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September 23, 2010 Issue

These heels were made for runnin’
Missing man found alive
Frustrated farmers offer $5,000 reward
Music in the parks series kicks off

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These heels were made for runnin’

By Bonnie Sargent

Normally running a race in high heels would not sound like a very good idea, but for local nurse practitioner Melissa Cave, who says she would do anything to benefit the hospital, it is an idea with merit.

The High Heel-a-Thon is a 150-yard dash that will be held in Central Park in New York on Wednesday, Sept. 22. The race is part of a fundraiser for the Heart Truth, a campaign that promotes heart health and exercise.


Cave first saw the advertisement for the race one morning in April on “Live with Regis and Kelly,” a television show that airs on ABC. She submitted an application online and towards the end of August, she received a call asking her to send in a videotape.

Cave said only 500 applicants were picked to participate in the race and she was one of them.

“I just thought it would be great,” she said. “I never thought I would actually get it.”

Cave is flying out on Tuesday, Sept. 21, to participate in the race. Her husband, sister-in-law and 3-year-old daughter are also flying with her to New York. Money for the plane tickets comes out of her pocket. Cave is using the money in her continuing medical education contract to fund the trip. She and her family will remain in New York until Friday, Sept. 24.

There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. The 1st place winner will receive $10,000 and a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. The 2nd place prize will be $5,000 and the 3rd place prize is $2,500.

“If I win, all the money goes back to the hospital,” said Cave. Cave said she’s even giving the car to the hospital, adding that they could use it for transportation purposes.

“The proceeds would be donated to the hospital and used in the most appropriate manner to benefit Jefferson Hospital,” said Tina Biggers, Jefferson Hospital assistant administrator. “Jefferson Hospital is proud of our nurse practitioner, Melissa Cave.”

Cave graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in May. She’s worked as a nurse practitioner at Jefferson Hospital for a little more than two months. She also did rotations for school in Jefferson County for about two years while working on her master’s degree.

Being a nurse practitioner means she can practice independently, as long as she has a collaborative agreement with a physician.

“I can write prescriptions, do procedures and stitch,” Cave said.

Cave practices mainly family medicine, though she said she is partial to children and did pediatrics at MCG.

“I wanted something I would have more job opportunities for,” Cave said. “So I chose family practitioner.”

Cave’s sister is also a nurse practitioner in Wrens. Cave said that is how she ended up coming to Louisville to work.

“I like it here. Patients tell you, ‘thank you.’ They bring you food from their garden. People are more appreciative out here. It’s part of being a small town community,” Cave said. “The best part of being here is when you can treat a patient and they come back for a follow up and your treatment worked.”

Cave said she’s known since high school that she wanted to be a nurse.

“I saw how much you can teach your patients about health care and being healthy,” she said. “You’re making a difference. You’re doing something and you feel your job is actually important.

“The most challenging thing is getting your patients to take advice. They think things aren’t going to work or they don’t have the money. A lot of people are making decisions between paying their water bill and paying their light bill.”

Cave said she loves to run and works out every morning before taking her daughter to school. She said she was training to run in a marathon a while back but dropped out to celebrate her mother’s 50th birthday with her family who were flying in from out-of-town.

To help prepare for the race, Cave said she has been running nearly every day. She said she runs four to six days a week, depending on how busy the week is, and does about 4 miles in 42 minutes. She said she has been running around her neighborhood in high heels at 6 a.m. the past few days.

Cave said the heels she is going to wear during the race are ones that she strategically picked because they have more support.

There are requirements and restrictions for the shoes the contestants may wear during the race. There is a minimum heel height of 3 inches and a maximum heel circumference of 3 inches.

“They said they’re going to have heel experts inspecting the shoes,” said Cave with a laugh.

Cave said her entire family is excited about the race and so are her co-workers.

“Someone said they were going to bring in a television so they can watch the race,” Cave said.

The race will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 22, and will be broadcast live on the Regis and Kelly television show. The show airs at 9 a.m. on ABC.

Missing man found alive

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

The family of a man who had been missing since Saturday, Sept. 18, at 5 p.m. got some good news Tuesday just before 4 p.m.

Lt. Clark Hiebert, an investigator with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said in an interview Tuesday, Sept. 21, the missing man, identified as 74-year-old Bennie Burton Jr., had been found lying in a wooded area that day.


Hiebert said Burton had left his cousin’s house and was headed home.

“He went off into the woods,” Hiebert said. “He stumbled and fell and twisted his leg and couldn’t get back up. He told me he had been laying there since Saturday. He hadn’t had anything to eat; he hadn’t had anything to drink. He was dehydrated and weak from lack of food,” he said.

