Sunday, October 26, 2014
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This week four SEC teams are in the AP top 5 — the SEC is the first conference to achieve this feat. Which of the four — Mississippi State, Florida State, Ole Miss and Alabama — do you think will end up with the highest ranking?



 
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Please feel free to submit a comment about any story appearing in our newspaper or anything happening in our community. Your name is not required, and we recommend creating a Username. If you do give your name, it will not be posted unless it can be verified, and E-mail addresses will not be posted.  We reserve the right to delete any comment from the forum. No malicious, slanderous or libelous comments will be posted. Please limit your comments to 100 words. Longer comments may be submitted as a Letter-to-the-Editor to P.O. Box 40, Fitzgerald GA 31750

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Submitted By: tlwSubmitted: 10/19/2014
Fitzgerald could use a homeless shelter. Not just for locals who are currently homeless, but for out-of-luck transients who need somewhere to sleep for one night.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 10/1/2014
I don't know who owns all the properties on N. Main St. just before you cross the tracks but that whole block needs to be leveled. Those apartment buildings, the old offices, the closed heating/air business building and the 2 houses are all eye sores. And yet new stores are being built else where. Do something about that block, please.


Submitted By: concerned/citizenSubmitted: 9/29/2014
I would like to comment on fitz/citizens statement.IM NOT TRYING TO WASTE OUR CITIES MONEY PR LINE MY POCKETS,ALL I WAS SAYING IS THE MAYOR AND THE COUNSIL NEED TO QUIT THROWING AWAY OUR MONEY AND DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR THIS TOWN.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 9/28/2014
I am commenting with concerned citizens statement. The mayor and council are all about themselves, just like our government is. If it wasn't for the "little people" as they like to call us; they wouldn't have jobs. All these people trying to act high classed around here. Hey! You live in Fitzgerald just like we do. If you want to be high society move to a larger town where people can't see how you're wasting their money. We need someone to step up that wants to help Fitzgerald and not their own pocketbooks.


Submitted By: concirned citizenSubmitted: 9/28/2014

I agree with fitz/girl the city won't fix pot holes in our town but our mayor will give the opry 19,000 dollars to fix up a new building for them selves.We need more jobs in fitzgerald for our graduating students not a place to go listen to music.what has become of our city and why does our mayor and city counsil allow this .I see the police up there every Saturday night,Tell me what goes on up there .I see kids in the alley unsupervised.Our town is dying and we need to get back on the map and be a city agin where the citizens voice means something and tha means everybodies voice not just the chosen ones



Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 9/26/2014
I heard on the news that while men/women were in jail/prison they were being encouraged to get an education. Instead of just sitting around being bored they were in classes and ones already having diplomas were taught a skill. That way when they were released they would have more of a chance to get a job. The jails are creating a resume for them so that employers would have to look at that and not the fact they had a past in jail. Everyone needs to be put on the right path. I think this should be a law for all jails/prisons to put into action.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 9/25/2014
I did hear some encouraging news from Wiregrass. I heard that now they base the price of the GED according to your income. This is great because so many gave up because they couldn't afford to go back to school. Now maybe more will begin to their GEDs. Thank goodness.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 9/24/2014
I go to the local farmers market all the time to get some fresh fruits and vegetables. I also give them my plastic grocery bags because I was told the local businesses won't give them any without charging them. really? I thought we were suppose to support local businesses. They always appreciate when I give them a large number of bags. Help the farmers market people. Buy from them and get better produce and better prices than at the stores.


Submitted By: fitzgirlSubmitted: 9/24/2014
I agree with James Purvis. All this town does is make an income by people they put in jail and some for stupid reasons. Then they go and buy a special forces tank vehicle for dangerous situations. I saw that on the news and started laughing. They can't fix potholes in roads around here but can buy something that's not necessary for this small town. We need some businesses around here to keep people from having too much idle time. Especially the teens that need jobs.


Submitted By: tl winnSubmitted: 9/22/2014
City property taxes are confusing. In July or August I asked at the office if any taxes were due on an address and was told no. Now in September I got a notice that the property was going to be confiscated for nonpayment and was given a tax-due price which includes penalties. Is this how the city is raising money this year ?


Submitted By: james purvisSubmitted: 9/1/2014

it is so bad around fitzgerald. this town doesn't want anything to come in here. the kids have nowhere to go and have nothing to do.you cant ride a golf cart or there scooters with out getting pulled over or going jail.it seems to me like they just want to lock people in this town unless your in the clique.i mean its bad when the town of Ocilla allows the kids there drive there golf carts around town. Ocilla is even tring to grow .this is all I have to say about this matter.



Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 8/26/2014
Why isn't there a haunted house set up in Fitzgerald anymore around Halloween? No funds? What? It would be fun, kids, teens and adults need something to do.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 8/15/2014
With this Michael Brown story on the news makes me realize the cops around here take their authority too seriously. Just because they carry a gun gives them no reason to harass someone for no reason. And they do. I've seen it happen.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 8/13/2014
I believe Fitzgerald is becoming a retirement and disability town. Unless you own a business or working in one of them, then that's all that's left. Most young people are leaving after graduation.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 8/1/2014
I heard from a Shaw employee that Shaw was closing and moving to Tifton. A lot of people may move with their job. I was told WL&B wouldn't give business discount on their electricity. Companies are about saving money; so they will use Georgia Power in Tifton.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 7/31/2014
Why are there so many streets in Fitzgerald without name plates? If someone comes through here; they would have no clue how to find an address.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 7/30/2014
All these empty houses for sale in Fitzgerald and I'm stuck in a run down trailor park because I can't come up with the down payment. Why is it so hard to get into a home? My rent has been on time for 8 years. My dogs need a yard to play in.


EDITOR: Go to City Hall. First door on left. Ask for help.



Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 7/26/2014
How can a sheriff come up in your yard and harass my sons and their friend as they were playing basketball in their own yard. Makes no sense to me at all. That's Fitzgerald for you. My older son said he was so glad he left from around here.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 7/23/2014
I thought comments on here were limited to 100 words. Longer ones are suppose to be sent to Letters-to-the-Editor. Wow! The previous comment by "concerned parent" was extra long. Why have a notice of limits?


The limit is to encourage posters to be brief, simply because readers will not read long posts. The referenced post should have been a letter. Please forgive out lapse.

 EDITOR



Submitted By: concerned parentSubmitted: 7/23/2014

It has come to my attention that Ms. Angie (Dopson) at the Ben Hill Transportation Department has no concerns where our children are concerned. I called the BOE this morning to try and have my child's transportation plans in place before school started. I do not work in Fitzgerald and can not pick my child up from school everyday so I had contacted a local daycare to provide care to my child after school. They told me they did have openings in their daycare but that they had met the cap that was allowed to ride the bus to their daycare. I have no other options for my child. I have nobody who can pick him up or keep him after school. So I called the BOE and they transferred me to the transportation dept. I spoke with Ms. Angie there and I explained my situation and she told me there was nothing she could do if they had met their cap. that is wasn't her responsibility to get my child transportation that it was the parents responsibility. I then asked if there was anything we could do to get him to the daycare and her response was that we could wait a couple of weeks into the school year and see if there would be space for him on the bus. So my question is what am I to do with him the first couple of weeks? Let a six year old walk to daycare? not go to school because he has no way to daycare? She even told me she didn't care what we did with our kids that it wasn't her job to worry about that. So if as a transportation manager it isn't her responsibility to help us with transportation issues, whose is it? She is right it is my responsibility to make sure he has a way and I thought that was what I was doing by contacting her to help resolve this issue of one more kid riding the bus to daycare. But she obviously didn't think so bc she rudely told me she wasn't going to fuss with me about this and hung up on me. what are our tax dollars being used for if not to help us with the transportation needs. I thought I was doing the right thing by trying to handle all of this weeks before school started but it seems they are not willing to help us out. Any suggestions on what parents who work out of town and has nobody to help them by picking up or keeping their child is supposed to do if MS ANGIE states the bus can't take another child to this local daycare?



Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 7/21/2014
My son went to wiregrass for the GED orientation. He has to go to night classes. They don't even have a teacher, so classes postponed until they get one, really?


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 6/26/2014
I know some teens mess up and quit school but why would they raise the price of taking the GED? I also heard the teachers just pass out workbooks and don't really teach the class. I was also told that what they do in class from the workbooks is nothing like the test. I just hear from teens saying the system is making it hard for them to acquire their GED.


Submitted By: JohnSubmitted: 6/26/2014
Here's an idea for a news story.Why is employee turnover so high in Ben Hill County? And which employer has the highest turnover rate?


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 6/26/2014
I think the hill on hwy. 90 in front of the old school should be leveled out. That is a bad intersection at the bottom of that hill. When you are trying to get across, it's hard to see a car coming over the hill also during school times, you are lucky to get through there. Whatever committee takes care of this problem needs to have a serious meeting. How many people need to die at an intersection before actions are taken?


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 6/22/2014
I would hope the Mayor could talk to surrounding businesses and encourage them to come to Fitzgerald. If there were more job choices around here maybe the teenagers would have something to do besides get into trouble.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 6/6/2014
The humane society always pushes the topic of having your pets spayed and neutered but why do vets charge so much? I live on a fixed income and have 3 female dogs, I had to take one per month at a price of over $100. That was part of my grocery money but I had to do it.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 6/6/2014
There are so many empty houses in Fitzgerald. If they are bank owned, why don't they rent them out instead of letting them rot. Also rent around here is awful. This is Fitzgerald people not Atlanta. I called about a house that a realtor had and it was $650 a month, really?


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 6/6/2014
I think the city works and county farm should have open positions for people that get out of jail and need jobs. People turn them away just because they've been in trouble. Sometimes they just need a break to get into the work force. If these people had jobs they would have less time getting into trouble.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 6/6/2014
Why can't the post office fix it's entrance and parking area? They have the worst of all in town, pot holes and when they are patched up, it is a done poorly. That's a government area; seems like it would be in better shape.


Submitted By: fitz/citizenSubmitted: 6/6/2014
I thought there was a noise ordinance in Fitzgerald. I get so tired of these young people blasting their rap music so loud when they pull up beside you in town or even while waiting for an order at a drive thru and most of the time the lyrics are vulgar. Please do something or I will take tag numbers and call these people in myself.


Submitted By: CANE FANSubmitted: 4/1/2014
JAYCEE STADIUM RENOVATIONS IIT WILL BE DONE IN TWO PHASES THIS YEAR VISITOURS SIDE NEXT YEAR HOMESIDE WITH TURF


Submitted By: ConcernedSubmitted: 3/17/2014
The parks in Fitzgerald are not being kept up like they should be! There is trash EVERYWHERE! Legion Park by DLS is one of the worst with its broken, dangerous equipment and filthy trash. I would rather take my kids to Ocilla to their more cleaned up parks.


Submitted By: Donna HarperSubmitted: 12/13/2013
I would like to express my thanks to all the Walmart employees that were involved in the recovery of my pocketbook on Friday night. I would especially like to thank Dameon for his alertness and honesty. It makes me feel proud to be a part of the Fitzgerald community. D.H.


Submitted By: Wayne MooreSubmitted: 10/6/2013
When the new football practice field was constructed I could not help but notice the " Compton Park " sign was removed. I often wondered why it was not replaced even if it had to be repositioned. In light of Coach Compton's passing away it seems the very LEAST we could do would be to replace the sign even though doing so now would be like closing the gate after the mule is already out !! It would be nice if it were placed against the fence facing Merrimac Dr. for all to see. thanks


Submitted By: FlatjwlSubmitted: 6/8/2013
No space for a lesson in common sense, but, if the announced 200 jobs are supported by the taxpayers the net is less than zero. If the jobs stand on their own----GOOD!! I would like to see ALL the facts before celebrating.


