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An Internet-only news site devoted to issues regarding Warrenton, Ga., and its environs.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Koch buying Georgia-Pacific

Will make the biggest private company in the nation, this Kansas City Star story says.

DOJ officials recommended against GA vote law, were overrruled

Staffers at the federal Justice Department said they thought GA's voter-identification-card law was a bad idea, but they were overruled by higher-ups. It's in today's Washington Post (registration required, but it's free).

Friday, October 28, 2005

Coach Welsh nears 300 wins

This Augusta Chronicle profile of the Thomson Bulldogs' coach is a good reminder that the legendary Luther Welsh once coached at Warren County, back in the 1950s. Says Mrs. Welsh: "Luther doesn't do anything else but coach and cut grass. "

Fed appeals court overturns GA 'voter ID' law

The law, in effect, would charge folks $20 to vote -- you couldn't vote without the official state-issued ID card, which you'd have to pay $20 to get. State Rep. Tyrone Brooks, who is originally from Warren County, is quoted in this Washington Post story today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Screaming Devils go up to 6-1 for the season with Aquinas victory

Halfback Veuncle Ivey made a momentum-turning 88-yard touchdown run at the end of the first half, The Chronicle says. Final score: 46-20. Next opponent: Region 7-A rival Glascock County at home; the Panthers are 0-8 this season.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Celebrating 100 years of R.T.

It was on this day in 1905 that Roscoe Tennyson Peebles, my granddad, came into the world in rural northern Emanuel County. That can mean only one thing: It's time to celebrate the Centennial of R.T.

Here are some things you can do to honor R.T.:
+ Be very quiet and not say much.
+ At 9 p.m., have an ice cream float. Pour some pre-made chocolate milk in a small glass and then put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
+ Click your teeth together a lot, like your dentures don't fit right.
+ Work on anything mechanical and get your hands very dirty and grimy.

We'll add some things you should know about R.T. to this blog throughout the year.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Warrentonians quilting for Katrina victims

Emma Sinkfield at Quality of Life and other Warrenton ladies are picking up the needles to help those affected by the hurricane, WJBF-Channel 6 reports.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Read 'Surviving The Corner'

Take 5 or 10 minutes today and read a really nice piece that ran in this weekend's Chronicle, a profile of Washington-Wilkes football player Markeith Wylie, and how his life changed after he was seriously wounded by a gunshot.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Screaming Devils lose to Spalding Co.

By one point, 15-14, in Griffin. The loss makes Warren County 2-1 for the season. Next Friday: A conference matchup with Hancock Central, who are 2-2 after Friday's loss to Putnam County.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Katrina from the air

The National Weather Service has posted some horrifying aerial photos of the devastation along the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, click here to donate money online to the Red Cross. If you want to volunteer, the closest Red Cross chapter is the one in Augusta, and its Web site is here. The site says they have set up a shelter at Warren Road Baptist Church on Washington Road in Augusta. They're also offering classes on how to help people in disasters (as I understand, people who want to volunteer are being told they shouldn't go to the Gulf unless they are Red Cross-certified disaster relief volunteers). The class schedule is online here.

Meanwhile, if you are trying to find someone lost in the Katrina-affected area, try these two sites: The National Next-of-Kin Registry or the Red Cross' Katrina people-finder page. Or see complete coverage of Hurricane Katrina from the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper.

Top 100 Southern songs?

Some songs with Middle Georgia ties and other roots from the Warrenton area made the The Journal-Constitution's ranking of the Top 100 Songs of the South of all time.

Statesboro Blues, the signature tune of Blind Willie McTell, the great bluesman from Thomson, ranked at No. 53. The band who did the most famous cover version of Statesboro Blues, the Allman Brothers, who recorded in Macon, did quite well, too; Ramblin' Man made it to No. 15 and Blue Sky at No. 66.

Also from Macon, Otis Redding is at No. 16 with (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay. Did you know that comedian and Ph.D. Bertice Berry says her mother told her she was Otis' illegitimate daughter? Really. I read it in Dr. Berry's autobiography.

Another interesting fact: Otis Redding and my grandmother were born in the same town, Dawson, Ga., in Terrell County.

One more: My mother and her teenybopper friends at the Woman's College of Georgia in the late 1960s were all huge fans of Otis Redding. One of Mom's college friends got a summer job at a Macon department store, and one day Otis came in to buy a tricycle for his little boy. The girl fainted. At leat that's what Mom said.

Turning toward Athens, the B-52s landed Love Shack at 22 (three words: Tin roof rusted). And Maps and Legends at No. 99 was the only item I saw on the list by R.E.M., though I may not have looked carefully enough.

You'll need Macromedia Flash software on your computer (it's free, you just have to download it) to see the whole list, for which I'm having a devil of a time trying to find the permanent link. Until then, go this link to the AJC blog discussion of the top 100, where tempers are clearly flaring.

For the record, the list was topped by Billie Holiday's rendition of Strange Fruit. Jimmie Rodgers, the singin' brakeman, who was idolized by my late guitar-picking Warrenton granddad, was at No. 35 with his seminal Blue Yodel No. 1, largely known to the public as T for Texas. And two of my late mother's favorites were Georgia on My Mind at No. 9 and Midnight Train to Georgia at No. 17. If I didn't have my fingers on the keyboard, I'd be doing the appropriate Pips arm motions right now.

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Even worse than Jim Cantore ...

In regard to the recent observation here about Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel: The only thing worse than having Jim Cantore show up in your town is having Christiane Amanpour show up.

When Jim drives up, it's bad, but there's still time to leave. When Christiane shows up, it's just too late. Something military or Biblical has happened by then.

