Thursday, January 31, 2008

Albany Beat

Rock, Roll and Run
Problem solved: Downtown Albany ’s signature weekend finally has an all-encompassing moniker: “Rock, Roll and Run.” The Mardi Gras events begin at noon Saturday, March 1 with live music, food, arts and crafts vendors, a car show and a BBQ cook-off sponsored by the Shriners. Kids’ activities including face painting, jumpy houses, a petting zoo, train rides, rock climbing, and games with prizes. Live bands will continue rocking the stage until midnight. Info: 434-8700.

Wanted, You
Speaking of Rock, Roll and Run, Albany needs you to be a member of the Support Team during the second annual SNICKERS® MARATHON® Energy Bar marathon, half marathon and Fun run; the Regions Bank Bike Race Weekend, and all the festivities taking place downtown on Saturday, March 1. Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and a ticket for the Mardi Gras Street festival. Road marshals, in particular, are needed, and Central Monitoring will honor volunteers with a thank-you shindig March 18 at the Flint RiverQuarium. To volunteer, sign up at the Albany Chamber of Commerce or at www.

UGA Library support
Harold R. Hudgens Jr., an Albany resident and University of Georgia alumnus, and an Albany couple have teamed up to support the school’s Map Library. A regular user of the Map Library, Hudgens is raising awareness of the library’s important role. Meanwhile, wildlife watercolor artist Rena Divine and her husband, William T. Divine Jr., a former University System of Georgia Board of Regents member, donated four artist's proofs from Rena's series, “Plantations of Southwest Georgia.” In the early 1980s, former Georgia Gov. George Busbee presented Rena's print of brown thrashers, Georgia 's state bird, to dignitaries.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Albany Beat

Holy Smoke!
Local and state arson investigators say they don’t buy the Rev. Joseph Howard III’s contention that his Metropolitan Baptist Church was torched by racists; rather, they say that Howard did the dirty deed. Howard was arrested Friday and charged with New Year’s Eve arson, which destroyed the church sanctuary, causing an estimated $150,000 in damage. Citing Howard’s “vision and commitment,” U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop in 2003 helped Howard’s Trinity Community Development Corp. receive $3.975 million for 49 senior citizen apartments. The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department grant was Trinity CDC’s first. Bishop added at the time: “I was pleased to support this grant application.”

Purple Heart to Lex
Albany ’s most famous military working dog is getting a new pendant for his collar – a Purple Heart. The recently retired German shepherd, which was wounded during combat in March in Iraq , will be honored during a ceremony on Feb. 16 at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach , Fla. Based at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Lex was serving alongside Cpl. Dustin Lee, a canine handler from Quitman, Miss., when the two were targeted during a mortar attack. Lee, 20, died from his wounds and his parents adopted Lex upon the dog’s retirement in December. Info: Four military dog handlers and three military working dogs have been killed in action during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Albany Beat

Banishment to be banned?
Albany Mayor Willie Adams’ insistence that three-time drug offenders be banished from Dougherty County is being ignored by Chief Dougherty Superior Court Judge Loring Gray, who refuses to hoist our problems on another community. Besides, doing so may soon be illegal. The Georgia Supreme Court is currently reviewing the constitutionality of banishment as it contemplates a Douglas County case in which a convicted stalker is prohibited from living with every Georgia County except Toombs while on probation.

High on … dung?
Hopefully you’re not eating, but you need to know this: Without question, the grossest thing you’ll ever read in this newspaper; Folks, drug addicts are getting high off on excrement. That’s right; they take raw sewage (it may or may not be their own), and they inhale it. Yep, effluent has street value. No dung. A respected local narcotics investigator told us about jenkem, this not-necessarily-so-new drug that is suddenly the topic of water cooler fodder in narcotics divisions throughout the country. Yep, the Apocolypse just may be here. But you needed to know.

Coat drive in final push
Got one warm coat to donate? Central Monitoring is wrapping up its second annual One Warm Coat drive, which benefits clients of agencies served by the Food Bank of Southwest Georgia . New and gently used coats are being collected through Jan. 31 at these and other locations: Any of Dougherty County’s 11 fire stations; Central Monitoring, 522 Pine Ave.; Regions Bank; Security Bank; Albany Bank & Trust; AmerisBank; WALB-TV; WFXL-TV; The Albany Herald; and the Albany Mall’s University Gifts & Apparel. Also, coats will be collected at the King Day Celebration on Monday at the Albany Civic Center . Info: 434-1176.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Albany Beat

Bishop, Bowling Big; Taylor Not
Georgia Trend magazine has left the “Big Guy” off its 2008 most-powerful list. Georgia ’s leading magazine and politics and the economy says U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, who calls Albany and Columbus home, and Annette Bowling, the Albany Advocacy Resource Center executive director, are among Georgia’s most 100 influential residents. Notably not on the list is a former perennial Georgia Trend honoree – former Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor of Albany.