Submitted By: skeeterfitzSubmitted: 1/14/2013
No space for an economic development lesson, but you should know; four plant expansions and a new plant have been announced in recent months totaling well over 200 jobs. Your Mayor has been heavily involved in securing these jobs and a number of prospective deals still in the works. Join your Chamber and you not only will be better informed, but can play a positive role in reviving our economy.


Submitted By: HolmeySubmitted: 1/12/2013

What is your Mayor doing about the job situation in Fitzgerald? It is time for him to stop sitting around and start doing something about it!!!



Submitted By: T.L.WinnSubmitted: 1/9/2013
Regarding budget cuts, I don't believe vital services like the sheriff's department should be cut. I believe crime rates usually increase during bad economic times, making it even more important not to cut law enforcement budgets.


Submitted By: Deborah AndrewsSubmitted: 11/1/2012
The election is Nov. 6 and most people have decided on the candidate they will vote for. It is very important to vote, because much blood has been shed to protect that right and our many others; however, it is equally important to keep abreast of the issues facing our country and where the candidates stand. This is particularly difficult when our journalists are not reporting on all the stories. One of the biggest issues in this election is trust. No administration is perfect, but an honest answer is required in any instance of terrorism or scandal. There are not one, but two scandals the present administration is refusing to give honest answers for. The first issue is the border agent Brian Terry who was killed by guns that our government illegally smuggled into Mexico for an unknown reason. The second issue is the Benghazi attack that was a blatant disregard for the safety and rescue of American citizens by refusing to send requested assistance which resulted in their death. The primary purpose of government is to protect its citizens and their property rights. If I can't trust a man or woman to do that then I cannot vote for them for any government office.


Submitted By: GeorgiaSubmitted: 10/26/2012
I also have a request for Phoebe-Dorminy: When someone is bleeding pretty bad don't leave them to sit there for about 2 hours bleeding. 2 hours is a long time to wait for stitches.


Submitted By: LSSubmitted: 9/27/2012
Dear Phoebe-Dorminy: Please hire people who speak clearly to answer your phones. I had to ask a girl to repeat herself several times and still did not understand her. To make things even better, her attitude was terrible.


Submitted By: AnneSubmitted: 9/6/2012

Barb - I agree with you on the golf carts. More and more are running up and down the roads. One ran a stop sign at Lee Street last week and I had to slam on brakes to avoid hitting it broad side!!! On top of that, there were kids hanging out on the back of it (3 in there). Someone is going to be seriously hurt if the drivers of them don't be a little more careful and adhere to the rules of the road!!



Submitted By: BarbSubmitted: 8/21/2012
I would like to hear opinions on the recent surge in golf carts on the streets of Fitzgerald and Ben Hill county. I do understand how it is much easier on the pockets of our towns people to have a golf cart to get around to convenience stores and such places that may be close to home but too far for many to walk a mile or two.But I am also concerned about safety of those who are on a golf cart or those cars who do not see them while driving a vehicle. For one I do know that there are laws that golf carts need to abide by. One law is they are not allowed to cross or drive on a state hwy. Yet I have seen them cross over U.S.hwy 129 and Ga. hwy 90 as well as U.S. 319. I saw a guy last week driving one from the Chinese restaurant on U.S. 129 towards town .A 1/2 hour later I saw him driving down Merrimac Dr. headed N towards Arbor Church. Yet I see where law enforcement can park and scan vehicles for valid insurance or maybe even for speeders in town. Yet golf carts seem to drive everywhere. I would like to see laws posted in the paper or even signs being erected telling golf cart drivers not to cross hwys. Does someone have to get hurt before people realize the importance of safety? Are our kids whatever age allowed to drive golf carts? what about turn signals, brake lights?


Submitted By: Kenny Drew Fuller, SrSubmitted: 5/7/2012

Dear Editor, I want to praise Dorminey Mem. Hospital's ER Staff - ALL of them - and the rest of the hospital's personnel. Recently I took a homeless, indigent person I picked up who wanted to come to Fitzgerald because he had heard good things about the community and was hoping to find some farm work. But he was injured sleeping under a tree and seemed ill. After inquiring at the Community Bank they recommended the ER Room's Indigent Care program. They took this man in and treated him as if he were wealthy. He was constantly telling them as the performed various tests, "I can't pay you for this. I have no money." From the doctor on down they all assured him their concern was his survival. They persuaded him to stay until he got better and told him if he had waited another day he would not have survived. It would take a full page to list what they have been doing for him, including asking him what he would really like to eat and preparing a special sandwich. Thanks, also, to the good people from the Church of the Nazarene who are preparing to assist him after he is dismissed from the hospital. God is good as He works through His good people. With gratitude, Ken from Hiawassee, GA



Submitted By: bcg1Submitted: 4/18/2012
There would have to be an earth shattering event for us to be able to establish a real democracy in this country but one thing is for sure, if there were more people like yvonne wilson this country would be a prosperous and pleasant place for all Americans.


Submitted By: yvonne wilsonSubmitted: 4/16/2012
the achievement of social and economic justice for all americans is essential for the future stability of this nation. those who consider themselves leaders should set the example by providing and advocating for basic human rights for every citizen of this country. todays public and tomorrows growing diverse population will need a more sensitive climate if this country expects to alleviate the suffering and sense of hopelessness that threatens to destroy us all. racism poverty hunger and discrimination have sadly become as american as apple pie while creating a socio-economic nightmare for far too many people. Our president is a reasonable person who went to washington thinking he would be working with other reasonable people. instead he was met with opposition at every turn. our president is trying to stand for the mjority of americans. when will we learn? when people start dropping dead in the streets from hunger, homelessness,lack of healthcare and greed. when we recognize that millions of citizens anr going without healthcare, at least 8 million children are suffering the effects of hunger, millions more are unemployed or underemployed, we must realize that this country is in a crisis situation and shoveling more money to the rich, oil companies and wall street will not solve the problems we have.


Submitted By: OatmealSubmitted: 4/13/2012
Hmm, Looks like there will be no more coal plant in Ben-Hill. K. Then lets not hear about the lack of jobs in Ben-Hill. Coal might be leaning toward a dead energy resource in the future, but so are the jobs in Ben-Hill. Dead, None, Nadda.


Submitted By: Just talkingSubmitted: 2/12/2012
The new dog law in Fitzgerald,if enforced is a good one it should be extended to the county also.But it should pertain to any dog.I once was told by a neighbor that my two little dogs were helping kill and eat his goats,I knew this was not correct it could not be they were to cute and gentle.One day i witnessed my dogs doing what my neighbor said they were doing .My point is any dog can be dangerous given the right time and place.Any dog owner should be held responsible for any damage that their dog does to someone or someones property.I paid my neighbor for 3 goats and we are still friends and good neighbors,I never could have paid him for a child nor could i have lived with it.


Submitted By: concernedSubmitted: 1/20/2012
i would like to know why cant there be more jobs . its already hard to get a job i feel like favortism and knowing someone is all a part of getting a job here . as a qualified 18 year old single mother i feel there should be more help


Submitted By: allen purvisSubmitted: 12/24/2011

i am writing this about the letter that was wrote about mr olivares.everything he is charged with is not all true.when mr olivares was pulled over yes he did leave the scene, but that was because he does not understand english. i know for a fact that he did not try to hit any officer. i am mr olivares boss man. Jed Clark from 911 called me and ask me would i carry him to the jail and i said yes. when we arrived there we met with the state patrolmen that had stoped him. they both told me and my wife that he was charged with no licence and leaving the scene. there are some lies being told on this man. this is a good man and he works harder than most people in this town. i feel that there are false charges being put on this man and if false charges will be allowed to be put on him than what about every other person in this town. if they did not have somebody at the jail that speaks spanish how could they even read his rights to him. if they want to catch somebody they need to spend more time trying to catch drug dealers and thieves. and why dont they have road blocks on the rich side of town. they must think they don't drink and drive or drive without insurance. i am so tiried of leaving my house and getting in road blocks. it seems they just want to catch the mexicans .i think they just like the money. yours truly, allen purvis...



Submitted By: WonderingSubmitted: 12/6/2011
I want to know if the new law the city has passed banning “pit-bull” type dogs is going to be equally enforced or is this going to be another case of the city going after the property owners and letting the teens walking up and down the streets get away with keeping the dogs like is always done. Personally I disagree with the new law but I especially disagree with the selective enforcement that often seems to go on here. I have already sent my dog to a relative that lives in the county because I know I can’t afford to do the things required by the law to comply with keeping the dog in the city. Yet every day I see people walking pit bulls up and down the middle of the city streets (with no muzzle) and nothing is being done. So is the city going to make animal enforcement start picking up these dogs from the people walking them or are they going to be allowed to ignore the law and get away with it? I hope people will be watching and reporting so we can see if the law is equally enforced or if property owners are again going to be held accountable when the vagrants and loiterers are not.


Submitted By: Katrina CampbellSubmitted: 11/26/2011
Seriously Cane Fans...to walk out on these boys before the game was over was so disrespectful...these boys lost a teammate before the season started...through all their pain and grief they practiced everyday...did their school work...and you want to walk out on these boys??? Disgraceful...A true fan is always with their team...win or lose...(another great lesson I learned from Daddy) Just when these babies needed us...you so called fans walk out on them...you should be ashamed... As for me and the other TRUE fans...Sweeties we're so proud of you and the awesome season you gave us yet again... Love my babies....


Submitted By: Wayne MooreSubmitted: 11/6/2011
Know how to recognize an out-of-town driver in Fitzgerald ?? They use their turn signals !!


Submitted By: An AnswerSubmitted: 10/27/2011
Dear Questioning, I saw in the newspaper and the shopper that Betsy was endorsing Kendall Adams for County Commission as an individual. I saw nothing that said anything about the Chamber of Commerce. Betsy has the right to endorse who ever she chooses. The logic that you seem to be imposing would suggest that if our local Dollar General Manager endorsed a Candidate that in fact it would be an endorsement by Dollar General. If you would like to publicly endorse a Candidate, might I suggest you take an ad and do so. See you at the polls!


Submitted By: QuestioningSubmitted: 10/26/2011
I find it offensive that the Chamber endorsed a candidate for the local election. Shouldn't they remain neutral? Especially when another one of their members is running? What kind of professionalism is this?


Submitted By: Mary ChapmanSubmitted: 10/20/2011
Having been a patient in your hospital this month, I want to sing the praise of Dr. Sutherland and the hospital staff! What a blessing they were to me at a very frightful and painful time. I was completely taken care of and made to feel like I was the only patient the busy staff had to take care of. I am so grateful for the hospitality and the wonderful staff at Dorminy Medical Center. Thank you Sylvia, Kayla and Nurse Jackie! Mary Chapman Fernandina Beach, Florida


Submitted By: PASubmitted: 10/5/2011
He said, she said, it's your fault, it's their fault, he's right, no she's right. If all of this energy was gathered up and focused on getting some jobs into our community and lending a helping hand to all of our fellow citizens in need, the progress we could make would be phenomenal. Communities have more problems now than we have all seen in a long time and when times get hard people get stressed. With our economy in the crapper and everyone at the top trying their hardest to keep us all poor and powerless, we need more than ever to pull together and give each other as much of a helping hand as possible. Don't continue to allow the haves to keep the have not's divided and helpless. We are strong, we are American's.


