to invite WTVM on last week's raid of Fantasy's -- because that station didn't know better?)

+ Cordele Police searched for a man who is shoplifting boxes full of ammunition from a Wal-Mart store - and doing it by stuffing the ammunition down his pants. My late father used to tell my older brother to "get the lead out" first thing in the morning, but I don't think this is what he meant.

+ Phenix City Council discussed plans to develop the area around the Riverchase exit along the North Bypass. The exit leading to Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital has been empty since it opened a few years ago - and you know the economy is bad when there isn't even a Waffle House there.

+ High school students in the Junior ROTC program took part in a summer camp at Fort Benning, and leaped from the jump tower. The students can't wait for the new school year to start - so they can challenge the cheerleaders to jump higher than that.

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