For the record, I'm a huge fan of Christiane. But she may be the fifth horseman of the apocalypse. You remember the story: First, the white horse comes in with the Antichrist. Then War comes in on the red horse. Then Famine on the black horse. Then Christiane and her crew get off a Black Hawk with an advance unit of the 82nd Airborne.

CNN and the Weather Channel should cooperate (they're both headquarted in Atlanta, by the way) and create a primetime news show with both Cantore and Amapour as co-anchors. It could be titled Storm Stories from [Beirut/Gaza/Iraq/name your world hotspot here].

More area football results

Thomson beat Liberty County, 3-0; Hancock Central lost to Greene County, 48-7; Washington County beat Putnam County, 34-13; Jefferson County beat Harlem, 41-12; and Glascock County lost to Long County, 51-14, putting the Panthers at 0-3 for the season. Further south, Swainsboro lost to Statesboro, 35-0.

Warren County is now 2-0 for the season. The Screaming Devils' next opponents this coming Friday will be Spalding. The AAA Jaguars are 0-3 for the season, the Journal-Constitution says. (And see more scores from around the state on the AJC site.)

Screaming Devils beat Jenkins Co.

Warren County now has a 2-0 record this season. More good news: WCHS was also rated No. 10 in the "Prep Power Poll" on Friday by Augusta-area sports writers.

Friday, September 2, 2005

Hancock Co schools were closed Thursday due to lack of gasoline, NYT says

It's in the main New Orleans wrapup story in the New York Times online right now. My Google News search isn't finding any other mention of this elsewhere on the Web -- can anyone confirm whether this is true? Meanwhile, Gov. Sonny Perdue has lifted the state gas tax. In other news about Hurricane Katrina, the NYT has posted the complete transcript (expletives not deleted) of that radio interview by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin that has been all over TV today.

Gas shortages hit surrounding counties

Police have to direct traffic in Sandersville after stations run out; lines back up and impede traffic in Washington, the AP reports. The average cost of gas in the Augusta area was $2.866 earlier today, according to AAA's Web site; a year ago, it was $1.684.

Warren County 5th-worst SAT scores in state

Bad news: Newly released data from the state Department of Education shows Warren County has the 5th-worst average total SAT score in the state, with a total score of 783.3. Warren had 18 test-takers, the state said, the 9th-lowest number of test-takers of any school district in the state. The average verbal score was 383.9, the fourth-worst in the state, and the average math score was 399.4, the seventh-worst in the state. Hancock County fared even worse than Warren, ranking the second-worst SAT score in the state, of 732.8. (The worst average score of all was from Talbot County. The highest score was from the Jefferson City school district, with an average of 1096.8.)

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Friends of the Ogeechee merges with Canoochee group

They're now going to be called Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper, according this story in The Swainsboro Forest-Blade. Their offices will be in Statesboro. The Friends of the Ogeechee site and the Canoochee Riverkeeper sites are still up.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Thoughts for Hurricane Katrina

Have been thinking in recent days of Les Kerr's song Pray for New Orleans, which was written long before the hurricane but seems particularly meaningful now. Listen to a snippet here if you have freeRealPlayer software. And you can help the relief effort by donating now to the American Red Cross. Go to their Web site and click the big red "donate" link.

Monday, August 29, 2005

You know it's time to pack up and leave town ...

... when Jim Cantore shows up, Mimi and I observed tonight. Just learned this in his online bio: Mr. Cantore is from Vermont.

Wilkes, Washington county workers head to Katrina

Workers from Washington Electric Membership Cooperative in Sandersville and Rayle EMC in Washington are heading to the hurricane-stricken areas.

Train lovers' mecca in South Georgia

It's not anywhere near us, but there's a good read in this Baltimore Sun piece about Folkston, Ga., where a destination for train-watchers all over the U.S. Train lovers also can come to lovely and tiny Camak, Ga., just a few miles outside Warrenton.

A familiar name in my flashlight

Did something today that it seemed like I hadn't done in years: Bought an Eveready battery. The brand belongs to the Energizer folks. I've always been a fan of the bunny, but it's good to see the cat jumping through the hole in the number 9 again.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Next Quentin Tarantino movie: No samurai swords, only stock cars

The filmmaker did a lap at Bristol Motor Speedway with driver-turned-commentator Wally Dallenbach. Looks like he enjoyed it, though I was disheartened to see he wanted my man Greg Biffle pushed into the wall.

Screaming Devils thrash Jefferson Co.

Screaming Devil quarterback Tommy Seals is among the players featured in The Chronicle's recent story advancing the Warren County football season, which mentions the team's state championships from 1965, '66 and '68. The Chronicle's complete season preview for the team is here. In other area sports news, Burke County beat Lincoln County for the first time in 33 years.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Drowned tots' mom says she's been wrongly accused

Lottie Kain has been released from jail, according to WAGT-TV.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Kiss Winn-Dixie goodbye

The good news: Gonna be a big sale at the Winn-Dixie in Thomson. The bad news: It's a going-out-of business sale.

Talk about crummy timing -- Winn-Dixie gets its name in the title of a major motion picture, turns right around and files for bankruptcy.

Personally, my family did its Thomson shopping at Bi-Lo and Piggy Wiggly. Does anyone out there besides me remember when the Bi-Lo had a plastic cow standing on the roof over the sign? I was a big fan of the cow. Of course, my parents always said that as a toddler I would run up to the television set and kiss the screen whenever the Piggly Wiggly pig came on the screen.

Another blast from the past: I remember when the Winn-Dixie shopping center in Thomson had a Sears store in it. I have many happy memories of going with Mom to Sears to order or pick up some wonderful mail-order goody. Needless to say, that was way before anyone in Warrenton had ever heard of the Internet or Amazon.com.