Submitted By: Angie RaySubmitted: 8/26/2011

Dear Whom It May Concern: I too, have had many confrontations with the (Ben Hill County Schools) transportation dept both this year and last concerning the poorly designed bus routes. With crime increasing due to the failing economy, and the teen pregnancy rate at an all time high, you would think the school system would attempt to ensure that each child is safely dropped off at a predetermined location of the parent's choice. Unfortunately, Ben Hill County Schools' transportation personnel believe that children can safely walk nearly a mile in freezing rain or extreme heat just so the school system can save a dollar. A personal issue I have with (Transportation Director) Angi Dopson is that she exaggerates the number of children who ride the bus to Little Lambs. She has been invited to the center on several occasions to verify attendance but she has not done so. Therefore, I'm assuming that it is easier for her to justify her actions based on her predetermined lies than it would to come see what is really going on. There are many parents, centers, and clubs who have had issues with the way the transportation dept is operated, not just me. I also believe that it should not matter if the children are dropped off at a center or each child's home as long as they get there safely. It is none of Dopson's business if a center or club agrees with the parent to have their child bused to such a place. According to child development specialist, children learn more when exposed to learning environments, so why is Dopson doing everything she can to deter parents from these organizations. Dopson has stated that Little Lambs has 30 elementary children and 20 Pre-k that ride bus 0112 to the center. She has stated that due to this number of children, the elementary students would be bused to a location approximately 1/2 mile from the center. One problem with this is that the area she wants to drop off the children at is in a high crime neighborhood. Also she thinks she can dictate what rules the center should follow. Once and for all, all centers follow the rules and regs of Bright from the Start, not Angie Dopson. No we do not have to leave a group of children to go sit and wait for a bus to show up 1/2 a mile away. Especially when a bus comes directly in front of the center that has ample room to sit the children who are actually enrolled in the afterschool program of Little Lambs. I am curious how Dopson and others came up with their figure of 50 school age children attending Little Lambs, especially since the entire school age enrollment does not consist of 50 children. This furthers my claim of Dopson's preposterous nonsense that she cannot factually back. I know how many get off the bus daily. Until she can show me where these other children are, she really should mind here own business and just do her job to ensure the safety of each child. That is the main objective isn't it? Surely saving a dollar is not more important than the life of any child who rides the bus regardless of whether they attend Little Lambs or any other organization. It definitely is not more important to me.



Submitted By: AprilSubmitted: 8/24/2011
For the comment in the paper from Mr. Jones, I agree to a point. I feel that help should be given to all not just some, but its not a black issue. There are many people that are having trouble paying there light bill whites,blacks,mexicans ect. Problem this time is not the mayor all tho he could bring more jobs to our town. The problem is the light companies FWL&B, Irwin EMC, Georgia Power ect. they are going up on the prices and pay is going down for employees. I do believe there should be a cut off point on how high electric companies can charge and extend due dates for those who try to pay there bill. This problem is not only in light bills but look around and its everywhere and everything. Im not being mean but everything is not about color anymore its about our government and how gready they have become. The richer get richer and the poorer get poorer. We have to stick together now and stop blaming things on color,reglion,education ect and blame it on the gready people in bussiness and government.


Submitted By: DavidSubmitted: 8/24/2011
My aplolgies, Mr. Williams. After looking over several more articles I did find a more detailed one that referred to Jessica Maples finding the burglars in Fitzgerald. It appears that my initial comments were based on confusing articles and news reports that I had found said that Ms. Maples had solved the crime “in Atlanta”. I do however have the utmost respect for the local law enforcement and have never found them negligent in their duties or responsibilities.


Submitted By: BobSubmitted: 8/24/2011

The break-in occurred in Fitzgerald on July 15. Police investigated, but since the house was empty, they had no way of telling what was missing. The family came on the July 21. They went to the pawn shop and recognized some of the grandmother's stuff. If the stuff wasn't in the house, how could police recognize it? If they had no list of items missing, how could they have found it? They reported that to police, who made one arrest that day and a second one the next day. The AJC did an irresponsible job of reporting just to make a little star our of the 12 year-old girl. Cute story, just not the whole story.



Submitted By: rickySubmitted: 8/24/2011
The article was in the Atlanta Journal on Thursday August 18. It does state that the break-in was in Fitzgerald and the 12 year old was from Atlanta.


Submitted By: DavidSubmitted: 8/23/2011
Mr. Williams, I think you must have gotten a misprinted copy of the Jessica Maple story. Unless there is another story that I am unaware of and have not been able to find, Jessica Maple tracked down suspects from a break-in in Atlanta, not Fitzgerald. (not sure that I would call this a “significant crime” but I guess that is subject to interpretation) This story has no connection to, nor any embarrassment for our city of Fitzgerald that I have found. I have always found our own law enforcement very diligent in pursuing leads and following through on investigations with thorough police work and in no way “sloppy”. That said I am sure that any law enforcement office would gladly welcome any help or information gathered by the public to ensure that criminals are not allowed to prosper from their crimes and are brought to justice.


Submitted By: David WilliamsSubmitted: 8/18/2011
Although not a resident of Fitzgerald, but I have enjoyed working there on many occasions. I just read the Jessica Maple story concerning how a 12 year old had solved a significant crime in Fitzgerld that implied that the local police did some sloppy investigation, and still have not acted in over a month even with clear evidence. This story is getting national attention and is an embarrasement to the city. Hopefully your paper will cover it and demand attention by elected officals. Thank you.


Submitted By: Maria HeathSubmitted: 8/18/2011
Several years ago, my son was in 3rd grade failing because the BHC school system was failing him. Skipping all the details - we moved out of the county and he progressed so much that he went from special ed. classes to regular classes. Three years ago our family left Georgia and moved to Indiana where he has been taking college courses and bringing home report cards he has been proud of! My son will be entering his senior year, graduating early and has enlisted in the United States Marines. I would like to thank Coffee County School district for breathing into him confidence and lending him the tools he needed to turn into such an inspiring young man!


Submitted By: TinaSubmitted: 8/16/2011
Sad that once again my child cannot attend the Boys & Girls Club because our transportation department sucks! Everywhere else in Ben Hill County gets a bus for their children but the Boys & Girls Club. Sad but also Ben Hill County is the only club in the region that has this problem also, Great Job Trans Department!


Submitted By: Citizen Submitted: 8/9/2011
If Fitzgerald High School would repave their parking lots it would also fix the pot holes too. They like spending money on other things so why not spend the money on something worth spending on.


Submitted By: David RingSubmitted: 8/7/2011
Can anyone at the County Road Dept. explain to me why we can call repeatedly to have St. Johns Rd. graded and are told that rain is coming in and they'll get to it soon? Yet we notice that the so called in-coming rain doesn't deter the road department from grading Flint Rd. which isn't a quarter mile from us. Is some one on Flint Rd. paying some one on the road dept. or does a road dept. employee live on Flint Rd and he likes a smooth road? Breaking News: We like a smooth road as well and the turn out at the end of our road is washing out. Is this what we pay our property taxes for ? Some one NEEDS to tighten up and do their job or find another job hopefully not with the county.


Submitted By: davidSubmitted: 8/4/2011
If by "breaking news" you are referring to the death of a child, then Thank You Herald-Leader for showing proper discretion and courtesy in the face of such a tragedy. This is not "breaking news", this is a family experiencing a great loss. There is absolutely no reason rush to post information about personal tragedies of this nature. The SHAME is the insensitive gossip hordes that rush to be the first to text and facebook such a tragic story.


Submitted By: PleaseSubmitted: 8/3/2011
I think it is a shame when our own local newspaper does not even report the breaking news in out town until a day later. I thought that was the advantage of having the paper online. We were reading updated info. on the Tifton Gazette online version a day before The Herald=Leader thought to put it in their breaking news section. What a SHAME.....


Submitted By: japSubmitted: 6/23/2011
my view has nothing to do with a story in the paper,but as a citizen of Ben Hill county. i would like to know why it is the people of the cotton mill, every time someone out there gets a horse they have to move it.because it is wrong to have an animal there. But the City of Fitzgerald will give people a building downtown to play music for free and let them drink and get drunk. The law is there more than anywhere. Maybe that's why things are getting so high in this town. I know people don't care about what i have to say but it makes me mad when kids in the mill enjoy riding horses and it keeps them home and away from drugsand drinking....something they enjoy, and it gets taken away from them. But it's ok for the city to give a building away for people to carry their kids and get drunk. It just makes me mad.


Submitted By: Jan Chaple CreganSubmitted: 5/28/2011
To the city of Fitzgerald, Recently my sister & I enjoyed a two night stay in your lovely town, while researching our family history. We spent time in the genealogy dept. of a very busy library, visited the Blue & Gray & Old Fire Truck museums. We just wanted to thank all the kind people we met while traveling around your lovely town. I am sure our Great grand parents, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Chaple, would have been very proud of how their town looks today. We really did love the colorful chickens.


Submitted By: S.W.Submitted: 5/5/2011
Why is it that when I drive the speed limit in town or out on the Highway, people pass me and look at me like I`m crazy for going the speed limit. Maybe I like conserving gas. They gripe about the gas prices, but are not willing to slow down to save gas.


Submitted By: Proud of Blue & GraySubmitted: 4/10/2011
The play last night was wonderful and my hat goes off to Mickey Foreman and the Jacobs for directing! Thank you for all you have done!


Submitted By: WWSubmitted: 4/6/2011
I WOULD BE NICE IF PEOPLE WHO SUBMIT HEALTH RELATED ARTICLES WOULD QUOTE THEIR SOURCES AND GIVE THEIR CREDENTIALS.


Submitted By: disappointedSubmitted: 1/11/2011
I don't know where the highway is city or state but someone please fix the hole at the red light coming in off the Jacksonville highway.Always meet another vehicle and run in this hole.


Submitted By: Donna PolkSubmitted: 1/6/2011
I am from Louisiana & my cousin Charlie Lewis Handley lived there & passed away Dec. 29,1010. Charlie's family here is looking for information of his death, anyone having information or the name of his boss at the time of his death please leave me a message here. Thanks so much.
Donna Polk
babygirls16@centurytel.net


Submitted By: fitzgeraldSubmitted: 12/24/2010
This is to all the folks that are for and against the proposed coal plant in Ben Hill County. Establish a truce during the Christmas season from 12/24/10 - 1/2/11. After truce is lifted, go back to beating the brains out of each other. Merry Christmas!!!!


Submitted By: disappointedSubmitted: 12/10/2010
I hope BHC keeps on posting - he (or she) is making my point far better than I ever could.


Submitted By: chick tooSubmitted: 12/9/2010
Yes, I saw the program about Fitzgerald on National Geographic and was proud! Also, proud that our new utilities building is so nice and prettily decorated for Christmas!


Submitted By: BHCSubmitted: 12/8/2010
"Disappointed," you complain about how anti-coal plant letters in the paper sometimes sound "snide" and "mean-spirited," while your own comments sound snide and mean-spirited. So do the Chamber of Commerce ads. Just look below about WOW's comment about, "Quit whining because the coal plant is coming and you can't do anything about it." That sounds like something a thug would write.


Submitted By: BHCSubmitted: 12/7/2010
"Disappointed," the big question isn't about WEN, but about whether the coal plant should be built. WEN is a grassroots group of citizens alarmed about the coal plant for very good reasons. Your comment seems to assume WEN has control of everyone who writes a letter to the newspaper. That doesn't make sense. And why do you think WEN should WANT to have control of what everyone says and how they say it? This is America, where anyone is free to speak his mind, and other people are free to decide for themselves whether he makes sense or doesn't. And "Disappointed," I think you're mixed up when you talk about the anti-coal plant letters in the newspaper being snide. A few of them have been, but isn't it to be expected that when a lot of letters are written by different people that some of them are going to be better than others?