“Willie Kelly Jr., also known as Bird, was driving down the road and saw some movement in the trees. He looked over and he saw some movement again,” Hiebert said.

“He pulled over and walked up in the woods and he spoke to him. They called 911,” he said.

The investigator said a command post had been set up on Forstman Road about 800 yards from where Burton was found.

“So when the call came out that there was a man laying face down in the woods, I responded. They gave the address as Brown Terrace, in the Brown Terrace area, where he had last been seen. I know the man personally and I recognized the man. I called 911 and told them we had found the man and they already had the EMTs enroute,” Hiebert said.

“The EMTs checked him over and I think they took him to the hospital. The family met him at the hospital. He was talking when we found him. You could tell he’d been laying on the ground for sometime.”

Hiebert said almost everyone who was going to be involved in a foot search were scheduled to meet at the command post at 4 p.m.

“A helicopter was going to come at 4:30 p.m.; and, we were going to fly the area,” Hiebert said, adding the helicopter would have come from the Georgia State Patrol hangar in Thomson.

The investigator said firefighters were scheduled to come at 4:30 p.m. and a church group was coming at 5:15 p.m.

“The search was about to get under way,” he said.

“This was good news,” Hiebert said.

“It’s always good when someone has been missing and is found alive,” he said.

Frustrated farmers offer $5,000 reward

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

A group of local farmers have offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft of copper from irrigation systems, Jefferson County Sheriff Gary Hutchins said in an interview Monday, Sept. 20.

Hutchins said people have been stripping the copper wire from irrigation units since February, adding this type of theft has occurred not only in Jefferson County but in at least three other counties, Washington, Johnson and Laurens.


Hutchins said such a theft occurred over the past weekend.

“We have leads and we’re working together in these different counties,” he said.

The sheriff said officers from each of the four counties have been pooling their information and working together. He said the cases seem to be connected.

“In this county, we’ve had thefts from six different irrigation systems primarily on the south end of Jefferson County,” Hutchins said.

“Concerned farmers in our county are putting up the reward,” he said.

The sheriff said besides working with the other law enforcement agencies, officers have contacted metal salvage businesses in the area asking them to pay special attention to anyone trying to sell amounts of copper wire.

Anyone with information about these thefts should contact the JCSO at 478-625-7538.

All information will be kept confidential, Hutchins said.

“Citizens out there can be a big help by watching out and letting us know if they see something that doesn’t look right. They can call 911 and the sheriff’s office can check it out,” Hutchins said.

The sheriff said citizens should report anything or anyone who is suspicious.

“People who are somewhere they shouldn’t be, suspicious activity late at night, anything they see that doesn’t seem right,” he said.

Music in the parks series kicks off

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Up to now the Arts Guild of Jefferson County has largely focused on the visual arts, but through a new concert series it wants to remind citizens of the impact of musical arts.

“I think the arts include a broad spectrum of avenues including music and dance,” Arts Guild member Diane Sharpe said. “There is just so much, textiles, clay and wood works and this is another aspect we want to bring to the public.”


On Saturday, Sept. 25, the Arts Guild will bring music to the parks of Jefferson County, with its first event at Helen Clark Memorial Park on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 4-6 p.m.

“The Arts Guild is hosting a new venture into music and we have decided to put on some concert events in the parks around Jefferson County,” Sharpe said. “This year, we have two planned, one at Helen Clark Memorial Park, and a second one in Bartow in the spring and there might be some other smaller music ventures, which are all free to the public.”

This concert will feature Mary Davis and Company, which will include Mary and Jeff Davis, and Pete Love, a graduate of Louisville Academy. Mary Davis and Company covers favorite current and classic rock, folk, blues, Motown, beach, jazz and country songs.

“Mary Davis and Company are from Savannah and play a variety of music, like Johnny Cash to more contemporary,” Sharpe said. “There is something for everybody.”

The show will last for two hours and while the band will play many classics, Love of Mary Davis and Company said they do take requests.

“I always enjoy coming to Louisville,” Love said. “I get to see folks I haven’t seen in years a lot of times and I still have family there, it is sort of like coming home.

“It is going to be great to come with Jeff and Mary, because they haven’t played there before. It will give the folks of Louisville a chance to hear us.”

The show will be performed under the pavilion at Helen Clark Memorial Park.

“At this point we are funding the concerts through the Arts Guild,” Sharpe said. “We have gotten some support from the newspaper and the radio station. But we haven’t really got out and solicited for vendors, but in the future it is something we may look at. First of all we want to see how it is accepted, if we get the kind of response we hope for, we can move forward with bigger plans”

Those planning to attend are asked to bring chairs or blankets, a picnic basket and refreshments in coolers, but no alcohol.

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