Here's what's closing in our area: Winn-Dixies in Thomson, Milledgeville, Sandersville, Statesboro and Vidalia, also two in Martinez (4487 Columbia Road and 366 Fury's Ferry Road) and two in Augusta (1763 Gordon Highway and 207 Robert C. Daniel Parkway). See the complete list of nationwide closings here.

Warren County: Yes, we're getting smaller

You might remember a few weeks back that the Census Bureau released its latest estimates for cities across America. Now it's come out with the new county numbers, and they, too, show Warren County is losing people.

There are two ways to look at the new census estimates: by comparing the new estimates with the last Census five years ago, or by comparing the new estimates with the last estimate a year ago. We’ll look at both.

Compared with the 2000 Census
Warren County’s population has shrunk by 1.89%, losing 82 people, down to 6,254. This makes us the 16th fastest-shrinking county in Georgia.
Our neighbors:
McDuffie grew 1.35%, up to 21,517. Rank: 49th fastest-growing county in the state.
Jefferson shrank by 2.22%, down to 16,883, making it the 10th fastest-shrinking county in Georgia.
Hancock County did slightly worse, losing 2.63% of its residents, down to 9,811. Rank: 9th fastest-shrinking county in Georgia.
Taliaferro County rated as the second fastest-shrinking county in Georgia, losing 8.71% of its population since the 2000 Census, for a total of 1,896. Only Chattahoochee County lost more people, the Census Bureau said.
Wilkes County lost 0.97% of its population, down to 10,583.
Washington County lost 0.54% of its residents, down to 21,061.
Glascock County gained 2.93%, up to 2,631.
Emanuel County gained 1.17% of its population, up to 22,093. Must be that new Wal-Mart Supercenter …

Compared with last year’s estimates
Warren County lost 2.08% of its population from 2003 to 2004.
McDuffie County gained 1.35%.
Jefferson, -1.66%.
Taliaferro, -6.4%.
Hancock, -0.95%.
Washington, -0.7%.
Wilkes County, no change from the previous year.
Emanuel, grew by 0.45%.

Want to know more? Check out the Census Bureau's site on how it does its population estimates.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Jebco barrister's bookcase on e-Bay right now

Ever seen those bookcases where each shelf has its own window that tilts up? If you've ever wondered what that's called, it's a barrister's bookcase. Someone in Pittsburgh, Pa., is selling one made by Jebco on e-Bay. Starting bid looks like $133.33. Buyer has to arrange shipping, it says.

Nice obituary of Peter Jennings in the New York Times

Peter was always the favorite for 6:30 viewing at my house. We're a little late in posting this, but better late than never. (You'll need to do free registration at nytimes.com, if you haven't already, to read this one.)

Mother pleads not guilty in child-drowning case

From WAGT-TV's Web site.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Arraignment today for mother of kids who drowned in sewage pond

Lottie Kain will plead not guilty today, the children's father says in today's Augusta Chronicle. An arraignment is when a defendant has their charge formally read to them in court, after which they enter a plea. It's usually the first step in the court system after a person is indicted by a grand jury. Nearly everyone pleads not guilty at their arraignments.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ray Guy shares his kicking expertise

His hometown of Thomson is mentioned in this profile from Pittsburgh, where the former Oakland Raiders star led a class for kids.

The gov is coming

He's coming to Thomson Saturday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Coming soon: Retail

That's what the sign says in front of the new strip mall building that has sprung up on Norwood Road, across from the new high school. The nameplate out front calls it "Warrenton Crossing." Looks like it has maybe five store fronts in it. Anyone know what's going in there?

We're back now

Sorry about the recent lack of posts, loyal readers. We went on a sudden unexpected hiatus about two weeks ago when my grandmother, Laura Strange Peebles, known to me as "Mu," had a massive stroke. She died last Thursday and was buried Sunday in Emanuel County. She was 92. Here's the short free obit that ran in The Augusta Chronicle. Mu was a unique lady. We'll post a more complete obituary later on.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wrens doing internal investigation of police chief

It was tipped off by Police Lt. Willie Nelson -- but apparently not THAT Willie Nelson.

CSX declares 10-cent dividend

The railroad has a yard in Camak. Shares were trading at 43.90 this morning.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Explosives truck on its way to Warrenton turns over in Columbia Co

The truck was headed to Martin-Marietta. It overturned outside Appling. No one was injured.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Get ready for the sales tax holiday later this month

It's July 28-31 across Georgia, according to this Journal-Constitution story.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Remembering those who didn't come home

A U.S. Air Force pilot who was shot down in Vietnam in 1966 was recently buried in Savannah after his remains were finally identified. There are actually several American servicemen from this area -- none from Warren County, but some from neighboring communities -- who remain missing in action, according to the Department of Defense Web site:

From the Korean War -- (all listed here are presumed dead by the Pentagon):
+ Staff Sgt. Larry B. Akins, U.S. Air Force, of Statesboro, missing in action since 1951.
+ Sgt. Baldwin B. Barclay, U.S. Army, of Baldwin County, missing in action since 1950.
+ Sgt. First Class James Allen Hunnicutt, U.S. Army, of Statesboro, taken prisoner in 1950.
+ Cpl. William Judson King Jr., U.S. Army, of Emanuel County, taken prisoner in 1950.
+ Sgt. Luther C. Riner of Emanuel County, missing in action since 1951.
+ Sgt. James R. Schroeder of Wilkes County, U.S. Army, killed in action in 1950.
+ Master Sgt. James R. Stapleton, U.S. Army. (The Pentagon lists his home of record as "Washington, Ga.," but it's not clear whether that's the town of Washington or Washington County.) Killed in action in 1950.
+ Private First Class Charlie Wilcher Jr., U.S. Army, also of Washington or Washington County, missing in action since 1950.