Submitted By: fitz chickSubmitted: 12/1/2010
Did anyone see the show on National Geographic about Fitzgerald and its chickens? It made our town look really nice :-)


Submitted By: disappointedSubmitted: 11/22/2010
The question is not whether or not Mr. Massee or anyone else "can take" the snide remarks. The question is whether it benefits the cause of WEN for its supporters to make them. I just think it turns more people off than it appeals to.


Submitted By: PatSubmitted: 11/21/2010
The letter that Massee wrote was pretty judgmental, too, and seemed to come straight from P4G website and Cambron's ads. If you dish it out, you've got to be willing to take it.


Submitted By: disappointedSubmitted: 11/19/2010
I hate to disappoint Pat Wright, but I was not referring to that particular letter in the first place. It was the first two that were so ugly sounding. Go back and read them.


Submitted By: WOWSubmitted: 11/18/2010
Quit whining ... the coal plant is coming and there is nothing you can do about it.


Submitted By: Pat WrightSubmitted: 11/18/2010
I hate to disappoint "Disappointed", but the letter you are referring to was written before Mr. Massee's was in the paper--the timing was that it came out in a later edition. In submitting it, she just added "with all due respect" because of his letter being in there the week before. You certainly don't think all those facts could be researched in a week, do you? Everyone has a right to speak out--the letter was not about Mr. Massee--it was about facts about coal plants.


Submitted By: Still Disappointed.Submitted: 11/17/2010
The responses were all obvious attempts to prevent others from having the audacity to speak out in opposition to WEN. Massee, Smith or Jones - it doesn't matter. We should all have a right to speak out on this important matter without subjecting ourselves to sarcastic, insulting insinuations from others. But if you think your cause is helped by doing so - go right ahead and dig that hole. You certainly won't be the first.


Submitted By: noo40Submitted: 11/17/2010
I would like to know what was shrill and mean spirited replies were made to Mr. Massee. When he wrote the letter, he knew there would be replies to it!! Mr. Massee is a good man, and I dont think anyone was attacking him.. However "disappointed",WEN being called emotional novice was not the least bit appealing either!!! His "reasoned arguments" were not backed by a single fact! And should we not defend ourselves just because he is a Massee?


Submitted By: disappointedSubmitted: 11/11/2010
The shrill, mean-spirited replies to Mr. Massee's letter in The Herald-Leader concerning the proposed coal plant do NOTHING to advance the cause of those writing them. Reasoned arguments, not petty personal insults, would be much more effective. Could it be that anybody expressing an opinion at odds with WEN's opinion will be subject to similar character attacks? That's really not very nice, nor does it make WEN'S arguments the least bit appealing.


Submitted By: WEN memberSubmitted: 11/3/2010
As promised in WEN's current ad comparing Appling County with Ben Hill County, here are the sources for that info (which we thought would take up too much room in our ad): http://www.doe.k12.ga.us http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/Graduation%20Rate%20by%20school.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F69339FC4F7E1FF0B81778FE6348F4254DFB1964A5FF63B8D5&Type=D http://www.georgiastats.uga.edu/sasweb/cgi-bin/broker http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13/13001.html


Submitted By: Nelson GainesSubmitted: 11/3/2010
Interesting to note the liquor by drink was passed by the city and county voters. Congratulations-you approve of the most dangerous and additivie drug over heroin and crack. Most are critical and condem other drugs but yet voted for this. All I saw was its about money. Love of money is the root of evil. More interesting is I never saw any opposition to this from the Churches. I recall past referumdums on the drink and the fierce opposition by the Churches. Its all in name of change I hear. BUT it is also about all the consequences and results of the use of Alchol that no one considers.


Submitted By: Dru HannonSubmitted: 10/29/2010
I heard this analogy this morning on the radio that was very interesting. The story goes that if one was to spread corn out in the wild (free) hogs would come to eat. After some time one could place fencing up on one side and spread more corn out. The wild hogs would still come and eat. After some more time had passed, one could add another section of fence and spread more corn. Allow more time to pass and add a third section of fence. Spreading more corn and waiting and allowing time the wild (Free) hogs do not seem threatened. After some time one would add the fourth and final section of fence which has a gate. However, when the corn is spread, leave the gate open. Allow the wild (Free) hogs to come and go. Continue for several days. The family of wild (Free) hogs is being trained for captivity. When the entire family is feeding and unaware, SLAM THE GATE!!! Our government is performing this same process on the American people by feeding us these supposedly (Free) Programs. Nothing is free. Someone has to pay! Bailouts, Food-stamps, Medicaid, Pre-paid cell phones for Medicaid are all programs that are driving us toward a Socialistic Government. I am not anti government. I love this country. However, I HATE politics and dirty politicians, I believe there should be no party affiliations and that senators and congressman should be restricted to an 8 year term. Please remember this and think as you go to the poll in 4 days. Your vote does count. GOD helps this country because they are going to shut the gate on the American People soon!!! GOD Bless America, for we are a people UNDER GOD!


Submitted By: Robert BuiceSubmitted: 10/2/2010
Dear Tim With regards to the "Coal Plant" proposed for Ben Hill County, some of us are confused as to the location of the plant. How about printing a map of the county showing the proposed location. It would help me, and I know there are others who would like some information.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In eastern Ben Hill County, approximately half-way between the junction of U.S. 319 and River Road and the Coffee County line is Gull Road. Gull Road runs south of 319 to Dickson Mill Pond Road. The proposed plant will be in the area of Gull Road. Should a zoning request be made, we will publish the zoning map.


Submitted By: readerSubmitted: 9/23/2010
Wonderful news about the partnership between Dorminy Medical Center & Phoebe Putney. This will be great for our community!


Submitted By: KFowlerSubmitted: 9/21/2010
Can anyone tell me if there was a Dr. Pepper bottling company in Fitzgerald in the 1940's?


Submitted By: Pointing the finger?Submitted: 9/21/2010
So are you suggesting that Farmers quit farming? Because without them Farming i do not think you nor anyone else will be able to eat. If you havent looked at the cost of chemcials lately that go onto the crops that are grown in Fitzgerald and surrounding counties you would see that Farmers have it pretty bad when it comes to COST of chemicals. Most farmers are going back to the old ways. There are no other options for Farmers when it comes to spraying chemicals. Before everyone starts throwing all of this on Farmers maybe you should think about whats on your plate at Breakfast, Lunch and Supper. Without the Farmer we would all be starving. These Farmers are just trying to survive. There are no rewards in Farming anymore its a way of life for them, more like Gambling everytime they go plant a seed in the ground. Lets attack someone else please. Being a farmers wife i know for a fact that farming isn't easy..


Submitted By: Reality CheckSubmitted: 9/20/2010
The proposed coal plant has ceertainly mobilized a portion of our community who are concerned about the environmental effect. However, there are obviously some EXISTING situations in our county that are already having a much more devastating effect on our children, adults and environment. These problems are already here and not the result of a future coal plant. If the County Commission decides to call for a referendum, they certainly should add a noise pollution ordinance. In a few weeks, the peanut dryers will be roaring and a large portion of our population will be affected. Let us vote on an ordinance that the dryers should be turned off from 9 pm until 8 am. That would be a sweet relief! Ms. McMahan & Ms. Glenn pointed out that a serious problem ALREADY EXISTS. There are a group of people who are already spraying, dumping and distributing PROVEN carcinogenic chemicals into our air, land & water. These are pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, defoliants, etc. Let us vote on whether these people should be able to continue to do this. At least a coal plant would be using the latest technology and be under constant surveillance & testing. These people who are already dumping chemicals on us don't ask anybody when or how much they can apply. Most are applied with huge diesel machines spewing toxic fumes (google "diesel fumes"). It is interesting that communities with coal plants in existence for decades don't have the health problems that Ms. McMahan discussed. Ms. Glenn is an expert on organic farming & would be a great resource in addressing these problems that already exist. Certainly Ms. Wiggins, Mr. Cowan, Ms. Norris, Ms. Kaminsky, Mr. Bryant, Mr. Morris, etc. will address these issues. They are much more important and devastating than a coal plant and should be added to any referendum


Submitted By: Just MeSubmitted: 9/9/2010
I have said all I need to say about the coal plant except when we start having rolling blackouts, then maybe someone will get tired of that too and start complaining. We have swimmings pools, air conditioners, dish washers, washers and dryers, refregiators and many more things that aren't going to work. As for me, I will be okay without those things since I didn't have them once in my life. I know how to survive without them. Good luck on how ever this thing turns out to be.


Submitted By: WorriedSubmitted: 9/8/2010
Talk about cancer rate in BenHill county wonder why the old Delphi building was torn down hauled off earth removed and new soil brought in.We have already been sold a bad apple that will haunt us for many years.


Submitted By: JUST MESubmitted: 9/2/2010
Almost everyone is scared or the coal burning plant not being safe for the enviroment. The pollution it will cause, in the water we drind, the air we breath, in the food we eat, and who knows what else. Has anyone who is against all these things thought about all the chemicals that we consume in our food. Everyone is concerned about our obesity status, but no one hollers about growth harmone in our meat. This is not washed out, cooked out or filtered out in any way. We as citizens consume it everytime we eat any kind of meat and guess what, we get bigger and bigger and our children are doing the same thing and running up blood pressure, the rate of diabetes, cholestrol, cancer rate and numerous other disease. Why not campaign against things that have been done to us for years. This can be corrected easily, but no one cares enough because it is our farmers and cattlemen that are doing it to us. And that is a no-no in this farm belt.


Submitted By: Gant KangasSubmitted: 9/1/2010
On the front page of the September 1st. edition the police claim they confiscated 5000 dollars worth of drugs in a raid on the Southern Exposre club consisting of 47 grams of pot, 8.5 grams of cocaine and 9 vicadin pills. How did the police come up with this amount. 47 grams of marijuana has a street value of maybe 470 dollars if sold at 10 dollars a gram and the 8.5 gramsof cocaine has a value of 425-450 dollars at 50 bucks a gram. The pills at the high end might have a street value of 90 dollars which adds up to 1010 dollars. Was there a mistake made in the reporting of the confiscated material or are the police just exagerating the amount to make themselveslook better in the public eye. This is not the first time that I have noticed a discrepancy in the reported value of police confiscations. If the police are overstating the value of seizures, what else are they overstating? Above all else we ,the people, should know the the information given to us by the goverment is accurate and truthful.


Submitted By: Worried ParentSubmitted: 8/26/2010
What do you concered parents feel about recess schedules? One of our own school systems adminstrations, Irwin Elementary, feels as if there is no need. Do you care if there are over 100 kids on the playground at one time? If you attend IRWIN COUNTY, contact your local school and tell Donna Barker your views!! Our community educators are there for our children when we cannot be, and your child should feel like they are in a safe enviornment. As a parent if you are not able to home school, you are forced to send your babies out in the world. You have the right to feel good about the enviornment you are forcing them into. You would not think to ask this question, but it is very relevent. Especially when you choose Irwin County School, you think you are getting that small town enviroment you cherished as a young student. As a parent that is what I was looking foward to, more connection b/c you have few people. That isn't always the case. Without extensive research, I have discovered that the number one reason administrations implement schedules is to cut down on fights/violence. The lunchroom and recess seem to be the number one areas, so they must be monitored closely. Look it up; Google it! I'm only speaking out b/c I'm concered for those little ones starting school. These first few years determine what kind of people we are preparing for world. As a parent take your lunch break, sick days, or any time off you can get and get to the school at recess time just to observe YOUR CHILD'S class at recess. Have a safe and productive school year.


