9 SEP 11: Facts or Friction
It's one thing to spread a rumor to your friends at work or your neighbor over the back fence. It's another thing to spread it in print before thousands of newspaper readers. For one thing, one of those readers actually might do some double-checking to see if it's accurate....
The President of the Chattahoochee County School Board was surprised Thursday night, when we told him about one such report in a Columbus newspaper. The Courier reported that district released most of the African-American high school teachers, and all the African-American football coaches. When the rules call for wearing "road white," I don't think they mean going that far.
"Very suspicious," Thursday's Courier said about Chattahoochee County schools. But School Board President Fred Davis seemed very puzzled. He said there were NO recent releases of African-American teachers at the high school. To be fair, the article didn't give a date - so perhaps "The Street Committee" was cleaning out e-mails from 2009.
As for changes in the Chattahoochee County High School football program, Fred Davis told me: "The last three coaches we had are all white." I think Davis was referring to the head coaches -- and if he was, that may be all The Courier needs for a follow-up cover story in its next issue.
A check of the "Chatt-Co" website Thursday found the high school football team picture includes at least two African-American coaches. But we admittedly don't know when that photo was taken. Cusseta is a small town, after all -- but if the high school event calendar showed the proper date this week for Labor Day, it must not be that slow.
We also attempted to contact the Chattahoochee County Superintendent and high school principal. Our e-mails brought no reply as of Thursday night -- but amazingly, someone claiming to be from the Libyan military e-mailed me. Too bad I clicked on the spam delete button, before learning how much money I'd won.
The short newspaper article didn't include a source for its information about African-American teachers. If someone in Chattahoochee County can confirm the report, feel free to contact me. Keep in mind The Courier won't bring out its next edition for 13 days - and even the "Chattahoochee Chronicle" is faster than that.
.But here's the thing - and this repeats a "thing" which came up in last year's Columbus mayoral campaign. If I could make a call to the Chattahoochee County School Board President on a Thursday night, so could The Courier. Maybe no one's told that newspaper Cusseta is a local call from Columbus.
The Courier's Street Committee still might conclude the events at Chattahoochee County High School are "very suspicious," but at least it would have both sides of the story to report. To only mention one side (and without any attribution) reminds me of another tabloid I saw in a store the other day. It promised to reveal "prophecies" uttered by President John Kennedy.
All sorts of news media spread rumors, of course. The biggest rumor Thursday night involved some sort of "specific credible" terrorist threat against the U.S. It wasn't clear what the threat was - but it probably prevented any Republicans in Congress from calling President Obama a liar during his speech.
Let's see what else we can confirm from the Thursday news:
+ An afternoon fire left extensive damage at Uncle Bob's Self Storage on Miller Road. We hope former mayor Bob Poydasheff finished working on his memoirs before the fire started....
+ Cagle's announced its Pine Mountain Valley plant will be closed today, due to some kind of mechanical issue. Employees will be relieved to know the paycheck printer did NOT break down, so they can be picked up.
+ Carver handled Hardaway in high school football 46-14. The Hawks had a second-quarter lead -- but apparently that's when the President's speech to Congress ended, and Carver players weren't distracted anymore.
+ Instant Message to Calvary Christian School: Did I hear it right on WTVM - your first-year football team is running a wing-T offense?! I know you teach old-fashioned values, but that attack is straight out of the 1940s.
Our count of unique visitors from January to August was up 22 percent from 2010! To advertise to them, make a PayPal donation, offer a story tip or comment about this blog, write me - but be warned: I may post your e-mail and offer a reply.
BURKARD BULK MAIL INDEX: 641 (+ 20, 3.2%)
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.
© 2003-11 Richard Burkard, all rights reserved.