From the Vietnam War, Maj. Thomas Franklin Case, U.S. Air Force, was shot down over North Vietnam in 1966. The C-130 aircraft he was piloting was one of two in a raid trying to demolish the Thanh Hoa Bridge. Case's remains were returned to the U.S. in 1986 and were identified the following year.

Read more about what the government is doing to find our MIAs and POWs at the homepage of the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

10 years of the Redneck Games

Launched as an alternative to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, it's been going strong for a decade now. The Journal-Constitution story includes photos of a toilet-seat-throwing match. Or check out the official Redneck Games homepage.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Warrenton man leads police on chase in Glascock Co.

Gaynor Newsome wound up running into a sheriff's deputy's car and was arrested, The Chronicle reports.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Lean times for the kaolin industry

Combined after-tax profits of the four area kaolin companies were $28.7 million last year, up from $4.6 million in '03, the Macon Telegraph reports.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Mother of two drowned toddlers indicted on child neglect charges

Jonah and Nicole Payne wandered away from their Warrenton home on April 23; their bodies were later found in a sewage pond nearby (story from WGST radio station).

Sunday, July 3, 2005

This just in: Warrenton not in the running to host the 2012 Olympic games

The finalists are New York, Paris, Madrid, Moscow and London, The New York Times reports. So I guess I won't be able to pitch my plan to the International Olympic Committee:
+ Track and field events held at the football field on Legion Drive.
+ Tennis at the city park tennis courts.
+ Swimming at the Cedar Park swimming pool.
+ Javelin throw and shot put competitions at the driving range at the old Warrenton Country Club.
+ Tourist accomodations at Fountain Campground.

That crazy dancing old man in the Six Flags ads ...

... is named "Mr. Six." The ad campaign is profiled here in a story in the Wall Street Journal, and has been blogged-about on ObscureStore.com.

Sandersville kid makes good

The Westell modem that, in part, brings you this Web site is made by a company outside Chicago run by a guy who was born in Washington County and whose late father was once the the mayor of Tennille. Story from The Daily Herald.

Georgia, the land of the free, where you can now legally fish with your fingers

The practice of "noodling," or fishing using just one's fingers, is now legal in Georgia with a new state law that took effect with the start of the new fiscal year July 1, the Macon Telegraph reports.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Timber industry statewide devalued as land values rise

... Due to development, which there's not all that much of in our area. But elsewhere in the state, apparently it's a big deal, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Yet another bear ... this one in Columbia County

This one wasn't caught Friday, The Augusta Chronicle says. That's three in the space of about two weeks. Read some advice on what to do if you see a bear on the Web site of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Jefferson Co authorities bust alleged dog fighters

"The people who do this are from all walks of life," a veterinarian for the U.S. Deparment of Agriculture told the News and Farmer. "These aren't just your ordinary rednecks. There are doctors and lawyers who spend big money on their dogs."

From the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Web site, http://www.agr.state.ga.us/html/animalprotfaq.html:

I think my neighbors are dog fighting. Is this legal in Georgia?
Dog fighting and cock fighting are illegal and considered animal cruelty in the state of Georgia: Dog Fighting: A person commits the offense of dog fighting when he/she causes or allows a dog to fight another dog for sport or gaming purposes or maintains or operates any event at which dogs are allowed or encouraged to fight one another. O.C.G.A. §16-12-37

Cock Fighting (not legally defined): A person commits the offense
of chicken fighting when he/she causes or allows a chicken to fight another chicken for sport or gaming purposes or maintains or operates any event at which chickens are allowed or encouraged to fight one another.
*Dog fighting and cock fighting information should be reported to the local Animal Control or Sheriffs Department.

Speaking of cockfighting, someone in Mitchell is advertising roosters for sale in a cockfighting magazine I saw yesterday.

Another bear on the loose: This time in Louisville

It's the second case in a couple of weeks now. The last one was in Sandersville (see previous post here). This story from the News and Farmer.

Warren County's Hank Crumpton nominated for counterterrorism post

Hank Crumpton, an official with the CIA and son of Dan and Charlene Crumpton, has been nominated for counterterrorism coordinator for the State Department. His wife initially didn't believe it, his mother tells The McDuffie Mirror. I have a photo somewhere of him on the softball team with my dad for First Baptist Church of Warrenton. He's mentioned in this Washington Post story.

Honk if you can count geese

It's a goose roundup in Greene County. Wildlife workers are doing a goose census.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Warrenton growing; Camak shrinking; Norwood holding steady

The Census Bureau's latest population estimates are out, and they show these growth rates between the 2000 U.S. Census and July 1, 2004:
  • Warrenton has gained 45 people, up to 2,058, a growth rate of 2.24%;
  • Camak has lost 6 people, down to 159;
  • and Norwood is still at 299 people, same as in 2000.

I remember covering a Camak City Council meeting once years ago. City Hall was in a little building under the water tower. I don't mean it was in the shadow of the water tower. I mean it was literally under the water tower. It looked to be about half the size of my freshman-year college dorm room, as I recall. (Not sure if it is still there or not.)

Some growth rates for some neighboring cities:
  • Thomson lost 41 people, for a total of 6,787;
  • Gibson gained 19 people, up to 713, and a growth rate of 2.74%;
  • Louisville lost 80 people, now down to 2,632;
  • Sandersville lost 96 people, up to 6,048;
  • Sparta lost 53 people and now stands at 1,389. Sparta also had one of the state's largest drops in population between 2003 and 2004, according to this Journal-Constitution story.

Chronicle reporter sits in while chief fires his only officer

Now here's an experience you don't get often as a journalist ... From Midville in Burke County.