Submitted By: WoodySubmitted: 8/24/2010
There is one aspect of the proposed power plant that has been totaly overlooked. It should be a bio fuel fired plant. About 6 months ago everyone was excited about using wood waste to make pellets to be shipped to Europe. What a great boom for the wood industry. The truth of the matter is that wood by products should be used to fire the power plant here and not coal. It is totaly absurd that our wood is being shipped to Europe and not used here. Now why would they ship our wood 3,500 miles to run a power plant. It is because they are over polluted with coal plants. Wood fired plants are pollution free compared to coal. And the ash and residue can be used agriculturaly rather than sit in large ponds or pits. And what has happened to the small (50MW) power plant that was to be built next to Gilman and So. Veneer?


Submitted By: LEGALSubmitted: 8/24/2010
I think that with a little help we can patch the holes in our city streets with something that will stay fixed.The hole at the red light coming into town from 319 at the red rooster is out again.How many times does it take to fix a little hole in the road?


Submitted By: fitzgeraldSubmitted: 8/24/2010
Thanks WEN for your response to my latest post. If all coal plants were shut down immediately, what is your proposed alternate energy source that would immediately take the place of the coal plants? Thank you.


Submitted By: WEN memberSubmitted: 8/18/2010
Dear fitzgerald, Thanks for your kind words about WEN. Also on the subject of WEN's not offering energy alternatives for Georgia's coal plants, you're touching on a point you should be skeptical about with the representatives who want to build Plant Ben Hill. They make it sound as though Georgia is in desperate need of electricity, but that's not so. Much of Georgia's electricity currently goes onto the grid and powers Florida. Florida has resolved not to build anymore coal plants because they're so unhealthy. That's good for Florida but bad for Georgia if Georgia keeps building those unhealthy coal plants up here to keep Florida in electricity. The demand for electricity in Georgia has actually gone down for a number of reasons. But when Georgia's demand rises, we have plenty of cushion because we could start using the electricity we're currently sending to Florida. We're living in a time when there are incredible advances being made in alternative energy, and we shouldn't build Plant Ben Hill that will last for 50 years causing all its problems just at the time when healthier energy sources are coming into their own. Thanks for your interest!


Submitted By: fitzgeraldSubmitted: 8/12/2010
I commend the WEN folks for their noble opposition effort to the proposed Ben Hill county coal plant. However, WEN does not offer any alternate fuel sources that would immediately start if coal plants were eliminated. Based on the ad in the 8/11 edition of the Herald, the coal plant representative must be coming to Fitzgerald soon.


Submitted By: curious catSubmitted: 8/9/2010
Herald Leader, Just an idea... It would be interesting to see a quick poll on your website about the issue of the coal plant since voters have become more informed. Let's see where the majority stands.


Submitted By: WonderingSubmitted: 8/8/2010
How much of local taxpayers' money has gone to prepare for the coal plant already? They are working on the roads and looks like they have already spent alot...


Submitted By: fitzgeraldSubmitted: 8/2/2010
Hey ya'll.........it looks like the EPA wants to regulate farm dust. Nothing like adding this problem with the coal plant thing. All of you dust busters better get ready.


Submitted By: WEN memberSubmitted: 7/21/2010
fitzgerald, Probably not much about cap and trade will fit into 100 words. Until something shakes the fossil fuel industry's hold on our Congress I'm not sure any meaningful cap and trade will pass. There may be other things in the energy bill that will affect coal plants.But that would be a beginning for getting at the true cost of using coal. Other interesting possibilities: renewable energy standard to require more energy to come from renewable; greatly increased subsidies for renewable energy. Since fossil fuels now get more than 2x what renewable get that would change the equation.


Submitted By: WEN memberSubmitted: 7/21/2010
tlw, You’re not a "nobody." As a tax payer and voter your government is supposed to work for you. Talk to your commissioner (City/ County), anyone you can think of about the plant, why it's a bad idea, what can be done to stop it. If they don't know ask them to find out and get back to you. The County Commission will have an important role in rezoning. WEN doesn't have paid people to get out our views like P4G so we do rely on Facebook but try to do other things. Your help and ideas would be appreciated.


Submitted By: WEN memberSubmitted: 7/19/2010
To "fitzgerald": I assume you're talking about the energy bill. The version that passed the house did have a significant cap and trade portion but it's not at all clear the senate version will. I guess if it does it will likely focus on coal plant pollution but my understanding is that significant concessions and exemptions have been discussed just to the cap and trade part. Until something shakes the fossil fuel industry's hold on our Congress I'm not sure any meaningful cap and trade will pass. From what I understand cap and trade will likely increase the costs for coal plants to do business. It's an approach to figuring into the cost of coal the costs to our health and quality of life which the coal industry has gotten a pass on for too long. It may not be the best approach but it is the one most discussed. Building and operating coal plants is getting more and more expensive for several reasons. There's the cost of coal alone. Increasingly meaningful regulations on toxic pollutants will also make it more expensive. Of course the operators will attempt to pass those costs on before cutting profits for as long as they can. Possibly a more interesting part of the energy bill is the renewable energy standard: requiring an increased portion of our energy to come from somewhere other than fossil fuels. I understand there are also versions of the bill with greatly increased subsidies for renewable energy. Fossil fuels now get more than twice what renewables get and that includes corn based ethanol. Changing the balance of government subsidies so that renewables have more of a level playing field will do a lot over time to make coal much less attractive even to folks like the Southern Company. But again the fossil fuel industry has quite on hold on our government so coal plants aren't going away any time soon. A true cap and trade bill might help stop Plant Ben Hill but we all need to make our wishes on this known to our elected officials.


Submitted By: fitzgeraldSubmitted: 7/18/2010
Is it possible that the cap and trade bill being proposed in congress will be the dagger that eliminates all coal plants, particularly new ones? Ironically, the cap and trade bill will help stop the one being proposed for Ben Hill County. Comments from Wiregrass Energy Network are appreciated.


Submitted By: tlwSubmitted: 7/15/2010
I am already sure that the proposed coal-burning plant is a bad idea, I don't need more convincing. But what can "a nobody" do about it? How will it help if I join a Facebook site? Shouldn't everyone in the county, even those without internet access know about this? Everyone will be effected sooner or later.


Submitted By: Lene HarrisSubmitted: 7/15/2010
In some large dairy farms, “factory farms,” newborn calves are immediately chained into crates so small that they cannot turn around. A few weeks later, they are often too weak to walk to the transportation truck for slaughter. Please call or write Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20259, (202) 720-2791. Ask him to amend the regulations to ban slaughter of downed veal calves, and enforce the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act which requires no animal should be slaughtered while conscious.


Submitted By: Wiregrass Energy NetworkSubmitted: 7/10/2010
To tlw: We are a grassroots group of concerned citizens who are fighting the coal plant. We would love to have you join us. We have a Facebook page entitled "No Coal Plant in Ben Hill County!" and you can contact us at 229-423-8630.


Submitted By: tlwSubmitted: 7/7/2010
I'm against putting a coal-burning plant in Ben Hill County, but what can I do about it?


Submitted By: very concernedSubmitted: 7/6/2010
I'm sure that each of you have seen the hole in the highway at the Red Roster stop light .It has been there and getting bigger for Months, This is just one of the many holes that need attention. Take a ride in the county, some people have a very hard time getting in and out, it takes 4 wheel drive. My point is, our elected county Goverment is letting us down, then talking about spending over a million dollars on a swimming pool. A lot of people need help in our county before a swimming pool or anything else. Maybe we need to vote a little different next time, ride around and look at some of the work that our county is doing on our dirt roads it's terrible. We have the equipment and the money we are being taxed more and more and getting less and less for our money and accepting it. It is time for change.


Submitted By: Carlos C. CanadaSubmitted: 7/3/2010
Dear Editor, For too long, organ and tissue donation has been misunderstood because of the myths surrounding donation. One donor has the potential to save or enhance the lives of 50 to 60 people. My life has been touched twice by donation. My wife Karen died in 1995. Through donation she was able to help more than 50 people. With her eyes she was able to give the gift of sight. Her heart valves helped someone live. Her skin helped burn patients, her bones helped cancer patients, while her tendons and ligaments helped sport injuries. In 2002 I was diagnosed with fatty liver (NASH), which eventually progressed into End Stage Liver Disease (ESLD). In 2009, I received a liver transplant, and am now able to make a positive difference every day. LifeLink of Georgia provides facts about organ and tissue donation, and encourages people to register to be a life-saving organ and tissue donor. You can help save lives by designating your decision on the Georgia donor registry at www.donatelifegeorgia.org, or when obtaining or renewing your driver license. Donation can, and does save lives. Carlos C. Canada Liver Transplant Recipient 1035 Timberwale Ln. Kennesaw, GA 30152 770 713-7354


Submitted By: Gina WigginsSubmitted: 6/30/2010
I believe that the coal plant in Crisp County was 12 megawatts. This one will be 850 megawatts. That is quite a difference-- on the environment and would require the use of much more water. We are continuously searching for info about the impact of PBH on the environment and on alternative sources of energy. I'd love to see windmills instead of smoke stacks!


Submitted By: fitzgeraldSubmitted: 6/30/2010
Dear WEN.......thanks for your response. I am skeptical of the power company that wants to buid a coal fired plant in Ben Hill County. I am as equally skeptical of what information that WEN has made public in opposition to the plant. There is a coal fired plant in Crisp County. Has anyone gathered information about this plant as to its impact on the environment? What is WEN's position on alternative energy rather than coal? Perhaps wind is the answer with hundreds of windmills dotting the Ben Hill County landscape. Please do have a great meeting tonight.


Submitted By: Gina WigginsSubmitted: 6/29/2010
We hope this to be the first of a series of informational meetings to educate the people of our community. These women will present information related to their areas of expertise (financial aspects of fossil fuel industries and pollution monitoring of rivers). They were free to come at this time and P4G was not as it is under litigation. P4G will have supporters there and everyone is free to ask questions. P4G will come the third week in September for a group presentation and Q & A's at that time. In the meantime, learn all that you can!


Submitted By: Mac MarineSubmitted: 6/29/2010
To WEN, why would you not let reps from Power4Georgians address your meeting, I have not made up my mind about the issue, but I would question anyone that only wants one side to be heard. Where is your expertise. I fill that the citizens of Ben Hill County should have an opportunity to hear from both sides, I realize that they have their own agenda and so do you at WEN. I have done a little research and your stated facts aren't always correct facts.. Lets do this civil and hear both sides and be open minded about what is being said.


Submitted By: Wiregrass Energy NetworkSubmitted: 6/29/2010
Dear “fitzgerald,” thanks for asking about our group of local concerned citizens who oppose Ben Hill’s proposed coal-fired plant and who call ourselves the Wiregrass Energy Network (WEN). Don’t you think you ought to be skeptical of what you’re told by someone trying to sell you something? Well, that’s what’s been going on for a long time in Ben Hill County. The only information about the coal plant has been put out by the company with deep pockets that would get a lot richer if they get the go-ahead to build the coal plant. That company is Power4Georgians. But WEN isn’t trying to get rich. We’re just trying to protect the health of our families from pollution and the huge amounts of toxic coal ash the plant would produce. And we want to protect our area’s water from being sucked up by the plant. We’re trying to put out the most reliable information we can, and we hope you’ll come judge about that for yourself at the information session you mentioned that WEN will present tomorrow night (Wed, 6/30 at 6:30 p.m. at the library). We’re bringing in two experts with super experience and solid credentials to talk about the serious economic risks the coal plant could pose for Ben Hill and the serious problem of mercury contamination the plant would pose. As far as presenting the Power4Georgians side at the information session, the answer is no we won’t! WEN is a group of everyday local folks volunteering our time for free and chipping together our own money for all the expenses involved with what WEN does. Power4Georgians is a company with huge amounts of money at its disposal and its own well-paid public relations department that’s had a big headstart at convincing Ben Hill County to give them the go-head to get even richer by building the coal plant. So we at WEN think Power4Georgians is doing just fine and doesn’t need our help! We hope you’ll join us at the library because we know these speakers are going to be super! And if you’re a computer person, join our Facebook page called “NO COAL PLANT IN BEN HILL COUNTY!”


