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September 21, 2006 Issue

Wadley hydrants need repairs
Family Dollar robbed
A grand old flag

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Wadley hydrants need repairs

• Fire Chief assured city he could handle fires in the meantime

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

It was while undergoing an inspection last November to reduce Wadley’s fire insurance rating from a 7 that the city’s fire chief, Bruce Logue, learned he had a problem.

“We had an ISO (Insurance Services Office) visit in November 2005,” Logue said. “Their recommendation was that we test all of the hydrants' static water pressure.”

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Logue was working to improve the ISO rating down to a 5.

“The auditors made a number of recommendations and this was one of them – that we list and number all of the hydrants and test the static pressure,” Logue said. “We have the mapping down. (That’s) almost done. We have a map located in the fire department.”

Logue said the process had just started when they noticed the problems with the hydrants.

“We noticed the fluctuation of the pressure when we were checking the hydrants for the pressure,” he said.

The chief said the hydrant that seems the worst so far was probably hit by a vehicle. The city has 137 hydrants, he said, adding the normal practice is to have a hydrant every 500 feet. Of these, Logue and his crew have tested 56.

“We stopped when we had the problem with the water hammer with the hydrant,” he said. A water hammer, he explained, is the pressure created when the flow of water is stopped or started suddenly, causing a vibration in the water. “In the home, you can sometimes hear the pipes rattling,” he said.

That hydrant broke, causing Logue safety concerns. Some of the hydrants are leaking at the base; some are leaking at the top, he said. Not all need work.

Wadley Mayor Herman Baker said, unfortunately, all of the work will have to be paid for by the city.

“That’s upkeep,” he said. “There’s no grant money for maintenance.”

Baker said one of the hydrants was installed in 1926.

“We were already working on (the situation),” he said. Mueller, the manufacturer of the majority of the hydrants, has already had representatives down to review the hydrants.

“They’ve been here twice,” Baker said. “They’re coming down again.

They’ve been telling us if they can get parts. Some of them we can’t get parts for, we’re going to have to replace.

I think the hydrant itself costs around $1,700 or $1,800 each. ”

When the hydrant broke, Logue said some people were without water overnight. Testing of the fire hydrants will not resume until he can be assured the hydrants are fixed and in good working order.

“I want these hydrants fixed,” he said. “We don’t want this to happen again.”

Despite the condition of the hydrants, Logue assured the council the department is prepared for fires. “We have a 1,500-gallon tanker and it’s 4 miles away,” the fire chief said. “We can get water, but with a hydrant, we can get steady pressure.”



Family Dollar robbed

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Law enforcement officers are on the lookout for a man in connection to a robbery committed this weekend at the Family Dollar in Louisville. The man is described as a white male, about 5’8” to 5’10”, of slender build, with not quite shoulder length, unkempt, blondish brown hair. He was last seen wearing a cap.

According to official reports, he walked into the Family Dollar and gave the clerk a note. “She got scared when she read part of it and just handed over the money,” a source close to the investigation said.

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“The part she read said, ‘I’m a dying man. Give me all the money.’”

She believed he had a weapon because she thought she saw something shiny in one of his hands, the source said.

She apparently gave him the register’s top tray, which reportedly contained between $150 and $160 in $10s, $5s and $1s.

According to eye-witness accounts, the man had parked his car at the back of Flash Foods, and walked in front of that store. The clerk there thought that he was probably going to Dairy Queen because he walked across. About 15 minutes later, the same guy came running back from the same direction and ran past the front of the Flash Foods store.

There was a customer in front of the Flash Foods pumping gas. That customer saw him run behind the store. The customer walked around the side, trying to see what he was running toward and saw him get into a small tan two-door automobile.

At that time, neither the clerk at Flash Foods nor the customer who was pumping gas knew anything about a robbery.

By this time, according to a spokesman with the Sheriff’s department, the clerk at Family Dollar had called 911 and they had dispatched law enforcement.

The manager of the Family Dollar had been putting up stock when the incident occurred, according to the spokesman. When the clerk told the manager what had happened, the manager went to the door to see which way the man went. The manager couldn’t see him came back in.

The clerk at the Flash Foods store said when the suspect got in the car, he headed north on Middleground Road.

Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact the sheriff's office.



A grand old flag

• Retired Glascock County educators mix sweat with paint in a labor of patriotic love

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

“He’ll give us a breeze,” one painter said to the other. “He always does.”

For the love of their countrymen, of their country; for the love of being able to believe in their God, their religion, two retired Glascock County educators have found a way to express this love.

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Creeping through downtown Gibson headed towards Jefferson County on Highway 102, drivers cross two bridges, go into a curve and then wham, an explosion of patriotic color fills their eyes.

Fifty stars and thirteen stripes colored in shades of red, white and blue fly against the sky. It is an unlikely sight that has visitors from Glascock County and the surrounding area flocking to the spot to take pictures, honk their vehicle’s horns, offering their support and sometimes a helping hand.

Glascock County resident Andy Chalker and McDuffie County resident Bill Seaman are the creators of this larger than life tribute to America. What drivers find when they cross that bridge is a 1,650- square-foot American flag painted on the tin roof on an old barn.

Weather permitting, the men climb up with their paint buckets two to three days a week. For Andy it is just a short drive to their landmark. It was Crib’s Barn, named after Chalker’s father who constructed it in 1952. Now it is known as Andy’s Barn, but the name may soon change to America’s Barn with the newfound pride the project has instilled in the community’s citizens and even those as far away as Richmond County.

“People stop all the time,” Chalker said. “They blow their horn, take pictures or stop to talk. Some even offer to help paint the flag.”

Before Chalker was a teacher, principal or superintendent of Glascock County Schools, he was in the military for four years. The time he spent defending his country never left him and was an inspiration for his tribute to America.

“I think it is probably the most patriotic thing to do for the men and women in the armed forces,” Chalker said.

“It is for all the citizens, but especially meant for those in the military.”

Chalker said painting the flag on the barn was a clear decision to him because of the position and size. The flag itself boasts three-foot high stripes, with each star being two feet from tip to tip.

“Andy called me and said he had an idea,” Seaman, a pastor at Mineral Springs Baptist Church, said. “He said he wanted to paint a flag on the barn and he wanted me to sketch it to scale. I say it worked out to perfection.”

Seaman said that each one fourth inch equaled one foot.

With the correct proportion, it is an accurate depiction of a United States flag. With only a few days of work left on the project, Seaman said he appreciates Chalker inviting him along for the labor of patriotic love.

“I am just happy he called me and told me what he was going to do,” Seaman said.

“This is just awesome. I am proud to be a part of the idea.”

“Well I couldn’t think of anything better on a barn than the United State flag,” Chalker added, “as far as patriotism.”

The two men began working on the flag beginning in August. During those summer days, the men could stand to be on the hot tin roof for only about an hour.

“There is sweat mixed in (with the paint on) the flag,” Seaman said.

Chalker and Seaman both said they appreciate their wives’ (Barbara Chalker and Katherine Seaman) support and the community’s in keeping them on the path to finish the flag.

“We have gotten a lot of moral support,” Chalker said.

“Barbara and Katherine have kept us propped up. We also appreciate the support of the people saluting, tooting their horns, waving, offering to paint.”

“We appreciate that,” Seaman said. “We really do.”

Chalker and Seaman both hope that those who pass by the flag will come away with just as much as the experience they had painting it.

“I enjoy doing something I hope someone else will get something from,” Chalker said. “When you get to that point, painting this flag on top of this barn represents the greatest liberty and freedom in this world. All the supreme sacrifices Americans have made for that liberty and freedom.”




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