Sparta among the state's biggest population-losers

... Between 2003 and 2004, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau reported on today in the Journal-Constitution. Sparta's population shrank by 3.7% during that time, the newspaper says, even though Georgia's small towns are seeing the biggest population jumps.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Army sergeant threatens to jump from Thomson bridge

He didn't, and you can see the photo of him being wrestled to the ground by authorities in The Chronicle. The soldier, who is from Oklahoma, was apparently distraught over not being allowed to see his son.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bear steals the show in downtown Sandersville

"I'm like, OK, it's time to go," one woman told WMAZ-TV in Macon. The bear was tranquilized and will be taken back to the wild.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Warren Co officials take part in regional economic development effort

Commission Chairman John Graham is quoted in this McDuffie Mirror story about the recent meeting of five Clarks Hill-area counties. They're exploring ways to help each other through tourism and other economic development methods.

Jefferson Co 1-cent sales tax passes by nearly 3-to-1 margin

Proceeds are earmarked for fire and rescue, parks and recreation and economic development, The Chronicle reports. Only 1 in 10 registered voters went to the polls.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Biking to beat Huntington's disease

Two women are biking from Thomson to Washington today as part of a longer trip from Wilmington, Del., to Atlanta, The Chronicle says. They're doing it for the Huntington's Disease Society of America. The disease causes degeneration of the brain, and among its victims was folk singer Woody Guthrie, who wrote This Land is Your Land. Read more about it from the National Insitutes of Health Web site.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Beware of flying bottles of cologne in Augusta

A new form of hate speech, perhaps? An African-American Richmond County driver told authorities that a man pulled up beside him at an intersection, yelled racial epithets at him, and then threw a bottle of cologne at him and hit him in the head, The Chronicle reports in the third item down. The brand? Passion for Men by Elizabeth Taylor.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Study: East Central GA 2nd-highest use of marijuana in the state

A new federal study is the first to try to identify pot usage in areas smaller than states. How did this area rank? In East Georgia, which included Warren, McDuffie, Wilkes and Jefferson counties, the survey said 5.1% of the population 12 and older had used marijuana in the previous month. Central Georgia, which they defined as including Washington and Hancock counties and the areas closer to Macon, rated 3.7%. The whole study is on the Web site of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, but you'll also need to see this appendix if you want to make sense of what county is in what region and the actual raw figures used in the chart are here. The area with the highest incidence of marijuana use in the state was Atlanta, ranking 5.96%. The nation's highest rates were in Boston and Boulder, Colo.

Decision next week on 10-digit calling?

The Georgia Public Service Commission may decide next week about requiring 10-digit calling in the 706 area code when it "overlays" a new area code on top of the same geography, the Athens Banner-Herald reports. The PSC plugs the overlay idea on its Web site. (Want to sound off? Here's contact info for the PSC.) How bad off are we? The people who keep up with area code info for the U.S. and Canada are the North American Numbering Plan. They say there are 77 prefixes left in the 706 area code as of June 1, and we're in "jeopardy" of running out (link goes to PDF on their site).

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hazardous sites in our area

Officials in Glascock County are thinking of trying to get the county landfill, which is contaminated with mercury and dichloroethene, on the state's Hazardous Sites Index to help pay for its cleanup costs, the Jefferson News and Farmer reports. So what other places in this area are on the HSI? Here's a list from the state's Web site. You can see the complete list, organized by county, as a PDF file here, and you can use the "site numbers" on that list to go here to look up details about the pollution at each location and what's being done about it.

Warren County:
  • One site, Martin Marietta:
    "This site has a known release of trichloroethene in groundwater at levels exceeding the reportable quantity. This release has resulted in suspected human exposure. Other substances in groundwater: toluene; dichloroethylene, N.O.S.; naphthalene; carbon disulfide; vinyl chloride; 1,1-dichloroethene."
McDuffie County:
  • The Hoover wood plant
  • United Technologies Automotive
  • Williams-Mesena Road Landfill
  • Martin Marietta Aggregates (same plant as in Warren Co.)
Washington County:
  • Washington County Landfill-Kaolin Road
  • Washington Manufacturing Co.
Wilkes County:
  • Wilkes County-County Road 40 Municipal Solid Waste Landfill
Jefferson County:
And Glascock and Hancock counties currently have no sites on the list. And none of the counties listed above have any sites that are actually in the federal Superfund program right now, according to the EPA.

As for what's doing at the Glascock landfill, dichloroethene can harm the liver, kidney, lungs and central nervous system. It also may cause cancer. Mercury can harm the human nervous system.

15-year-old slaying case finally solved

For 13 years, the family of Glenda Tarver didn't know what had happened to her. When she went missing in 1991, they assumed she skipped town, the Sandersville Progress says. When her parents died, her siblings hoped she'd show up at the funeral, but she didn't. Last year, they finally found out what happened: She had been killed in '91 by a friend following his birthday party. The killer, Hosea Griffin, led authorities to her remains in the woods near a Sandersville church. Griffin has now pleaded guilty in her death and will have to serve 15 years, The Progress says. The Chronicle also wrote about his confession here.

According to the state prison system's Web site, Griffin, who was born in 1963 and is either 41 or 42 years old, has previous convictions for motor vehicle theft, forgery and burglary. It says that Griffin had just gotten out of prison in September 1990, which would have been about seven months before he killed Tarver. He actually went back to prison following her death on the motor vehicle theft charge from 1993-96, when he was held at Central State Prison. His offender number is 0000174258 if anyone wants to read more.