Submitted By: fitzgeraldSubmitted: 6/25/2010
Will there be someone from the coal plant company at the 6/30 wiregrass meeting to give their views about the proposed coal plant in eastern ben hill county? Hopefully so, because those in attendance need to hear both sides of the issue.


Submitted By: EdSubmitted: 6/11/2010
The oil spill is certainly a tragedy without a doubt. I liken it to the time a bunch of wild chickens turned my back yard into their out house.I waited for the Mayor to come out and clean up the mess.The Governor also ignored me. Well,I went out and cleaned up the mess myself, after all it was in my back yard. I then decided to fence a small area for the chickens so that I could easily clean up the mess since I did need them for their supply of manure. Yes some environmentalist didn't like it because they could see the chickens but I was able to easily clean up the mess before it got out of hand. That taught me not to rely on any one else to be responsible for what goes on in my back yard.


Submitted By: Farmer SupporterSubmitted: 5/27/2010
How do you think the farmer feels as he has to be around the chicken manure all day? If you were a farmer I think you would realize the cost of spreading other fertilizer is way more expensive than the manure. Wouldn't you want to save any way that you could if you were a farmer? Next time you criticize the farmer, think about what you’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and supper. Without the farmer you wouldn't be able to eat. Just take it in to consideration. I am sure that the smell will pass, but what the farmer has I the ground is more important than the “stinky” smell isn’t it? Would you rather eat, or for everything to smell good? Don't bite the hand that feeds you, literally.


Submitted By: stinky tooSubmitted: 5/26/2010
Agreed, but at least the chicken manure smell is only occasional. Wait until they are burning coal 24/7. Then sulfur will be added to the air on a constant basis. Add pollen to that and we will all be looking for somewhere else to live so we can breathe. Saw on the news last night that jobs are coming to Fitzgerald--so we don't need a coal plant for that reason.


Submitted By: Stinky?Submitted: 5/23/2010
I am writing to address a problem here in Fitzgerald/Ben Hill county. It is the smell of chicken manure that is spread on the farmland. When the wind blows the smell is horrible and it even comes into your home even with the windows and doors closed. It makes us gag. There should be some city and/or county ordinance against this practice. If a farmer spreads the manure, it should be covered up, so that no odor is present.


Submitted By: Gina WigginsSubmitted: 5/21/2010
Many thanks to people like Greg Childre and Gerald Pryor for bringing in industries that use existing buildings and local workers NOW!! The coal plant will be years in the planning and building and then still will not use many local people.


Submitted By: No CoalSubmitted: 5/20/2010
First I thought a coal plant in Ben Hill was probably a good idea but have been doubting it more and more. The page in the Herald-Leader this week says it all. Yes, it would be good to have some more jobs in Ben Hill. But not with the problems the coal plant would bring. Definitely not. I'm going to get one of those NO COAL PLANT signs to put in my yard.


Submitted By: EdSubmitted: 5/16/2010
The Black Citizens that have to put up with that insanity from that "club" on Monitor are asking for help from the city to provide some semblance of peace and safety and what does the Great Chief Smallwood say ...." most clubs have fights and this is no exception and the poor Police can't get to the problem because of the parked cars ....." YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FOOLING !! How about having the cars towed that are blocking the road and preventing an ambulance from responding to the citizens cry for help. If the wonderful police can't get through then I have to assume that medical can't get through either. By the way Honorable Chief, I don't recall any shootings, drug dealing openly, prostitution, and blocked roads in regards to Bill's Place -- Colony Lounge -- White Horse Saloon. Sorry Black folks, ya lose again.


Submitted By: Joan LardinSubmitted: 5/12/2010
How low can someone go? My 73 year old cousin, Nellie Swearingen Sparrow, and her husband Ernest went to visit her parents’ (Hannah and Otis Swearingen‘s) gravesite at Evergreen Cemetery on Mother’s day and found that the bluebird box they had placed there had been stolen and the post pulled out thrown on the ground. They were dumbstruck that anyone could be so low as to take a birdhouse off a gravesite. Could it have been taken because it had a decorative copper roof? How much could someone make selling a little bit of copper to a recycler? A couple of dollars? What is this world coming to that people would steal a birdhouse from a cemetery?


Submitted By: reader45Submitted: 5/12/2010
Anyone else wish local law enforcement would stop focusing so much on seatbelts or sitting in a parking lot trying to clock someone speeding and start patrolling neighborhoods. You can't leave so much as a rake in your yard overnight without it walking off and you can't drive down most side streets for all the hoodlums hanging out in the streets. Not to mention the home and car break ins? Why don't they start giving tickets to hoodlums that block traffic and start protecting property owner’s rights?


Submitted By: Long Time SubscriberSubmitted: 5/10/2010
It's been said that you can judge a person's character by their choice to do the right thing when no one is watching. Tim, thanks for doing the right thing. It's good to know that our newspaper doesn't cooperate with those who would try to use their influence to do otherwise.


Submitted By: readerSubmitted: 5/8/2010
Kudos to Tim--I have to admit that I often wondered why some people made the police report and some didn't. Thanks for your honesty and integrity, Tim.


Submitted By: Angela BoothSubmitted: 4/27/2010
I think an aquatic center would be a great addition to the community of Fitzgerald. Our current pool was constructed before World War II, and because of its condition, needs to be replaced. An aquatic center could be used by people of all ages, from senior water aerobics classes to baby water safety classes and everyone in between. As far as serving a large cross section of the community, an aquatics center is a logical choice and a good use of tax payer money.


Submitted By: HoneybearSubmitted: 4/26/2010
The Aquatic Center will benefit all of Ben Hill Cty who care to partake in it. Yes, we have a community pool, but this is not accessible year round. We need a year round facility where you can excercise, have use for people who need this for therapy, DLS swim team, possibly FHS swim team. The pool would be heated and ready year round and not just through the few months of summer.


Submitted By: Dru HannonSubmitted: 4/25/2010
Dear voter, the pool issue on the table for DLS would not be self serving for anyone. It would a public pool for everyone. The issue was that we have enough gyms throughout the area and the current pool is the oldest in the state. For Economic Development purposes, a newer facility would generate the possibility for additional income and a feature which could attract business propsects (maybe?) By the way, I am a voter also, my name is listed.


Submitted By: voterSubmitted: 4/25/2010
So the same people who threw tantrums about the football stadium are now asking for a swimming pool? Does this seem a little self serving? Don't we already have a community pool?


Submitted By: Gina WigginsSubmitted: 4/23/2010
To all those who have requested, these links are where I got my info from for the letter to the editor this week. I recommend as many Ben Hill residents as possible go to these links to learn more about this disturbing situation. http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/torts-punitive-damages/12057181-1.html http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/stories/2008/08/26/cobb_emc_judge.html http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/cobb/stories/2009/04/22/cobb_emc_energy_search.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab http://www.cobbemctruth.com/ http://flagpole.com/Weekly/Features/PlantWashington-14Oct09


Submitted By: fitzgeraldSubmitted: 4/19/2010
I always thought the train noise was part of the sermon at Central Methodist Church. No wonder the sermons last so long.


Submitted By: Herald readerSubmitted: 4/19/2010
"Very Concerned" - Your logic is not sound, as the choice is certainly not between yard signs and a coal plant. I have a hunch that little signs in everybody's yard will not have a major impact on whether or not a coal plant is established here, and they do make the town look rather trashy. That being said, I have not actually seen any of the coal plant signs and was not referring to them in the first place. Thou doth protest too much!!


Submitted By: Methodist train loverSubmitted: 4/19/2010
If the Methodist Church couldn't get through a sermon without noisy train interruptions, we'd have moved years ago. Sounds like home to us!


Submitted By: Voice against CoalSubmitted: 4/19/2010
In response to nolenutt's comment that we "already have tons of dirty, nasty coal" railcars running through Fitzgerald, I checked with a CSX employee and was told that there are very few, if any coal cars coming through Fitzgerald now. The coal-fired plant in Jax, FL (the only one on the Fitz. line), has its coal delivered by ocean barge. But, due to salt-water contamination of the coal barges, the Jax plant is expected to switch back to railcar delivery. That means that in addition to the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of coal railcars per day that Plant Ben Hill will require, we would also have coal railcars going to and from Jax via Fitzgerald. That's an enormous amount of railcars, coming in full, and leaving empty, every day, 24/7, for the next fifty years. This is not good news for our town that is dissected by a train track. Our Library and Museum, places where quiet is important, are right on the tracks. The Methodist Church may have to relocate to get through a sermon without noisy train interruption! This coal plant is not worth the costs to our community. I think it would actually harm the chances that other, more advantageous businesses and industries would choose to locate here.


Submitted By: WorriedSubmitted: 4/19/2010
Tim, it's going to be impossible for you to post a quick poll about the coal plant that will produce reliable results. I want to let you know your quick poll definitely isn't going to be an accurate indicater this week. It seems clear some pro coal plant peson voted repeatedly Sunday afternoon. The pro coal plant response, after an initial big increase right after you posted the quick poll, had been hovering around 33 percent all week. On Sunday/yesterday when I voted "no" on the quick poll, the "yes" response was still at about that level. Then just a couple of hours later, I checked to see the status of the poll and discovered suddenly in, that couple of hours, large numbers of "yes" votes suddenly had driven up the "yes" responses to 50 percent. As my wife joked: so did all these people wait to vote "yes" after returning from the same Sunday evening church services? No, I don't think so! It was clear there had been some "sleight of hand." To check out how the quick poll worked, I tried voting again and realized I could vote as many times as I wanted to, which I think is clearly how the "yes" numbers jumped from the low 30 percent level to the 50 percent level in such a short time. At any rate, I refused to let that person make the poll appear so pro coal with our side left to call foul and appear like we were doing so out of sour grapes. So I voted repeatedly until the poll registered that the "yes" votes were down to 34 percent. During the two hours it took me to do that, not a single "yes" vote appeared, indicating to me that the one person who had been so furiously voting had gotten tired and gone to bed. Now I'm writing this to let you know what was going on with the poll this week because I think it would be clear to you or anyone else following the numbers that weird things were going on with the voting. Thanks for offering the poll in what I know was your sincere attempt to help everyone know where the community stands on this very serious issue, but I think you're going to have to redesign how your software collects votes before the poll will have any accuracy. I also have to say that Power for Georgians has thousands of employees throughout its partnering EMCs, and, in the past, there are examples of big businesses instructing employees to vote on local polls to falsely make it appear local sentiment is on their side of the business deal being voted on. So with as much money at stake for Power for Georgians, I really wonder if it will be possible for you to be able to offer a coal plant quick poll that will yield reliable results. I hope you keep all these points in mind for any future polls. I want our side to win on this, but any side should win as long as it does so honestly with the community having been fully and honestly informed of the issues at stake.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We realized the poll wasn't functioning properly. It should have allowed only one vote per 24 hour period per user. That was not the case. That will be corrected on future polls.


Submitted By: Very concernedSubmitted: 4/18/2010
"Herald Reader," you say you're tired of yard signs "cluttering up our town." If you're talking about the "NO COAL PLANT IN BEN HILL" signs, you should think twice about what would be worse for Ben Hill, signs protesting the coal plant's pollution and health concerns, or the actual pollution and health concerns. What will really hurt Ben Hill for the next 50 years is the coal plant.


