Thursday, September 22, 2011

22 SEP 11: Where-a-Cop-a Parked

Wednesday night was a night of tension and anxiety for a lot of Georgians. You can't blame some of them for being nervous and on edge. It's left to your humor blogger to attempt to offer a bit of comedy relief -- so I will say nothing here today about Atlanta's baseball team losing to Florida again.

We'll focus instead on a place I considered the "Central Park" of Columbus when I moved here 14 years ago. In fact, I considered renting a duplex which was under renovation in the Lakebottom area. But when I walked into the middle of a work project, the workers openly presumed I wouldn't be interested. I guess I didn't look like a Home Depot kind of guy.

Lakebottom Park and the surrounding area is a popular location for a lot of residents - but the news from there this week has been a bit on the wild side. Two arrests mentioned in the Ledger-Enquirer make me wonder if a weird gang is trying to take over. They might go by the name "Lakebottom Lulus."

The most recent case in Wednesday's paper involved a man police say was following women around Lakebottom Park. The suspect reportedly carried a camera phone, and tried to take pictures of their (ahem) posteriors. So we could call this the saga of the sagging cell phone....

A woman on the Lakebottom Park walking track reportedly noticed what the suspect was doing - and when she turned around to face the paparazzo, police claim he said: "You are the baddest (woman) out here." I'm glad he settled that, because police think they know who the baddest guy was.

At that point, other Lakebottom Park patrons reportedly intervened. Police say women watched the suspect hide in some bushes - then when he tried to follow another woman around the track, a man held him on the ground until officers showed up. That'll teach this scofflaw to attempt some razzle-dazzle during football season....

Police arrested the man with a cell phone - then reportedly discovered his battery was dead. For all we know, he may not have snapped any photos at all. So after the suspect serves his time, he might be "behind in his work" in more ways than one.

The cell phone saga follows the Monday arrest of another man at the Lakebottom Park baseball fields. This man reportedly was spotted on the diamonds with his pants pulled down to his ankles. The Valley Rescue Mission thrift stores need belt donations more than ever....

This suspect reportedly had an explanation for Columbus Police about his actions. He claimed he was tucking in his shirt. And for that, you drop your pants almost to the ground?! Which employer gives its staff shirts that are six sizes too large?

The suspect allegedly kept talking - and eventually admitted he's a sex offender, who was using the baseball fields to (ahem) go to the bathroom. If it was March instead of September, a Peach Little League player might have picked up some habits to embarrass his parents for years to come.

Put these two cases together with last year's razor blades taped to the playground equipment, and you start to wonder what's going on at Lakebottom. The place someone dubbed a "prince of parks" after renovations years ago may need extra attention from police -- before these alleged freaks add to the list of corrupted faculty members at Columbus High School.

-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you might not expect. See what we mean at "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: After waiting for replies which did not come, a Russell County town's unofficial prosecutor continues his assault....

"Sir" Richard:

You are truly AAAmaZZZing! You seem to have total recall. My Sunday offering unearthed my: years ago, introduction to Grant Writer Bob Corwin. Back then it was a Town Park he was promoting with the grant from ADECA for $i50,000.00 as his goal. The "good" old government coughed up the dough even though the Town of "Hurt'sboro didn't keep its end of the bargain. And, there seems to be some question as to where a large ammount of the money ended up.

When I first contacted ADECA they were very cooperative - when I questioned their bookkeeping, the door was slammed in my face. I managed to get my hands on some of the checks; and I can assure you, Bob Corwin got his commission.

Then there's the "Streetscape" fiasco where "Gas" tax funds were used to build a sidewalk. That deal was also orchestrated by Mr. Corwin.

I must give Mr. Corwin credit for his patience. The sewer grant was a long time in coming. In fact, it was applied for, well ahead of the Park and Streetscape requests. There's no question, that the sewer in the eastern part of "Hurt'sboro needs repair. But so do the storm drains and the streets in that section of town.

The Water & Sewer Board were, (inorder of events) determined to do the prject, convinced to borrow money and put it in a municipaly controlled account, and duped into thinking that Bob Corwin and Sentell Engineering wouldn't be involved in the project.

Much to their surprise; they have learned the hard way, that the Mayor is a significant player,the funding is inadequate to do the job as planned, and that Bob Corwin and Sentell engineering are calling the shots.

A local fellow with engineering credentials is looking after "Hurt's boro's best interests. He has a set of plans, and follows the contractor from man-hole to man-hole and takes notes on the existing conditions. The first phase of the project, (cleaning and inspection) has been completed.

Now, it's left up to an analysis of the on-site Engineer's notes by the project engineer, followed by a presentation of recommendations to the Water & sewer Board. I'm told this series of steps will take at least a month to complete.

By the way! I'm being told that Bob Corwin has already cashed his check.

R.J. Schweiger

Sorry, I do NOT have total recall. My humble Honda has been losing one part at a time because of age, not warnings from the company.

I also have a good blog search engine, which allowed me to backtrack to Robert Corwin's years of work with the city of Hurtsboro . It turns out he's a "consultant" for several Alabama towns - and if enough council members swapped notes with each other, they might be able to chase Corwin across the Oglethorpe Bridge and into Columbus.

Sentell Engineering has not replied to our e-mail, seeking a comment on Robert Schweiger's accusations. An e-mail sent to Robert Corwin bounced back, citing an invalid address. Maybe he's visiting a different town this week....

Doesn't it sound like an action-packed job, to take notes on city "manholes"? If one of those things is faulty, your work could take a dive in several different ways.

Another e-mail from Robert Schweiger came Wednesday. But I'm imposing a "one per day" rule, holding it until later and moving on to other issues....

+ An overnight thunderstorm caused part of the roof to collapse at Comer Auditorium in Bibb City. That's where the Parks and Recreation Department is based, so now it has to move. But shouldn't this symbolic message have been sent to the Parks Director about a year ago?

+ Muscogee County Prison Warden Bill Adamson announced he's retiring after 21 years. He faced some questions in recent years, because several prison inmates walked away and escaped while on city work duty [14 Jun 07]. Yet to this day, I still don't inmates with long bungee cords attached from their waists to city trash trucks.

+ The Georgia-based Hall of Fame rock band R.E.M. announced it's breaking up after 30 years. Well, the official online message says the band decided to "call it a day." They could have been more clever, and declared it's time for some R.E.M. sleep.

+ Instant Message to Alabama head football coach Nick Saban: I hope what you said the other day was accurate. Today's college football players should get "crunked" for big games in Tuscaloosa. But in Athens, Georgia, I fear some players get drunk instead.

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