Warren Co kids on the National Honor Roll

I count 15 Warren County High School kids on the list in The McDuffie Progress. Check out the National Honor Roll site here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Soldier from Thomson wins $1 million in GA Lottery

Sgt. 1st Class Willie Kendrick, who is stationed at Fort Gordon, won the million bucks on a scratch-off ticket. Says he won't quit the Army. He bought the ticket in Harlem, Ga., the Chronicle reports.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Today is Flag Day

Some places where you can find out more about the flag and Flag Day:

St. Joseph's Hospital may close

Or be downsized, or sold, The Chronicle reports. When my mother was in labor with me there, the nun came to visit with her. Things sure were dragging on her. "We will pray for the speed," the nun said. And they did. I can't remember how much time elapsed before I arrived. If Mama were still alive, I'd ask her.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Prominent people from East Georgia

For no real reason: An attempt to compile a complete list of prominent, famous, infamous, notorious and otherwise well-known people who hail from Warren and the nearby counties. Here's the first try, grouped by topic area:

The arts
Oliver Hardy - Actor, born in Harlem, lived in Milledgeville
James Brown - the Godfather of Soul; from Augusta
Erskine Caldwell - Author of Tobacco Road and God's Little Acre; grew up in Wrens
Flannery O’Connor - a good man is hard to find, but you can find her home in Milledgeville
Pat Mitchell - Head of the Public Broadcasting System and former chief of CNN; from Swainsboro, where she went to high school with my dad
Alice Walker - Pulitzer Prize winner for The Color Purple; from Eatonton
Joel Chandler Harris - author of the Uncle Remus stories; from Eatonton

Politics and religion
Woodrow Wilson - president, founder of the League of Nations; lived in Augusta from about age 4 to 14
Elijah Muhammad - leader of the Black Muslims; mentor of Malcolm X; from Sandersville
William Lowndes Yancey - Confederate leader from Alabama; born in Warren County
Alexander H. Stephens - Vice president of the Confederacy; from Crawfordville

Ray Guy - maybe the best punter ever in pro football; went to Thomson High School
Chris Mohr - current punter for the Atlanta Falcons; from Thomson
Eddie Lee Ivory - former Green Bay Packer, from Thomson
Garrison Hearst - current Denver Broncos running back; played for Lincoln County
Herschel Walker - Heisman Trophy winner as a Bulldog; from Wrightsville
Horace Grant -- NBA player from Sparta

If you know of others to be listed, please comment!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Happy birthday to Gen. Joseph Warren

The Revolutionary War hero for whom Warren County was named was born on either June 10 or June 11, 1741, depending on which Web site you believe. So if he were alive today, he'd be 264 years old ... or something like that. Gen. Warren, who was a doctor by trade, was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill outside Boston. An interesting piece of trivia: Warren had been a friend of Benedict Arnold, who people often forget was a big hero to the patriots before he became a turncoat.

Read more about the general:

Friday, June 10, 2005

The pyramids are crumbling ... before the sheriff's backhoe

They're tearing down the place in Putnam County built by the Nuwaubians, the eccentric quasi-cult-religious-group that mostly made local folks scratch their heads. A developer from Milledgeville has bought the place for a million bucks, AP reports.

Georgia-Pacific pensions underfunded

That's the word from the Journal-Constitution, which says several of Georgia's biggest companies have underfunded employee pension plans. GP is one of Warren County's largest employers.

Warren Co loses Washington-Wilkes as a competitor

But we're gaining a few new ones in its place. The Georgia High Schools Association is redrawing its districts and redoing its size classifications, according to the Journal-Constitution. Warren County's Region 7a will lose Washington-Wilkes, which is moving up to the AA size classification. (Washington-Wilkes who beat the Screaming Devils 27-6 in football last fall.) But the region is gaining a few others schools, too. Monticello is one, dropping down from AA. Also, three schools are being moved into 7a from 4a: Twiggs County, Wilkinson County and the Georgia School for the Blind in Macon. See the new lineups and the old lineups on the GHSA Web site.

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Cows, bobcat, peanuts: Crime report from Emanuel County

A woman hits a bobcat; a man reports his neighbor's cows are loose again; an ex-spouse took the kids to Soperton without the father's permission; and a man says someone drove through his peanut field. And, "A Soperton man reported he left his wallet in his car in Palm Springs and someone stole it. Car was unlocked." (From the Forest-Blade)

Warren officials invited to meeting on how to use Clarks Hill Lake

The June 14 meeting at the Thomson airport is to talk about regional economic development and how to get more tourism for their communities out of Clarks Hill Lake, the McDuffie Mirror reports.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Six-foot-long snake ... in your oven?!

It happened to a lady in Thomson, according to The McDuffie Progress. The police fished it out. The reptile is a black snake, the newspaper said. The species, also known as the black rat snake or rat snake, eats rodents and doesn't have venom.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Thomson, Swainsboro, among 'Cities of Ethics'

The mayor of Macon wants the city to be named a "City of Ethics" while City Hall is being probed by a grand jury, The Telegraph reports. The designation comes from the Georgia Municipal Association, which has already given the honor to cities including Thomson, Swainsboro, Madison, Sandersville, and a whole bunch of others. Warrenton isn't on the list but you can look for yourself on the GMA Web site. See what a City of Ethics is in The Telegraph.

Summer road construction for the state: None in Warren Co

But GDOT will get started this summer replacing the Highway 16 bridge over the Oconee River in Hancock and Putnam counties. Projects already underway in our part of east Georgia: widening U.S. 1 south of Swainsboro, between north of I-16 and north of Sandhill Road; and repaving and shoulder work for U.S. 221 in Jefferson, Johnson and Emanuel counties. (Link goes to PDF)

A north-south four-lane for East Georgia

Much of State Route 15 has been added to Gov. Perdue's Governor's Road Improvement Program for eventual four-laning. The section now in the GRIP starts in the north at U.S. 441 in Watkinsville, runs down to Greensboro, through Siloam and White Plains, then to Sparta, to Werthan, on to Sandersville, to Tennille, Wrightsville, Soperton and finally ends at U.S 1 in Vidalia. Read more about GRIP here.