Submitted By: nolenuttSubmitted: 4/15/2010
We already have tons fo dirty, nasty coal running through Fitzgerald every week. Those loaded coal trains are just going to fuel some other towns and fuel other economies. I am all in favor of a coal plant coming(if there is actually one on the way). It means jobs and we desperately need jobs. It is time to get our heads out of the sand.


Submitted By: Herald readerSubmitted: 4/15/2010
Is anybody else tired of all those yard signs cluttering up our town?


Submitted By: WorriedSubmitted: 4/14/2010
Regarding the proposed coal-fired plant, I'm concerned about how they plan to get the coal TO the plant site. If by train, that would require the construction of new railroad tracks and other infrastructure, and who will pay for that, us taxpayers? Will the county use eminent domain to run tracks on privately owned land? Also, can anyone imagine how awful it will be to have over 2000 railcars loaded with dirty, dusty coal running through Fitzgerald every day for the next 50 years?


Submitted By: Nearly BrokeSubmitted: 4/14/2010
You have to wonder what is really going on, when utilities in Fitzgerald cost three and four times what they do in other places around Georgia. Let's see that audit!! It could reveal error, fraud, waste, theft, or who knows what. Or it could reveal nothing. Get the audit done and let's see.


Submitted By: Another WLB VictimSubmitted: 4/12/2010
Fitzgerald Utilities' outrageously high charges have nothing to do with whether they use coal or not. They seem to be accountable to no one and charge whatever they feel like charging. They will continue until someone forces them to stop. Why don't our community leaders investigate? Who are they scared of? There was a letter to the editor a couple of weeks ago requesting that the WLB Commission have an outside audit done. Well?


Submitted By: curiousSubmitted: 4/9/2010
I wonder why Fitzgerald Utilities are so much higher than Irwin EMC? Do they buy their electricity from coal plants? I have read that coal generated electricity is the most expensive.


Submitted By: CitizenSubmitted: 4/8/2010
Before you agree for a coal plant ,think about your citizens who have lung disease.We can hardly breathe the air here now. Check out the cost of medication for lung disease. Do as much as you can for your people who are already sick and keep the air as clean as you can .


Submitted By: dru hannonSubmitted: 4/5/2010
I would like to thank the Mayor of Fitzgerald and his administration, the Chairman and the County Board of Commissioners, and the Fitzgerald City Council Members for allowing the public to voice their opinion on the recent 2011 SPLOST proposal. My greatest appreciation is the fact that you honestly listened. Regrettably, things were said, or implied which were hurtful. However, these are things felt by the people within this community, taxpayers and voting citizens. This leads me to believe there is a break down within the system which seriously needs addressing from both sides. I feel, as painful as it may have been, we, as a community have begun this process. Mayor Thompson, I apologize to you for the abruptness of my recent letter. I was only stating the concerns of a good percentage of citizens. Rather it is just or not, it is perceived. People feel that they cannot come to you and talk about a problem without there being an intimidation factor. People feel that their interests are not taken into account. I heard of this as I grew up, while I was away in the service and now as I have returned to raise my children here. I would like to be a part of the solution to help with this problem. I feel that it is a simple fix and that it is twofold. On the other hand, I hear people in the community constantly complaining about the city/county doing or not doing. But have they become proactive in resolving the issue? Have they talked with council members or commissioners? Better yet, did they vote? “The Citizens against Turf” just proved that public opinion makes a difference and that elected officials will listen. Richard Silva posted a letter to the editor last week stating that on March 7, millions of Iraq citizens went to the polls in National Elections. They have new rights which they are taking advantage of regardless of death threats. Believe me. They are being killed, daily, for even talking about voting or worshiping God. One thing I have always loved and admired about Fitzgerald is that when times get tough, the community and people always come together and work it out. This time has been no different. “The Citizens against Turf” Blog will be changed to ”Fitzgerald & BHC Town Hall”. This will be a site used as a tool for the public to communicate with city and county officials on local topics. We plan on being a liaison between the public and city/county officials. We also plan on being more proactive by attending council/commissioner meetings. The lessons learned, during this first debate has taught us a lot. We must communicate with respect and dignity. Human emotions are normal when we are upset, however, this site will be kept civil. We have been assured that if we have questions that they will be answered. My friends, we have all but lost our battle in Washington DC. It is becoming harder and harder to stand up for what is morally right without ridicule. But we must continue to stand firm. The times are changing: However, this is our home. This is our legacy for our children and grandchildren and we have a direct impact on the community’s outcome. Mayor Thompson, I hope you can accept my apology but understand how I can be upset initially. The community just wants to be informed rather than blindsided. Citizens, stop taking your rights for granted and become involved. Be a part of the solution. Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American Veteran. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom. Let’s keep that thought out there for all to remember… .just in case they forget. I dedicate this to my friend, Marine Cpl. Randy Rosacker, who was killed in action (KIA) on March 23, 2003 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He and 13 of his comrades lost their lives during the “Battle of the Bridges” near Nasiriyah, Iraq.


Submitted By: Farmers WifeSubmitted: 4/5/2010
In regards to the "checmicals being fed through irrigation pipes and its in your water". Total bull! All you can feed through irrigatin pipes is fertilizer, nothing that will hurt a human more than anything else in your food or water. If one is really wanting to bite the hand that feeds America then go ahead and make it harder on the farmer. People do not realize that the farmer might not be producing what is on your plate, but without the farmer you wont have anything on your plate. Be careful to make comments about something before one thinks about all that the farmer does for one and his/her family. Trust me, checmicals in irrigation is the least of your worries. Plus, if no one has looked around at how high fertilizer/chemicals are to produce a crop, I doubt that anyone is putting that through their irrigation systems since they cannot afford it!


Submitted By: edSubmitted: 4/1/2010
Fly on the wall overheard ........ "We have some real educational problems we have to address. Teachers pay, new books, new equipment, the list goes on." "What can we do? we have no funds!" " Hold on, we just received 1.3 million dollars for school improvements." " Hot Dang !! What should we spend it on 'Bubba'?" " Don't be silly 'JR'. You know what we really need is FAKE FOOTBALL GRASS so we can provide the best for our up and coming young citizens" Just dreaming,,, that surely can't be true.


Submitted By: Hopeful Submitted: 4/1/2010
Kudos to Mayor Thompson for listening to the people and removing the turfgrass funding from the SPLOST. Now, let's hope that our County leaders will follow his example and vote against the proposed Coal-Fired plant. The vast majority of Ben Hill County residents are against this project, once they learn of the horrendous effect it will have on our health and water supply. To our County Commissioners, this is the single most important decision you will ever make for Ben Hill County. You can vote for the plant and leave a legacy of pollution and contamination, OR you can stand up and be a hero to our children and save them from fifty years of living in a county ruined by dirty coal.


Submitted By: appreciative voterSubmitted: 3/31/2010
Thanks Mayor Thompson!!!!! Also, thanks to the citizens of this town who care enough to speak out. Now let's join together and get SPLOST renewed for the betterment of this great community.


Submitted By: N. AnthonySubmitted: 3/30/2010
Against turfgrass. I have a huge problem when sports are more important than safe roads and public safety. I love football and soccer, but not at the expense of public safety. Some of our county roads are almost non-accessable when it rains a little, and if it rains a lot, forget it, you must have 4 wheel drive. We ask our county law inforcement officers to use older vehicles and pay higher and higher health insurance deductables, and the city and county want to put boatloads of money into astroturf. My how strange the priorities are after an election. Before the elections it was all for the citizens of Fitzgerald and Ben Hill county. Now it seems that a football field and turfgrass are more important. Wake up Fitzgerald and Ben Hill County. If we want to grow we have to have public safety and good roads. Lets spend our money where it should be. On Public Safety and Education. NOT on Turfgrass that has to be reinstalled on a regular basis. Oh, there is also the increase in player injuries on turfgrass.


Submitted By: Citizens Against TurfSubmitted: 3/28/2010
The Meeting: I made a statement indicating that contrary to popular belief, I was not the leader of this group. I had and will continue to help organize things. However, this is a group effort with several hard workers who are dedicated to the best outcome for Fitzgerald taxpayers. Also, I am, and many others, are not against the SPLOST, we want it, we need it. However, if the "turf clause" stays: I will vote NO on SPLOST, I will talk against it and I feel the majority of the voters feel this way. 1. It was a calm and very productive meeting in my opinion. I felt like we made progress. Cam Jordon, the Community Developer and Philip Jay, Chairman- County Board of Commissioners were present. 2. We had about 20 people attend. Holley Lee took notes of the meeting. 3. Cam explained that the turf became an idea about 2-3 years ago when the drainage problem was being looked at. Because the field was going to be tore up, he (as Community Developer) felt that turf would help promote a better Fitzgerald to prospective businesses. He compared this to the upgrades of the street light, signs, The Grand, etc. He stated that several fields throughout the state were looked at and studied. He also stated that the football staff were consulted but did not directly request the turf. The idea was that as people came into Fitz for a game, even one person, they would not leave here with a bad impression of the town overall based on the shabbiness of the stadium. 4. He was asked if this was being worked on this far back, "Why the community had not been informed?" He explained that usually after plan was budgeted as a project the community was notified of it. 5. We asked why the turf issue vote was "rushed" though the City Council and if the vote was majority or unanimous. He and Philip stated that they were present and that the vote was unanimous. He stated that everyone of the councilman voted "yes". We asked, "Did any of the council members ask for more time to study or evaluate the turf idea due to being surprised by it. He stated, "No, every one of them knew about this prior to that City Council meeting." They both stated that Councilman Rick Jones was quite upset over the issue. The reason for rushing it through was timing. Get it through council, then to the county for joint (inter-governmental) vote. At that point it would be released to the public by way of newspaper for approval prior to July ballot. He stated we would have time then, to do what we are doing now before time to ballot. 6. We explained that the turf was the whole issue due to the current economic crisis and unemployment at 18%. He and Philip stated that they agreed that the timing was probably not right. Cam did state that he still felt that the "Turf" idea overall was a good idea though. We added, at this time that we felt that the taxpayers had no problems updating portions of the stadium such as the visitor’s stands, bathrooms, concessions, and parking. 7. We asked if they could do the renovations, the drainage repairs and instead of "turf" replace it with sod how much money would we save? Cam stated out of the $400,000 for the turf, estimate $100,000 sod would leave estimated $300,000 that could be allocated to other projects. I made the statement that I felt the people would accept that better than the turf. Cam and Phillip both stated that we were in the position to make an offer to the city council and mayor. They felt that this would be a fair proposal for both and would be received favorably. Cam, felt the meeting went well and he was here to assist us as long as we all could keep it civil and at a respectable level. He offered a city meeting area the next time we wanted to meet. Also, if we wanted copies of any reports or meetings to get hold of his office or he would point us in the right direction. I think we are moving in the right direction. I feel we need to meet again before the County Commissioners Meeting. We all need to show up in numbers. We still need to continue signing the petition. This needs to still go to the City with a counter proposal. My friends we are doing a good. However, we are not done. July is not here yet. Stand Firm. Stay Strong. Stay Calm. Cam and Philip thank you for opening the door for communication. Amanda and John thank you for the use of the Harris House.


Submitted By: interestedSubmitted: 3/26/2010
Sure wish somebody would let us know what happened at the meeting last night. Has the wind gone out of the protesters' sails?


Submitted By: Citizens against turfSubmitted: 3/23/2010
Thursday 7 pm Harris House Also, please add: The Board of Directors/Business Owner of the Harris House does not publicly endorce a certain poltical view point, but agreed to allow this meeting at their facility so that the public could get information when other places were not available. Thanks


Submitted By: InterestedSubmitted: 3/23/2010
To the Citizens Against Turf group - you did not specify which day the meeting at the Harris House is.


