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Campaigns, Corvettes and more cats

Reporter's notebook

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POSTED: July 1, 2013 2:00 p.m.

First, a correction just in case you missed the one that ran Wednesday.
Local real estate agent and Development Authority of Bryan County Chairman Steve Croy is not heading the campaign to re-elect Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler. I somehow got my wires crossed and reported he was in a story on Fowler’s campaign kickoff. I regret the error.
Speaking of that campaign kickoff at Marker 101 restaurant near the coast, there predictably was a lot of back-patting going on. Just off the top of my head: Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle praised Fowler; Croy praised Cagle, state Rep. Ron Stephens and Fowler and two or three or four others; county commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed praised Fowler and Stephens, whom he said was instrumental in bringing the planned interchange at Belfast Siding and I-95 to Bryan County.
“We would not have that interchange project without Ron Stephens,” Burnsed said. “Ron got the door open and they listened.”
Fowler, by the way, said the interchange is slated to be built in 2018. That’s only five years away.
Incidentally, as I left the fundraiser I wound up driving up 144 back to Richmond Hill right behind Stephens, who has a mint older-model Corvette — I’m not going to hazard a guess as to what year the car is, but it did have a classic tag so it is at least 25 years old.  
Though I’m envious of the car, which is a sort of pearl white, that’s not what’s getting this put in the reporter’s notebook. Instead, I’m just going to note I don’t think Stephens got the Corvette going faster than 45 mph the entire way back to Richmond Hill. I think it took me 20 minutes to get from the parking lot at Marker 101 to the News office at Cedar Street.
At the kickoff, the most memorable line came from Croy as he pointed out officials and other well-known residents at the shindig to support Fowler. When he recognized Bryan County Coroner Bill Cox, also is owner of Richmond Hill Funeral Home, he said, and I quote:  
“I see Bill Cox is here, Bill’s the county coroner, This probably qualifies for a sales call (for Bill). If he shakes your hand for a long time, that probably means he’s checking your pulse, so be careful there.”
Cracked me up.
Croy gets his sense of humor naturally. He’s a nephew of Moultrie Observer editor, publisher and columinst Dwain Walden, my boss when I worked in Moultrie and a gifted observer of the human condition.
So say I, anyway.
Hooray, pesky cats are back. Last time around in this space I noted a resident called the city because a neighbor’s cats were getting on his car. This time, someone called because “cats are coming into his garden and planter boxes at the front and the back of the garden and digging up his plants while using the bathroom  …” according to a report from Richmond Hill Code Enforcement Officer Mark Long, which didn’t specify who or what was using the bathroom, but I’ll assume it was not the complainant.
The May 23 report goes on to note the complainant was not sure all the cats belong to his neighbor “or he is just nice and feeds them.” At any rate, Long reported he contacted animal control, which promised to bring out a trap. Long also suggested the complainant find a cat repellent or put a litter box in the back yard.
So far, I haven’t seen any complaints about squirrels but that’s probably because they’re all invading my bird feeders.
Also from the May report from Richmond Hill code enforcement comes the following:
• Long reported he went to a Harris Trail location with OMI as they erected “a legal sign for the city attorney.” His report continued: “I noticed on Sunday that the sign was laying on the ground. When the sign was put up, the owner of the property came out giving us a hard time and stated she hoped it fell down.”
Apparently so. The report noted 13 violations from May 6 to June 6 of what was termed “injuring, tampering with utility apparatus, city property.”
It can happen to the best of us: Also from the June 18 Richmond Hill City Council meeting came the following from longtime Parks and Recreation Director Harvey Lashley: “I’m here to ask your blessing to buy a truck, which I already bought,” he said, referring to the purchase of a new Ford pickup to replace a worn-out 1995 model.
“(Not getting council approval first) was an oversight on my part,” an apologetic Lashley told council members, who approved the $27,000 purchase.
From the Richmond Hill Police Department’s report to the council is a citation summary that notes the department wrote 438 citations in May. Of those, white males were ticketed most often at 161 times, followed by white females at 111 citations, black males with 80 citations, black females with 34 citations and Hispanic males with 21. Twenty citations were issued to males, eight to Asian mails, and one each to an Asian female and someone who fit into the M/W category, whatever that is.
Those tickets were worth $54,005 in “base fine(s),” and more than $26,300 in “other add ons” for a grand total of $80,372.30.
Look, avoiding a ticket isn’t hard. 1. Make sure you’re legal. 2. Make sure your seatbelt is buckled. 3. Make sure your vehicle is in working order. 4. Get behind Rep. Stephens’ Corvette. You won’t be able to go fast enough to get in any trouble.

 

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