Need grits? Ogeechee River Mill for sale

The mill and adjacent Riverview Farm are for sale for $1.25 million. Includes more than 200 acres of land. The big house at Riverview is 4,000+ square feet and includes a Jacuzzi, so you can rest after those long days at the mill grinding cornmeal.

Monday, June 6, 2005

Is Interstate 14 on the horizon?

It might be, and it might run from Augusta to Sandersville, then on to Macon, Columbus and on through Alabama and Mississippi, according to the AP. Read more here about the proposal, including how it fits in with the planned Fall Line Freeway.

1932 railroad timetables for sale now on e-Bay

They're for three local shortlines of years past, the Wrightsville & Tennille Railroad, the Wadley & Southern Railway and the Louisville & Wadley Railroad. Someone in California has them for sale now. The starting bid is $49.99. I believe the Wadley & Southern is the railroad that used to run past my grandparents' home in Blundale, but I could be wrong about that.

And to update a couple of other e-Bay auctions mentioned here, the old Methodist church ledger book went for $9, and the old Coke bottle from the Swainsboro plant went for $16.

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Tax increases, budget cuts facing local voters

It's tax time again. Not for you and me -- that it's in April. But it's the time of year when state and local governments decide on their budgets for the coming fiscal year, and that includes deciding whether to raise taxes.
  • Jefferson County residents are slated to go to the polls June 21 to vote on a one-cent sales tax increase to fund additional fire protection, economic development and recreation, according to the News and Farmer. The $3M in fire money would buy eight new fire engines, five tanker trucks, two rescue trucks and other equipment.
  • Putnam County is looking at a sales tax increase to fund several local projects; this story in the Eatonton Messenger specifically talks about improvements to the local hospital.
  • The Washington County school board is trying to trim its budget proposal. They'll have to pay out more this year because of a state mandated raise for teachers; at the same time, they've lost $500,000 in state and federal funding, and the kaolin companies are fighting to pay less property taxes, according to the Sandersville Progress.

Strange case: Jefferson Co. man and his grown daughter charged with incest

The father is 63 and the daughter is 35, according to the Jefferson News and Farmer. The man's wife and the woman's mother fatally drove her Cadillac into a nearby pond about two months ago, and police are now investigating whether the possible suicide was related to the incest case. They live near Moxley, Ga. Read WJBF-TV's version of the story here.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Sunken CSS Georgia may be brought back to land

But it sounds like there's not much left of it. It's been sitting in the Savannah harbor since it was scuttled there in 1864 to avoid Sherman taking it. It was an ironclad.

Seems like there's a big push in the past few years to bring up old ships on the sea bottom. Made me wonder about what happened to some others:
+ They resurrected the Confederate submarine the CSS Hunley a few years ago off the South Carolina coast and buried the remains of its crew.
+ The most famous of the Civil War ironclads, of course, were the Union Monitor and the Confederate Merrimac, also called the Virginia. It sounds like The Monitor is being brought to the surface one piece at a time over the course of several years -- the Mariners' Museum is planning to open the U.S. Monitor Center in Newport News, Virginia, where the Monitor sank, in 2007. You can buy your own "Property of the U.S.S. Monitor" t-shirt through their online gift shop. As for the Merrimac, it didn't last too much longer after its famous battle with the Monitor; its crew blew it up to keep the Union from getting at it. It was salvaged not long after the Civil War ended. Some parts of it are at the Mariners' Museum, some at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, and other pieces are elsewhere. The Museum of the Confederacy Web site is here.
+ The Titanic was found in 1985 off the coast of Nova Scotia. Wikipedia says more than 6,000 artifacts have been removed from it. A team from NOAA visited the wreckage in 2003. For an interesting piece about someone upset that people would make money off the removal of Titanic artifacts, check this out.
+ The Edmund Fitzgerald, made famous in song by Gordon Lightfoot, is still on the bottom of the big lake they call Gitcheegumee, er, Lake Superior, where it sank in 1975. In 1995, a consortium of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, the families of the Fitz's crew and others had the ship's bell removed and brought back to the surface, where it was rung in honor of the dead at a memorial service. Divers put a new bell back on the shipwreck with the names inscribed of those who lost their lives on the ship. (This was done with the permission of the Canadian government and the ship's owners.) Who was Edmund Fitzgerald, anyhow? He was the head of an insurance company. That and other interesting facts here.

Warren County 2nd-highest unemployment rate in state

Our rate was 10.5%, just under Macon County's at 10.4%, for April of this year. That's twice the statewide average of 4.7%. Warren and Macon appear to be the only counties in double-digits. Some of our neighbors: McDuffie, 7.4%; Washington, 5.9%; Hancock, 7.3%. (Link goes to PDF file from the state Labor Dept)

Oral arguments later this month on small schools lawsuit

McDuffie, Jefferson counties are among 51 rural school districts suing the state over how it doles out education money. The hearing had been put off because of the big courthouse shooting in Atlanta.

Friday, June 3, 2005

Warren County has more cows than people

Warren County had 6,860 cattle and calves when the last federal Census of Agriculture was taken, and had 6,336 human inhabitants when the last federal people-census was taken. The numbers are a tad outdated; the Ag Census was last taken in 2002, and the people-counting was done in 2000.
Meanwhile, we also had 531 goats, 316 horses and ponies and 157 hogs and pigs. (Link goes to PDF file)

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Five members of one family killed in Greene County holiday weekend wreck

The members of the Carter family, from Atlanta, were on I-20 on their way back from Myrtle Beach when the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

'Jeopardy' ace Ken Jennings to get his own game show

My grandmother heard a snippet of this story on TV and asked for details. So here are more, from the Associated Press.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Sparklers legal in Georgia

Don't try to touch 'em while they're burning, kids. They're REALLY hot. Otherwise, fireworks aren't legal in Georgia.