Submitted By: EdSubmitted: 3/23/2010
This was e-mailed to me but I found it to be much too true... Wal-Mart for President 1 . Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day. 2.. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute! 3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March... See More 17th) than Target sells all year. 4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined. 5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private Employer, and most speak English. 6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the World. 7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only 15 years. 8. During this same period, 31 supermarket chains sought bankruptcy. 9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world. 10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 Years ago. 11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur At a Wal-Mart store. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.) 12. 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart. MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to Fix the economy. This should be read and understood by all Americans, Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!! To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature, It is now official you are ALL corrupt morons: * The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke. * Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke. * Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke. * War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more. * Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke. * Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke. * The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You've had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure. You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??


Submitted By: Citizens against"Turf"Submitted: 3/23/2010
There will be a meeting of all Fitzgerald & Ben Hill County citizens who have had enough and wish to be heard. It will be at 7 pm at the Harris House on Lee St. Topic of discussion will be signing of petition and counter proposal to be presented to the mayor and city council in response to our concern and disapproval of spending $600,000 of SPLOST funds for artificial turf. If you cannot make this meeting, there will be others up through July. You can sign the petition on Facebook Group Page "Fitzgerald Does Not Need Turf". STAND FIRM AND BE HEARD.


Submitted By: Tired of rattlingSubmitted: 3/22/2010
Would someone at City Hall give some thought, while they're figuring out ways to spend our money needlessly - to doing something about city streets? Riding on Central Avenue or, heaven forbid, Pine Street is like jolting over a rock pile - and Central is one of the most important streets in town, being a main artery bringing folks into Fitzgerald. Maybe we can put astroturf over it.


Submitted By: Food for thoughtSubmitted: 3/22/2010
The last SPLOST Proposal included $500K for Carnegie, $1,550,000 for City Hall, and $300K for Depot Renovation. Now, $100K MORE for Carnigie, $1,500,000 AGAIN for City Hall and the Depot still has not been done. But let's throw in some turf. WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING?????


Submitted By: Ralph FlattSubmitted: 3/21/2010
Does everyone realize that our farmers now can feed chemicals through their irrigation system,only one little check valve and it's in our water supply.Go check it for yourself.This to me is scary real scary ,since check valves fail very often.


Submitted By: Outraged voterSubmitted: 3/17/2010
Let's look at the origin of this SPLOST appropriation: It was first handed off to the County Commission, where Kathy Davis and Richard Goodman were the only members to oppose this tomfoolery. In fact, they were encouraged by other members of the council to not even bring it to the agenda. How useless! Now that it's back in the city's hands, where it should have been to start with, let's just remind the council members what an OUTRAGEOUS idea it is. Why should we appease Robbie Pruitt, who left Fitzgerald for bigger money a few years ago, only to return after he wasn't well-received in Houston County? He is the HIGHEST PAID member of Ben Hill County Schools' faculty other than adminstrators, and rest assured, his supplement more than buttresses his losses due to the furloughs that hurt other faculty members. The Christian thing to do would be to forgo the money for the stadium and share it with his fellow employees, who make nowhere near the $100,000+ he makes every year. His reasoning must be that since the championship games are played on artificial turf that that's why we can't win a state championship. WE'VE YET TO WIN A SINGLE STATE TITLE UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP. And if it's about the coaching, that shouldn't even matter. But the bigger picture remains, why is football important enough to even warrant this discussion. Just reread Sherry Butler's headline a few weeks ago detailing the low test scores, high teen pregnancy rates, and the like, to understand giving this money to sports is IDIOTIC, to say the least. If the council supports this, every member who votes for it should be THROWN OUT OF OFFICE. And as to the reader who says this "new kind" of turf is environmentally sound, why not use that SPLOST money for a recycling program or something of REAL BENEFIT to the community. At the end of the day, a championship football team will do absolutely NOTHING to improve the lives of the local citizenry.


Submitted By: SPLOST voterSubmitted: 3/15/2010
Have the "powers that be" on the board of education considered a performing arts center for our schools using the education sales tax? Have they seen the one at Irwin County High School? Seems like that would be a much greater benefit to more of our children than artificial turf on the football field like the City is proposing with its sales tax.


Submitted By: herald-leder readerSubmitted: 3/14/2010
What they are talking about putting on the football field is called sport turf (Sprinturf is a name brand for sport turf). It's way better than astroturf and saves the environment about a million gallons of water per year per football field, plus no chemicals, fertilizers, paint, lawn mower fumes, etc. Also, loved Tom Crawford's editorial this week--he is right on about those high salaries to the university people. Everyone needs to be outraged about that!


Submitted By: tlwSubmitted: 3/12/2010
I wonder if Govenor Purdue has taken a paycut? Any unpaid furlough days for our highest state officials? Also, it has irked me all my adult life that high school football seems more important than providing a decent education.


Submitted By: SPLOST voterSubmitted: 3/12/2010
Do the people of Fitzgerald feel like it is a good time for us to be taxed to pay for a half million dollar astroturf surface for the high school football team? Sounds to me like some of that "pork" our Congress packs their bills with. Do all of our city councilmen REALLY feel that this is a good use of our SPLOST money? Seems like at least one would have had the guts to question it. If any of them care to explain their decision here, I'd be interested to read it.


Submitted By: Education supporterSubmitted: 3/11/2010
I do not know where Herald Reader and Whynot are getting thier information. They need to understand that it is wrong information! Administrators, just as teachers, work very hard to educate our Children. Most of the time with out any Parental help at all! Administrators have been cut and furloughed just as the rest of the Staff has. I know that if the Employees talked about the Administration as much as the Ben Hill County Schools Staff does about thier leaders, if it were a private company, they would find themselves unemployed quickly! I think it is time that everyone starts working together to help on another to educate our Children. Yes, these are our Children, stop complaining about them and work the best you know how with them. The Parents are sending the only ones they have to send, they are not keeping the good ones at home! So, lets get with it and start working in unity and harmony to educate our Children. No, I am not an Educator, I am a parent of two school age Children that can only say that they have gotten a great education thus far in the Ben Hill County School System!


Submitted By: Herald readerSubmitted: 3/11/2010
Central office administrative supplements total around $200,000 and they don't work nearly as hard as teachers. The entire school calendar was changed to save $80,000. The Ben Hill County School System is way too top heavy.


Submitted By: WhynotSubmitted: 3/10/2010
Teachers have had their pay cut, why not the administrative staff? They are the ones who make the big bucks.


Submitted By: neighborSubmitted: 3/8/2010
A coal plant puts a shadow on a town. It is not only a metaphorical shadow, but a real one, a pall of particulates and ash. This ash is breathed daily by the residents of the town, and by all their neighbors for miles around. When a town invites a coal plant to set up shop, it is accepting a kind of devil to come in. This devil causes lung cancer, emphysema, asthma, and all kinds of health problems. This is a very serious decision that we have to make here. Do we want to pay for a few jobs with a town that people will not want to visit, or move to, and do we want to pay for this plant with our health? Coal is a dirty enemy of human health. Coal causes cancer. Coal causes crazy things to happen with the climate, like tornadoes in March. Breathing coal particulates is like deciding to go stand inside your chimney day after day. Living with a coal plant is like living in a chimney. We do not want this in South Georgia. We have to figure out better ways to bring jobs to Ben Hill and Irwin counties, and better ways to power our nation. Coal is not the answer. It is deadly. Why doesn't Fitzgerald lead the way in manufacturing solar panels that are inexpensive and that we can sell all over the country. Or wind turbines. Coal is old-world. Coal is not God's energy. Coal is bad news. Coal is death. Coal is a shadow like a thundercloud over Fitzgerald.


Submitted By: Organic GardenerSubmitted: 3/6/2010
Has anyone considered the fact that if you live anywhere near a coal-fired plant, you will not be able to get organic certification for your farm? Organic farming and organic foods are the fastest growing market in our agricultural economy, and could provide a bright future for our area farmers and ranchers. A friend has plans to open our area's first Organic/Local Food Restaurant, which could bring in visitors from all over south Georgia. This coal plant could be the end of a dream for a lot of us who like to grow our own helathy food. Also, with the amount of water required to operate the plant, our farmers will be forced to dig deeper and deeper wells to irrigate their crops, and in a year of drought, all our wells could run dry. I do hope our county leaders will consider this nightmare scenario.


Submitted By: Very concernedSubmitted: 3/6/2010
I'm very concerned about the coal-fired plant proposed for Ben Hill County. Fitzgerald is a beautiful town, which I think is why its economy will benefit in the coming years as baby boomers retire and look for a town like Fitzgerald to settle in. Every time I drive through Jesup and smell the stink of its pulp plant, I wonder why anyone would buy property and live there. That's how Fitzgerald will become very unattractive to people after the coal-fired plant is spewing unhealthy contamination everyday.


Submitted By: DeeSubmitted: 3/5/2010
As a visitor to your lovely town, when I heard about this poll, I immediately put in my vote. Since yesterday, I spent a few hours on the computer, doing some research about coal-fired power. It's absolutely unthinkable this would be considered. My grandparents lived during the depression. The only jobs they had were coal mines. Black lung is not a pretty health issue!


Submitted By: deeSubmitted: 3/4/2010
Why would anyone want to look up into the beautiful sky & air here to see smoke & ash, almost like the smog the hovers over LA freeways? Aside from the fact that these plants do not seem to have a good plan for keeping the coal sludge out of the water system. Rat poison is a biproduct--how does that sound? Please not here where it is so beautful.


Submitted By: DanSubmitted: 3/4/2010
The EMC consortium is trying to build a coal plant in Fitzgerald because they think rural we Southernere are too backward to understand we should oppose such a dirty, unhealthy project. I believe most of the jobs to construct the plant will come from outside Ben Hill, and, once the plant is operating, it will provide very few jobs. Unless you like the idea of mercury and arsenic contamination, you should be upset and oppose Plant Ben Hill!


Submitted By: Submitted: 3/4/2010
The idea of a coal-fired power plant is ludicrous. First of all, it was only brought out at election time to prop up Gerald Thompson's chances for re-election. And he still only squeaked by on a razor thin margin. It brings to mind much more of the problem with the local economy. Quick fixes won't work. Besides the obvious environmental dangers, which are myriad (just check with all the other counties who have kept such facilities away), who profits from this? The employment figures are nothing more than hot air. Most jobs are construction related and therefore short term. Why doesn't the Herald-Leader divulge who owns the land? Nothing but questions... The mayor PROMISED lots of jobs and tech-based companies with Millenium Technology Pointe, but considering the local school drop-out rate, the lack of a qualified local population must have scared off any potential investors. Of course, we heard absolutely nothing from our leadership on this failure. Another case in point is the pet bedding plant on Peachtree Road...less than 30 people are working there, and much higher numbers were promised. I'm glad you have this forum online, as people in this town have no desire to speak up, but continue to suffer at the hands and whims of self-serving politians. Like the bumper sticker on one local truck says: Don't Re-elect Nobody, Not Even Your Momma! Perhaps some new heads would do better, perhaps not, but we're in a sorry state of affairs as it stands.


Submitted By: County residentSubmitted: 3/4/2010
Why would anyone want a coal-fired power plant in Ben Hill County? Are a few jobs worth polluting our air and water? Our Ocmulgee River could dry up . . . wells could go dry . . . farmers unable to irrigate . . . thousands of railcars full of dirty coal hauled through Fitzgerald daily . . . higher rates of cancer and asthma . . smokestacks spewing toxic smoke . . . coal ash holding ponds that could break . . . It is NOT worth it.


 
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