Eddie Albert of 'Green Acres' is dead

Fresh air! Times Square! He was 99.

You might have to dial 10 numbers on every call soon ...

The state is considering the change.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

GA-Pacific one of state's top political donors

GP, one of Warren County's largest employers, gave $160K to political parties in the '03-'04 election cycle, according to a new national study out today from the Center for Public Integrity. The breakdown was 63% to the GOP and 37% to the Democrats.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Print out a complete Braves schedule for the entire year

A must-have in my family: A complete season schedule. Link takes you to an Adobe Acrobat document (a PDF).

A Rolling Stone in Middle Georgia

New York Times piece talks about Rolling Stones sideman Chuck Leavell's tree farm in Twiggs County outside Macon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

'Ernest T. Bass' actor dead at age 85

How do you do, Mrs. Wiley? Howard Morris died of natural causes. There's a tribute to him on the official Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers' Club site.

Chamber head named to state board

O.B. McCorkle, executive director of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce, named to the Southern Growth Policies Board of Trustees by Gov. Perdue.

It's not often you hear banjo on 'Saturday Night Live'

But they're using it in the now-recurring "Appalachian Emergency Room" sketch, another installment of which appeared this past weekend (during the episode with guest host Lindsay Lohan). The first song, the up-tempo one, is "Devil's Dream," a song probably named because it's hard as Hades to play. E-mail us if you can recognize the slower one.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Old Methodist church ledger for sale on e-Bay

Someone's selling an old 1920s-era ledger book from the "Camak charge."

Greensboro locals dis old Boswell Hospital

Now that Greene County is a golf resort for rich Atlantans, no one wants to go the old Minnie G. Boswell Hospital where my uncle was born.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Keep up with Warrenton Watch via our RSS feed

Plug that URL into your MyYahoo! page or your RSS reader.

The state wants your ticks

Yes, those little insects that bite and suck your blood. And who knew that the Smithsonian's National Tick Collection was in Statesboro?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Warrenton's Bernice Butler named to state commission on children

Bernice Butler is studying psychology at Georgia State, where she's on the dean's list. She was named to the post by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Old Swainsboro Coke bottle for sale on e-Bay right now

I always wished I could see the bottling plant there in action. e-Bay also sometimes has photo postcards for sale of the old plant.

What? My drivers' license could be cancelled?

It happened to my grandmother -- the state is apparently trying to match drivers' license records with Social Security records, and if there was a typo that causes a mismatch, you get a letter saying your drivers' license is at risk of getting cancelled. AJC story today says they're sending out 1,000 letters a week. The mayor of Atlanta got one, too.

Sandersville police have Wi-Fi on the job

They must really be living high on the techno-hog in the Chalk Capital of the Universe. It wasn't that long ago that the Warren County Sheriff's Department finally got its own fax machine.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Kid from Crawfordville wins scholarship from Bill Gates

Young Carlos Harper plans to go to Emory and study pre-med. The scholarship is $10,000 per year. You, too, can apply through the Gates Millennium Scholars program.

In search of stories about Blind Willie

If anyone out there personally remembers bluesman Blind Willie McTell, who was from Thomson and died in 1959, writer Michael Gray is looking for you. He's the same guy who wrote Song and Dance Man 3: The Art of Bob Dylan a few years ago. And of course, Dylan once recorded a song about Blind Willie, who wrote Statesboro Blues long before anyone had ever heard of the Allman Brothers.

Take a look at Blind Willie's original lyrics to that song, which were not quite the same as the ones the Allmans recorded in the '60s. Sister, tell your brother ...

Thomson, of course, has an annual blues festival now days in honor of Blind Willie -- it's going on this weekend. Twenty years ago I didn't know anyone there who'd ever heard of Blind Willie there or gave much of a hoot about old-time blues music. This year's festival is bringing in John Hammond tonight, and tomorrow night, Maria Muldaur (the "Midnight at the Oasis" lady) and Pat Donohue from Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion radio show.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Chris Tucker pleads guilty to speeding in Warren County

Think to yourself: How many Bentleys have you seen in Warrenton lately? Not that many. And no, Jackie Chan was not with him at the time.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

We're up there in bankruptcies

Warren County and most of the counties around it ranked in the red for the rate of personal bankruptcies in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's county-by-county survey (see map at above link). We came in with 14.19 bankruptcies per 1,000 filings -- not nearly as high as Taliaferro County, with nearly 22, but not as good as Hancock and Wilkes counties, which both ranked just below 11.

If you're into genealogy ...

... and you've got roots in Warren County, or if you just plain want to learn more about the history of the county, you can go to the Warren County GenWeb page above and check out some of the resources there.

Even though my dad's family is from Emanuel County and my mother's family is originally from Greene County, when I looked back far enough, I had some ancestors who lived in early Warren County, too. Maybe the family has come full circle now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

School board chairwoman participates in town-hall meeting

Thomson meeting was part of a larger state-wide program on education.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Who are your legislators?

The state legislature is in session once again, so it's not a bad idea to remember who Warren County's legislators are:

State House: Rep. Sistie Hudson, a Democrat from Sparta (House District 124)

State Senate: Part of the county is represented by Jim Whitehead, a Republican from Evans (District 24) and part is represented by Johnny Grant, a Republican from Milledgeville (District 25)

You can track legislation and do text-searches of bills on this page of the legislature's Web site. And here's the Journal-Constitution's legislative coverage home page.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Basketball news: Warren Co women beat Aquinas

Jasmine Burnette made Warren County's only three-point goal in the 47-40 win. You know, my mother's father's mother's family were Burnettes, from Walton County.

Friday, January 28, 2005

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